Down Ballot Turn Out in 2018 vs. 2014

First off, Democrats were across the board more popular in 2018. However, the size of their wins down ballot depended on better turn out. While there are still fewer people voting for the down ballot races those gaps all narrowed in 2018 when compared with the turn out in the Governor’s race.

2014 Down Ballot Drop-Off
Secretary of State: -7.65%
Treasurer: -3.82%
Attorney General: -4.51%

2018 Down Ballot Drop-Off
Secretary of State: -1.28%
Treasurer: -2.01%
Attorney General: -1.31%

 

Many voters who went for Hickenlooper at the top of the ticket in 2014 split their votes for the other races or (mostly) decided not vote in down ballot races. This tendency was cut by about 2/3rds in 2018.

2014 Democratic vote vs. Governor’s Race
Governor: 49.30% : 1,006,433
Secretary of State: -11.96% : -120,390
Treasurer: -12.32% : -123,996
Attorney General: -17.91% : -180,251

2018 Democratic vote vs. Governor’s Race
Governor: 53.42% : 1,348,888
Secretary of State: -2.61% : -35,172
Treasurer: -4.02% : -56,607
Attorney General: -4.70% : -63,424

 

Republicans did benefit from ticket splitting in 2018 with their down ballot candidates getting more votes down ballot than they did for Governor. Their problem was that the whole Republican brand was much less popular compared to 2014 and the relative size of their advantage diminished with greater turn out. In order to win something down ballot they need at least a 3% swing in the total statewide vote and for Democratic leaning voters to not vote down ballot races.

2014 Republican vote vs. Governor’s Race
Governor: 45.95% : 938,195
Secretary of State: -0.60% : -5,607
Treasurer: +4.38% : +41,086
Attorney General: +6.87% : 64,431

2018 Republican vote vs. Governor’s Race
Governor: 42.80% : 1,080,801
Secretary of State: +3.06% : +33,126
Treasurer: +4.38% : +41086
Attorney General: +4.07% : +43,956

 

The lower amount of ticket splitting also shows up in the third party vote. Making a direct comparison is a bit more apples and oranges due to the different mix of parties from year to year, but in 2014 a there were more voters for 3rd parties down ballot than for governor. In 2018 this was reversed.

2014 Third Party Votes
Governor: 4.75% : 96,977
Secretary of State: 7.68% : 151,203
Treasurer: 5.19% : 101,826
Attorney General: 6.19% :120,745

2018 Third Party Votes
Governor: 3.78% : 95,373
Secretary of State: 2.61% : 64,992
Treasurer: 2.85% : 70,475
Attorney General: 3.28% : 81,733

 

Now the one exception. The At-Large CU Regent’s race. Both major parties lost votes due to switches to 3rd parties as protest votes and due to people skipping the race entirely. The Democrats lost more votes than Republicans, but in a similar enough ratio to give this race a wider margin (8.93%) than the AG race (6.45%).

CU Regent At-Large
51.95% Democratic 1,246,318
43.02% Republican 1,031,993
1.21% Unity Party 29,128
3.82% Libertarian 91,586
Total votes: 2,399,025
Total Drop-off: -4.99% : -126,037
Dem Drop-off: -7.60% : -102,570
Rep Drop-off: -4.52% : -48,808

I personally suspect that without Jared Polis and Republican dark money this year would have looked more like the Regent’s race. Still a solid win for team blue, but not as overwhelming a win and with lower turn out for both.

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The Nuggets Lost. We Blame Ben Higgins

The Denver Nuggets were in first place in the Western Conference entering last night’s highly-anticipated home game against the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors…and then they promptly lost by 31 points.

The Warriors set an NBA record by scoring 51 points in the first quarter, a 12-minute span during which they shot a ridiculous 76% from the field. How did things get off to such a bad start for Denver?

Is it a coincidence that the Nuggets were blown out in a game in which former “Bachelor” and brief State House candidate Ben Higgins took the ceremonial first shot?

Yes, it’s just a coincidence. Probably.

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At Least She’s Not Your State Senator Anymore

Gah!

Former State Senator Laura Waters Woods was always a difficult problem for Republicans. Woods is nuttier than a bag of trail mix, but she played an important role for the GOP in the 2013 recall attempt of Sen. Evie Hudak (D-Arvada) that ultimately resulted in Hudak’s resignation. Woods used that recall organizing effort to get herself elected to SD-19 in 2014 to fill the remainder of Hudak’s term, and she spent the next two years engaged in any number of crazypants legislative strategies as a member of the GOP’s “Hateful Eight.”

The “Laura Woods Problem” was more or less solved in the 2016 election cycle when Woods lost her bid for re-election to Democrat Rachel Zenzinger in a rematch of their 2014 race. That battle in SD-19 was the single most-watched state senate race of the cycle for Democrats looking to regain a majority in the State Senate and to right a wrong that had ended Hudak’s legislative career.

Woods hasn’t left politics behind entirely; she still Tweets under the handle @SenLauraWoods because of course she does. On Tuesday evening, Woods shot off a take on the unreliability of polling data that proves, once again, that SD-19 voters were right to get rid of her:

Most polls include a disclaimer for margin of error based on sample size, demographics, etc., but perhaps they should also start including a note on whether or not they attempted to contact Laura Woods.

Indeed, philosophers have long wondered: If a tree falls in the forest and it doesn’t hit Laura Woods, does it still make a sound?

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“Staple” GOP Donors Won’t Even Return Beckman’s Calls, Says Buck

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley)

Shortly after calling Democratic Congressman Joe Neguse of Boulder “another Cory Gardner,” as in a “ray of sunshine,” U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) took shots at one of his opponents in the race to be leader of the state Republican Party.

“I understand that Susan Beckman wants this job. It pays a lot of money. And I understand that she is concerned about competition for this job. Susan Beckman cannot get return calls from a lot of the donors that are friends of mine, who have donated to my campaigns in the past, and who are a staple of this party,” Buck told KNUS radio host Craig Silverman Saturday, in a meandering and entertaining interview. “Susan Beckman has never run a statewide race, or a race outside of a small jurisdiction in Arapahoe County. And I look forward to offering a contrast with her for the State chair position.”

Beckman has said the Colorado GOP should not be lead from someone who spends so much time in Washington DC. Buck

Buck had kinder words for Neguse than Beckman, who’s a Colorado state representative.

“The one Congressman who I’ve gotten to know a little bit better, a freshman Congressman, is Joe Neguse, who took Jared Polis’ position,” said Buck on air. “And I am thoroughly impressed with Joe. Joe is a – just a – he is a ‘Cory Gardner.’ He is a ray of sunshine. He just has this bubbly personality. He is really friendly and a nice person. And I think, while we disagree politically, and we disagree on policy, he’s exactly the kind of person that you want to see in politics.”

While siding firmly with Trump and other Republicanssaid said Trump had nothing to do with former U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman’s (R-CO) loss to Democrat Jason Crow in November, insisting that Trump had nothing to do with Coffman’s loss in November.

“I think the bottom line was that Jason Crow is an outstanding candidate.” said Buck, adding that “moderate Democrats” like Crow will be “forced” to the left once they enter Congress–or watch their Democratic colleagues.

It’s unclear if Buck would count talk radio as a valid news source, given his response to Silverman’s question on where people should get news.

“I think the best place to get our news is to actually go and watch what goes on,” replied Buck. “If you’re interested what goes on in Congress, watch C-SPAN. If you’re interested in what goes on in, you know, the Denver Broncos game, go watch the Denver Broncos game. I don’t think that having people who claim to be journalists, who are actually editorial writers and write in ways that are misleading — I think — is positive.”

Listen To excerpts of Buck’s KNUS interview here:

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Call Gardner and Bennet right now: put the brakes on William Barr

Today in Washington, the Senate Judiciary Committee questioned William Barr, Donald Trump’s nominee for Attorney General.

With new revelations being uncovered by the special counsel practically every day, the prospect of Trump successfully hand-picking the next man to preside over the investigations into Trump’s campaign is deeply troubling. It doesn’t matter what Barr tells the Senators and media, what matters is his record—and what he’s told Donald Trump, who is currently under investigation.

Call our Colorado Senators, Cory Gardner at (202) 224-5941 and Michael Bennet at (202) 224-5852, and urge them to vote against William Barr.

“RussiaGate” is just the beginning of the problems with William Barr. Barr called the backwards former Attorney General Jeff Sessions “outstanding.” Serving under former President George H.W. Bush, Barr was a major proponent of mass incarceration policies that resulted in the United States having one of the highest rates of imprisonment in the world–disproportionately impacting communities of color. Barr’s documented views on abortion, LGBTQ+ rights, and immigrant rights show his just how backwards his views are.

Call Sens. Cory Gardner at (202) 224-5941 and Michael Bennet at (202) 224-5852, and tell them to vote against William Barr. He’s the wrong man at the worst possible time.

Thanks for your timely help. However this fight ends, speaking truth to power is always the right thing to do.

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Anti-LGBT Hate Group ADF Among Colorado Combined Giving Campaign Charities

(Charitable hate? – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Every year, Colorado state employees have the opportunity to make charitable donations through the Colorado Combined Campaign (CCC). Last year this workplace giving program raised $945,000 for nearly 700 different non-profit groups.

One of those nonprofits was anti-LGBT hate group Alliance Defending Freedom, which has equated being gay with pedophilia, incest and bestiality.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is adflawrence.jpg

Text from ADF’s Supreme Court amicus brief arguing to uphold Texas’ law criminalizing gay people.

How did this group get approved? According to the CCC, most charities participate as part of a federation of similar groups. The CCC Advisory Committee then vets the federations.  

State employees may designate their donations to one or more charities or groups of charities known as federations. An Advisory Committee, made up of representatives of most state agencies, sets and enforces campaign guidelines, called bylaws. The advisory committee reviews the 25 federations who sponsor the more than 600 charities in the campaign to determine if they are fiscally responsible and provide the services they say they do.

As part of the vetting process that the CCC conducts, applicant groups are required to have a “non-discrimination policy protecting, at minimum, the classes listed in the CCC bylaws: “race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, gender and sexual orientation applicable to persons served by the organization.”

ADF signed a document affirming it has such a policy. An email sent to ADF Vice President Jeremy Tedesco requesting a copy of the policy and some clarification as to its scope was not returned.

(more…)

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Steve King Spoke At Denver Conservative Gathering Last Year

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Dave Williams (R), Congressman Steve King (R-IA).

Colorado Christian University “generally” doesn’t repeat speakers at its annual conservative gathering near Denver, said the event’s director Jeff Hunt when asked whether a Republican Congressman, who advised people not to be offended by white supremacy, would be invited to the annual event again this July.

Iowa Congressman Steve King, who made the comments to the New York Times, spoke at the last year’s Western Conservative Summit, billed as the “largest gathering of conservatives outside of Washington D.C.”

Other top shelf Republican speakers last year included then Attorney General Jeff Sessions, then EPA chief Scott Pruitt, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), and U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO). Gardner has spoken there multiple times.

Hunt directs the summit in his role as head of CCU’s Centennial Institute.

On a House floor speech, “King argued he was saying terms like white supremacist, white nationalist and Nazi were ‘almost always unjustly labeling otherwise innocent people,” according to the Des Moines Register.

In the wake of a controversial comment by King in 2010, then congressional candidate Cory Gardner canceled a joint fundraiser with the Iowa Congressman.

King is now facing disciplinary action from fellow U.S. House Republicans after he told the New York Times it was wrong to consider white nationalism and white supremacy offensive.

“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” Mr. King told The New York Times Jan. 10. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”

Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told CNN over the weekend that he would meet with King today and “action will be taken.”

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Disable the Enablers

Sen. Cory Gardner is always right behind President Trump

The federal government shutdown is now the longest in U.S. history. New reports over the weekend indicate an increasing (yes, ever-increasing) level of concern about the possibility that President Trump is or has been actively working to advance the interests of Russia to the detriment of the United States. At the very least, it is inarguable that Trump has taken unusual unprecedented steps to hide the details of all of his discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin from even his most senior staff. As even a child understands, if you have nothing to hide, you don’t go to extreme lengths to, you know, hide things.

There is no hiding from the fact that Trump is causing great harm to this country and our political system. But as Greg Sargent of the Washington Post writes today in a column that is being widely shared, it’s time that Americans take a deeper look at the enablers that make Trump’s actions possible:

Two new blockbuster scoops about President Trump’s relations with Russia — combined with fresh signs that Trump will drag out the government shutdown indefinitely — should renew our focus on the quiet but critical role that Mitch McConnell has played in enabling the damage that Trump is doing to the country on so many fronts…

…In much discussion of all these matters, there is a terrible rhetorical habit of treating GOP conduct toward Trump as mere passive acquiescence. In fact, this is better seen as an active enabling, on one front after another. And we are likely to learn much more about just how damaging this has been soon enough. [Pols emphasis]

Republican leadership in Congress doesn’t appear to know how to deal with any of this, so they have ended up doing nothing. You might as well just change the Republican Party logo from an elephant to a “¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ” emoji.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wasn’t in Washington D.C. on Friday, the first day that federal employees missed a regular paycheck. Neither was Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner he was at the stock show in Denver instead.

Republicans have lost the messaging battle over the government shutdown — which is no surprise given that President Trump has repeatedly said that he would own the shutdown himself. Even Trump’s once-loyal base of white, working-class voters is starting to slip away. Yet Senate Republican leadership, which includes both McConnell and Gardner, won’t act.

Sure, Gardner will say that he wants the shutdown to end, but he won’t do anything about it. Officials from Colorado’s Congressional delegation, including Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver), were at Denver International Airport today to talk about the shutdown and proposals to get the government up and running — proposals that Republican leadership won’t even consider because Trump demands a big wall. If Gardner was at DIA on Monday, it was because he was flying somewhere else.

Responding to someone like President Trump with inaction is absolutely the same as enabling him. If and when Trump falls, his enablers will go right along with him.

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What you can do to fight back this week (January 14)

The 2019 session of the Colorado legislature is underway, and the calendar is rapidly filling up with important upcoming events and opportunities for you to have an immediate impact. After last year’s historic victory for progressives in Colorado, now comes the work to make the vision articulated by our new legislative majority and Gov. Polis a reality.

And it’s a big job: from education and affordable health care to civil rights and criminal justice reform, there’s a backlog of priorities that need to be addressed between now and when the legislature adjourns in May. This is our chance to set aside the dysfunction in Washington, and solve problems right here at home that Trump and Republicans can’t–or won’t–address.

It starts by showing up. This week’s top action item: on Wednesday, join Indivisible activists and Coloradans just like you for the Indivisible Lobby Day. Colorado Senators Faith Winter and Tammy Story, two progressive champions fighting for our shared values every day, will present on the goals of this year’s legislative session–and then you’ll get to learn the ins and outs of directly working with lawmakers to pass bills. Don’t miss this great chance to get involved and stay involved.

Where: Colorado State Capitol, 200 E. Colfax, Denver,
When: Wednesday, January 16 at 8:30am

Click here to RSVP.

And here are many more great ways to fight back for the week of January 14th:


Colorado Consumer Health Initiative: Health Care Advocacy Training

Colorado’s legislative session will bring a lot of opportunities to advance health care policy. Join us to learn advocacy basics and different ways you can advocate for a better health care system. Come join us for this free training to learn how you can make your voice heard on the health care issues that are important to you. We’ll walk you through the who, what, where, when, why and how of health care advocacy, provide a quick overview of the health care landscape, answer your questions, and give you practical next steps to start your advocacy efforts.

Where: Blair Caldwell Library, 2401 Welton St., Denver
When: Monday, January 14 at 5:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


Opening Reception: The History of the Stonewall Uprising

What happened that night? Why was this uprising different from those that had come before? How would the riots at a small gay bar in New York go on to inspire generations of activists, building to today’s contemporary movement for LGBTQ equality?

Where: GLBT Community Center of Colorado, 1301 E Colfax Ave, Denver
When: Monday, January 14 at 5:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


Womxn’s March Denver Fundraiser

Come meet our fantastic Speakers and Artists for the 2019 Womxn’s March on Denver and mingle with the Leadership Team, volunteers and supporters!

Where: Live at Jack’s, 500 16th St #320, Denver
When: Monday, January 14 at 6:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


2019 Climate Lobby Day

Join 350 Colorado for our 3rd annual Climate Lobby Day! Whether you’ve never lobbied before or you have your legislator’s phone number on speed dial, our 2019 Legislative Lobby Day is an important event that will put you in direct contact with your elected officials and make your voice heard!

Where: 1373 N Grant St, Denver
When: Tuesday, January 15 at 8:00am

Click here to RSVP.


Census 2020: Will Your Community Count

The 2020 Census is just over a year away and it’s important that Colorado have a complete count. Please join The League of Women Voters, Colorado Common Cause, Together We Count, and Mi Familia Vota to learn about how the census impacts you and what you can do to ensure your community is counted.

Where: Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church, 1980 Dahlia St, Denver
When: Tuesday, January 15 at 10:00am

Click here to RSVP.


Disability Integration Act Re-Introduction Watch Party

Come join us watch the re-introduction of the Disability Integration Act – DIA in the 116th Congress! We are starting this Congress with almost every legislator from Colorado as co-sponsors, we are still working on getting our freshman members Joe Neguse and Jason Crow signed on. A lot of Atlantis ADAPT members will be in DC but we can show our support from Denver.

Where: 420 W Cedar Ave, Denver
When: Tuesday, February 15 at 12:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Denver Justice Project: City Council Meeting on Strengthening Police Oversight

Join the coalition of organizations calling on Denver City Council members to pass legislation that would update the 14-year-old ordinance that established the Office of the Independent Monitor and the Citizen Oversight Board, thereby strengthening police oversight mechanisms to ensure that law enforcement officers that harm our community members are held accountable.

Where: Denver City and County Building, 1437 Bannock St, Denver
When: Wednesday, January 16 at 10:30am

Click here to RSVP.


Women’s Lobby of Colorado Legislative Committee Meeting

Join us for our first legislative committee meeting of the Colorado 2019 Legislative Session. Members and representatives of organizational members are invited. At these meetings we learn about legislation introduced and coming, as well as vote on our positions on them (members).

Where: Colorado Center on Law and Policy, 789 N Sherman St Ste 300, Denver
When: Wednesday, January 16 at 12:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


Live with Bolder Advocacy: Advocating Boldly in 2019

Are you interested in going to a march or a protest but aren’t sure of the rules for non-profits and their employees? Join us for our next Bolder Advocacy Facebook Live event, “Marches, Protests, and Lobby Days: Advocating Boldly in 2019,” on January 17, at 4pm ET. As marches, protests and lobby days approach, you may be wondering if you can participate as a 501(c)(3) – or even as a non-profit employee. We will discuss how you can get involved and be an advocate for your issues – while staying in compliance with the rules that govern tax-exempt nonprofits.

Where: Facebook Live event
When: Thursday, January 17 at 4:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


One Colorado Legislative Session Kickoff Happy Hour

Join One Colorado and Colorado’s LGBT caucus for our Legislative Session Happy Hour at Hudson Hill!

Where: Hudson Hill, 619 E 13th Ave, Denver
When: Thursday, January 17 at 5:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Four Directions Indigenous Peoples March

On January 18, 2019 we are uniting Indigenous peoples across the world to stand together to bring awareness to the injustices affecting Indigenous men, women and children. Indigenous peoples from North, Central and South America, Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean are a target of genocide. Currently, many Indigenous people are victims of voter suppression, divided families by walls and borders, an environmental holocaust, sex and human trafficking and police and military brutality with little or no resources and awareness of this injustice. We Must Unite and Help!

Where: Colorado State Capitol, 200 E Colfax Ave, Denver
When: Friday, January 18 at 11:00am

Click here to RSVP.


Queer Contingent at the 2019 Womxn’s March

One Colorado, The GLBT Center, Out Boulder, The Gender Identity Center, Northern Colorado Equality, and Eclectic of Northern Colorado are organizing a queer contingent for the 2nd Anniversary of the Women’s March happening on January 19th in Denver.

Where: McNichols Building, 144 W Colfax Ave, Denver
When: Saturday, January 19 at 8:30am

Click here to RSVP.


March with Planned Parenthood at the 2019 Womxn’s March

Join Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado (PPVC) as we march together in this year’s Womxn’s March. #Togetherwefightforall The first 30 individuals to sign up will receive a free PP Womxn’s March shirt or beanie!

Where: Denver’s Civic Center Park, Colfax and Bannock, Denver
When: Saturday, January 19 at 9:00am

Click here to RSVP.


Meet Up at Women’s March to March with Indivisibles & Jason Crow

For ANYONE who would like to march with Indivisible, we’re meeting at the big head in front of 201 W Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80202 at 10:00 am.

Where: Denver Public Works, 201 W Colfax Ave, Denver
When: Saturday, February 19 at 10:00am

Click here to RSVP.


Après Womxn’s March (beer tapping fundraiser)

Lady Justice Brewing is tapping their Makin’ Noise Beer Vol. 8 collaboration beer after the Womxn’s March Denver. Proceeds from sales (10%) will be donated to The Gathering Place. Please join us to wind down after the march, enjoy this Red Ale, raise money for TGP, and celebrate womxn!

Where: Factotum Brewhouse, 3845 Lipan St, Denver
When: Saturday, January 19 at 1:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


AFSC’s Annual Public Gathering

Please join us for AFSC’s Annual Public Gathering & Jack Gore Awards Ceremony! ¡Por favor acompáñanos a la Reunión Anual de AFSC y ceremonia de premiación de Jack Gore!

Where: Park Hill United Methodist Church, 5209 Montview Blvd, Denver
When: Saturday, January 19 at 4:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Punk Against Trump 2019

KTCL Channel 933 Punk Tacos Presents: Punk Against Trump 2019 with Allout Helter, Cheap Perfume, Over Time, Sorry Sweetheart, No Takers, w/ DJ Maladjusted spinning between sets. All proceeds to benefit The Gathering Place.

Where: Summit Denver, 1902 Blake St, Denver
When: Saturday, January 19 at 7:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


March with One Colorado at the Annual MLK Marade in Denver

Please join us to honor Dr. King’s memory, and the justice he stood for, at the country’s largest MLK rally — honoring a man and a movement that helped pave the way for civil rights as we know them today. As proponents of civil and racial justice in Colorado and everywhere, we are walking in this year’s MLK Marade.

Where: Denver City Park, 3001 E 17th Ave, Denver
When: Monday, January 21 at 8:30am

Click here to RSVP.


Thanks again for your participation and support. Every action you take makes a difference. We’ll see you next week with more ways to help!

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Colorado Week in Review: 1/11/19

Your deliberately oversimplified glance at what happened in Colorado this week.

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Buck Sides With GOP Establishment in Race To Be Party Chair, Calling Gardner A “Bubbly Ray Of Sunshine”

(But you said, uh… — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), who entered the race yesterday to be the leader of Colorado’s Republican Party, threw his unequivocal support behind Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner’s re-election bid in 2020, calling the first-term senator a “bubbly ray of sunshine that puts a smile on the face of the Republican Party. “

But key Colorado Republicans have been frowning, even snarling, at Gardner lately, potentially making Gardner a flashpoint in the race to select Colorado’s next Republican leader.

Some Republicans are calling for Gardner’s ouster from the 2020 GOP ticket. Pueblo County Republican Party Treasurer George Mayfield wants someone to challenge Gardner in a primary.

And GOP activist and KNUS radio host Chuck Bonniwell called Gardner a
“total [whore] for the Chamber of Commerce,” a “Mitch McConnell stooge,” and, “just like” U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, a “traitor to every [position] he held in 2010.”

But Buck doesn’t see it that way.

BUCK: “To criticize Cory is, I think, short-sighted,” Buck told KNUS radio host Randy Corporon, who was subbing for host Peter Boyles today. “We need the majority in the senate.

“I think Cory is that bubbly, ray of sunshine that puts a smile on the face of the Republican Party. And I really think we are fortunate to have him…. I am absolutely going to support Cory Gardner, President Trump, and the rest the Republican ticket. And I really think that this is going to be an outstanding year for the Republican Party.”

 

Buck’s view is shared by former Colorado Republican leader Dick Wadhams.

Buck generated headlines in 2017 for calling the Republican Party “dead,” run by “special interests” and “weak-kneed senators.”

Asked how he could hold this belief and now seek to be the leader of the GOP in Colorado, Buck responded with this:

BUCK: “When you see a problem, you go forward and you solve that problem. I love the principles of the Republican Party…We have to bet back to those. I’m not going to walk away from the Party. I’m not going to say, “I’m taking my marbles and going home because I disagree with people.”

Buck said he’d remain in Congress if he won the race to be state chair, saying he’s gotten the approval of the House Ethics Committee to hold both jobs.

Buck said he’d change the model of how the state party is run, with the elected chair acting more as a “chairman of the board” and “holding people accountable and raising money,” but not rolling up his “sleeves and getting into the details of the political machinery.”

Complete Colorado reported that others eyeing the state party chair are “Don Ytterberg, CEO of Advanced Surface Technologies and former Republican candidate for the 7th Congressional District; former State Representative and Senator Tom Weins; Sherrie Gibson, current Colorado GOP vice-chairman; and Joshua Hosler, current El Paso County GOP chairman.”

State Rep. Susan Beckman, a Littleton Republican, is also apparently running, Corporon said on air.

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Everyone Wants to be GOP Party Chair (Even Ken Buck)

Ken Buck to the rescue?

Colorado Republicans were positively demolished in the 2018 election cycle, losing their slim majority in the State Senate and giving up all four major statewide offices to Democrats (Governor, Attorney General, State Treasurer, Secretary of State). Republicans desperately need new leadership to guide their wounded flock out of the political wilderness in 2020, which means the soon-to-be-vacant role of State Party Chair is suddenly the most sought-after job in the state.

As 9News reports, there’s a new name atop the list of people vying to succeed Jeff Hays as Chairman of the Colorado Republican Party:

Four sources with knowledge of the process on Wednesday told 9NEWS Congressman Ken Buck will run for chair of the Colorado Republican Party.

The replacement for outgoing party chairman Jeff Hays, who is not seeking another two-year term, will be selected by roughly 500 party insiders at a State Central Committee meeting on March 30.

Buck is presumably making his intentions known because the line for the job is already getting pretty long. Among those who have expressed interest in taking the reins of the State GOP are former Jefferson County Republican Party Chair Don Ytterberg; former State Senator Tom Wiens; current Republican Party Vice-Chairman Sherrie Gibson; El Paso County Republican Chair Joshua Hosler; and State Rep. Susan Beckman of Littleton.

The jockeying to become the next person thrown under the bus Chair of the Colorado Republican Party has always been filled with intrigue, back-stabbing, and complicated rivalries. The job itself isn’t nearly as important as it is made out to be — the 2002 passage of Amendment 27 basically neutered the influence of State Parties in Colorado — but the mythology of the position persists for the GOP.

Buck and others appear to be looking at the chairmanship as a stepping stone to a statewide run in 2022 (Bob Beauprez, you’ll recall, was GOP Chair before running for Congress and Governor). It’s easy to understand the narrative when you consider that Colorado Republicans can’t really do much worse than they did in 2018. As long as the next GOP Chair doesn’t plunder the bank accounts or get somebody killed, they’ll be able to claim ownership of whatever resurgence Republicans can muster in 2020.

“The Republican Party is dead.”

Rep. Ken Buck (7/31/17)

Nevertheless, it is unusual for a sitting Member of Congress to be attempting to take the lead of the State Republican Party. Beckman would likely resign from the legislature if she succeeds in her bid for Chair, but it’s not clear that Buck would do the same. As 9News reports:

Colorado Republican Party spokesman Daniel Cole said he was unaware of any reason why a currently elected official, on the state level or federal level, could not simultaneously lead the state party. Cole could not recall a recent time when the chair of the state GOP was also in elected office.

State Party Chairman used to be more of a volunteer role until Republicans turned it into a full-time salaried position for Dick Wadhams in 2007. It’s hard to see Republicans being interested in the idea of Buck serving as Chair while maintaining his seat in Congress, but that’s not Buck’s biggest problem.

Buck’s biggest hurdle to becoming State GOP Chair is that he already declared the patient to be deceased. Here’s what Buck wrote in a guest commentary for the Denver Post on July 31, 2017:

The Republican Party is dead.

At one time, the blood of the people coursed through its veins, enlivening the party with their values and virtues, their goals and dreams. The party became its own energizing force, compelling people to sacrifice for a higher moral purpose.

But today’s Republican Party abandoned these people. It no longer represents their values. It no longer has a vision for a better America. And no one is stepping up to provide that vision.

Yikes! Good luck walking that one back, Congressman.

The Republican Party is dead. Long live the Republican Party.

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Rich Guys Get Un-Deputized in Yuma County

Billionaire Republican megadonor Robert Mercer

Bloomberg News has a fascinating update to a story that we followed regularly in this space last year about Republican mega donor Robert Mercer and his pay-to-play posse scheme in Yuma, Colorado. As Zachary Mider writes for Bloomberg, Mercer will have to go play cops and robbers somewhere else:

The New York hedge fund magnate and conservative donor had his status as a volunteer deputy sheriff revoked by Yuma County, Colorado, Sheriff Chad Day on Monday, his last day in office. Day lost his re-election bid last year after Bloomberg News reported on Mercer’s role and his purchase of a new pickup truck for the sheriff’s official use. [Pols emphasis]

The arrangement provoked controversy in the prairie county that borders Kansas and Nebraska. Day submitted papers last week ending the appointments of Mercer, 72, and at least a dozen other volunteer posse members, effective Jan. 7, according to documents signed by Day and filed with the county clerk. Day also revoked the appointment of William Koch, 78, though a spokesman for the billionaire industrialist said he was never a posse member.

County records that became public in recent months show that four Mercer associates, including a bodyguard who says on LinkedIn that he’s a former “Cuban Special Operations Commander,” had also received badges from Day and that the value of Mercer’s donations of cash and equipment to the sheriff’s office totaled more than $135,000. Mercer declined to comment, and Day didn’t respond to multiple inquiries.

Chad Day is now the former Sheriff of Yuma County (and presumably the outgoing President of the Colorado County Sheriffs’ Association) in large part because he sold out his county in exchange for a new truck and a bunch of stun guns so that Mercer — who owns one of the world’s largest private collections of machine guns — and his buddies would be able to carry concealed weapons anywhere in the country. Day had insisted to Blair Miller of Denver7 that there was no quid, pro, or quo in this deal, but that’s not how it looks from Bloomberg’s follow-up investigation.

Much like Robert Mercer, Chad Day can now only pretend to be in law enforcement in Yuma County.

Mercer was apparently connected to Day via Rocky Mountain Gun Owners head honcho Dudley Brown, who is also associated with a certain U.S. Senator from Yuma. A spokesman for Sen. Cory Gardner told Miller at the time that “he didn’t know anything about the story aside from what he’d read in Bloomberg.”

For his part, Day had refused to answer detailed questions about the arrangement when it was first reported last spring, making the absurd claim that some of his “volunteer resources” were “directly involved in confidential undercover operations that involve direct ties and associations with the Mexican Cartel which has a presence in [the Yuma area].” No doubt the 78-year-old William Koch (yes, that Koch brother) was also a tremendous deterrent to any potential Mexican cartel operations.

The Bloomberg update to this story also provides more disconcerting details on some of the individuals involved in the arrangement Mercer had with Day and Yuma County.

In 2016, a foundation Mercer controls bought the pickup truck for Day’s agency. The foundation’s goals include educating local police forces about H.R. 218. At a county meeting, Day reported that he’d connected with Mercer through Brown, according to minutes of the meeting. It was a nicer truck, Day remarked, than the county would have spent its own money on.

That November, county records show, Mercer and four associates took oaths of office in Yuma, swearing “before the ever living God” to support the U.S. and Colorado constitutions. The crew included a Mercer son-in-law and three employees with backgrounds in bodyguard work, including the Cuban veteran; a self-described martial arts master; and a former Army Ranger whose LinkedIn page says he once guarded Afghan president Hamid Karzai.

The Cuban, Julio Garcia, had recently accompanied Mercer’s daughter Rebekah to the 2016 Republican convention. Garcia’s LinkedIn page boasts of training by Russian and Vietnamese special operations forces. An essay posted on a martial-arts website says he once served as a bodyguard to Fidel Castro. Garcia declined to comment.

In exchange for a shiny new truck and some other toys, Yuma County’s Sheriff deputized a guy who once guarded Afghan president Hamid Karzai and another man who served as a bodyguard to Fidel Freaking Castro!

Viva la revolución, Yuma County.

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Senator Owen Hill: Poetry Critic

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Owen Hill (R).

UPDATE: Senator Hill replied with a statement at the end of this post.

Governor Jared Polis took the oath of office today on the west steps of the state capitol. The ceremony featured a diverse group of speakers, religious leaders, poets and performers, all celebrating the inauguration of Colorado’s 43rd governor.

State Senator Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs) attended the event. The Senator is known to like yoga but apparently not poetry, or at least not the poetry he heard today. Hill used Facebook to dismiss at least one of the two poets who read their work at today’s inauguration ceremony for Governor Jared Polis, saying, “Just because you dress funny and no one understands what you are talking about, it doesn’t make you a poet.”

The two poets on the inaugural agenda were Anne Waldman and Toluwanimi Obiwole. Both have received considerable acclaim for their work.

(more…)

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Bunny Boilers and Primary Challengers: Gardner’s Shutdown Statement Angers GOP Base

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado’s conservative activists are furious at U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner’s call to end the government shutdown without funding for President Trump’s wall. County GOP officials and Tea Party leaders are talking openly about the need for a primary challenger in 2020.

One official went so far as to joke about boiling a bunny on Sen. Gardner’s stove.

Jefferson County Republican Vice Chair Steve Dorman vehemently disagreed with a post written by a member of the Arapahoe Tea Party group that stated. “Sorry, we need to accept Cory Gardner.”

Dorman replied “this betrayal is too huge. I don’t care about 99.9% of the time. And yes….the wall and border security are very important.”

In another comment, the JeffCo GOP Vice Chair added “I don’t want him to come home and find a rabbit’s head boiling on his stove….but…….”
The author of the original post replied, “That’s a good idea.”JeffCo GOP Vice Chair wants to boil Sen. Gardner's bunny

Though presumably tongue-in-cheek, this quip is particularly dubious in light of a threatening video of a beheading Gardner’s wife received via text message back in October.

Pueblo County Republican Party Treasurer George Mayfield posted his call for a primary on the group’s Facebook page,

Our RINO U.S. Senator Cory Gardner just announced that he would vote to re-open the complete federal government, with no money for a wall. I think it’s time that he gets ready for a primary in 2020. He won’t win in blue Colorado by trolling for Democrat votes.

Pueblo GOP Treasurer: Primary Gardner in 2020

On Friday, Anil Mathai, chair of the Adams County Republicans, agreed with radio host Peter BoyleS that Sen. Gardner is a “useful idiot,” or easily manipulated pawn, presumably of establishment conservatives.

(more…)

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What you can do to fight back this week (January 7)

I hope your holiday season was was wonderful and you enjoyed some quality time with your friends and family. The week, the new progressive Colorado legislature gets to work with a huge backlog of important legislation to consider. Tomorrow, the state’s new Governor Jared Polis will be sworn in, and then the fight is on to start making life better for Coloradans in immediate, tangible ways.

There has perhaps never been a more exciting time to be a progressive in Colorado. In the coming weeks, we’ll be in touch with opportunities to get directly involved with passing priority legislation at the state level. Many of the laws that most directly impact our daily lives come from the state capitol in Denver, not from Washington, and time after time it has been the testimony and support of regular people that makes the difference. Stay tuned!

Help support a living wage for every Denver employee. Workers at Denver International Airport have been fighting for $15 an hour, and the traction their effort is getting has prompted Denver’s mayor to propose extending that wage to everyone who works for the city—including contractors and vendors. Studies have shown conclusively that better wages for working people help everyone prosper and boost the economy. Click here to sign a petition in support of $15 an hour for every Denver city employee.

Once that’s done, make sure you’ve downloaded the RiseUp activism app to your smartphone! We’ll continue to produce these weekly email alerts, but the best source for up-to-the-minute information about action alerts and events is via RiseUp’s real-time notification system.

Thanks as always for everything you do to fight back for our shared progressive values. Here are more great ways to fight back for the week of January 7:


Featured Event: The Resistance 5280: Need to Impeach Rally

With a majority of seats in the House of Representatives next year, Democrats can initiate impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump. It’s important we continue to show up in large numbers to keep the pressure on Democrats not to back down. We don’t want to wait another 2 years to vote him out when he is systematically destroying our country!

Where: Colorado State Capitol, 200 E Colfax Ave, Ste 136, Denver
When: Sunday, January 13 at 3:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Fracking Colorado: Aurora’s being Fracked! Speak Out at City Council meeting!

We are very concerned for Foxridge Farm mobile homes. They are already surrounded by existing fracking sites, and are hit by plumes from black smoke from the Wattenburg plant every few months. And now Aurora has administratively approved yet another large industrial facility just 1000 feet away from their homes.

Where: Aurora Municipal Center, 15151 E. Alameda Parkway, Aurora
When: Monday, January 7 at 7:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Womxn’s March Denver Community Forum

Join us on January 8, 2019 from 5:30-7:30pm for a community forum dedicated to intersectionalty, allyship, and connection. This is an opportunity to meet with the organizers, ask questions and engage with Womxn’s March Denver’s new direction. See you there!

Where: Whittier Cafe, 1710 E 25th Ave, Denver
When: Tuesday, January 8 at 5:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


The Election’s Over – Now What?: Strategies for Bipartisanship

Building Bipartisan Bonds is back after a long slumber! Whether you liked the outcome of November’s election or not, join us on Tuesday, January 8 at Improper City at 6pm for our next round of conversation with Coloradans of different political persuasions. Our special guests will be Republican State Representative Hugh McKean, former Republican State Representative Polly Lawrence, and Democratic State Senator Jeff Bridges. They’ll share their thoughts on how we can move away from the political partisanship that characterized much of the recent election, as well as some of their experiences working across the aisle on bipartisan initiatives.

Where: Improper City, 3201 Walnut Street, Denver
When: Tuesday, January 8 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Denver Streets Congress

The Streets Partnership hosts the Denver Streets Congress to build and engage dialogue with the public about how to support people-friendly streets in Denver.

Where: Parr-Widener Room (389) 1437 Bannock St, Denver
When: Wednesday, January 9 at 11:30am

Click here to RSVP.


Latin America’s Democratic Decline+Possibilities for Resistance

The Sié Center for International Security and Diplomacy and the Latin American Center at Korbel are pleased to present a lunchtime talk featuring around these main questions – Why is democracy in crisis in Latin America? Is Brazil likely to return to dictatorship under Bolsonaro? And what are the prospects for civil resistance in increasingly authoritarian regimes? This event is free and lunch is provided, please RSVP.

Where: Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security & Diplomacy, 2201 South Gaylord Street, Denver
When: Wednesday, January 9 at 12:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


PPVC Legislative Kick-Off Happy Hour

Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado is excited to get to work during this 2019 legislative session. Come learn about our legislative priorities and mingle with activists, partners, and elected officials. We’re excited to kick off this session and hope you’ll join us as we work towards expanding access to reproductive health care across our state.

Where: Near Colorado State Capitol, Denver (location on RSVP)
When: Wednesday, January 9 at 5:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Women Who Wine: The Notorious RBG

You may have heard of the Notorious RBG, but you’ve never seen her like this. Come and check out an exclusive screening of RBG, the renowned documentary detailing the life and work of SCOTUS legend Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We’ll taste and sip wines made by Wild Women Wine while we watch the film. After, we’ll take action for equal pay.

Where: Wild Women Wine, 1660 Champa St, Denver
When: Wednesday, January 9 at 6:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


The Purple Ball: from the Hate State to the Great State

Join One Colorado for an unforgettable evening honoring our state’s LGBTQ history with special guests Jared Polis, our first gay Governor, and Marlon Reis, our First Gentleman. The day after Jared Polis is sworn in as Colorado’s 43rd Governor, we invite you to celebrate this history-making moment: America’s first openly gay governor.

Where: EXDO Event Center, 1399 35th St, Denver
When: Wednesday, January 9 at 7:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Colorado Consumer Health Initiative: Health Care Advocacy Training

Colorado’s legislative session will bring a lot of opportunities to advance health care policy. Join us to learn advocacy basics and different ways you can advocate for a better health care system. Come join us for this free training to learn how you can make your voice heard on the health care issues that are important to you. We’ll walk you through the who, what, where, when, why and how of health care advocacy, provide a quick overview of the health care landscape, answer your questions, and give you practical next steps to start your advocacy efforts.

Where: Benefits in Action, 8725 W 14th Ave, Suite 102, Lakewood
When: Thursday, January 10 at 3:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Colorado Common Cause: 2019 Legislative Preview

Colorado Common Cause works to win concrete, pro-democracy reforms that break down barriers to participation, ensure each of us has an equal voice and vote, and rebuilds trust in our government. And we do that right here in Colorado. Join us in January to learn how we can ALL strengthen our democracy in Colorado. Learn how bills are introduced, debated and passed – as well as how Colorado Common Cause participates in this process.

Where: Irish Snug, 1201 E Colfax Ave, Denver
When: Thursday, January 10 at 5:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Craftivism and Craft Beers

Join NARAL at Wood’s Boss with other choice activists as we make feminist themed crafts while drinking delicious beer! Feel free to bring your own craft supplies from the list provided. We will have some on hand and are asking a $5 donation if you use ours. Looking forward to crafting and craft beer-ing!

Where: Woods Boss Brewing, 2210 California St, Denver
When: Thursday, January 10 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Denver Women’s Commission January Meeting

The Denver Women’s Commission meets once a month to discuss policy suggestions for Denver Mayor, Michael B. Hancock, concerning the well being of Denver’s women and girls. All are welcome to join!

Where: Rose Andom Center, 1330 Fox Street, Denver
When: Thursday, January 10 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


One Colorado’s Welcome to Volunteering Night

Join us to learn more about One Colorado’s mission and ways you can support LGBTQ Coloradans and their families.

Where: One Colorado, 1490 Lafayette St, Ste 304, Denver
When: Friday, January 11 at 5:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


We’ll see you next week with more ways to take action.

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Arapahoe Tea Party to Address Gardner and “The Problem of the Circular Firing Squad”

(Good luck with that – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Donald Trump, Cory Gardner.

At a meeting Tuesday, Arapahoe County Tea Party members will discuss ways to win (and lose) elections in Colorado, including the “problems of a circular firing squad,” according to the group’s Facebook page.

Republicans have been lashing out at U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) this week, in circular-firing-squad fashion, after Gardner called for passing legislation to open the federal government, without providing funds for a border wall.

In the political context, the term “circular firing squad” refers to members of a political party attacking members of their own party, inflicting damage and inciting intra-party anger.

Such firing squads can lead partisan activists to skip voting altogether for a controversial candidate.

After taking shots from a GOP circular firing squad, Gardner might be seen as lacking principles, which is a recurrent complaint of GOP Tea Party activists about Gardner, whom a prominent Republican recently called a “total [whore] for the Chamber of Commerce,” a “Mitch McConnell stooge,” and, “just like” U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, a “traitor to every [position] he held in 2010.”

In Colorado, with so many Unaffiliated voters who appear hostile to the Republicans, a GOP candidate can ill afford to lose GOP votes and hope to win statewide, say pollsters.

GOP activist Gary Kirkland will lead the discussion about the firing squad and Gardner. Kirkland wrote on Facebook that “Cory Gardner will be one of the topics” of discussion at the Tues. meeting, which takes place at 9195 E. Mineral Ave. in Centennial from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Also at the Jan. 8 meeting, failed GOP congressional candidate Casper Stockham will discuss “his message for a winning strategy.”

State Rep. Susan Beckman (R-Littleton), who’s rumored to be running for GOP state party chair, will offer an “in-depth look at the Democrat playbook that was used to turn Colorado.”

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Adams County GOP Chair Slams Gardner and Republican Party

(MAGA, everybody – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

The Chair of the Adams County Republican Party joined other Colorado conservatives today in hot rage against U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner for calling for an end to the government shutdown without funding a border wall.

In comments trashing Republican leaders, Adams Chair Anil Mathai told KNUS right winger Peter Boyles that “we the people need to fight” the Republican Party. “Enough of the silence.”

“They have no steel spine, Pete, as you know,” said Mathai on air. “They’re afraid to take a position on anything. I mean, it’s very clear, they put their finger [in the air] and whichever way the wind blows. Right now, they cower down and don’t say a word…. The Republican Party – we don’t know what they stand for anymore.”

“Lenin had a term, called the ‘useful idiots,'” Boyles told Mathai. “Cory Gardner is a useful idiot. Mike Coffman was a useful idiot. Walker Stapleton was a useful idiot. Where is the Republican Party?”

Mathai went on to say that there is a “cowardice here within the Republican Party” that’s exemplified by Gardner “telling Republicans to vote for a Democratic budget.”

But the state GOP still has some “patriots,” said Mathai, citing State Rep. Patrick Neville.

Listen to Mathai here:

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Colorado Legislature Close to Gender Equality

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The new legislative session will open with 45% of Colorado General Assembly seats being held by women according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers. This is second only to Nevada where 50.8% of the seats are held by women (well done Nevada).

Unsurprisingly most of these women are Democrats. In the state senate 11 of the 12 women are Democrats and in the house 25 of the 33 women are Democrats. Another way to look at it is that more than half of the Democratic caucus (60.97% of the house and 57.89% of the senate) in Colorado are women.

All of these numbers are increases from 2018 when 38.0% of Colorado legislators were women and our state ranked down in 4th place.

FiveThirtyEight had an excellent analysis of Why the Republican Party Elects So Few Women last year. Their answer was that Republicans first do not get as many women to run for office as Republicans and then the retention of women in office is worse on the Republican side.

The top 10 states:
Nevada (50.8%) (up from #3)
Colorado (45.0%) (up from #4)
Oregon (41.1%) (up from #9)
Washington (40.8%) (up from #5)
Vermont (39.4%) (unchanged % drops them from #2)
Maine (38.7%) (up from #7)
Alaska (38.3%) (new to the top 10, was #12)
Rhode Island (38.1%) (up from #10)
Arizona (37.8%) (down from #1)
Maryland (37.2%) (increased %, but down from #8)

Also unsurprisingly given the gap between the parties is that very red West Virginia and Mississippi are nearly tied for last place with 14.2% and 14.4% respectively.

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Would Gardner Vote To End the Shutdown?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

President Trump (left) and Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma).

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner has been emphasizing that he voted for a senate bill late last year that would have kept the government running.

He made the point in a Dec. 21 tweet, stating, “I voted for a clean government funding bill that passed the Senate on Wednesday night.”

Gardner is referring to his vote on a bipartisan measure that would have kept the government operating without funding for a border wall. That’s why he refers to it as a “clean” bill. It passed the senate but died after the House passed a bill that contained the wall funds.

Gardner said again today in a KOA radio interview that he voted for the clean senate bill in December and that he wants to end the shutdown.

Now the question is, would he vote for the same or very similar bill again, if it’s passed, as expected, by House Democrats in the coming week?

Would he push for a senate vote on the legislation?

That follow-up question wasn’t put to him on KOA this morning, and Gardner didn’t return a call from the Colorado Times Recorder seeking to know the answer.

Another reasonable question is, if the bill were to clear the senate, would he vote to override a Trump veto?

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Bob Rankin: No “Boob Grabber,” But Will He Appease The Right?

Rep. Bob Rankin (R), sitting on a fence.

The Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports on the selection yesterday of Rep. Bob Rankin of Carbondale to replace Sen. Randy Baumgardner, who is resigning after a long controversy over Baumgardner’s serial sexual harassment of women at the Capitol:

Baumgardner’s resignation is effective Jan. 21. That’s when Rankin will be sworn in as his replacement. A new vacancy committee for his House district seat will be formed to replace him. Rankin said he expects to continue to serve on the Legislature’s Joint Budget Committee.

Baumgardner, who was re-elected to Senate District 8 in 2016 and had two more years to serve before being term limited, said he would “retire” from the Senate to spare his family from that controversy.

During last year’s session, the 63-year-old senator faced two investigations of suspected multiple incidents of sexually harassing women inside the state Capitol. Those investigations said there was substantial evidence to indicate that he was a “boob grabber” who repeatedly showed a propensity to sexually harass female staffers, including right outside the Senate chambers.

Bob Rankin has a reputation as one of the more level-headed Republicans serving in the Colorado House, befitting his service on the powerful Joint Budget Committee and providing a sorely-needed degree of professionalism in a frequently immoderate Republican caucus. We’ll never forget when Rankin took on the gun lobby by unsuccessfully proposing a public relations campaign to debunk the wild falsehoods about the state’s 2013 gun reforms–in marked contrast to most Republican lawmakers who were busy spreading those very same falsehoods. And yes, Rankin also voted to expel ex-Rep. Steve Lebsock from the House last year, further distinguishing himself from Baumgardner’s soiled legacy.

All told, Rankin’s appointment to Baumgardner’s SD-8 seat is a hopeful development for the Colorado Senate’s incoming GOP minority. Unfortunately for Rankin, it’s not likely to be the final word. Debra Irvine, a “Tea Party” activist from Summit County contested Rankin for the SD-8 appointment and is likely to run in the 2020 GOP primary for the seat. Irvine’s much more strident conservative platform and grassroots support could upend the primary against a less-exciting incumbent Sen. Rankin.

For today, though, we’re calling Rankin a win for adulting in the Colorado Senate.

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Taking A Trump Piñata For A Walk On Denver’s 16th Street Mall

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

I was bit nervous when I took a Trump piñata to Denver’s 16th Street Mall recently–even though I had no plans to wrap a blindfold around my eyes, grab a bat, and hit it–or to encourage anyone else to do so.

But I figured just the existence of the piñata could upset Trump supporters–and others who might see it as disrespectful to the office of the president.

This was just a lunch-time nonviolent journalistic exercise, but it had the potential to go south.

It turned out that during the one-hour excursion from the office, not a single person objected to the piñata.

The response was 100 percent supportive, but not so much of Trump, starting with the first comment I got from a guy at the wheel of a white van stopped at a light.

“Hey! Can I hit that piñata?” he asked.

“No,” I said, bringing the piñata over to him. “But you can rub his hair.”

From there it was constant amused grins, rubbernecking. Lots of smiles.

In fact, if you’re sad, friendless, and lonely, and want people to come to your party, the Trump pinata could work wonders, at least in downtown Denver.

“Someone is gonna have fun! Can I come to the party? I got 30 bucks!” said one lively guy.

(more…)

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Gardner On Trump: 2018 In Review

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) enters 2019 on thin blue ice–as he looks to defend his seat in 2020 with Trump’s name on the same election ballot.

To add context to the Gardner debate going forward, here’s a list of 2018 Gardner quotes relating to Trump, taken mostly from the Colorado Times Recorder’s coverage of Gardner. Because the senator and his staff refuse to return our phone calls, most of these quotes are from other media sources.

“Revenge Majority”

“This is nothing more than a revenge majority,”  Gardner said on Fox News’ ‘Fox and Friends’ in December, speaking of the Democratic majority in the U.S. House. “They want to fight against a president that they believe never should have been elected in the first place, and so the policies that they are pursuing are all going to be based on revenge: investigations, cutting border security, doing everything they can to provide that revenge.”

“I’d Like to See the President Come to Colorado.”

“And so I think those are the two key takeaways [from the mid-term election], how President Trump did more than I think any other president has done for elections and getting these candidates elected, and how we were able to defy history,” Gardner said on conservative radio after November’s election, adding on another show: “So, look, I look forward to continuing our work together. And I’d like to see the President come to Colorado. I’d like to see my colleagues want to see him be successful. Let’s talk about the good things we’ve done in Colorado. Let’s show him the good things we’ve done in Colorado. I hope that everybody is engaged in wanting us to have a successful president.

“Radical Left” Opposes Trump

“I think there are elements of the radical left who are going to oppose President Trump, no matter how good it is for this country,” Gardner said in November. “There are obviously things that we’re going to agree with and disagree with the president on. But the economy is creating jobs… Wages are going up. This is incredible.”

The “Media Is Afraid of This”

In June, Gardner told conservatives at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver that Republicans will be able to confirm scores of judges if they can retain control of the U.S. Senate in November. Gardner said the “media is afraid of this,” and they “want us to fail.”

Trump’s Meeting with Kim Jong-un “Certainly a Positive Move”

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) said in May that it was “certainly a positive move” for Trump to enter into talks with North Korea, even though he said the then likely meeting should be taken “not only with a grain of salt but with perhaps an entire salt block.” After once lambasting Obama for lower-level talks with North Korea, Gardner reiterated to CBS that the talks were “positive development.”

Help Secure the “future of President Trump’s America First agenda”

“Your contribution is vital to the future of President Trump’s America First agenda,” Gardner wrote in an August fundraising appeal for a national Republican organization. “With your support, we will strengthen our Senate Majority. Will you step up and make a contribution today?”

“Loony Left” A Potential “Problem” in Mid-Term Election

“Obviously, voter motivation and intensity is important in elections,” Gardner told a libertarian radio host in September. “And if more on the radical left, the loony left, get out and vote than the right, that’s a problem.”

Advice for Trump before State of the Union Speech

“I think this is a chance for the President to really talk about those accomplishments, to talk about the fact that we passed significant bipartisan legislation to make it easier for lifesaving drugs to get approved, that we passed legislation to repeal a whole bunch of bad regulations that were dragging the economy down, that we passed a massive tax cut for the American people allowing them to keep more of their own dollars in their own pocket” Gardner told a conservative radio host in January.

“So this is a little bit of a chance for the President to say, ‘Hey, this is what we accomplished over the last year. As a result, we have more people believing we have the strongest economy in decades. We have more people seeing wage growth. We have more people being able to keep more of their own dollars in their own pocket. We have more people finding better jobs. And this is what we can now do together to make this next year even better.’”

 

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Reapportionment Estimates for 2020

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In looking for population projections to put in my spreadsheets I came across Election Data Services and their projection for reapportionment in 2020. Their analysis of who will gain or lose seats is wonderfully in depth using both current population and projections to 2020.

Colorado has definitely cinched an 8th seat. At two years ago it was still somewhat in question, but we have both passed Minnesota in population and we are projected to keep gaining population at a rate through 2020 that may have us passing up Wisconsin. Even if reapportionment were done today we would definitely gain a seat.

The likely winners in this zero sum game:
Arizona +1
Florida +2
Montana +1
North Carolina +1
Oregon +1
Texas +3

The likely losers:
Alabama -1
Illinois -1
Michigan -1
New York -2
Ohio -1
Pennsylvania -1
Rhode Island -1
West Virginia -1

Two other states are still in flux and it is impossible to say if they will gain or lose seats.

California- Possibly will lose one seat, but may stay even at 53. This would be the first time in history that California has lost a congressional seat in reapportionment.
Minnesota- Currently the counterbalance to California. If California stays even they lose a seat going down to 7. If Minnesota stays even at 8 seats then California loses a seat.

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