Smashing Gov. Polis In Effigy With Sheriff Reams

Last weekend, as nobody reported because why would they, Republican Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams held a re-election fundraiser “car show” in Fort Lupton–where he was joined by sputtering GOP candidate for governor Heidi Ganahl and a few dozen variably “classic” cars in widely assorted stages of restoration.

But of all the cars at Sheriff Reams’ car show, one unlucky not-so-classic Chevy subcompact appears to have received substantially more than its share of attention:

We haven’t seen the video yet of the process by which this car went from the condition in the upper photo versus the lower, but it looks to us like it was pretty savage stuff! Did Heidi Ganahl take a sledgehammer swing at Gov. Jared Polis in effigy too? What do you suppose goes through one’s mind while smashing a car named after the sitting governor of Colorado with a sledgehammer?

Here’s another photo of Sheriff Reams role modeling this smashingly good behavior for the children:

We’re touched, folks, in that way one can only be when you throw up a little in your mouth.

Between this and Rep. Ron Hanks blowing up helpless copy machines, we’re getting a little worried about the safety of…well, just about any inanimate object in sledgehammer or rifle range of our local Republican tough guys. It seems like they’re on a mission to out-smash each other in search of the next big social media breakthrough.

It’s tough to see how that ends, you know, safely.

Get More Smarter on Friday (Oct. 15)

Have you voted yet? Visit GoVoteColorado.com to check on the status of your mail ballot for 2021. 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 

 

We’re just going to say it: Republican gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl is running the worst gubernatorial campaign in the entire country. Ganahl has officially been in the 2022 race for about a month…and it’s already time to start the campaign death watch.

Ganahl started the week by hosting an ill-advised forum with right-wing lunatic Dennis Prager, in which her campaign embarrassingly misspelled her first name for people interested in calling in with questions. On Wednesday, her campaign announced anemic fundraising numbers for someone who is supposed to be the frontrunner for the GOP nomination. And on Thursday, news broke that Ganahl’s campaign manager is leaving the campaign after only a month on the job, which is not something that you can even attempt to legitimately spin as being okay.

This is basically what Ganahl’s campaign looks like at the moment:

 

 

A defamation lawsuit filed by a former employee of Dominion Voting Services in Denver is basically de-pantsing “The Big Lie.” For more on this story, check out Axios Denver, The Colorado Sun, Colorado Public Radio, and 9News, among others.

 

If you’re interested in running for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in Colorado, you had better hurry up. Pretty much every Republican with a heartbeat is jumping into the field. Charles Ashby of The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel has more on the seventh Republican now running for U.S. Senate in Colorado.

 

The Department of Justice is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in the case of a controversial new abortion law in Texas. From The Associated Press:

The Biden administration said Friday it will turn next to the U.S. Supreme Court in another attempt to halt a Texas law that has banned most abortions since September.

It comes as the Texas clinics are running out of avenues to stop the GOP-engineered law that bans abortions once cardiac activity is detected, which is usually around six weeks. It amounts to the nation’s biggest curb to abortion in nearly 50 years.

The latest defeat for clinics came Thursday night when a federal appeals panel in New Orleans, in a 2-1 decision, allowed the restrictions to remain in place for a third time in the last several weeks alone.

Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said the federal government will now ask the Supreme Court to reverse that decision but did not say how quickly.

 

 Check out these 2021 voter guides from Colorado Newsline and The Denver Post.

 

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Unbury This Lede: Dominion Defamation Case Kills The “Big Lie”

Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis.

This week, some of the biggest names from ex-President Donald Trump’s failed legal campaign to overturn the results of the 2020 election are defending themselves in Denver District Court from a defamation lawsuit filed by Eric Coomer–a former employee of Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems baselessly accused by a local election conspiracy theorist of plotting with Antifa to somehow alter vote totals.

On the strength of this sole unsupported allegation from far-right activist group FEC United founder Joe Oltmann, Trump and his allies seized on Dominion as the as-yet unknown factor that somehow engineered Trump’s defeat–resulting in death threats against Coomer that forced him into hiding, and a persistent baseless conspiracy theory that motivated a criminal breach of election system security in Mesa County in a fruitless attempt to prove Dominion voting machines were in some way compromised.

The question in this defamation case, however, is much narrower as 9NEWS’ Marshall Zelinger explains:

To win a defamation case, Coomer must prove “actual malice.” However, Coomer does not have to prove The “Big Lie” was a big lie.

“This plaintiff (Coomer) has to prove that it was false that he attended that Antifa meeting and that he made the statement that was attributed to him. He has to prove that that didn’t happen. He doesn’t have to prove that Joe Biden legitimately won the election,” said Holland & Hart First Amendment attorney Jessica Smith. “He doesn’t have to prove that Donald Trump was deprived a valid and fair election. All he has to prove is that he didn’t attend the Antifa meeting and he didn’t make the statements that were attributed to him.”

The Colorado Sun’s Daniel Ducassi reports on the attempt by defendants in this case to pull the plug under Colorado’s novel anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) statute:

Defendants in the defamation case — including Rudy Giuliani, Powell, One American News Network and the Trump campaign itself — jockeyed to persuade Judge Marie Avery Moses to dismiss the lawsuit under Colorado’s anti-SLAPP law, which is meant to protect journalists and members of the public from being targeted by frivolous, retaliatory lawsuits aimed at stifling free speech.

The focus of the case is on claims made by conservative Colorado-based media figure Joe Oltmann that he infiltrated an antifa conference call in which Coomer allegedly stated that he had made sure Trump wouldn’t win the election. Conservative media outlets including One American News Network publicized Oltmann’s claims, which Trump-associated lawyers like Rudy Giuliani and Powell pushed in post-election news conferences to sow doubt about the integrity of the election.

What has been laid out very clearly in these first couple of days of testimony is the central role of FEC United founder Joe Oltmann in originating the entire nationwide conspiracy theory targeting Dominion Voting Systems. As our readers know from recent events in Mesa County, the damage done to Dominion’s reputation, however baseless, is enormous. But here’s the unsatisfying rub for those hoping for drama in the courtroom: Oltmann is making no attempt to prove his core contention that Coomer actually participated in a phone call where he said the things Oltmann alleged. John Frank at Axios:

Oltmann’s attorney argued in court that it didn’t matter if Coomer was on the call, but whether it was made with a reckless disregard for the truth. An attorney for Giuliani claimed the former New York mayor was just repeating what was in the news from Oltmann and spread by conservative Colorado commentator Michelle Malkin.

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Ganahl Dumps Campaign Manager As Guv Bid Sputters

9NEWS political reporter Marshall Zelinger with a scoop via Twitter this afternoon that Republicans hoping against hope to retake the Colorado governor’s office in 2022 don’t want to hear:

Zelinger asks optimistically, but we suspect he already knows the answer:

Help wanted.

The answer to that question is of course no, there is no realistic circumstance in which a campaign manager is hired with the expectation of only running the campaign for six weeks. Whether it’s the disastrous kickoff of Hiedi Heidi Ganahl’s campaign in mid-September, the used RV tour around largely depopulated areas of the state, complete lack of a coherent campaign message, or the lackluster fundraising numbers posted after months of legally dubious preparation, Democrats don’t have to embellish the story of Ganahl’s failure to launch–it has played out for everyone to see, and it was only a matter of time before somebody took the blame.

The real question is, was Ganahl’s failure to launch the campaign manager’s fault…or the candidate?

If it’s the latter, staff turnover will be a symptom not a cure. Either way, even Ganahl’s fiercest defenders should be troubled. There is no scenario in which this is a good sign.

Anybody Else Want to be a Republican U.S. Senate Candidate?

No, seriously, we’re asking in light of this news from Jesse Paul of The Colorado Sun:

 

What the hell?

Deborah Flora

Deborah Flora is a talk radio host with 710 KNUS in Denver. In terms of name ID among Colorado Republican Senate candidates seeking to eventually lose to incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in 2022, Flora probably fits somewhere between Gino Campana and Joe O’Dea (whoever that is).

From what we can tell, Flora is a former actress and Miss Colorado winner, as well as a seasoned veteran of the “aggrieved Republican mom” team.

The only Coloradan who life might be affected by this announcement is fellow right-wing radio host Dan Caplis. We have been under the assumption that Caplis was only pretending (again) to run for U.S. Senate, and this likely cements that status.

On the other hand, maybe it wouldn’t be that weird to have two talk radio host candidates since Caplis is now on KHOW instead of KNUS. That really could have been awkward otherwise.

Get More Smarter on Thursday (Oct. 14)

Happy Belarussian Mother’s Day! 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 

 

Former President Trump on Wednesday made a very strange threat about Republican voters walking away if the 2020 election isn’t overturned:

Greg Sargent of The Washington Post has a fascinating column that is worth reading that has some new insight into the Trumpism phenomenon:

Republicans recognize that continuing to pander to those lies may be absolutely essential to keeping Republican voters engaged without Trump on the ballot doing it instead.

Trump’s statement has been analyzed as either the latest projectile vomiting to issue from his disordered mind or as a genuine political problem for Republicans. But few have paused to ask whether it might actually be true that energy among GOP voters turns on keeping alive the idea that the 2020 outcome was dubious or illegitimate, and what that might mean.

Sargent also links to this CNN story about how many House Republicans seem to be openly embracing the possibility of a Trump presidential campaign in 2024.

 

9News reports on a lawsuit filed by a former Dominion Voting Services employee related to “The Big Lie” that may have originated here in Colorado:

Eric Coomer, a former Dominion Voting Systems employee living in Colorado, has sued 16 people or groups for defamation. Those being sued include Donald J. Trump for President, Joe Oltmann, the leader of local conservative group FEC United, Colorado conservative commentator Michelle Malkin, attorney Rudy Giuliani, former Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell, Newsmax Media and The Gateway Pundit.

Coomer went into hiding after Oltmann claimed, without proof, that he heard a conference call where Dominion was plotting with Antifa to give the election to President Biden.

That call was not recorded and no one besides Oltmann has said they heard the call.

 

What’s this? Oh, just Republican State Rep. Richard Holtorf literally THREATENING the board of directors of the Prowers Medical Center for trying to abide by COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

 

Grim milestone: COVID-19 deaths in Colorado cross the 8,000 mark as hospitalizations continue to increase.

 

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Rep. Richard Holtorf Is Not A Nice Man

State Rep. Richard Holtorf (R).

Russ Baldwin of the Prowers Journal out of the southeastern plains town of Lamar reports on a heated meeting of the Prowers Medical Center Board of Directors at the end of September to address the COVID-19 vaccination mandate that took effect on October 1, resulting in a small percentage of health care workers and public employees who refused to comply losing their jobs:

The Prowers Medical Center Board of Directors heard from over 100 callers and in-person attendees during a special meeting September 29th, held to receive comments and questions from the audience regarding vaccine and health guidelines from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and Colorado Department of Health.

The majority of residents, crowding the hospital hallway outside the meeting room, were there to voice their opinions on the national mandate requiring hospital employees to be masked as of September 30th or not be allowed to work. Of the 23 PMC employees who requested an exemption from the mandates by way of medical situations or religious beliefs, one received the exemption, requiring the balance to abide by the mandates…

It’s a situation that has played out all over the country countless times in the last 18 months as lower-ranking officials absorb the public’s wrath over measures put in place well above their pay grade. In Mesa County, as readers know, angry mobs threatened the all-GOP Mesa County Board of Commissioners with “civil war” over mask mandates and other measures imposed by the state government. However you feel about public health orders to control the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s simply wrong to take out your frustrations on functionaries who have no ability to affect the policy they’re charged with enforcing.

Apparently, nobody explained this to the area’s representative in the state legislature, Rep. Richard Holtorf:

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BREAKING: Mesa County Clerk Barred From Election Duties

Heidi Ganahl and Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters.

As the Colorado Sun’s Jesse Paul reports, the ruling is back in the case seeking to remove Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters from her duties overseeing elections while the criminal investigation into her conduct continues–and Peters is officially relieved:

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters will not be allowed to participate in the upcoming November election, a judge ruled Wednesday in the latest admonishment of the Republican who is under investigation in a breach of her county’s election system.

The ruling from Mesa County District Court Judge Valerie J. Robison comes after Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, a Democrat, sued to block Peters from being involved in the November election amid criminal investigations into Peters’ office.

Robison wrote in her 22-page ruling that that Griswold’s office “met the burden of showing that Peters and (Deputy Clerk Belinda) Knisley have committed a breach and neglect of duty and other wrongful acts.” As such, the judge wrote, the pair are “unable or unwilling to appropriately perform the duties of Mesa County Designated Election Official.”

It’s just the first in what we’ve been anticipating for months since the story of a serious breach in election system security in Mesa County first surfaced, and then quickly became part of the desperate canon clung to by supporters of Donald Trump in their by-now entirely faith-based conviction that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. The nonsensical justifications for allowing this criminal breach of security and leak of proprietary data to the public offered up by Clerk Peters through her attorney Scott Gessler were always destined for a cold dose of reality once they arrived in front of a judge. The legal system appears to be making short of work of Peters’ defense, like dozens of bogus lawsuits challenging the 2020 election results across the country.

Which, as readers recall, also featured Scott Gessler’s “expertise.”

Almost a year later, no credible evidence that the 2020 election was illegitimate has emerged for any source. Nothing Clerk Peters either allegedly stole or allowed to be stolen has provided evidence to support the baseless conspiracy theory that prompted Peters’ actions. If Peters had any reality-based suspicion of a problem with Mesa County’s election systems, there were channels to address that not requiring the commission of a crime.

These basic facts might be unclear to a mob, but a judge’s job by design is to cut through the bullshit.

And the judging’s not over yet. The criminal side of “MesaGate” is just getting started.

Heidi Ganahl Outraised by Erik Aadland

For the love of God, somebody write me a check!

As Ernest Luning reports for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman:

Republican gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl, a member of the University of Colorado Board of Regents, raised more than $135,000 in the roughly three weeks between launching her candidacy and the end of the third fundraising quarter, her campaign said Wednesday.

Ganahl, the founder of a national dog day care provider and the only Republican holding statewide office in Colorado, plans to report raising $137,249 from more than 300 donors, a spokeswoman said, adding that she gave her campaign $50,000 on top of that.

One hundred and thirty seven.

Thousand.

Dollars.

The Republican frontrunner for governor, Hiedi Heidi Ganahl, raised $137,000 in her first fundraising period as a candidate. To put that in contrast, longshot GOP U.S. Senate candidate Erik Aadland raised $150,000 in Q3.

Who is Erik Aadland? Nobody knows. That’s the point.

Ganahl and her supporters will say that her fundraising number only accounts for a few weeks, but so what? If you’re saying this, it means you are explaining to people why your first fundraising quarter as a candidate was quite terrible. 

Consider: The 2018 Republican gubernatorial nominee, Walker Stapleton, SPENT more than Ganahl raised in his first fundraising quarter ($140,242 in Q4 2017). Stapleton didn’t formally launch his campaign until October 2017, but he still reported raising more than $1 million for the quarter — and that was during the notoriously slow Holiday period.

Ganahl has been planning a run for Governor for more than a year — plenty of time to build up a deep network of donors ready to write her a check in her first weeks as a candidate. If she and her campaign knew that this was going to be the extent of her fundraising ability as a new candidate, then she should have announced sooner (or later…or never).

Prominent Colorado Republicans have already publicly acknowledged that Ganahl’s gubernatorial campaign is, um, not good. This is just further proof.

When The Chart Doesn’t Help, Eli Bremer Edition

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Eli Bremer (weapons depicted are not used to fight crime).

A fundraising email this week from Republican U.S. Senate candidate Eli Bremer raised some eyebrows this week for employing a visual aid that didn’t exactly help convey the intended message:

Violent Crime cases have hit a 25-year high in Colorado – and, quite frankly, who’s surprised?

What else will it take, Colorado? When will we see a one-party rule has failed us?

The radical left proudly boasts plans to defund the police because they see police as the issue. People who were forced to stay home and had their freedoms taken away, like this past year, have become more desperate…

This is another example of the failed Biden Presidency and ineffective leadership in Colorado. Join me if you are ready for change.

To back up Bremer’s contention that a big scary wave of violent crime is just about to crash into your quiet suburban neighborhood, the campaign supplied this graph:

Which does show that the rate of violent crime in Colorado has increased to slightly above the national average in recent years, a fact which no one disputes. But even at today’s elevated levels of crime, we’re well below the historically much higher crime rates that prevailed in the years culminating in Denver’s infamous “summer of violence” in 1993. We have no interest in downplaying the recent uptick in violent crime, which is significant and has complex origins that defy political sloganeering. The problem is that Bremer contradicts his own attempt to hype the problem for personal political advantage by visually reminding his audience that as bad as it is now, it used to be even worse. With that, the utility of this issue as a partisan political weapon breaks down.

What Bremer might have done, of course, is cut the chart off at the year that best illustrates your point like local conservative group Compass Colorado did some years back regarding Colorado’s unemployment rate! It’s not exactly, you know, honest, but at least you don’t confound your own fundraising pitch.

It’s another reason why experience matters in a U.S. Senate race. Amateur fearmongers need not apply.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (Oct. 13)

Today is International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction, which doesn’t seem like something that should be limited to a once-a-year deal. 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 

 

Colorado’s 2021 redistricting process is complete. Almost.

As Alex Burness of The Denver Post reports:

It was not immediately clear what the projected split would be on the Senate map, approved Tuesday, since the version the commissioned adopted was drawn on the fly during a live Zoom meeting. That version made slight changes to a previous drafted map that projected 22 districts leaning in Democrats’ favor, to 13 for Republicans.

But both the House and Senate maps would have many potentially competitive seats, which was one of the goals of this commission. Recent election results suggest margins of 3.1% or under in nine House districts, and margins of 3.8% or under in seven Senate districts.

The Colorado Supreme Court will now have to approve both maps by November 15. We’ll likely have more analysis later. For additional reporting, check out Colorado Public Radio and The Colorado Sun. In the meantime, be wary of the misleading narrative that these two maps will allow Democrats to remain control of the State Legislature; if Democrats do maintain majorities in both chambers, it won’t be because of these maps.

CLICK HERE to see the approved map for the State Senate.

CLICK HERE to see the approved map for the State House.

Elsewhere, 9News has more on the Supreme Court hearings for the new Congressional redistricting map approved last week.

 

Colorado Public Radio reports on efforts by Trump-aligned forces to get a favorable court ruling in Colorado. CBS4 Denver has more on a two-day hearing beginning today that may include several notable figures from the “Stop the Steal” crowd. Business Insider also looks at the story from a national perspective, with credit to The Colorado Times Recorder.

 

Colorado Newsline reports on a big announcement in Colorado:

Colorado has become the first state in the nation to require comprehensive gender-affirming care as part of minimum, or “benchmark,” health care plans sold on the individual and small group markets, which accounts for about a quarter of the state’s health care customers.

The gender-affirming care element was announced during a Tuesday news conference that included speakers Gov. Jared Polis and Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, administrator of the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Brooks-LaSure, whose agency had to approve additional benchmark items, called the move “momentous” and said “gender-affirming care can be life-saving.”…

…The gender-affirming care will be included in plans sold in Colorado on the individual and small group markets starting in 2023. It does apply to insurance obtained through large employers. New benchmark items also include an expansion of behavioral health care, including an annual mental health exam, and more options for substance abuse treatment, which were required as part of this year’s House Bill 21-1276.

John Frank of Axios Denver includes some important — and largely overlooked — key points about this announcement. This is not something that is solely about transgender care; for example, “gender-affirming care” also includes procedures such as breast reconstruction following a mastectomy.

 

 As Westword notes, COVID-19 hospitalizations in Colorado are at their worst level since 2020. Please get vaccinated.

 

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Boebert Blows Columbus Day In Pueblo

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-ifle)

As the Pueblo Chieftain’s newest political reporter Lacey Latch reports, yesterday was another chance for GOP freshman Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert to win hearts and minds in what’s set to remain the foremost Democratic stronghold in the Third Congressional District–in particular Pueblo’s blue-collar working-class flavor of Democratic politics that a few deft Republicans have been able to make some inroads with.

Speaking before what could have been a friendly audience at Pueblo’s defiant Columbus Day celebration–Pueblo’s proud Italian-American community having pointedly not gone along with the rebranding of the holiday by the rest of Colorado as Frances Xavier Cabrini Day–Boebert made it painfully obvious she is not one of those smart Pee-ebla Republicans:

The crowd was unwavering in its support for preserving the legacy of Italian-Americans and almost all of the speakers stuck to that messaging.

It was when Boebert took the stage that the event’s message changed. After a few words about the importance of the federal holiday, the Republican congresswoman reverted to the messaging that she uses on the campaign trail — none of which was about Columbus, Italians or Indigenous Americans.

Instead, Boebert touched on many conservative talking points throughout her speech including socialism in China, border issues in Texas and masks in public schools…

“I didn’t know it was going to be like this. I come to celebrate my heritage, my culture, being Italian,” said Pattyanne Corsentino. “I don’t come for this s—.” [Pols emphasis]

Colorado Newsline’s Sara Wilson:

Boebert wavered from Columbus within minutes to hit on her usual stump speech talking points: the immigration “crisis” at the border, anti-Biden rhetoric and COVID-19 restrictions. Boebert has not held an in-person town hall in Pueblo since taking office but has appeared at a few private events, such as a fundraising dinner for the local Republican Party…

Patty Corsentino was audibly upset about the congresswoman’s remarks and said the event felt more somber than in past years. Corsentino, whose family helped construct the monument and who wants it to remain in place, said that bringing Boebert in detracts from the reason to remember Columbus.

“I’m disappointed because this shouldn’t be politicized,” she said. “It’s about the culture and the history.” Corsentino said she comes from a family of Democrats and did not vote for Boebert.

If Boebert had been able to show enough restraint to keep to her speech focused on praising the local Italian-American community and the (mostly false) hagiography about Christopher Columbus’ voyage, it might have had a very different effect on the audience. Not every speech given by a member of Congress has to be or should be a political blowtorch. But with Boebert, full partisan bombast is her only gear–to the extent that we’d fully expect the same vitriolic red meat in a speech dedicating a new Post Office.

No swing voters are won this way, folks.

Bennet Raises Another $2 million in Q3

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver)

Full campaign finance numbers for the third quarter of 2021 will be made publicly available on Friday, but some figures are starting to leak out ahead of time.

As Ernest Luning reports for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman:

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet raised more than $2 million in the third quarter of 2021 for his re-election bid, the Colorado Democrat’s campaign said Tuesday.

Bennet, who is seeking a third term in next year’s election, has raked in $6.5 million this cycle and heads into the final quarter of the year with more than $3.5 million in the bank, giving the one-time presidential candidate a significant head start as potential Republican challengers are still getting their campaigns off the ground.

The total set a new personal best for Bennet’s fundraising in an off-year quarter, his campaign said, with the $2.06 million clearing his previous highest quarterly total — set in the first three months of 2015 — by around $3,000.

The Republican field of U.S. Senate candidates is a clusterfuck of weirdos and no-name challengers; meanwhile, incumbent Democrat Sen. Michael Bennet just keeps plugging along raising huge sums of money until the GOP figures out which no-hope candidate to nominate in June 2022.

When Democrat John Hickenlooper demolished Republican Sen. Cory Gardner in 2020 by 9 points, it all but assured that national Republican money would be staying away from Colorado’s Senate race in 2022. Bennet is making sure that Republicans have no reason to change their mind about funding strategies for the next 12 months.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (Oct. 12)

Able to leap both genders in a single bound! 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 Colorado Supreme Court will hear arguments today about whether to approve a Congressional redistricting map in Colorado. As Colorado Public Radio reports:

The court will hear oral arguments on Tuesday from the commission and from groups who say the commission failed to meet constitutional requirements. In total, fifteen organizations, local governments and individuals have filed briefs supporting or opposing the final map.

Justices will either approve the map, setting it in stone for the next decade, or they will send it back to the commission with guidelines for revisions. The state must have its final map no later than December 15th, which will give Congressional candidates adequate time to prepare ahead of the November 2022 election.

Elsewhere in redistricting news, The Colorado Sun reports on the latest progress on creating new legislative maps:

Democrats would likely maintain control of the Colorado House under a new map of the chamber’s 65 districts headed to the state Supreme Court for final review.

The Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission voted 11-1 Monday night to approve the map, with Commissioner Gary Horvath, a Democrat from Broomfield, casting the lone “no” vote.

The Colorado Supreme Court now has until Nov. 15 to approve the map or send it back to the commission for revisions. Legal challenges are likely.

Democrats have such a sizable advantage in the State House (41-24) that it would have been all but impossible to draw a map that would change this dynamic.

 

Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters held a bananas press conference on Monday in which no new information was presented and someone in the crowd was falsely accused of assault. You can watch the entire event or read our diary about the blow-by-blow here.

Charles Ashby of The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel has more on Monday’s lunacy:

What began as a press conference Monday, to which no member of the press was actually invited, turned into a brief melee between supporters of Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters and those who, well, don’t.

At the morning press conference on the steps of the Old Mesa County Courthouse, Peters and Sherronna Bishop, a Garfield County resident who has been side-by-side with the embattled clerk, supporting her in claiming there was election fraud, again presented nothing new to prove their claims.

Instead, they repeated the same “evidence” of problems with Dominion Voting System tabulation machines, repeating claims that computer files were erased, but failing to say whether any of the files had anything to do with previous elections.

Ashby also has more details about Roxanne Lewis, the woman who pretended to be assaulted at the event:

Lewis pleaded guilty in 2016 to stealing money over several months from vending machines at the Canyon View car wash at the corner of Broadway and Redlands Parkway, a business she had sold months earlier to John Pugliese, the then-husband of former Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese.

It was reported that Lewis is a member of the local Stand for the Constitution group that has called on local governments to declare the city and county “constitutional sanctuaries.”

B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

 

The Denver Post has the latest on Colorado’s COVID-19 hospitalization rates:

Colorado’s COVID-19 hospitalizations, cases and deaths all moved in the wrong direction over the last week, making it appear increasingly unlikely that the worst of the state’s fifth wave is over.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported 1,012 people were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 as of Monday afternoon, up from a recent low of 907 on Oct. 2. On Friday, state health officials raised concerns about the increase in hospitalizations, which had been slowly falling since late September, and urged eligible people who haven’t gotten vaccinated to do so quickly.

New coronavirus infections also were up, with 13,621 cases recorded in the week ending Sunday, though that’s within the range where the numbers have bounced since early September. The percentage of tests coming back positive also rose over the last week, though, raising concerns that the state could be missing infections.

Vax that thang up, people!

 

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Diary of a Bonkers Press Conference in Mesa County

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters

Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters and right-wing activist person Sheronna Bishop (who was also Lauren Boebert’s 2020 campaign manager) stood in front of the steps of the Mesa County Courthouse on Monday morning for a “press conference” to explain more about why Peters shouldn’t have to worry about being under investigation by four different agencies, including the FBI.

Someone with the Mesa County Democratic Party was on hand to provide video of this absolutely bonkers event. It was so incredibly strange, in fact, that we felt compelled to memorialize the event in a diary format.

Watch the event yourself, or click below to follow along with our event diary, which includes an allegation of assault (which clearly didn’t happen) and multiple extended rants against Charles Ashby of The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.

[*Note: The original video was converted from a vertical format to a horizontal format for easier viewing. The times listed here are from the video.]

 

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Colorado Dems Slam Ganahl Over Dennis Prager’s Nuttery

Hiedi Heidi Ganahl

A press release from Colorado Democrats rebuts yesterday’s campaign event featuring Republican candidate for governor Hiedi Heidi Ganahl and longtime conservative “culture warrior” Dennis Prager–in which, as we’re just catching up with today, Prager had some remarkably divisive things to say:

Sunday afternoon, Heidi Ganahl held a campaign event with right wing extremist Dennis Prager, a conservative talk show host who has a history of spreading hate speech and the founder of PragerU. Heidi Ganahl and Dennis Prager livestreamed an hour long conversation that spread COVID-19 misinformation, fueled divisiveness, and hateful rhetoric towards transgender people.

A few short weeks before the widely expected CDC approval of the COVID vaccine for 5-11 year-olds, Ganahl gave Prager the platform of her gubernatorial campaign to spread dangerous rhetoric about the COVID-19 vaccine. Heidi Ganahl personally kicked off the event by giving Prager the microphone and allowing him to claim it was “child abuse” to give children the COVID-19 vaccine, despite CDC recommendations. Prager also told people in the audience the vaccine was “not good for you” if you had already been infected with COVID-19, disregarding the advice of public health experts, again. The U.S. Surgeon General described COVID misinformation an “urgent threat” and its proliferation a major hindrance towards ending the pandemic.

Dennis Prager.

Check out some of these amazing “Pragerisms” that Heidi Ganahl now gets to take ownership of:

PRAGER: “If there were conversations about facts, America would be conservative. All leftism. All leftism is passion, is emotion, all entirely, there is no fact-based leftism, there’s fact-based liberalism, there’s fact-based conservatism. There is no fact-based leftism. Men do not give birth. OK. That’s- it’s a fact. That is a fact. It is an emotion. It is an ideology that men give birth, that people say it is proof of the power of intimidation and the media to brainwash people into absurdity. Truly, there is. I can’t think of something analogous to men give birth for absurdity. Can you?”

PRAGER: “What is the best way to argue for liberty? Look, if enough people said we’re not sending our child to such a college. The death rate among college age, human beings of COVID is infinitesimally small. It is an act of child abuse to give a child this vaccine pure undiluted child abuse. [Pols emphasis] The medical profession has been ruined by the left because the left is everything it touches. I have no issue with it, but an older person wants to take the vaccine. I have no issue.”

PRAGER: “It was like California when I moved to California in my 20s in 1976. I thought I was moving to heaven. And the thing I thought most was just free. California’s free. It’s not free anymore. And Los Angeles city, just voted that if you’re not vaccinated, you can’t enter a restaurant or any other place, which is absurd. The- There’s no medicine behind this. This is all power. This has nothing to do with medicine. Why do people who had COVID have to get vaccinated? That is that is human abuse. It is not good for you, it is not good for you if you had COVID to get the vaccine. There is no benefit. It is probably bad for you. And the best antibodies the most long lasting are natural antibodies from having had COVID, been trying to get COVID for a year and a half.” [Pols emphasis]

PRAGER: “It’s as simple as that. You send your kids to studies poison, they get poisoned. It’s very hard to undo the damage of schooling from five until 23. It’s very, very hard. That’s where their peers are. That’s where their teachers are. That’s where their time is. They spent much less time with you. Schools are poison factories.” [Pols emphasis]

In addition to Ganahl owing the public answers about the legitimacy of the 2020 elections, we’ve got all these new questions now–about transphobia, whether vaccinating children against COVID-19 is “child abuse,” whether it’s preferable to try to “get COVID” instead of getting vaccinated, and whether schools like Ganahl’s own University of Colorado are “poison factories!” Just like the “divisive questions” about the 2020 presidential election, Ganahl is being defined by questions she doesn’t want to answer–while at the same time openly courting fringe figures like Dennis Prager and making those questions urgent.

Why should anyone not think this is what Heidi Ganahl stands for too?

Get More Smarter on Monday (Oct. 11)

Happy Columbus Day Indigenous Peoples’ Day! 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 Associated Press looks ahead to how Congress may finish out the year on the big issue regarding the debt ceiling:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., blinked last week. And then he said he wouldn’t blink again.

McConnell said since summer that Republicans wouldn’t supply the votes majority Democrats needed to extend the federal debt limit. But Thursday night, 11 Republicans including McConnell joined Democrats in narrowly overcoming a procedural hurdle so the Senate could subsequently approve $480 billion in fresh borrowing.

House passage, expected Tuesday, would stave off until December a first-ever federal default that could disrupt the global economy, delay government checks to Social Security recipients and others and unleash voters’ wrath on lawmakers.

But the partisan dispute will resume in two months.

Republicans want Democrats to raise the debt ceiling on their own to underscore their argument that Biden’s multitrillion-dollar social and environment agenda is unaffordable. Democrats want Republicans to put their imprint on the borrowing limit increase, noting that the $28 trillion national debt is for unpaid bills already incurred, including $7 trillion under former President Donald Trump.

By enabling a two-month reprieve on the fight, McConnell angered Republicans who wanted a tougher stance against Democrats including Trump, still an intimidating force in the GOP. Even usual McConnell ally Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called it “complete capitulation.”

Everybody loves alliteration.

 

Republican gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl held some sort of online interview thing with wacko right-wing bluster machine Dennis Prager over the weekend (if you’re not familiar with Prager, this will give you some idea of what to expect). Ganahl’s campaign is still having trouble with some of the important details of a statewide contest, such as SPELLING YOUR CANDIDATE’S NAME CORRECTLY:

 

The Colorado Democratic Party sent out a press release today with more information on Ganahl’s Prager event:

A few short weeks before the widely expected CDC approval of the COVID vaccine for 5-11 year-olds, Ganahl gave Prager the platform of her gubernatorial campaign to spread dangerous rhetoric about the COVID-19 vaccine. Heidi Ganahl personally kicked off the event by giving Prager the microphone and allowing him to claim it was “child abuse” to give children the COVID-19 vaccine, despite CDC recommendations. Prager also told people in the audience the vaccine was “not good for you” if you had already been infected with COVID-19, disregarding the advice of public health experts, again. The U.S. Surgeon General described COVID misinformation an “urgent threat” and its proliferation a major hindrance towards ending the pandemic.

Prager went on to call schools “poison factories” and praise failed California Republican gubernatorial nominee, Larry Elder. Giving right wing extremists a platform for dangerous misinformation is not new for Ganahl. Prager is yet another addition to the growing list of extremists Ganahl has surrounded herself with such as John Eastman and Lauren Boebert — and we can expect to see more as her campaign continues. [Pols emphasis]

In other Ganahl-related news, the GOP gubernatorial hopeful is trying to distance herself from Republican Party Chair Kristi Burton Brown, whose leadership of a militia group is getting a lot of attention. Check out “The Daily” podcast from The New York Times for more on KBB and right-wing conspiracist Joe Oltmann.

 

Colorado Newsline reports on efforts by Rep. Jason Crow (D-Aurora) to overhaul how we conduct background checks for gun purchases.

 

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A Few Dozen Anti-Vaxxers Anti-Vaxx With Themselves

The much-ballyhooed Colorado Freedom of Choice Rally yesterday, a protest against COVID-19 vaccine mandates becoming increasingly prevalent throughout society from employers to entertainment venues, attracted a crowd that–sorry to say–will not be sufficient to launch the glorious anti-vaxxer revolution. But even in a state where a solid majority support vaccine mandates for health care and public-facing government workers, the noisy minority has the opportunity to make their allotment of noise:

“Our DNA is sacred.” What can you say to that except you betcha?

I Before E, Except After C

Unless of course your name is H-E-I-D-I, because that’s an exception too!

Somebody should tell the operator at Colorado GOP candidate for governor Heidi Ganahl’s confab with nationally known conservative radio host and “thought leader” Dannis Prager going on right now before it’s too late:

If the Ganahl campaign is wondering why the texts are not pouring in, it might be that nobody has cared what Dennis Prager thinks since the second Bush administration. Prager says he deliberately eats with utensils that fell on the floor to prove COVID isn’t a threat, and bemoans the fact that “the left has made it impossible to say the N-word any longer.” Dennis Prager is pretty much the perfect polar opposite of the “fresh face” Ganahl wants to project as a Republican running uphill in a blue state–a reminder that Ganahl is, with a few generic motivational slogans layered on, just another warmed-over product of the same conservative cabal Colorado has been mopping the floor with in the last several election cycles.

Or sure, maybe they’re just texting “Hiedi” [sic]. It’s all still true though.