So Much Winning for Victor Mitchell

According to a new…Facebook poll, or something, Victor Mitchell is totally winning the Republican race for Governor.

Screenshot from Victor Mitchell’s Facebook page, 6/20/18

This “poll” is apparently similar to a “Western Journal Poll” recently conduced in South Carolina that appears to be some sort of online survey of Republicans on Facebook. We doubt this “poll” has any sort of relation to the potential outcome in the June 26 Primary, but since the world seems to do everything else on Facebook…

Ballot Return Numbers Increase Compared to 2016

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office has released updated ballot return numbers for the June 26 Primary. As of this morning, 425,377 ballots had been returned, with slightly more Republicans (166,529) than Democrats (162,721) having already voted. A total of 96,127 “Unaffiliated” ballots have also been returned, though a sizable percentage of those ballots may ultimately not be counted because of voter error (or, “Proposition 108 error“, to be more specific).

Ballot return numbers were at about 12% for both Democrats and Republicans at roughly the same point in 2016. Here’s how the totals compare between 2016 and 2018, approximately one week out:

Year Democrats Republicans
2016 119,614 121,183
2018 162,721 166,529

Republicans Do Nothing as Children Pulled from Families

UPDATE: As NBC News reports, it’s getting increasingly difficult for the White House — and Congressional Republicans — to deflect blame for this crisis:

The idea of separating migrant children from their mothers was discussed during the earliest days of the Trump administration as a way to deter asylum-seekers, according to notes from a closed-door DHS meeting.

—–

John Moore/Getty Images

The Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy on immigration has led to thousands of children being forcibly separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border. Every single Democrat in the U.S. Senate has now signed onto The Keep Families Together Act, which is intended to put a stop to this horrific policy. While many Republicans have spoken out against the practice of forcible separation, they aren’t taking any real action to force a change.

As Politico explains, this could be a telling moment ahead of the 2018 election:

Even as the White House blames Congress for the crisis at the border,GOP lawmakers are struggling to craft a proposal that unites their own party, let alone one that can win bipartisan support and become law. And with no congressional solution in sight, Hill Republicans worry that Trump’s immigration crackdown could swamp their success on the economy and overshadow all the things they want to run on in the midterm elections…

…And the renewed focus on immigration is almost all self-inflicted, from Trump’s decision to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to his relentless focus on the border wall to his “zero tolerance” policy for border-crossers, which has already led to more than 2,300 children separated from their parents.

But the decision by the administration to separate children from their parents has elevated the issue to one now consuming national politics. Hugh Hewitt, a leading conservative media voice, raised the prospect that the family separation crisis could become “the Republicans’ new Katrina and the president’s new Katrina” in an interview with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) on Monday.

“The White House can fix it if they want to.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)

Understanding why Congressional Republicans refuse to act on this growing humanitarian crisis is depressingly obvious. The results of three new polls are telling.

Polling data released in the last 24 hours by Quinnipiac University, Ipsos, and SSRS all show that the general public disagrees strongly with forcible separations. All three polls also show Republican support for these actions.

According to Quinnipiac, 66% of voters — including 91% of Democrats and 68% of Independents — oppose the Trump immigration policy, but 55% of Republicans support the “zero tolerance” decision:

Quinnipiac University (6/18/18)

 

According to Ipsos, 55% of respondents overall disagreed with the “zero tolerance” approach, with 46% of Republicans expressing support. Finally, a CNN/SSRS poll finds that 67% of Americans disapprove of the Trump immigration policies, while a majority of Republicans stand in support.

Perhaps it should come as no surprise, then, when Republicans like Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) blame the parents of undocumented immigrants for being separated from their children. Some Republicans, such as Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma), don’t go as far as Buck but won’t do anything beyond issuing statements:


Senator Gardner thinks that Congress should do something. Democrats are doing something. It’s Republicans who are sitting on their hands.

Conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin makes a similar point about Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse in the Washington Post today:

The larger issue for Sasse and for other Republicans who have from time to time taken issue with the president is their abject refusal to translate rhetoric into action. [Pols emphasis] In legislation, in oversight and in the confirmation process, they routinely shrink from confrontation with the White House or their own leadership. Republicans do, after all, have the majorities in both houses and long ago could have voted to end child separation. They could, at any time, cease confirming judges or even refuse to go forward on any business until the wicked policy is ended.

Sasse, a former university president who holds a PhD in history from Yale, surely is familiar with the admonition, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil  [or wicked, in his telling] is for good men to do nothing.” Speaking, posting and tweeting don’t count as “doing.” Unless Sasse starts doing, he is enabling.

Republican elected officials do nothing because they are paralyzed in fear of their right-wing base and President Trump. As we’ve said many times in this space, refusing to take action is a choice in itself.

Buck: Children Being Separated From Parents For Their Own Good

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Ken Buck (R).

Despite widespread condemnation of Trump’s mandate to separate immigrant children from their parents at the border, U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) doubled down on his support for the Trump policy today, telling a radio host that the “children are being separated from their parents out of consideration for their own safety.”

In radio comments last week, Buck blamed the parents of the children, saying it’s “unfortunate” that immigrants choose to cross the border illegally.

And so it’s “just a sad reality that there is going to be some unfortunate separation of individuals when crimes are committed.”

On KOA radio this morning, host April Zesbaugh asked Buck if he agreed with U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) who called for the immediate cessation of the “policy that separates kids from their families.”

Buck:I rarely agree with Ed, but I like Ed a lot. But no, I think that it is terribly unfortunate when kids are separated from their families. But the reality is there has to be a responsibility taken by parents who bring kids to this country illegally or who don’t go through the proper asylum procedure when coming into this country. Putting kids in a detention facility with adults is a dangerous situation that’s not done in this country in our criminal system. And where these families are going are to detention centers. And so there is a public safety issue for these kids that has to be taken into account also. It doesn’t change the fact that it’s a terribly unfortunate situation. But I think that the Trump administration — and previous administrations — have had a tough time dealing with how to deal with — or how to address — families that are that are coming into this country legally.

On the same show this morning Perlmutter said Trump “of course” has the power to stop immigrant kids from being separated from their parents, pointing out that Trump’s attorney general, Jeff Sessions, launched the policy this year–and that under previous Democratic and Republican presidents, this did not happen to children at the border, even though past administrations had the power to do it.

“I think it’s illegal and it is immoral to be separating these kids from their families,” said Perlmutter, calling the situation an “emergency” in which kids are being “housed in cages.”

“It’s just wrong,” said Perlmutter.

What you can do to fight back this week (June 18)

As I write this message, a humanitarian crisis is unfolding on the nation’s southern border. Thousands of children are being forcibly separated from their parents and housed in facilities that meet the literal and moral definition of internment camps.

Taking innocent children from their families and placing them in internment camps is wrong. What is being done on our southern border in the name of all Americans runs counter to our most basic American values. Not since our nation ordered the displacement and internment of Japanese-Americans into camps during World War II have we witnessed such a gross violation of human rights on American soil as the Trump administration’s new policy of separating parents from their children at the border.

Action item #1 this week: call the U.S. Capitol right now at 855-440-1800. You’ll be connected to your representatives. Tell them they must fight against the Trump administration’s cruel new policy of separating families at the border. Once that’s done, call Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton at 303-736-2264 and urge him to denounce this unconscionable policy of separating children from their families and locking them inside abandoned Wal-Marts.

If we want to leave a nation to our own children they will be proud of, we must all condemn this outrageous Trump administration policy regardless of party affiliation.

Thanks for taking quick action on this critically important issue. Here are more ways to take action for the week of June 18:


Festival Latino De Colorado (Colorado Latino Festival)

With the success of the first two festivals amassing over 22,000 attendees, more than 80+ performances, 220 vendors, 23+ food trucks and millions of online hits collectively, Barrio E’ & the Latino Chamber are taking this important festival to the beautiful City of Boulder, Colorado in order to highlight what the city is doing to create and maintain relations with its multicultural population.

Where: Central Park, Canyon Blvd. & 13th Street, Boulder
When: June 18-24

Click here to RSVP.


Workshop: Alternative Transportation Solutions for Your Business

Denver businesses big and small are changing their transportation cultures, making for happier customers, improved employee morale and a better bottom line. Certifiably Green Denver is hosting a free workshop that will give you practical tools and ideas to green your business’ transportation practices and cut costs. Free breakfast will be provided by Serendipity Catering and space is limited – RSVP today!

Where: The Alliance Center, 1536 Wynkoop St, Denver
When: Tuesday, June 19 at 9:00am

Click here to RSVP.


Lafayette Council – Do Not Legalize Drilling in our Town

The Lafayette City Council majority is attempting to legalize oil and gas drilling, the construction of fossil fuel infrastructure, and the burning of cancer causing volatile organic compounds within city limits. Ignoring the damage this will cause to public health, our local environment, and the global climate, Councilors are being asked to approve industry-reviewed drilling regulations in defiance of public safety and concern.

Where: Lafayette City Hall, 1290 S Public Rd, Lafayette
When: Tuesday, June 19 at 5:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Fort Collins Mutual Aid Network: Pack The Courthouse! (For Cullen, Mecie, Jeremy, And Brian)

On March 8th, some concerned community members engaged in peaceful civil dissent near Bella Romero Academy. One individual was arrested, numerous others cited. Extraction decided to take this up a level, and with the help of Polsinelli Law Firm, are trying to silence and scare anyone from talking, caring, or engaging in any sort of organization against the atrocities being committed against the school children of Bella Romero by Extraction.

Where: Weld County Combined Courts, Greeley
When: Wednesday, June 20 at 8:00am

Click here to RSVP.


World Refugee Day Colorado – Celebration Rally

Each year on World Refugee Day people around the globe gather to honor the spirit and courage of millions of refugees worldwide. In Colorado we will pause to recognize the contributions refugees make to our state, the talents they bring, and celebrate the many partnerships that make our state a welcoming place for newcomers.

Where: Colorado State Capitol, 200 E Colfax Ave, Denver
When: Wednesday, June 20 at 10:00am

Click here to RSVP.


Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition: House Party/Dreamer Meet and Greet

Who are “Dreamers”? What is the “Dream Act”? Why does it matter? What is the current immigration process like for Dreamers and non-Dreamers? Bring a friend and join us for great food, wine, beer to learn about the immigration system and meet “Dreamers” who will share their stories!

Where: New Day In-Home Support and Respite Services, 15200 E Orchard Rd, Aurora
When: Thursday, June 21 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Moms Demand Action at the Monthly Concert Series

Moms a Demand Action is the Nonprofit of the Month at the monthly concert series! Join us!

Where: Conservatory Green At Stapleton, E 49th Pl, Denver
When: Thursday, June 21 at 6:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


Volunteer with One Colorado at Grand Junction Pride!

Flip-flops. Shades. Farmer’s tan. Oh my! Pride season must be here! Pull on a One Colorado t-shirt, sign up new supporters of LGBTQ equality, and join in the fun this summer.

Where: 6th and Colorado Avenue, Grand Junction
When: Saturday, June 23 – Sunday, June 24

Click here to RSVP.


Volunteer with One Colorado at Durango Pride!

Put on a One Colorado t-shirt, sign up new supporters of LGBTQ equality, and join in the fun this summer! One Colorado needs volunteers at our booth AND people to march with us in the parade! We would love for you to join us.

Where: Buckley Park, 1200 Main Ave, Durango
When: Saturday, June 23 at 12:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Volunteer with Planned Parenthood at Longmont Pride

Volunteer with Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado at Longmont Pride 2018! Our PP table will be stocked with brand new swag and shirts! Rock your pink & show your support for the LGBTQ community and reproductive rights.

Where: 4th Street between Main and Emery Street, Longmont
When: Saturday, June 23 at 1:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


Volunteer with One Colorado at Longmont Pride!

Pride season is here! One Colorado needs volunteers at our booth at Longmont Pride on Saturday, June 23, and we would love for you to join us!

Where: 4th Street Between Main and Emery Street, Longmont
When: Saturday, June 23 at 2:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Fundraiser for Never Again – CO

The goal is to raise money for a trip to Washington D.C. since Sen. Cory Gardner and Rep. Mike Coffman refuses to meet with them on their recess they will take their questions and meet them in Washington D.C. We will also be raising money for the Never Again-CO general fund! These young people have led many movements in Colorado including March for Our Lives – CO.

Where: Whittier Cafe, 1710 E 25th Ave, Denver
When: Saturday, June 23 at 1:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Colorado Rapids Pride Night vs Minnesota United

The Denver Gay & Lesbian Flag Football League is happy to partner with One Colorado and The Colorado Rapids Soccer Club this year in hosting their Pride Night! The Colorado Rapids Soccer Club is donating a portion of each ticket to Gay Bowl XVIII! When you buy your ticket make sure to share the link with your friends, so you can all sit together! With your ticket purchase you will also receive a commemorative PRIDE Scarf!

Where: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, 6000 Victory Way, Commerce City
When: Saturday, June 23 at 7:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Warm Cookies of the Revolution: Artsy Fartsy: “Ideas” Worth Spreading?

Join us for an evening of both silly and serious TED-esque talks exploring how Art can inspire us, manipulate us, raise our voices, or drown them out. A collaboration with Buntport Theater, Bobby LeFebre, Jolt from Guerilla Garden, and Toluwanimi Obiwole, and supported in part by the SCFD.

Where: McNichols Building, 144 W Colfax Ave, Denver
When: Sunday, June 24 at 1:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


CBWPA 4th Annual Painting Party!

Please join Colorado Black Women for Political Action (CBWPA) for our 4th Annual Painting Party on Sunday, June 24th from 1pm to 3:30pm! Everyone is welcome! We encourage all non-members (corporations, local businesses, elected officials, political candidates, men, women, and youth) to attend the event. Enjoy an afternoon of networking, fun and painting with our CBWPA Executive Board, members, friends, family, and supporters. No previous painting experience needed!

Where: Sipping and Painting Hampden Art Studio, 6300 East Hampden Avenue, Denver
When: Sunday, June 24 at 1:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


We hope to see you at these great events throughout the week. Keep an eye on your inbox for breaking news alerts, and thanks again for everything you do to fight back.

Get More Smarter on Monday (June 18)

Don’t forget to get those Primary ballots in the mail or deliver them to a nearby ballot drop (the latter option is probably better at this point). Check GoVoteColorado.com for more information. It’s time to 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 a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.

 

TOP OF MIND TODAY… 

The Trump administration policy to separate innocent children from their families as part of a crackdown on illegal immigration is quickly becoming one of the biggest issues of 2018, with media outlets descending on Southern U.S. border areas to report on a sickening crisis. As the Washington Post reports, pushback from all sides has been swift:

President Trump doubled down Monday on his insistence that Democrats are to blame for the administration’s forced separation of migrant children from their families at the border, even as some Republicans urged him to reverse course…

…Contrary to Trump’s claims, the separations largely stem from a “zero-tolerance” policy announced with fanfare last month by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. As more families are stopped for illegally crossing the border, adults are taken to detention facilities that are effectively jails, and children are sent elsewhere.

The White House also has interpreted a 1997 legal agreement and a 2008 bipartisan human trafficking bill as requiring the separation of families — a posture not taken by the George W. Bush or Obama administrations. [Pols emphasis]…

…“The President should immediately end this family separation policy,” Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said in a lengthy Facebook post Monday. He said Trump doesn’t need Congress to change course on “the horrors of family separation.”

“The administration’s decision to separate families is a new, discretionary choice,” Sasse wrote. “Anyone saying that their hands are tied or that the only conceivable way to fix the problem of catch-and-release is to rip families apart is flat wrong.”

President Trump is trying hard to maintain his line that this hardline policy is somehow the fault of Congressional Democrats, but it is indisputably true that these enhanced enforcement measures began under the Trump administration. Here’s the New York Times:

President Trump remained resistant on Monday in the face of growing public outcry over his administration’s policy of separating children from their parents at the border, repeating the false assertion that Democrats were the ones to blame for it, and suggesting that criminals — not parents — were toting juveniles to the United States…

…In a series of tweets and speeches on Monday, Mr. Trump instead relied on fear to curry support for a “zero tolerance” policy that refers for criminal prosecution all immigrants apprehended crossing the border without authorization. The president used the threat of gang violence and other crime, and a change in the fabric of American culture as a means to stoke support among supporters and push Congress into figuring out a way to drum up funding for his long-promised border wall.

Former First Lady Laura Bush is among the notable Republicans condemning the Trump policies, which she blasted in a harsh editorial published on Sunday. Meanwhile, Dara Lind explains for Vox.com why Trump’s strategy of blaming Democrats doesn’t work in this case:

As a matter of policy, the US government is separating families who seek asylum in the US by crossing the border illegally.

To be clear, there is no official Trump policy stating that every family entering the US without papers has to be separated. What there is is a policy that all adults caught crossing into the US illegally are supposed to be criminally prosecuted — and when that happens to a parent, separation is inevitable.

Still unconvinced that this policy actually comes from the Trump administration? Try this CBS News story.

► Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen today refused to apologize for the Trump administration policies — sparking calls for her resignationStephen Collinson and Lauren Fox of CNN wonder how long the White House can sustain this policy. NBC News takes a detailed look at life inside the chain-link fences at an immigration processing center in Texas.

 

► Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper today joined Governors from across the country in refusing to use state resources for the Trump administration’s family-separation enforcement methods :

For more local coverage on reaction to the Trump immigration policies, check out the Colorado Independent, the Longmont Times-Call, and the Grand Junction Sentinel.

 

 

 Colorado’s Primary Election finally concludes in about a week. Tell us who you think will win the Democratic and Republican gubernatorial nominations, respectfully. 

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

(more…)

Anti-Abortion Group: Top GOP Candidates for Governor are Dodging Abortion Questions

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado Campaign for Life, a statewide anti-abortion group, says two leading Republican candidates for governor won’t answer specific questions about abortion.

The silence from the two candidates, State Treasurer Walker Stapleton and former state lawmaker Victor Mitchell, has led Colorado Campaign for Life to accuse them of being “squishy” on their alleged “pro-life” stand.

In a Facebook post this week, Colorado Campaign for Life asserted Stapleton and Mitchell “mouth Pro-life rhetoric in private” but won’t say whether they believe life begins at conception or whether they support a proposed law mandating women receive an ultrasound and the option of seeing it, prior to having an abortion.

A review of statements about abortion by Mitchell and Stapleton shows that they’ve both signaled their vague support for the anti-abortion cause, even though their campaign websites are silent on the subject.

The “Issues” section of Stapleton’s website, for example, lists “Sanctuary Cities, Retirement, Education, Energy and Land, Transportation, Second Amendment, and Jobs.” Nothing about abortion rights. In a Facebook interview last week, Stapleton said he’d defend the Colorado Constitution’s ban on state funding of abortion. And during a speech to state Republicans in April, he vowed to protect the “born and unborn,” according to the liberal blog ColoradoPols.

Stapleton did not return an email from the Colorado Times Recorder seeking details on his abortion positions.

Mitchell wrote on Facebook last year that Colorado Republicans “should nominate pro-life candidates,” but he reportedly also believes that Roe v. Wade is settled law–a view that’s considered more pro-choice. And he said he doesn’t support more restrictive abortion laws in Colorado, according to a questionnaire he filled out for the Colorado Independent. He contradicted this stance earlier this year when he said he wants to ban late-term abortions in Colorado. Mitchell did not return an email asking for an explanation of this stance.

Two other Republicans in the GOP primary race appear to have hard-line anti-abortion views.

“I believe that only God has the right to take a life, whether in the womb, beginning at conception, or before natural death,” states the campaign website of Greg Lopez, a former mayor of a Denver suburb, on his website. “I am pro-life, without exceptions.”

Another Republican in the primary race, businessman Doug Robinson, has said he voted for Colorado’s personhood amendment, which would ban all abortion, even after a rape. But responding to a questionnaire from the Colorado Independent, Robinson skipped a question asking if he would support more restrictive abortion laws in Colorado.

Surveys show Republican primary voters  to be anti-choice, but with a recent poll showing Stapleton ahead by double digits, his campaign tactics may already be focused on  the general election, where voters overwhelmingly favor abortion rights.

February poll conducted by a GOP consulting firm showed that 47 percent of Republican voters would reject a pro-choice primary candidate.

But polling generally shows Colorado’s general election voters to be pro-choice. A 2014 Pew Poll, for example, found 59 percent of the state’s population wants abortion to be legal in most or all cases.

Who Will Be the Republican Nominee for Governor, Round 2

We asked Colorado Pols readers to weigh in on this question last week, and we’ll continue to post these online polls until the June 26th Primary as a way of gauging the perceptions of politically-astute observers (like you) on the state of the race for Governor.

Remember: We want to know who you think will be the winner in this race — not who you support or who you would prefer to see emerge victorious. Cast your vote below.

Who Will Be the Republican Nominee for Governor (Round 2)?
Walker Stapleton
Victor Mitchell
The Nephew of Mitt Romney
Greg Lopez
View Result

 

PRIOR RESULTS:

June 14, 2018
 

Who Will Be the Democratic Nominee for Governor, Round 2

We asked Colorado Pols readers to weigh in on this question last week, and we’ll continue to post these online polls until the June 26th Primary as a way of gauging the perceptions of politically-astute observers (like you) on the state of the race for Governor.

Remember: We want to know who you think will be the winner in this race — not who you support or who you would prefer to see emerge victorious. Cast your vote below.

Who Will be the Democratic Nominee for Governor (Round 2)?
Jared Polis
Cary Kennedy
Mike Johnston
Donna Lynne
View Result

 

PRIOR RESULTS:

June 14, 2018

 

Lock Kids Up – Trump’s Border “Solution” for Prison Profits

LL at ICE protest

“Lucia” (not her real name)  speaks about the pain of being separated from her children by ICE. Photos by Amalthea Aelwyn, used with permission

Lucia’s* voice is cracking. She can’t hold back the tears as she describes being incarcerated in the  GEO Group ICE detention facility,  where a crowd is gathered now to hear her.

“Lucia”* fled her father’s abuse and horrific civil war in Guatemala to come to the US in 1998. She went to school here, but had to drop out of high school when her mother died of cancer.

“Lucia” has raised a family, worked, and made a life here, but when her husband was pulled over at a traffic stop, both were incarcerated in the ICE facility in Aurora. For a week, her  children had no idea where their parents were, or if they were alive or dead. They finally were able to post $1000 bond each, and are now working their way through the system, trying not to be deported, trying to keep their family together.

Cristian

Marguerite and Cristian addressing the crowd at Families Belong Together rally. Photo by Amalthea Aelwyn, used with permission

Cristian from Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition is a vibrant young man with a wide smile.  He is a student leader at his college.

But Cris is a Dreamer, and if DACA protections are rescinded, he could be deported at any time.

He tells the story of how his mother carried him and his young sister over the border, and how she has worked ever  since  to maintain the family.

“My mother has been on that waiting list (for citizenship) since 1999,” he said. “My whole family pays local taxes, we pay into Medicaid and Medicare, Social Security, we pay Federal taxes, local taxes, sales taxes. We pay for programs we will never benefit from. We’re helping to take care of our nation’s children, of our senior citizens. We are not a burden. The real burden is the moral burden Trump is imposing on this country with these policies.”

Marguerite, from Colombia, said,“ I see this building behind you and it pains me. It hurts. Because I would have to wait in line to see my son. He waited for months there to be deported back to Colombia.  There is no illegal human being on this earth. The only way we can become illegal is to break our laws and hurt each other. But we’re not doing that.”

Lucia, Cristian, and Marguerite are speaking to a diverse crowd of about two hundred people,  gathered in front of GEO group’s vast, windowless, grim ICE facility in Aurora on June 14, 2018, to protest the Trump administration’s new policy of separating families who are crossing the border.

I am part of this protest. We are here  because we feel that we must “do something” to stop the atrocity of tearing families apart and incarcerating the young children of families who come here seeking asylum.

Over 11,000 children have been separated from their families while crossing the southern border since March, according to NPR. About 46 kids a day are being torn away from their parents. This is not including the unaccompanied minors who were already showing up at the border by the thousands.

(more…)

Colorado Week in Review: 6/15/18

If You Want a Semi-Automatic AR-15, Maybe You Should Start Going to GOP Fundraisers

(We’re good, thanks – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

If you want to start amassing guns, you might consider attending Republican Party fundraisers in Colorado.

To get your own military-style semi-automatic AR-15 rifle this weekend, you’d have to be lucky (or unlucky if you hate guns), because it’s the grand prize in a Saturday raffle for the Teller County Republican Party.

In May, you could have gotten one at a GOP fundraiser in Colorado Springs.

The AR-15 is the firearm used at the mass killings of students in Florida this year and Sandy Hook in 2012. it was used in the Las Vegas massacre in 2017 and San Bernadino in 2015. And, unfortunately, elsewhere.

Does that bother the organizers of the raffle?

“Absolutely not,” said Erik Stone, the elected chair of the Teller County Republican Party, told the Colorado Times Recorder. “Individual people are responsible for individual acts. Guns are inanimate objects. They are tools. They can be used the same as a car, a knife, a sword, as we saw in Kansas City. There are many weapons people can use with evil intent. And I have no problems with our raffle.”

Stone said the winner of the raffle will have to pass a background check before receiving his or her grand prize.

“If they cannot pass a background check, they will receive a cash prize in lieu of the firearm,” said Stone, adding that he is not only a gun-rights advocate but also an NRA certified instructor who recently taught a free concealed-carry class for teachers and first responders. “Everything will be done completely legally.”

At a GOP fundraiser in May, your chance to win an AR-15 would probably have been more pricey. Instead of being raffled off, the weapon was the first of six “live auction items” at the El Paso County Republican Party’s annual fundraiser at the Antlers Hotel in downtown Colorado Springs.

The estimated value of the AR-15 for this weekend’s raffle is $1,500. The second prize in the raffle is 10 one-once Liberty Silver Dollars, with a retail value of $200. Money goes to Republican efforts in Teller County, located outside of Colorado Springs.

Stone said the AR-15 has multiple uses. It is America’s number one gun choice for killing varmints, he said, which is the same point made in March by U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) when he said farmers and ranchers in his district use the AR-15 to shoot “pests, raccoons, or foxes or other smaller animals that are trying get into their chickens or disrupt their operations.”

Gun-safety advocates say you don’t need a semi-automatic weapon to kill raccoons or other farm pests. It’s essentially a military weapon, designed for rapid-fire killing not hunting or other civilian use, they say.

Get More Smarter on Friday (June 15)

Get those Primary ballots in the mail or deliver them to a nearby ballot drop. Check GoVoteColorado.com for more information. It’s time to 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 a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.

 

TOP OF MIND TODAY… 

► Paul Manafort, the former campaign manager for Donald Trump, has been sent to jail by a federal judge over allegations of witness tampering. From the Washington Post:

“You have abused the trust placed in you six months ago,’’ U.S. District Court judge Amy Berman Jackson told Manafort. “The government motion will be granted and the defendant will be detained.”

The judge said sending Manafort to a cell was “an extraordinarily difficult decision,” but added his conduct left her little choice, because he had allegedly contacted witnesses in the case in an effort to get them to lie to investigators…

…Manafort had been confined to his home on electronic monitoring and other restrictions since he was first indicted Oct. 27 during Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Most of the criminal counts relate to activity that preceded Manafort’s time as Trump’s campaign manager, from March to August of 2016, when he resigned amid news reports that he had received secret cash payments for his Ukraine consulting.

On Friday President Trump said that Manafort “has nothing to do with our campaign.” CBS News quickly pointed out why this is nonsense; in May 2016, Trump promoted Manafort as CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN of his Presidential bid.

 

► Today’s news about Paul Manafort should be concerning enough to Team Trump, but it may not even be Trump’s biggest problem. As CNN reports, Trump attorney Michael Cohen appears to be willing to cooperate with federal investigators:

President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen has indicated to family and friends he is willing to cooperate with federal investigators to alleviate the pressure on himself and his family, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Cohen has expressed anger with the treatment he has gotten from the President, who has minimized his relationship with Cohen, and comments from the President’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, the source said. The treatment has left him feeling isolated and more open to cooperating, the source said.

Asked by reporters Friday if he was worried about Cohen cooperating, Trump said, “I did nothing wrong, nothing wrong.” He also said he hasn’t spoken with Cohen “in a long time,” adding, “I always liked Michael and he’s a good person.”

CBS News reported Thursday that Cohen believes Trump and his allies are turning against him.

 

 The Democratic Party is moving up the dates for its national convention. From CNN:

Democrats will hold their convention in 2020 earlier than they have in more than two decades, Democratic operatives tell CNN, partly out of anticipation of a crowded and contentious primary.

The Democratic National Convention is slated to take place from July 13 to July 16, 2020, almost two weeks earlier than the 2016 convention.

Denver is among eight cities still being considered to host the DNC.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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GOP Challenger Touts Health While Opponent Recovers from Back Surgery

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

An Otero County Republican candidate forum got personal last week when primary challenger Don Bendell touted his health and pain tolerance at an event incumbent State Rep. Judy Reyher (R-Swink) was forced to miss while recovering from spinal surgery. 

Reyher is recovering from a May 22 spinal surgery for severe disc disintegration and was unable to attend. She sent a long letter explaining her absence, listing her legislative accomplishments and offering her priorities for her the upcoming year. It started with an extensive explanation of her recent surgery and the challenges that prevented her from attending the debate.

“When [the surgeons] got in there it was worse than they thought with the actual membrane surrounding the nerve being impaired.  I believed I could just drive La Junta for the forum today and and drive back tomorrow for my first post-op visit. My body put a full halt to that notion this morning as I was getting ready to make the trip. My body just has a lot of healing to do.”

Her opponent, Don Bendell, began his remarks by asking for prayers for Reyher’s recovery.

“I came here to debate. I really feel bad for my opponent, I’m sorry she couldn’t be here and I ask for you to join me in prayer for her quick recovery. I certainly can sympathize, since I started running I’ve had two 9mm kidney stones… It’s not fun dealing with pain but I’ve dealt with it my entire life. I had a broken back too, in 2011 and my prayers certainly go out to my opponent. I’m not here to say anything bad about my opponent but I am here to talk about her record.”

He then launched into a stump speech before taking questions from the audience. The first question was, “What do you have to offer Otero County?”

Here was his answer:

 

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Who Will Be the Republican Nominee for Governor?

The Primary Election is less than two weeks away, so it’s time for our very wise readers to start prognosticating.

As always, we want to know who you think will be the winner in this race — not who you support or who you would prefer to see emerge victorious. The point of this exercise is to gauge the current perception of this race through the eyes (and mouse clicks) of politically-astute observers like you, so we’re more interested in your gut feeling than anything else. Vote away!

Who Will Be the Republican Nominee for Governor?
Walker Stapleton
Victor Mitchell
The Nephew of Mitt Romney
Greg Lopez
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