Nobody Wants to be Near MTG in El Paso County

Lots of Republicans are going to be out of town on this day…whatever day it is.

We noted last week that the El Paso County Republican Party has not exactly gotten an enthusiastic response about its decision to bring in Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (MTG) as the keynote speaker for its annual fundraising event next month. Colorado Republicans are distancing themselves from the El Paso County “Lincoln Day Dinner” like it was a COVID-19 vaccination drive, with State Party Chairperson Kristi Burton Brown (KBB) the latest to have found something else to do on August 6.

Brown was the featured subject in a recent saccharine interview on KOAA News in Colorado Springs, in which third-person point of view enthusiast Rob Quirk uncovered this unintentionally-hilarious “oops” moment:

News 5 Anchor Rob Quirk asked Burton-Brown if she supports the Taylor-Greene announcement, she did not give him a yes or no answer, saying she is focused on what serves Colorado best, so News 5 asked does this move serve the party best, to invite her?

“I think one thing we have to make sure we do is get away from making politics so much the world of personalities, and take it back to the world of ideas,” said Burton-Brown.

Burton-Brown told News 5 she would not be attending the fundraiser in August, saying her schedule is full, and she has other commitments that day. [Pols emphasis]

Remember that we’re talking about the actual Chairperson of the Colorado Republican Party, who hails from Colorado Springs, admitting that she has no intention of attending the big annual fundraising dinner in the most heavily-populated Republican county in Colorado. This isn’t like KBB being unable to work into her schedule a meeting of the La Plata County Republicans. The El Paso County GOP dinner is one of those events that the State GOP Chair normally makes time to attend, but in this case, KBB doesn’t want to be anywhere near MTG.

Greene has said on at least one occasion that she is really excited to speak to the El Paso County Republicans. Literally dozens of Colorado Republicans appear to share that enthusiasm.

Colo Republican Leaders Deny Party Division, Claim Pro-Trumpers Have Won Control

(For if it prosper… – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

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So-called grassroots Republicans have lots of excuses for the party’s diminishing returns in Colorado politics over the past two decades, but they want you to know that the party is united and ready to claim its deserved mantle of victory in 2022.

According to two grassroots members of the Colorado GOP executive committee, the 20-year losing trend is a result of many factors. It’s the media. It’s “Trump derangement syndrome” and ignorant voters. It’s fickle unaffiliated voters. It’s legalized cannabis. It’s Democratic dark money playing in Republican open primaries. It’s ballot harvesting, rigged elections, and voter fraud. It’s Antifa posing as Trump supporters in a false flag operation of violently storming the U.S. Capitol.

For them, the Colorado GOP’s dismal political prospects are definitely NOT due to Trump’s documented sinking popularity, rapidly changing state demographics, GOP policy positions, nor candidates’ tone-deaf messaging.

And it definitely is not due to intraparty power struggles between establishment and “grassroots” or Trump factions of the Republican Party. That is, until their message discipline falls apart and their truth comes out.

Randy Corporon, conservative radio host, GOP National Committeeman, and member of the CO GOP Executive committee appeared from CPAC in March on a conservative podcast hosted by Chuck Bonniwell, also an Executive Committee member, and they agreed that the Republican Party is united, as verified by the optimistic vibe among CPAC attendees.

“Somebody asked a few minutes ago if I had to describe the takeaway so far at CPAC, what would I say in two words,” recounted Corporon. “And I said, ‘Party Unity.’ The swamp has no idea what’s coming. … I was on with Peter Boyles this morning and he talks about a division in the Republican Party. I just don’t see it. This is a sorting, a flushing out of the old guard, you know, four-decade-long establishment Republicans who are at the end of their power and they know it.”

Bonniwell begins his response by agreeing, but changes tack to the more familiar frame that has come to define his confrontational and provocative style. He passive-aggressively slams Republican pollster David Flaherty of Magellan Strategies and sardonically insults former Colorado Republican legislator Lois Landgraf for launching an organization to train candidates and promote an element of reasonableness among conservatives.

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Get More Smarter on Monday (July 19)

Today is the 200th day of 2021. 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

 

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 

*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment. 

 

With the Delta variant of COVID-19 continuing to surge and the same anti-vax lines being drawn around the country, there is a new push to restrict vaccine disinformation online. As The Washington Post explains:

In the latest salvo of the social media wars, a coalition of liberal individuals and groups has written to Facebook and Twitter urging them to ban 12 people who, one study found, spread the bulk of disinformation about coronavirus vaccines.

“People are quite literally dying because disinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic, the vaccine, and public health leaders is spreading,” they wrote to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. The Daily 202 obtained an advance copy of the letter…

…Among the better-known signatories were UltraViolet, the Center for Countering Digital Hate, Alianza for Progress, GLAAD, Media Matters for America, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the Women’s March.

Oh, and on the subject of vaccination levels differing by political affiliation, here’s another depressing chart that reiterates what we’ve been seeing for months:

 

As Megan Schrader opines for The Denver Post, Republicans such as Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert are doing Coloradans a disservice by continuing to stoke anti-vaxxer paranoia.

On the subject of Boebert and inaccurate information, her crusade to validate “The Big Lie” in Arizona has been swiftly debunked.

 

Colorado Democrats are pushing Congress to act on immigration reform, as Colorado Public Radio reports:

This push comes as some Senate Democrats are considering whether to try to include immigration reform in the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package they’re currently drafting. The idea being floated would include funding for a pathway to legal status for certain groups, like DREAMers or immigrants with temporary protected status.

“I have always been a strong believer that we are a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. That is why we must build an immigration system that is humane and orderly and rooted in justice and enforceability,” Gov. Jared Polis wrote. “To ensure that, I urge you to act now on comprehensive immigration reform including a pathway to earn citizenship through the reconciliation process.”

On Friday, a federal judge in Texas ruled that former President Barack Obama acted beyond his authority in setting up DACA, the program that protects eligible young undocumented immigrants from deportation, and ordered the government to stop approving new applications. The case is expected to be appealed, but the ruling adds new urgency to the question of whether the Senate will move forward with something.

Even before the ruling, Polis wasn’t the only one seeing an opportunity at this moment. The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (or CIRC) also supports this push.

 

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Boebert Tees Up Big Lie, Fact-Checkers Knock It Down–Again

On Friday, Colorado’s biggest “alternative facts” bullhorn in Congress, Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert, broadcast the following misinformation coming out of the dubious so-called “audit” of the 2020 presidential election in Arizona, the partisan adventure in confirmation bias grinding on to some manner of conclusion at some unspecified point in the future:

Of course, if Boebert was even a little bit interested in disseminating accurate information to her 600,000+ followers on Twitter she might have checked with Maricopa County, Arizona for a perfectly reasonable if somewhat less conspiratorial answer to the question:

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R).

Yesterday, CNN took a look at the basis for this latest morsel of 2020 election conspiracy bombast, and found Boebert as usual “went further” than her questionable source material:

[Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug] Logan made clear that this wasn’t necessarily a case of fraud, saying it could be a “clerical issue.” But his claim about an unexplained 74,000-plus ballot gap between the county’s list of mail-in ballots received and its list of mail-in ballots sent out was amplified on Twitter by Liz Harrington, the spokeswoman for former President Donald Trump, and by numerous other Trump supporters, such as Republican Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert. Some of them, including Boebert, went further than Logan did.

“In Arizona, 74,000 ballots were counted with no record of being sent in. That’s not normal. That’s not right. That’s not safe nor is it secure,” Boebert wrote.

On Friday, Trump himself went further than Logan. In a written statement, he claimed that the Thursday Senate briefing showed “74,000 mail in ballots received that were never mailed (magically appearing ballots).”

Facts First: There is no evidence of either fraud or any significant error with these ballots, and certainly not “magically appearing ballots.” Both Maricopa County and outside experts say there is a simple explanation for the gap Logan claimed had not been explained: the existence of in-person early voting. Contrary to Logan’s claims, the ballot lists he was talking about include not only mail-in ballots but also ballots cast early in person.

Much like when Boebert falsely claims that hammers kill more people than guns or that no one died of COVID in Texas after the mask mandate in that state was rescinded, it’s another case of mindlessly repeating a falsehood that she has no intention of either verifying to be factual or correcting if it isn’t. It happens so often that we find it necessary to ignore many such examples so as not to become a blog wholly devoted to fact-checking a single member of Congress.

In this case, however, with Boebert directly spreading misinformation suggesting fraud in the 2020 presidential elections, there’s another wrinkle that bears mentioning. Responding to the complaint filed with the House Ethics Committee by Rep. Pramila Jayapal accusing Boebert of “instigating and aiding the violent riot at the Capitol Building on January 6, 2021,” Boebert very specifically stated that her objections to certifying the election results in swing states were not related to election fraud.

To be clear, I was not involved in instigating and aiding the riots that took place on January 6th at the U.S. Capitol and there is no evidence that would support further investigation of these unjustified, politically motivated claims. As previously mentioned, my objections to the counting of Electoral College votes in Arizona and Pennsylvania were based on the Constitution and changes to state law that were not made by the state legislature, not election fraud. [Pols emphasis]

Apparently this distinction was important to Boebert’s defense before the Ethics Committee? After all, the insurrectionists who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6th most certainly did believe that election fraud happened, and Boebert doesn’t want to be blamed for inciting them. It’s ridiculous, of course, since Boebert repeatedly told her army of followers the 2020 election was fraudulent in the weeks leading up to January 6th:

Successful as it was, Boebert makes a mockery of her defense to the Ethics Committee every chance she gets.

Monday Open Thread

“There are three things in the world that deserve no mercy: hypocrisy, fraud, and tyranny.”

–Frederick William Robertson

It’s a Thing: Republicans Going Underground To Survive

Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman with “Mini-Mike” City Council candidate Dustin Zvonek.

If you don’t already subscribe to the Colorado Sun’s Unaffiliated newsletter, you’re missing out on one of the better periodic updates on local political news produced today. In today’s Unaffiliated, the Sun’s political team takes a look at an unusually public campaign by Colorado Republicans to support conservative activist candidates in nominally nonpartisan municipal elections:

Denver Post columnist and think tank fellow Krista Kafer announced she’s running for an at-large seat on the Littleton City Council. She joins Dustin Zvonek, a former Americans for Prosperity director and Republican campaign worker who is running for Aurora City Council.

Conservative groups are also discussing the need to support school board candidates and participate in the Nov. 2 election as poll watchers or election judges, even though there are no federal races…

Colorado school board and city council contests are nonpartisan. Still, in a July 6 email, Colorado Republican Party Chair Kristi Burton Brown wrote: “In order to combat the Democrats’ devastating policies, please choose a local candidate you can adopt for the November 2021 races. Whether it’s a mayor, city council, or school board race — each of our good candidates needs your help. Please jump in, and we’ll also be jumping in as the state party.” [Pols emphasis]

It’s neither news nor scandalous that nonpartisan municipal elected offices regularly serve as incubators for future leaders, who will in due course shed their “nonpartisan” cloak and run for higher office as partisan candidates. But it’s odd and risky for Colorado Republican Party chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown to publicly declare that the GOP has a slate of “our good candidates” she wants the party faithful to support, particularly given the growing unpopularity of the Republican brand in populated areas of the state. In Grand Junction last April, a similarly explicitly GOP-backed slate of city council candidates was defeated in a turnabout that raises serious questions about the wisdom of this strategy.

In Aurora, former staffer for now-Mayor Mike Coffman Dustin Zvonek is gambling in his race for City Council that voters either won’t hear about or will actually be attracted to his Republican bonafides. After Coffman himself barely prevailed in his election for Mayor in 2019, that’s not a bet we would ourselves take. After Coffman sued the city to make sure he could be directly involved in supporting Zvonek’s campaign, though, it’s arguable the game was up. The Republican brand has only declined in popularity in Colorado since 2019, and instead of being an asset to Zvonek, his race may tell us whether usual-suspect Republicans can live down their party’s toxicity under these thinnest of pretenses.

If the answer turns out to be no, maybe don’t be so obvious about it next time.

Grifters Gonna Grift: Lauren Boebert’s Slush Fund

Bling Bling

Here’s an interesting note in a Colorado Sun story about fundraising numbers from Q2 involving Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle):

Boebert also made four payments through her campaign account to Venmo totaling $6,650, each one described as a “personal expense of Lauren Boebert billed to campaign account in error.” The campaign made two payments on May 3 for $2,000 and $1,325, and two payments in the same amounts on June 3. All four state the “expense has been reimbursed,” but her report doesn’t list the reimbursements.

Need a little extra walking around money? Just Venmo campaign donations straight into your pocket!

We’re long past the point where we might suggest that this activity is “suspicious.” As we first noted back in December 2020, Boebert appears to use her official campaign account as her own personal checking account, inventing implausible reimbursement amounts so that she can pay off non-campaign related debts (over a period of just 9 months last year, Boebert claimed to have driven enough miles to have traveled one and a half times around the Earth).

Siphoning money from your campaign account into your own pockets is not legal, of course, but Boebert is no doubt counting on the fact that it’s a hard transgression to prove (though it does happen from time to time, as former California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter can attest).

The more immediate repercussions for this sort of shameless grifting can come at the ballot box, though in this case the type of supporters that Boebert attracts are probably more apt to be amused by how she lines her own pockets with donations from others.

Sorry Trump, Showerhead Rules Are Coming Back

2.5 gallons per minute total, not each.

The Hill reports on the latest rollback by the President Joe Biden’s administration of bad policy instituted by his predecessor Donald Trump–this time a water conservation rule that irked Trump to an unusual degree:

The Biden administration is moving forward with a plan to drop a Trump-era rule that sought to loosen restrictions on showerhead water flow — something the former president was known to complain about.

The Energy Department announced on Friday that it is taking a step toward reversing the Trump administration’s move in order to tighten showerhead efficiency regulations.

Officials said they will propose a rule reinstating the 2013 definition of “showerhead,” which the Trump administration changed. The Trump rule from late last year sought to bypass a requirement allowing no more than 2.5 gallons to flow through a showerhead per minute.

The short version is that rather than allowing for a total flow of 2.5 gallons per minute in your shower, Trump changed the rule to allow each individual showerhead to have that amount of flow–meaning the dual and multi-head showers that everyone builds these days could use many times the original limit, defeating and even reversing the goal of conserving water.

Here in the West, where water unlike at Mar-a-Lago is a precious and dwindling resource, Trump’s obsession with wasting water to rinse the gel out of his combover never went over very well even though he regularly invoked the issue in stump speeches. It was a strange, vain pursuit–words that describe Trump himself very well.

Anyway, we’re going to save some water in the shower again. Tyranny it’s not.

Get More Smarter on Friday (July 16)

It’s gonna be another sunny, but very hot, weekend. 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

 

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 

*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment. 

 

The editorial board of The Washington Post marvels (and not in a good way) at renewed efforts from right-wing voices to attack COVID-19 vaccinations:

By slowing the uptake of lifesaving vaccines, anti-vaccination voices give the delta variant time and space to claim new victims. This is a threat to everyone because it will prolong the pandemic. Infections are on the rise in the United States. A stark scenario is unfolding in southwestern Missouri, where hospitals are beginning to surpass the level of covid-19 patients seen in December 2020. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Tuesday that new cases in St. Louis County had skyrocketed 63 percent in the past two weeks. Missouri is among several states with vaccination rates well below the national average.

Across the country, those getting sick and being hospitalized are almost exclusively the unvaccinated. For Fox News and conservative politicians to be frightening people about vaccines with words like “creepy,” “scandal” and the conspiratorial “let’s talk, comrade” is not mere pandering. It can be fatal.

Here in Colorado, we’ve noted the continued problem with low vaccination rates in Mesa County. Heath officials in Larimer County, meanwhile, are sounding the alarm about rising COVID-19 cases in Northern Colorado.

Please, people: Just get your vaccines.

 

Fox 31 Denver reports on the continuation of a troubling trend for Colorado Republicans:

There are now about 22,000 fewer registered Republicans in Colorado in July, than there were on January 1, 2021. During that same time, Democrats lost about 100 voters. Meanwhile, unaffiliated voter registrations increased by about 85,000.

Republicans have lost about 40,000 registered voters in Colorado since 2016. But yeah, stick with Trumpism!

 

We say it a lot here, but it’s always worth repeating: Elections matter. Local areas with Democratic Members of Congress in Colorado are getting a lot of federal money to assist with transportation and other community programs. If your Congressperson is a Republican…not so much.

 

This has been a good week for Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver). The child tax credit policy that he has long championed is now being instituted, and on Thursday, Bennet’s re-election campaign reported raising $1.7 million in Q2, increasing its cash-on-hand numbers to $2.3 million.

Colorado Newsline has more on the rollout of the child tax credit.

 

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What Does Blue Do For You?

Back in May, we wrote in this space about reporting from The Colorado Sun related to how Members of Colorado’s Congressional Delegation were going about trying to secure federal funding for important local infrastructure and community projects in the wake of relaxed rules on “earmarks” in the new Congress.

Colorado Republicans in the House of Representatives have insisted that they will NOT participate in “member designated projects” or “community project funding requests” as part of some sort of narrow-minded protest against the earmark process in general. In March, Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) even penned an Op-Ed for Newsweek in which he stated that “earmarks go hand-in-hand with corruption.”

Perhaps realizing that not supporting local projects is a bad look, Buck has since “Buckpedaled” on his opposition to earmarks with mealy-mouthed language about how he “supports” efforts by the City of Greeley to obtain funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the Greeley Regional Interchange Project. Of course, Buck could have just made the funding request himself, but that would have conflicted with his efforts to pretend that he is ethically superior to other Members of Congress.

The point here is that while Colorado Republicans are shaking their fists at some mythical “Earmark Goblin,” Democrats in the House of Representatives are doing a LOT of work to move along important infrastructure and community projects in their home districts.

 

Perlmutter

Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County), for example, helped to push through federal funding that will assist in making roadway and bike lane improvements on Federal Parkway; removing and replacing the I-70 Eastbound and Westbound bridges over 32nd Avenue; widening State Highway 72 (Indiana Street); and improvements to Wadsworth Blvd. and Colfax Ave. If you live in Arvada, Golden, Wheat Ridge, or Lakewood, you know how significant these improvements will be for your daily commute. Perlmutter also secured funding for 10 community projects (CPF) in CO-07, including body cameras for the Thornton Police Department; improvements to Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport; multimodal improvements to State Highway 93; and renovations for a new pediatric health clinic in Commerce City.

Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-Denver) promoted infrastructure projects that will revitalize the 16th Street Mall in Downtown Denver and replace miles of decades-old light-rail track, switches, and concrete flatwork throughout Denver’s light-rail system. DeGette’s CPF requests includes money to help the City of Denver convert an old hotel into lodging for homeless residents; the creation of more affordable housing in Montbello; and assistance for Urban Peak in building a homeless shelter for children.

Crow

Congressman Jason Crow (D-Aurora) secured money to improve the Interchange at I-25 and Belleview; the intersection at Easter and Havana in Centennial; and the expansion of Gun Club Road in Aurora. His CPF requests include expanding services to domestic violence victims in Adams County; renovating the Village Exchange Center Facility;  funding for at-risk intervention and mentoring projects; and money for the Aurora Comprehensive Community Mental Health Center.

Congressman Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish) helped push through funding for improvements to the Frisco Transit Center; State Highway 119; State Highway 52; State Highway 14; US 36; and the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel on I-70 that a good number of Coloradans will travel through at least once this year. His CPF requests include funding for domestic violence services in Adams County; support for a mechanical engineering partnership between Colorado State University and Adams State University; emergency operations in Gilpin County; wildfire risk reduction throughout CO-02; and a rural outreach partnership program run by the University of Colorado.

By comparison, Republican Members of Colorado’s Congressional Delegation made sure that local communities in their districts RECEIVED ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

Zip. Zilch. Nada.

Reps. Ken Buck, Doug Lamborn, and Lauren Boebert have brought $0 federal dollars back to their districts and local communities in 2021.

 

Guess who loses when Reps. Ken Buck, Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle), and Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) refuse to participate in the process of procuring federal funding for local and community projects? The people who live in their district, that’s who.

(In Lamborn’s case, we’re not including any money that was spent on allowing his adult son to live in a storage room in the basement of the U.S. Capitol).

And who benefits from this refusal? Nobody, really, other than a couple of conservative grouches who work for anti-spending think tanks somewhere. Certainly nobody in Colorado is gaining anything from the inaction of these three Republicans. The constituents of CO-03, CO-04, and CO-05 should just be glad that Colorado has two Democratic U.S. Senators who are endeavoring to help fund other projects around the state.

If you want your elected officials to Tweet and gripe about social issues while ignoring their responsibilities to constituents, then you’re probably thrilled with Buck, Boebert, and Lamborn.

For everyone else, we’ll say it again: Elections matter.

MTG In El Paso County Going Over Like A Lead Zeppelin

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).

Faith Miller at Colorado Newsline follows up on a story that’s been developing out of conservative El Paso County for several weeks now–an upcoming appearance by infamous outrage-courting “QAnon” conspiracy theorist and freshman GOP Georgia congresswoman sans committee Marjorie Taylor Greene to be the keynote speaker at the El Paso County Republican Party’s “Lincoln Day Dinner,” which it could be argued should have Abraham Lincoln turning over in his grave:

Controversial Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene is slated as the keynote speaker for the El Paso County Republican Party’s annual fundraising dinner in August.

Who shows up, and who doesn’t, could indicate the willingness of prominent Colorado Republicans to embrace the far right. But local elected officials generally appear to be avoiding that conversation…

One of the more important fundraising opportunities for county-level Republican Party organizations, the El Paso County Lincoln Day Dinner is already facing some controversy with the chair of the party Vickie Tonkins in a state of ongoing conflict with a large faction of…not moderate so much, but somewhat less unhinged than Tonkins and the FEC United quasi-militia fringe element that has supported her despite longstanding allegations of mismanagement. Inviting Congress’ biggest freshman Republican embarrassment (sorry, Lauren Boebert) to keynote the party’s annual fundraiser puts the El Paso County party faithful in an even more difficult position:

Four officials, including Republican County Commissioner Holly Williams, said they would not attend the dinner.

“[MTG] is not a speaker I am interested in hearing,” Williams said via text when asked her opinion on Greene.

State Sen. Bob Gardner, a Colorado Springs Republican, told Newsline he wouldn’t have attended regardless of the speaker. “I’m focusing all of my efforts, all of my fundraising and advocacy on taking the state Senate back (from Democrats),” Gardner said.

“I honestly will tell you, the decision doesn’t have anything to do with the invitation of Taylor Greene to the Lincoln Day dinner,” he added, declining to comment on the choice of speaker.

In addition to Sen. Bob Gardner, who when he says he is “honestly” telling you something almost certainly is not, at least two other local lawmakers say they’ll be traveling or otherwise committed on the day MTG comes to town. Again, whether it’s displeasure over inviting MTG in particular or with the state of the El Paso County GOP in general motivating some Republicans to stay home from the party’s big fundraiser, it’s still not a good development.

And then there’s the much larger contingent of El Paso County Republicans who don’t want to talk at all:

Elected officials who did not respond to requests for comment included: El Paso County Commissioners Carrie Geitner, Stan VanderWerf and Cami Bremer; University of Colorado Regent Chance Hill; state Reps. Shane Sandridge, Dave Williams, Andy Pico, Tim Geitner and Terri Carver; state Sens. Dennis Hisey and Paul Lundeen; and U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn.

Needless to say, that’s a whole lot of Republicans who either don’t want to get muddied up in this controversy or haven’t decided whether their loyalties lie. For example, El Paso County Commissioner Cami Bremer’s husband Eli Bremer, a possible Republican candidate to oppose Sen. Michael Bennet in 2022, does not want to appear in a photo with MTG–but there are consequences whether he shows up or not in a GOP primary.

At a moment when Colorado Republicans need more than ever to unite, MTG is helping them stay divided.

Those who say she’s a Democratic asset in the long run may have a point.

“Bennet Bucks”–Slashing Child Poverty, Locking In Re-Election

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-livers).

As the Pueblo Chieftain’s Sara Wilson reports, this morning millions of American families are waking up to a fresh round of economic relief in their bank accounts–with billions more on the way, marking one of the biggest direct transfers of wealth into the cash flows of families with children in American history:

Eligible families will begin to receive monthly payments on Thursday for the expanded federal child tax credit, a milestone in social public policy that was passed as part of the American Rescue Plan Act earlier this year.

It’s a longtime legislative goal of Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat who represents Colorado.

“In my view, the expanded child tax credit is the biggest investment Washington has made in kids and families in more than a generation,” Bennet told constituents during a telephone town hall on July 12.

“It’s the most progressive change to the tax code in my lifetime.”

Couples making less than $150,000 and single heads of household making less than $112,500 will get half of their $3,000-$3,600 per child tax credit in monthly installments–or if taxpayers prefer, they can forego the payments and get all the money in a lump sum when filing their taxes next year. Either way it’s a dramatic increase in the child tax credit delivered sooner and providing sustained help to millions of American families. As FOX 31 reports, the battle now turns to making this historic relief for working families permanent:

“Even if we extend the child tax credit payment for a few years, that would still be a tremendous achievement for our kids and for our families. But if we can make it permanent, that would be a historic victory for America, no less important than what we did with social security or Medicare,” Bennet said. [Pols emphasis]

In terms of legislation that will have a direct and tangible impact on the lives of a very large percentage of the population, Sen. Bennet’s child tax credit expansion ranks among the most substantial achievements ever realized by a U.S. Senator from Colorado. Making this credit and the monthly relief payment plan permanent will create a stream of income directly to families with children, and is projected to result in the biggest reduction in child poverty since the Great Society reforms of the 1960s.

Superlatives get thrown around in politics until they’re meaningless. But what Sen. Michael Bennet and Democrats have achieved with the child tax credit expansion objectively is historic. Ever since Bennet’s appointment to the U.S. Senate in 2009 and through his two election wins in 2010 and 2016, he’s been frequently maligned from the left still sore that Andrew Romanoff didn’t win the 2010 primary. But especially in the last couple of years, Bennet has become an influential voice for progressive policy goals–as well as an advocate for breaking the filibuster logjam in the U.S. Senate to allow many more Democratic priorities to become law.

Bennet’s name won’t be on “Bennet Bucks” checks, of course, but with this accomplishment alone he’s given himself a formidable edge for his re-election campaign in 2022. A primary from the left has less than ever to offer in contrast, and the general election message for Bennet just got compellingly reinforced. It’s not “buying support,” and it’s not “socialism.” This is targeted economic relief where it helps the most.

And it’s the stuff great legacies are made of.

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