Search Results for: coffmangate

Get More Smarter on Monday (July 13)

MoreSmarterLogo-300x218The Colorado Rockies will have three players in Tuesday’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game, which is weird considering that Colorado is one of the 3-5 worst teams in the sport. 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).

 

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► Ace reporter Lynn Bartels of the Denver Post takes a deeper dive into Coffmangate and the political ramifications of the still-unfolding scandal:

Extortion. Blackmail. Infidelity. Incompetence. Defamation of character. The soap opera surrounding Steve House, the newly elected chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, exploded in mid-June but appeared to fizzle when the GOP executive committee voted 22-1 in support of House on June 26 after a marathon closed-door session.

The bigger question is the impact on the career of Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and whether any fallout affects her husband, U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora, who now faces a formidable challenge from Democratic state Sen. Morgan Carroll.

Click here for more background on the Coffmangate scandal.

► Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who was born in Colorado Springs, officially announced on Monday that he will seek the Republican Presidential nomination in 2016. Walker has placed a premium on performing well in Iowa, the first state in the long march of the nominating process. For those of you counting at home, Walker is the 15th prominent Republican to enter the field for President. 

 

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You’re the Next Contestant on “Somebody Please Run for U.S. Senate”

Republicans are trying to recruit former Solicitor General Dan Domenico to run for Senate in 2016.

Republican Dan Domenico.

Dan Domenico, come on down!

Republicans continue their search for a decent candidate for U.S. Senate against incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet in 2016, and they appear to have narrowed their recruitment efforts — for the time being, at least — on the former Solicitor General under Attorney General John Suthers. 

Domenico is not well-known outside of small political circles, but Republicans think he could be a decent candidate to challenge Bennet’s re-election efforts after the GOP’s top tier — and second and third tier — took a pass on 2016 (sorry, Greg Lopez and Darryl Glenn, but you’re still a few levels down on the list).

Domenico has been rumored as a potential candidate in the past, and with few other options on the board, he just might be the next-best name for Republicans. Domenico has a good resume, no voting record to exploit, and is pretty photogenic; perhaps more importantly, his wife is a professional fundraiser who could help ease the financial burdens facing Republicans as they try to hold onto control of the U.S. Senate in a tough election year (Domenico’s wife is currently helping to raise money for GOP Presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina).

The downside to Domenico as a candidate is his background with the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, where he took the lead on arguing Colorado’s case against allowing same-sex marriage in our state. This wouldn’t have been as much of a strategic concern as recently as last year, but 2016 is definitely not the year to be running for office as a noted opponent of same-sex marriage.

That’s not the only wrinkle to a potential Domenico campaign for Senate, however. If Attorney General Cynthia Coffman ends up leaving office early because of the Coffmangate scandal, which we continue to hear is not unlikely, Domenico is probably the GOP’s best candidate to put forward as her replacement. Would Domencio really roll the dice on a Senate campaign now that the AG’s office may suddenly open up for another Republican candidate? Domenico spent the last few years working under former Attorney General John Suthers, and we hear that the AG’s office would be his preference if he had the option.

On the other hand, if Domenico has ever considered running for federal office, this is probably the best opportunity he’s ever going to have; if Domenico doesn’t jump at the race in 2016, he’ll have to wait until at least the year 2022 because Republican Sen. Cory Gardner is up for re-election in 2020. The odds are slim that Domenico might still be in a position to be wooed by Republicans in another six years.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (July 7)

MoreSmarterLogo-300x218Today is 7/7/15, which is not nearly as cool as 7/7/14. 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).

 

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

Democrats have their “top-tier recruit” in the fold for CD-6 with today’s announcement that state Sen. Morgan Carroll will challenge incumbent Congressman Mike Coffman in 2016. Rachel Sapin of the Aurora Sentinel got the early scoop:

“The theme of the campaign is going to about real results,” Carroll told The Aurora Sentinel in an interview Monday. “Congress has been paralyzed. It’s a crisis of confidence to get anything done.”

► Carroll’s decision to run in CD-6 brings a renewed spotlight on the Coffmangate scandal. As The Hill reports today:

Republicans in the state have appeared in disarray in recent weeks amid allegations from the state party chairman Steve House that Cynthia Coffman blackmailed him in an attempt to get him to resign. 

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Get More Smarter on Monday (July 6)

MoreSmarterLogo-300x218Seriously, you can stop lighting fireworks now. 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).

 

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

Douglas County officials are looking toward their next step in defending their nonsense “voucher” program after the Colorado Supreme Court ruled last week that programs were discriminating on religious grounds when they weren’t flat-out stealing taxpayer money. As Eric Gorski writes for the Denver Post:

In rejecting the vouchers, state Supreme Court Chief Justice Nancy Rice cited Colorado’s “stark constitutional provision” forbidding the use of public money to fund religious schools. That, she wrote, is exactly what the Douglas County initiative does, essentially working as a “recruitment program.”

Legal experts agree the U.S. Supreme Court typically does not get involved in state constitutional questions. But they differ on whether the circumstances of the Douglas County case put it in a different league.

Heather Weaver, senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, an original plaintiff, said there is “really no grounds” for an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

► In the “Ship’s That Already Sailed” department, opponents of LGBT rights and same sex marriage are planning a couple of idiotic ballot measures for 2016. We’d encourage the political geniuses behind these measures to take another look at just how dramatically these issues have shifted over the last decade. If you’d rather not read words, check out this amazing graphic from the New York Times.

 

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Vulnerable Mike Coffman Lays Low As Challenge Looms

Mike and Cynthia Coffman. And dog.

Mike and Cynthia Coffman. And dog.

For the last two weeks, a member of the Coffman family has dominated political headlines in Colorado, though not the Coffman most people think of. When we last left off with GOP Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora, he was vowing to repeal Obamacare in the wake of last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling, and hurrying to pivot to “jobs and the economy” in response to the court’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage equality–but still not getting anything like the press his embattled wife was receiving.

Which we fully assume he considers to be a good thing.

Just before the “Coffmangate” blackmail scandal involving Rep. Coffman’s spouse Attorney General Cynthia Coffman broke open in the middle of June, Mike Coffman’s remarks on a radio talk show comparing the Department of Veterans Affairs to the Middle Eastern terrorist group ISIS made the rounds with no small degree of controversy. But since then, we’ve seen very little in the way of earned media for Rep. Coffman beyond those brief statements, regarding either the overbudget Aurora VA hospital has had spent so much time grandstanding on as an election issue, or anything else.

And naturally, he’s had nothing to say about his spouse’s political implosion.

But the world moves on: just today, Mike Coffman’s name was mentioned again as one of the most competitive races in the Mountain West for 2016. Roll Call’s Rothenblog:

Coffman’s decision to seek re-election puts a wrench into Democratic plans to take over his open seat. But that doesn’t mean the party will give him a free pass. President Barack Obama won the 6th by 6 points in 2012 and 9 points in 2008, but Coffman easily dispatched former state Speaker Andrew Romanoff, 52-43 percent, in 2014. State Sen. Morgan Carroll has been mentioned on the Democratic side but the field is still fluid. As far out of reach as this race seems for Democrats, it’s probably the type of district the party has to win in order to get the majority in 2016…

After Andrew Romanoff’s unexpected shellacking at the polls in 2014, the second win for Rep. Coffman over resurgent Democratic opponents since his congressional district was remade into a closely divided battleground in 2011, conventional wisdom might have declared him safe. But the CD-6 electorate in 2014 seems to have almost uniquely punished Romanoff for running an uninspiring centrist campaign, sending him to defeat by a greater margin than overlapping Democratic candidates in other races. In 2012, low-budget underdog challenger Joe Miklosi came far closer to defeating Coffman than Romanoff did, a result that demonstrates the potential in this district for a candidate who can turn out the Democratic vote–or at least not demotivate base Democrats like Romanoff did with his milquetoast “balance the budget” message. And above all, the difference in the electorate between the 2012 presidential elections and last year’s midterms gives Democrats hope that 2016 may be the year Rep. Coffman’s number comes up.

Bottom line: Mike Coffman has proven a resilient incumbent, able to reinvent himself in dramatic fashion to appeal to a very different electorate than the hard-right conservative voters who originally elected him to Congress. But he has also benefited circumstantially from weak opponents, and a strong “Republican wave” in 2014. A combination of his starkly opposed past positions on the issues, continuing predilection for embarrassing verbal diarrhea like the ISIS/VA crack or his declaration in 2012 that President Barack Obama “is just not an American,” and the growing possibility of the right challenger in the right year, means that no matter how handily he was re-elected in the last election, Rep. Coffman remains vulnerable in the next one.

That perennial vulnerability is why Coffman chose not to run for the U.S. Senate next year, with his negatives potentially attracting much more attention in that marquee statewide race. His best career option, as we long expected he would decide, was to fight to hold CD-6–considered vital to either side’s aspirations for control of Congress.

The problem is, in 2016 Democrats may finally have the right combination of circumstances and human capital to take Coffman out.

Get More Smarter on Monday (June 29)

MoreSmarterLogo-300x218It’s been three days, and gay marriage still hasn’t destroyed your “traditional” marriage–really! 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).

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► LGBT rights advocates local and national are basking in the afterglow of Friday’s historic U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage once and for all. With this civil rights milestone achieved, the next logical step–stamping out discrimination against LGBT Americans–looms large:

Longtime gay-rights advocates such as political strategist Ted Trimpa contrasted Friday’s announcement with the memory of disappointment in 1992 when the state’s voters approved the anti-gay Amendment 2.

“Take that feeling and pair it with the joy of seeing the decision this morning,” said Trimpa. “It’s quite a journey.”

But he joined many others in cautioning that even in the wake of this legal victory, that journey still has miles to go.

“Over half the states in this country still allow a person to be fired, denied housing or denied services at a business, just because they’re gay,” Trimpa said. “So we’re all going to wake up and it’s like Alabama: Somebody could get married, take a marriage picture and put it on their desk — and get fired.”

Down the street at the Western Conservative Summit this weekend, a very different view of the same decision from GOP presidential hopefuls and religious right activists:

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, the first presidential nominee to speak at the Summit, was among them. He thinks the ruling redefined marriage. If it’s not about procreative sex for the sake of stable family units, it’s not marriage. “Now we are faced with a society that says marriage has nothing to do with children,” he said. “If the family goes, there’s nothing left.”

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council — a conservative Christian lobbying group — followed up. He, too, objected to the Supreme Court’s ruling on moral grounds, reiterating that marriage is an institution defined as the union between one man and one woman for the purpose of child-bearing. “The Supreme Court does not have the moral authority to change what it did not create,” he said…

Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee echoed that sentiment, but chose a different historical ruling for comparison. “Conservatives can do same thing that Abraham Lincoln did about the Dred Scott decision of 1857,” he said. “[Lincoln] simply ignored the ruling and said, ‘That’s not correct.’”

All of which casts the recent embarrassing fight over the Log Cabin Republicans’ exclusion from the Western Conservative Summit in sharp relief.

► Meanwhile in the Colorado Supreme Court, a major decision announced today striking down Douglas County’s controversial religious school voucher program.

► In case you missed it Friday, The Coffmangate scandal took a turn for the comedic after the Colorado Republican Party’s executive committee voted almost unanimously–22 to 1–to support chairman Steve House after nearly two weeks of a dissenting faction led by Attorney General Cynthia Coffman trying to force him to resign. Another round of damning blackmail admissions Friday by Cynthia Coffman may keep the story going despite House’s attempts to lead everyone in singing Kumbaya. Stay tuned…

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Coffman’s Political Career will be Measured in Weeks, not Years

UPDATE: Aaron Gardner of conservative blog RedState Tweets it like it is:

Ted Harvey and Cynthia Coffman in House of Cards likeness.

Ted Harvey and Cynthia Coffman in House of Cards likeness.

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For Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, the headline in the Denver Post this afternoon is just about as bad is at gets — until it gets worse (which it will): “Cynthia Coffman says no blackmail in asking Steve House to resign.”

On Friday Coffman said the meeting at the Warwick took place over wine and was meant to be confidential. She said she mentioned House’s alleged mistress by her first name at that meeting, but not in a threatening manner. “Nobody accused him of an affair. Nobody threatened to expose anything,” she said.

Coffman said: “If you look up the legal definition of blackmail this doesn’t fit it.” [Pols emphasis]

This is now the second time in a week that Coffman has publicly responded to blackmail charges…by talking about blackmail. Suffice it to say, a politician never wants to end up in a position where you are repeatedly denying involvement in a serious crime, but leave it to Coffman to even include the “B word” in her own comments.

On Friday afternoon, the Executive Committee of the Colorado Republican Party listened to “testimony” about unfounded allegations against GOP Chair Steve House. Coffman herself “testified” at the meeting, where she reiterated that she was in attendance at the June 15 meeting intended to force House out of office.

When the meeting was finally over, Republicans had voted 22-1 in support of House and in repudiation of claims made by Coffman, Tom Tancredo, Becky Mizel and others. Coffman’s last remaining supporter appears to be Mizel herself, who cast the solitary “NO”vote.

Some in the Republican Party may try to pretend that they have swept everything under the rug with Friday’s vote, but it’s not that easy. The Colorado GOP is not a court of law. It has no judge or jury. It doesn’t get to decide whether or not Coffman, Tancredo, Mizel and others can be exonerated of a plan of blackmail or extortion in an effort to get House to resign on his own.

Only our legal system gets to make that decision. The U.S. Attorney’s office may be in the process of pursuing an investigation as we speak type, and as Republican Party Attorney Chris Murray noted ominously before today’s kangaroo court:

Murray reminded the group that anything said is subject to discovery if there is a criminal or civil investigation into the recent events.

Cynthia Coffman’s political career is about as dead as it gets — and that was true even before today’s circus. She has lost all support in the Republican Party and is radioactive to anyone who might sympathize with her. It appears all but certain that there will be a federal investigation into claims of blackmail/extortion. Two questions remain:

1) When will Coffman have no choice but to resign as Attorney General?

2) Will Coffman be able to avoid felony criminal charges?

There are no good answers when the questions are that awful for the chief law enforcement officer in the State of Colorado.

 

Need a Coffmangate Refresher? Catch up with these links:

The Strange Story of the Coup Attempt Within the Colorado Republican Party

Cynthia Coffman’s Political Career is Over. Done. Kaput.

Cynthia’s House of Cards: Dial ‘B’ for Blackmail

Mystery Character #4 Revealed in Coffmangate Scandal

EXCLUSIVE: Coffman-gate Scandal is About to go Nuclear

Right-Wing Blog Unwittingly Confirms Steve House Blackmail (Now, With Audio!)

Coffmangate Update: Nothing Changed, Coffman Still in Serious Trouble

 

BREAKING: House Gets Vote of Support After Doing Nothing Wrong in the First Place

The bell tolls for thee, Cynthia Coffman.

The bell tolls for thee, Cynthia Coffman.

The State Republican Party Executive Committee just concluded a 6-hour meeting — six hours! — to discuss whether or not Steve House should remain Chair of the State GOP…despite the fact that he didn’t do anything in the first place!

After a day of testimony for a kangaroo court in Greenwood Village, Republicans decided to give House A VOTE OF SUPPORT as Republican Party Chairman. The vote was 22-1 in support of House (Becky Mizel was the sole ‘NO’ vote, as she decides to go down with Cynthia Coffman on the corruption cruise ship).

Attorney General Cynthia Coffman was among those who testified in opposition to House today, which was absurd anyway — the GOP Executive Committee could NOT have gotten rid of House today no matter what happened.

Now that House has appears to have kept the wolves at bay, the focus of this story shifts fully back to Coffman. Not only is Coffman facing serious potential blackmail charges for her role in this whole kerfuffle (see links below for background), but apparently there is only one person on the GOP Executive Committee who sided with the AG.

D’oh!!!

 

Need a Coffmangate Refresher? Catch up with these links:

The Strange Story of the Coup Attempt Within the Colorado Republican Party

Cynthia Coffman’s Political Career is Over. Done. Kaput.

Cynthia’s House of Cards: Dial ‘B’ for Blackmail

Mystery Character #4 Revealed in Coffmangate Scandal

EXCLUSIVE: Coffman-gate Scandal is About to go Nuclear

Right-Wing Blog Unwittingly Confirms Steve House Blackmail (Now, With Audio!)

Coffmangate Update: Nothing Changed, Coffman Still in Serious Trouble

 

Attempts to Oust Steve House Began Same Day He Was Elected

The Colorado Republican Party is meeting today in “Executive Committee” as part of another sloppy effort to force State Party Chair Steve House to resign — just the latest chapter in the rapidly-expanding Coffmangate scandal involving Attorney General Cynthia Coffman.

Some Republicans, including champion rock-thrower Marilyn Marks, are promoting a petition that asks for House’s resignation via the website AHouseDivider.com. “Join The Call For GOP Chairman Steve House To Resign NOW!” screams the headline at the top of the page…a website created on the same day that House was elected GOP Chairman.

Below is a screenshot showing the date of creation for AHouseDivider.com, followed by a screenshot of Marilyn Marks’ Facebook page, where she claims to have no knowledge of AHouseDivider.com — though she’s more than happy to share the link with everyone!

HouseDivide-WhoIs

The website hosting a petition calling for Steve House to resign was created on the same day he was first elected.

Marilyn Marks' Facebook page. Screenshot taken on June 26, 2015.

Marilyn Marks’ Facebook page. Screenshot taken on June 26, 2015.

Get More Smarter on Friday (June 26)

MoreSmarterLogo-300x218There’s never a bad time for equal rights. 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).

 

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Marriage Equality for all Americans, and Colorado’s elected officials are (mostly) happy about it; (Republican Congressmen Doug Lamborn and Mike Coffman aren’t big fans of the ruling, naturally). Meanwhile, our friends at “The Fix” take a look at just how quickly the issue of marriage equality has changed in the United States:

As recently as the 2004 presidential election, Republicans were crediting George W. Bush’s re-election victory to ballot initiatives banning same-sex marriage that helped drive conservatives to the polls.  Less than 11 years later, same sex marriage is now legal in every state in America.

For those of you who are more of the “visual learner” type, check out this amazing graphic from the New York Times.

Coffmangate continues to roll along. The Republican State Party is meeting today in Executive Session to exchange rumors and complaints, and some in the room will continue to push for Steve House to resign as Chairman, which is unlikely to happen. We continue to hear that the U.S. Attorney’s office is investigating possible blackmail or extortion charges involving Attorney General Cynthia Coffman.

 

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Ted Harvey Still Raising “ScamPAC” Dollars

Former Republican State Sen. Ted Harvey

Former Republican State Sen. Ted Harvey

Back in January, we took note of a story in Politico about political action committees (PACs) set up to raise funds for a variety of conservative Republican candidates and causes. The problem with the committees profiled in this story is that the overwhelming majority of funds raised by them appeared to be paying for staff salaries and overhead–with only a small percentage of moneys raised actually going to fund the public-facing political activities of the group.

One of the so-called “ScamPACs” mentioned in that story was the Stop Hillary PAC, whose chairman is none other than former Colorado Sen. Ted Harvey of Highlands Ranch: the same Ted Harvey currently at the center of a major controversy that has riven the Colorado Republican Party, as the failure to hire Harvey as executive director by GOP chairman Steve House resulted (at least in part) in the legally dubious confrontation between House and Attorney General Cynthia Coffman that has dominated political headlines in Colorado for the last two weeks.

Well folks, it looks like Harvey, while he waits for the infighting on his behalf within the Colorado GOP to resolve itself, is keeping plenty busy sending out fundraising emails for the Stop Hillary PAC! Apparently, a damning national news story about PACs that spend an average of 12% of their take on actual programmatic work hasn’t even slowed him down. From Harvey’s missive to Stop Hillary PAC supporters just this week:

Friend we’re launching a critical goal to reach 1 million Americans strong against Hillary.

**If just 786 donors step up in the next 24 hours, we will be able to reach 1 million Americans strong against Hillary BEFORE our June 30th deadline.**

Click this link to donate $15 or $35 securely and help us recruit 20 more Americans to our movement to Stop Hillary?

Your donation of $15 or $35 will go directly towards our efforts to build an army 1 million strong against Hillary Clinton — before she can win the nomination.

But as we prepare for what is sure to be one of the biggest political wars ever waged — I am certain I cannot do it without the support of patriots, like you, who love and stand ready to defend America…

As we noted a couple of days ago, had Harvey been hired as executive director of the Colorado GOP, his role as chairman of the Stop Hillary PAC may have presented a whole new set of election law problems. But beyond that, the stigma of bringing on a “ScamPAC” artist to run the state Republican Party would have been exceedingly bad for the party’s image and fundraising. Bad enough that we would fully accept that as a justifiable reason for House to not hire Harvey, which House ultimately chose not to do despite Harvey’s very public presumption that it was a done deal.

Unfortunately for Steve House, as we now know, Ted Harvey…has powerful friends.

Get More Smarter on Thursday (June 25)

MoreSmarterLogo-300x218Happy belated St. Jean-Baptiste Day to our Canadian friends. 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).

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► The United States Supreme Court has ruled to uphold federal subsidies related to Obamacare. As Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the 6-3 majority decision:

Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them.

This is a win-win decision politically — for both parties. The decision is obviously beneficial for Democrats who supported Obamacare, but it also allows Republicans to continue to crow about the horrors of health care legislation — which they are doing already — without having to do any actual governing on their own.

Turnover among staff in the Jefferson County School District is up 50% over the previous year, attributable almost entirely to the antics of the right-wing majority and (not so) Superintendent Dan McMinimee.

► Colorado Pols continues to be your home for the latest news on The Coffmangate Scandal. We’re still baffled that Attorney General Cynthia Coffman would put her career on the line to help former state Sen. Ted Harvey get a real job. Elsewhere, a group of conservative talk-radio hosts have resigned from KLZ-560 AM, claiming that station management is interfering with their “coverage” of the coup attempt against State Party Chair Steve House. “I guess they didn’t realize they don’t own the radio station,” said Crawford Broadcasting President Don Crawford, Jr.

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Get More Smarter on Wednesday (June 24)

MoreSmarterLogo-300x218It’s been so crazy today, we almost forgot 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).

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► Another longshot Republican candidate for President threw his hat in the ring today, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana:

The child of immigrants from India, Jindal had become the head of Louisiana’s Department of Health and Hospitals at the age of 24. By his 40th birthday, he had already served in Congress and won election to a second term as governor. Then he stepped in front of a camera to give the party’s official response to Obama’s first State of the Union; people who thought they were watching a coming out party instead bore witness to a political train-wreck — a tin-eared speech immediately derided as “childish” and “a disaster for the party.”

Jindal now enters a far more competitive and crowded presidential field, not as a wunderkind but as an asterisk who barely registers in national polls. He is running as a reform-minded, social conservative armed with detailed policy proposals — and betting that his wonky approach will enable him to break through — but many question whether it’s too late to gain a foothold in the 2016 race.

► Republican House Speaker John Boehner is cracking down on conservative Republicans in his caucus–ostensibly over the recent vote to pass President Barack Obama’s trade agenda, but behind the scenes, he’s just sick of the “Tea Party.” Including Colorado’s own Ken Buck:

It’s a largely ceremonial position, but the title of class president soon could be taken from Congressman Ken Buck — and the Colorado lawmaker says it’s punishment for going against Republican leadership on a crucial trade vote…

Late Wednesday, his campaign put out a fundraising e-mail that cited the effort to remove him.

“Republican Leadership representatives have been meeting in secret and have now called a snap election to impeach me as Freshman Class President because I voted against ObamaTrade,” he wrote.

“Bring it on.”

► The Coffmangate scandal continues to grow, despite confusing reports yesterday about the status of investigations into the alleged blackmailing of Colorado Republican Party chairman Steve House. In news interviews yesterday, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman admitted that a major grievance against House was the failure to hire Ted Harvey as the party’s executive director, and that an alleged extramarital affair was invoked against House during their meeting. All indications remain that this will not end well for Attorney General Coffman or others she teamed up with to “burn down the House.”

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Because Elections Matter – Why We Should Care about “ChairGate”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Former Colorado GOP chair Ryan Call, AG Cynthia Coffman.

Former Colorado GOP chair Ryan Call, AG Cynthia Coffman.

In the Politichicks article “Sex, Lies, and the GOP“, Kathryn Porter has given readers an explanation for why Marilyn Marks and Becky Mizel were motivated to force House to resign. I can’t speak for the motivations of others who may or may not have been involved, but I contend that Marks and Mizel needed for Steve House to step down as Chair of the Colorado GOP, in order to keep their positions of influence within the GOP, and within Colorado’s conservative base.

Quoting from Porter’s article:

One of those [Steve House’s] critics is elections integrity expert, Marilyn Marks who shared her experience as a member of a state party elections oversight committee. She said that some members walked off due to the inexplicable decision to replace the committee vice-chair and the invitation to include county clerks—holding different agendas—whom the committee was seeking to hold accountable.

Steve House, as Chair, chose to open up the party’s Elections Oversight Committee, of which both Marks and Mizel were members. He was seeking to have a less antagonistic, less litigious relationship with the County Election Clerks.  However, antagonism and lawsuits against the Clerks, complaints to the Secretary of State,  are how Marks and Mizel roll. This is their schtick, their raison d’etre. In the narrative Marks has carefully built up for the last few years, no public election official of any party can be trusted. The election system is full of gaping holes and opportunities for fraud, and only she, the “election watchdog“, can protect vulnerable votes.

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Get More Smarter on Tuesday (June 23)

Get More SmarterIf you blink this week, you’re going to miss a big story. 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).

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► Slowly but surely, the mainstream media is picking up the second phase of the Coffmangate story. News reports today confirm that Colorado GOP chairman Steve House has contacted both local and federal prosecutors about being allegedly blackmailed by a group of Republican politicos headed up by Attorney General Cynthia Coffman. AP’s Nick Riccardi:

A lawyer for the Colorado Republican Party has spoken with prosecutors about the state party chairman’s accusation that the attorney general and others tried to blackmail him into resigning, a spokesman said Tuesday…

The scandal has roiled Colorado Republicans and cast a shadow over the party’s hopes for a successful 2016 election in a pivotal swing state. It’s also damaged Coffman, a rising star in the party.

Meanwhile, a conservative blog posted a story claiming to “expose” House’s alleged affair, but we also received a lengthy audio clip of the same person denying the affair categorically. Neither of which really matters, since extortion is still illegal even if you’ve cheated on your wife.

► President Barack Obama’s controversial trade agenda caught a break from the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate (and Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado):

The trade bill advanced by a 60-37 margin, with the minimum votes needed to break a Democratic-led filibuster against so-called Trade Promotion Authority. Thirteen Democrats sided with GOP leaders on the vote, and five Republicans, including presidential contenders Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, voted against the legislation.

► An hour after we helpfully brought it to his attention, Rep. Ken Buck announced yesterday that he will return donations from a white supremacist believed to have helped inspire the Charleston church shooter.

Ellen Roberts, in an act of mercy towards her gaffe-prone self, opts out of running for the U.S. Senate in 2016.

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Get More Smarter on Monday (June 22)

MoreSmarterLogo-300x218You think it’s hot outside? You should be in Cynthia Coffman’s office today. 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).

 

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

Coffmangate is about to become international news. ProgressNow Colorado is asking the Attorney General’s office to preserve all official records related to the blackmail scandal engulfing AG Cynthia Coffman. The Associated Press, meanwhile, examines how the scandal may impact the 2016 election season for Republicans.

► Denver celebrated its 40th PrideFest over the weekend, and as Anthony Cotton writes for the Denver Post, the GLBT event takes on particular relevance with the U.S. Supreme Court set to rule on gay marriage any day now.

► Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders spoke to a crowd of more than 5,000 people in Denver as part of his bid to become the Democratic Presidential nominee. Our friends at “The Fix” try to break down what it means that Sanders could attract such a huge crowd this early in the race:

Here’s what we know for sure: That Sanders — and the populist, anti-big business message he is championing — is driving more excitement in the Democratic base than I certainly thought it would.  While polling suggested that there was a growing bloc of liberals who wanted a liberal candidate to fully embrace their agenda, that the rallying behind Sanders among that group has happened so quickly is surprising.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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