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Get More Smarter on Tuesday (May 29)

Let’s get you caught up on everything that happened over the Memorial Day weekend. 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 taking his anti-Robert Mueller conspiracy theories to new heights (or lows, really). As CNN explains:

President Donald Trump alleged Tuesday — without providing any evidence — that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation will meddle in the midterm elections to benefit Democrats…

Trump’s claim is his latest attack on the credibility of the Russia investigation as being politically motivated, though it’s a significant new step in his attacks on what is intended to be an independent probe working to get to the bottom of Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.

“The 13 Angry Democrats (plus people who worked 8 years for Obama) working on the rigged Russia Witch Hunt, will be MEDDLING with the mid-term elections, especially now that Republicans (stay tough!) are taking the lead in Polls,” Trump tweeted. “There was no Collusion, except by the Democrats!”…

…Tuesday’s conspiracy theory was accompanied by a barrage of Trump tweets on the Russia probe, which repeated his previous requests for investigations into his political enemies.

As Z. Byron Wolf writes in a separate story for CNN, Trump’s demonization of Mueller and the special investigation might be working as intended.


 As the Washington Post reports, Trump is pushing ahead with his plan to institute massive tariffs on goods from China:

President Trump said Tuesday that he would proceed with tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports and introduce new limits on Chinese investment in U.S. high-tech industries as part of a broad campaign to crack down on Chinese acquisition of U.S. technology.

“The United States will implement specific investment restrictions and enhanced export controls for Chinese people and entities related to the acquisition of industrially significant technology,” the White House said in a brief statement.

Specifics of the new limits will be announced by June 30 and will take effect “shortly thereafter,” the White House said. In midday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down more than 400 points, or 1.7 percent, on renewed concerns over the unsettled Italian political situation and U.S.-China tensions.

The moves come less than 10 days after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the trade war with China was “on hold” and appear designed to create bargaining leverage for Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who is due to arrive in Beijing on Saturday for talks aimed at cooling trade tensions between the two countries.

The stock market was down for most of the day on Tuesday in part because of economic fears over Trump’s proposed tariffs.


► The U.S. Supreme Court issued an important ruling on Tuesday that could allow an Arkansas law to take effect that essentially seeks to block medication-induced abortions. Meanwhile, the Associated Press takes a look at some big LGBTQ-rights cases in the Supreme Court pipeline — including the Masterpiece Cakeshop case that originated in Colorado:

A flood of lawsuits over LGBT rights is making its way through courts and will continue, no matter the outcome in the Supreme Court’s highly anticipated decision in the case of a Lakewood baker who would not create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

Courts are engaged in two broad types of cases on this issue, weighing whether sex discrimination laws apply to LGBT people and also whether businesses can assert religious objections to avoid complying with anti-discrimination measures in serving customers, hiring and firing employees, providing health care and placing children with foster or adoptive parents.

The outcome of baker Jack Phillips’ fight at the Supreme Court could indicate how willing the justices are to carve out exceptions to anti-discrimination laws; that’s something the court has refused to do in the areas of race and sex.

Colorado Public Radio has more on potential outcomes in the Masterpiece Bakeshop case. The Supreme Court could announce its decision on “Masterpiece” as soon as this week.

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Get More Smarter on Friday (May 25)

It’s going to be a scorcher this Memorial Day Weekend — don’t forgot your sunscreen. 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.



► If you’re heading out for a road trip this Memorial Day Weekend, make sure to bring along some extra cash for rising gas prices. The average price of gasoline is creeping toward the $3.00 per gallon mark — an increase of 31% in the last year and the highest average mark since 2014. As Politico explains, rising gas prices are happening at a bad time for Republicans:

President Donald Trump is hoping a wave of tax-cut-fueled economic euphoria will boost his approval ratings and his party’s political fortunes this fall. A sharp spike in gas prices could slam the brakes on all of that…

…The increased cost of fuel is already wiping out a big chunk of the benefit Americans received from the GOP tax cuts. And things could get worse as summer approaches following the administration’s standoff with Iran and a move by oil-producing nations to tighten supplies.

The result: The economic and political benefits Trump and the GOP hoped to reap from cutting tax rates could be swamped by higher pump prices that Americans face every time they hit the road.

“If you look at the benefits of what households are getting from lower rates, roughly one-third of that is wiped out if these higher gas prices are sustained,” said Ellen Zentner, chief U.S. economist at Morgan Stanley. “And when we drive down the street, every block we see glaring signs about how much gas costs that day and it’s all over the media. The tax cuts were a one-off. It’s a one-time level shift in your paycheck that you are not reminded of every day.”

The rise in gas prices has a greater effect on lower-income Americans, particularly those from the Southern U.S. and the blue-collar voting base that supporter Donald Trump in 2016.


 The editorial board of the New York Times takes another broad look at the Trump administration:

So, for the fourth time in a year, we’ve compiled a list of Mr. Trump’s more egregious transgressions. These items don’t represent disputes about policy, over which reasonable people may disagree. They simply serve to catalog what Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and all the other Trump-supporting Republicans in Congress and across America, through their silence, have now blessed as behavior befitting a president of the United States.

We find this guide a helpful way to avoid growing numb to what is so abnormal about this presidency, and to remind ourselves that a day may yet come when dignity and decency will matter again, even, perhaps, to Mr. McConnell and his fellow hypocrites.

Check out the entire bullet-point list from the Times, but make sure you have the antacid within reach.


Chris Cillizza of CNN examines the (faceless) government conspiracy being peddled by President Trump:

Over the last 72 hours, the President of the United States has leaned into a conspiracy theory that goes like this: During the 2016 presidential race, President Barack Obama — via the FBI — placed a “spy” within Trump’s campaign for purely political reasons.

Trump made that charge plain in a tweet Friday morning:

“Can anyone even imagine having Spies placed in a competing campaign, by the people and party in absolute power, for the sole purpose of political advantage and gain? And to think that the party in question, even with the expenditure of far more money, LOST!”…

…But the fact that this is what Trump does shouldn’t distract us from the allegations here: Donald Trump is saying his predecessor as president used the leading law enforcement entity in the country to spy on him because Obama/the “deep state” didn’t want someone as unconventional as Trump to be president.

To be clear: There is zero public evidence that Trump’s claims are anywhere close to the truth.


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Get More Smarter on Tuesday (May 15)

At least your employer isn’t telling reporters that you haven’t really retired yet. 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.



► Today is Election Day in four states looking to pick their nominees for key November races. Voters in Idaho, Nebraska, Oregon, and Pennsylvania head to the polls today. Pennsylvania is one of the more interesting states to watch today because candidates for Congress are running for nominations in newly-drawn districts; this includes the return of Republican Rick Saccone, who lost a Special Election earlier this spring to Democrat Conor Lamb and is now running in a new district.


► Students are back in school after teachers in Pueblo agreed to a new two-year contract.


► President Trump’s pick to be the next Director of the CIA is taking a stronger position opposing torture, as CNN reports:

Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump’s pick to be the next CIA director, says in a new letter that the CIA should not have conducted then-President George W. Bush’s interrogation and detention program where waterboarding and other brutal interrogation tactics were used on detainees.

In the letter to Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Haspel takes a position she wasn’t willing to state publicly last week, writing that the interrogation program “is not one the CIA should have undertaken.”

“While I won’t condemn those that made these hard calls, and I have noted the valuable intelligence collected, the program ultimately did damage to our officers and our standing in the world,” Haspel wrote in the letter, which was obtained by CNN. “With the benefit of hindsight and my experience as a senior agency leader, the enhanced interrogation program is not one the CIA should have undertaken.”

Haspel’s written comments go further than the statements she made during her public confirmation hearing last week. At the hearing, she said she would not permit the CIA to resume an interrogation program, but she also would not condemn the CIA’s post-9/11 interrogation program beyond saying she supported the “stricter moral standard” that is now the law.


► Some of President Trump’s staunchest 2016 supporters are expressing a growing frustration that they were bamboozled. From the Washington Post:

Small business owners who voted for Trump might be forced to shut down because the president is making it harder for them to hire guest workers. Here’s a story that appeared over the weekend in the Herald Leader of Lexington, Ky.:

“Eddie Devine voted for [Trump] because he thought he would be good for American business. Now, he says, the Trump administration’s restrictions on seasonal foreign labor may put him out of business. ‘I feel like I’ve been tricked by the devil,’ said Devine, owner of … Devine Creations Landscaping. ‘I feel so stupid.’ Devine says it has been years since he could find enough dependable, drug-free American workers for his $12-an-hour jobs mowing and tending landscapes for cemeteries, shopping centers and apartment complexes across Central Kentucky. So for years he has hired 20 seasonal workers, mostly from Guatemala, through the U.S. Labor Department’s H2-B ‘guest worker’ program. Importing these workers for a few months cost him an additional $18,000 in fees and expenses beyond their wages, which must be the same as he pays American workers. But that’s the only way he could serve his customers.

“Restrictions on guest-worker visas, which began during President Barack Obama’s second term as immigration became a hot issue for conservatives, have gotten worse under Trump. And it’s even more of a problem now that the unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in years. Devine says he lost a $100,000 account because he didn’t have enough men to do the job.


► Politico reports on another big scandal brewing from the Environmental Protection Agency:

Scott Pruitt’s EPA and the White House sought to block publication of a federal health study on a nationwide water-contamination crisis, after one Trump administration aide warned it would cause a “public relations nightmare,” newly disclosed emails reveal.

The intervention early this year — not previously disclosed — came as HHS’ Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry was preparing to publish its assessment of a class of toxic chemicals that has contaminated water supplies near military bases, chemical plants and other sites from New York to Michigan to West Virginia.

The study would show that the chemicals endanger human health at a far lower level than EPA has previously called safe, according to the emails.

“The public, media, and Congressional reaction to these numbers is going to be huge,” one unidentified White House aide said in an email forwarded on Jan. 30 by James Herz, a political appointee who oversees environmental issues at the OMB. The email added: “The impact to EPA and [the Defense Department] is going to be extremely painful. We (DoD and EPA) cannot seem to get ATSDR to realize the potential public relations nightmare this is going to be.”


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ICYMI: Beyond the Headlines from State Assemblies

Both Democrats and Republicans held their state conventions/assemblies on Saturday. While you’ve probably seen the headlines from everything that happened over the weekend – including multiple Congressional District assemblies last Thursday and Friday – there are a lot of secondary stories that you may have missed. Let’s get you caught up…


“When President Trump Says Something, He Really Means It!”
This is an actual quote from Rep. Mike Coffman’s speech at the State Republican assembly on Saturday. You might remember that Coffman spoke out forcefullyabout challenging Trump during the 2016 election, but that was back when it seemed improbable that Trump might be elected President. Coffman has since decidedthat he needs to work with Trumpand has even warmed to the idea of campaigningwith Trump in 2018. Coffman’s backpedaling reached its apex on Saturday when he thoroughly buried his face in Trump’s backside.


Greg Lopez: Not Walker Stapleton
Former Parker Mayor Greg Lopez managed to surpass 30% of the vote at the GOP state assembly on Saturday to formally get his name on the ballot in June. Up until Saturday, the only thing anybody really knew about Lopez is that he was one of the first politicians to actually answer the question, “When did you stop beating your wife?”

According to Michael Roberts at Westword, Lopez finds his name on the ballot because of a rousing speech he delivered on Saturday. This is a nice story, but it’s not particularly accurate (watch Lopez’s nothingburger speechyourself). The reason Lopez is on the ballot is because other Republican gubernatorial candidates decided that Lopez was their best potential foil for Stapleton on Saturday. In an interview last week on “The Ross Kaminsky Show,” Mitt Romney’s Nephew let slip that he planned to vote for Lopez (Mitt’s Nephew was a delegate himself, but is seeking to make the GOP Primary ballot for Governor via the petition route). Lopez became the go-to candidate for Republican delegates who didn’t want Walker Stapleton to run away with the vote at the state assembly, and that’s why he’ll be on the ballot in June.


Walker Stapleton Talks Abortion
This might not seem like a big deal, but Republican gubernatorial frontrunner Walker Stapleton has rarely brought up his positions on abortion in the past. On Saturday, Stapleton’s speech to Republican delegates included a line about protecting children “born and unborn,” which is about as far as he’s ever gone (publicly) on this issue. Stapleton still has a long way to go to make up with Republicans on a number of issues.


Stapleton and Tancredo, for Better or Worse
Last week former Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo made the surprise announcementthat he would endorse Stapleton for the GOP nomination for Governor. On Saturday, Tancredo did one better by taking the stage himself to nominateStapleton. Having Tancredo’s support no doubt helped Stapleton with the GOP delegate crowd, but this may turn into quite the albatross for Stapleton in a General Election. There’s no going back now – take a look at the digital ad (right) that circulated on Saturday from “Better Colorado Now,” a SuperPAC that exists ostensibly to support Stapleton’s bid for Governor.


Judy Reyher Gets 2ndPlace
Republican state Rep. Judy Reyherand her Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat won’t be top line on the GOP Primary ballot in June. Republican Don Bendell outpolled Reyher at the HD-47 GOP assembly on Friday.


Get More Smarter on Friday (February 23)

Huzzah! Happy National Banana Bread Day! 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.



► Senate Republicans are facing a new round of serious questions about sexual harassment at the State Capitol after another complaint was filed against state Sen. Randy Baumgardner and an earlier complaint against state Sen. Jack Tate was deemed credible by outside investigators. From Bente Birkeland at KUNC:

A complaint alleging that Sen. Jack Tate harassed a woman at the state Capitol has been found credible. The woman, a former intern, alleged that Tate flirted with her and touched her in an elevator in an unwelcome manner during the 2017 legislative session. The former intern was 18 years old at the time, and has asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution.

In an independent investigation, the Employers Council sided with the accuser…

…Tate declined to comment for the moment. He added that he would make a comment when he feels it is appropriate to do so. The woman said she wants leaders in the state Senate to hold Tate accountable.

You may recall that a group of female lobbyists rushed to Tate’s defense in December as some sort of pre-emptive character defense of the accused sexual harasser; we’re guessing these women feel about as terrible now as they looked at the time.

The Tate story is actually the second story of harassment involving Senate Republicans breaking in the last day. Bente Birkeland of KUNC reported on Thursday that third sexual harassment complaint has been filed against Baumgardner. It was just last week that Senate President Kevin Grantham gently slapped Baumgardner on the wrist after an initial harassment complaint was investigated and found to be valid…but not before complaining that the investigation itself was flawed.

In all, three sitting Republican Senators are facing sexual harassment complaints deemed credible by an outside investigation (Sen. Larry Crowder is the third). Harassment complaints about state Rep. Steve Lebsock (D-Thornton) are still under investigation.


► The National Rifle Association (NRA) is spinning wildly out of control amid escalating concerns over gun violence in the wake of last week’s school shooting in Florida. Efforts to combat gun violence are being met with newfound support from unlikely sources, including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Here in Colorado, Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) checked his courage at the door.

Also, President Trump completely changed his tune on gun control (surprise!) during his CPAC speech today. From CNN:

President Donald Trump spent the last two days insisting that he was ready to find compromise on gun control measures in the wake of the murders of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida last week…

…That all changed during Trump’s speech Friday morning at the Conservative Political Action Conference just outside Washington. Talking about the stakes of the 2018 election, Trump said that if Democrats win back control of Congress “they’ll take away your 2nd Amendment.”

As he closed his speech, Trump again said Democrats want to repeal the 2nd Amendment: “They will do that, they will do that,” he said.

Which is, of course, not true. It is also hugely toxic to any attempt to find shared ground on the sort of “common sense” changes to gun laws that Trump, um, trumpeted later in his CPAC speech.

Of course, it is completely implausible that the 2nd amendment could actually be “taken away.” Repealing a Constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds majority vote in both the House and Senate just to move that proposal along to each of the 50 state legislatures (of which 38 would need to approve).


► Governor John Hickenlooper quietly (inexplicably-so) signed his name to legislation on Thursday evening that fixes a drafting error related to the most consequential bill of the 2017 legislative session. The “special districts” or “pot tax” legislative fix signed by Hickenlooper is essentially the same bill that Colorado Republicans refused to consider during a brief special legislative session in October 2017.


► Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. As the Washington Post reports, the Russiagate scandal engulfing the White House takes another leap forward today:

Rick Gates, a former top official in President Trump’s campaign, plans to plead guilty to conspiracy and lying to the FBI, according to court papers filed Friday by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

The guilty plea, which is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday, caps a busy week for Mueller’s investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and related issues. It also ends a tumultuous period for Gates, who found himself re-indicted, changing lawyers, and agreeing to plead guilty all within 24 hours…

…Gates’ plea raises the pressure on Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman. Both men were hit with a 32-count indictment on Thursday, following an earlier 12-count indictment of the pair back in October.

Gates could provide the special counsel with valuable information about the inner workings of Trump’s operation: He served as a senior figure in the campaign and had access to the White House as an outside adviser in the early months of the administration.

Click here for more analysis on the importance of these latest moves from special counsel Robert Mueller.


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Get More Smarter on Tuesday (February 20)

You’ll have another 3-day weekend soon. Hopefully. 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.



► The question of whether or not Russia sought to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election is no longer really a question after special prosecutor Robert Mueller announced on Friday the indictment of several Russian nationals for election-related meddling. And as several local news outlets have examined, particularly John Frank of the Denver Post, Colorado was a prime target of Russian efforts aimed at influencing the outcome of the 2016 election. Make sure you take a moment to read Frank’s entire story for the Post:

It’s difficult to tell how many Colorado users interacted with the Russian accounts or amplified their messages on Twitter. But The Post’s review of the database shows the Russian trolls took interest in the state’s political news, sending hundreds of tweets about Colorado and retweeting local conservative activists when the message dovetailed with their propaganda…

…The Colorado-related tweets — sometimes reshared through the state’s political Twitter hub #copolitics — fit the same pattern in an attempt to manipulate the conversation. The Russian accounts promoted tweets from Colorado that showed good poll numbers for Trump and long lines to attend his campaign rallies in Colorado. One troll helped distribute a fake news story about a Trump supporter being attacked outside a Colorado rally and another circulated messages that appeared to demonize Muslims.

Other times, the Russians retweeted Colorado conservatives who attacked Clinton about the FBI investigation into her emails and suggested she helped rig the party primary to defeat Sanders.

Trump did not defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton in Colorado, but it wasn’t for lack of trying by many Russian-related interests.

Meanwhile, Mueller’s investigation continues to add new names to the list of people being investigated about potential collusion between Russian interests and the Trump campaign.


Donald Trump spent President’s Day weekend taking his Twitter habit to new levels of horrible, connecting last week’s tragic school shooting in Florida to the Russiagate conspiracy. Students from Parkland, Florida did not hold back in their responses to the Twitterer-in-Chief:

► According to the results of a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, a majority of Americans believe that Congress and President Trump are not doing enough to combat gun violence in this country:

While the poll illustrates the differences in the country over how to respond to gun violence, it also highlights the intense frustration with the lack of any policy response coming out of Washington despite a series of horrific shootings in recent years.

In a sign that this pressure may be weighing on President Trump, the White House announced Monday that he is “supportive” of efforts in Congress to improve background checks for gun purchases.

A 77 percent majority says Congress is not doing enough to prevent mass shootings and 62 percent say the same of Trump, according to the poll. At least half feel “strongly” that Congress and the president have not taken adequate action. Majorities across party lines express frustration with Congress, while views of Trump are more divided. More than 8 in 10 Democrats and two-thirds of independents say the president is not doing enough. More than 6 in 10 Republicans say Trump is taking sufficient action to prevent mass shootings, although more than one-quarter of fellow partisans, 28 percent, say he is not.


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Coffman implies that Bunch is in the tank for Anschutz’s partisan agenda

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Phil Anschutz.

During a KNUS radio interview Saturday, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman implied that ColoradoPolitics reporter Joey Bunch is writing unflattering articles about her gubernatorial campaign at the behest of Republican mega-donor Phil Anschutz, who owns ColoradoPolitics and the Colorado Springs Gazette through Clarity Media.

KNUS 710-AM HOST CRAIG SILVERMAN: [at 12 minutes] I don’t know if your ears were burning last night, but on “Colorado Inside Out”, Joey Bunch — veteran political reporter — said, “What’s up with Cynthia Coffman? She doesn’t really have a campaign.” I know you have a website now. But, do you have a full- blown campaign? Do you have a campaign manager? Are you ready to really participate in this race?

COFFMAN: You know, I’m going to say, “Baloney!” to Joey. Joey Bunch works for the Colorado Springs Gazette, owned by Phil Anschutz, who has already put out an editorial saying everyone in the Republican primary field should just clear the way for [Colorado Treasurer] Walker Stapleton, because that’s who [Anschutz] supports. So, I think you need to consider the source. Yes, I have a campaign. As I told you, I won Attorney General statewide by a higher percentage than anyone else. I know how to run a statewide campaign and I think people need to stop worrying about the girl in the race.

In fact, the Gazette published a finger-wagging editorial last month stating that Coffman and the other GOP gubernatorial candidates, except Colorado Treasurer Walker Stapleton, “would do themselves and their party a favor by selflessly clearing the field and helping [Stapleton] win against the odds.”

And, in fact, Bunch appeared on Colorado Inside Out Friday, saying, “You know what is holding up? The fact that Cynthia Coffman doesn’t have a campaign or a message or any momentum at all. And she also doesn’t have any money.”


Coffman refuses to appear on conservative talk radio show, says host

After her stance on abortion came under scrutiny by multiple conservative radio hosts, gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Coffman is now refusing to appear on KNUS’ Craig Silverman show, according to fellow KNUS host Chuck Bonniwell, who’s also publisher of the Glendale Cherry Creek Chronicle.

Bonniwell: You’ve got the weird Cynthia Coffman deal, where she’s running but she’s not running. She has now come out as a pro-choice candidate—even though she used to run as a pro-life candidate, but she doesn’t want to be labeled. And she gave an interview to Karen — a caller here who has now made her own kind of radio, kind of outfit – who ripped her a new one. And now, so [she] won’t even come on [KNUS’] Craig Silverman Show, even though he’d be kind to her. I mean, it’s bizarre! I mean, but I’d imagine, if you’re Tom [Tancredo] you’d want to keep her in. You know, you’d – “Hey! Give her some money!” You know? Keep her in! Because she’ll split votes off – far more from Walker Stapleton than she would from Tom.

Silverman has migrated further and further to the right in recent years, backing Trump, trashing Obama initiatives, and being fully embraced by right-leaning conservatives. He’s participated in the Western Conservative Summit, and he broadcasted with KNUS’ Dan Caplis from the White House this year.

Neither Silverman nor Caplis returned an email requesting a comment on Coffman.

Caplis reacted angrily last month when he found out that Coffman was identified as pro-choice by CBS4 political specialist Shaun Boyd. Caplis said she’d not have won her race to become attorney general if she’d have let GOP voters know she was pro-choice.

Later, Boyd asked Coffman’s campaign if it wanted to correct Boyd’s characterization of Coffman as pro-choice. Coffman’s campaign told Boyd it didn’t want a correction.

Yet, Coffman later told a radio station that she was neither pro-choice nor pro-life and rejects labels on the issue, implying that she favors abortion in some instances, at least, and likely putting her closer the pro-choice group.



Get More Smarter on Friday (June 24)

gmsaustinpowersBrexit, baby! It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. 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.


► After voters in the United Kingdom unexpectedly voted to leave the European Union yesterday, the entire world is more or less freaking out:

Stocks on Wall Street plunged on Friday after the United Kingdom shocked the world overnight by voting to cut ties to the European Union, a move that many fear could lead to similar votes across the continent and damage a fragile American economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 611 points , or around 3.4 percent, following big drops in Europe and Asia after UK voters defied late polls and voted strongly in favor of Brexit. The price of gold, a safe-haven in times of crisis, surged nearly 5 percent. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond fell 18 basis points, the biggest move since the financial crisis, to 1.57 percent as investors fled to safety. The Nasdaq took the biggest hit, falling over four percent in its worst day in five years. Tech stocks that do a lot of business in Europe got slammed.

The British pound fell to 30-year lows following the Brexit vote while the Japanese Nikkei index fell nearly 8 percent…

Un the upside, vacations in England are about to get much more affordable as the pound plunges! The British may not find that very comforting.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, is really excited about Brexit, which should tell you all you need to know.

► The decision yesterday by the U.S. Supreme Court striking down President Barack Obama’s immigration plan for undocumented children isn’t sitting well with local Democrats:

“Every one of those Supreme Court justices are here by virtue of immigration,” said state Rep. Joe Salazar of Thornton, who is co-chair of the Colorado Democratic Latin Legislative Caucus “Their families came to this country seeking a better life or fleeing oppression. It is an utter hypocrisy that four members of the court stand against immigrant families.

“Our government, from the Congress to the United States Supreme Court, needs to grow up and recognize the value, economically and culturally, immigrant families are to our nation.”

► The GOP U.S. Senate primary is everyone’s most-watched race going into next Tuesday’s elections. Two wealthy candidates, Robert Blaha and Jack Graham, are spending big to break out of the pack. If you haven’t already, vote in our highly informal poll for who you think will win.

Get even more smarter after the jump…


Get More Smarter on Wednesday (Aug. 5)

Get More SmarterDon’t feel bad — we didn’t make the cut for the big debate, either. Let’s Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols! If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example).



► The 2016 Presidential race enters its next stage on Thursday when Fox News hosts (most) of the GOP candidates for the first debate of the campaign. Yesterday, Fox announced the “Top 10” Republican candidates who will take center stage in Cleveland — and the second tier of hopefuls who will participate in the Junior Varsity debate. From Politico:

The candidates, drawn from an average of the five most recent national polls, ranked from first to 10th: Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Christie and Kasich.

Perry, the former governor of Texas whose performance in the debates four years ago helped doom his campaign, finished in 11th place, eight-tenths of a point behind Kasich. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore and former New York Gov. George Pataki are farther behind.

The top 10 candidates will debate in a two-hour event at 9 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday. The also-rans will be invited to appear at a separate, one-hour debate, which airs at 5 p.m. Eastern.

Colorado Pols will be running our traditional Debate Diary during both of the Thursday debates.

► Democrat Hillary Clinton was in Denver on Tuesday for her first official Presidential campaign stop in Colorado. Clinton highlighted immigration and women’s health issues during her Colorado visit, taking particular aim at Jeb Bush following his earlier statements in support of Republican efforts to cut federal funding for Planned Parenthood.


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Get More Smarter on Thursday (May 14)

Today’s forecast calls for possible sightings of the sun. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example).



► Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) joined fellow Republicans in voting to approve a 20-week abortion ban. Colorado Springs Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn is one of the primary sponsors of the legislation.

► The Senate passed a measure yesterday to move forward on votes for President Obama’s trade deal. From the Huffington Post:

“The announcement [Wednesday] will drive home the importance of the message that the pro-trade Democrats sent yesterday,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who helped craft the compromise after he helped filibuster the trade bill that he supports. “That enforcement, enforcement of the trade laws is a prerequisite to a modern trade policy, a trade policy that sets aside once and for all the NAFTA playbook. Suffice it to say that was the message conveyed yesterday by pro-trade Democrats.”

► Colorado Senators Michael Bennet (D-Denver) and Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) offered joint support for medical marijuana legislation. As Mark Matthews of the Denver Post reports:

The proposed Therapeutic Hemp Medical Access Act would lift federal prohibitions across the country on using marijuana strains that are medically beneficial to prevent certain seizures.

Gardner, a Republican, and Bennet, a Democrat, announced the bill with Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch of Utah and Johnny Isakson of Georgia at the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday.

Because of federal prohibitions, some families who are seeking the help are forced to relocate to such states as Colorado, where they can obtain the medicine, the lawmakers argue.

What, no cool acronym for this bill? The THMAA?

Get even more smarter after the jump…


Google election stats

Ok, here they are for all of October through this morning. My ads are set to display on any search in Colorado. So this shows you what is being searched on in Google for this election.

Keyword repeats – I have multiple ad campaigns on some keywords, so each is listed differently. Total use of that term in searches is add up each case.

Impressions – how many times the ad was shown. This should be the number of times those words were searched on in Google.

Click Through Rate – the percentage of times the ad was shown that someone clicked through to my ColoradoBallot site. (In the business world 2% is considered really good.)

Keyword Impr. CTR
Total – all keywords 234,293 3.19%
ken buck
42,343 2.14%
colorado amendment
38,153 2.05%
michael bennet
21,202 3.70%
colorado amendments
20,721 3.67%
amendment 60
9,844 3.84%
amendment 63
8,635 3.51%
amendment 62
8,478 2.39%
ballot initiatives
8,075 2.80%
bennet buck
7,480 2.70%
dan maes
6,538 1.51%
betsy markey
5,390 2.39%
scott gessler
4,708 5.33%
stan garnett
4,386 14.98%
amendment 101
3,969 4.06%
walker stapleton
3,460 11.56%
senate election
3,388 3.10%
sample ballot
3,119 0.93%
bernie beuscher
2,944 2.41%
cory gardner
2,780 4.17%
john suthers
2,046 4.99%
senate candidates
1,762 1.76%
election amendments
1,690 4.20%
colorado initiative
1,453 0.89%
amendment 61
1,400 5.43%
hickenlooper tancredo
1,294 4.33%
ballot measures
1,230 2.76%
constitutional amendments
1,043 0.58%
election amendment
1,021 1.47%
colorado initiatives
1,008 1.49%
senate race
986 0.91%
cory gardner
972 1.54%
maes tancredo
844 3.32%
ballot review
789 2.53%
ballot information
767 2.09%
amendment vote
766 1.83%
markey gardner
732 4.51%
ballot amendments
699 4.72%
john suthers
692 1.73%
colorado constitution amendments
591 3.55%
amendment ballot
572 2.10%
bernie buescher
556 10.61%
colorado constitution amendment
500 3.00%
representatives election
482 0.21%
scott kimball
458 2.40%
cary kennedy
370 4.59%
ballot 101
349 4.30%
ballot initiative
348 2.59%
garnett suthers
345 9.86%
colorado constitutional amendment
334 2.10%
kennedy stapleton
260 9.62%
ballot measure
260 1.54%
buescher gessler
253 9.49%
ballot amendment
252 2.38%
stan garnet
252 0.79%
constitutional amendment
190 1.58%
amendment abortion
182 1.65%
senate ballot
176 2.27%
hickenlooper maes
168 8.93%
john hickenlooper
167 3.59%
amendment elections
129 3.88%
representatives ballot
56 1.79%
amendment health care
54 1.85%
initiative 101
51 3.92%
representatives vote
44 2.27%
proposed constitutional amendment
29 0.00%
amendment healthcare
20 0.00%
suthers kimball
13 0.00%
amendment definition person
11 0.00%
garnet suthers
8 12.50%
amendment property tax
6 0.00%

The Beej Endorses!

A rare glimpse inside the conservative mind. Crossposted from facebook:

Endorsements (General Election)

by [bjwilson83] on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 12:33am

With general election mail-in ballots being mailed out today (or yesterday, by the time I finish writing this), it’s time for my endorsements. Here’s who I’m voting for:

U.S. Senate: Ken Buck

Ken is the clear choice for our next U.S. Senator. Ken has been everything from a janitor to a football coach to a Princeton grad, and that was all before he entered the political world. After obtaining his undergraduate degree, he attended law school at the University of Wyoming and then became a federal prosecutor. Later, after a short stint working for a construction company in Greeley, he ran for and won election to the office of District Attorney in Weld County. During his time as D.A. he has reduced crime by 50% and cracked down on illegal immigration. He has started programs to help families with juvenile delinquency and truancy, relieve jail crowding by treating those with mental and/or substance abuse issues, crack down on gangs, and reduce drunk driving. Ken’s office has reached out to the community, supporting a shelter for abused women, serving at a homeless shelter, and conducting blood drives. In short, Ken is a problem solver.  It’s no wonder he was easily re-elected. I would describe Ken as a tough guy, but someone who cares about your concerns. He’s exactly the person we need to send to Washington D.C. as our next senator.  As I said in an earlier note, Ken would balance the budget, promote economic growth, and clean up the corruption and back room deals in D.C. Meanwhile, his opponent is whining about Ken’s strong pro-life stance (Buck only makes an exception to allow abortion if the life of the mother is in danger) and twisting Ken’s words beyond recognition. Since Michael Bennet is afraid to run on his record of votes for Obamacare and the stimulus, he spends his days dreaming up outrageously false attack ads in fits of desperation. For some good debunking of this slime fest, check out the news stations for their fact checks on the ads, as well as these links:………

U.S. House of Representatives (4th CD – Northern Colorado and the Eastern Plains): Cory Gardner

Cory grew up farming in Yuma, CO, and is probably best known as former U.S. Senator Wayne Allard’s legislative director. While his opponent claims to be a pro small business fiscal conservative, don’t let that fool you. Betsy Markey voted for all the same big government spending the rest of the Dems voted for. Cory is the true fiscal conservative in the race, and unquestionably pro-life to boot. I believe he is an elder in his church as well – an all around likable guy who will represent northern and eastern Colorado well.

Governor: Tom Tancredo (American Constitution Party)

I know, I know, shocker! I’m on the opposite side of the fence this time, let me explain. I was an ardent supporter of the Republican candidate Dan Maes for as long as I could be, but his campaign has just gone downhill since the primary. He appears in many instances to be less than honest, and is at 13% in the polls and falling. The last straw for many people was his recent endorsement of Democrat John Hickenlooper’s economic policies, which he had previously campaigned against. The gaffes, unanswered questions, and campaign mismanagement just keep piling up. I know Tom Tancredo voted for TARP. I know he supported some earmarks. But for the love of God, don’t waste your vote. Tom is a tough conservative who is also friendly and hard not to like. He would make a much better governor than the eccentric milquetoast urbanite affectionately known as the Looper. Tom isn’t going to back away from a fight, and he tells it just like he sees it. Think, dare I say, Chris Christie?

Treasurer: Walker Stapleton

Cary Kennedy’s policy seems to have been to just try not to screw anything up. It’s time to put someone in the Treasurer’s office who has a real world background in business and finance. Stapleton would do a great job with our money, stick up for the tax payer, and help solve the solvency problems with PERA.

Secretary of State: Scott Gessler

A fresh face, with experience in election law. Bernie Buescher has had problems getting ballots out to the military, among other things. Scott would also be better at preventing election fraud.

CU Regent (4th CD): Sue Sharkey

One of the hardest working women in America. A mother of CU students. No contest.

CU Regent-at-large: Steve Bosley, I guess.

I wasn’t impressed with his debate on Mike Rosen’s show; need more information. In general I believe CU is plenty liberal and we should support conservatives for the Board of Regents.

County Commissioner (District 1): Lew Gaiter

Great guy, love the cowboy hat. He is laser focused on economic recovery and attracting businesses (read, jobs) to Larimer County. A shoo in.

Larimer County Sheriff: Justin Smith

It’s a vote for the status quo, as Smith’s mentor is our current sheriff Jim Alderden. I think he’s done a pretty good job, although one point in favor of Jay Harrison is that he wouldn’t use traffic tickets as revenue generators. I’ve gotten one of those (missed a no left turn sign but no cars were around), and it’s not pleasant. Make up your own mind.

House District 53: Dane Brandt

It’s time for Fischer to go. He may be a professional engineer, but I just don’t know what he’s done for our community. Dane Brandt is a likable real estate guy who will support businesses, jobs, and economic growth.

Whew, that’s it.  Sorry if I left your name off the list, it’s getting hard to remember all the candidates. Just shoot me a PM and I’ll add it. (Unless, of course, I’ve endorsed your opponent. Then you’re DOOMED! 😉