Colorado GOP Goes Cuckoo Over “Vaccine Passports”

Here’s an email blast that went out last night from the Colorado Republican Party, sufficiently alarmist that we’re reprinting it for you in its entirety:

So first of all, we’re aware that most of our audience will read this claim that Gov. Jared Polis is “thinking about” imposing a “vaccine passport” beyond the decisions private businesses are already making to require vaccinations and say “that’s great.” But this is of course not aimed at our average reader, but rather to help the Colorado Republican Party build a list of fact-resistant anti-vaxxer paranoiacs for message targeting purposes.

Back in reality, it would be cool if the vaccinee verification technology Colorado already uses in the myColorado app would work in other states, since that would allow vaccinated Coloradans to visit those states and go places. Again, we’re talking about private businesses who are making the decision on their own initiative to require proof of vaccination. As for the assertion that “vax passports have failed already?”

What are they talking about? The “vaccine passport” most of us used to attend school?

Although it’s taken on a new misguided urgency during the COVID-19 pandemic, the partisan politicization of vaccines–in particular the embrace of anti-vaxxers by the Republican Party–is a phenomenon we’ve witnessed in Colorado since well before COVID. Back in 2015, a push from hard-right GOP Senators Tim Neville and Laura Woods to pass anti-vaccine legislation in the middle of a historic outbreak of measles ended in failure and eventual electoral ouster for both.

In 2022, the partisan divide over vaccines is no longer a theory. It is a bright clear line.

Tuesday Open Thread

“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”

–Carl Sagan

Boebert’s Shtick Doesn’t Work on Don Coram

Possible campaign slogan.

As we noted last week, Republican State Sen. Don Coram of Montrose has officially filed to run for Congress in a GOP Primary against incumbent Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) in Colorado’s third congressional district.

It’s too early to tell if Coram, a self-described “moderate” Republican, can put together the kind of campaign operation necessary to knock off Boebert, whose gun-toting, anti-everything persona has come to define the Republican Party in Colorado. But it’s also clear that Boebert is going to need to get a little more creative with her attacks than just rolling out the same old tired lines she uses against Democrats.

Coram’s response to Boebert’s initial barbs is absolutely pitch-perfect for an electorate that may be seeking a little more substance from its representative in Congress:

Boebert is clearly counting on being able to shoo Coram aside with whatever talking point she hears on right-wing outlets such as Fox News or OANN, but Coram’s “aw-shucks” response takes much of the venom out of those attacks. It won’t be enough to defeat Boebert on its own, but it’s a good start.

Heidi Ganahl “Kicking Off” Campaign for Governor (Again)

This time, it’s really, really personal!

We’ve written over and over again in this space that Republican Hiedi Heidi Ganahl is running the worst gubernatorial campaign in the entire country in 2022.

We’re not wrong, and here’s more proof: Ganahl is planning a big “2022 Kickoff” for her campaign…nevermind that she already did that back in September.

As we wrote last month, Ganahl’s September 2021 kickoff was legitimately one of the saddest statewide campaign launches that we’ve ever seen. She completely botched efforts at building even a modicum of suspense; presented herself as a bumbling idiot in multiple media interviews; didn’t even bother to offer even a basic platform of ideas; and ended up cutting a planned two-week launch tour in half because nobody was showing up to any of her events. Fellow Republicans were publicly stating that her campaign was a disaster before it was even a month old.

We can’t blame Ganahl for WANTING a do-over for her campaign, but that’s not how any of this works. You can’t just shake the old Etch-a-Sketch and start again; ask 2018 Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton how well that worked out. Or Mitt Romney, circa 2012.

Ganahl’s re-kickoff campaign reminds us of this spoof trailer from the “Back to the Future” trilogy of movies teasing a future “Jaws 19” with the tagline, “This time, it’s really, really personal.” Perhaps Ganahl will follow a similar formula and “kick off” her 2022 campaign once a month for the rest of the year.

Tracker’s Delight: Don’t Miss Saturday’s Red Meat Senate Debate

Monument Trustee Darcy Schoening.

The Republican gaggle of (as of now) B-List candidates running for the Republican nomination to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet are gearing up for a number of public forums over the next few weeks. Ernest Luning of the Colorado Springs Gazette’s political blog reported last week:

The Republican primary race for Colorado’s U.S. Senate seat is about to kick into high gear, with at least six debates and candidate forums scheduled over a four-week period beginning in early January…

Declared Republican candidates running in the Senate primary include state Rep. Ron Hanks, R-Cañon City; Olympian and former El Paso County GOP official Eli Bremer; real estate developer and former Fort Collins City Council member Gino Campana; construction company owner Joe O’Dea; conservative talk radio veteran Deborah Flora; former congressional candidate Peter Yu; and, nonprofit founder Juli Henry.

On January 25th, one of the higher-profile events will feature Colorado GOP chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown tag-teaming “what coordination” style with conservative activist Michael Fields to host a debate that will be streamed live by CBS Denver. But it’s another debate coming up this Saturday in Monument grabbing most of the attention so far–and not due to the candidates attending:

Monument Trustee Darcy Schoening, if you haven’t yet had the pleasure, is the publisher of what we can best describe as a proudly sketchy fake news site called the Colorado Herald. We’re not trying to be mean, that’s pretty close to how Schoening willingly describes herself on the site’s About Us page:

The Colorado Herald is owned by Darcy Schoening, a Colorado resident, activist, and writer who found a niche for publishing information that MSM has deemed “misinformation.” [Pols emphasis]

And folks, she’s not kidding–the Colorado Herald, from our brief perusal, looks to be the fringiest of any far-right website associated with our state outside of the dark web. From outrageous COVID-19 misinformation to dire warnings about violence in the streets ahead of Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration, this site has pretty much got the market cornered on locally-oriented news for the crowd who thinks Fox News sold out.

In this free-for-all forum, we’ll especially be watching for state Rep. Ron Hanks to come out swinging against his opponents to affirm their stance on the 2020 presidential election. The opportunity for Hanks to let his freak flag fly against his challengers in this forum, keeping in mind that Hanks represents the views of a majority of Republican primary voters, makes this forum among the list of upcoming events the one we wouldn’t miss. We’re excited to follow up with anything juicy that emerges.

But it’s another reason we wonder: why would any credible Republican candidate be there at all?

They only conclusion we can make is that we’ve answered our own question.

BREAKING: Ed Perlmutter Ends An Era

UPDATE: The Colorado Sun’s Jesse Paul:

The new 7th District is forecast to favor Democrats by 7 percentage points, and thus lean heavily in the party’s favor. That’s based on an analysis of the results of eight statewide races between 2016 and 2020…

Two Republicans were already seeking to unseat Perlmutter this year: Erik Aadland, an Army veteran who was initially running for U.S. Senate, and Laurel Imer, who served as a 2020 delegate for President Donald Trump and ran unsuccessfully for a state House seat two years ago.

A number of Democrats are expected to race to replace Perlmutter in the 7th District. State Sen. Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood, has vowed to seek to represent the seat when Perlmutter steps down.

—–

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D).

As posted a few minutes ago to Facebook, popular longtime Democratic incumbent Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Jefferson County announcing that he will not be running for re-election in 2022:

After much thought and consideration, I have decided not to run for reelection. I have loved representing my friends, neighbors and fellow Coloradans in the Congress of the United States of America. I will miss meeting the voters of the new 7th District – it is truly the most beautiful district in America. It’s got the best of Colorado in it and even though the numbers are slightly tighter we will win. I’ve never shied away from a challenge but it’s time for me to move on and explore other opportunities. There comes a time when you pass the torch to the next generation of leaders. I’m deeply gratified that our bench in the 7th District is deep and fortunately we have a strong group of leaders who are ready and able to take up that torch.

I have had the privilege of serving my community for 25 years in some elected capacity and it has been an honor of a lifetime. I am particularly proud of the work my staff and I have done to ensure hardworking families can continue to enjoy our Colorado way of life. We’ve helped expand renewable energy research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory creating thousands of good-paying jobs; helped grow Colorado’s aerospace community, including securing funding for the Orion project and pushing forward with human space exploration; elevating the public safety risk of the cash-only cannabis industry here in our state and across the country; and ensuring Veterans across the Rocky Mountain region get the best possible care with the completion of the world-class VA Medical Center in Aurora.

I want to thank my wife Nancy, my family, my staff, my colleagues and especially my deepest gratitude goes to the people of Jefferson and Adams Counties for the honor of serving them in the U.S. House of Representatives all these years. The masthead of the Denver Post once said, “Tis a privilege to live in Colorado” and indeed it is. It’s been a privilege and honor of a lifetime to serve Colorado, the state I love and have always called home.

We’ll be watching for the tributes to roll in, and well as the expected announcement of a candidate to succeed Rep. Perlmutter in Congress. CD-7 as redrawn in last year’s redistricting cycle is somewhat less but still sufficiently blue to be an expected hold for Democrats, and as we saw when Perlmutter briefly ran for governor in 2018 some of Colorado’s best candidates on the bench in Jefferson County are ready to take the baton.

Monday Open Thread

“No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.”

–Mary Wollstonecraft

Weekend Open Thread

“Experience is a revelation in the light of which we renounce our errors of youth for those of age.”

–Ambrose Bierce

Top Ten Stories of 2021 #3: Lauren Boebert Fulfills Your Worst Nightmares

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R) and the former occupant of the White House.

On December 30, 2020, we wrote about Republican Rep.-elect Lauren Boebert’s meteoric rise from unknown slinger of undercooked pork products in Garfield County to election to Congress on a high-energy low-information pro-Donald Trump platform spiced with a dash of the then-prevalent “QAnon” conspiracy theory:

Sneaking past Tipton’s somnolent re-election campaign to a ten-point primary victory, Boebert immediately found herself under national scrutiny as part of a contingent of Republican candidates in 2020 who openly supported or otherwise courted support from the “QAnon” movement. Boebert toed an uneven line of not-quite walking back her previous statements, much like now Rep.-elect and “Qaucus Queen” Marjorie Taylor Greene was forced to do in Greene’s much more safely Republican Georgia district. Like Greene, it was never really believable–particularly as Boebert continued to echo “QAnon” talking points to her growing social media following at every opportunity.

As Boebert campaigned in the summer and fall of 2020, it became clear she had no interest in venues which required any kind of rigorous examination of her qualifications or agenda. Boebert dodged debates, skipped meetings with editorial boards not considered fully in the Republican tank, and avoided any other event where she might be made to answer an unscripted question. The few forums in which she tried to participate went very, very badly, and resulted in a wave of editorial boards politely saying the same thing: “this person has absolutely no business in Congress.”

But as it turns out, even we could not have predicted how quickly Boebert would become not just the standard-bearer for Trump’s continuing domination of Republican politics in Colorado, but also a nexus of legitimate scandal that could at any point explode into a career-threatening liability. There was a possibility that after unexpectedly taking down Rep. Scott Tipton in the 2020 GOP primary and then beating her Democratic challenger by a smaller margin than Tipton had beaten the same candidate two years before, Boebert might have adopted a more cautious approach as a legislator.

But as we know one year later, “cautious” is not Lauren Boebert’s style.

With no comprehension of complex issues from which to form a coherent legislative agenda, Boebert has continued in office to follow Donald Trump’s public engagement strategy, if anything even more forcefully than while on the campaign trail. It’s a strategy, in short, of continuously earning press attention through cultivating outrage–churning out new offenses to bury old ones, and over time normalizing what was once totally unacceptable behavior. Like Trump, Boebert continuously pushing the boundaries of decency is lavishly praised by the pro-Trump Republican base, and the cycle continues to escalate.

In an entire year of no-apologies full-blast bombast, Boebert blinked only once: over the Thanksgiving holiday, Boebert was compelled by authority figures unknown to apologize “to the entire Muslim community” for false stories she told suggesting U.S. Capitol Police believed fellow Rep. Ilhan Omar was a terrorist threat. Even that brief moment of contrition didn’t hold up, as Boebert went right back to berating Rep. Omar in the phone call Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had arranged for her to personally apologize. Omar and progressive Democrats demanded that Democratic leadership remove Boebert from her committee assignments, but already fatigued by dealing with other Republican problem children, Democrats chose to highlight the failure of Republican leadership to take action instead.

On a practical level, Boebert has very little to offer the voters of her district in terms of bankable accomplishments. Instead of making requests in the appropriations process for multiple important projects that would have directly benefited her constituents, Boebert joined in the GOP tantrum over “earmarks” and delivered nothing. Instead of winning friends and influencing colleagues on the House Natural Resources Committee, Boebert pulls stunts that distract from her value to the energy industry that subsidizes her. All that, and continued brushes with ethics and campaign finance oversight from Boebert’s suspiciously sloppy campaign funds that “accidentally” got used repeatedly for personal expenses. Speaking about Boebert as a partner in the most basic sense in representing Colorado, Rep. Jason Crow said it best to the Colorado Sun in today’s Unaffiliated newsletter:

Crow explained that he has been able to work with Republican U.S. Reps. Ken Buck and Doug Lamborn over the past year to get work done for Colorado. U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Garfield County, is the exception.

“Ms. Boebert remains a substantial problem, in my view,” Crow said Wednesday. [Pols emphasis] “It’s different with her because her rhetoric is just so inciteful and hateful and poses such a direct danger to my constituents, people I represent. Immigrants and refugees. The Muslim community. And those who are disenfranchised or marginalized in so many ways.”

For all of these reasons, in addition to a list of prospective Democratic challengers lining up, Boebert is facing a Republican primary challenge from two opponents including State Sen. Don Coram of Montrose. Local newspapers like the Durango Herald and Montrose Press are demanding Boebert’s ouster. Sen. Coram has no intention of trying to out-outrage Boebert to win the Republican primary, instead hoping to appeal to Republicans in CD-3 tired of Boebert’s high-liability low-results record as well as anti-Boebert votes from unaffiliated voters who will all receive a mail-in GOP primary ballot. Coram does have a path to victory–but in the event Coram prevails, will Boebert accept defeat?

In Colorado, in every conceivable way, Boebert is the face of Trump’s party and movement. Like Trump, the end of Boebert’s story has not yet been written. And like Trump, we’re more than a little nervous about how the story will end.

Stay tuned for the top stories of 2022, because no matter what happens Boebert will be in them.

Joe Biden Heads For Colorado Disaster Zone

 

9NEWS reports, President Joe Biden accompanied by Gov. Jared Polis, Rep. Joe Neguse of Boulder, and both of Colorado’s U.S. Senators will visit Louisville and Superior this afternoon to assess the damage from devastating wind-driven wildfires that destroyed nearly 1,000 homes one week ago:

Biden will be joined by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) and Neguse (D-Colorado) on Friday’s tour. It was announced Friday morning that Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colorado) and Sen. John Hickenlooper will also join them. Both will travel with the president on Air Force One before touring fire damage and visiting with survivors…

Once in the area, the officials, also including First Lady Jill Biden, will tour an area of Louisville that was damaged by the Marshall Fire. Following the damage tour the president will meet with survivors at the Louisville Recreation & Senior Center and deliver brief remarks about the federal response to the fire.

“This week, many in the Boulder County community – throughout Superior and Louisville – are beginning the long road to recovery in the wake of the unprecedented and terrible Marshall Fire,” Neguse said in a statement.

Traffic through the Denver metro area is not expected to be disrupted, with the President taking a helicopter from Buckley Air Force Base across town to Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Jeffco. President Biden’s remarks are scheduled for 5:15PM local time (video will stream above).

All we can say is, it’s refreshing to have a presidential President in these moments of need.

Friday Open Thread

“Each success only buys an admission ticket to a more difficult problem.”

–Henry Kissinger

CO Republicans Who Joined the Insurrection: What Were They Doing a Year Ago Today?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

A year after the nation survived its first-ever insurrection, federal law enforcement has so far arrested twelve Coloradans for their participation. While prosecutors are focusing on bringing charges against the most serious offenders, such as those suspects who assaulted police, vandalized federal property, and entered the House itself, it’s worth keeping in mind that the sheer size of the march overwhelmed the Capitol Police who simply didn’t have the numbers to prevent the crowd from surrounding the building. Those protestors who walked past police barriers, but stopped short of entering the Capitol may not have committed as serious crimes as those who broke in, but their presence allowed more aggressive marchers to act with impunity.

You can read about the various charges faced by the 12 Coloradans arrested, but many other residents of our state also took part the day’s tragic events. Several of them are Colorado Republican officials or leaders of conservative groups that have worked closely with the state GOP. Here’s a list, in order of notoriety.

Lauren Boebert

Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-CO) is best known for her inflammatory tweets that morning, including her early morning invocation of armed revolt, “Today is 1776,” and another noting that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was no longer in the House chamber, which was posted during the assault on the Capitol. https://twitter.com/laurenboebert/status/1346811381878845442

Congresswoman Boebert at Trump’s Jan 6 rally

She holds a unique position on this list as she was inside the Capitol with her colleagues during the armed attack.

However, CSPAN video prior to the speech shows she also attended at least part of the morning rally at which then-President Trump urged thousands of angry supporters to “fight like hell” or else they “wouldn’t have a country anymore.”

Rolling Stone reported that unnamed insurrection organizers say they were in touch with her office in the days prior to Jan. 6, a claim Boebert denies. The House Select Committee on Jan. 6 has requested her phone and text records and at least one major carrier, AT&T, has said it will comply with the request.

Ron Hanks

State Rep. Ron Hanks (R-Penrose), who is running for U.S. Senate, participated in the White House rally and was among the early marchers to walk past police barricades and approach the Capitol. He described his actions in a radio interview with the chair of the Fremont County GOP:

“By the time we walked from the elipse at the White House down to the Capitol building, there were already people climbing on the scaffolding,” said Hanks. “We went right down the road, we got there ahead of 80-90% of the crowd. There’s a solid case to be made that we had people intrude on that [the rally] and that it was a bit of a false flag operation- well let’s not say ‘a bit of’ let’s say false flag. “When we walked from the west side of the Capitol, which facing the Lincoln Memorial back around to the east side, which would be facing the Supreme Court. There were some barriers that had been pulled open. And now we’re walking between the Capitol building and the police force, which is in the parking lot. And this doesn’t feel right to me as a guy who knows a little bit about physical security. And so I kept looking at him. I kept giving him the eye, expecting them to either divert us around or- they never did. They looked straight at us and let us walk.”

 

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Get More Smarter on Thursday (January 6)

One year ago today, something very bad happened and it’s still too soon to joke about it. Let’s Get More Smarter anyway. 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

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

► President Joe Biden spoke this morning on the anniversary of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol seeking to overturn his victory in the 2020 elections. Politico:

President Joe Biden on Thursday marked one year since his predecessor’s supporters besieged the Capitol with a pointed rebuke of the violence — and a declaration that Donald Trump bears “singular responsibility” for the attack.

“His bruised ego matters more to him than our democracy, our Constitution,” Biden said of the former president. Trump, he added, is “not just a former president. He’s a defeated former president, defeated by a margin of over seven million of your votes in a full and free and fair election.”

…Calling out Trump and his GOP allies marks a notable tonal shift for Biden. Since taking office, he’s largely held off on sharp barbs toward the foe he could face again in 2024. But Biden hewed to one of his post-election conventions on Thursday: He did not use Trump’s name while criticizing the former president.

Colorado Public Radio’s Caitlyn Kim spoke with Rep. Jason Crow, credited with bravery by his colleagues in the face of the chaos of that day, and other Democratic members of Congress (unsurprisingly, Republicans like Rep. Lauren Boebert weren’t available to talk):

Crow said that as the House was locked down, his brain went into “Ranger mode.”

“I wasn’t really allowing myself to kind of process or think about it,” he said. “I was just triaging the information and trying to figure out our way out, because at that moment, we were trapped and surrounded by a violent mob.”

A famous photo shows Crow holding the hand of a panicked looking Representative Susan Wild of Pennsylvania, comforting her as she lays back on the floor of the gallery.

On the floor below, Rep. Joe Neguse, who had been tapped to help lead the arguments for the Democrats that day, spent those chaotic minutes reaching out to his family.

For more on the anniversary of the January 6th insurection, Axios recaps the role of ex-CU professor John Eastman and local attorney Jenna Ellis in drafting plans to overturn the 2020 presidential elections on January 20th. Here’s the latest updates on Coloradans facing charges for their role in the violence at the U.S. Capitol courtesy Westword.

 

► President Biden is headed to Colorado tomorrow to meet with Gov. Jared Polis and see firsthand the devastation from the December 30th Marshall Fire, the most destructive in Colorado history in terms of homes destroyed. Denver Post:

Accompanying Gov. Jared Polis and Democratic U.S. Rep Joe Neguse, D-Lafayette, the president will survey the damage and discuss “urgently needed federal support,” according to a news release from Neguse’s office…

“We cannot expect our communities to bear the burden of this disaster on their own,” Neguse said in a statement Wednesday. “We must bring the full force of the federal government to bear as our communities work to rebuild and recover.”

Over $25 million has been raised to support fire victims despite crass attempts to politicize the relief efforts.

 

As the drama over the Build Back Better legislation continues in D.C., Sen. John Hickenlooper joined with a group of Democratic Senators insisting that climate change funds be preserved in the rewrite of the bill currently underway.

 

Meanwhile, the renewed push to get voting rights legislation through the Senate by any means necessary continues.

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

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Don Coram’s In: Here’s How It Could Work

State Sen. Don Coram (R).

As the Montrose Daily Press broke first and several other news outlets followed up in coverage today, Republican state Sen. Don Coram of Montrose is officially getting in the race to relieve the state of Colorado from its greatest national embarrassment in a generation, freshman GOP controversy aggregatrix Rep. Lauren Boebert–setting up a primary that will chart the course for Colorado Republicans for a long time afterward.

Don Coram doesn’t think “moderate” is a dirty word — and he thinks the majority of electors agree.

Coram, currently state senator for District 6, is banking on those electors turning out at the polls and sending him to Washington, D.C. The Montrose Republican on Monday filed paperwork to run for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, putting months of speculation to rest…

“I’m looking at our state and our nation and I’m very concerned that the 10% on the right and the 10% on the left are making all the noise and getting all the attention, and the 80% in the middle are totally ignored,” Coram told the Montrose Daily Press on Tuesday evening.

The Colorado Sun’s Jesse Paul:

The Colorado Sun first reported in December that Coram was considering whether to launch a primary challenge to Boebert. Coram is considered a moderate Republican while Boebert is aligned with the party’s far right wing.

“If you’re not willing to reach out and talk to someone that has a different political persuasion than you do and just pound your fist and say ‘this is how it is,’ it’s not going to work,” Coram said during the event. “We are so polarized and so divided with no intentions at this time of changing that.”

As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports, don’t look for Sen. Coram to get into the proverbial pit with Rep. Boebert on Twitter, because that’s not the kind of campaign he’s going to run:

Coram said he doesn’t plan to go negative on anyone, saying his candidacy will be based on telling voters who he is and why they should choose him. Unlike Boebert and Zimmerman, he doesn’t have a Twitter account and doesn’t plan on getting one.

“I don’t think I need it at all,” he told The Daily Sentinel on Wednesday. “I worked for an old man a long time ago who said, ‘Never argue with a fool. A bystander can’t tell the difference.’ That’s what Twitter is to me.” [Pols emphasis]

Challenging a first-term incumbent whose sole objective since being elected to Congress has been to keep her name in the headlines good or bad is definitely an uphill battle. Although Boebert has struggled to keep pace with the massive fundraising hauls of some of her MAGA faction peers, Boebert has formidable resources to draw on to fight off a primary challenge.

What does Don Coram have? Well, Coram has Lauren Boebert. It’s not necessary for Coram to directly attack Boebert in order to present himself as a more credible alternative who would better meet the needs of the Third Congressional District. Boebert’s inability to distinguish between good and bad attention ensures a steady supply of (metaphorical) ammo for independent messengers to take care of that. Boebert keeps herself in the negative spotlight well enough that Coram doesn’t need to point it out–just to hold the high ground while she does it.

That won’t be enough, though. The key to unseating Lauren Boebert in the 2022 Republican primary will lie in a groundswell of turnout from the district’s unaffiliated voters–all of whom will receive a Republican primary mail ballot under Colorado’s somewhat controversial open-ish primary laws. This is the same possibility that led to last year’s failed attempt by hard-right Republicans to cancel the primary and revert to a caucus system to choose nominees. A strong unaffiliated turnout combined with Republicans who are fatigued by Boebert’s antics is a feasible majority coalition to put a challenger like Coram over the top.

As we’ve said before, even though CD-3 was drawn a few points redder in the 2020 redistricting cycle, it’s not out of reach for a strong Democratic challenger against a scandal-plagued incumbent. Before that, however, Republicans have a chance to undo the damage done by letting a public relations disaster like Boebert get past their filters.

If Republicans do not take it, they take ownership of Lauren Boebert. It’s that simple.

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