The GMS Podcast: Saying No to Boebert’s No to Our Noes

This week on The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii review the wacky CPAC weekend — including Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert’s incomprehensible rhetoric — and break down the opening week(s) of the 2021 Colorado legislative session.

Catch up on previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at GetMoreSmarter.com.

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Hit us up at AngryRants@getmoresmarter.com.

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More Polyester, Less Petrol: Big Oil Too Clever By Half Again

Colorado Republican Party press secretary CBS4 Denver political reporter Shaun Boyd is all over the latest stunt from the always-punchy (see: benzene exposure) Colorado Oil and Gas Association, responding to a decision last December by Colorado-based outdoor clothing manufacturer The North Face to reject an order of logoed jackets for Texas oilfield services company Innovex Downhole Solutions as not in keeping with the company’s policies for mutual branding:

The North Face is being celebrated by the very industry it snubbed. The Colorado-based company recently rejected an order for 400 jackets from a Texas oil and gas company because it reportedly didn’t want to be associated with an industry that doesn’t meet its brand standards.

Ironically, the jackets and almost every product The North Face produces and sells is made with nylon, polyester and polyurethane, all of which come from petroleum.

So, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association decided to have some fun with the situation. It bestowed its first-ever “Extraordinary Customer Award” on The North Face, saying it appreciates the company for its abundant use of oil and gas.

The problem, if you haven’t already guessed it, is there’s a rather large difference between producing durable goods like jackets from petrochemicals and burning them for fuel! If we were only using petroleum to produce plastics, lubricants, and other stuff that doesn’t get burned, those products would be cheaper–probably not North Face jackets though, since they’re a premium brand–but more importantly the petrochemical industry would not be a principal contributor to global climate change. Unless the plan is to start burning North Face jackets as fuel, this comeback from COGA makes no sense.

If we were in charge of The North Face’s PR, which we aren’t, that’s where we would start.

The North Face did not respond to CBS4’s request for comment. In a statement to the Financial Times, the company said it investigates product requests to make sure they align closely with the goals surrounding sustainability and environmental protection.

Or you could just ignore Shaun Boyd and COGA completely like The North Face did! That’s fine too.

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“Lofgren Report” Highlights Boebert and Lamborn

The Lofgren Report

The “Lofgren Report” is getting a lot of attention today, with Colorado Reps. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) and Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) both popping up in a collection of social media posts related to the terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6 and related efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential election.

As CNN explains:

Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren has quietly posted a nearly 2,000-page report documenting social media posts by her Republican colleagues who voted against certifying results of the presidential election on January 6. The information compiled isn’t secret, but the report is another sign of the deep distrust that has settled into the US Capitol in the weeks since the insurrection.

The report chronicles the social media activity of members on public forums immediately before the November election and right after the January 6 riot. The report has been online for a week.

CNN reported earlier Thursday that federal investigators are examining records of communications between members of Congress and the pro-Trump mob that attacked the Capitol, as the investigation moves closer to exploring whether lawmakers wittingly or unwittingly helped the insurrectionists.

In a preamble to the report, Lofgren — the chair of the House Administration Committee — wrote that she had asked her staff to pull the relevant social media posts and compile them in an effort to gather facts.

The “Lofgren Report” is divided up into different sections organized by state. Colorado’s list includes 74 pages of questionable social media posts from Boebert and Lamborn, but mostly from Boebert (Q*Bert accounts for 73 pages all by herself). For example:

Click here to see the complete “Lofgren Report.” Click here for the Colorado-specific section.

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Get More Smarter on Friday (March 5)

One year ago today, Colorado announced its first case of COVID-19. Let’s Get More Smarter; 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 an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

 

The U.S. Senate is slogging through a vote-a-rama on a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill as Republicans pursue every possible angle to make the process of relief for American families take longer. This “Performative Obstruction” started on Thursday with a demand by Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson that the entire 628-page bill be read aloud (which took Senate clerks 10 hours and 43 minutes to complete).

As part of today’s vote-a-rama, both Colorado Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper voted yes on a $15 minimum wage. The New York Times has more on today’s action on the Senate floor:

The Senate is set to debate President Biden’s nearly $2 trillion stimulus plan on Friday as Democrats prepare to barrel past widespread opposition from Republican lawmakers and approve billions of dollars in funding for unemployed Americans, vaccine distribution, small businesses, schools and hospitals.

Senators will reconvene with three hours of debate before engaging in a rapid-fire series of votes on proposed amendments. Some are likely to force lawmakers into casting politically tough votes, while others could draw enough support to further tweak the legislation. The vote-a-rama, as it is known, could stretch long past midnight as Republicans battle against a bill whose crafting they were cut out of…

…But the efforts to slow action on the Senate floor to a crawl are expected to have little effect on the final legislation. Each party holds 50 seats in the chamber, giving Democrats a one-vote margin of control thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris’s power to break ties.

Back in Colorado, struggling residents of CO-03 are upset that Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) is making no effort to provide assistance. Boebert’s sole purpose in Congress seems to be seeking out different ways to offend people.

Elsewhere, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Aurora Mayor “Homeless” Mike Coffman are urging Congress to quickly pass the $1.9 trillion relief bill.

 

► As The Washington Post reports, pressure is growing on Senate Democrats to get rid of the filibuster:

…as Biden faces a critical stretch of his presidency, even moderate Democrats are urging more immediate changes — particularly rewriting the filibuster, so that at the very least fewer bills need 60 votes to pass the Senate.

Democrats increasingly worry that popular pieces of Biden’s agenda will hit a wall in the Senate, including his plans for climate change, immigration, gun control, voting rights and LGBT protections. Failing to enact them, they fear, could be a political disaster for Democrats as well as a substantive one.

Elsewhere, the AFL-CIO is considering joining the battle to end the filibuster.

 

► To the Colorado legislature we go…

Lawmakers are considering a criminal justice reform bill intended to help reduce overcrowded jails, as well as a measure that would require discharged prisoners to leave jail with some form of photo identification.

Colorado Newsline reports on legislation to better monitor toxic air pollutants.

The Denver Post updates efforts to skip standardized testing this year because of coronavirus-related concerns.

Legislation to extend “to-go alcohol” from local restaurants is moving forward, as is a bill seeking to tweak a new marijuana delivery program.

 

As The Associated Press reports, opposition to President Biden’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic is coming from only one specific slice of the population:

Biden is enjoying an early presidential honeymoon, with 60% of Americans approving of his job performance thus far and even more backing his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

At a moment of deep political polarization in America, support for Biden’s pandemic response extends across party lines. Overall, 70% of Americans back the Democratic president’s handling of the virus response, including 44% of Republicans.

 

The Denver Post reports on plans to acknowledge today’s anniversary of Colorado’s first known case of COVID-19:

“During the past year, we have tragically lost nearly 6,000 Coloradans to this deadly virus,” Gov. Jared Polis said in a news release.

Polis invites all Coloradans to participate Friday in a “virtual statewide Evening of Remembrance,” to honor pandemic victims who lost their lives.

A “virtual remembrance ceremony” is scheduled for 6:30 pm today.

 

 

More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…

 

(more…)

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Catholic Bishops Not Putting Jesus’ Best Foot Forward

Archbishop Samuel Aquila of the Archdiocese of Denver.

As Colorado Public Radio’s Andrea Dukakis reports, the Catholic Church is back in the local news today on two very much separate but, singly or taken together nonetheless troubling fronts–the first being a directive from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops that observant Catholics should avoid the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine due to the use of embryonic stem cells in the research and production of the drug:

Colorado’s Catholic churches have lined up to endorse the guidance, which was issued Tuesday on the heels of the FDA’s decision to approve use of the newest vaccine.

“The approval of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in the United States again raises questions about the moral permissibility of using vaccines developed, tested, and/or produced with the help of abortion-derived cell lines,” said a statement from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops…

“They’re not prohibiting people from getting it. They’re just saying that if one is in a position to choose, they should pick the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines,” said Veronica Ambull, a spokeswoman for the Diocese of Colorado Springs.

The problem with this “guidance” is that as of now, vaccine recipients do not have a choice of which brand of vaccine they receive. As CPR explains, patients who sign up and discover that they are set to receive the J&J vaccine can, you know, wait. Or sign up again and see what they get offered next time. Either way, we’re talking about potential delays in the vaccination of Catholics–then logically resulting in some number of Catholics needlessly dying of COVID-19.

And that doesn’t seem like something Jesus would want.

The other story featuring the Catholic Church in the news today, as the Denver Post’s Saja Hindi reports, is a subject we’ve broached before as local church leaders have weighed in on political wedges like denying President Joe Biden communion over abortion policy–and we’ll caution that invoking it results in a sharp reaction from the church’s defenders who consider it an unfair distraction:

For decades, survivors of childhood sexual abuse and their advocates have urged states to let them hold abusers accountable in civil court, no matter how long it’s been since the abuse. A bipartisan bill in the Colorado Legislature to do just that so far appears to have widespread approval, but it’s not without opposition from the Colorado Catholic Conference — a church embroiled in a sex abuse scandal in Colorado, the U.S. and around the world…

The Colorado Catholic Conference, which represents the state’s three dioceses — Denver, Colorado Springs and Pueblo — said it has supported unlimited time to seek criminal charges but not, as proposed in the bill, for civil statutes.

In a statement, the group said it supports “reasonable and fair extension of the civil statute of limitations; however, statutes of limitations must have a sensible time limit to ensure due process for all parties involved.”

Got that? Embryonic stem cells from an abortion performed in the 1980s used to create a lifesaving vaccine against a global pandemic is sinful–but filing a civil suit against a priest who molests children longer than six years after the offense is “unreasonable!”

Are they precisely the same issue? No. Do we give a shit? No. The deep moral stain on the Catholic Church after their clergy–not all, but far too many and protected by too many more–molested children for decades leaves them with an enormous moral debt to society. Weighing in on these hot-button political debates, especially interfering with the rollout of a vaccine to save lives in a global pandemic, makes all these skeletons in the Catholic Church’s closet fair game. And there are a lot of such skeletons.

It’s a major reason why the church should focus on forgiving sins instead of passing judgment.

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Friday Open Thread

“You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.”

–Harlan Ellison

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Yes, The World Saw Lauren Boebert Say “Transvexhikes”

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Green Screen).

By now, everyone is probably aware via global news coverage of an interview last week of Rep. Lauren Boebert with Steve Bannon lowering the discourse one again over HR5, the Equality Act bringing federal law into line with discrimination protections for LGBTQ people that are already settled law in Colorado–the UK Independent reports because we see no reason to post the clip itself:

Controversial freshman lawmaker Lauren Boebert has been criticised online following her recent remarks about a bill banning discrimination of LGBT+ groups, calling the act “supremacy of gays”.

On Wednesday, the Colorado representative appeared on Real America’s Voice, a right-leaning media network, where she lashed out at the Equality Act.

Ms Boebert claimed that “there is nothing about equality” in the act, adding: “If anything, it’s supremacy—of gays, lesbians” before pausing and mispronouncing the word “transvestite,” in an apparent reference to transgender people.

Wonkette did a good job explaining the source of Boebert’s fumbled slur, since we’re pretty sure she doesn’t know:

“[T]ransvestite” — which is what we assume Boebert was trying to say there — is an outdated term referring to a person cross-dressing as a gender they are not, not to transgender people, who dress as the gender they actually are. Totally different things! Of course, the fact that this was the term used in old criminal statutes to refer to what some psychologists in olden days claimed were mental disorders, and that it is heavily associated with transvestic fetishism, is hardly accidental. It is in fact specifically why this term is popular among transphobic bigots…

The 19th Amendment did not establish female supremacy, the Civil Rights Act did not establish Black supremacy, the Equality Act will not establish LGBTQ+ supremacy, and the Declaration of Independence is not the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

Over the past few months as Lauren Boebert has come to dominate the political news cycle in Colorado, with near-daily offenses aspiring to downright Trumpian in their vile intensity and ability to draw continuous national attention, a number of readers have cautioned that Boebert gets too much attention. Since Boebert has never made an attempt to distinguish between positive and negative press coverage, a cycle of escalating outrages rewarded with “no such thing as bad” coverage has taken on a life of its own as Boebert’s profile has grown, much as it did with Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential elections.

We hear this criticism, and we want readers to know that we are always working to evaluate the daily flood of Boebert content qualitatively so as not to get sucked into a cycle of rewarding deplorable behavior from Colorado elected officials we are obliged to discuss. In this case, Boebert bumbled yet another attempt to distinguish herself through outrage, which perversely managed to earn her even more coverage, all of which does nothing but gratify Boebert and encourage the next outrage.

Eventually you realize: this is why some people just need to be, for lack of a better word, “cancelled.”

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Republicans Go All-In on “Performative Obstruction”

UPDATE: Well played, Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-Denver):


—–

Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson

As POLITICO reports, the U.S. Senate is at last preparing to vote on the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill favored by President Biden…as soon as Senate Republicans are done wasting everyone’s time:

“No matter how long it takes, the Senate is going to stay in session to finish the bill, this week. The American people deserve nothing less,” Schumer said on Thursday.

Now Republicans can control exactly how excruciating final passage becomes.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) immediately forced the Senate clerk to read all 628 pages of the Senate substitute. Senate Democratic leaders estimate that it will take four to five hours to complete that task, though Johnson believes it may take longer. Then Republicans can use up to 20 hours of debate time, and then force unlimited amendments votes if they so choose. 

“Historically what’s happened is … we offer a couple of hundred amendments on the Republican side,” Johnson said. “And we get a couple of dozen voted on and people tire out. I’m coming up with a process that keeps people from tiring out. I’m getting sign ups. I’m laying out a three-shift schedule.” [Pols emphasis]

Schumer vowed that the Senate would stay in session this week until the bill is passed and dismissed Johnson’s effort as a delay tactic that “will accomplish little more than a few sore throats for the Senate clerks.”

Senate Republicans don’t have the ability to actually stop the stimulus bill from passing, nor do they have any actual ideas of their own as substitute. So instead, they’re going to fart around for as long as possible while anxious Americans desperate for help just have to sit and wait.

The modern Republican Party, in one picture.

This is all part of the modern Republican strategy that CNN’s Chris Cillizza calls “Performative Obstruction”:

This is obstruction solely to obstruct. And while obstruction has a long history in Congress (the filibuster, hello), Republicans now are playing a different game than obstructers of the past.

What they are engaging in is performative obstruction. People like Greene and Johnson and Cotton are purposely charging at windmills not in hopes of toppling them, but rather in hopes of ensuring that the party base (and its media enablers) see them charging at the windmill…

…Trump may no longer be in office, but his performative politics linger — and continue to inform how Republicans appear to be defining success in the Biden era.

Republicans in the Colorado legislature adopted these stupid stalling tactics back in 2019, which included demands to read every bill out loud as folks such as State Sen. Bob Gardner beamed with pride at their efforts to “slow things down.” Last year, Republican State Sen. John Cooke was positively giddy that a $3-4 billion shortfall in the state budget would prevent lawmakers from doing their jobs. When the state budget came up for a final vote in the House last June, not a single Republican House Member voted ‘YES’ even though the legislature in constitutionally-mandated to pass a state budget every year.

To paraphrase Congresswoman Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert, Republicans are only interested in saying “no” to every question presented to them. They don’t want to debate. They don’t want to govern. They just want to get in the way.

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Lora Thomas Plotting Run Against Jason Crow in CO-06

Douglas County Commissioner Lora Thomas

Douglas County Republican Lora Thomas apparently has her sights set on a new job in 2022. From what we hear, Thomas is committed to running for Congress in CO-06, where Democrat Jason Crow was just re-elected by a 17 point margin.

Thomas is a former dispatcher for the Colorado State Patrol who was elected Douglas County Coroner in 2010 despite having no medical background whatsoever (in Colorado, pretty much anyone with a pulse can run for coroner). Thomas’ time as DougCo Coroner included a weird internal battle with then-Douglas County Sheriff Dave Weaver that resulted in someone filing an ethics complaint against her office.

Thomas ran for Douglas County Sheriff in 2014 but failed to make the Primary ballot at the GOP county assembly in a race eventually won by Republican Tony Spurlock. Two years later, Thomas narrowly got her name on the ballot for Douglas County Commissioner and went on to win the GOP Primary, which was enough to get her elected in November in a solid-red county. Democrats had hoped to beat Thomas in 2020, but early favorable poll numbers never materialized and Thomas easily won re-election to a second and final term.

Thomas is the epitome of the modern far-right Republican in Colorado. She is a supporter of the asinine crusade to detach Douglas County from the Tri County Board of Health. In 2019, she joined with her fellow Republican Commissioners in approving a pre-emptive declaration that DougCo would refuse to enforce new “Red Flag” gun safety laws passed by the state legislature (a move that drew the ire of her old foe Spurlock).

Unless redistricting makes significant changes to the boundaries of CO-06, there is little chance that Thomas can pose much of a threat to Crow in 2022 (Crow even carried Thomas’ home area of Highland Ranch en route to his blowout victory over Republican Steve House last November). But Thomas is term-limited in 2024, so there’s no great political risk for her personally.

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Boebert’s “Blue State Bailout” Fiction Doesn’t Fly Back Home

Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-Twitter).

Colorado Public Radio’s Caitlyn Kim has a story up today that everyone in Washington, D.C. needs to read–especially Republicans throwing up objections to aid for state and local governments to offset shortfalls caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in the economic relief legislation making its way through Congress:

Since the passage of the CARES Act last year, anytime Congress has considered additional state and local aid, Republicans have described it as a “blue state bailout” — a reward for supposedly Democratic-run places that have not budged wisely.

But even in many red areas of the country, local leaders are calling for additional funds to help weather the drawn out impacts of the pandemic. And that includes Colorado…

The House version of the American Rescue Plan includes $350 billion for states, local governments, tribes, and territories. Those supporting the call for additional local funds hope the final package will include more flexibility in spending. They also appreciate that the plan doesn’t require local governments to be a minimum size to receive funds directly from the federal government.

The argument that aid to state and local governments in federal COVID-19 relief legislation is a “bailout” of supposedly wasteful practices, as we’ve said in this space many, many times, is extremely misguided given that local governments have seen their revenue crash over the last year. There’s no “rainy day fund” or other contingency that can cover the massive drop in revenue created by the economic contraction in the spring and summer of 2020, and in Colorado we can’t just borrow money to cover the shortfall. Because of Colorado’s interlocking restrictions on spending and raising revenue, we’re at the mercy of all economic downturns, not just historic economic crashes–and only the federal government has the power to save us.

This story doesn’t mention Rep. Lauren Boebert by name, but Boebert made mythical “blue state bailouts” a major talking point in her primary campaign against Rep. Scott Tipton, and has continued to sound the theme more recently (albeit ridiculously) in opposition to the current relief bill. As this story about local governments in rural Colorado desperate for the assistance forthcoming in the relief bill makes clear, Boebert is telling the folks back home in very direct terms that when it comes time to choose between her talking points and their needs, the talking points will always win.

For Fremont County’s Bell, the debate also underscores that politicians in Washington, D.C., don’t always comprehend life in rural Colorado.

“I don’t think they understand ins and outs of our daily problems and the issues that we have, no matter how hard we have tried over the many years to help them see our side of things, and to understand what it really is like here,” Bell said. “People are suffering.”

For all his faults, Scott Tipton knew when to give up the grandstand and take care of his constituents. Lauren Boebert does not, writing off the prospect of winning appropriations for her district as “serving up pork”–and at this point is much more beholden to her Twitter following than the needs of her district. That’s bad for Boebert’s political career in the long run, but in the short term it’s the people of CD-3 who will suffer.

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Thursday Open Thread

“When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”

–Edmund Burke

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There is Still No “War on Rural Colorado”

Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg (R-Sterling)

Certain Republican politicians in our state LOVE to talk about the so-called “war on rural Colorado.” This is a fun game in which you accuse politicians from more populated parts of the state — who normally happen to be Democrats — of intentionally trying to screw over more remote parts of the state because they hate rural Colorado for some nebulous reason. 

Colorado Republicans were overplaying this card (again) ahead of the 2020 election, accusing Democratic Senate candidate John Hickenlooper of ignoring rural Colorado with vague declarations such as this one from former State Rep. Mark Hillman of Burlington: “Many rural Coloradans believe we’re not being heard by our elected officials.” Then-Senator Cory Gardner regularly lobbed this grenade at Hickenlooper, though Gardner himself ghosted The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel when the editorial board was interviewing candidates for endorsements. 

These one-note Republican whiners believe that one voice from “rural Colorado” should be equal to 100 voices from Denver because…well, just because. There’s no real logic here — it’s just simple-minded outrage politics from Republicans who don’t know what else to say about their rapidly-waning influence among a changing electorate. 

The “war on rural Colorado” nonsense has become such a political crutch for certain Republican politicians, most notably Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg (R-Sterling-ish), that they are beating the absolute hell out of what was already a shaky argument. Earlier this week, Sonnenberg and Rep. Rod Pelton (R-Cheyenne Wells) threw down the “war on rural Colorado” card during the discussion over legislation about junior colleges and about requiring more transparency when pet stores sell puppies and kittens. Both of these bills happen to be sponsored by Republicans who represent rural Colorado, but facts are for sissies. DEMOCRATS HATE RURAL COLLEGES AND RURAL PUPPIES AND RURAL KITTENS!

First up, let’s consider testimony on HB21-1102, “Consumer Protections for Dog and Cat Purchasers.” Here’s the official bill summary:

The bill creates the “Pet Store Consumer Protection Act”, which prohibits a pet store that was not licensed by the commissioner of agriculture prior to the effective date of the bill from selling or offering to sell dogs or cats on or after the effective date of the bill.

Rep. Rod Pelton (R-Cheyenne Wells)

The short version is that this is a bill intended to make it harder for disgusting “puppy mills” to continue operating in Colorado. One of the bill’s prime sponsors is Rep. Matt Soper, a Republican from the great metropolis of Delta, Colorado. But Rep. Pelton, who also serves as House Minority Whip, apparently missed this important fact. Said Pelton:

I view this bill as a camel’s nose under the tent…

…Where does it end, people? Rural Colorado is tired of this building eating away at the different industries that affect us. 

Despite Rep. Pelton’s pro-puppy mill stance, HB21-1102 easily passed in the House of Representatives.

Similar antics took place during a discussion about SB21-008, a bill that seeks to remove the word “Junior” from the names of certain colleges; for example, “Trinidad State Junior College” would become “Trinidad State College.” As for WHY we need to do this, our understanding is that it has something to do with making the school names sound more prestigious or something. Regardless, the bill is sponsored by Sen. Cleave Simpson (R-Alamosa) and Rep. Richard Holtorf (R-Akron), both of whom actually represent rural Colorado.

Again, these “facts” didn’t stop Sen. Sonnenberg from vomiting out his “war on rural Colorado” rhetoric:

You can’t have somebody in Denver that sits in an office up here that oversees all of the junior colleges, telling Northeastern Junior College this is the way it’s going to be without some sort of community engagement. This is the ultimate [case of] urban telling rural, ‘nah, this is what’s better for you.’

Much like Rep. Pelton in the earlier discussion, Sen. Sonnenberg hadn’t bothered to collect any facts on this issue. Senator Simpson later politely explained that he agreed to sponsor SB21-008 BECAUSE he was approached by community stakeholders interested in the idea; Simpson even talked about a letter of support from the advisory boards of four of the six schools that would be affected by the name change. 

State Sen. Chris Holbert, the Senate Minority Leader, even took his turn at the podium to caution members against the kind of unfounded allegations made by Sonnenberg earlier:

As this bill moves forward, I would diminish the perspective that Denver — the Metro Area — is somehow pushing this on Northeastern [Junior College] or that community.

This should be obvious to most people, but the reason that politicians pay more attention to the populated parts of the state is because THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE THERE. Where there are more people, there are more elected officials representing those people. Policy changes also tend to have a greater impact in places where there are more people. It’s not rocket surgery. 

There is not a “war on rural Colorado,” but there is a “war on reality” for some Republicans. And they’re not winning. 

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BREAKING: U.S. House Wraps Week Early Under Threat

AP’s Lisa Mascaro reports, it’s insurrectionist deja vu all over again:

The U.S. House is abruptly finishing its work for the week given the threat of violence at the Capitol by a militia group seeking to storm the building, as happened in a deadly siege Jan. 6.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer notified lawmakers late Wednesday of the sudden schedule change.

The decision was made given the threats on the Capitol, according to a Democratic aide granted anonymity to discuss the matter.

NBC News Washington:

U.S. Capitol Police have intelligence that shows “a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group” on Thursday, nearly two months after a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the iconic building to try to stop Congress from certifying now-President Joe Biden’s victory…

Capitol Police received “new and concerning information and intelligence” on Tuesday afternoon indicating “additional interest in the Capitol for the dates of March 4th – 6th by a militia group,” Acting House Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett said in a message Wednesday morning to members of Congress.

Looks like “Fort Pelosi” will need to stay on alert a little while longer, folks.

Another Lauren Boebert zinger that didn’t age well.

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Boebert Disses Every College She Represents

Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R).

Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) debuted her new column at far-right infotainment site The Blaze today, and as you could have predicted it’s more red meat than she could ever dream of shoveling to her supporters in 280-character increments on Twitter. But one particular line in Boebert’s high-dudgeon low-syllable column titled “If I were a Democrat” has prompted some amount of bemused discussion:

If I were a Democrat, I’d flood the voter pool. I’d require all states to allow same-day voter registration. I’d mandate states automatically register felons, illegal aliens, and 16-year-olds to vote, and I’d require prisons, welfare offices, and ICE to provide their voter registration information.

I’d also use taxpayer dollars to establish aggressive voter recruitment programs at leftist training camps — otherwise known as colleges and universities.

It’s a mess of factually unhinged prattle that should make even Glenn Beck blush, but it’s particularly interesting to see Boebert slamming colleges and universities indiscriminately as “leftist training camps.” Even in a hinterland district like Colorado’s CD-3, think of all the institutions Boebert is charged with representing she just disparaged:

Adams State University
Colorado Mesa University
Colorado Mountain College
Colorado Northwestern Community College
Colorado State University – Pueblo
Fort Lewis College
Pueblo Community College
Western Colorado University

Colorado Mesa University in particular is notable since it’s currently run by President Tim Foster, who is retiring later this year and may be considering a primary challenge against Boebert. But seriously, folks–is there anyone out there who really thinks Rangely or Alamosa are home to “leftist training camps?” Granted, the jury is still out about those hippies in Gunnison, and a century ago she may have had a point about Pueblo.

We’re joking, of course. We only wish Lauren Boebert was joking too.

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Dems Sidestep Prefab Attacks On Public Option Bill

Rep. Dylan Roberts (D).

As the Colorado Sun reports:

A deep-pocketed nonprofit backed by private insurance companies has launched a barrage of advertising aimed at building public opposition to Colorado Democrats’ attempt to create a public health insurance option.

Partnership for America’s Health Care Future launched a TV ad buy at a cost of nearly $1 million on Monday that will run through early April. The ads are airing in the Denver, Grand Junction and Colorado Springs television markets.

And that’s just the beginning of the group’s full-court press against a bill that still hasn’t been introduced…

Once again, the Colorado General Assembly is set to debate a bill that could create a publicly-administered “Colorado Option” health plan to compete with fabulously profitable private insurance providers and bring down overall costs in the health insurance marketplace. And just as in previous years, the private insurance industry is launching a massive pre-emptive assault against legislation which has not even been introduced. But as Marianne Goodland at the Colorado Springs Gazette reports, the bill coming together in 2021 could be very different than the previous effort:

Colorado Politics has obtained a copy of the draft bill that could soon become the Colorado Option Health Benefit Plan, and it shows that the 2021 version is drastically different than the version presented in 2020…

The biggest difference in the bill is a provision that the healthcare industry will, at least for the next two years, be responsible for figuring out how to hit a target of a 20% reduction in health insurance premiums for the individual market, which is about 8% of those insured statewide.

Basically, Democrats in the General Assembly have decided to call the insurance industry’s bluff, and give them a chance to bring costs down the way they say they prefer to operate before implementing the much-dreaded “public option” which would compel major cost reductions in order to stay competitive. Rep. Dylan Roberts explains:

“We won’t tell them how to do it; they’ve told us repeatedly over the years that they know healthcare costs are a problem, but that they want to work on it on their own to address it,” he said. [Pols emphasis]

If the industry doesn’t achieve the targeted premium reductions by 2025, the state would then move forward with the public option alternative–now free of the misconception that private industry can effectively police itself out of undue profiteering. Or, maybe the industry will prove that it’s not a misconception, and that given an ambitious goal and the flexibility to meet that goal autonomously private industry can set aside its fundamental motive of profit and triumph in solving one of the nation’s most vexing problems.

If by this point you’re thinking that this bill might represent too generous treatment of an industry whose profit motives can never be scaled back willingly, you’re not alone. But by giving insurers a chance to do what they say they would do if only “given the chance,” a major argument employed by the industry is being taken off the table.

Smart politics in the long run, assuming consumers are willing to be patient.

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Get More Smarter on Wednesday (March 3)

Happy “World Hearing Day.” Please celebrate respon…we said “Happy World Hearing Day!” 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 an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

 

As National Public Radio reports, President Biden expects the United States to have enough COVID-19 vaccines for every adult by May:

“We’re now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May,” Biden said, crediting his administration’s efforts to boost production and moving up the timeline from the end of July, which is what the president was saying just a few weeks ago.

As announced earlier in the day, Biden said his administration is invoking the Defense Production Act to boost production of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration over the weekend.

Colorado’s supply of COVID-19 vaccines is expected to rise significantly over the next month. As The Denver Post reports:

Colorado’s weekly vaccine allotment will grow from 256,880 doses next week to 405,600 doses the week ending April 11.

Governor Jared Polis is confident that Colorado will look “close to normal” by this summer.

 

► The Denver Post previews one of the bigger bills that will be discussed this session: A public option health insurance proposal. As Saja Hindi writes:

Only one state in the U.S. — Washington — has a public option health insurance plan. Democrats think they could make Colorado the second. They’re reviving the issue in the Colorado Legislature for another year of debate on a bill that, this time, makes some concessions to the health care industry.

A draft of the legislation circulated Tuesday. Bill sponsor Rep. Dylan Roberts, an Avon Democrat, said there isn’t a specific timeline for when it’ll be officially introduced, but said he expects “robust conversations over the coming weeks and changes to be made prior to introduction.”

In 2019, lawmakers directed the state to recommend a public health insurance plan. Last year, lawmakers tried to pass the plan, but had to shelve it because of COVID-19. Roberts has said this year’s bill takes the effects of the pandemic into account by giving the industry time to recover from COVID and reduce costs on its own.

The healthcare industry is sufficiently nervous that it might have to worry more about patients than profits that it has started a $1 million advertising campaign.

Here are some more stories about the state legislature:

Legislation to protect public health workers from “doxxing” is moving along quickly.

9News reports on a bill that would require landlords to give tenants more notice before evictions.

Lawmakers are considering a bill to allow mental health professionals to work more closely with police officers.

 

 Colorado Public Radio reports on a voting rights and election reform bill in Congress that has Colorado’s Congressional delegation divided along partisan lines:

The For the People Act has pride of place for Democrats in the U.S. House, clearly denoted by it’s bill number: H.R. 1.

It is a voting rights, campaign finance, ethics rules and election reform package that aims to increase voter access to the polls and decrease the influence of big money. The bill would strike down hurdles to voting and curb partisan gerrymandering by requiring states to use non-partisan commissions to redraw lines, like Colorado is doing.

All four of Colorado Democratic representatives — Diana DeGette, Jason Crow, Joe Neguse and Ed Perlmutter — have co-sponsored the bill.

Colorado Republican Reps. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert, Ken Buck, and Doug Lamborn are all opposed to the legislation because they understand that increased voter participation will hurt Republican chances in future elections.

As if to prove this point, Republican lawyers arguing in front of The Supreme Court on Tuesday said the quiet part out loud:

 

The single greatest threat to a free society is NOT a decision to stop printing a couple of Dr. Seuss books that nobody even knew existed before this week. Sorry, Ken Buck.

Oh, and it’s worth noting that Buck asked his followers to “retweet” and “like” his post if they agreed that “Cancel culture under the guise of racism may be far more dangerous than anything else we face as a free society.” That one backfired in spectacular fashion.

 

More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…

 

(more…)

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On This, We Can Agree: Ken Buck is a Buffoon

UPDATE: Buck’s social media fishing expedition has not paid off (he asked people to retweet and “like” his message). As of 9:00 am on Wednesday:

 

—–

One fish, two fish.
Red fish, blue fish.
Ken Buck is a f***ing idiot.

This guy.

The United States is still trying to halt a pandemic that has killed more than 500,000 Americans and devastated the economy.

More than 11.4 MILLION Americans are about to lose unemployment benefits if Congress doesn’t quickly approve a $1.9 trillion stimulus plan.

People were literally freezing to death in Texas last month because the state’s power grid was designed by monkeys.

The FBI says we surpassed 2,000 cases of domestic terrorism in just the last few months.

But a couple of Dr. Seuss books won’t be published anymore because of racist imagery, and THAT is the single most dangerous problem “we face as a free society,” according to actual Congressperson and State Republican Party Chair Ken Buck.

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Boebert Draws GOP Fire After “Playing Hooky” To Attend CPAC

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R) calls bullcrap at CPAC 2021 in Orlando.

The Hill

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) on Monday criticized lawmakers for using the proxy voting system implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic to skip floor votes for reasons unrelated to their health, including fellow House Republicans who attended the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday…

[I]n January, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) gave Republicans the green light to use proxy voting given security concerns in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol by a mob of former President Trump’s supporters who tried to stop Congress from certifying the presidential election results.

Since then, dozens of Republicans have been voting by proxy in recent weeks.

The 13 Republicans scheduled to speak at CPAC who voted by proxy on Friday were Reps. Gaetz, Lauren Boebert (Colo.), [Pols emphasis] Ted Budd (N.C.), Jim Banks (Ind.), Madison Cawthorn (N.C.), Mark Green (Tenn.), Paul Gosar (Ariz.), Darrell Issa (Calif.), Ronny Jackson (Texas), Mike Kelly (Pa.), Ralph Norman (S.C.), Devin Nunes (Calif.) and Greg Steube (Fla.).

Here’s Rep. Lauren Boebert’s signed request Friday to the Clerk of the U.S. House to vote by proxy, which with all the facts in view doesn’t seem honest to sign one’s name to:

As a lightning-rod COVID-19 “freedom fighter” who never met a public health order she couldn’t defy, it takes some amount of effrontery just to invoke the “public health emergency” as a reason Boebert would be prevented from doing anything. But as we all know, this lie about being concerned by the pandemic is just a pretext for the real reason Boebert wasn’t present in Congress over the weekend–her speaking engagement at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando.

And as none other than Colorado-based Donald Trump attorney-turned leading Republican moral authority Jenna Ellis (take it up with Jesus if you don’t like it) lectured her fellow conservatives (also from CPAC) this weekend, lying is never, ever okay:

For those of you wondering, Rep [Madison] Cawthorne signed a written letter saying he was “unable” to vote in person “due to the pandemic,” when really he was speaking at CPAC. So this is a lie. Republicans also signed on to a lawsuit last year claiming that voting by proxy is unconstitutional.

We cannot back bad behavior just because it’s a Republican, otherwise we lose our integrity. I will speak truth, period.

Republicans should not be hypocrites any more than Democrats…

It’s disturbing that people are more upset at me for saying it is wrong for their favorite celebrity politicians to lie than they are at Congress members for actually lying.

No, lying is not ever a petty thing.

No, it’s not okay to “do it because the Democrats do it too.”

No, it’s not “being a RINO” to say lying is wrong, regardless of who is doing it.

This is right vs wrong. Period.

Re-examine your priorities. If you value Party over Truth and Christ, your priorities are wrong.

Considering everything Ellis says here applies as much to Colorado’s Lauren Boebert as Madison Cawthorn or the other congressional CPAC “ditch day” revelers, we’re watching for the apology or the exchange of fire between two high-octane conservative social media flamethrowers that logically comes next! Stay tuned.

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Ken Buck Comes Crawling Back To The Big Lie

President Donald Trump, Rep. Ken Buck.

One of the more surprising developments in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election was the attempt by Colorado Republican Party chairman Rep. Ken Buck to debunk the false allegations of election fraud which underpinned now ex-President Donald Trump’s refusal to accept the result. In early December, as the misinformed anger that would boil over into insurrection on January 6th was building, Buck went so far as to convene a virtual town hall attended by hundreds of local Republicans in which Buck and Republican county clerks assured the party faithful that the election was accurate and secure–at least in Colorado, even though our all-mail ballot election system tabulated in large part by Dominion Voting Systems hardware amounts to everything Trump baselessly blamed for his defeat in other states.

After Rep. Buck unexpectedly came to the defense of Colorado’s election system in the face of Trump’s denials, he was criticized by Trump loyalists for his choice of fact over partisan fiction. A few weeks later, Buck announced his decision to not run again for the job of state party chairman, and as of today both of the frontrunners in the race to succeed Buck in that job are campaigning on the Big Lie of a stolen 2020 election.

Well folks, sometime between early December when we praised Ken Buck for showing integrity and today, something happened to Buck’s backbone:

In a turnabout so jarring it will give you whiplash, the 2020 elections that Ken Buck defended last December are now something we don’t want to repeat! And even though most of what Buck is warning about above is already law in Colorado–you know, the same law Buck defended–it’s suddenly wrong to apply those standards uniformly across the country? Everybody knows that Republicans are mobilizing against HR1, but Rep. Buck wasn’t obligated to open his mouth and provide a receptacle for his waiting foot.

Our disappointment is genuine. It was one of the best things Ken Buck did in his whole career.

And now Buck has flushed that goodwill, and the credibility that came with it, down the toilet.

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Get More Smarter on Tuesday (March 2)

Happy Birthday, Gorby! Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader and a great ’80s movie villain, turns 90 years old today. 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 an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

 

We’re not out of the Coronavirus woods just yet, people! From The Washington Post:

The global number of new coronavirus cases rose for the first time in nearly two months, the World Health Organization said Monday, blaming the surge in infections on circulating variants and premature efforts to lift public health restrictions.

Cases over the past week jumped in every region except for Africa and the Western Pacific, the U.N. agency said, after declining for six weeks straight. In the United States, a steady drop in new cases last month also appeared to be leveling off and there are fears it could reverse course amid yet another wave of infections.

And now, the good news: More than 75% of Colorado educators and childcare workers should receive the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the week. Colorado is also expected to receive its first allotment of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine within the next couple of days.

Finally, back to some less-good news: Colorado officials think at least 800 people have contacted COVID-19 twice, but accurate data is hard to assemble.

 

► And now, your state legislature update:

As Alex Burness reports for The Denver Post, Democratic lawmakers are considering a package of legislation to give tenants more power in dealing with landlords:

Likely to be piled into at least five separate bills, their proposals include creating a new state eviction moratorium that possibly runs into 2022; changing eviction court policies to give tenants more time and flexibility to resolve cases; and limiting fees for late payments and breaking leases.

Elsewhere, a safe storage gun bill has made it through its first committee hearing.

Legislation to remove the statute of limitations for child sexual assault crimes made it through the State Senate.

Democratic leaders in the State House are opposed to legislation that would allow for the privatization of Pinnacol Assurance, which handles workers’ compensation insurance for many public workers.

Westword is tracking all the weed bills.

Republican lawmakers who pressed ahead with a ludicrous school voucher bill have significantly hurt their ability to have this discussion for years to come.

 

The New York Times previews President Biden’s efforts to pass a big infrastructure package in Congress:

President Biden’s two immediate predecessors had ambitious goals to rebuild the country’s infrastructure, but both left office having made little progress in fixing the nation’s bridges, roads, pipes and broadband. President Donald J. Trump announced so many meaningless infrastructure weeks that the term became a running joke of his administration.

As a candidate, Mr. Biden went further than either Mr. Trump or President Barack Obama by promising to pass a multitrillion-dollar package intended to create jobs and help the United States compete with China. And if anything, his first month in office, in which a power crisis in Texas left millions of people in need of water and electricity, has underscored the urgency of upgrading the nation’s aging structural underpinnings.

But while the goal of addressing the United States’ infrastructure is bipartisan, the details are not. That includes how much to spend, what programs count as “infrastructure” and, most important, whether to raise taxes to pay for it.

You can probably just skip over the part in the story where politicos ponder the possibility that Republicans will do anything helpful on improving our nation’s infrastructure.

 

According to Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert, the big COVID stimulus package passed by the House of Representatives last week includes more than $400 billion dollars for funding abortions in America. If Boebert’s math is correct — and it most assuredly is NOT — this would be enough money to allow every woman of childbearing age in America to have 10 abortions.

 

More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…

 

(more…)

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Tuesday Open Thread

“It is hardly possible to build anything if frustration, bitterness and a mood of helplessness prevail.”

–Lech Walesa

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Sure, Let’s Push a $663 Million Voucher Bill

House Minority Leader Hugh McKean

Colorado Republicans aren’t plotting much of a 2022 comeback at the moment, in large part because they are still obsessed with promoting The Big Lie that Trump actually won the 2020 Presidential election instead of the guy who has been living in the White House for almost two months now. The favorites to become the next Chair of the Colorado Republican Party are in agreement about the power of this fallacy and are openly running on their commitment to an election fraud narrative that simply doesn’t exist.

Denial has been a consistent theme for the Colorado GOP. After Democrats crushed Republicans in the 2020 election cycle, the second consecutive drubbing for the GOP in which its top-ticket candidates lost statewide by massive margins, House Minority Leader Hugh McKean stammered: “We hear all of this talk about how blue Colorado might be getting. I don’t believe it for a second.” Obviously, it doesn’t really matter if McKean “believes” that Colorado is a blue state. The math is clear.

But this commitment to denying reality is digging Republicans into an ever-deeper hole now that the State Legislature is back in session. Late last week, the House Education Committee rightfully killed a School Vouchers bill sponsored by Republicans that was so bad it should never have seen the light of day. House Bill 21-1080, “The Nonpublic Education and COVID-19 Relief Act,” sought to enact a private school tuition income tax credit in Colorado…at a cost of $663 MILLION DOLLARS!

Legislative Council Staff “Fiscal Note” for Republican voucher bill.

 

Colorado’s total General Fund budget is about $12 billion; roughly 20% of this amount is allocated toward K-12 education funding. According to Legislative Council Staff, this voucher bill would “reduce General Fund revenue by $662.8 million annually.” You don’t need an accounting degree to understand how much this would devastate Colorado’s ability to pay for…well, for pretty much anything.

The prime sponsor of the voucher bill is Rep. Mark Baisley (R-Douglas County), but 12 other House Republicans signed on as co-sponsors — including McKean. This bill should never have been drafted in the first place, but after the Fiscal Note became available, Republicans should have dropped it like it was on fire. A school voucher bill was never going to go anywhere in a Democratic-controlled legislature, so the only thing Republicans accomplished by moving forward with HB21-1080 was to give voucher opponents a $663 million talking point that they can use for the next decade.

The lingering question here is about how much McKean was involved in the bill’s introduction. Baisley’s turd was too horrendous to allow into a committee hearing, and any political leader with half a brain would have figured this out right away — or at least demanded that the sponsor go back to the drawing board.

Either McKean truly didn’t know better, or he was powerless to stop such ridiculous legislation from advancing in his own caucus. Neither answer is good news for Colorado Republicans.

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GOP Chair Candidates Fight Over Party’s Wreckage

Former Secretary of State Scott Gessler.

The Denver Post’s Justin Wingerter published a useful in-depth look this weekend at the candidates running to succeed Rep. Ken Buck as chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, who participated in a candidate forum last Thursday night in the town of Hudson about 30 miles northeast of Denver in Weld County. As Wingerter reports, of the five contenders nominally in the running the real choice for Republicans has effectively narrowed to the current vice-chair Kristi Burton Brown versus notorious former Secretary of State Scott “Honey Badger” Gessler.

As for any rational discussion about what has happened to the Colorado GOP in recent years, leading to the least amount of power in the state since FDR was President? You’re not going to find it from either of the frontrunners:

[Jonathan] Lockwood was the only candidate to say unequivocally that the 2020 presidential election was not stolen. Two other candidates, Rich Mancuso and Casper Stockham, said it was stolen. Two others, Colorado GOP vice chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown and former secretary of state Scott Gessler, said or suggested it may have been. When pressed by the debate moderator to show evidence of a stolen election, none did… [Pols emphasis]

Gessler and Burton Brown verbally sparred on several occasions. Burton Brown criticized Gessler for installing Dominion Voting Systems — the Colorado election software and hardware company that was a frequent target of baseless conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and has filed numerous defamation lawsuits — when he was secretary of state.

Gessler went after the current state of the Colorado GOP, of which Burton Brown is vice chair.

“If you want the same lack of creativity, if you want the same lack of initiative, if you want the same problems in the Republican Party, then keep the same people,” Gessler said.

Although vice-chair Kristi Burton Brown agreed with Gessler in denial about the outcome of the 2020 elections, we were somewhat favorably surprised and impressed by Burton Brown taking responsibility in this forum for the disastrous failed 2019 recall attempt she personally initiated against Rep. Tom Sullivan of Centennial. That misguided campaign played a large role in helping discredit the backlash over the GOP’s losses in the 2018 elections, and the fact that Burton Brown can admit today it was a mistake is a sign of at least some amount of political maturation on her part.

Although Gessler is generally considered to be the frontrunner in the race to be the next chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, Gessler’s long fixation with discredited claims of election fraud may be giving Republicans who would like to see the party move on from Donald Trump some discomfort. Do Republicans really want to spend the next two years relitigating the 2020 elections, or should they focus on recovering some respectability in 2022? With both frontrunners believing (or at least preaching) the Big Lie of the stolen 2020 election, the chances of honest lessons being learned to avert another electoral catastrophe in two years are not good–but Gessler’s lack of credibility after fixating on this false scapegoat for defeat for years is a matter of record. That being the case, there’s an argument that Burton Brown is better suited to making the pivot Republicans so desperately need.

Either way, it’s clear at this point that Colorado Republicans will not be turning over any new leaves. This is a party held together by a false narrative, seeking answers that confirm their own biases rather than solve their problems.

Democrats should be very pleased by this.

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Dirty Jokes About “MeatIn Day” Write Themselves

Damn the triglycerides!

Marianne Goodland at the Colorado Springs Gazette reports on the latest tempest in an Instant Pot at the Colorado Capitol, a budding kerfluffle between Gov. Jared Polis and the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association fronted by Republican Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg of CAFO Country over Polis suggesting that a little less meat in Coloradans’ diets might be desirable:

Gov. Jared Polis has issued a proclamation naming March 20 “MeatOut Day,” and it’s a decision that is causing outrage among some in livestock organizations and rural Colorado counties…

The state doesn’t have a problem with people who want plant-based diets. But the national perception is that Colorado is against agriculture, [Sen. Jerry] Sonnenberg said. That includes a recent announcement by a Hereford (cattle) association. Sonnenberg said the association’s board is planning to vote on moving from the National Western Stock Show to a livestock show hosted at the same time in Oklahoma City. The association, according to Sonnenberg, said Polis’ proclamation for MeatOut Day was “the last straw.”

“That’s unacceptable,” Sonnenberg shouted in the Senate Friday.

Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg (R).

CBS4 Denver gave Sonnenberg’s sound and fury over “MeatOut Day” a generous portion of airtime:

Sonnenberg says words have consequences especially when they’re the words of the governor.

“We can’t have leadership in this state throw the number two industry in this state under the bus…that’s unacceptable!!”

It’s not the first time the governor, whose partner is vegan, has snubbed the beef industry. Sonnenberg recalled how Polis plugged Burger King’s meatless burger when it came out, even sending a bunch of them to the Department of Agriculture.

For the record, Gov. Polis’ proclamation of “MeatOut Day” does not call for the elimination of meat from the diets of Americans, which for many of us is a nonstarter. As for reducing consumption of meat in the world’s fourth-highest per capita meat consumer, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that would be both ecologically and medically preferable. Either way, even if some Americans make healthier dietary choices for one day, there’s still going to be a strong demand for all the meat Colorado’s meat industry (just one segment of the state’s diverse agriculture industry) can churn out.

Sonnenberg noted comments made by Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, who name-checked Colorado’s capital city in his State of the State address on Feb. 1. “The folks in Denver turned their back on the ag industry,” Stitts said. “They wouldn’t let them have their major national cattle show, because they insisted on keeping their state locked down. That put the stability of the U.S. beef industry in danger.”

We didn’t hear from Sonnenberg whether Gov. Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma had found a buyer for all that useless hydroxychloroquine he stockpiled, but Stitt is not exactly a credible authority on managing the COVID-19 pandemic–and now we’re talking about lockdowns, not “MeatOut Days,” and we see this is just another opportunity to grind the same old political axes.

As for “MeatIn Day,” the Cattlemen’s Association’s brilliant comeback to “MeatOut Day?”

The middle school boy in your family knows what to do (see title).

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