What Does Blue Do For You?

Back in May, we wrote in this space about reporting from The Colorado Sun related to how Members of Colorado’s Congressional Delegation were going about trying to secure federal funding for important local infrastructure and community projects in the wake of relaxed rules on “earmarks” in the new Congress.

Colorado Republicans in the House of Representatives have insisted that they will NOT participate in “member designated projects” or “community project funding requests” as part of some sort of narrow-minded protest against the earmark process in general. In March, Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) even penned an Op-Ed for Newsweek in which he stated that “earmarks go hand-in-hand with corruption.”

Perhaps realizing that not supporting local projects is a bad look, Buck has since “Buckpedaled” on his opposition to earmarks with mealy-mouthed language about how he “supports” efforts by the City of Greeley to obtain funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the Greeley Regional Interchange Project. Of course, Buck could have just made the funding request himself, but that would have conflicted with his efforts to pretend that he is ethically superior to other Members of Congress.

The point here is that while Colorado Republicans are shaking their fists at some mythical “Earmark Goblin,” Democrats in the House of Representatives are doing a LOT of work to move along important infrastructure and community projects in their home districts.

 

Perlmutter

Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County), for example, helped to push through federal funding that will assist in making roadway and bike lane improvements on Federal Parkway; removing and replacing the I-70 Eastbound and Westbound bridges over 32nd Avenue; widening State Highway 72 (Indiana Street); and improvements to Wadsworth Blvd. and Colfax Ave. If you live in Arvada, Golden, Wheat Ridge, or Lakewood, you know how significant these improvements will be for your daily commute. Perlmutter also secured funding for 10 community projects (CPF) in CO-07, including body cameras for the Thornton Police Department; improvements to Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport; multimodal improvements to State Highway 93; and renovations for a new pediatric health clinic in Commerce City.

Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-Denver) promoted infrastructure projects that will revitalize the 16th Street Mall in Downtown Denver and replace miles of decades-old light-rail track, switches, and concrete flatwork throughout Denver’s light-rail system. DeGette’s CPF requests includes money to help the City of Denver convert an old hotel into lodging for homeless residents; the creation of more affordable housing in Montbello; and assistance for Urban Peak in building a homeless shelter for children.

Crow

Congressman Jason Crow (D-Aurora) secured money to improve the Interchange at I-25 and Belleview; the intersection at Easter and Havana in Centennial; and the expansion of Gun Club Road in Aurora. His CPF requests include expanding services to domestic violence victims in Adams County; renovating the Village Exchange Center Facility;  funding for at-risk intervention and mentoring projects; and money for the Aurora Comprehensive Community Mental Health Center.

Congressman Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish) helped push through funding for improvements to the Frisco Transit Center; State Highway 119; State Highway 52; State Highway 14; US 36; and the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel on I-70 that a good number of Coloradans will travel through at least once this year. His CPF requests include funding for domestic violence services in Adams County; support for a mechanical engineering partnership between Colorado State University and Adams State University; emergency operations in Gilpin County; wildfire risk reduction throughout CO-02; and a rural outreach partnership program run by the University of Colorado.

By comparison, Republican Members of Colorado’s Congressional Delegation made sure that local communities in their districts RECEIVED ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

Zip. Zilch. Nada.

Reps. Ken Buck, Doug Lamborn, and Lauren Boebert have brought $0 federal dollars back to their districts and local communities in 2021.

 

Guess who loses when Reps. Ken Buck, Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle), and Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) refuse to participate in the process of procuring federal funding for local and community projects? The people who live in their district, that’s who.

(In Lamborn’s case, we’re not including any money that was spent on allowing his adult son to live in a storage room in the basement of the U.S. Capitol).

And who benefits from this refusal? Nobody, really, other than a couple of conservative grouches who work for anti-spending think tanks somewhere. Certainly nobody in Colorado is gaining anything from the inaction of these three Republicans. The constituents of CO-03, CO-04, and CO-05 should just be glad that Colorado has two Democratic U.S. Senators who are endeavoring to help fund other projects around the state.

If you want your elected officials to Tweet and gripe about social issues while ignoring their responsibilities to constituents, then you’re probably thrilled with Buck, Boebert, and Lamborn.

For everyone else, we’ll say it again: Elections matter.

MTG In El Paso County Going Over Like A Lead Zeppelin

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).

Faith Miller at Colorado Newsline follows up on a story that’s been developing out of conservative El Paso County for several weeks now–an upcoming appearance by infamous outrage-courting “QAnon” conspiracy theorist and freshman GOP Georgia congresswoman sans committee Marjorie Taylor Greene to be the keynote speaker at the El Paso County Republican Party’s “Lincoln Day Dinner,” which it could be argued should have Abraham Lincoln turning over in his grave:

Controversial Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene is slated as the keynote speaker for the El Paso County Republican Party’s annual fundraising dinner in August.

Who shows up, and who doesn’t, could indicate the willingness of prominent Colorado Republicans to embrace the far right. But local elected officials generally appear to be avoiding that conversation…

One of the more important fundraising opportunities for county-level Republican Party organizations, the El Paso County Lincoln Day Dinner is already facing some controversy with the chair of the party Vickie Tonkins in a state of ongoing conflict with a large faction of…not moderate so much, but somewhat less unhinged than Tonkins and the FEC United quasi-militia fringe element that has supported her despite longstanding allegations of mismanagement. Inviting Congress’ biggest freshman Republican embarrassment (sorry, Lauren Boebert) to keynote the party’s annual fundraiser puts the El Paso County party faithful in an even more difficult position:

Four officials, including Republican County Commissioner Holly Williams, said they would not attend the dinner.

“[MTG] is not a speaker I am interested in hearing,” Williams said via text when asked her opinion on Greene.

State Sen. Bob Gardner, a Colorado Springs Republican, told Newsline he wouldn’t have attended regardless of the speaker. “I’m focusing all of my efforts, all of my fundraising and advocacy on taking the state Senate back (from Democrats),” Gardner said.

“I honestly will tell you, the decision doesn’t have anything to do with the invitation of Taylor Greene to the Lincoln Day dinner,” he added, declining to comment on the choice of speaker.

In addition to Sen. Bob Gardner, who when he says he is “honestly” telling you something almost certainly is not, at least two other local lawmakers say they’ll be traveling or otherwise committed on the day MTG comes to town. Again, whether it’s displeasure over inviting MTG in particular or with the state of the El Paso County GOP in general motivating some Republicans to stay home from the party’s big fundraiser, it’s still not a good development.

And then there’s the much larger contingent of El Paso County Republicans who don’t want to talk at all:

Elected officials who did not respond to requests for comment included: El Paso County Commissioners Carrie Geitner, Stan VanderWerf and Cami Bremer; University of Colorado Regent Chance Hill; state Reps. Shane Sandridge, Dave Williams, Andy Pico, Tim Geitner and Terri Carver; state Sens. Dennis Hisey and Paul Lundeen; and U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn.

Needless to say, that’s a whole lot of Republicans who either don’t want to get muddied up in this controversy or haven’t decided whether their loyalties lie. For example, El Paso County Commissioner Cami Bremer’s husband Eli Bremer, a possible Republican candidate to oppose Sen. Michael Bennet in 2022, does not want to appear in a photo with MTG–but there are consequences whether he shows up or not in a GOP primary.

At a moment when Colorado Republicans need more than ever to unite, MTG is helping them stay divided.

Those who say she’s a Democratic asset in the long run may have a point.

“Bennet Bucks”–Slashing Child Poverty, Locking In Re-Election

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-livers).

As the Pueblo Chieftain’s Sara Wilson reports, this morning millions of American families are waking up to a fresh round of economic relief in their bank accounts–with billions more on the way, marking one of the biggest direct transfers of wealth into the cash flows of families with children in American history:

Eligible families will begin to receive monthly payments on Thursday for the expanded federal child tax credit, a milestone in social public policy that was passed as part of the American Rescue Plan Act earlier this year.

It’s a longtime legislative goal of Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat who represents Colorado.

“In my view, the expanded child tax credit is the biggest investment Washington has made in kids and families in more than a generation,” Bennet told constituents during a telephone town hall on July 12.

“It’s the most progressive change to the tax code in my lifetime.”

Couples making less than $150,000 and single heads of household making less than $112,500 will get half of their $3,000-$3,600 per child tax credit in monthly installments–or if taxpayers prefer, they can forego the payments and get all the money in a lump sum when filing their taxes next year. Either way it’s a dramatic increase in the child tax credit delivered sooner and providing sustained help to millions of American families. As FOX 31 reports, the battle now turns to making this historic relief for working families permanent:

“Even if we extend the child tax credit payment for a few years, that would still be a tremendous achievement for our kids and for our families. But if we can make it permanent, that would be a historic victory for America, no less important than what we did with social security or Medicare,” Bennet said. [Pols emphasis]

In terms of legislation that will have a direct and tangible impact on the lives of a very large percentage of the population, Sen. Bennet’s child tax credit expansion ranks among the most substantial achievements ever realized by a U.S. Senator from Colorado. Making this credit and the monthly relief payment plan permanent will create a stream of income directly to families with children, and is projected to result in the biggest reduction in child poverty since the Great Society reforms of the 1960s.

Superlatives get thrown around in politics until they’re meaningless. But what Sen. Michael Bennet and Democrats have achieved with the child tax credit expansion objectively is historic. Ever since Bennet’s appointment to the U.S. Senate in 2009 and through his two election wins in 2010 and 2016, he’s been frequently maligned from the left still sore that Andrew Romanoff didn’t win the 2010 primary. But especially in the last couple of years, Bennet has become an influential voice for progressive policy goals–as well as an advocate for breaking the filibuster logjam in the U.S. Senate to allow many more Democratic priorities to become law.

Bennet’s name won’t be on “Bennet Bucks” checks, of course, but with this accomplishment alone he’s given himself a formidable edge for his re-election campaign in 2022. A primary from the left has less than ever to offer in contrast, and the general election message for Bennet just got compellingly reinforced. It’s not “buying support,” and it’s not “socialism.” This is targeted economic relief where it helps the most.

And it’s the stuff great legacies are made of.

Nervy Billionaire Phil Anschutz Sues To Claw Back Tax Cash

Gazillionaire Phil Anschutz, owner of the Colorado Springs Gazette.

The Colorado Sun’s newest political reporter Daniel Ducassi reports on a lawsuit that ought to be getting much more attention: Billionaire and leading Republican funder Phil Anschutz, who also owns among many, many other things the Gazette family of right-leaning media outlets plowing big money into carving out a share of local news consumption, is suing the state of Colorado to recover tax money he doesn’t think he needed to pay in retrospect:

The [Anschutzes] argue that due to changes to federal tax law made as part of Congress’ 2020 pandemic response bill, the CARES Act, Colorado’s tax law was changed as well, allowing him and his wife to claim a refund on their 2018 state income tax bill.

But lawyers with the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, which is representing the Department of Revenue in the case, argue the Anschutzes are pushing an unreasonable interpretation of Colorado’s tax laws, and are asking a judge to dismiss the lawsuit. The state’s lawyers also argue that if the court sides with the Anschutzes, it could sow fiscal chaos in how the state collects and refunds tax revenue…

Forbes ranked Phil Anschutz 50th on its 2020 list of wealthiest Americans, with an estimated net worth of more than $10 billion (it could be much higher after he recently sold his minority stake in the Los Angeles Lakers). He owns The Broadmoor hotel and resort in Colorado Springs, as well as several Colorado media outlets, including The Gazette, based in Colorado Springs, and Colorado Politics. He’s also part owner of the Los Angeles Kings, and owns the stadium they play in, the Staples Center, in downtown Los Angeles through his Anschutz Entertainment Group.

Because of Anschutz’s ginormous personal wealth equal to (random example) almost a third of the state’s budget, having to unexpectedly refund this undisclosed but could be quite sizable amount of money he alleges was overpaid on his taxes could create a legitimate fiscal problem for the state–meaning cuts to state programs and services that could make the state’s leading philanthropist look like a heartless skinflint.

And then there’s this little wrinkle:

[S]tate lawyers also warn of dire consequences for the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights refund requirements should the court side with the Anschutzes. In 2019, for instance, the state had to refund hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue because of TABOR’s limits on government growth and spending.

The Anschutzes’ interpretation, the state’s lawyers argue, would mean Colorado shouldn’t have paid out as much in refunds, if anything at all, [Pols emphasis] because the CARES Act changes would have reduced the state’s revenue for that tax year.

Colorado Republican insiders should sit down and process this one: Phil Anschutz is suing to claw back a confidential but presumably large amount of Colorado tax dollars, and if he wins, it could reduce or eliminate future TABOR refunds to Colorado taxpayers in addition to causing budgetary chaos to close the retroactively created gap. This has to be one of the most delicious political ironies to afflict Colorado Republicans since TABOR author Doug Bruce’s conviction for tax evasion (yes, for the uninitiated, that happened).

In the event Anschutz prevails in his lawsuit, and ends up reducing TABOR refund money that Republicans are right now gearing up for battle over to protect their on-average $50 checks to taxpayers, the question presents itself: how are Republicans supposed to message that for voters in the 2022 elections?

We don’t even think the Gazette’s unhinged editorial board can spin this.

Deja Vu: GOP Recycles Debunked Lies About Colorado Elections

Sad trombone.

Last April in the immediate aftermath of the decision by Major League Baseball to pull the All-Star Game from Georgia and a few days later award the game to Colorado in response to Georgia’s passage of controversial vote suppression legislation, Republicans were on the defensive to explain why Georgia suddenly needed to crack down on voting rights after Donald Trump’s narrow but trebly-verified loss in the state in last November’s presidential election–besides the obvious explanation, of course.

Republicans defending Georgia’s legislation and decrying MLB’s decision to move the All-Star Game asserted at this time that Colorado’s voting laws were somehow more restrictive than Georgia’s, thereby questioning the whole basis of the move to Colorado. The problem is that this suggestion is completely untrue, since Colorado sends mail ballots to every active voter and allows for same-day voter registration–a system that gives Colorado one of the highest rates of voter participation in the nation. National Public Radio, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and local media outlets absolutely destroyed this claim in comprehensive fact-checking pieces when the decision was announced in April.

So obviously, after being smacked down by every credible media outlet in the land, Republicans apologized for getting the facts as wrong as they can possibly be gotten and promised to tell the truth next time–right?

You already know we’re joking:

There it is, folks! Either the Republican National Committee figures you’ve forgotten how this exact same false claim was debunked with prejudice months ago, or they just don’t care about being fact-checked when their base is so well insulated from mainstream sources of information. We don’t believe the RNC simply forgot that this had been so widely debunked, therefore it must be yet another example of Republicans willfully disregarding reality in order to keep their political narrative intact.

The Big Lie has an entourage of Little Lies. It seems Republicans refuse to part with even the least of them.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (July 14)

It was fun while it lasted; now we can go back to not having professional baseball in Colorado. 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 

*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment. 

 

 President Biden used a speech on Tuesday to make the case that Republicans are attempting an all-out assault on voting rights in this country. As The Washington Post explains:

President Biden on Tuesday delivered his most forceful condemnation yet of the wave of voting restrictions proposed in Republican-led states nationwide — efforts the president argued are the biggest threat to American democracy since the Civil War.

Biden’s speech was an attempt to inject new life into flagging efforts to pass federal legislation addressing the issue. But while he intensified his explanation of the stakes, his speech did not include a call for the Senate to change the filibuster, which is seen by advocates as the best, and perhaps only, way to usher in the kinds of changes Biden is seeking.

At the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, in a room filled with images of Benjamin Franklin and quotes from Daniel Webster and Theodore Roosevelt, Biden compared the new laws to voter suppression by the KKK and to the Jim Crow laws that disenfranchised nearly all voters who were not White or male. He railed against laws that restrict access — calling them “raw and sustained election subversion” — and said that the 2022 midterm elections could highlight the damaging impacts of the new laws.

But as The Washington Post reports in a separate story, many progressives aren’t particularly pleased with the fact that Biden left out a very key point in his speech:

“On voting rights, President Joe Biden is failing to meet the moment,” said Adam Jentleson, who worked for former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and now heads the Battle Born Collective, a progressive group.

The problem isn’t how Biden describes the threat he perceives from Republican efforts to roll back electoral practices they blame for their 2020 White House loss, partly by empowering their partisans to oversee and overrule the results.

It’s that he hasn’t sided with the left in calling for an end, or a significant change, to the parliamentary tactic thwarting Democratic legislation in the 50-50 Senate — the filibuster, which requires 60 votes to get bills to passage.

These are legitimate criticisms. The Senate can move forward with passing a big voting rights package that has already made it through the House of Representatives, but it probably can’t happen unless the filibuster or the 60-vote threshold is changed.

 

As The Denver Post reports, a whole bunch of restaurants in Colorado got big money from COVID relief funds:

This spring and summer, 1,762 restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries and caterers in Colorado received a combined $480 million in grants from the federal government — money that doesn’t need to be repaid and can be spent on a wide array of business expenses.

Four Colorado businesses received $10 million each, the largest amount possible: Mission Yogurt, based in Westminster; The Kitchen American Bistros in Boulder, which has four restaurants and is owned by Elon Musk’s brother; Breckenridge-Wynkoop breweries in the Denver metro; and Illegal Pete’s, according to data released Monday by the U.S. Small Business Administration under the Freedom of Information Act.

Among the 75 largest beneficiaries in the state – which received a combined $191 million – 74 are along the Front Range (the other is in Aspen). In Denver, 423 companies received $183 million. In Boulder, 97 took in $47 million. In Colorado Springs, 139 businesses received $33 million.

 

As CNN’s Chris Cillizza explains, the final days of the Trump Presidency were even worse than you thought:

This is, in sum, a man deeply unfit for the presidency. (That is not a partisan statement. It is a statement of fact based on the clear portrait we have of how Trump behaved while in the most powerful office in the country.) A man who, by his inability to understand the sanctity of the office he held, threatened to destroy that sanctity for those who would follow him into the White House. And a man who was, without any question, an active danger for every single American – whether they supported or opposed him.

 

Colorado Independent Redistricting Commissioners heard from constituents at a public hearing in Arvada on Tuesday…and much of what they heard was not positive toward the initial new maps presented last month.

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

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America First or Burn It Down: Jenna Ellis Bails From GOP

Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis.

USA TODAY’s David Jackson reports–while of the of three people in the photo at right are facing sanctions up to and including the loss of their law license, ex-Trump couptorney Jenna Ellis of Colorado continues her high-profile transformation from lawyer with all those pesky strict ethical obligations to Newsmax pundit where…well, don’t be silly:

A lawyer who worked on Donald Trump’s election challenges says she is leaving the Republican Party in the wake of reports that an RNC official described her election fraud claims as “a joke.”

“The Republican Party has failed Donald Trump and true conservatives under swamp leadership,” attorney Jenna Ellis tweeted Monday about the latest dispute between Trump loyalists and GOP leadership, particularly the Republican National Committee.

In a November email, RNC chief counsel Justin Riemer said Ellis and fellow Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani were pushing nonsensical conspiracy theories about election procedures in President Joe Biden’s victory, according to a new book by author Michael Wolff.

“What Rudy and Jenna are doing is a joke and they are getting laughed out of court,” Riemer said in an email. “They are misleading millions of people who have wishful thinking that the president is going to somehow win this thing.”

Naturally, Ellis sees things…a bit differently:

Ellis claims further that the Republican National Committee under Ronna Romney McDaniel has possession of some $200 million raised by ex-President Donald Trump for the purpose of overturning the 2020 elections, which is obviously not being used for that right now and most self-interested Republicans should be fine with that. Don’t look for Ellis’ departure from the GOP to be permanent, either–in fact, there’s a groundswell on the MAGA right forming right now that could topple the current RNC leadership rather than let resistance to the “Big Lie” live on even in the closet. In a few months Ellis may well announce her triumphant return to a fully purged MAGA-owned GOP.

Even while her lawyer colleagues in Trump’s attempted overturning of democracy suffer the consequences, Ellis is reaping benefits beyond anything she could have hoped for as a low-level right-wing sort-of-lawyer with a grossly inflated resume. Riding Trump’s maleficient resurgence instead of mourning her career’s ignominious end is a fate Ellis should be grateful for–and we assume she is, just for all the wrong reasons.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (July 13)

Don’t believe the rumors you might have heard: The Home Run Derby actually did come to an end. 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 

*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment. 

 

The New York Times reports on the first child tax credit payments going out this week, a big victory for Democrats — including longtime champion Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver):

With all but the most affluent families eligible to receive up to $300 a month per child, the United States will join many other rich countries that provide a guaranteed income for children, a goal that has long animated progressives. Experts estimate the payments will cut child poverty by nearly half, an achievement with no precedent…

…While the government has increased many aid programs during the coronavirus pandemic, supporters say the payments from an expanded Child Tax Credit, at a one-year cost of about $105 billion, are unique in their potential to stabilize both poor and middle-class families.

“It’s the most transformative policy coming out of Washington since the days of F.D.R.,” said Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey. “America is dramatically behind its industrial peers in investing in our children. We have some of the highest child poverty rates, but even families that are not poor are struggling, as the cost of raising children goes higher and higher.”

Among America’s 74 million children, nearly nine in 10 will qualify for the new monthly payments — up to $250 a child, or $300 for those under six — which are scheduled to start on Thursday. Those payments, most of which will be sent to bank accounts through direct deposit, will total half of the year’s subsidy, with the rest to come as a tax refund next year.

Colorado Newsline has more on how the program will work. Democrats are trying to make the child tax credit a permanent policy.

 

At least you don’t live in Mesa County…unless you do, in which case, that sucks and we are very sorry.

 

 Voting rights are still a top issue as the Major League Baseball All-Star Game kicks off on Tuesday night. The Denver Post has more on an unusually-political meaningless baseball game.

 

Texas Republicans are once again trying to restrict voting rights, which has forced Democratic lawmakers to flee the state in a last-ditch effort to preserve election integrity.

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

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Mesa County Hops On GOP’s “Hurt ‘Em To Help ‘Em” Bandwagon

From top left: Mesa County commissioners Cody Davis, Janet Rowland, Scott McInnis. COVID-19 virus not to scale.

They’re oddly late to the party, but as the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports:

The Mesa County commissioners want Gov. Jared Polis to stop paying people who are receiving state or federal unemployment benefits an extra $300 a week because they believe it’s spurring them to not return to work…

“Mesa County’s May 2021 unemployment rate was 6%; however, our job openings are at historic highs,” the three commissioners wrote in the letter to Polis on Monday. “Pre-pandemic, our unemployment rate for May of 2019 was 2.9%; however, our job openings are currently up 41% from where they were in May of 2019. Our economy is tracking towards pre-pandemic numbers, but we need the available workforce to meet the demand of our economy.”

The commissioners aren’t the first in the state or around the nation calling on governors to end those additional compensation payments. To date, more than two dozen states — all with Republican governors — have ended the supplemental payments, which are due to expire Sept. 6.

Last month, and it was Ashby’s reporting we cited then as well, Colorado’s three Republican members of Congress made the same unsuccessful request of Gov. Jared Polis to cut off the $300 per week in supplemental unemployment benefits unemployed workers have been receiving (already cut in half from what they got through most of 2020) in order to “motivate” workers to return to their pre-pandemic jobs. This ignores the fact that people receiving unemployment are required to document their job search to continue receiving benefits, and betrays in general a nasty misanthropic presumption about the motivations of American workers.

Then there’s the next question: has cutting off expanded unemployment benefits even “worked” to force people back on the job in states who took that step? CNBC reported last month that the answer based on available data so far is no, not so much:

Job hunting has been muted in 12 states that opted out of federal unemployment programs in recent weeks, suggesting the policy may not be working as planned, according to a new analysis by job site Indeed…

Activity is 1% lower in eight states — Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming — that ended them June 19.

They’re the first among a total of 25 states, all led by Republican governors, withdrawing from federal unemployment programs to encourage recipients to look for work amid record job openings.

Instead of punitively cutting off benefits to unemployed workers, Colorado adopted an incentive system to reward workers for going back on the job–a program that has already had thousands of takers. In reality there are all kinds of perfectly legitimate reasons why American workers may be slow to re-enter the workforce after a paradigm-altering experience like the COVID-19 pandemic, and the results in red states who have cut off benefits suggest the only thing they accomplished was needless economic pain in their states. Again, it’s against the law for unemployed workers to do what Republicans members of Congress and now the all-GOP Mesa County commissioners are suggesting, which is to intentionally stay off the job just to collect unemployment benefits.

And in Mesa County, they just might not want to get sick and die of COVID-19:

“And in terms of people who are concerned about being exposed to COVID, the vaccine has been available in Mesa County since January, it’s been available to all populations since early April. It’s at many locations, it’s free.”

While the three commissioners have been vaccinated, they are among only about 41% of the county’s eligible population to do so.

This is where the cognitive dissonance is laid bare for all to see. A conservative stronghold with one of the lowest rates of vaccination among populated counties in Colorado wants to hurt their workers to force them back on the job, the consolation prize being easy availability of a vaccine higher-ranking Mesa County Republicans like Rep. Lauren Boebert are literally comparing to the “Mark of the Beast.” It’s an outrageous contradiction from leaders of the same party. There’s no reconciling it–unless the Mesa County commissioners were to actually call out sources of misinformation like Boebert, which they have shown no inclination to do despite being besieged week after week by threatening mobs fired up on lunatic COVID-19 falsehoods.

If you can’t (or won’t) take on the root cause of a problem, maybe it’s better to just keep your mouth shut.

The Get More Smarter Podcast: Therapy is Cheaper Than Polling

This week on Episode #80 — yes, 80! — of The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii talk with Andrew Baumann of Global Strategy Group to get the inside scoop on new polling data showing really good things for Democrats in Colorado.

Later, we note the 6 month anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection; we discuss our first look at potential new legislative and congressional redistricting maps; and an old jingle makes a brief return.

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

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

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn

Tuesday Open Thread

“Our material eye cannot see that a stupid chauvinism is driving us from one noisy, destructive, futile agitation to another.”

–Anne Sullivan

Coming Soon: Official GOP Campaign Announcements

Cowabunga!

We’ve noted on more than one occasion in this space that the Republican field of potential candidates for 2022 is remarkably sparse. That may be about to change.

Two things are different this week that might lead to some long-awaited announcements from 2022 hopefuls: 1) The Q2 fundraising period has concluded, and 2) We’ve made it past the extended holiday weekend(s) tacked onto Fourth of July festivities.

Candidates historically tend to wait until the beginning of a new fundraising quarter to officially launch their bids for elected office. A candidate’s first fundraising quarter is often a good barometer of the potential strength of that campaign, so it’s smart practice to time announcements to take full advantage of every available day in a particular fundraising period (in this case, after June 30). It’s also a wise idea to avoid making a big announcement when people aren’t paying attention to the news; thus this is the first conceivable week in which it would make sense to kick off a big campaign.

Overall, the field of potential candidates for statewide office in Colorado remains about as muddled as it was when we examined the subject in mid-June. We’ve updated The Big Line: 2022 with the latest chatter, but here are the Republican announcements we’re expecting within the next several weeks:

 

Secretary of State: Rose Pugliese
Pugliese’s interest in challenging Democratic incumbent Jena Griswold has been an open secret for months; at the same time, chatter about other potential SOS challengers has gone quiet. If you were going to bet money on the most likely GOP announcement for statewide office, this would be a fairly safe choice.

U.S. Senate: Eli Bremer
The former El Paso County GOP Chairman has been positioning himself to be the Republican nominee for Senate since well before 2021. We hear that Bremer has already had fairly extensive discussions with the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and is beginning to pick up support from key Republican names in Colorado. Bremer is also believed to be further along than any other potential candidate in terms of forming a campaign staff. With so much uncertainty in the GOP field, there’s strategic value in being the first “plausible” Republican to announce a 2022 Senate campaign against incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet. It makes sense for Bremer to make his move here within the next few weeks.

Governor: Heidi Ganahl
Ganahl is the lone Republican statewide elected official in Colorado (she’s a CU Regent) and has been working hard to raise her profile in anticipation of a run for something bigger. After vacillating between running for Governor or State Treasurer, it looks like Ganahl is getting close to making her gubernatorial ambitions official (even though recent polling shows Ganahl losing to incumbent Democrat Jared Polis by 20 points). Ganahl might wait a little longer to make the jump than Pugliese and Bremer, but we expect this announcement fairly soon.

 

We’re still waiting to hear more about potential GOP candidates for State Treasurer or Attorney General. The former seems to be attracting more interest among Republicans, which means there might be more behind-the-scenes maneuvering that needs to take place before any official announcement.

Voting Rights Drives Lit All-Star Week In Colorado

It’s a big-ticket week in Colorado, as the not long- but highly- anticipated Major League Baseball All-Star Game’s week of events leading up to tomorrow’s big game draw thousands of spectators and millions of dollars to lower downtown Denver. Despite a sporting willingness by Colorado’s Democratic elected leadership to downplay the politics of the All-Star Game’s relocation from Georgia to Colorado, politics is unavoidably front and center in this week’s celebrations after Republicans outside of Colorado wept, wailed, and ultimately sued to stop MLB’s decision to not reward Georgia’s passage of vote suppression legislation earlier this year.

With that said, as Denver Post’s Justin Wingerter recapped the story of the 2021 All-Star Game’s move to Denver, it wasn’t just Colorado’s model accessible and secure elections that lured the All-Star Game to Coors Field, but also quick work by Gov. Jared Polis and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock to freshen an existing proposal to host the game in future years:

Denver’s city government had spent five years polishing and presenting a plan for an All-Star Game at Coors Field. It first tried for 2022, then 2024. But here was a more immediate option. State and city officials went to work.

Gov. Jared Polis, a baseball fan, called MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, Rockies owner Dick Monfort and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. The opportunity was so unexpected that the city’s marketing arm, Visit Denver, didn’t have time to update its proposal. Instead, it began sending messages to MLB that Denver’s hotels and convention center were available in July.

Obviously, without Colorado’s model accessible and secure election system we would not have been worthy of landing the All-Star Game after MLB pulled the game out of Georgia in the first place. But it was being serendipitously ready with a plan to execute the event on short notice, and political leaders keen to jump on the opportunity presented by the decision to pull out of Georgia, that made this week’s multimillion-dollar economic boon for Colorado as easy call.

As for Colorado Republicans? It depends on who you ask, but it’s awkward:

“People watch sports to be entertained, not to be lectured about politics,” U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, a Silt Republican, said in a news release. “… I’ve lost trust in the MLB, the American people have lost trust in the MLB and now this organization must be subject to the same antitrust laws as everyone else. Let me be clear, if you go woke, you go broke.”

Next came a lawsuit by a conservative group, the Job Creators Network, that would have forced MLB to play the game in Georgia. Its lawyer was Howard Kleinhendler, who had tried and failed to overturn the 2020 presidential election on behalf of Donald Trump. The lawsuit was criticized almost immediately by a judge who called it “weak and muddled.” It was later dropped entirely.

The Job Creators Network, as readers know, seemed to have an awful lot of ties to Colorado Republican politics right up until this half-baked lawsuit was filed. Heidi Ganahl, whose announcement to (probably) run for governor is considered imminent, is the former director of the Job Creators Network–but when asked by 9NEWS about the lawsuit she insisted she had nothing to do with it. Ganahl claimed further to be happy about the All-Star Game having moved to Denver…but also said it was “not fair” to Georgia. This is what’s known in politics as “flopping like a fish,” and it was not a good sign for Ganahl’s incipient campaign.

Others, like Rep. Lauren Boebert as you can see, could care less about Colorado’s economy! For Boebert, choosing Republican sour grapes over Colorado jobs comes naturally.

Look folks, we get it. Republicans like baseball just like Democrats, and everyone wants Republicans to spend their money boosting Denver’s economy. Unfortunately for Republican baseball fans, a major Republican political mistake is inextricably linked to the game’s presence in Denver this week. That’s just the way it is. Much like acknowledging the fact that kids need to learn the truth about racism, they’re going to have to suck it up and admit that Georgia made a mistake passing vote suppression legislation to appease Donald Trump’s ego–and the market can respond how it wants.

In the long run, there’s no question how this all will be judged by history.

Trump: Insurrectionists Were Great People

Following the deadly protests in Charlottesville, VA in August 2017, then-President Trump infamously said that “there are very fine people on both sides” in reference to a violent confrontation spurred by white supremacists who were angry about the potential removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. Trump was roundly condemned for those comments by Democrats and Republicans alike; hell, even former Sen. Cory Gardner found a conscience and spoke out against Trump’s statement (which was basically the last time Gardner publicly criticized Trump).

On Sunday, Trump took what was probably the inevitable next step in his journey toward normalizing white supremacy and insurrection. As POLITICO reports:

Former President Donald Trump on Sunday widely praised those who attended the Jan. 6 rally that preceded the insurrection at the Capitol, repeatedly using the word “love” to describe the tone of the event…

…Speaking on “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo” on the Fox News Channel, he also said the rally participants were patriots, that some of them were unjustly arrested and jailed, and that a woman who was shot and killed by law enforcement during the insurrection was a great hero.

The remarks reflected recent efforts by Trump and his supporters to cast themselves as the aggrieved parties from the Jan. 6 riot, which left five people dead and others injured — and, for a brief time, halted the wheels of democracy as President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over Trump in the Electoral College was being confirmed by Congress.

Here’s exactly what Trump said to Fox News talking muppet Maria Bartiromo on Sunday:

You had over a million people there. They were there for one reason, the rigged election. They felt the election was rigged. That’s why they were there. And they were peaceful people. These were great people.

The crowd was unbelievable. And I mentioned the word love. The love — the love in the air, I have never seen anything like it.

And that’s why they went to Washington…

…And they’re tremendous, in many cases, tremendous people, tremendous people.

Capitol Police officers bar the door to the House Chambers on Jan. 6 to keep out the “love.”

As Philip Bump writes for The Washington Post, the rubicon has been crossed:

It was obvious on Jan. 6 that Trump was sympathetic to the rioters, as he made clear in his public comments on that day. Both because he was quickly muted by social media companies and, apparently, during a period of political temperature-taking, he largely didn’t wave away the rioters’ actions in the months that followed the violence. But he’s slowly been moving back to his original position, the one he reportedly articulated to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in a mid-riot call that day: that the rioters simply loved their country…

…So now the Capitol rioters are tremendous, blue-collar folks battling an unfair system. They were simply in Washington to have their voices heard on the false belief that Trump and allies, including Bartiromo, fostered. They were the allies of law enforcement, not a mob that was seen on video attacking and abusing Capitol Police officers.

Trump’s comments on Sunday are more than just his typical airing of grievances and conspiracy theories. With this one interview, Trump has officially and unequivocally placed himself — and all those who continue to follow him, including Colorado Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert — 100% ON THE SIDE OF THE INSURRECTIONISTS WHO BROKE INTO THE CAPITOL.

Trump isn’t even bothering with the “both sides are great” bullshit anymore. If you forced your way into the Capitol in hopes of kidnapping Nancy Pelosi, killing Mike Pence, and/or overthrowing the Electoral College on Jan. 6, then you are Trump’s kind of person. None of this should come as much of a surprise to anyone with a functioning brain, but it’s still jarring to see the former President of the United States of America completely embrace an insurrection.

To what extend it was ever possible, politicians can no longer stand with Trump and condemn the Jan. 6 insurrection. The line is clear.

Scott Gessler Cashing In Yuge On Westminster Recall

Scott Gessler.

For those unacquainted with the municipal politics of Denver’s northwestern suburb of Westminster, the Westminster City Council is both a notable incubator of Colorado Democratic leadership like Sen. Faith Winter, Rep. Shannon Bird, and Adams County Commissioner Emma Pinter–as well as the stomping grounds of some of the wackier minor Colorado Republican political wannabes like Bruce Baker and Michael “Sustainability Scares Me” Melvin.

Last fall, Republicans led by Baker, who is running for another term on the city council after being bounced off back in 2017, launched a recall campaign targeting the present and former Mayor and two other city council members. The pretext was an increase in water rates, but the recall campaign is widely understood to be a partisan political fight with the goal of flipping the nominally nonpartisan city government to de facto Republican control. Only two petition drives were successful, setting up recall questions against City Councilor Jon Voelz and former Mayor Herb Atchison. Atchison resigned from office soon afterward due to an unrelated health issue, leaving Voelz as the sole recall target in the rapidly-approaching July 20 special election.

If you haven’t heard much about this partisan political proxy battle shaping up in one of Denver’s biggest and fastest-growing suburbs, there’s a reason for that. As the Colorado Community Newspaper affiliate Westminster Window’s Liam Adams picks up the story:

In less than two weeks, on July 20, Westminster voters will decide whether to recall City Councilor Jon Voelz and if so, to elect candidate Kathleen Dodaro to take his place. For months now, Defend Westminster has raised money and campaigned for Voelz to retain his seat. The Westminster Water Warriors — who originally sought to recall four members of Westminster City Council — would see a successful recall of Voelz as evidence that their messaging about Voelz’s stance on water rates was compelling for citizens…

The city will pay Community Resource Services of Colorado up to $250,000 to run the special election because it is not part of a coordinated county election. Voelz’s council seat is up for election again in November.

This is critical to understand: the cost of this recall election is being borne by taxpayers, for a special election to decide whether Jon Voelz will serve in office until the regular election just a few months later in November. It’s an indefensibly pointless waste of taxpayer money, and Voelz’s allies are hoping a resounding defeat signals voter displeasure with their time and money being so egregiously wasted.

But depending on your point of view, that might not even be the worst part of what’s happening:

The Colorado Democratic Party and Democratic leaders in the region have come to the aid of the anti-recall group. Meanwhile the pro-recall group has spent a total of $18,156 on its attorney, Scott Gessler, former Colorado secretary of state and candidate for Colorado GOP chairman, according to an analysis of campaign finance reports filed by both groups between September and June. Virtually all the Water Warriors’ expenses, some of which are still owed, went to attorneys fees… [Pols emphasis]

Let that sink in for a moment. Almost the entirety of the expenses paid by the pro-recall campaign are attorneys fees to Scott Gessler, the state’s most infamous Republican recall lawyer, thoroughly discredited election conspiracy theorist, failed candidate for Colorado GOP chairman, and Trump would-be coup d’etat “expert witness.” Now, we understand there was some litigation in the process, but the idea that Gessler’s law firm has received almost all the money raised for this recall campaign is astounding:

Expenditures stand out the most in the Water Warriors’ financial reports. The group has spent $19,156 in legal fees, almost all of which went to Gessler. Gessler has told the Window that even though he’s well-known in Republican circles throughout Colorado, his work for the Water Warriors has only been in a legal capacity, not a political one.

Currently, the total amount of legal fees the Water Warriors owe Gessler is about $40,000, but invoices are still coming in, said Debbie Teter, an organizer with the Water Warriors.

Additionally, the Water Warriors have spent $860 on Facebook ads…

In short, whatever argument it may have been that persuaded you to donate to the Westminster recall campaign, be it pique about your water bill or knowing full well it’s a partisan political power play, doesn’t matter! Because all your money, and we mean that so close to literally it’s jaw-dropping, went directly into Scott Gessler’s pocket. The $860 they committee has apparently spent advertising their efforts on Facebook is practically insulting to the campaign’s donors.

You’re damn right Scott Gessler’s not acting in his “legal capacity” or his “political capacity.”

This recall appears to be about one thing and one thing only: “Honey Badger” getting paid.

From “Always Trump” to “Maybe Not So Much Trump”

Colorado Republicans are having a heck of a time trying to figure out how to prepare for the 2022 election with the specter of 2020 and Donald Trump still looming large behind them.

Earlier this week, former Colorado Republican Party Chairman and current Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) performed his signature “Buckpedal” move by diving into a new conspiracy theory about how the 2020 Presidential election was somehow rigged by Google. This was quite the turnabout for Buck, who had previously vociferously defended the handling of the 2020 election as perfectly safe and aboveboard. What changed for Buck? It’s hard to say for sure, since Buck has a history of contradicting himself, but the smart money says that Buck is worried enough about avoiding a Primary in 2022 that he feels compelled to make it clear that he can out-crazy any other potential Republican challenger.

Buck’s successor as State GOP Chair, Kristi Burton Brown (KBB), is running into this same conundrum — but in the opposite direction. Brown was elected Party Chair earlier this year in part because of her consistent defense of “The Big Lie.” Indeed, all but one of the candidates for State Party Chair regularly expressed doubts about the validity of the 2020 election results (the only one who didn’t, Jonathan Lockwood, was never a serious contender for the job). But while KBB told the GOP faithful what they wanted to hear in order to get elected Party Chair, she’s coming to realize that the job of actually winning seats in a General Election is going to require a different approach.

As The Colorado Sun reports in its “Unaffiliated” newsletter, KBB spoke Thursday to the Foothills Republican club and sounded a lot different than she did just a few months ago:

Burton Brown was peppered with concerns about election integrity during the question and answer portion of Thursday’s event.

“The biggest issue for me is voter cheating and this whole national election, as we all know, was a set up. I just would like to know if you know about … what was done here,” a man asked.

Burton Brown said it’s a question that she is getting “all around the state,” and that the Colorado GOP is encouraging people to “get involved” and “get your eyes in the room” by becoming poll watchers and election judges. But she said there has been no proof of mass fraud in Colorado and that the only sure way for Republicans to lose in 2022 is for the party’s voters not to show up on Election Day because they think their vote won’t count. [Pols emphasis]

(There is no proof of widespread election problems in Colorado or across the country that would have changed the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.)

Burton Brown encouraged Republicans to move on from 2020. “The more we talk about the past, the more we talk about what happened instead of what we are going to do in 2022, the more our candidates are put at a disadvantage,” she said. “Because we are focusing on something we cannot control.”

At least one-third of the 700+ Republicans who have filed to run for Congress in 2022 (U.S. House or U.S. Senate) have been very clear about their belief that the 2020 Presidential election was fraudulent. Many of these Republicans are no doubt making the same calculation that Buck is making — that they’ll worry first about winning a Republican Primary before they concern themselves with re-positioning ahead of a General Election.

Now that she’s been GOP Chair for a few months, KBB obviously sees the math differently. Her mission is to help Republicans win races in a General Election — not to concern herself with getting candidates through a Republican Primary. In order to fulfill that goal, KBB is realizing that re-litigating the 2020 election nearly two years later isn’t something that Colorado voters are going to be particularly interested in doing.

The problem for KBB, of course, is that her new message doesn’t match her old rhetoric, and the GOP faithful doesn’t seem to be all that interested in shifting gears. Trump remains the overwhelming favorite to be the 2024 Republican Presidential nominee, and there’s ZERO chance that he’s going to stop talking about the 2020 election anytime soon.

You could argue that KBB is telling Colorado Republicans what they need to hear, but Buckpedaling on her concerns about the 2020 election results won’t endear her to the Republican base in our state. This is a problem that Republicans created themselves; we’re just happy that we don’t have to try to find the solution.

The T-Shirt Ad That Says A Mouthful

Now for sale in the merch section at the Colorado Republican Party’s website:

There’s…a lot to unpack here! We could do it but sometimes it’s better to let the jokes make themselves. Suffice to say that five minutes in a history book or 30 seconds in a middle school hallway takes care of this whole “children are not oppressors” business.

And remember, “white misses” is the shirt, not the wearer. The interchangeability is just a coincidence.

The COVID-19 Pandemic State of Emergency Is Over

Gov. Jared Polis symbolically pummeling COVID-19 in March 2021.

As the Denver Post’s Saja Hindi reports, the day at least some Republicans wanted you to think would perhaps never come is upon us: the formal end of the state of emergency imposed by Gov. Jared Polis over a year ago to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis lifted the state’s emergency declaration on Thursday, nearly 16 months after it was issued.

Polis rescinded all of his pandemic executive orders, he told The Denver Post in an interview, but signed the Recovery Executive Order, which is focused on the economy and federal reimbursements…

In June, he said he would begin to phase out his emergency powers.

“This has been a challenging year for our state and country,” he said in a statement. “We’ve experienced pain and loss, but through it all, Coloradans did their part, made good choices by wearing masks, socially distancing and sacrificing moments with loved ones and we succeeded in having one of the lowest COVID fatality rates in the nation.”

So ends almost a year and a half of misguided resistance to common sense and wacky conspiracy theories–but as Rep. Ken Buck can tell you, there’s always another way to get to the conclusion you’ve preordained, like Gov. Polis having another secret emergency order that he can still use to send the stormtroopers into your cul de sac at any moment. Less sensational but sadly more possible, COVID-19 variants spreading and mutating among unvaccinated population could indeed make another emergency necessary down the road if the pandemic isn’t crushed in the near term.

Either way, it should be a comfort to even the most resistant “COVIDiot” resister to know now that just like he said all along, Gov. Polis never had any intention of pulling an Emperor Palpatine with his emergency powers. The reality is that Gov. Polis was cautious to the point of vulnerability to criticism about imposing public health restrictions to control the spread of the pandemic, and pushed to quickly ease restrictions as case numbers declined. The result of Gov. Polis’ management of the pandemic, a death rate from COVID-19 significantly below the national average, speaks for itself along with Polis’ high job approval rating.

To everyone who played by the rules and got your shots, thank you. You’re the reason it didn’t get even worse.

The rest of you should think about all the things you heard (and said) in the last year that didn’t come true. The one prediction that did come true, unfortunately, was that a whole lot of Americans would die from COVID-19.

VIEW PAC Disowns “Carnival Barkers” Greene, Boebert

Rep. Lauren Boebert and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.

The Hill reporting on the decision by a Republican political action committee specifically devoted to increasing the number of Republican women in Congress to not endorse for re-election in 2022 the “Q-Some Twosome” freshmen: Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Lauren Boebert of Colorado:

“While we rightfully celebrate the number of GOP women serving in the House, I’ve always professed quality over quantity,” VIEWPAC Executive Director Julie Conway told the outlet…

“Our women have fought too hard for too long to be respected and taken seriously as legislators, policy makers and thought leaders. We cannot let this work be erased by individuals who chose to be shameless self promoters and carnival barkers.” [Pols emphasis]

VIEW PAC, which has raised more than $20 million for Republican female candidates since 2010, said it will not be endorsing the Greene or Boebert in the 2022 midterm elections, when both lawmakers will be seeking a second term in Congress.

This is by far the most overt condemnation of Boebert we’ve yet seen from any national Republican interest group, and it’s a sign that Boebert’s Trump-style strategy of dragging the news cycle from one relentless outrage to another may be wearing thin with the GOP establishment–especially with MTG and Boebert now one-upping each other in daily validation of Godwin’s Law.

The problem, of course, is that MTG and Boebert are tapped into the same base of pro-Trump support over which whatever the GOP “mainstream” consists of in 2021 has less control over today than ever before. For all practical purposes, MTG and Boebert under a resurgent ex-President Donald Trump are the party now.

With that said, even in this scathing expression of no confidence from fellow Republican women, Boebert plays second fiddle:

“I think that they would rather draw attention to themselves, and really Marjorie Taylor Greene more than Boebert, but they’re cut from the same cloth,” Conway said, according to Insider.

We’re not sure what’s worse for Boebert–being disavowed by a leading PAC devoted to electing Republican women, or still being merely MTG’s understudy in loathsomeness while it happens? Even in scorn, Boebert just doesn’t measure up to her more bombastic peers.

As for Republicans actually holding Boebert accountable? We’ll see once the 2022 primary (if any) is over.

Get More Smarter on Thursday (July 8)

It’s really hot today. It’s going to be really hot tomorrow, too. Don’t skimp on the sunscreen. 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 

*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment. 

 

Western Colorado is very dry and in significant danger of suffering serious wildfires. As Colorado Public Radio reports, the federal government is trying to help:

There’s a confluence of events happening in the West this summer: extreme heat, extreme drought and the possibility of another record-breaking wildfire season, all driven by a long-term drying trend worsened by climate change. It’s so serious that President Joe Biden convened a meeting last week with Western governors to talk about wildfire preparedness and response.

“This is an area that has been under-resourced. But that’s going to change, if we have anything to do with it,” Biden said. “We can’t cut corners when it comes to managing our wildfires or supporting our firefighters.”

Members of Colorado’s Congressional delegation have their own ideas for how to deal with the twin problems of drought and wildfires.

[Cattle rancher Mark] Roeber says he’s talked to Democratic Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, as well as his local representative, Republican Lauren Boebert, about the need for financial assistance for the ag industry, in particular flexibility in some existing programs, as well as better water efficiency policies and water infrastructure — from storage to piping.

Western Slope leaders probably shouldn’t count on much help from Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert, who remains more interested in scoring political points than policy victories:

Boebert backs increasing water storage capacity, something she hit on during a recent hearing.

“I support efforts to streamline cumbersome and bureaucratic policies in order to allow the construction of new water storage projects,” she said.

Boebert sits on a water subcommittee in the House, but when it held a public hearing on the subject, she did not ask any drought-related questions. Instead, she focused on potential conflicts of interest by Elizabeth Klein, the Interior official testifying at the hearing.

As CPR notes, supporting more water storage isn’t an idea that’s going to do much to help with severe drought conditions NOW.

 

Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) is worried enough about a potential Republican Primary opponent that he’s gone full “election truther.” Buck is spinning a strange tale about Google somehow manipulating search engine results to allow Democrat Joe Biden to defeat Republican Donald Trump, or something like that. This doesn’t make a lot of sense, but then, that isn’t the point, is it?

 

The Denver Post reports on a law signed by Gov. Jared Polis — inspired by the death of Elijah McClain in Aurora — that restricts the use of ketamine by first responders.

 

New data again shows the importance of receiving both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in order to protect against rising strains of the “Delta Variant.” The “Delta Variant” is overwhelming medical response teams in unvaccinated areas such as Southwest Missouri. As POLITICO reports, the “Delta Variant” is probably much more widespread than federal officials can even estimate.

In related news, a Colorado mother of four is the final winner of a $1 million lottery for receiving her COVID-19 vaccination.

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

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