Will The Hate for Our Traditional Institutions Ever End?

Will The Hate for Our Traditional Institutions Ever End?

The short answer, No. In order to establish new behaviors and new norms it is essential that traditional institutions be torn down, disassembled and erased to make way for the new order.

Yesterday I came face to face with this new effort. Unsuspectingly I entered into discussion with a group who appeared on the surface to be well grounded and reasonable patriotic people. Little did I realize that they were a bunch of sinister hard core change agents dedicated to destroying our traditional institutions.

Their target was the stalwart of the Thanksgiving table side dishes, the green bean casserole. The green bean casserole, synonymous for comfort food, was to be destroyed and wiped clean from our collective taste buds.

The hate that flowed so freely, disgusting, eck, no never, why would you, cream of mushroom or those highly process onion ring things; and even divisive, “it doesn’t taste like my mothers”. Stop the hate!

I wondered if the hate was based on color. The green, associated with radical environmentalists or the bean, associated with gas from the legume family. Whatever the reason it is un American to hate the green bean casserole.

It is time that we embrace diversity and welcome the new green bean casserole to our table for Thanksgiving. A tradition not replaced but built new on the stalwart recipe of the ages.

Start with fresh green beans cook until soft.

In a large pot add olive oil and a large onion. Sauté until golden brown when all the sugar has been released.

Add a pound of chopped apple wood smoked bacon from the meat case, not the packaged kind and cook until that wonderful aroma has filled the house…..bacon.

Add the green beans and mix well.

Now add some Velveeta cheese, just enough so that it melts and gets a thin coating on the beans.

You can serve as is or add the onion rings and bake. Make it ahead and your guest will love how you have saved an institution for American.

Make Green Bean Casserole Great Again!

Get More Smarter on Friday (November 16)

If you lived in Canada, you would have already celebrated Thanksgiving (and, presumably, you wouldn’t be the only person still in your office today). 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.



President Trump is no match for the First Amendment…at least for today. As CNN reports about CNN:

CNN’s Jim Acosta will return to his post at the White House on Friday following a court ruling that forced the Trump administration to reinstate his press pass.

The ruling by federal judge Timothy J. Kelly was an initial victory for CNN in its lawsuit against President Trump and several top aides. The suit alleges that CNN and Acosta’s First and Fifth Amendment rights were violated by last week’s suspension of his press pass.

Kelly did not rule on the underlying case on Friday. But he granted CNN’s request for a temporary restraining order. And he said he believes that CNN and Acosta are likely to prevail in the case overall.

Speaking outside the court, Ted Boutrous, an outside attorney representing CNN, said “this is a great day for the First Amendment and journalism.”


► As the Denver Post reports, Colorado is on the verge of adopting new standards for vehicle emissions:

A Colorado commission appears likely to decide that new cars sold in the state have to emit fewer greenhouse gases and get better gas mileage starting in 2022.

The nine-member Colorado Air Quality Control Commission is scheduled to vote Friday on a set of low-emission vehicle standards proposed by Gov. John Hickenlooper. The Democrat mandated in June that the commission — composed of his appointees — adopt the rules by the end of the year.

Opponents say the new statewide standard, which is based on California’s rules, would make cars a lot more expensive without making them a lot cleaner.

Opponents say the proposed standards will raise the average price of vehicles in Colorado, while supporters of the change say drivers will save thousands of dollars on fuel costs.


► The margins of victory in many Colorado races have changed quite a bit since Election Day. Updated numbers from the Colorado Secretary of State show that Democrat Jason Crow defeated incumbent Republican Mike Coffman in CO-6 by better than 11 points.


► Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner is sounding more and more like President Trump every day. Gardner has been on the post-election talk radio circuit and is working very hard to convince himself that 2018 was not a wave election for Democrats. Gardner’s talking points aren’t backed up by reality, as Republican-aligned polling outfit Magellan Strategies explains. Unaffiliated voters in Colorado made themselves very clear in 2018.



Get even more smarter after the jump…


Gardner Praises Trump For Election Wins, While Coffman Slams The Prez For GOP Losses, Including His Own

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (left) and Rep. Mike Coffman.

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) blamed Trump today for Coffman’s election loss last week, just as Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner jumped on the radio to credit the president for GOP wins in key senate races.

Coffman told Vox today:

“I believe, quite frankly, that the president had a strategy of focusing on the Senate at the expense of the House,” [Coffman] said. “That the map had it where that there were red states that Trump carried that had competitive Senate races and what he did was made the midterm a national election and about him….”

“The president’s tone is polarizing,” Coffman said. “It was very difficult to try and make the case, particularly to suburban, college-educated women who were so upset with the president, to vote for me when they felt there needed to be a greater check on President Trump…”

Coffman says he doesn’t see Republicans regaining any territory in the House.

“Good. Luck,” he said, laughing.

Contrast Coffman’s dark view of Trump with Gardner’s sunbeam comments about the president working his tail off for winning GOP senate candidates:

“We bucked history,” Gardner said on KNUS’ Caplis and Kafer Show last week, repeating his previous assertion that “I don’t think it was a blue wave” in Colorado. “…So, you know, the keeping of the majority in the midterm, I think, is historic. And President Trump went out and worked his tail off in a lot of these states.

“And so I think those are the two key takeaways, 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….”

“So, look, I look forward to continuing our work together.” Gardner told Steffan Tubbs on KNUS yesterday, referring to Trump. “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.

The Coffman-Gardner contrast on Trump underscores again that Republicans have nowhere to turn, with Trump’s unhinged media presence so overwhelming and his popularity so low among so many different types of voters in states like Colorado.

Embrace him? Trash him? Do both? None of those approaches will win over enough voters for a GOP candidate to compete in Colorado, at least as things stand today, based on what happened last Tuesday.

Elway Is A Loser On And Off The Football Field This Election Season

(Sad trombone – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

John Elway and Tim Neville

One reason political analysts think the waters of the blue wave won’t be leaving Colorado anytime soon is the absence of a Republican candidate who appears to be able to win.

Bronco legend John Elway has been thought of as such a candidate in the past, even though he’s apparently never really wanted to run.

And, even if he did, he appears to be on a deep losing streak, presiding over both a losing football team and endorsing failed GOP candidates.

John Elway and Beth Martinez Humenik

His favorite candidates appear to have included State Sen.Tim Neville (R-Littleton), who lost to Democrat Tammy Story; GOP businesswomen Christine Jensen, who lost to State Rep. Jessie Danielson  (D-Wheat Ridge); and State Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik (R-Thornton), who was defeated by Democratic State Rep. Faith Winter, of Adams County.

Apparently trying to jump to an early lead, the Superbowl quarterback gave $10,000 in August to Better Colorado Now, which spent heavily on behalf Walker Stapleton, who was blown out by Democrat Jared Polis by over 10 percentage points. Whether that entity was playing by the rules when Stapleton helped collect early donations has been questioned.


MUST-HEAR AUDIO: Former Leader of Colo GOP Explodes In Talk-Radio Battle Over Gardner

(Let it begin – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

In a volcanic eruption and tsunami on KNUS radio Monday, Colorado’s former Republican leader defended U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner from accusations that the first-term senator is 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.”

“[Gardner] has been a chamber guy from day one, and he runs with Mitch McConnell,” shouted Chuck Bonniwell, a Republican talk radio host who’s also the publisher of the Cherry Creek/Glendale Chronicle.

“[Gardner] voted for, and was a day-in-day-out defender of the tax cuts,” responded Wadhams. “He has been a defender of deregulation. He’s been the defender of Trump’s foreign policy. So, tell me, where has Cory fallen down, as U. S. Senator for Trump?”

Wadhams continued to criticize Trump and try to convince Bonniwell that Gardner, while imperfect, is a good Republican who deserves GOP support.

WADHAMS: I’ve got to tell you, I am frankly tired of people crapping on Cory Gardner, because–

BONNIWELL: Of course you are! Because he deserves it!

WADHAMS: No, he doesn’t. He doesn’t.

BONNIWELL: And the truth hurts! The truth hurts.

WADHAMS: Is he a perfect perfect Senator? No. But you know what? He has been there time after time.

Wadhams tried to make the case that Republicans won’t find a better candidate than Gardner.

WADHAMS: Is there any other Republican who can win a general election in 2020 — other than Cory Gardner — for the United States Senate? [It’s a] very specific question. Answer it!

BONNIWELL: Is anybody going to have the money he’s going to have from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce?

WADHAMS: I ask again, do you think–?

BONNIWELL: If you give him the money — if you give somebody good the money of Cory Gardner–.

WADHAMS: And who is ‘somebody good?’ I mean, let me hear this wonderful candidate.

Bonniwell eventually suggested that Gardner be replaced GOP State House Minority Leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock. Or his father, State Sen. Tim Neville (R- Littleton), who was trounced out of office on last week.

The conversation went up and down from there.

But to get a real understanding of it, you have to listen to the audio below.


Conservative Republicans are already talking about trying to knock out Gardner

David Flaherty

David Flaherty

Conservative Republicans are already talking about trying to knock U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner out of Colorado’s 2020 senate race, with one local talk-radio host floating the name of State House Minority Leader Patrick Neville as a “great choice” to take on Gardner.

Neville didn’t return a call seeking to know if he’d challenge Gardner or if he knew about KNUS host Chuck Bonniwell’s suggestion that he run.

Whether it’s Neville or another Republican, David Flaherty of Magellan Strategies told a libertarian radio host last month that he thinks there “very well may be a primary” challenge to Gardner.

Asked for details, Flaherty said today, “With the sting of the defeat, there is a wide array of opinions and viewpoints on where to go from here. Obviously, some of those are going to be arch conservatives, if you will. And they have their voice and their opinion, just like you and I.”

“We’ll see what spirited conservative Republicans may emerge. I don’t know of anything in particular,” Flaherty told the Colorado Times Recorder, adding that he personally backs Gardner and the chances are “minuscule” that a primary challenge to Gardner would succeed.

“Cory is going to have $50 million at his fingertips after coming off his job at the NRSC,” said Flaherty. “And he’s going to have plenty of money to do whatever he needs to, if there is challenge in the primary.”

KNUS host Chuck Bonniwell, who’s the publisher of newspapers in Cherry Creek and Glendale, floated Neville’s name in a radio conversation this with Dick Wadhams, the former chair of the Colorado Republican Party.

Asked by Wadhams to name a person who would be a better candidate than Gardner, Bonniwell screamed, “Pick out a Neville! Patrick Neville!”

“Patrick Neville?” responded Wadhams. “Are you starting the Patrick Neville draft program?”

“Yeah,” said Bonniwell. “He’d be great…. Tim [Neville] has lots of time on his hands. He’s also a great conservative.”

Wadhams adamantly said no Republican will have a better chance in 2020 than Gardner.

“Start the primary process for Cory Gardner NOW.”

Writing on the Arapahoe Tea Party Facebook page, Republican gadfly Marc Zarlengo also tried to fire up anti-Gardner minions with a call to replace Gardner.

“Does GOP want to keep the US Senate seat?” wrote Zarlengo. “Start the primary process for Cory Gardner NOW. Get the most Conservative candidate who will appeal to the base and defeat Gardner. Otherwise we will have Senator Hickenlooper.”

Former Chair of the El Paso County GOP, Eli Bremer, wrote that Zarlengo’s comment was “ridiculous.”

Eli Bremer:  The only word I can come up with for this is ridiculous. Gardner is the only Republican who has demonstrated he can win. He has Trumps support and will campaign with him in two years. We can not afford to lose our majority in the Senate which would completely derail the outstanding work of placing originalist judges in courts.

Republicans lost because unaffiliated suburban women hated us in the election. That’s shown clearly in the data. It was literally in every district in the state. We need to find a way to talk to these voters and figure out what our shared values with them are rather than infighting and primarying the only Republican left statewide.

Zarlengo, who’s widely known anti-establishment Republican in Colorado, responded with:

Marc Zarlengo: “Uhh…Walker Stapleton and Wayne Williams won state wide election too, and they just got their asses handed to them. So I guess that theory is already out the door.”

Bremer, then wrote:

Eli Bremer: They were down ticket to Cory’s up ticket race. The data were clear: unaffiliated suburban women moved strongly against Republicans in Colorado. That is fact and not opinion. If we want to win, we have to deal with reality and not fantasy.

Will Republicans Switch Registration and Vote in Democratic Primary?

Flaherty is so convinced that Gardner will be the choice of Republicans in 2020 that he said on the radio he’d register as an Unaffiliated voter to manipulate the Democrats’ efforts in 2020.

“I wouldn’t affiliate with the Unaffiliated Party because I no longer want to be associated with the Republican Party or anything like that,” said Flaherty today.

“I would switch to Unaffiliated because I’d rather play around with the Democrats, because there are going to be so many of them. I very well might become unaffiliated just to vote in the Democrat presidential primary. And perhaps the [Democratic] primary for the senate too, because I expect that to be pretty spirited.”

How many Republicans might do this?

Flaherty took the January 2017 voter file and compared it to the the Oct. 2018 voter file and found that 100,000 voters switched and became Unaffiliated from a prior party. Turns out, it was about 50,000 Democrats and 50,000 Republicans, he said.

“I wouldn’t expect it to be overwhelming but who knows? I’m sure there are going to be other Republican voters like myself who say, ‘You know what, there isn’t going to be any action on our side. I may want to weigh in on the Dem primary because it’s going to have all the attention. You know what I mean, why not.”

“If I really felt my vote was needed for Cory, that would factor into my decision, although I think the odds of that are just minuscule.

“Honestly, I’m looking forward to seeing that Dem primary,” said Flaherty, insisting that Gardner can defeat some Democratic candidates. “The bottom line is, the candidate makes a difference.”

Listen to Flaherty on KHOW’s Ross Kaminsky Show March 31 here:

After the wave: what you can do to fight back this week (November 13)

It was an historic night.

One week ago today, Colorado struck back at the polls against Trump and the Republican takeover of Washington, D.C. Colorado’s congressional delegation has a Democratic majority again for the first time since 2010, helping progressives take back the U.S. House of Representatives. We elected the first openly LGBTQ man governor of any state in American history. We recaptured the Colorado Senate. Progressives won the Attorney General’s office, the Secretary of State, and the State Treasurer’s office, too.

We did this. YOU did this. Because of your resistance, because of all of your work, all of your door knocks and all of your phone calls, Colorado’s future is a bright and deep blue.

Cory Gardner’s time is almost up. As chairman of the Republican Senate campaign organization, Gardner closed ranks with Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell in the 2018 campaign. But after Colorado rejected the Party of Trump in historic fashion this year, Gardner’s collusion with Trump will be his undoing. We’re counting down until Cory Gardner’s time runs out at corycountdown2020.com. Check it out and share it with your friends.

Modernize your resistance with the RiseUp app! To everyone who has found these weekly update emails to be a useful resources and told us so, thank you. We’ll keep them coming. But there’s another easy way to get the latest information and progressive action alerts in real time. Download the RiseUp app today for your iPhone or Android and never miss another chance to make your voice heard.

Thanks again for everything you have done to resist the far right and make history in this year’s elections. The fight is far from over–here are some ways to take action for the week of November 13:

Coloradans For Immigrant Rights General Monthly Meeting

Join us the Second Tuesday of every month for our general meeting where we report back on our projects. Currently, Bird dogging during the congressional recess, the Crossing South Resource, and Sanctuary Everywhere efforts.

Where: AFSC & Coloradans For Immigrant Rights, 1420 Ogden Street, Suite 201, Denver
When: Tuesday, November 13 at 5:00pm

Click here to RSVP.

Putin: A Russian Journalist’s View

Julia Ioffe, writer for The Atlantic Monthly, will share her views — as a Russian expat — on the impact Putin is having on her home country. If you watched coverage of the Trump-Putin Helsinki meetings, you’ve seen her on most major networks and cable channels.

Where: The Warwick Hotel, downtown Denver
When: Tuesday, November 13 at 5:30pm

Click here to RSVP.

Denver Concerned Citizens: Hear 2 Candidates for Denver Mayor: Calderon & Tate

Join City Park Friends And Neighbors (CPFAN) and give a warm welcome to Denver Mayoral Candidates, Lisa Calderon & Penfield Tate. Candidates will have 45 minutes each to address the gathering and to answer questions. A social hour will follow from 8 – 9 PM. Parking in rear of church.

Where: Messiah Community Church, 1750 Colorado Blvd., Denver
When: Tuesday, November 13 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.

Change The Name Stapleton: Gregg Deal: White Supremacy & The History of This Land

Attendance is free of charge. The event is funded by the Strengthening Neighborhoods Grant, through The Denver Foundation. Event will be held in the Greenberg Commons. As you enter the school, turn right toward the High School (red doors). The Commons is the main space that you will enter upon going through the doors.

Where: DSST: Stapleton High School, 2000 Valentia Street, Denver
When: Tuesday, November 13 at 6:30pm

Click here to RSVP.

Genocide and Slavery Roundtable Conference

What can be done when we see acts of Genocide or Slavery lead to social death, stripping victims of names, cultural traditions, and other forms of identity in a way that allows crimes against humanity? How can we raise awareness before these tactics are used to justify economic gains by one part of society at the expense of another?

Where: Address upon RSVP
When: Wednesday, November 14 at 10:30am

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, November 14 at 11:30am

Click here to RSVP.

Warm Cookies of the Revolution: Bring Your Government: F*ck, Chuck, or Marry Edition!

How it works: 3 presenters tell you about government programs they want to keep, get rid of, or flirt with. Kalyn Heffernan (Wheelchair Sports Camp), James Roy II, Jamie Perkins. 2 comedians make you laugh. Andrew Orvedahl, Janae Burris. 1 lightning round where you offer your perspective.

Where: McNichols Building, 144 W Colfax Ave, Denver
When: Thursday, November 15 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.

Colorado Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice: In Our Own Words: Women, Religion and Choice

We are pleased to invite you to explore women’s and abortion rights from a faith-based perspective. Two nationally regarded religious scholars will discuss their books and beliefs. Join us to hear and meet: Dr. Monique Moultrie. Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Georgia State University, author of Passionate and Pious: Religious Media and Black Women’s Sexuality, and Dr. Rebecca Todd Peters, Presbyterian Minister and Religious Studies Professor at Elon University in North Carolina, author of Trust Women: A Progressive Argument for Reproductive Justice.

Where: Iliff School of Theology, Shattuck Hall 2201 S. University Blvd, Denver
When: Friday, November 16 at 6:30pm

Click here to RSVP.

A History of Race and White Supremacy in the U.S.

How did we get here? How did racism emerge as a such a pervasive social structure in the U.S.? What is the reality of “race”? It’s a question many of us have asked at one time or another, and it has a clear answer. Race is a social construct, a tool for oppression. In short, racism is real, but race is not. Race also has a definitive origin story, and one that every anti-racist or social justice activist should know. Join this training to learn a brief history of racial classification in the U.S., and how it influences our mistaken perception of race today, and its implications for anti-racist work in the future.

Where: Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder, Colorado 5001 Pennsylvania Ave, Boulder
When: Saturday, November 17 at 10:00am

Click here to RSVP.

Colorado Lynching Memorials: Preston Porter Jr.

You are invited to attend a memorial of remembrance and mourning organized by the Colorado Community Remembrance Project, in partnership with the Equal Justice Initiative, to honor the life and death of Preston Porter Jr. who was killed by a lynch mob just outside of Limon in 1900. Porter was accused of a murder, coerced into confessing, and was burned at the stake by members of the community.

Where: 1000 1st St, Limon
When: Saturday, November 17 at 2:00pm

Click here to RSVP.

Impact – Sack Lunches for the Homeless

It doesn’t take much, just everyone pitching in $10, or $20 bucks making up some lunches and going and handing them out downtown. I can tell you the simple act of kindness towards another human being really changes your perspective. It really is just about having a small impact on someone’s life that trust me they appreciate!

Where: Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom, 2635 Welton St, Denver
When: Sunday, November 18 at 12:30pm

Click here to RSVP.

Thank you for helping make Colorado the progressive success story that made the whole nation proud this year. We’ll see you after the Thanksgiving holiday!

We Told You So (Apparently)

dealinwalkerfinA Colorado Pols reader reminded us over the weekend that we had long ago predicted that Republican Walker Stapleton would not be the next Governor of Colorado.

We had honestly forgotten about this, but everything that we wrote in this May 2015 post — “Walker Stapleton Shows (Again) Why He’ll Never Make it to Higher Office” — held up pretty well in 2018. For example:

Walker Stapleton [is] Colorado’s “gold standard” when it comes to the stereotypical, fast-talking, bullshitting politician. Stapleton has made such a caricature of himself over the last couple of years that it he hardly seems real. Surely, you think, nobody can truly be this transparently smarmy and exist as an actual human politician…or can he?

The State Treasurer doesn’t traditionally generally get a lot of press in Colorado, and Stapleton has been no exception to the norm. But when Stapleton’s name does end up in the news, the odds are pretty good that it’s because he did something stupid. Stapleton is good at stupid.

When we wrote about Stapleton in May 2015, it was in relation to his bizarre attempt to claim that he had opposed a controversial PERA-related bill — nevermind that he wrote a letter in support of the legislation and even testified in favor of HB-1388. We marveled at the fact that Republicans were looking at Stapleton as a contender for higher office in the future despite his obvious shortcomings:

Stapleton is pretty good at fundraising, largely because of his family connections (he’s directly related to the Bush family), but he’s otherwise a complete political dunce who frequently stumbles into obvious potholes. Stapleton was re-elected as State Treasurer in 2014, but it was an unexpectedly close race due entirely to his own idiocy; when an open records request revealed that Stapleton rarely bothered to show up at his office, he made ridiculous excuses and then wouldn’t stop talking about it.

We wrote after the November election that Stapleton’s panicky errors and laughable TV ads should remove his name from future discussion about higher office; since then, Stapleton has done nothing to prove us wrong. Democrats can only hope that Stapleton is someday the Republican nominee for Governor or Senate. [Pols emphasis]

Walker Stapleton was always the candidate that Democrats hoped they would face in November 2018. As the Republican candidate for Governor, Stapleton was exactly who we thought he would be.

Republicans Revive Silly Threat of Secession


The “Blue Wave” in 2018 led to significant Democratic victories around the country, but nowhere was this more evident than in Colorado, where Democrats now control all four major statewide offices — Governor, Attorney General, Treasurer, and Secretary of State — as well as both chambers of the state legislature. This big “Blue Wave” in Colorado has some rural Republicans mashing the panic button and returning to one of the sillier threats in recent Colorado political history.

As the Grand Junction Sentinel reports:

“We lost everything,” lamented Republican Rio Blanco County Commissioner Shawn Bolton.

He fears the Democrats “will just run rampant” when it comes to oil and gas and other policy matters, potentially prompting the revival of the secession movement that arose in some rural Colorado counties several years ago due to Democrat-led state actions at the time. [Pols emphasis]

“They don’t know how to act. They get power and act like little kids. I have a feeling if they go and start being stupid again like they were that time you’ll see that movement start up big-time,” he said.

Shawn Bolton

First off, let’s not overlook the irony of this quote. Republican County Commissioner Shawn Bolton of Rio Blanco County is mad that his team lost last week, so he wants to take his ball and go home. But Bolton says that it is Democrats who “don’t know how to act.”

In 2013, a handful of Colorado counties put a “secession” question on the ballot that failed in embarrassing fashion. The entire population of the 11 counties that sought to form the 51st state of “North Frackistan” represented about 7% of Coloradans.In the final vote tally, only about 41,000 people voted “YES,” which works out to roughly 0.0079 percent of Colorado’s population. Rio Blanco County was not one of the 11 counties that considered secession in 2013, but if you extrapolate the same percentage of support for its 7,000 residents, you end up with about 55 votes.

In 2014, there was briefly a second attempt to revive the secession idea that crashed and burned before it even got out of the garage. In other words, there is no succession “movement” that could be re-started because there was never a real movement in the first place. But that doesn’t make this topic completely irrelevant for 2020, because it revives a question for Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) that he absolutely does not want to answer.

Everybody should have the opportunity to consider forming a new state.

At the time of the 2013 secession vote, then-Rep. Cory Gardner was still six months away from running for U.S. Senate. Gardner’s home county of Yuma was one of the 11 counties considering secession, and Gardner refused to offer a position on the subject. Here’s what the editorial board of the Denver Post wrote on November 1, 2013:

Ten of the 11 counties where voters will be asked to secede from Colorado next week are in the 4th Congressional District.

But if you want to know how the member of Congress from that district who lives in one of those counties stands on secession, or how he’ll vote, you’re out of luck…

…We understand that members of Congress may not want to weigh in on every local issue voters consider, but this is one of those times when his constitutents — and other Coloradans — deserve to know where a top leader from the area stands on such an important topic.

“When asked about the 51st state initiative previously, Congressman Gardner has said that he loves Colorado,” said spokesman Alex Siciliano.

OK, but does he love Colorado enough to stay a part of it?

Gardner is up for re-election in 2020, of course, and this is not a good topic for him. It would be very awkward to be running for a statewide office while continually dodging questions about whether part of that very state — the part that represents much of Gardner’s base — should break away from the rest of Colorado. If talk of another secession movement increases, so will calls for Gardner to explain how he voted on the subject in 2013.

“Secession” is a real threat for Gardner because of the political ramifications for his re-election. For everyone else, secession is like putting up a “Beware of Dog” sign for a chihuahua.

The 2018 Election Ain’t Over Yet

SATURDAY UPDATE: Democrat George Stern has defeated Republican job-hopper Faye Griffin in the race for Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder.


Jefferson County Democrat George Stern has moved ahead of Faye Griffin in the race for Jeffco Clerk and Recorder.

The 2018 Election was very good for Democrats, and it may yet get gooder.

In Arizona, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema has moved ahead of Republican Martha McSally in a nail-biter of a U.S. Senate race. In Florida, we could be looking at a recount in the state’s top two races, for U.S. Senate and Governor, while there may be some legal battles over an oddly-designed ballot in one Florida county. And in Georgia, the outcome of the race for Governor is still uncertain (though Republican Brian Kemp has declared victory over Democrat Stacey Abrams).

Here in Colorado there are a number of races that appear to be trending blue but are still uncertain. We wrote Thursday about three Democrats who moved ahead of their Republican opponents as late ballots were counted (HD-27, HD-47, and HD-50). As the Greeley Tribune reports, Democrat Rochelle Galindo now looks to be the winner in HD-50.


♦  In HD-47, Democrat Bri Buentello appears to have defeated “Deadbeat” Don Bendell, though a recount seems likely.

♦ In Arvada’s HD-27, Democrat Brianna Titone is closer to being the state’s first transgender lawmaker. The race between Titone and Republican Vicki Pyne may be headed to a recount.

♦ Arapahoe County is still working on a couple of important totals. In House District 38, Democrat Chris Kolker and Republican Susan Beckman are only separated by about 500 votes.

♦ In the race for Arapahoe County Clerk and Recorder, Democrat Joan Lopez has moved ahead of Republican incumbent Matt Crane and is the likely winner.

♦ In the Clerk and Recorder race in Jefferson County, Democrat George Stern has taken the lead over serial job-hopper Faye Griffin. Several thousand ballots still need to be counted, though most of them look to be from last-minute voters; as we’ve seen in other races this cycle, these late voters tend to favor Democrats.


December 4 is the deadline for candidates to request recounts in qualifying races.

Colorado Week in Review: 11/9/18

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

Gardner Won’t Say If He’ll Back Senate Bill To Protect Mueller

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner is apparently undecided about whether he’ll back legislation protecting Special Council Robert Mueller.

Gardner’s fellow Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona has said he’ll push such legislation before he leaves office at the beginning of next year.

Gardner dodged a direct question from Denver TV reporter about whether he’d support the Flake legislation.

And The Denver Post’s Anna Staver reported that he was not certain about it:

When asked what should happen to the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into possible coordination between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia, Gardner said it should “absolutely continue,” adding that “the president has said he wants it to continue.”

But Gardner was less certain about whether he’d support a bill to protect the investigation, which his outgoing colleague, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, says he will try to pass before leaving office.

Sen. Michael Bennet, a Colorado Democrat, was clear about his position [in favor of protecting Mueller] on Twitter.

Gardner has repeatedly said he’s undecided before voting on controversial legislation. Most notably, he said he was undecided until the last minute on three variations of bills to kill Obamacare, before voting for each one of them.

A move by Gardner to protect Mueller would be seen as hostile to Trump, who will likely be on the 2020 election ballot with Gardner. With Colorado split among Democrats, Republicans, and unaffiliated voters, Gardner can’t afford to turn off many GOP voters, who largely approve of Trump, and hope to win here.


Rally Set To Demand Replacement Of Trump Ally Who’s Now In Charge Of Russia Investigation

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

POLS UPDATE: So, this was quite a thing:


A coalition of groups, organized under the name TrumpIsNotAboveTheLaw, will rally at 5 p.m. today on the west steps of the state Capitol to protest Trump’s decision to place an ally of the president in charge of the Justice Department’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Speakers will include U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), U.S. Rep.-elect Jason Crow (D-CO), State Rep. Joe Salazar (D-Thornton), and Colorado Attorney General-elect Phil Weiser, also a Democrat

After Tuesday’s election, Trump fired his attorney general Jeff Sessions, inserting Trump ally Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general and putting him in charge of the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Russia investigation.

The message of the rally: a demand that Whitaker recuse himself in light of alleged conflicts of interest and previous statements attacking the investigation.

Similar rallies will take place across the country.

Other speakers include: Dr Reverend Timothy Tyler of Shorter Community AME Church, Nathan Woodliff-Stanley of ACLU Colorado, Nancy Leong of Lawyers for Good Government, and , and Caroline Fry of Common Cause.

Cory Gardner’s NRSC Director: “We’re Running With President Trump No Matter What”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Gardner and Trump on Air Force One

U.S. Senator Cory Gardner’s political operation is full steam ahead on the Trump train.

Celebrating the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s success in the mid-term elections, NRSC Executive Director Chris Hansen, who’s served as Gardner’s right-hand man since 2010, told Politico,

“We have always felt like we’re running with President Trump no matter what. We think he’s a huge asset, to be clear. These rallies are not by mistake.”

Coloradans rarely hear such unapologetic devotion to Trump “no matter what” from the Gardner camp. When speaking to local media outlets, the Senator usually tempers his support of the President. Even when he’s praising Trump he makes sure to add a caveat, as he did during an election day radio interview:

“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. 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.”

Yet for a national political audience, Gardner’s team is embracing Trump without reservation. The NRSC’s enthusiasm is understandable. As Politico reported, they owe him:

“Trump’s personal investment in the Senate sealed the deal.  He crisscrossed the country, hitting some states multiple times — all the while delivering sound bites that Republican hopefuls used to promote themselves and bash their opponents.”