Don’t Do It, Lang!

Lang Sias (right) with GOP gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton in July 2018.

Colorado Republicans are having a difficult time finding candidates willing to run for statewide office in 2022. Since the GOP can’t manage to find anyone new who is willing to embrace the base and turn off everyone else, they are now looking at ways to recycle.

We’re just 14 months away from the 2022 election, and Republicans still need candidates for Attorney General, State Treasurer, and Secretary of State. As we’ve said many times in this space, the Republican bench in Colorado is a phone booth after two massive Democratic wave years that saw topline candidates pummeled by an average of 10 points. The candidates that Republicans DO have are a disaster, which certainly doesn’t help recruitment efforts; we wouldn’t want to share a ticket with Heidi Ganahl and Eli Bremer, either.

There haven’t been many rumors of potential candidates for Attorney General, where incumbent Democrat Phil Weiser has already raised more than $1.7 million for his re-election campaign. Republicans thought they had a candidate for Secretary of State (SOS) in former Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese, but she decided against a run in part because of the Tina Peters disaster. Term-limited Larimer County Clerk and Recorder Angela Meyers is now rumored to be looking at challenging incumbent Democrat Jena Griswold, assuming Peters doesn’t run herself.

That leaves us with the office of State Treasurer, where the GOP is apparently going back to a well that has already turned up dry multiple times. That’s right, friends: Lang Sias still isn’t done getting kicked in the face by Colorado voters.

If you’re not familiar with Sias, that’s probably because he hasn’t had much success in Colorado politics. The 2020 election marked the first time in a decade that Sias was not a candidate for public office.

Sias has sought elected office in Colorado five times for four different seats. His only November victory came in 2016, when he was an “incumbent” State Representative by virtue of having been selected by a Republican vacancy committee a year earlier. Since 2010, Sias has lost races for State Senate (twice), Congress, and Lieutenant Governor; he didn’t even make it past the Primary Election in half of those contests.

The beatings will continue until Lang Sias improves.

 

So why would Sias return to the political stage in 2022? Because he…can? Honestly, we have no idea.

There are certainly some Republican political consultants who are telling Sias that he can totally beat Democratic incumbent Dave Young, which might be music to Lang’s ambitious ears. Of course, some of those consultants are probably the same people who told Sias that he could be a State Senator or a Congressman (they are also the same people who will read this and tell Sias that “Democrats are afraid of you,” as though anyone would be scared of a candidate with his track record of failure).

By most accounts, Sias seems to be a likable guy with big dreams but limited charisma who is more interesting to Republican power brokers than he is to Colorado voters. If Sias runs for Treasurer and can avoid a Republican Primary, maybe he can change his political fortunes. History would suggest otherwise.

We’re all guilty, from time to time, of listening to what we WANT to hear at the expense of what we NEED to hear. In Sias’ case, what he needs to hear is this: Maybe you should try something else.

What Does Heidi Ganahl Stand For? Lorem Ipsum!

UPDATE: Ganahl’s campaign seems to have fixed its problem, though they could still use some words for their “Issues” section:

—–
It’s been two weeks since the launch of Republican University of Colorado Regent Heidi Ganahl’s campaign for governor, which both sides of the aisle agree with unusual frankness did not go well. After a decidedly uninspiring kickoff event literally held at a venue featured in a Cory Gardner campaign ad a year before, Ganahl’s mishandling of repeated questions about the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election sent her campaign into something of a messaging tailspin. Ganahl’s sparsely-attended “launch tour” in a used RV did little to improve the impression of a poorly executed rollout, and since that ended without fanfare Ganahl’s campaign has been mostly quiet.

In the meantime, voters in Colorado are left to gather what limited information they can about Ganahl via the campaign’s website. Ganahl’s site contains no mention of the word “Republican” but does briefly touch on Ganahl’s work at the University of Colorado to support “free speech” and “diversity,” without getting into the messy details about former CU visiting professor John Eastman’s freedom to plot coups–or “diversity” in this case pertaining strictly to CU’s “conservative affirmative action” policy.

As it turns out, there is a publicly viewable “Issues” page on Ganahl’s website! This is where voters would logically proceed to learn more about Ganahl’s actual agenda were she to become Colorado’s next governor. Unfortunately, as of this writing Ganahl’s “Issues” page isn’t much help either:

And no, it doesn’t make any sense in Latin either so don’t bother. “Lorem ipsum,” for those who don’t do design work, is filler text to stand in for the actual content of a web page or other document in the design process. In the context of Ganahl’s low-information high-slogan campaign launch, however, this obviously unfinished but very important component of Ganahl’s website being publicly visible is an incredibly delicious form of irony.

For candidates worth supporting, the “Issues” page is not an afterthought.

It comes first.

Everyone Should Know About the “Eastman Memo”

Former University of Colorado “Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy” John Eastman speaking in Washington D.C. January 6th, 2021.

Margaret Sullivan has an important column out today in The Washington Post about something that every American should be intimately familiar with: The “Eastman Memo.”

In a normal world, the “Eastman memo” would be infamous by now, the way “Access Hollywood” became the popular shorthand in 2016 for the damning recording of Donald Trump’s bragging about groping women.

But it’s a good bet that most people have never even heard of the Eastman memo.

That says something troubling about how blasé the mainstream press has become about the attempted coup in the aftermath of the 2020 election — and how easily a coup could succeed next time.

The memo, unearthed in Bob Woodward and Robert Costa’s new book, is a stunner. Written by Trump legal adviser John Eastman — a serious Establishment Type with Federalist Society cred and a law school deanship under his belt — it offered Mike Pence, then in his final days as vice president, a detailed plan to declare the 2020 election invalid and give the presidency to Trump.

In other words, how to run a coup in six easy steps. [Pols emphasis]

For you followers of Colorado politics, the name John Eastman should ring a few bells. Eastman is a former visiting professor at the University of Colorado whose tenure was rife with controversy. The University of Colorado cancelled his classes in January, citing low interest from students, and stripped Eastman of his public duties ahead of the end of his contract in May. Eastman is now preparing to sue CU for millions of dollars, alleging defamation and a violation of his First Amendment rights (because CU was not exactly proud of his efforts to formulate a coup at the highest levels of government).

“There are fantastic folks who come in [to the Benson Center]. Right now, it’s Dr. John Eastman, who’s riling some folks up.”

— Heidi Ganahl in December 2020

 

Eastman’s ties to CU include being embraced by to Republican gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl, who was a big supporter in her role as a CU Regent. Ganahl was heaping praise on Eastman as recently as December 2020.

Eastman was inserting himself into the 2020 election long before last November. This is the same guy who wrote an infamous (and incorrect) opinion piece last summer suggesting that Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris might be ineligible to serve as VP because her parents are brown immigrants.

As Sullivan writes in The Washington Post, the “Eastman Memo” has not received the type of media coverage that something this nefarious and important should deserve. Media outlets in Colorado have also avoided the story for some reason, but that could change as the 2022 election cycle heats up. Remember that Ganahl STILL HAS NOT PROVIDED AN ANSWER to multiple questions about whether she believes that the 2020 election was fraudulent; her persistent refusal to answer that question, coupled with her indisputable support of Eastman, should concern every voter in Colorado.

We’ll let Sullivan have the final word on why the “Eastman Memo” needs to be a household phrase: “Eastman’s coup hasn’t happened yet. But given the media’s shrug-off, maybe all we have to do is wait.”

Colorado’s Olympian Insurrectionist Cops A Plea

Klete Keller, wearing his Olympic gear inside the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, 2021.

The Denver Post’s Shelly Bradbury reports on the plea agreement accepted by a federal judge yesterday in the case of Klete Keller of Colorado Springs, an Olympic gold-medal swimmer facing multiple charges after helping storm the U.S. Capitol on January 6th for the purpose of disrupting the certification by Congress of Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential elections:

Keller was indicted in February on seven counts, including obstruction of an official proceeding, disorderly conduct and entering a restricted building, after investigators identified him in video footage of the gathering. The six additional counts against him were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

On Jan. 6, he wore a jacket with the Olympic patch on the sleeve, and at 6-foot-6-inches, stood a head and shoulder taller than many in the crowd, according to a criminal complaint filed against him. Keller stood with a crowd in the Rotunda and resisted law enforcement’s efforts to remove the crowd, according to the complaint.

In Keller’s statement of offense as part of the plea agreement by which he pled guilty to a single felony count of obstructing an official proceeding, as reported by the Colorado Sun’s Olivia Prentzel, Keller admits to fully understanding the purpose of his actions that day:

“At the time I entered the Capitol building, I knew that I did not have permission to enter the building, and I believed that I and others were trying to obstruct, influence and impede an official proceeding, that is, a proceeding before Congress,” Keller wrote in a statement of offense.

“At the time I acted to affect the government by stopping or delaying the Congressional proceeding, and, in fact did, so,” Keller wrote. “I accomplished this by intimidating or coercing government personnel who were participating in or supporting the Congressional proceeding.”

As CNN’s Marshall Cohen reports, Keller is likely going to prison–but he isn’t expected to face the maximum 20 years in prison he could for the charge he pleaded guilty to. The reason for that appears to be some genuine contrition on Keller’s part, and an agreement to cooperate with federal prosecutors on future cases:

The deal with Keller suggests prosecutors might try to use him as a star witness at upcoming trials, banking on his notoriety as a decorated athlete who won gold medals in swimming at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2004 Athens Olympics…

Until now, the only rioters who have struck cooperation deals were members of extremist groups who could testify against their fellow members… [Pols emphasis]

“He’s obviously trying to make amends for the terrible decision he made on January 6,” Keller’s lawyer Edward MacMahon told the judge. “He’s embarrassed by what he did that day and wants to make amends to the court and to the American people.” [Pols emphasis]

Keller was reportedly embarrassed enough–or at least worried enough about being recognized by the investigation–that he threw away the official U.S. Olympic Team jacket he wore for the insurrection. Nonetheless, Keller’s actions disgraced not just himself, but the U.S. Olympic Team and the large base of support for Olympic athletes across America. For the crime of operationalizing the “Big Lie” with violence, Keller now faces two years in federal prison and the lifetime stigma of a felony conviction. Keller lost his job in real estate in Colorado Springs, and his actions were condemned by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

If Keller’s mission now is to “make amends” to the American people for his actions on January 6th, in addition to whatever testimony he might offer to assist in other cases, he needs to speak out strongly against the falsehoods that motivated his actions. Klete Keller didn’t storm the Capitol on his own initiative. He was sent there by a defeated so-to-be ex-President, desperately trying to hold on to power via a planned coup Keller was merely a foot soldier in the service of. Trump loyalist Republican candidates in Colorado from fellow Olympian Eli Bremer to Lauren Boebert have a whole new slate of questions to dodge about Klete Keller.

Klete Keller’s redemption, if it ever comes, will start at the top and work its way down to Keller’s bit part.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (Sept. 29)

Today is “National Coffee Day,” which means you might be able to score some free coffee from your favorite retailers. Let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

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

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

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

 

We haz a map!

After months and months of meetings and discussions, Colorado’s Independent Congressional Redistricting Committee approved a new Congressional map late Tuesday night. Now we just need the State Supreme Court to approve the new boundaries…

As Colorado Public Radio reports:

Colorado’s Independent Redistricting Commission agreed on a congressional map at its final meeting Tuesday, just minutes before a midnight deadline. It will now go to the Colorado Supreme Court for approval.

The new map is largely modeled after Colorado’s current congressional boundaries, while making room for the state’s new 8th congressional district which will sit along the I-25 corridor north of Denver.

Politically, the map creates four Democratic seats, three Republican ones and a swing district — the new eighth — that leans slightly to the left. The boundaries give all of Colorado’s current members of Congress a strong chance of holding on to their seats.
This final map was a Democratic amendment to a plan drawn by nonpartisan staff based on public feedback. In the end, it was supported by eleven of the panel’s twelve commissioners, with just Democrat Simon Tafoya voting against it.

You can view the approved map below. Visit the Colorado Redistricting website for more details, or check out reporting from Alex Burness in The Denver Post.

The map!

 

 

Business groups and Republican leaders are working to secure GOP votes in the House of Representatives for an infrastructure vote scheduled to take place on Thursday. From The New York Times:

Although the measure is the product of a compromise among moderates in both parties, House Republican leaders are leaning on their members to reject the $1 trillion infrastructure bill by disparaging its contents and arguing that it will only pave the way for Democrats to push through their far larger climate change and social policy bill.

Their opposition has ratcheted up pressure on Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has the more progressive members of her Democratic caucus threatening to withhold their support for the infrastructure package until Congress acts on that broader bill. If Republicans unite in opposition, Ms. Pelosi can afford to lose as few as three Democrats on the bill.

But some Republican senators who helped write the bill, along with influential business groups who support it — including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable — have started a countereffort to try to persuade House Republicans to back the legislation.

Across the aisle, Democrats are still working to secure support for President Biden’s economic agenda. From a separate New York Times story:

President Biden and his aides mounted an all-out effort on Wednesday to salvage Mr. Biden’s economic agenda in Congress, attempting to forge even the beginnings of a compromise between moderates and progressives on a pair of bills that would spend trillions to rebuild infrastructure, expand access to education, fight climate change and more.

Mr. Biden canceled a scheduled trip to Chicago, where he was planning to promote Covid-19 vaccinations, in order to continue talking with lawmakers during a critical week of deadlines in the House. One crucial holdout vote in the Senate, Kyrsten Sinema, a centrist from Arizona, was set to visit the White House on Wednesday morning, a person familiar with the meeting said.

Ms. Sinema was one of the Democratic champions of a bipartisan bill, brokered by Mr. Biden, to spend more than $1 trillion over the next several years on physical infrastructure like water pipes, roads, bridges, electric vehicle charging stations and broadband internet. That bill passed the Senate this summer. It is set for a vote this week in the House. But progressive Democrats have threatened to block it unless it is coupled with a more expansive bill that contains much of the rest of Mr. Biden’s domestic agenda, like universal prekindergarten and free community college, a host of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and tax breaks for workers and families that are meant to fight poverty and boost labor force participation.

New polling from Colorado shows that voters in our state remain overwhelmingly supportive of President Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan. Biden’s plan has the support of 80% of Democrats and 60% of Unaffiliated voters; 27% of Republican voters agree with the proposal.

 

Colorado will use $500 million in federal COVID relief funding to boost child care resources throughout the state. Money from the American Rescue Plan amounts to more than double what Colorado’s Office of Early Childhood is normally able to spend in a given year.

 

 Republicans such as Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert aren’t even pretending to couch their beliefs about “replacement theory” in a less-overtly racist tone.

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

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Be Disgusted By “Replacement Theory,” But Don’t Be Surprised

Rep. Lauren Q*Bert Boebert (R-ifle).

Oliver Willis at the American Independent reports on a video posted yesterday by freshman GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert, in which Boebert clumsily (this being Boebert’s only speed without a script) embraces a well-known racist trope known as the “Great Replacement Theory”–the theory that white people are being deliberately replaced by nonwhite immigrants in the United States and other Western countries who are according to the theory more obedient to authority:

Republican members of Congress are doubling down on their support for the racist conspiracy theory that nonwhite immigrants are being brought into the United States systematically to take the place of white people, a claim often referred to as “the great replacement theory.”

In a video posted to her Facebook page on Monday, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) promoted the theory during a hearing of the House Budget Committee as it debated the 2022 budget bill.

Here are Boebert’s verbatim words from the video above:

BOEBERT: To top it off, they want to grant amnesty and a path to citizenship to eight million illegal aliens. Yes, there is definitely a replacement theory that’s going on right now. [Pols emphasis] We are killing American jobs and bringing in illegal aliens from all over the world to replace them if Americans will not comply with the tyrannical orders that are coming down from the White House.

We like you reflexively jerked to correct Boebert’s bumbled delivery, since if the “theory” is “going on right now” it’s no longer a theory, there we said it–but to stay on topic, the “Great Replacement Theory” is one of the principal ideological drivers of the modern-day global white nationalist movement. It’s been cited as justification by racially motivated mass shooters from El Paso to Christchurch, New Zealand, and “you will not replace us” was the rallying cry at the infamous “tiki torch march” during the Unite The Right white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 that ended in deadly violence.

Even before the era of Donald Trump turned racial animus into the overt campaign tool it is today, Coloradans have had our brushes with proponents of this racist theory as it gained adherents over the past decade. The Western Conservative Summit brought far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders to their annual conference way back in 2012 with his controversial message of not putting up with “multiculturalism,” “stop[ping] immigration from Islamic countries,” and banning the construction of new mosques.

Local Republicans lapped the hate up.

As for Lauren Boebert, her blundering delivery is a clue that she’s once again playing catch-up to bigger-name Republican luminaries including Tucker Carlson and Matt Gaetz, who in the last few days have test-marketed the legitimization of what was not so long  an instantly self-discrediting conspiracy theory. The Anti-Defamation League responded with a call for Carlson to resign.

In Colorado, powerful Republicans like Larry Mizel, who founded the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem, faced criticism during the Trump years for their support of politicians who frequently made a mockery of their professed values. As the “MAGA” wing of the Republican Party continues its descent into unapologetic racism, everyone who aided and abetted their rise to prominence needs to answer for what is happening now.

If there is no one willing to say otherwise, Lauren Boebert is the Republican Party.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (Sept. 28)

Happy “World Rabies Day.” Please don’t celebrate by getting rabies. 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 

 

Senate Republicans, as promised, blocked efforts to avoid a government shutdown on Monday. Today, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen issued a dire warning:

Yellen on Tuesday told Congress that the U.S. will run out of flexibility to avoid breaching the debt limit on Oct. 18, setting a new deadline for lawmakers to avoid a catastrophic default on its payment obligations…

…Yellen’s letter came less than 24 hours after Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would suspend the debt ceiling and prevent a government shutdown on Friday. Senate Republicans have said they would support a stand-alone measure to prevent the shutdown but they largely have opposed efforts by Democrats to suspend the debt ceiling.

The U.S. government runs a large budget deficit, spending far more than it brings in through tax revenue. To address this imbalance, the government borrows money by issuing debt. But it can only issue debt up to a limit set by Congress. That limit is repeatedly raised or suspended, and lawmakers are now up against another cap.

House Democrats huddle over simmering tensions about budget and agenda.

If Congress doesn’t raise the limit, the Treasury Department will not have the capability to pay all of its bills. Yellen’s new letter lays out that this crunch will really tighten after Oct. 18. She called on Congress to act as swiftly as possible, an overture she has tried for weeks without much success.

Greg Sargent of The Washington Post recommends that Democrats respond to Republican obstruction in a manner that could stop some of this nonsense:

Democrats appear likely to opt for Plan B, which is to raise the debt limit in the reconciliation process. But if so, they have another option: They can try to use reconciliation to effectively nullify the debt limit, which if it works would end this nonsense for good.

Can President Biden get a deal done to avoid a government shutdown. As Chris Cillizza of CNN writes, Biden has spent his entire life preparing for this moment.

Colorado Newsline has more on this story with a local perspective.

 

Maps, maps, maps!

Sandra Fish and Thy Vo of The Colorado Sun explain — as much as anyone can — how Colorado’s redistricting process is nearing its conclusion:

Eight of the 12 members of Colorado’s Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission must agree on a map by the end of Tuesday to prevent a staff-drawn proposal from being sent to the state Supreme Court for final approval.

There are about 30 different maps commissioners can consider at a 2 p.m. meeting Monday or another meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

By this time tomorrow, we might know what Congressional map we are going to be arguing about. The final step could still involve a decision by the State Supreme Court.

The process for approving new legislative maps, meanwhile, seems likely to go smoother:

The latest draft state House and Senate maps released last week appear to each have the support of at least eight members of the Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission.

While commissioners have discussed changes they’d like to see to the maps, an informal straw poll last week indicated a supermajority of commissioners would, if the latest drafts were the final maps for consideration, vote for the proposals.

In related news, Evan Wyloge of the publication formerly known as The Colorado Statesman reports on new interactions related to a redistricting lobbying complaint against several Republican operatives, including Alan Philp, Frank McNulty, and Greg Brophy.

 

Colorado Republicans are not shy about offering their opinion that GOP gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl is going to get positively pummeled by incumbent Democrat Jared Polis in 2022. 

 

► David Leonhardt of The New York Times suggests a new moniker for the pandemic in the United States:

Via The New York Times (9/27/21)

 

New data from Gallup backs up this assertion. Roughly 92% of Democrats say that they have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, compared to 56% of Republicans.

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

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Another Day, Another Nationwide Boebert Dunkfest

And with that, as Huffington Post’s Josephine Harvey reports, Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert was trending once again:

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) got shot down by critics on Monday after tweeting a false analogy comparing the coronavirus to a headache.

“I woke up with a headache this morning. I took some Tylenol. Now if everyone else could take some Tylenol too so mine would start working, that would be great,” she wrote.

The conspiracy-endorsing Republican, who routinely fires off inflammatory tweets with apparently little regard for how much sense they make, was ostensibly trying to swipe at the push to inoculate more people in order to rein in the outbreaks of COVID-19 being driven by the delta variant and unvaccinated people…

As the New York Daily News’ Brian Niemietz explains and the whole world was able to deduce in a matter of seconds, that’s just stupid on so many levels:

Boebert appeared to suggest that people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 shouldn’t worry about others who opt against receiving inoculations. Her posting included a clip of the 1999 film “Office Space,” where a character in a managerial position gives his subordinates instructions in a similar tone.

It was quickly pointed out to the 34-year-old politician — who according to fact-checking site Snopes.com got her GED shortly before taking office in 2020 — that unlike viruses, headaches aren’t wildly contagious and don’t mutate into deadly variants. [Pols emphasis] A headache also can’t be passed on to children or other vulnerable people who are ineligible for vaccinations.

We’ve discussed a number of times the rules we try to follow in discerning what among Boebert’s daily flood of low-information vitriol is worth covering in this space. Rather than get caught up in a daily cycle of outrage that Boebert only processes as attention, we look for patterns and trends both in Beobert’s content and the public reaction to it.

What we see increasingly in Boebert’s desperate daily attempts to stay in the spotlight is a transition: from Boebert building support with her daily outrages to Boebert simply getting dunked on en masse day after day. Although Boebert still enjoys the dopamine hit from thousands of likes and Retweets from her faithful supporters, the response from anyone other than her adoring fan base is overwhelmingly disdainful. It stands out this week even more, with Congress debating the heart of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda and a government shutdown looming, that Boebert is off doing the only thing she knows how to do.

Embarrass herself and her fellow Republicans on Twitter.

Republicans in CD-3 still in possession of shame should ask themselves how much they can tolerate.

Im(p)eachment Inanity

Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) made national headlines over the weekend thanks to the absence of one little ‘p’ from a press release announcing that she had filed im(p)eachment paperwork against both President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Boebert wants Biden and Harris to be im(p)eached on account of “colluding with the Taliban” and related complaints connected to the U.S. withdrawal of military forces from Afghanistan.

Lost in the unintentional hilarity of Boebert’s Friday announcement was the sheer ridiculousness of calling for the im(p)eachment of Biden and Harris. Boebert officially introduced her im(p)eachment resolution on September 24, 2021, making her the fourth Republican House Member to take this action in the 9+ months since Biden moved into the White House (and the third in the month of September). By our count, Republicans in the House of Representatives have formally called for the im(p)eachment of Biden and/or Harris at least 7 times in 2021…though Boebert appears to be the first and only Congressperson to have called for Biden’s “imeachment.”

On January 21, 2021, just days after Biden and Harris took office, Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia filed a resolution to im(p)each Biden for “abuse of power by enabling bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors.” MTG has since filed three additional resolutions seeking to im(p)each Biden, all of them coming on August 23, 2021 (1, 2, and 3).

Republican Rep. Randy Weber of Texas filed his Biden im(p)eachment resolution — for “high crimes and misdemeanors” on September 10, 2021. Rep. Bob Gibbs of Ohio filed a resolution on September 21, 2021 calling for the im(p)eachment of Biden for the nebulous “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Not to be outdone, Republican Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina formally called for the im(p)eachment of Secretary of State Antony Blinken on August 27 for (again) “high crimes and misdemeanors.” On August 10, 2021, Republican Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona filed a resolution to im(p)each Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas on account of…well, you know the drill by now.

Anyway, these are all very serious people doing very critical and important things in Congress.

GOP Pundits To Heidi Ganahl: Get Ready To Lose

It seemed like a great idea in the brainstorm.

Tomorrow will mark two weeks since Republican University of Colorado Regent Heidi Ganahl launched her campaign for governor, and the bipartisan consensus view with the benefit of that much hindsight is that Ganahl’s campaign kickoff was a messaging failure–squandering months of overwrought preparation, including a contrived “podcast tour” to build Ganahl’s poor name ID while maintaining the pretense of not being a candidate.

The worst of Ganahl’s campaign rollout, which is no small statement from a tour inviting the public to “meat Heidi” at pitifully underattended campaign stops across the state in the campaigns decidedly not-late-model RV, came when Ganahl repeatedly declined to answer what she characterized as “divisive questions” about the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential elections. Ganahl’s lack of preparation for this essential question for any candidate for elected office in 2021 damagingly shaped the narrative of her campaign launch–particularly given Ganahl’s enthusiastic support as CU Regent for the Benson Center’s visiting conservative professor John Eastman, who authored Donald Trump’s last-ditch coup plan to be carried out on January 6th.

In the days since Ganahl’s marred campaign launch, a faction of local conservative influentials–obviously, not the Lauren Boebert/Tina Peters faction–have come out strongly for Republicans in general and Heidi Ganahl in particular to concede that Joe Biden won the 2020 elections, recognizing the centrality of this issue to any successful statewide run for office in Colorado. The day after Ganahl’s faceplant on the question, former Republican Party chairman Dick Wadhams wrote this in a Denver Post column:

Unfortunately, a large number of Republican activists across the state are more interested in refighting the 2020 presidential election they claim was stolen. They refuse to accept the fact former President Donald Trump lost not because of election fraud but because of his own actions and words that alienated many of the voters who voted for him in 2016.

A few days later, more or less outright pleading that Ganahl take this issue off the table was loud and clear from two more prominent local conservative columnists:

Ari Armstrong, writing at Colorado Drudge on September 21:

Heidi Ganahl is running for governor. Her campaign let slip the move on September 10, and she officially announced a few days later. I figure if she really wanted my advice she could find my number. But I’m going to offer it anyway. This doubles as general advice for the Republican Party in Colorado.

My basic advice to Ganahl is run like you’re going to lose. Because you are probably going to lose… [Pols emphasis]

I…advise that Ganahl stay as far away as humanly possible from Lauren Boebert and her sycophants. Boebert is popular in her region but toxic statewide. Ganahl’s job is to try to convince suburban centrist voters that the Republican Party is not absolutely bat-guano crazy, admittedly a tough assignment given all the Republican shenanigans this year regarding the presidential election (paging Tina Peters), [Pols emphasis] the pandemic and vaccines, and conspiracy lunacy of various flavors.

While acknowledging Ganahl’s weaknesses, Armstrong attributes Ganahl’s lack of competitiveness more to Gov. Jared Polis’ popularity–and downplays Ganahl’s ties to Eastman as “guilt by association.” But Krista Kafer at the Denver Post got less apologetically to the point in her own “get ready to lose” column on September 23:

Since a number of Republicans continue to believe the election was stolen despite the paucity of evidence, consultants are likely telling GOP candidates to avoid the issue. How many Republicans still dispute the election results? How many of them would abandon a statewide GOP candidate for saying the election wasn’t stolen? Hard to say but no GOP candidate in a blue state wants to lose a bloc of Republican voters.

I would argue that Ganahl must be willing to risk losing these Republicans in order to win. There was no evidence of massive fraud during the last election. Reporters at center-right news agencies, GOP secretaries of state, the courts, and law enforcement had every reason to find, expose, and report malfeasance if it existed and they didn’t…

Fortune doesn’t always favor the brave. Even so, we must be fearless in the defense of the truth. It is worth the risk.

This would have been good advice to give Ganahl before she fumbled the question repeatedly on the first day of her campaign launch, but today all this after-the-fact advice manages is to remind everyone that Ganahl has already messed this up. And that’s not all: despite these conservative opinionmakers who want to project a reasonable face to a general election audience, the fact remains that a majority of Republican voters believe the “Big Lie.” That’s why Ganahl defending the legitimacy of the 2020 elections while there is any risk of a primary on her right flank is so risky.

Unless Ganahl believes the “Big Lie” too! In that case, this advice from the Colorado Republican pundit class is just a smokescreen. The only way we’ll ever know for sure is for Heidi Ganahl to set the record straight herself.

When that happens, she’s going to pay a price. Because she could have been honest the first time.

Get More Smarter on Monday (Sept. 27)

The Denver Broncos have started the season 3-0 for the first time since 2016. We won’t remind you how that season ended. 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 

 

A government shutdown in the middle of a pandemic that already has the nation’s economy on thin ice? That seems like a horrible idea, but Senate Republicans are hell bent on making it happen. From The Washington Post:

Senate Republicans on Monday prepared to block a bill that would fund the government, provide billions of dollars in hurricane relief and stave off a default in U.S. debts, part of the party’s renewed campaign to undermine President Biden’s broader economic agenda. [Pols emphasis]

The GOP’s expected opposition is sure to deal a death blow to the measure, which had passed the House last week, and threatens to add to the pressure on Democrats to devise their own path forward ahead of a series of urgent fiscal deadlines. A failure to address the issues could cause severe financial calamity, the White House has warned, potentially plunging the United States into another recession.

Ahead of the planned Monday vote, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) staked his party’s position — that Republicans are not willing to vote for any measure that raises or suspends the debt ceiling, even if they have no intentions of shutting down the government in the process. GOP lawmakers feel that raising the borrowing limit, which allows the country to pay its bills, would enable Biden and his Democratic allies to pursue trillions in additional spending and other policy changes they do not support.

The Republican Party platform in 2020 was basically just “do whatever Donald Trump wants.” In 2022, the platform appears to be, “oppose everything.”

 

Maps, maps, maps!

Colorado’s Independent Redistricting Commissions COULD finalize at least one proposed map today. Fox 31 Denver notes some late comments considered by commissioners on Friday, and Megan Verlee of Colorado Public Radio ponders the next steps in the process. John Aguilar of The Denver Post, meanwhile, focuses in on what the new CO-08 might look like when the lines are drawn in pen.

 

On Sunday, The Washington Post published an in-depth story on Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters and her election-denying law breaking. Emma Brown’s story begins with a strange office requirement from Peters last spring:

In April, employees in the office that runs elections in western Colorado’s Mesa County received an unusual calendar invitation for an after-hours work event, a gathering at a hotel in Grand Junction. “Expectations are that all will be at the Doubletree by 5:30,” said the invite sent by a deputy to Tina Peters, the county’s chief elections official.

Speaking at the DoubleTree was Douglas Frank, a physics teacher and scientist who was rapidly becoming famous among election deniers for claiming to have discovered secret algorithms used to rig the 2020 contest against Donald Trump. Frank led the crowd in a rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and spent the next 90 minutes alleging an elaborate conspiracy involving inflated voter rolls, fraudulent ballots and a “sixth-order polynomial,” video of the event shows. He was working for MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell, he said, and their efforts could overturn President Biden’s victory.

Being told to sit through a presentation of wild, debunked claims was “a huge slap in the face,” one Mesa County elections-division employee said of the previously unreported episode. “We put so much time and effort into making sure that everything’s done accurately,” the employee told The Washington Post, speaking on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retaliation. Peters, the elected county clerk, had expressed sympathy for such theories in the past, the employee said.

And ICYMI, former Secretary of State Scott Gessler is representing Peters in court…but we don’t yet know who is paying for his services. Charles Ashby of The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel has more on the intersection of Peters and QAnon.

 

The recently-concluded Arizona election audit confirmed what all rational people already knew: Joe Biden won the 2020 election for President. But now, a handful of nutty lawmakers from around the country are calling for NEW audits of the 2020 election in every state.

Colorado’s, uh, contributions to this letter include State Reps. Ron Hanks, Dave Williams, and Stephanie Luck.

 

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The GMS Podcast: Operation Naptime/ Tina Peters Returns

This week on Episode #87 of The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii break down the worst Colorado campaign kickoff this century (take a bow, Heidi Ganahl!) Elsewhere, Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters returns to Colorado and immediately starts begging for money in order to help pay off what are sure to be MASSIVE legal bills related to breaking into her own office computers in order to prove voter fraud that doesn’t exist.

Further down the metaphorical road, we explain how the Colorado Republican Party found itself in a place in which everybody thinks everybody else is always out to get them. As if things weren’t bad enough for the GOP, new polling shows that they are absolutely on the wrong side of the bus when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines and mask mandates.

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

Monday Open Thread

“Come, come, my conservative friend, wipe the dew off your spectacles, and see that the world is moving.”

–Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Meritless Defense: “Honey Badger” Can’t Save Tina Peters

Heidi Ganahl and Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters.

We’ve been holding our peace over the past few days as the “defense” of embattled Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters against allegations that she allowed unauthorized access and the subsequent public leaking of proprietary election system data has taken shape. Represented by former Secretary of State and discredited election conspiracy theorist in his own right Scott “Honey Badger” Gessler, Peters is arguing she should not be stripped of her election supervisory duties owing to Peters’ supposedly good intentions. The Denver Post’s Saja Hindi reports:

Last week, Peters — who had been out of the state for more than a month and has become popular among 2020 election conspiracy theorists — responded to the lawsuit by providing to commissioners and the court a report that alleges wrongdoing by the secretary of state’s office and says that a state upgrade wiped out election records that elections officials are required to keep…

Peters’ attorney, former Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler, acknowledged in a Sept. 17 legal filing that there was an “unauthorized release of information on one or more publicly available web sites,” [Pols emphasis] but said the actions by Griswold and the county commissioners to remove Peters and Knisley were “wholly disproportionate and directly violate Colorado law.”

Gessler also wrote that Peters “suspected that the Secretary’s trusted build process (annual system update) wiped out election records that she is required to preserve under Colorado law.” So Peters had a consultant copy the hard drive of the county’s Dominion Voting Systems equipment and commissioned the report “which appears to validate (Peters’) suspicions,” Gessler wrote.

Scott Gessler.

In her response filing yesterday, Secretary of State Jena Griswold effectively shredded these convoluted misinformed arguments, explaining how they betray basically total ignorance of how these systems work. CBS4’s Jennifer McRae:

The brief also states that “there is nothing further from the truth” in regards to Peters’ false claims about the destruction of election records during the routine trusted build. Election records are required to be maintained by county clerks for up to 25 months.

Griswold cited the Colorado Election Code and referenced that election records “include items such as: accounting forms, certificates of registration, pollbooks, certificates of election, signature cards, all affidavits, voter applications, other voter lists and records, mail ballot return envelopes, voted ballots, unused ballots, spoiled ballots, and replacement ballots. None of these items were named in the “report” produced by Peters.”

“The Secretary would have no objection to a county backing up its log files for its voting systems—in fact, Larimer County requested to backup their log files prior to a trusted build, and the Department of State helped Larimer County perform such a backup,” the brief states. “Instead, Peters made copies of the entire hard drive, exposing the security of the entire election system when those copies were posted on the Internet.” [Pols emphasis]

Again, the idea that the proper procedure for Clerk Peters to follow if she suspected some kind of illegal act was to commit another crime is so ridiculous it’s embarrassing to anyone making the argument. Helping uncredentialed unqualified conspiracy theorists steal secure data and then going on the lam for a month instead of cooperating with the investigation is not how legitimate whistleblowers call out problems. The so-called “forensic examination” conducted on Peters’ behalf doesn’t appear to take into account what data is legally required to be preserved, and they don’t know enough about the data they were improperly allowed to access to assess the significance (if any) of files being updated or deleted in a system update. And at no point are they able to demonstrate even hypothetically how any of this adds up to changing the results of an election.

In short, Peters’ response is an epic pile of hopelessly uninformed nonsense–just like Gessler’s garbage legal brief for Donald Trump suggesting the presidential election in Nevada was stolen, and just like Gessler’s fruitless failed quest to uncover “tens of thousands of illegal voters” that landed his political career on the rocks back in 2014. Even the all-GOP Mesa County commissioners acknowledged that the Secretary of State has the power to relieve Clerk Peters of her election responsibilities. It’s a completely meritless defense, and we’re awaiting only the judge’s ruling saying so.

And then at some point after that, hopefully soon, criminal charges.

Boebert Introduces Articles Of “Imeachment” Against Joe Biden

UPDATE 12:10PM: Fun while it lasted, the “imeachment” crisis has mercifully been ended.

UPDATE 12:05PM: It’s possible that Rep. Lauren Boebert’s staff is arguing right now over whether to delete and “look weak” or…you know, not look like complete idiots. That’s the only explanation we can come up with for why this painfully glaring typo is still live on Boebert’s website.

UPDATE 11:30AM: It’s in the permanent record now, folks. Quality control is dead.

UPDATE 11:25AM: Seriously, is this staff sabotage?

UPDATE 11:20AM: Still up.

UPDATE 11:15AM: Still up.

UPDATE 11:09AM: It’s still up.

—–

As of 11:00am, it’s been up for some time now. No one has told her.

Or maybe “imeachment” is a thing, like “covfefe” or “morans!”

One thing we can say for sure is the solemnity of this moment is…less than exactly.

Get More Smarter on Friday (Sept. 24)

The Denver Broncos could be [squints] 3-0 after this weekend. Let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

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

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

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

 

The Big Lie is getting increasingly difficult to sustain. The shady Arizona election audit that was supposed to show that Donald Trump actually received more votes than Joe Biden in the 2020 election turned out to be a complete bust.

Trump, of course, is blaming the media somehow:

“Huge findings in Arizona! However, the Fake News Media is already trying to ‘call it’ again for Biden before actually looking at the facts—just like they did in November!” Trump said, invoking once again his baseless claim that the 2020 election had been stolen from him.

As a reminder, the Arizona audit was initiated by  the Republican-controlled State Senate and overseen by a Florida company called “Cyber Ninjas” with longstanding ties to proponents of The Big Lie. This audit couldn’t have been more friendly toward Trump if it had allowed Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner to count the votes personally.

 

Maps, maps, maps!

Colorado’s Independent Redistricting Commissions released new drafts of legislative and congressional maps on Thursday. As Alex Burness reports for The Denver Post:

The independent panel tasked with redrawing Colorado’s new congressional lines has until Tuesday to make up its mind. And the panel doing the same for state House and Senate districts isn’t far behind, with an Oct. 11 deadline looming.

Both commissions released new proposals Thursday. The congressional map, which includes the new 8th District in the suburbs north of Denver, would give Democrats an edge of at least seven points in four districts, according to aggregated results from recent elections. Republicans would control three districts, and the 8th District would essentially be a tossup — though elections since 2016 suggest a 1.3% advantage for Democrats.

Visit the Colorado Redistricting website to get a look at all the map proposals.

 

Frontline workers, people over the age of 65, and anyone with underlying health conditions who have already received the Pfizer vaccines are being encouraged to get a third booster shot.

 

A third, and perhaps final, version of a Congressional redistricting map is expected to be introduced today by nonpartisan staff of the Colorado Independent Redistricting Commission. A new draft version of a legislative redistricting map is also supposed to arrive today. As The Associated Press reports:

Colorado’s independent congressional redistricting commission has entered the final stretch in fashioning a map for the next decade that incorporates a new eighth district and tries to keep intact communities of interest, such as Hispanic and Latino voters and urban and rural economic interests. That and avoiding splitting cities and counties into separate districts headlined commission discussions Wednesday…

…Commissioners have a Sept. 28 deadline to approve a map and must submit it to the state Supreme Court by Oct. 1.

Final approval by the 12-member commission requires at least eight “yes” votes, including two unaffiliated commissioners. If the commission fails to submit a final map next week, a staff map must be submitted, without amendments, for judicial review. The court must approve a congressional redistricting map by Dec. 15, 2021.

 

Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert continues to make national news for all the wrong reasons. We wrote earlier this week about ongoing questions about her campaign finance practices. The Washington Post finally figured out a cryptic part of her most recent filing correction:

A report her campaign submitted to the FEC on Tuesday specified that Boebert had made those four payments — two each of $2,000 and two each of $1,325 — to John Pacheco, and described them as rent and utilities “billed to [the] campaign via Venmo in error.” The report also noted that Boebert had reimbursed her campaign for those expenses, and that those reimbursements would be reported in the next FEC filing period.

In the report, Boebert’s campaign listed Pacheco’s address as 120 E. 3rd St. in Rifle, Colo. — the same address as Shooters Grill, a restaurant Boebert and her husband own, as well as a former marijuana dispensary next door that was converted into Boebert’s campaign office. However, no public records show Pacheco affiliated with that address. A deed shows Pacheco as the owner of a two-bedroom townhouse on Capitol Hill, and interior pictures from a Zillow listing for that townhouse show elements that match the background from recent interviews Boebert has given from home.

Reached by phone Thursday, Pacheco confirmed Boebert was his tenant in Washington but said he had “no idea” whether her rent money had been paid through her campaign or about anything regarding the amended FEC reports.

Who hasn’t at one time or another accidentally listed their Washington D.C. landlord as living at their Rifle, Colorado restaurant? Amirite?

There’s more on the story from 9News, CBS4 Denver, and The Pueblo Chieftain.

 

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Oh Noes Conspiracy Theorists! Arizona “Audit” Goes Bust

Rep. Ron Hanks (R) in Phoenix observing the Arizona election “audit.”

After months of speculation, hype, and repeated false-start announcements of an impending bombshell that never materialized, ABC 15 News in Arizona reports on the end of that state’s ridiculous second-guessing by Republicans who refused to lose graciously, a process they misleadingly called an “audit” of the 2020 presidential elections:

Nearly six months after it started, and at a cost of $5.7 million, the findings of a forensic audit of the 2020 Maricopa County presidential election will be released Friday…

The draft of the forensic audit’s hand count totals of paper ballots was not substantially different than Maricopa County’s official numbers.

Deep breath everybody, this is the last bit of suspense you get:

In both counts, Biden wins. [Pols emphasis]

The report addresses other concerns about whether voters may have voted twice or if people were not using their current address to vote. It also makes suggestions on how to make improvements to Arizona’s election system. The report found no evidence of some of the claims, like bamboo paper ballots coming from China.

Ex-President Donald Trump fired off a statement last night, apparently not yet aware that the audit had failed to uncover the evidence of election fraud he was counting on:

As of this morning, this statement no longer appears on Trump’s website.

The ignominious end of Arizona’s so-called “audit” of the election results may or may not put a halt to similar efforts getting underway in other states. Colorado’s creepy freshman conspiracy theorist Rep. Ron Hanks, who upon his return from touring the Arizona audit said it is a process we should “clone and take to separate different states and do the same thing,” claimed he had already seen enough evidence from the audit over the summer to conclude the election was stolen. We assume in hindsight this was based on massive amounts of misinformation that “leaked” from the ongoing audit, like the false claim of 74,000 mail-in ballots “that were never sent in” promoted by Rep. Lauren Boebert.

The results of this “audit” come as no surprise to the majority of Americans who still trust our democratic process, and it’s a devastating blow to whatever credibility the 2020 election deniers had left. What are they going to say now? Don’t get us wrong–you can be certain they’re going to say something. There’s too much invested in the doubt sown with the Republican base in American elections for Trump to simply walk away from the “Big Lie.”

But if this doesn’t chip away at even faithful Republicans who believe the “Big Lie,” maybe nothing can.

Did You Meet FreedomWorks’ Traveling Insurrectionist?

As Politico reports, an employee–scratch that, now ex-employee–of the well-known conservative astroturf organizing group FreedomWorks, Brandon Prenzlin, recently joined the 650-odd insurrectionists facing charges over the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th supporting efforts to overturn the 2020 elections:

An FBI investigation that included an airport stakeout led to the arrest Friday of a former grassroots organizer for the conservative group FreedomWorks for allegedly taking part in the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6 as electoral votes were being tallied…

FreedomWorks highlighted a series of election fraud claims before and after the vote last November, stoking the same anger that brought many to the Capitol to insist — incorrectly — that former President Donald Trump had won reelection.

However, after the Jan. 6 riot, the advocacy group issued a statement saying violence had undercut “the very foundations of what our founding fathers built.”

Because Mr. Prenzlin was only inside the U.S. Capitol for a few minutes, he appears to have been harder to track down than the many hundreds of other insurrectionists who were picked up in the immediate aftermath. The complaint against Prenzlin filed in D.C. federal court details how Prenzlin was identified in part by blue lace-up shoes he wore in the Capitol on January 6th and was later photographed wearing at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver on June 19th of this year. Those same shoes gave Prenzlin away to federal agents tailing him at Washington National Airport the next day.

We’re inclined to think that if WCS attendees had known the FreedomWorks table was manned by a real-life January 6th insurrectionist, he would have been a lot more popular! We’ll probably never know exactly when the bosses at FreedomWorks knew Prenzlin was inside the Capitol–but given that Prenzlin was reportedly only fired on September 20, there’s a good possibility that the only sin in FreedomWorks’ eyes was getting caught.

Next insurrection, throw away the shoes.

Get More Smarter on Thursday (Sept. 23)

Happy “Kyrgyz Language Day.” Please celebrate responsibly…and without vowels. 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 

 

As The Washington Post reports, Congressional Republicans’ insistence on refusing to extend the debt ceiling means a government shutdown could be right around the corner:

The White House budget office will tell federal agencies on Thursday to begin preparations for the first shutdown of the U.S. government since the pandemic began, as lawmakers on Capitol Hill struggle to reach a funding agreement.

Administration officials stress the request is in line with traditional procedures seven days ahead of a shutdown and not a commentary on the likelihood of a congressional deal. Both Democrats and Republicans have made clear they intend to fund the government before its funding expires on Sept. 30, but time is running out and lawmakers are aiming to resolve an enormous set of tasks to in a matter of weeks.

House Democrats earlier this week approved a measure to fund the government, suspend the debt ceiling, and approve emergency aid such as disaster relief. But that plan is expected to die in the Senate amid GOP refusal to support Democratic attempts to lift the debt ceiling.

 

Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert has been using her campaign account as a personal slush fund since she was elected in November 2020. As The Denver Post reports, she’s doing it AGAIN:

Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert paid rent and utility bills with campaign funds in violation of federal campaign finance laws, new filings with the Federal Election Commision show.

The filings, submitted to the FEC on Tuesday, also indicate that Boebert reimbursed her campaign for the $6,650 worth of payments. Representatives for the congresswoman could not immediately be reached for comment.

Each of the four payments in question (two for $2,000 each and another two for $1,325 each) were amended to show payments for the same amount, description and on the same days to John Pacheco, whose address is the same as Shooters Grill in Rifle, which Boebert owns. Pacheco’s relationship to Boebert was not immediately clear.

The latest discrepancy appeared in a July campaign finance report for the committee Lauren Boebert for Congress. Payments to Venmo were described as “Personal expense of Lauren Boebert billed to campaign account in error. Expense has been reimbursed.”

This is NOT LEGAL, as we’ve been explaining for months in this space.

 

 Since we’re on the subject of Boebert, here’s more about her potential involvement in efforts by former President Trump to overturn the 2020 election and, well, initiate a coup attempt.

 

A third, and perhaps final, version of a Congressional redistricting map is expected to be introduced today by nonpartisan staff of the Colorado Independent Redistricting Commission. A new draft version of a legislative redistricting map is also supposed to arrive today. As The Associated Press reports:

Colorado’s independent congressional redistricting commission has entered the final stretch in fashioning a map for the next decade that incorporates a new eighth district and tries to keep intact communities of interest, such as Hispanic and Latino voters and urban and rural economic interests. That and avoiding splitting cities and counties into separate districts headlined commission discussions Wednesday…

…Commissioners have a Sept. 28 deadline to approve a map and must submit it to the state Supreme Court by Oct. 1.

Final approval by the 12-member commission requires at least eight “yes” votes, including two unaffiliated commissioners. If the commission fails to submit a final map next week, a staff map must be submitted, without amendments, for judicial review. The court must approve a congressional redistricting map by Dec. 15, 2021.

 

The FDA has authorized COVID-19 booster shots for older Americans who have already received the Pfizer vaccines. Here in Colorado, you can get free at-home COVID-19 tests with a quick signup online.

 

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