Rep. Patricia Schroeder, Pioneering Colorado Lawmaker

UPDATE: President Joe Biden released the following statement honoring the life and service of Rep. Patricia Schroeder:

Pat Schroeder was a pioneer.

In her 24 years in Congress, she seized every opportunity to advance equality for women, and the laws she helped pass fundamentally reshaped our country for the better.

The 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which protected women from being fired for having children.

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, which allowed millions of women and men to care for family members without losing their jobs.

The opening of military jobs – including flying combat missions – to women.

More access to early screening for breast and cervical cancer for lower-income women.

On issue after issue, Pat stood up for basic fairness, sensible policy, and women’s equal humanity. The result was a legislative record that changed millions of women’s lives – and men’s lives – for the better.

I saw firsthand Pat’s moral compass, legal mind, and political savvy when we worked together on the Violence Against Women Act. She was the primary sponsor in the House; I led the charge in the Senate. Together, we got it done. With Pat as my partner, I never doubted that we would.

She inspired a generation of public servants, proved that a young mom could be a formidable Congresswoman, and did it all with legendary wit.

Jill and I send our prayers to Pat’s husband James, her children Jamie and Scott, and the entire Schroeder family.


Rep. Patricia Schroeder (D-Denver).

Colorado Public Radio’s Caitlyn Kim reports sad news from last night:

Coloradans and people elsewhere are remembering former U.S. Rep. Pat Schroeder, a trailblazer who paved the way for women’s rights in national and local politics. She died Monday at 82.

“Representative Schroeder was a one-of-a-kind leader and barrier breaker,” said Gov. Jared Polis in a statement late Monday. “Our daughter’s future and women across our country’s future are better thanks to her service. ” [Pols emphasis]

Schroeder was the first woman to represent Colorado in Congress. She had a stroke recently and died at a hospital in Florida, where she had been living, according to her former press secretary, Andrea Camp.

Schroeder paved the way for women’s and family issues in Congress and helped push for the passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.

Rep. Pat Schroeder’s successor in Congress Rep. Diana DeGette released the following statement:

Pat Schroeder was a pioneer for women’s rights. She was a trailblazer, a role model, a mentor and a friend. She dedicated her life to serving her community, and to championing the well-being of women and families throughout this country. Pat was elected to Congress when I was in high school and she inspired a generation of young women, like me, to dream high. She became a mentor and dear friend after I succeeded her, and I am eternally thankful, not only for all of the incredible work she did for our state, but for the guidance and friendship she provided along the way. My condolences to Jim, Scott and Jamie during this difficult time. Pat’s brilliance, passion and wit will never be duplicated, but will always be remembered.

Politically Rep. Schroeder was years ahead of her time, an uncompromising progressive decades before the rest of Colorado caught up with Denver and initiated the current era of Democratic dominance in state politics. Rep. Schroeder’s example of cheerfully challenging the “boy’s club” establishment in Washington, D.C. inspired a generation of elected officials in Colorado and elsewhere who came after her.

We’ll update with memorial information when it’s available.

Rehabilitating 2022’s Losers: Welcome Back, Heidi Ganahl!

We give you the next stop on the Colorado Republican Party’s “We’ve Learned Nothing” tour following the weekend’s disastrous triumph of the whacktivist fringe led by former state Rep. Dave “Let’s Go Brandon” Williams: of all the candidates who ran and lost in last November’s historic shellacking at the hands of Democrats, who’s the candidate Republicans should be least interested in welcoming back to the spotlight?

Heidi Ganahl.

That’s right, folks! The biggest GOP loser in a Colorado governor’s race since Dan Maes brought home 11% of the vote in 2010, fur-natic culture warrior who never met an election denier she didn’t like Heidi Ganahl is back with a new podcast, much like the thinly-veiled campaign vehicle Ganahl launched in 2021. After losing the 2022 race for governor by just shy of 20 points, Ganahl is promising to dish on the shadowy leftist treasonators responsible for her defeat:

On the campaign trail, I learned most folks in Colorado have no idea who the good guys or the bad guys are in politics. [Pols emphasis] They know something is wrong with our state, but they’re unsure how to tackle it.

They told me they don’t trust the media, the politicians, the power players to tell the truth. They’ve given up.

So first of all, voters knew enough for Ganahl to lose by over 19 points. That tells us voters had formed a pretty unambiguous opinion on who the “bad” versus “good” guys were. Second, the 2022 Republican nominee for governor of Colorado says the people don’t trust “the politicians?”

Based on the election results it’s certainly true in Ganahl’s case!

I’m launching an initiative using what I learned behind the scenes to help inform, educate and empower the people of Colorado, so they know the TRUTH – exactly who’s good, who’s bad, what they can do about it, and how to be effective.

Let’s start by exposing what Is REALLY going on behind the curtain in Colorado, who is helping and who is getting in our way.

Next to Dave Williams’ scorched-earth victory in the race to be the next Colorado GOP chairman, Heidi Ganahl’s return to the spotlight is the worst possible news for Republicans hoping to recover from their current historic nadir of influence in state government. Ganahl doesn’t have the solution to any of the Republican Party’s problems, because she is the problem. The failure of Republicans to realize the immense collateral harm Ganahl’s far-right moral panic conspiracy politics was doing to the rest of the ticket last year was a blind spot resulting from consensus at the highest levels of the GOP’s donor base with Ganahl’s wacky beliefs. They couldn’t see it coming, but it’s impossible to deny in hindsight.

Instead of retooling, Colorado Republicans are reaffirming the chaos that brought them to this low point.

And There Was Not Much in the Way of Rejoicing

Via The Bulwark (3/13/23)

We wrote on Sunday about former State Rep. Dave Williams emerging as the “winner” of the race to become the next Chairperson of the Colorado Republican Party. Our analysis of Williams’ victory was decidedly grim for the GOP; judging by a roundup of news articles related to Saturday’s State Republican Party Chair election, we weren’t alone in that assessment.

Writing for The Bulwark, former Colorado Republican Tim Miller sees Williams’ election as another stop on the state GOP’s train ride to oblivion:

…the GOP’s most wild-eyed members are determined to run things even further into the ground. This weekend they handed the keys to the party to a tiny cloister of extremists more interested in owning the libs than fixing their losing brand…

…In his speech accepting the new role Williams said, “We are the party that elected Donald J. Trump, and we are not going to apologize for that anymore.” (Minor fact check: Donald Trump lost Colorado twice, most recently by 13 points).

Pro-Trump, anti-gay, anti-vax. Determined to change the party rules to prevent independents from participating. This doesn’t seem like a path to success in a blue state. But maybe Mr. Let’s Go Brandon sees something I don’t.

New beard, new leadership

Miller once worked for Bill Owens, the last Republican in Colorado to be elected Governor. As former State Party Chair Dick Wadhams told Miller:

You might’ve worked for the only Republican Colorado governor in your lifetime.”

Wadhams was equally pessimistic in speaking with Ernest Luning of the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman:

Colorado Republicans on Saturday elected Dave Williams, a former state lawmaker from Colorado Springs who insists that former President Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election, to lead the state party for the next two years.

“We need a wartime leader who will boldy articulate our conservative, America-first agenda while going toe-to-toe with the radical Democrats every chance we get,” Williams said in a combative speech before the first round of voting at a party meeting in Loveland.

Williams takes control of a Republican Party riddled with infighting and reeling from a string of losses in a state whose voters elected Democrats to every statewide office in last year’s midterm election.

“It’s just going to be a wasteland at the Colorado Republican Party for the next two years.”

     — Former Republican Party Chair Dick Wadhams on the GOP Chair election


Sandra Fish of The Colorado Sun noted that Williams was more than happy name names when it came to talking about of all of his perceived enemies:

Williams pledged Saturday that the party will go to court to prevent unaffiliated voters from participating in the GOP primary election. A similar effort by individual Republicans failed in federal court in 2022.

“Right now there are efforts to eliminate the caucus by the consultant class and a wealthy unaffiliated millionaire who hates our party,” he said, referencing Kent Thiry, the former DaVita CEO.

Williams also criticized past party leadership.

“Our party doesn’t have a brand problem,” he said. “Our party has a problem with feckless leaders who are ashamed of you and ashamed of our conservative values.” [Pols emphasis]

Fish adds that Williams also promised to overhaul the staff at the State Republican Party:

“Everyone’s going to have to go through a rehiring process, they’re going to resubmit their applications,” Williams said.

Inspiring stuff! Who’s ready to get yelled at?

Via The Washington Post (3/13/23)

Bente Birkeland of Colorado Public Radio has more on Williams’ airing of grievances:

“Here’s the truth that the fake news media, crooked politicians, and the failed consultants won’t tell you,” Williams said in his speech at the Embassy Suites Convention Center in Loveland, “our party can win again, but only if we first reject their failed leadership and go on offense.”

Williams, who is Latino and lives in Colorado Springs, served six years in the state legislature before mounting an unsuccessful primary challenge against congressman Doug Lamborn last year. He tried to include the anti-Biden slogan ‘Let’s go Brandon’ as his nickname on the ballot, but was denied by a judge.

Saturday’s GOP reorganization meeting was held in the shadow of ongoing electoral losses. Democrats currently hold every statewide office and five of Colorado’s eight congressional seats (and came within 546 votes of claiming a sixth).

If it makes you feel any better — and if you are a Republican, it should not — Colorado is far from the only state to have selected an election denier as a State Party Chairperson. Idaho, Kansas, and Michigan recently went in the same direction, and Florida selected a former Trump staffer to lead its state party.

It was just a week ago that Ernest Luning wrote for the Colorado Springs Gazette’s political website that Republican state chair candidates were vowing “to learn from losses” suffered in recent election cycles.

Maybe the “learning from losses” part comes later.

Daylight Saving Initiated!

Let’s kick off this week with a non-political poll based on Daylight Saving Time.

As you are (probably) aware, we moved our clocks forward one hour over the weekend for Daylight Saving Time. Thankfully, new technologies change the time for us automatically; but for those clocks that still require manual changes, how long will it take for you to adjust every clock in your house?


When will all of the clocks in your house be changed for Daylight Saving Time?

View Results

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Dave Williams Elected To Complete Colorado GOP’s Destruction

Rep. Dave “Let’s Go Brandon” Williams (R).

AP’s Nick Riccardi via the Denver Post with the lede on the results of yesterday’s election of a new Colorado Republican Party chair to succeed the outgoing Kristi Burton Brown–and we couldn’t write it any better:

The Colorado Republican Party on Saturday selected a combative former state representative who promised to be a “wartime” leader as its new chairman, joining several other state GOPs this year that have elected far-right figures and election conspiracy theorists to their top posts.

The move in Colorado comes as the party totters on the brink of political irrelevance in a state moving swiftly to the left.

Former State Rep. Dave Williams, who unsuccessfully tried to insert the phrase “Let’s Go Brandon” into his name on the party’s primary ballot last year and insists — incorrectly — that former President Donald Trump won the 2020 election, was selected by the party’s executive committee out of a seven-person field.

Let’s start with the most important piece of context: there were no good choices among the seven candidates vying to take over as the recipient of the six-digit salary afforded to state Republican party chairpersons. It’s not necessary to take our word for that bleak assessment, which was delivered by former Republican Party chairman Dick Wadhams weeks ago:

The choice for state chairman is no choice at all.

Every one of these six candidates would drive the party into deeper oblivion with their conspiratorial, exclusionary and politically naïve agendas that are already repelling a rapidly changing Colorado electorate.

But sadly for Mr. Wadhams, “no choice” was not an option for Colorado GOP Central Committee members yesterday, who were obliged to choose from a field of either unknown placeholders or some of the most colorfully dysfunctional figures in Colorado conservative politics. We were surprised to see former Sen. Kevin Lundberg, arguably the only candidate with the requisite experience to run a state party, underperform our expectations through the first two rounds of balloting.

The decisive moment in yesterday’s selection process came when indicted former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters announced that hers and Lundberg’s supporters were switching to back former Rep. Dave “Let’s Go Brandon” Williams in the third round of voting. After the other minor contenders had been eliminated, this left Williams in a head-to-head matchup against fellow election conspiracy theorist and shellacked 2020 CD-7 candidate Erik Aadland–the outcome of which was not in doubt after the shift of Peters’ and Lundberg’s supporters to Williams.

During his time in the Colorado House, Rep. Williams helped anchor the fringe of the Republican caucus along with contemporaries like ex-Minority Leader Patrick Neville and conspiracy theory multitool Rep. Ron Hanks. Along the way, Williams became the go-to champion of basically every conservative moral panic and conspiracy theory that circulated in the Donald Trump era, from anti-vaxxism even before COVID-19 vaccines made it fashionable to calling on Trump to send federal troops to crush racial justice protests in the summer of 2020. Williams’ humiliating loss in his 2022 primary challenge against Rep. Doug Lamborn cut short Williams’ service in the Colorado House, and also further embittered Williams against the Republican establishment.

Most recently, Williams has been solidly aligned with the “Ultra MAGA” faction of Colorado Republicans in El Paso County led by embattled but strangely durable chair Vickie Tonkins–whose incompetence in carrying out the basic operations of the county party became so severe during the last election that “mainstream” Republicans set up a shadow campaign organization or their own in Colorado’s largest conservative stronghold. Williams’ victory in the state party chair race effectively pulls the rugs out from that operation, and it’s anybody’s guess now how the party grassroots represented by Williams will interface with the “corporate wing” of the party for the next election cycle.

For Colorado Republicans, this is a sea change event–and not in a good way. The faction of Republicans who want to “move on” from the 2020 election and offer a fresh alternative to super-majority Democrats have been decisively rejected by their own party. Last year, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe O’Dea tried to run to the center but was hobbled at every step by his need to pander to the far right in the primary. As of today, there is no question who is in charge of the Colorado GOP–the very same election-denying conspiracy-theorizing vaccine-refusing militia-marching crazies Joe O’Dea tried to distance himself from.

Colorado Republicans, with little left to lose, have decided that winning isn’t what matters anymore.

Lauren Boebert: This Is What Moral Bankruptcy Looks Like

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R).

As the Denver Post’s Bruce Finley and media outlets across the nation have reported this week:

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., has announced that she will be a grandmother at 36 next month when her 17-year-old son’s partner gives birth to a son.

Boebert revealed this family news at a women’s breakfast during the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland that ended last weekend, where she received a “mothers of influence” award. Boebert addressed women and men at the breakfast after accepting the award.

“I’m going to tell you all for the first time in a public setting that, not only am I a mother of four boys, but, come April, I will be a Gigi to a brand new grandson,” she said.

Boebert’s son, when she talked with him about becoming a grandmother, pointed out that Boebert made her own mother a grandmother at 36 and he suggested it was “hereditary,” Boebert told those at the breakfast.

We approach this subject at all with some trepidation, since it’s not our policy to entertain gossip about the personal lives of elected officials unless the subject matter has a connection both to public policy and hypocrisy on the part of the subject–both factors being necessary at least to warrant us getting into such matters. But as many news outlets have rightfully noted in the context of reporting a story that Rep. Lauren Boebert herself broke, this is a situation so deeply hypocritical and so innately linked to Boebert’s political agenda that the cognitive dissonance is simply untenable. Newsweek:

Boebert was a teen mom herself and had to drop out of high school because of her pregnancy. She has received harsh criticism online this week for blasting sex education classes in schools. She had said that public school students should not be taught about enjoying sex and what LGBTQ people do in bed.

“There are schools that are teaching worse than just gender ideology,” Boebert said this week during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). “I mean they have comprehensive sex-ed. They’re teaching kids how to have and enjoy sex, [Pols emphasis] and even same-sex sex.”

Of course, if you know anything about sex ed curriculum you already know that the point of sex ed is to teach safe sex practices, most importantly the part where they put the condom on the banana (that was our experience) and explained it’s a very good idea to do this before…you know. Because that is how you prevent making babies at age 17, when doing so is statistically proven to mess up your life in all kinds of tangible ways. And if you know that, you understand how it relates directly to Boebert’s 17-year-old son’s predicament.

Added together, it’s one of the most damning self-owns in the history of politics.

And it doesn’t stop there, as Boebert continued to dig while breaking the big news:

“There’s something special about rural conservative communities,” Boebert continued. “They value life. If you look at teen pregnancy rates throughout the nation, well, they’re the same, [in] rural and urban areas. However, abortion rates are higher in urban areas. Teen moms’ rates are higher in rural conservative areas, because they understand the preciousness of a life that it’s about to be born.”

Or maybe the kids in “rural conservative areas” just don’t have good sex ed? Again, when you consider the clear evidence that teenage pregnancy leads to lifelong educational and economic disadvantage, and then compare rural to urban areas of the country by either of those metrics, you realize that Boebert is unwittingly making a case for abortion rights. But Boebert is the last person who will ever realize this. It’s not her own life experience, and Boebert doesn’t comprehend the difference between anecdotes and data.

Much like the tawdry reality-TV experience of following Sarah Palin’s family through their struggles with well-publicized moral hypocrisy, it does seem like we’ll all be obliged to follow along now as these children having children face the challenges of both life and celebrity–the latter stemming from a grandma who has set them up for scrutiny they may someday regret. We had a preview of what that might look like in the Denver Post’s story:

Boebert staffers on Friday confirmed the announcement. Breaking from a meeting for an interview, Boebert verified her son and his girlfriend are not married and declined to reveal the age of the girlfriend, other than to say she’s over 14. [Pols emphasis] (Colorado’s age of consent is 17, with exceptions allowing unmarried consensual sex when partners are within four years of the same age.)

There’s not much left for us to add to this, except to say that we really do wish the best for the kids involved. We have no doubt that Boebert believes her self-immolating spin. But the rest of the world sees the perfect rebuttal, to Boebert’s latest words and everything she claims to stand for, in the same events.

Weekend Open Thread

“No matter what cause one defends, it will suffer permanent disgrace if one resorts to blind attacks on crowds of innocent people.”

–Albert Camus

Poll: Who Will Win The Race For Colorado GOP Chair?

Tomorrow, members of the Colorado Republican Central Committee will vote in Loveland to elect the next party chair succeeding outgoing chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown. The field of candidates running to succeed Brown has been roundly criticized as a pack of incompetents by former GOP chairman Dick Wadhams. Nonetheless, one of these candidates will get the job tomorrow, and it’s time to ask our readers who you think will be the next to take on the toughest and worst job in Colorado politics.

*Remember, as always with our totally non-scientific polls, we want to know what you legitimately THINK will happen — not what you hope will happen or which candidate you support personally. If you had to bet the deed to your house that your prediction would be correct, how would you vote?

Who will be the next Colorado Republican Party chair?

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Jenna Ellis Pathologically Defiant Following Censure For 2020 Lies

UPDATE: The New York Times takes note of Jenna Ellis’ lack of contrition:

In a message posted on Twitter Thursday morning, Ms. Ellis sought to split hairs concerning her agreement with officials in Colorado, saying that she never admitted to lying about election fraud, which she asserted “requires INTENTIONALLY making a false statement.”

But in her stipulation with bar officials, she agreed that censure was merited when lawyers “knowingly engage” in any “conduct that involves dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.”

“It appears that Ms. Ellis is continuing in her pattern of knowing misrepresentations and falsehoods,” Michael Teter, the managing director of the 65 Project, said on Thursday. “If she continues down this path, it will not be long before she is subject to further disciplinary action.”


Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis during the December 2020 campaign to overturn the presidential election.

Colorado Newsline’s Quentin Young broke the major news just after 5:00pm yesterday that former couptorney for ex-President Donald Trump, Jenna Ellis, has been formally censured by the Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel for her many false statements about the 2020 presidential election leading up to the violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, 2021:

The public censure order was signed Wednesday by Presiding Disciplinary Judge Bryon M. Large, who oversees lawyer discipline cases in Colorado.

As part of an agreement in the case, Ellis admits that multiple statements she made in late 2020 about the presidential election being stolen were “misrepresentations.”

Those statements were part of an effort by Trump to reverse President Joe Biden’s victory, and they helped fuel the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. A majority of Republicans, including those running to chair the Colorado Republican Party, continue to doubt the 2020 election results…

In an opinion accepting a censure agreement between Yates and Ellis, Large noted that Ellis has agreed that her statements about the election being stolen were misrepresentations, which he said were made “with at least a reckless state of mind.” Ellis also agreed that she, “through her conduct, undermined the American public’s confidence in the presidential election, violating her duty of candor to the public,” Large wrote, adding that “a selfish motive” and “a pattern of misconduct” were aggravating factors in the case.

Ernest Luning of the Colorado Springs Gazette’s political blog:

Ellis acknowledged in the agreement released on Wednesday that she violated a professional rule that prohibits attorneys from making “reckless, knowing, or intentional misrepresentations.” Large wrote in his opinion that she did so “with a mental state that was ‘at least reckless,'” describing a legal standard for assessing disciplinary options.

A longtime luminary in Colorado’s conservative political circles, Ellis shot to national prominence as part of the team of Trump’s lawyers and legal advisors who attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 election, including by filing dozens of failed lawsuits alleging election fraud.

Ellis taught classes for several years at Lakewood-based Colorado Christian University and is currently a fellow in constitutional law and policy at the school’s Centennial Institute.

Here is the heart of the censure agreement between the state and Ellis. The precise language is important:

Respondent and the People agree that Respondent made ten misrepresentations on Twitter and to nationally televised audiences in her capacity as personal counsel to the then-President of the United States and as counsel for his reelection campaign. The parties agree that Respondent made these statements, which violated Colo. RPC 8.4(c), with at least a reckless state of mind. [Pols emphasis] The parties agree that Respondent was not counsel of record in any lawsuits challenging the 2020 election results. The parties agree that Respondent, through her conduct, undermined the American public’s confidence in the presidential election, violating her duty of candor to the public. Finally, the parties agree that two aggravators apply—Respondent had a selfish motive and she engaged in a pattern of misconduct [Pols emphasis]—while one factor, her lack of prior discipline, mitigates her misconduct.

Make no mistake, this is a major development: one of Trump’s closest attorneys admitted in court documents that Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud in 2020 were false. That’s at least as significant as the recent revelations stemming from court filings in the libel suit from Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems that the prime-time hosts at FOX News were all aware that Trump’s election fraud claims were garbage–yet continued to push them for political and financial motives. When you consider how pervasive and widespread the “Big Lie” has become, with a majority of Republicans still convinced two years later that Donald Trump should be President, these admissions that everybody involved either knew or should have known it was a lie are incredibly damning.

After a disgrace of this magnitude, most people would take a step back and re-evaluate their life choices. But in a defiant extended Twitter screed early this morning, Jenna Ellis made it clear that she is…well, not most people:

The politically-motivated Left failed miserably in their attempt to destroy me. They’re now trying to falsely discredit me by saying I admitted I lied.

That is FALSE. I would NEVER lie. Lying requires INTENTIONALLY making a false statement.

I never did that, nor did I stipulate to or admit that…

Ellis goes on to make a load-bearing distinction between “deceit” and “misrepresentation.”

As has become sadly typical, the opposition-controlled media is intentionally twisting the truth, conflating the full RPC standard with the actual stipulation. The standard reads, “dishonesty, fraud, deceit, OR misrepresentation.”

Now for starters, just like Rupert Murdoch in the FOX News defamation trial we’re way past arguing over whether the 2020 presidential election was actually stolen from Donald Trump. All parties concede it was not. What we’re arguing about apparently is whether Ellis knowingly made the numerous false statements attributed to her while she was working for Trump. The language of this censure was negotiated between regulators and Ellis’ attorneys, and it looks like the kindest interpretation Ellis could get the court to agree to was “at least a reckless state of mind.”

It’s just gobsmacking to us that after conceding that the entire basis of her campaign of lies “misrepresentations” was false, Ellis still thinks there’s value in arguing whether her actions were intentional or merely “at least reckless.” After admitting that the 2020 presidential election was not stolen from Donald Trump, and that her repeated claims to the contrary amounted to a “pattern of misconduct,” nobody cares whether Ellis “intentionally” lied or not. Ellis has no credibility either way. Ellis was a bit player in a much larger conspiracy to undermine American democracy, and that’s the only reason we’re talking about her at all.

All the same, let the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel know that Ellis isn’t exactly repentant.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (March 8)

Happy International Women’s Day. Please celebrate responsibly. 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.




Colorado Republicans and their micro-minority in the state legislature are promising a big battle over some very common sense gun safety regulations, mostly because when Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) tells Republicans to dance

As Seth Klamann reports for The Denver Post:

Republicans have promised to do whatever they can to fight the proposals — which include a ban on the sale of assault weapons, age limits and an expansion of the state’s red flag law — and cast them as ineffective solutions to complex problems.

The first of those bills — to institute a minimum three-day waiting period between a would-be gun buyer initiating a background check and taking ownership of the weapon — came before the House’s State, Civic, Military, & Veterans Affairs committee Monday. Three other gun reform measures will be in committee Wednesday. All are expected to pass committees controlled by Democrats, but they’re also certain to attract hours of testimony from opponents and supporters alike.

Fighting that and other bills, Republican minority leader Rep. Mike Lynch has said, is a top priority for his caucus…

…Lynch said the party is likely to launch hours of filibuster delays — akin to the 24-hour filibuster they undertook last year to fight a marquee abortion bill — to stall the gun legislation.

“It’s a bright, shiny thing that’s easier to approach than attacking the harder issues,” Lynch said of the gun reform bills. “We’re not talking about mental health because we’re going to waste the next three weeks dealing with guns. I’m not sure it’s an effort in the right direction.”

Ah yes, the old “why aren’t we talking about mental health legislation” canard. But here’s the thing: When Democrats propose legislation dealing with mental health as it relates to gun violence, Republicans back away from that, too. Monday’s bill to create a waiting period for firearms passed through a committee hearing despite RMGO’s limp protest.

Regardless, State Sen. Tom Sullivan (D-Aurora), whose son, Alex, was killed in the Aurora Theater Shootings, isn’t backing down:

The discussion over several gun safety bills is expected to last for hours today in committee hearings. Republicans are making it very clear who they are and who they represent.


Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers in Colorado are puffing out their chests in order to be declared the most right-wing of them all!


Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) has joined the legislative battle to ban Tik Tok — and potentially other foreign-based technology platforms — because of security concerns. From Colorado Public Radio:

The RESTRICT Act would give the Commerce Secretary new authority to identify and mitigate threats posed by foreign technology products and services in the United States.

“What we’re trying to deal with here is insecure information and communication technology,” explained Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, the chair of the chamber’s intelligence panel. “These risks are not going away and unfortunately, our tools to date have been relatively limited.”

Warner said the secretary’s new powers would extend “up to and including the opportunity to ban.” He added such decisions would be risk-based, informed by intelligence, and follow a clear process, instead of the current ad hoc approach. The bill would also allow for the declassification of information on how a certain foreign tech might pose undue or unacceptable risks.

Bennet and others noted that while the popular social media app TikTok is the concern now, the threat around foreign tech goes back years, ranging from Russia’s Kaspersky Labs, which produced an antivirus software, to Huawei’s 5G system. digs into Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is hoping to boost his likely Presidential campaign by staging an all-out assault on the First Amendment. 

DeSantis wants to eliminate the First Amendment safeguards that prevent lawsuits seeking to strong-arm the press into silence.

He’s been very clear about this goal: In February, DeSantis led a roundtable discussion brainstorming ideas to weaken the press’s First Amendment protections. Flanked by a panel dominated by defamation plaintiffs and lawyers, the Orbánesque governor attacked the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in New York Times v. Sullivan (1964) for, in his words, empowering a media that will “find a way to smear you.”

Sullivan was a historic decision establishing that the government (and, in many cases, private litigants) may not censor the media, political advocates, and the public at large through defamation suits intended to shut down dissenting voices. The case arose out of a Jim Crow-era official’s attempt to silence civil rights protesters. It established that someone accused of making false claims about a public figure regarding a matter of public concern may not be held liable for defamation, unless the statement was made “with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.”

Without Sullivan, government officials could potentially use defamation suits to impose financially devastating liability on their political enemies — which is what an Alabama official tried to do in Sullivan itself. And a wealthy individual who disagrees with a newspaper’s coverage could potentially fund lawsuits targeting any false statement made by that newspaper, no matter how minor, until the sheer cost of defending against these suits bankrupts the paper.

New York Times v. Sullivan is a very important ruling that also protects blogs like ours.


Click below to keep learning things…



Who’s The Hardest Right Of Them All?

With the 2023 session of the Colorado General Assembly well underway, a conservative group known as Colorado Liberty Republicans has released a scorecard of all 100 Colorado House and Senate members ranking their “vote[s] according to Constitutional Principles: Individual Rights, Free Markets and Limited Government.” A fair amount of work went into tracking each lawmaker’s status on an exhaustive list of bills, so whether you agree with their slant or not it’s a wealth of data worth a glance at least.

So who, you ask, is the most unshakable liberty-loving conservative Republican in the Colorado legislature today? The answer might surprise you based on the recent headlines:

It’s no coincidence that these lawmakers have been involved with some of the greater embarrassments so far this session, like turning the debate over a resolution in support of the Equal Rights Amendment into a circus of transphobia. Reps. Ken “Skin” DeGraaf and Scott “There Is No” Bottoms have emerged as the leading public faces of the House GOP minority caucus by turning the incendiary rhetoric up to 11 at every opportunity. But while DeGraaf and Bottoms hog the spotlight, it’s Rep. Stephanie Luck easily besting all of them as the ideological pole star of the caucus–and it’s not close.

Rep. Luck was one of only two non-freshman lawmakers to vote in support of Bottoms’ failed and widely-criticized bid for House speaker, which was also a vote of disloyalty to GOP House Minority Leader Mike Lynch. Together with DeGraaf and Bottoms, Luck represents the “next generation” leadership of the former hard-right GOP caucus faction once led by ex-House Minority Leader Patrick Neville.

And making Neville proud, they’re the tail wagging the dog. When the time inevitably comes for the caucus to get publicly upset about the lack of spirit in the House micro-minority’s resistance, here’s where the belly-thumping will begin.

Boebert Goes All In On January 6th Historical Revisionism

Last night, FOX News host Tucker Carlson released a few select bits of the thousands of hours of video collected during the January 6th, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol his “research team” was controversially given access to by GOP House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, in an attempt to recast the violent attack that day to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s victory as “mostly peaceful chaos.” CNN reports that the U.S. Capitol Police are leading the pushback against this audacious attempt to rewrite the history painstakingly reconstructed last year by the House Select Committee:

US Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger on Tuesday ripped into Fox News host Tucker Carlson over his commentary about footage from the January 6, 2021, insurrection that he aired Monday night, saying the host “cherry-picked” from the footage to present “offensive” and “misleading” conclusions about the attack.

“Last night an opinion program aired commentary that was filled with offensive and misleading conclusions about the January 6 attack,” Manger wrote in an internal department memo obtained by CNN, adding that Carlson’s show didn’t reach out to the police department “to provide accurate context.”

“The program conveniently cherry-picked from the calmer moments of our 41,000 hours of video. The commentary fails to provide context about the chaos and violence that happened before or during these less tense moments,” Manger said.

It’s not just the Capitol Police and Democrats denouncing Tucker Carlson’s mischaracterization of the events of January 6th. As NBC News reports, a number of Republican U.S. Senators are not willing to participate:

“I think it’s bullshit,” [Sen. Thom] Tillis told reporters in the Capitol. [Pols emphasis]

“I was here. I was down there and I saw maybe a few tourists, a few people who got caught up in things,” he added. “But when you see police barricades breached, when you see police officers assaulted, all of that … if you were just a tourist you should’ve probably lined up at the visitors’ center and came in on an orderly basis.”

…Republican Sen. Kevin Cramer, a North Dakota conservative, said he was in the Capitol on Jan. 6 and firmly rejected Carlson’s portrayal of that day as “some rowdy peaceful protest of Boy Scouts.”

“I think that breaking through glass windows and doors to get into the United States Capitol against the borders of police is a crime. I think particularly when you come into the chambers, when you start opening the members’ desks, when you stand up in their balcony — to somehow put that in the same category as, you know, permitted peaceful protest is just a lie,” Cramer said.

Sen. Mitt Romney was, as he tends to be, even more blunt:

“It’s a very dangerous thing to do, to suggest that attacking the Capitol of the United States is in any way acceptable and it’s anything other than a serious crime, against democracy and against our country,” Romney said. “And people saw that it was violent and destructive and should never happen again. But trying to normalize that behavior is dangerous and disgusting.” [Pols emphasis]

The best rebuttal to Carlson’s selectively edited clips we can think of is the original Select Committee compilation of video from the insurrection:


Watch this video again, and tell us how Carlson can get away with calling what happened “sightseeing.” A few edited moments of relative calm highlighted by Carlson do not negate the violence and destruction documented exhaustively by the Select Committee. The swift rebuttal from Senate Republicans is a possible sign that Carlson, whose popularity has increasingly hinged on his embrace of the fringe right–including Colorado’s own election conspiracy theorist and indicted ex-county clerk Tina Peters–has finally gone too far.

But the bipartisan chorus of outrage over this attempt to rewrite the history of an event we all watched unfold live just over two years ago does not include…you guessed it, Colorado’s intractable sophomore mayhem multiplier Rep. Lauren Boebert:

In response to Carlson’s report last night, Rep. Boebert exploded in pent-up glee this morning over what she clearly believes is vindication–for the January 6th insurrectionists, and also Republican politicians like herself and Donald Trump who incited the violence by refusing to accept the results of the 2020 presidential election. On January 6th, Boebert threateningly referred to her constituents “outside the building right now” moments before they smashed their way into the Capitol, after announcing “Today is 1776” to her hundreds of thousands of followers that morning. Boebert has every interest today in downplaying the violence on January 6th she helped bring to pass, even as she continues to defend the underlying “Big Lie” that Trump won.

But this isn’t vindication. Too many of Boebert’s fellow Republicans who were shaken to the core by the events of January 6th are refusing to let the truth of what happened that day be whitewashed. It’s a falsehood too far, and Boebert is on the wrong side of bipartisan disgust.

When They Tell Us Who They Are…We Should Listen

Just like Congressperson Lauren Boebert, State Rep. Matt Soper (R-Delta) will say pretty much anything.

Last weekend, Republican State Rep. Matt Soper (R-Delta) posted on Twitter that efforts to enact gun safety measures (presumably by the state legislature) could have ominious consequences. As Soper wrote: “We will NOT bow to tyrants and those who seek to disarms [sic] us need to be prepared for civil war!”

On Monday, Soper asked for a moment of personal privilege on the House Floor so that he could “apologize” for his words, though he never actually said WHAT part of his Tweet needed clarification. Soper also did not delete the Tweet in question — he was probably thrilled at the engagement it received — so there’s no reason to take him at his word that he felt some sort of regret for anything he wrote.

Media outlets have picked up on this story, which we first noted on Sunday. The consensus response is that Soper’s “apology” made about as much sense as trying to show your gun nut bonafides by firing an old-timey musket.

As Kyle Clark of 9News explained last night, his station reached out to House Republicans to get clarification on what, exactly, Soper was apologizing for…but got no response.

Soper’s “apology” didn’t make sense on the Western Slope, either. As Charles Ashby writes for the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel:

In an uncharacteristic comment, Rep. Matt Soper called for civil war over several bills before the Colorado Legislature dealing with gun control. [Pols emphasis]

Without being specific about what of the four gun measures he was referring to, the Delta Republican wrote:

“Come and take it! They’ll have to invade the West Slope and murder us if they intend on us being defenceless! (sic),” he wrote in a Saturday tweet, a comment he also sent to The Daily Sentinel earlier that day. “We will NOT bow to tyrants and those who seek to disarms (sic) us need to be prepared for civil war!”

On Monday, Soper stood before the Colorado House and apologized for at least “some of those words,” but didn’t say which words he was apologizing for using. [Pols emphasis]

The Unambiguously Lame Duo of Reps. Scott Bottoms and Ken DeGraaf may sound ridiculous, but there’s no hiding who they are.

In his non-apology apology on Monday, Soper began by saying, “Normally I’m known as rational and reasonable, and choosing my words very carefully.” Soper than immediately contradicted himself when he said of those words, “They were chosen carefully.”

In other words, Soper “carefully” chose his threat about gun safety laws inciting a “civil war.” This was not a mistake. Soper did not misspeak. The only reason he pretended to apologize is because he hoped media outlets would pretend that he apologized, too.

Soper’s statement on Monday is another reminder that we shouldn’t make any extra effort to be surprised when elected Republicans in Colorado use theatrical and uncouth rhetoric on any particular issue. Soper’s words over the weekend were not “uncharacteristic” — they were perfectly in character for a Republican who has shown again and again that he’ll do or say pretty much anything to remain in elected office.

Two years ago, Soper did basically the same thing on a different topic. Soper was called out by Charles Ashby at the Daily Sentinel for comments on Facebook in which Soper alleged — without a shred of evidence — that municipal elections in Mesa County had been rigged by Dominion Voting Services (Soper is also a supporter of former Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters). Soper DEFENDED his comments in an interview with Ashby, using the now-common Republican canard of saying, Hey, we’re just asking questions!

Later that summer, Soper got caught red-handed trying to illegally influence the redistricting process in order to make sure new district lines were drawn to benefit his re-election hopes. A few months after this episode, Soper dismissively referred to an argument between Republican Congressperson Lauren Boebert and Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar as a “cat fight.” Soper didn’t apologize for any of those comments, either.

The only difference between someone like Soper and his even more extreme and ridiculous colleagues (we’re looking at you, Reps. Scott “There is No” Bottoms and Ken “Skin” DeGraaf) is that Soper likes to pretend that he practices a more reasonable ridiculousness.

Threatening a civil war, as Soper did, is not “uncharacteristic” of him or his caucus. Hijacking a hearing about the Equal Rights Amendment in order to attack transgender people and abortion rights is not “uncharacteristic” of the GOP. This is who they are now.

Colorado Republicans keep showing us their true selves. We may wish they were different than they are. We may want to see something more in them. But we can’t find something that isn’t there.

Knives Out for Herod, Whose Response is Equally Harmful

The race to become the next Mayor of Denver has been fairly uninteresting to this point — aside from the regular commentary regarding the absurdly-large field of candidates — but with ballots hitting mailboxes next week, things are finally starting to heat up.

State Representative Leslie Herod is widely-considered to be residing within the top tier of Mayoral candidates, a list that includes (in no particular order) Debbie Ortega, Chris Hansen, Mike Johnston, and Kelly Brough. Today, Herod was on the receiving end of attacks in two publications regarding some oft-heard rumors that she tends to treat her staffers poorly.

Axios Denver reports that Herod has been accused of fostering a “toxic workplace culture,” a shorter but similar story published by Denverite with the headline: “Former Leslie Herod aide says her time in the mayoral candidate’s office was ‘degrading’.”

As Axios explains:

More than a dozen current and former lawmakers, lobbyists, political strategists and legislative aides tell Axios Denver that Herod bullied, berated or belittled them when they worked with her…

…In interviews with Axios, Herod’s colleagues and associates shared similar experiences while working with her during her six-plus years at the Capitol. They used the same words to describe a toxic work environment, with some suggesting her behavior amounted to verbal harassment and others calling it inappropriate…

…One veteran Democratic strategist, Sheena Kadi, went public with concerns about Herod, saying she won’t be supporting her campaign for mayor because she is not a good boss.

Axios also reports that “a Latino advocacy organization confirmed it no longer assigns interns to work in Herod’s legislative office after two of its fellows reported experiencing an unhealthy work environment.”

The Denverite story, meanwhile, begins with concerns from a former staffer named Kaylee Browning, who alleges — among other things — that Herod dismissed a medical issue related to her hearing. Browning also says that her job under Herod consisted largely of running personal errands:

“It was rough. It was really rough,” Browning said. “She was very mean. I don’t remember like yelling so much, it’s like ‘you have poor critical thinking skills,’ like degrading to the point of like you just could not do right by this individual.”

Throughout the 2017 session, Browning said Herod alienated her small staff, and on the last day they didn’t celebrate together, like other lawmakers and aides.

Dejected by the experience, Browning left politics for good on the last day of that session.

Axios says that former colleagues spoke out “on condition of anonymity because they feared retribution.” Denverite also claims to have spoken to more than a dozen aides and lawmakers, “all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity, for fear of reprisals. Many didn’t want specific incidents published because it would identify who said it.”

While Browning never filed an official complaint about her time as an aide for Herod, Denverite reports that “the general outline of her account was corroborated by other Capitol staffers who knew her, and by friends and family she confided in at the time.”

These accounts are reminiscent of concerns that plagued Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar when she was seeking the Democratic nomination for President in 2020. Klobuchar responded to these concerns by saying that she had “high expectations.” In early 2019, Klobuchar acknowledged being a tough boss during a forum sponsored by CNN:

“Am I a tough boss sometimes? Yes. Have I pushed people too hard? Yes.”

Leslie Herod

Herod took a different approach when confronted with these accusations from former staffers. Axios Denver says that Herod did not respond to messages seeking comment, and that her Mayoral campaign declined to make her available for an interview. Herod did speak to Denverite, but her rebuttal was unconvincing:

Herod told Denverite she was taken aback to hear of the negative experience staffers had.

“This is the first time I’ve ever heard of it,” she said. “I have never received any complaint at all from any of my aides or staffers.” [Pols emphasis]

This is virtually impossible to believe. Rumors about Herod’s treatment of staffers have circulated for years; there’s simply no way that Herod is just now hearing these complaints for the first time. If Herod was truly surprised by the accusations, why would she go out of her way to avoid responding to Axios Denver? And if she wants voters to believe that she was unaware of the concerns, what does that say about her level of self-awareness as a politician?

And then there’s this from Denverite:

Herod’s campaign provided contacts to Denverite for about a dozen lawmakers and former and current staff. Some staffers ultimately didn’t want to speak on the record, but two former staffers did. [Pols emphasis]

Herod’s campaign provided a dozen names to Denverite to counteract these claims…but only two of those people would talk on the record? Additionally, one of the former aides who responded to Denverite, Phoebe Blessing, is now the policy director for Herod’s Mayoral campaign; Blessing is not exactly an unbiased source on this topic.

There are two common themes in both the Axios and Denverite stories: 1) The people who are critical of Herod’s treatment of staff are speaking out more loudly than Herod’s supporters, and 2) Herod’s response to these allegations does little to douse the flames — and might have even made things worse.

The allegations reported today by Axios and Denverite should not have been a surprise for Herod…just as her response should not have been to act surprised. All of this could prove devastating for Herod’s Mayoral hopes. In a race with 17 candidates, voters don’t need a lot of reasons to pick someone else.

Boebert Politely Tells DeSantis To Wait His Turn

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).

Last November, Colorado’s most Ultra MAGA of-them-all Rep. Lauren Boebert raised eyebrows when she extolled the virtues of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as a potential candidate for President in 2024:

“I love Governor Ron DeSantis. He is America’s governor, and he has the same policies,” she said, adding that 2024 remains “in the far future.”

Yes, Boebert also effusively praised former President Donald Trump in the same November interview, which came just after Trump announced his 2024 re-election campaign. But by allowing for even the possibility of someone other than Trump as the GOP’s presidential nominee in 2024 — after Trump was in the race — Boebert was treading dangerously close to MAGA disloyalty. That disloyalty was further underlined at the beginning of January when Boebert defied Trump’s pleas to end the drama over Kevin McCarthy’s speakership.

In the intervening months, Trump has plowed ahead with his campaign while DeSantis has delayed getting in the race, and Trump seems to be consolidating his position once again as the favorite to win the GOP nomination in 2024. For evidence of this, we turn once again to Rep. Lauren Boebert at this weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC):

Though still effusive with praise for Gov. DeSantis, Boebert announced at this weekend’s CPAC conference that she is “backing Trump all the way.”

I want [DeSantis] to be President someday. He’s an amazing man with a lot of strength and a lot of character, but right now we need President Trump back in the White House. [Pols emphasis]

This years’s CPAC was by all accounts dominated by supporters of the former President, and Trump easily won this year’s straw poll of CPAC attendees. As one of the clearest endorsements of Trump over DeSantis by name offered by any nationally prominent Republican so far, Boebert’s public reaffirmation of loyalty to Trump is a big deal that will carry considerable weight with the Republican base.

It may be the last thing “Never Trump” Republicans want to hear, but the stars are aligning for Trump to walk away with the GOP nomination once again. Whatever that means for America’s future, and that of Colorado Republicans at the brink of total political annihilation, in Colorado you have Lauren Boebert to thank for it.

Colorado GOP State Representative Threatens Civil War

MONDAY UPDATE: This morning, Rep. Matt Soper requested a moment of personal privilege in order to address his threats of civil war in response to the introduction late Friday of a state-level assault weapons ban bill.

We say “address” because despite Rep. Soper’s remarks containing the word “apologize” twice, there’s very little in the way of actual contrition in Soper’s words:


SOPER: Madam Speaker I’d like to ask for a moment of personal privilege.

SPEAKER: So granted, please proceed.

SOPER: Thank you Madam Speaker. Members, over this weekend, some of you may have noticed that I acted out of character on Twitter. And I feel that, uh, it’s my duty to explain why. Normally I’m known as being rational and reasonable, and choosing my words very carefully. They were chosen carefully. [Pols emphasis] But I do want to apologize for a couple of words that were in the Tweet, because I do think it’s important that um, we choose our words carefully.

I do want to say to this body, firearms and guns are very important to my constituents. [Pols emphasis] And that was all I heard about over the weekend. I had been at a chamber dinner on Friday night, and that’s all that was talked about. My reorg meeting on Saturday morning, that’s all that was talked about. Reading through the bill, there was a personal element also, with me, and uh I acted accordingly. That doesn’t change my position but I do want you to understand that firearms are something that are near and dear folks on the Western Slope and throughout rural Colorado. But I do want to, uh say to this chamber, I should have chosen a couple of different words that were included there. And my apologies.

Soper doesn’t specify which words he should have chosen differently, but we assume it’s either “invade,” “murder,” “tyrant,” or “civil war.” Or it could have been the Anglicized “defenceless,” or “disarms” plural instead of “disarm.” Maybe he’s just sorry that he posted a picture of himself firing a ridiculous old-timey musket. But what really matters is that guns are “very important” to the Western Slope. Despite the fact that Soper chose his words carefully, he’s sorry someone might be offended. Maybe.

It’s also important to note that Soper isn’t deleting the Tweet that he is sorry about.

All in all, this is truly one of the most disingenuous non-apologies ever entered into the public record.


On Friday, a much-anticipated assault weapons ban bill was introduced in the Colorado legislature, where it awaits a substantially less certain fate than a leadership-sanctioned package of gun safety bills introduced last month. A number of Democrats considered authoritative on the issue have come out in opposition to an outright assault weapons ban at the state level, including Sen. Tom Sullivan of Centennial, questioning its efficacy and enforceability in a state where local law enforcement widely disregards the magazine limit passed in 2013.

So, there’s that side of the argument. But then there’s the response from GOP Rep. Matt Soper, who for some reason we’ve never understood is considered one of the more agreeable members of the House GOP micro-minority:

The first thing to understand here is that the legislation as introduced does not ban possession of any currently legally-owned weapons, only new sales and transfers–which means no one is coming to take the Western Slope’s guns. Threats of civil war have become commonplace from characters like election conspiracy theorist and would-be hangman Joe Oltmann, but a sitting elected Republican representative threatening civil war takes the rhetoric to a disturbing new level. To any others on the Western Slope girding themselves for an invasion and murder spree across the Continental Divide, speaking on behalf of the entire Front Range: that’s not in our summer vacation plans.

As readers know, a significant number of state representatives and senators carry concealed weapons inside the Colorado State Capitol building every day, occasionally fumbling them and mislaying them in public places–though ordinary citizens with concealed-carry permits cannot, and the building is fully secured by the Colorado State Patrol. We don’t know for certain whether Rep. Soper comes to the building armed, but the sponsors of legislation Soper is threatening civil war over might consider it question worth asking.

It’s not “red flag” worthy. Don’t even take that bait. But it is outrageous, deeply irresponsible, and in the beforetimes when the political culture was not so numb to outrage it might even have ended a legislator’s political career. It’s been years since Colorado Republicans had the courage to excise Jim Welker from their midst, and unless House Minority Leader Mike Lynch says very clearly otherwise, Soper joins Reps. Scott “There Is No” Bottoms and Ken “Skin” DeGraaf as the public faces of a party in an increasingly menacing spiral toward the unthinkable.

If you’re a Republican and this is not how you want to be remembered, you’d better do something.

Farewell, Voyageur

Bob Ewegen, aka “Voyageur.”

As some readers of Colorado Pols are aware, we lost an active member of our community recently. Bob Ewegen, who commented here for years under the name “Voyageur,” died on February 21 at the age of 77 after a battle with cancer.

We waited to post something about Bob’s passing until his obituary was made public. Ewegen spent 36 years at The Denver Post; he retired in 2008 after serving as an assistant editorial page editor, where he wrote many of the newspaper’s political endorsements over the years.

Ewegen’s daughter, Misty Ewegen, asked that we pass along this note to the Colorado Pols community:

I am writing to inform your members of the death of my father, Bob Ewegen, who wrote here under the name Voyageur. He greatly enjoyed interacting with the members on this site and I have no way of interacting with them myself.

Thank you for the years of joy ColoradoPols brought my dad. He loved it here.

– Misty

You can read more about Bob at Caring Bridge or

Colorado Pols began as a blog and a source of political news, and while it continues to serve these roles, the website has also become a community for many individuals. The “Pols Meetups” that have been organized from time to time have always been put together entirely by our readers — Bob included — so that they could meet each other in person. This is not something that we would have forseen, but we are proud to have provided a place for these interactions to take place.

We will miss Bob’s thoughtful commentary and wit at Colorado Pols. May he rest in peace.