Colorado GOP’s “Stop the Madness” Pro-Trump Event Invokes Racial Themes

(Stay classy, Colorado GOP – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

POLS UPDATE: Keeping America Great, sort of:

If these half dozen protesters want to “stop the madness,” we suggest they go inside and have some hot chocolate.

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Trump Victory, along with Colorado Republican Party leaders, is hosting a “counter-impeachment” press conference today called, “Stop the Madness!” The event is one of many such events across the country, coordinated by the Republican National Committee (RNC), which says its goal is simply “to cause chaos.”

The press conference will call on Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) to “drop the impeachment inquiry against President Trump,” according to a news release. The event takes place at Crow’s Aurora office at 11:00 a.m. today.

The website features photos of three of the four congresswomen known as “The Squad,” women of color at whom Trump has tweeted racist insults in recent months.

Speakers at the event include: Colorado GOP Vice Chair Kristi Burton Brown, Colorado House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock) and Congressional District 6 candidates Steve House and Casper Stockham.

Also appearing is right-wing social media personality, Ashley St. Clair, a former Colorado Springs college student who worked as a “brand ambassador” for Turning Point USA until two weeks ago. The far-right group dropped St. Clair after Right Wing Watch’s Jared Holt reported on photos of her partying with white nationalists at an alt-right gathering in Florida last month.

Prior to working with Turning Point USA, St. Clair interned with the Starboard Group, the preeminent fundraising firm for Colorado Republicans, chiefly Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), whose holiday party she attended.

St. Clair was in Aurora back in July to counter-protest the pro-immigration rally that took place at the contract ICE facility.

Trump remains unpopular in Colorado, according to multiple polls, so unpopular, in fact, that former Congressman Mike Coffman blamed his defeat to Crow directly on Trump.

There’s no evidence that Crow’s district is feeling any more warmly toward Trump now.

Still, the RNC is targeting Crow as part of a $2 million advertising campaign for allegedly not “reaching across the aisle” to work with Trump.

As part of this, the RNC has also set up a StopTheMadness website, which will be a “one-stop clearing house to defend the president — including opportunities for people to sign up as a volunteer, details on how to show up to a counter protest, and more.

“The Democrats refuse to accept the results of the 2016 election and are on a never-ending fishing expedition to tear down President Trump,” states the website. “We need your help in standing up to these members of Congress across the nation to stop the madness!”

The site’s centerpiece is a video that links the impeachment inquiry to violence. Besides Pelosi, it features three members of Congress: Rep Maxine Waters (D-CA), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rep. Al Green (D-TX). All three are African-American.

Jason Salzman contributed to this report.

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Impeachment: It’s On


UPDATE #2: Colorado Public Radio looks at how Colorado’s congressional delegation is responding on the question of impeachment and the Ukraine controversy.

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UPDATE: The Washington Post reports–the dam has officially burst:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to announce a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump, a dramatic turnaround by the Democratic leader that sets up a constitutional and political clash pitting the Congress against the nation’s chief executive.

Pelosi (D-Calif.) is slated to make her announcement later on Tuesday after a closed-door meeting with her caucus, according to Democratic officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely describe private deliberations.

Impeachment is a rare and extraordinary step that would overturn the decision of U.S. voters in 2016 to elect Trump. Pelosi’s decision foreshadows an intensely partisan fall, triggering pushback from Trump allies with repercussions for the 2020 campaign.

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Rep. Jason Crow (D-Aurora)

Congressman Jason Crow (D-Aurora) is one of seven freshman Democrats — all with military or defense/intelligence backgrounds — signing on to an editorial published in today’s Washington Post that makes a strong case for investigating what they call “impeachable offenses”:

The president of the United States may have used his position to pressure a foreign country into investigating a political opponent, and he sought to use U.S. taxpayer dollars as leverage to do it. He allegedly sought to use the very security assistance dollars appropriated by Congress to create stability in the world, to help root out corruption and to protect our national security interests, for his own personal gain. These allegations are stunning, both in the national security threat they pose and the potential corruption they represent. We also know that on Sept. 9, the inspector general for the intelligence community notified Congress of a “credible” and “urgent” whistleblower complaint related to national security and potentially involving these allegations. Despite federal law requiring the disclosure of this complaint to Congress, the administration has blocked its release to Congress.

This flagrant disregard for the law cannot stand. To uphold and defend our Constitution, Congress must determine whether the president was indeed willing to use his power and withhold security assistance funds to persuade a foreign country to assist him in an upcoming election.

If these allegations are true, we believe these actions represent an impeachable offense. We do not arrive at this conclusion lightly, and we call on our colleagues in Congress to consider the use of all congressional authorities available to us, including the power of “inherent contempt” and impeachment hearings, to address these new allegations, find the truth and protect our national security. [Pols emphasis]

Crow is a former Army Ranger who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

House Democrats appear to be moving closer to initiating impeachment hearings in the wake of an alleged whistleblower complaint regarding threats by President Trump to withhold military aid to Ukraine unless it investigates former Vice President Joe Biden for some sort of invented transgression.

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Steve House Moving from State GOP to CO-6


Steve House for…House

The “CEO” of the Colorado Republican Party, Steve House, is stepping down from his day-to-day job directing the State GOP in order to (presumably) prepare for a run for Congress in CO-6.

As Randy Corporon of KNUS radio discussed over the weekend, former Jefferson County GOP Chair and CO-7 candidate Don Ytterberg will take over for House as the new right-hand man of State Party Chairman Ken Buck, who can’t be a full-time Party Chairman on account of the fact that he’s still serving in Congress himself. House has not indicated publicly that he will run for Congress in CO-6, but that’s the reason for the change from what we hear.

Ernest Luning reported last month that House was considering running for the Republican nomination in CO-6, despite (or because of) the fact that Casper Stockham is already in the race (although Stockham has the support of former CO-6 Rep. Tom Tancredo). State GOP Party bylaws prevent House from remaining in a leadership role while also running for public office.

Democrat Jason Crow ousted longtime Republican Rep. Mike Coffman in 2018 to take control of a seat that Republicans had never once relinquished in the history of the district. Crow has already raised more than $1 million for his re-election campaign.

House was a Republican candidate for Governor in 2014 and floated the idea of another statewide bid in 2018 before deciding otherwise. House is perhaps best known in Colorado political circles for his involvement in the “Coffmangate” scandal and his prominent role in a strange #NeverTrump fiasco.

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Jason Crow Helps Tip Balance On Impeachment


Rep. Jason Crow (D-Aurora).

As the Aurora Sentinel’s Kara Mason reported yesterday, freshman Democratic Rep. Jason Crow has joined Reps. Diana DeGette and Joe Neguse in calling for impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump to commence in the U.S. House–a belated conversion that appears to be part of a surge of support among House Democrats to go there:

Citing the investigation from former special counsel Robert Mueller, Aurora Congressman Jason Crow said Tuesday that Congress should now look into impeaching President Donald Trump.

“Trump and his administration have engaged in repeated abuses of power and disregarded our institutions, while flaunting Congress and the judiciary,” Crow said in an op-ed published first to Medium on Tuesday. “To this day the President prevents key witnesses from testifying before Congress, wrongly asserts executive privilege to dodge subpoenas, and attempts to skirt court rulings. If Congress doesn’t stand up to these abuses, then our system of checks and balances will have failed. It’s clear that we must respond with the full weight of Congress.”

…Crow, who has said he’s made a point to work with Republicans in Congress, joins a growing number of Democrats leaning toward beginning impeachment proceedings. Nearly half of the 235 House Democrats have endorsed impeachment proceedings, and a dozen Democratic senators have done so.

Politico is reporting today that with Rep. Crow and several other Democrats coming on board this week, a majority of House Democrats are now ready to begin impeachment hearings:

The number of House Democrats who support impeachment proceedings passed the halfway mark — 118 out of 235 voting members now support the effort — on Thursday when Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida announced his support. Deutch was also the 23rd Democratic lawmaker to support impeachment proceedings in the days after former special counsel Robert Mueller testified to Congress, affirming publicly his damning evidence suggesting Trump attempted to obstruct justice…

Perhaps more significant than the number of Democrats backing an inquiry are the identities of the members themselves. The latest additions include Reps. Mike Levin of California, Jennifer Wexton of Virginia and Jason Crow of Colorado, three freshmen who flipped Republican-held districts in November. Rep. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, a member of Pelosi’s leadership team, added her name to the list on Friday.

The biggest roadblock up until now in commencing impeachment hearings in the House has been the view of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that even though Trump is committing impeachable offenses “every day,” without a realistic shot at not just impeaching Trump in the House but convicting him in a trial in the Republican-controlled Senate the effort would be a net political liability for Democrats in the 2020 elections. That position could be in the process of giving way to the alternative view that the House doing its constitutional duty and, if the facts warrant, delivering a case for impeachment into Mitch McConnell’s lap is the better course both morally and politically.

What say you, readers? Has the time come to impeach Donald Trump, or is letting the voters decide Trump’s fate next November the better choice? A poll follows.

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So, Uh, Casper Stockham in CO-6


Casper Stockham

Republican Casper Stockham has run two consecutive unsuccessful campaigns for Congress in Denver against incumbent Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette, so he’s trying something different in 2020. Stockham is shifting his sights eastward to challenge Democrat Jason Crow in CO-6.

We bring this up not only to prevent getting a bunch of Facebook messages from Stockham himself, but to again highlight the incredible shift in a district that had always been held by a Republican until Crow’s dismantling of then-Rep. Mike Coffman in 2018. As we noted in April when Crow reported raising nearly a half-million dollars in his first fundraising quarter as an incumbent, there has been very little buzz from Republicans about attracting a top candidate in CO-6.

Stockham seems like a nice enough guy, but he’s a perennial candidate for public office who is not a serious challenger to Crow (or anyone else in Congress, for that matter). After raising about $60,000 in his 2016 campaign against DeGette, Stockham’s fundraising dropped to a total of about $35k in 2018 — both figures are nevertheless significantly higher than we would have guessed before checking FEC reports. Based on voter registration numbers, Stockham is statistically more likely to win in CO-6 than in CO-1…though that’s sort of like saying you have a better chance of visiting Mars than Venus.

What we find most interesting about this story is that a right-wing radio outlet in Colorado considers Stockham’s candidacy to be “news” in the first place. Stockham’s presence won’t likely prevent a more serious Republican challenger in CO-6, but it does make things slightly more awkward for the GOP when they inevitably have to pretend that he’s not their real challenger to Crow.

National Republicans aren’t feeling good about taking back control of the House in 2020. We don’t blame them one bit.

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Crow Posts Blinking “Do Not Enter” Sign with Q1 Fundraising


Potential Republican challengers in CO-6.

Freshman Rep. Jason Crow (D-Aurora) pulled off one of the more astonishing victories of the 2018 election when he unseated longtime Republican Rep. Mike Coffman in CO-6. Crow’s victory came in a very good year for Democrats, sure, but five months later it’s still hard to fathom that he ultimately won this race by 11 points.

Earlier this year, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) added Crow to its list of top pickup opportunities for 2020. Nevertheless, we haven’t heard much discussion among Republicans about potential challengers, and that isn’t likely to change now that Crow’s Q1 fundraising numbers have been revealed.

As Ernest Luning reports for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman, Crow ain’t messing around:

Crow, who isn’t accepting contributions from corporate political action committees, plans to report taking in $490,000, with $473,000 cash on hand, for the three-month period ending March 31. His campaign said two-thirds of the donations are from Colorado residents, with 74 percent under $100…

Crow’s fundraising total nearly matches the record haul for a Colorado congressional candidate during the first quarter of an off-year. [Pols emphasis] It falls short of the $519,000 Coffman raised during the first three months of 2013 and the $514,000 brought in for the same period by Coffman’s 2013 Democratic challenger, Andrew Romanoff.

You read that correctly. Jason Crow raised nearly a half-million dollars in the first three months of his first term in office…in an off-year…without a dime of corporate PAC money.

Fundraising isn’t the only criteria that potential opponents will use to gauge their chances in 2020, but Crow’s Q1 numbers are a massive warning sign that this seat may soon be out of reach for the GOP.

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Let’s Talk About the U.S. Senate Race!


Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) is among the most endangered Republican incumbents in the country. We know this because hardly a week goes by without some news outlet mentioning his vulnerability in 2020. While the 2020 election is still 607 days away (as of today), we’re less than a year out from the party caucuses in Colorado, which means the clock is ticking as potential candidates jockey for position in 2019.

Gardner officially kicked off his Senate re-election campaign last month with a high-dollar fundraiser in Washington D.C., but he has yet to announce any sort of campaign launch in Colorado. We’re still not convinced that Gardner will ultimately be on the ballot in November 2020; sharing a slate with Donald Trump is going to be rough for any Republican, particularly in a state like Colorado where Democrats ran roughshod over Republicans in 2018.

Gardner is not the kind of politician who joins a fight he isn’t confident about winning, and his polling numbers have been in the toilet for several years now. His increasingly-close embrace of Trump – Gardner was one of the first big Republican names to endorse Trump’s re-election — won’t help him in a state carried by Hillary Clintonin 2016. His strange waffling on Trump’s “emergency declaration” for border wall money suggests that he’s also worried about a potential Republican Primary.

But enough speculation about Gardner for now. He’s still the incumbent and he says he’s running for re-election, so let’s focus instead on the Democratic side of the aisle, where the likely 2020 nominee isn’t even a candidate yet…

 

(more…)

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