“Objective journalism and an opinion column are about as similar as the Bible and Playboy magazine.”
“Objective journalism and an opinion column are about as similar as the Bible and Playboy magazine.”
The Denver Nuggets are two wins away from advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time after defeating the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday. Game 3 is Saturday in Los Angeles. Let’s 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 an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.
► With the United States roughly two weeks away from a potentially catastrophic debt default, Congressional Republicans are playing a game of “chicken” with the White House. From The Associated Press:
A top debt ceiling negotiator for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Friday it’s time to “press pause” on talks as negotiations with the White House came to an abrupt standstill at the Capitol.
Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., tapped by McCarthy, R-Calif., to lead the talks, emerged from an hourlong session and said gaps remained between House Republicans and the Democratic administration.
“It’s time to press pause because it’s just not productive,” Graves told reporters.
He added that the negotiations have become “just unreasonable” and that it was unclear when talks would resume.
Wall Street turned lower as talks on raising the nation’s debt limit came to a sudden halt, raising worries that the country could edge closer to risking a highly damaging default on U.S. government debt.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is claiming that a legislative deal needs to be in place by this weekend. But as POLITICO reports, that’s not really true:
Even though timing may seem extremely tight, both chambers have their own escape hatches that could allow them to vote on a bill more quickly, sometimes dramatically so. Plus, lawmakers aren’t all convinced that June 1 is a hard deadline, given the Treasury Department’s uncertainty about when it would truly run out of cash. Congress could potentially have until June 8, according to one estimate, giving lawmakers a crucial extra week to tie up loose ends.
McCarthy faces another potential problem of his own creation:
Next week, the spotlight is on the House, since the Senate is in recess. There, McCarthy believes it would take about four days to pass any potential legislation due to commitments he made back in January, including his promise to give lawmakers 72 hours to review bills before a vote.
He could theoretically ignore that rule if the timeline gets squeezed, but he’d risk the wrath of his right flank.
“I don’t think our members would tolerate it,” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a senior Republican appropriator, adding that he didn’t think McCarthy would abandon the rule. “I don’t think we want to look like our members didn’t have the time to read and consider the legislation.”
The House is scheduled to depart for recess the week of May 29, but Cole said he wouldn’t be surprised if members are called back to pass a debt limit deal, should a vote fall through next week.
► In other debt ceiling news, Colorado Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) is still playing his ridiculous game of pretending to be involved in debt ceiling talks even though he has voted against any such proposal going back to the Obama administration:
Buck is making no serious effort to contribute to a solution here; he was one of just four Republicans to vote against a GOP proposal passed a few weeks ago, and has suggested RAISING THE RETIREMENT AGE to 72 or 73 years of age as a way to cut spending. It’s important to remember here that the debt ceiling discussions are about paying for things that Congress has already approved in previous years.
► Congressperson Lauren Boebert (R-ifle) first made her name in politics by yelling at a Member of Congress. Now that she is in Congress herself, that sort of dissent from a member of the public is apparently not tolerated.
It shouldn’t be lost in the coverage that the topic of the press conference itself was completely bonkers. As Erik Maulbetsch reports for the Colorado Times Recorder:
…lawmakers, including Boebert, made numerous unsubstantiated claims, from the World Health Organization being controlled by China, to blaming it for the COVID pandemic, to claiming it is the vehicle for a plot to force all nations under a single worldwide government.
Among other things, Boebert claimed that the United States is surrendering its sovereignty to the WHO, an organization that she and other Republican legislators claim is controlled by “Communist China.”
► In other Boebert-related news, Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-Denver) has reached the end of his rope when it comes to Boebert’s habit of taking credit for things she voted against.
Click below to keep learning things…
UPDATE: For more on the subject of yesterday’s GOP press conference, unfounded conspiracy theories about the World Health Organization, Erik Maulbetsch of the Colorado Times Recorder has the story.
The Daily Beast reports today on a wild scene yesterday afternoon outside the U.S. Capitol, where a heckler at a Republican news conference featuring Rep. Lauren Boebert in opposition to the World Health Organization was physically shoved away from the event by fellow Republican Rep. Clay Higgins of Louisiana–all of which was caught on video from start to finish:
A news conference hosted by conservative legislators outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday was interrupted by a blue-shirted protester, who buzzed around the podium with his phone out, peppering lawmakers like Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) with questions…
During this initial encounter, Rep. Higgins got very up close and personal with the heckler, nonetheless offering to answer his questions after the event had concluded.
But when the protester swooped back in as Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) was speaking, he barely had time to get out his question—about whether her recent divorce was linked to her restaurant’s tainted pork sliders [Pols emphasis]—before Higgins was back.
In video captured both by the protester, Jake Burdett, and other people at the scene, Higgins can be heard saying, “Uh-uh. Uh-uh. No. You’re out. You’re out.” He then puts his hands on Burdett and starts physically propelling him backwards, bundling him away from the event.
“Aren’t you a congressperson, touching me?” Burdett asks. “Get off me! You’re hurting me!”
Opinions of the video you can watch above of the incident vary with respect to the appropriateness of the “Bernie Bro” activist interrupting the press conference to interject rather obviously trolling questions just prior to the events shown. But short of the protester committing an assault of his own, which no one has accused him of, getting violently bum-rushed by a sitting member of Congress is a wildly inappropriate response to a situation that could and should have been handled by Capitol Police or some other security. The protester is reportedly weighing his legal options.
For Rep. Boebert, the complicating factor with this incident is how her own career in politics launched back in 2019: when Boebert confronted then-presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke over O’Rourke’s vow to ban assault weapons at a town hall event in Aurora. For the first few months of Boebert’s rise to prominence, she was better known as the “Hell No Beto Mom” than by her actual name.
Can you imagine the hue and cry that would have ensued if Boebert had been “escorted” out of Beto’s event with a tiny fraction of the force Rep. Higgins used on Boebert’s heckler yesterday?
It’s an age-old story. Everything changed for Boebert when she went behind the podium.
“Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.”
–Franklin P. Jones
UPDATE: As Lauren Boebert likes to say, “When you go woke, you go broke.” She’s not quite accurate there. As it turns out, when you get all riled up about woke nonsense…then you go broke.
From The Associated Press:
The Walt Disney Co. announced Thursday that it was scrapping plans to build a new campus in central Florida and relocate 2,000 employees from Southern California to work in digital technology, finance and product development.
The decision follows a year of attacks from Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Legislature because the company opposed a state law that bans classroom lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity in early grades. Disney filed a First Amendment lawsuit against DeSantis and other officials last month.
Disney had planned to build the campus about 20 miles (30 kilometers) from the giant Walt Disney World theme park resort, but Josh D’Amaro, chairman of the parks, experiences and products division, said in a memo to employees that “new leadership and changing business conditions” prompted the company to abandon those plans.
Hope your silly spat was worth losing a $1 BILLION development project, Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Last week in this space we marveled at the inexplicable decision by Congressperson Lauren Boebert (R-ifle) to immerse herself in a no-win battle against the Disney Corporation on account of “wokeness” or whatever.
Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz apparently felt left out in the anti-woke crusades in the lower chamber, so he’s making up for lost time:
As Fox [urp] News reports:
Sen. Ted Cruz is putting pressure on the beer industry’s regulatory body, demanding an investigation of Bud Light’s transgender ad campaign with activist Dylan Mulvaney over concerns the company violated rules on marketing to individuals under the legal drinking age.
“A massive percentage of Dylan Mulvaney’s audience are kids. And Budweiser was trying, I believe, with this ill-fated marketing attempt to target teenagers,” Cruz, R-Texas, said on “Fox & Friends” Thursday.
In a joint effort with Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., the Texas senator sent a letter to the Beer Institute Chairman Brandon Whitworth who also serves as the CEO of Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Bud Light. The letter called on the Beer Institute’s Code Compliance Review Board to investigate the beer brand’s controversial ad campaign with Dylan Mulvaney.
First of all…there’s something called the “Beer Institute’s Code Compliance Review Board.” Who knew?
But more importantly, why are actual United States Senators spending one iota of their time focusing on this ridiculous manufactured grievance? The United States is less than a week away from a potential catastrophic default on its debts, but Cruz is worried about transgender people drinking Bud Light.
In case you missed this dumb story, Republicans and other right-wingers who are scared of transgender people lost their collective minds last month when Bud Light beer was featured in a social media post by the popular online “influencer” Dylan Mulvaney. Republican politicians, including Boebert, immediately called for a boycott of Bud Light producer Anheuser-Busch for reasons that were never articulated beyond their thinly-veiled hatred of LGBTQ people.
Once upon a time, the Republican Party stood up to defend corporations against government interference. But Republican politicians will now toss even free-market capitalism under the bus if it will prevent the MAGA base from saying mean things about them.
Meanwhile, as USA Today reports, Anheuser-Busch is learning that reacting to conservative cupcakes just ends up hurting them more in the end:
In a May 9 letter shared exclusively with USA TODAY, the Human Rights Campaign informed the Bud Light maker that it has suspended its Corporate Equality Index score – a tool that scores companies on their policies for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer employees.
Companies that receive a 100 score on the index’s four criteria – protections from workplace discrimination, inclusive benefits, inclusive culture inside and outside the workplace and responsible citizenship – receive a “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality” seal of approval from the Human Rights Campaign.
Disney Corporation, BTW, recently reported higher than expected quarterly earnings — including “significant growth at its theme parks.”
(Why make laws when it’s more fun to break them? — Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Welcome to For The Record, the Colorado Times Recorder’s new series where you can hear public figures in their own words. We’ll give you the clip and the context, so can listen for yourself.
Speaking on a right-wing Christian podcast May 11, Colorado state Rep. Scott Bottoms (R-CO Springs) expressed his opposition to “any laws” regulating firearms, including a ban a “ghost guns” that recently passed in Colorado.
He refuses to comply, first saying he’s going to go out and buy a ghost gun, and then that he will grind the serial numbers off other guns he purchases, which is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Colorado, punishable by up to a year in jail.
“Somebody is planning on someday making sure they know where that gun is,” said Bottoms, referring to the fact that federal law requires guns to have serial numbers. “I just got up and told him, ‘it’s none of your business. I’m gonna go out and buy a ghost gun today! None of your business! I’m gonna buy some guns and grind the serial numbers off! none of your business!”
Watch the full interview of Bottoms on the Idaho podcast, in which he also repeats debunked election fraud conspiracies, here. This article first appeared in the Colorado Times Recorder.
Prior to the GOP’s narrow takeover of the U.S. House in the 2022 midterms, Colorado’s then-freshman all-purpose blowhard Rep. Lauren Boebert ostentatiously refused to pass on requests for so-called “earmarks,” otherwise known as specific funding appropriations for numerous projects in her district, decrying Democratic leadership for engaging in a process she condemned as corrupt. At the same time, Boebert rushed to take credit for funding allocated to projects in CD-3 carried by Colorado’s Democratic lawmakers–despite voting against the legislation that appropriated the money.
After Republicans retook control of the House last year, the GOP House conference voted overwhelmingly to keep “earmarks,” thus putting Boebert is a difficult position that she resolved by simply asserting that Republicans had “fixed earmarks.” In March, the Grand Junction Sentinel reported that Boebert’s office was accepting appropriations requests. To our knowledge, Boebert hasn’t had the opportunity to vote on any of those newly acceptable requests that made it into legislation, and simply accepting requests doesn’t entitle Boebert to any credit if she votes against the bill containing them.
But as readers know, neither eschewing earmarks nor voting against appropriations bills containing funding for CD-3 projects has ever stopped Boebert from demanding credit for them. Again, these are line-items that in many cases Colorado’s Democratic U.S. Senators and Democratic majority members of Congress are responsible for winning, after which Boebert swoops in for wholly undeserved credit.
Today, in a letter to the editor of the Grand Junction Sentinel, Sen. John Hickenlooper took the gloves off in responding to Boebert’s flip-flop on to bringing home the proverbial bacon for her district–deservedly, since Boebert demands credit for what is in many cases Hickenlooper’s efforts and (most importantly) votes:
Rep. Lauren Boebert recently announced in this paper that she had reconsidered and now supports Congressionally Directed Spending, or earmarks as they’re sometimes known. She defended this change of heart by saying that she helped “fix” the process by stripping out “corrupt, vote-buying behavior” that supposedly marred the program over the past two years. (That didn’t stop her from taking credit for these projects once they were passed into law without her support.)
Maybe the $1.4 million for the city of Grand Junction to build affordable housing was the problem. Or the $1 million to build the Glenwood Springs South Bridge project to provide crucial emergency routes and improved access — funding that was apparently only corrupt when someone else requested it, because she submitted the exact same project for consideration this year. Or money to shore up disaster response efforts in Monte Vista, establish a comprehensive medical care program in Pueblo, and develop a new engineering degree program at Adams State University in Alamosa? You get the idea, and these are only a few of the $60 million in projects over two years we were able to fund across Rep. Boebert’s district. She steadfastly voted against all of them… [Pols emphasis]
The simple truth is that earmarks, Congressionally Directed Spending, or whatever you want to call it, help Colorado get our fair share of federal funding. The funds we requested are our priorities because they are your priorities. We stand behind every single one of them and will keep fighting tooth and nail to make sure Colorado — all of Colorado — gets its fair share every single year. I won’t break the law or my values for this state, but I’ll do damned near everything else to make sure we get the help we need. I’m glad Rep. Boebert has come around and I look forward to working with her to support all the great work Congress is trying to do for Colorado. But it doesn’t make sense to call the last two year’s worth of projects corrupt without telling these communities which of them didn’t deserve the money. [Pols emphasis]
Hickenlooper goes on to link to “every project we’ve funded across Colorado’s 3rd District over the last two years — despite Rep. Boebert’s opposition.” It’s a long list, but our brief examination failed to turn up anything nefarious. Many of these line-items are projects that Boebert has praised, with the usual convoluted excuses about voting against them after helping insert them into bills that passed without her help. There is absolutely no good reason for Democrats to allow Boebert to get away with this deception any longer now that she’s one of the most vulnerable Republican incumbents in Congress.
The gauntlet at last is thrown. Time for Boebert to stop stealing the credit for other people’s work.
“Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.”
Last night’s resounding victory for unaffiliated political newcomer Yemi Mobolade (pronounced YEH-me Moh-boh-LAH-day) in the Colorado Springs mayoral runoff election over Republican career politician and former Secretary of State Wayne Williams is a political sea change that observers on all sides are still struggling to fully understand the next day. As it became clear that Mobolade would prevail early yesterday evening, former Bush administration failson-turned radio host Michael “Brownie” Brown declared the result means “the GOP is dead in Colorado.”
After this shocking turnabout in one of the state’s last conservative strongholds, previously settled questions once again present themselves tantalizingly:
Doug Lamborn right now https://t.co/2RIpjXpou4 pic.twitter.com/heMkJb3YQI
— Previn Witana (@lordpet8) May 17, 2023
Although Mayor-elect Mobolade is not a registered Democrat, he will be the first non-Republican “nonpartisan” Mayor to lead the city in decades. Colorado Springs’ conservative politics are the result of a longstanding amalgamation of religious right and military interests in a city that despite its ideological predilections is economically dependent on federal tax dollars. Over time, however, urbanization and a diverse influx of current and former military residents have changed the political landscape–as Wayne Williams himself conceded last night in an interview with Colorado Public Radio:
The Williams campaign noted that while 2022 Republican gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl won El Paso County, she lost Colorado Springs.
“It’s clear Colorado Springs is less conservative than it used to be. [Pols emphasis] When I was chairman here (of the El Paso County GOP) we had no Democratic state reps. Now we have three,” Williams said. “So there are significant changes that have taken place and I congratulate Yemi on an excellent campaign.”
This morning, Republicans gathered on loser GOP Attorney General candidate George Brauchler’s AM radio show to assess the damage. Former state GOP chairman Dick Wadhams, who has been highly critical of the cult of Donald Trump in recent years, agreed that El Paso County “is not a Republican stronghold anymore.” Unfortunately for fans of coherent messaging, Wadhams was followed by current state party chairman Dave “Let’s Go Brandon” Williams, who couldn’t seem to keep straight whether Mobolade’s victory is a “wakeup call” or a “one-off” aberration:
BRAUCHLER: This outcome – not just who won, but the spread – was that a shock to you?
WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think it was a shock to a lot of folks. We figured it would be close, but we certainly didn’t expect that it would be a landslide victory for Yemi. That’s something that we should all be concerned with. It’s a wake-up call for us. [Pols emphasis]
But just a few moments later, a contradictory answer:
BRAUCHLER: Do you see this as a one-off? Like this is less a sign that Colorado Springs has shifted to the left than it is a series of things that you have described pretty well…
WILLIAMS: Yeah, I do. I think this is more of a one-off. [Pols emphasis] But I think it’s certainly something that we can’t take for granted…
Dave Williams may have represented part of Colorado Springs in the legislature, but it’s evident he does not have a grasp on the changing political trends that produced last night’s result. After Mobolade won the first round of voting, the entire Republican political apparatus in El Paso County went to work trying to paint Mobolade as a “Democratic socialist” despite no real evidence to back the charge up. That combined with the key endorsement of the conservative third-place finisher Sallie Clark confounded the shrilly negative partisan attacks by Wayne Williams.
On the other hand, Mobolade ran a relentlessly positive-themed campaign, reminiscent of John Hickenlooper’s off-beat and successful run for Mayor of Denver in 2003. Mobolade’s message was not ideologically polarizing, but focused on bringing residents together to address common problems. That’s also the message Colorado Democrats used when they took control from Republicans statewide two decades ago, commencing an era of Democratic political dominance in Colorado politics that persists to the present day.
Perhaps comprehending the long-term reality better than his guests, George Brauchler had this surprising moment of clarity in conclusion:
BRAUCHLER: But I do think that to some extent, if you’re a conservative, if you’re a Republican, you have to wrap your mind around the idea that maybe, maybe a certain portion of the population has changed enough that they know exactly what we stand for and they disagree with it. [Pols emphasis]
They disagree with our notion of freedom. They disagree with our defense of the Second Amendment to the extent that they do the extreme that we do it, they object to our position on pro-life and abortion.
Maybe it’s just that the majority of voters in the state of Colorado reject those positions. [Pols emphasis] And we can either accept that, we can try to change the demographics or we can try to come up with a policy that gets us as much of what we can get as possible.
Coming from someone who rarely scores points for honesty, this is perhaps the most honest assessment of Republican decline in Colorado we’ve ever seen–certainly from a fellow Republican. Losing power in one of the state’s last remaining conservative strongholds after years of historic losses in statewide elections is a sign that, as bad as it is for the Republican minority in this state, they still have further to fall. It’s not the result of election treachery or any other deception. Colorado voters understand the issues and the choices, and they’re choosing to reject Republicans even in their strongholds.
Like George Brauchler says, it may be time to simply “accept that.”
The administration of former President Donald Trump created a new branch of the military called “Space Force” in 2018. The headquarters of U.S. Space Command was established in Colorado Springs on a temporary basis until an official home was found, and Colorado politicians lobbied hard for the HQ to remain in our state. But in a late 2020 decision that appeared to be a purely political move — speculation that was confirmed by Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers — Trump announced that he had “single-handedly” decided to establish the Space Command HQ in Huntsville, Alabama instead of Colorado.
However…a report from NBC News earlier this week is giving Colorado new hope that U.S. Space Command will remain in Colorado permanently:
Some defense and congressional officials believe the White House is laying the groundwork to halt plans to move U.S. Space Command’s headquarters to Alabama in part because of concerns about the state’s restrictive abortion law, according to two U.S. officials and one U.S. defense official familiar with the discussions…
…The White House directed the Air Force last December to conduct a review of the process that led to the Trump administration’s decision to move Space Command’s headquarters from Colorado to Huntsville, Alabama. The review was ordered up in the months after Alabama’s law banning nearly all abortions, including in cases of rape and incest, went into effect last summer. The law is considered among the most restrictive in the U.S.
While abortion rights may be playing some role in the decision to keep Space Command in Colorado, it’s certainly not the only reason:
Biden administration officials have signaled privately to Pentagon officials and lawmakers that they’re looking to reverse the Alabama decision over concerns about operational disruptions that moving Spacecom’s headquarters, which is currently located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, could bring. [Pols emphasis]
The White House said Alabama’s abortion ban was not a factor in its ongoing review of the decision to build Spacecom’s permanent headquarters there. A White House official said that access to reproductive health care does not weigh in to making the decision about location.
Alabama Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville might also be a problem for that state’s hopes of landing Spacecom. “He’s not helping,” as one official told NBC News.
Tuberville has been blocking military promotions for months because he is apparently a craven racist. As The Associated Press reported last week:
Tuberville is facing backlash for remarks he made about white nationalists in the armed forces in an interview about his blocking of military nominees…
…The first-term senator from Alabama made his initial remarks in an interview last week with WBHM, an NPR affiliate. He suggested that the Biden administration’s efforts to expand diversity in the military were weakening the force and hampering recruitment, though the Army has said that the real problem is that many young people do not see enlistment as safe or a good career path.
“We are losing in the military so fast. Our readiness in terms of recruitment,” Tuberville said, according to the station’s transcript of the May 4 interview. “And why? I’ll tell you why. Because the Democrats are attacking our military, saying we need to get out the white extremists, the white nationalists, people that don’t believe in our agenda.”
When asked if he believed white nationalists should be allowed in the U.S. military, Tuberville responded, “Well, they call them that. I call them Americans.” [Pols emphasis]
According the POLITICO, there is no looming announcement about the future plans for Spacecom. The Air Force has yet to make a recommendation to the National Security Council for the location of Spacecom.
Colorado Senator John Hickenlooper (D-Denver) and Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) both told KRDO-TV in Colorado Springs that they do not believe a final decision is imminent. Colorado’s Congressional delegation has generally been on the same page in fighting for Spacecom to remain in Colorado Springs.
“A fraudulent intent, however carefully concealed at the outset, will generally, in the end, betray itself.”
UPDATE: Colorado Newsline’s Chase Woodruff:
Mobolade pitched himself to voters as a moderate who would make Colorado Springs an “inclusive, culturally rich, economically prosperous, safe and vibrant” city. He struck broad notes of agreement with Williams and other conservatives when it came to tough approaches to issues of crime, policing and homelessness, and he rejected Williams’ claims that he supported collective bargaining rights for city employees.
But his election as an independent in the heart of deep-red El Paso County could spell a seismic shift in Colorado politics, cementing a shift towards Democratic control that has turned key swing districts in metro Denver solidly blue and traditionally highly conservative areas to the south into the next battlegrounds. Some election watchers on Tuesday night predicted that U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Colorado Springs Republican, could face a competitive race in the 5th Congressional District in 2024.
To cheers from his supporters, Mobolade embraced the city’s potential political transformation in his victory speech Tuesday.
“To anyone who doubts that politics can be disrupted, reformed and transformed into a hopeful experience, tonight is for you,” he said. “We showed it can be done.”
Earth-shaking news from Colorado’s erstwhile bastion of conservatism, as former Republican Secretary of State Wayne Williams has lost the Colorado Springs mayoral runoff to political newcomer and local entrepreneur Yemi Mobolade after a brief but nasty campaign:
Williams says he’s called Mobolade to concede.
Yemi Mobolade will be the next Mayor of Colorado Springs #copolitics @KRDONC13
— Spencer Soicher KRDO (@spencersoicher) May 17, 2023
It’s going to take some time to process the full implications of this election, but Democrats are heralding Mobolade’s win as a turning point in El Paso County politics–despite the fact that Mobolade is very much a self-made winner:
Folks, no one gets to roll their eyes anymore when we say this: @coloradodems are going to flip El Paso County soon. We’re going all in. #copolitics https://t.co/GxbdicTeMH
— Shad Murib 🤠 (@ShadMurib) May 17, 2023
We’ll update with coverage and reactions as they come in. But be assured, this is a very big deal. One of the last conservative municipal strongholds in a state that has been trending blue for decades has fallen. If you’re one of the Republicans who took ex-chair Kristi Burton Brown’s advice last year to fall back on municipal races to rebuild–or in a city like Aurora where Republicans pulled off a crypto-partisan takeover under Mayor Mike Coffman–this result should make you very nervous.
Throughout the 120 days of the recently-concluded Colorado legislative session, House Republicans generally stuck to a strategy of trying to waste as much time as possible in order to prevent a Democratic supermajority from accomplishing some of its goals. Relegated to a leaderless micro-minority, the House GOP caucus had no realistic policy plans of their own. Its members spoke at length about virtually any legislative proposal – even those that they otherwise supported – pausing only long enough to trot out absurd accusations that Democrats were actually the ones slowing down the legislative process.
There’s no debate about any of this; Republicans talked openly about their obstruction efforts before, during, and after the session. They were proud of not governing…
…So proud, in fact, that they can’t stop talking about the thing that they shouldn’t be talking about. In fact, freshman State Rep. Scott “There is No” Bottoms (R-Colorado Springs) couldn’t wait two days before blowing up the entire GOP narrative about accusing Democrats of ignoring their concerns.
We’ll get to that in a moment, but first a little background…
House Republicans were particularly pleased with themselves on the final day of the session, when they stormed off the House Floor as part of a pre-planned stunt intended to cement an end-of-session narrative that Democrats were steamrolling over them and refusing to work in partnership. Multiple members of the House GOP caucus claimed credit for the walkout – most notably Rep. Matt Soper (R-Delta), whose thirsty “look at me” tweet was among the saddest of the entire session.
In the days that followed, Republican pundits have worked hard to support the narrative of “Democrats Gone Wild!” Writing for the Colorado Springs Gazette this week, former State Republican Chair Dick Wadhams did his best to continue the spin:
Despite being woefully outnumbered, the Colorado Republican legislative leadership offered strong, substantive opposition to the Democratic agenda throughout the session.
They did? You mean, like this? Or maybe this? Surely not this. Definitely not this.
They were so effective that Democrats decided to censor Republican legislators from speaking by cutting off debate. Democrats claim Republicans were filibustering for no reason other than to delay the process, but the real truth is that big majorities breed arrogance and intolerance of any opposition. [Pols emphasis]
Sorry, Dick, but the cat’s out of the bag on this one.
Democrats cut off Republicans not because they made “effective” arguments, but because they clearly had no intention of having a serious discussion about legislation. This includes the issue that prompted Republicans to walk out of the House in the last hours of the final day: Senate Bill 23-303, which placed a measure on the 2023 ballot to allow voters to decide on a proposal for reducing property taxes. Republicans claimed that Democrats were refusing to allow them to argue for amendments to the bill; in reality, the House GOP was just trying to run out the clock on the 2023 legislative session in order to kill the bill outright.
And how do we know that House Republicans weren’t operating in good faith?
Because Scott Bottoms told us all about it.
Bottoms was barely a month into his first legislative session when was interviewed by Sherronna Bishop on her “America’s Mom” Facebook/FrankSpeech online show…thing (click on the link if you like Netscape-inspired website design). Bishop was Congressperson Lauren Boebert’s first campaign manager in 2020 and later a close adviser of disgraced Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters, so you know what you’re going to hear if you accept an interview invitation.
During a conversation about lawmakers preparing to hear committee testimony from Bishop’s archenemy (Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold), Bottoms spoke haughtily about the amazing legislation’ skills of he and fellow Colorado Springs Republican Rep. Ken “Skin” DeGraaf (“The Unambiguously Lame Duo”):
BISHOP: I can’t wait. Who needs Netflix? We’re going to go watch the Colorado legislative session and watch Rep. Bottoms beat up on Secretary of State Jena Griswold. I can’t wait.
BOTTOMS: Well, I can tell you…Ken and I are really good at this. [Pols emphasis]
Bottoms is a pastor in his other life, though his Bible knowledge apparently does not include Proverbs 26:12:
“Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them.”
To this point in the 2023 legislative session, Bottoms had already shown his “talents” by breaking decorum with a dumb challenge of House Speaker Julie McCluskie (D-Dillon) and the introduction of a personhood-style abortion bill that was quickly dismissed in a committee hearing. A few days later, Bottoms wasted time on the House Floor by making biblical references related to his opposition to any proposed effort to regulate the use of gas stoves (a popular right-wing grievance of the moment). His buddy DeGraaf was equally worthless, though both men certainly monopolized the microphone unlike any of their colleagues.
Bottoms now fancies himself to be the “real” leader of the House GOP caucus (it’s true – just ask him), which is not great news for Republicans. Two days after the end of the 2023 legislative session, Bottoms spoke to his congregation at the Church at Briargate in Colorado Springs AND COMPLETELY DESTROYED THE REPUBLICAN NARRATIVE THAT DEMOCRATS WERE REFUSING TO HEAR THEM OUT.
Bottoms acknowledges that House Republicans were only interested in killing SB23-303 (which is exactly why House Democrats stopped them from discussing amendments), but he also implicates Senate Republicans in the same scheme – including efforts to kill a “land use” bill pushed by Governor Jared Polis. Bottoms also makes sure to crap on “three or four” unnamed House GOP colleagues for not doing enough to obstruct legislation.
You can watch the video yourself, or read our transcription that follows…
(Has news value, please be civil — Promoted by Colorado Pols)
POLS UPDATE #2: The Denver Post’s Conrad Swanson:
Lauren Boebert filed for divorce in late April, Mesa County court records show. The process server who provided Jayson Boebert with the paperwork on April 25 found him at the couple’s home in Silt “drinking a tall glass of beer, and cleaning a gun that was sitting on the table,” court documents show.
“Once he learned that he was being served with Dissolution of Marriage papers he was extremely angry,” the process server wrote. “I tried to hand him the documents but he did not take them. He started yelling and using profanities, and told me that I was trespassing, and that he was calling the Sheriff’s Office.”
The server left the documents on an outside chair while Jayson Boebert closed the door “then let the dogs out.”
POLS UPDATE: The Colorado Sun’s Jesse Paul reports:
“It is with a heavy weight on my heart that I have filed for divorce from my husband. I am grateful for our years of marriage together and for our beautiful children, all of whom deserve privacy and love as we work through this process,” the congresswoman said in a written statement. “I’ve always been faithful in my marriage, and I believe strongly in marriage, which makes this announcement that much more difficult.”
She added: “This is truly about irreconcilable differences. I do not intend to discuss this matter any further in public out of respect for our children, and will continue to work hard to represent the people of Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District.”
The Boeberts have four sons, the oldest of whom is 17 and was set to become a father in April. The congresswoman announced during the Conservative Political Action Conference in March that she would become a grandmother. She noted that the child would make her a 36-year-old grandmother, just as her mother was.
Rep. Lauren Boebert and her husband Jayson are divorcing according to multiple sources.
Lauren Boebert and Jason Boebert appear to be getting a divorce. The DR in the docket number below stands for “domestic relations” and pertains to “divorce, dissolution of a civil union, legal separation, invalidity of marriage, [and/or] allocation of parental rights.” pic.twitter.com/kGfNYWYXFy
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) May 16, 2023
I can’t say it’s surprising. Boebert has moved beyond roughnecks to classier guys. Jesus may not approve, but Jesus doesn’t pay the bills.
Try to be nice to her kids though. They didn’t choose their parents.