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► As expected, Senate Republicans again voted down new voting rights legislation on Wednesday. From Colorado Newsline:
Senate Republicans blocked the advance of voting rights legislation Wednesday, the second time this year — thwarting again Democrats’ attempts to pass federal protections for voters amid a slew of new state elections laws.
“When we are faced with a coordinated effort across our country to limit the freedom to vote, we must stand up and do what is right,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who sponsored the bill, said on the Senate floor just before the party-line vote.
The Freedom to Vote Act would make Election Day a national holiday and set minimum standards each state must have for elections, including two weeks of early voting and an option for same-day voter registration…
…Even after moderate Democrats made concessions, no Republicans were willing to let the bill advance and for now it is stalled.
So, um, about that filibuster rule…
► As The New York Times reports, efforts by Congressional Democrats to curtail rising prescription drug costs are are getting mucked up by Republicans with help from some familiar Democratic names:
Senior Democrats insist that they have not given up the push to grant Medicare broad powers to negotiate lower drug prices as part of a once-ambitious climate change and social safety net bill that is slowly shrinking in scope. They know that the loss of the provision, promoted by President Biden on the campaign trail and in the White House, could be a particularly embarrassing defeat for the package, since it has been central to Democratic congressional campaigns for nearly three decades…
…But with at least three House Democrats opposing the toughest version of the measure, and at least one Senate Democrat, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, against it, government negotiating power appears almost certain to be curtailed, if not jettisoned. The loss would be akin to Republicans’ failure under Mr. Trump to repeal the Affordable Care Act, after solemn pledges for eight years to dismantle the health law “root and branch.”
► As Jesse Paul reports for The Colorado Sun, Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters — and her attorney Scott Gessler — got a stiff-arm to the facemask from the State Supreme Court:
The Colorado Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to hear Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters’ appeal of a ruling last week barring her from having a role in the upcoming 2021 election.
Peters’ appeal argued that Mesa County District Court Judge Valerie J. Robison didn’t have the authority to remove her as the county’s designated election official and, thus, prevent her from having a role in the Nov. 2 contest…
…The Colorado Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the appeal means former Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, a Republican, will serve as Mesa County’s designated election official for the Nov. 2 contest. County Treasurer Sheila Reiner, who is also a Republican, will serve as the elections director.
► Douglas County Commissioners decided to opt the county out of a contract with the Tri-County Health Department in large part because they were angry about mask mandates. As The Denver Post reports, the Board of Commissioners is now SUING ITS OWN HEALTH DEPARTMENT for pushing guidelines that make mask-wearing OPTIONAL. Maybe next they can file a lawsuit against “science” in general.
For more on this bizarre story, check out Colorado Public Radio; The Colorado Sun; and Denver7. Westword takes a step back to examine how COVID-19 politics are turning the Tri-County Health Department into just plain “Health Department.”
In related news, an indoor face mask requirement is now underway in Larimer County.
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