Sheriff Receives Threats For Saying Counties Can’t Refuse to Enforce State Gun Laws

(It’s not always easy to do the right thing — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder says he’s getting “threats” for denouncing the El Paso County Commission’s vote to become a “2nd Amendment Sanctuary,” under which the county would reject state laws affecting guns.

This past weekend, Elder first spoke out against the “2nd Amendment Sanctuary” measures, which are intended to block a proposed red-flag law that would allow judges to authorize the confiscation of guns from people deemed dangerous to themselves or others.

“I’ve already had threats, and a bunch of them from that lunatic fringe that don’t understand what Madison and the framers of the Constitution said,” Elder told KVOR’s Richard Randall today [listen below]. “There are provisions in place with our Constitution that say exactly how to deal with rogue legislators. And frankly, I’m going to follow what the framers said. Go read the Federalist Papers and you’ll see what I mean.”

The Republican sheriff, who opposes the red-flag measures, did not specify the nature of the threats, and he added on Facebook:

ELDER: “And what EXACTLY do you think would be the legal and appropriate thing to do? Did you read what I wrote? Do you understand that I said I would not initiate an action thru my office? This accounts for less than 1/4 of El Paso County and nothing inside any of the cities? A friend reminded me of these quotes from the Federalist papers which really sums this whole thing up nicely. “The court ensured that the will of the whole people, as expressed in their Constitution, would be supreme over the will of a legislature, whose statutes might express only the temporary will of part of the people.’ “Madison had written that constitutional interpretation must be lead to the reasoned judgement of independent judges, rather than to the tumult and conflict of the political process. If every constitutional question were to be decided by public political bargaining, Madison argued, the Constitution would be reduced to a battleground of competing factions, political passion, and partisan spirit.” Now there is some food for thought… Madison was right in my opinion (and in the opinion of the Supreme Court I might add) and I will use the Rule of Law, the guidance of Madison and the reasoned judgement of independent judges in this matter. [CTR emphasis]

The 2nd Amendment Sanctuary declarations were passed by over a dozen Colorado counties. They appear to rely on the local sheriff to stop enforcing state laws he or she finds unconstitutional, based on an alleged constitutional authority to do so.

RELATED: Lawmaker Wants Colorado To Become An “Oil and Gas Sanctuary”

“Do people expect a Sheriff, a Chief of Police, a Mayor, or ANY elected person to decide if a law is ‘constitutional’ or not?” tweeted Elder Saturday. “If so, I have a question about hundreds of others. I know my opinion is different than many others in the state, God knows around the country. We have a system where laws are tested and declared one way or another by the courts, don’t we?”

“I believe the point here is that we have a system that’s been in place since 1803 that is meant to hold rogue legislators in check and that is through the Supreme Court. WE MUST follow the system that provides judicial review and not allow any single individual or ruling class the power to override our Constitution.”

“How about everybody keep their heads on their shoulders, and let’s fight this [proposed red-flag bill] like a bunch of civilized Americans,” Elder told KVOR at 8 min 15 sec below.

Bill Elder on KVOR March 8:

Even Donald Trump Supports Local Control on Fracking

Just a few weeks after he accepted the Republican nomination for President, Donald Trump sat down with Brandon Rittiman of 9News for a wide-ranging interview. As a reader pointed out to us today, Trump actually spoke in favor of local control on the issue of fracking:

RITTIMAN: And while we are on the top of state, local control, fracking is a big issue in Colorado. We actually had a couple of cities here where the voters said they wanted to ban or put a pause on fracking in their city limits. They weren’t allowed to do it by the courts. However you feel about fracking, should voters be able to vote?

TRUMP: Well, I’m in favor of fracking, but voters should have a big say in it. Some areas maybe they don’t want to have fracking. And I think if the voters are voting for it, that’s up to them.

RITTIMAN: Should they be able to ban it in their town if they vote for it?

TRUMP: It could be. It could very well be. I’d have to see the specific instance, but it could very well be. But fracking is something that we need. Fracking is something that’s here whether we like it or not, but if a municipality or a state wants to ban fracking, I can understand that. [Pols emphasis]

It’s impossible to say if Trump still believes this — or even if he believed it at the time, for that matter — but with a debate over oil and gas regulations continuing at the State Capitol, it’s interesting to remember that the man who now leads the Republican Party was at one point “feeling the pain” of local communities concerned about fracking.

A Few Sad Words For Ken Salazar, Statesman For Hire

Ken Salazar.

This week in Colorado politics has been dominated by the debate over Senate Bill 19-181, legislation reforming the relationship between local governments and oil and gas companies as well as changing the mission of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission so that the agency is no longer required to “foster” the industry’s development over other considerations such as the public health and the environment.

After the “Potemkin Protest” at the Capitol Tuesday by hundreds of on-the-clock employees of the oil and gas industry–a turnout that still didn’t manage to outnumber the witnesses in favor of the bill in the subsequent legislative hearing–the energy lobby rolled out what could be their biggest metaphorical gun in opposition to SB-191: Former U.S. Senator Ken Salazar. As FOX 31’s Joe St. George reports:

A renowned Colorado Democrat is speaking out against an oil and gas bill currently being considered by state lawmakers. In a press release, Ken Salazar said the bill is “too extreme for Colorado.”

…In the press release, Salazar described himself as a “proud Democrat” who has worked to protect the environment. However, he also said that when he was a senator, liberals and conservatives worked together to make the United States energy independent.

“Colorado has played a key role in securing that energy independence for our nation. Colorado is a leader of renewable energy. Colorado is also a center of oil and gas,” the statement reads, adding that more than 100,000 Coloradans work in the industry and it provides $1 billion in funding for schools and roads.

“S.B. 181 will wrongly bring our Colorado energy success story to an end,” Salazar said.

And there you have it–a former Democratic U.S. Senator, Secretary of the Interior, and sometimes shortlisted candidate for governor or another high office, blasting SB-181 as a threat to what he calls the “Colorado energy success story.” And in an interview with the Denver Post’s Nic Garcia, Salazar went even further, slamming Gov. Jared Polis and even threatening fellow Democrats with political retaliation from the industry:

“I love Jared Polis,” Salazar said Wednesday. “Part of what I fear here is that the way this bill is written, driven essentially by a Boulder view of the world, that it jeopardizes the Democratic control that we have here in Colorado. [Pols emphasis] And that was not supposed to happen. In my many conversations during the campaign, it was about governing for everybody. Governing for a centrist point of view, bringing people together, solving problems for the long term.”

The problem with all of this, which becomes especially problematic as Salazar openly attacks fellow Democrats, is that Salazar is now one of the state’s highest-ranking lawyers for the oil and gas industry. To the credit of every local outlet we’ve seen reporting on Salazar’s blue-on-blue broadside this week, nobody has missed this crucial data point:

And with that, this becomes a very different situation. There’s simply no way to separate the fact that Salazar is being paid large sums of money by the oil and gas industry from his attacks on fellow Democrats on that very same industry’s behalf. Any attempt to do so is intellectually dishonest. For everyone who supports SB-181 and also took Ken Salazar at his word when he promised to be a protector of “Colorado’s land, water, and people,” this is a bitter betrayal–even if it was predictable, which it mostly was.

But the implied political threat on behalf of the industry that Salazar works for is over the line and can’t be abided. This isn’t an elder statesman calling for moderation. It’s one man, Ken Salazar, cashing in his reputation in order to maximize his effectiveness as a mercenary for the oil and gas industry.

That sucks. It really sucks. But it must not be rewarded.

Presidential Ponderation: Who Will be the Democratic Nominee in 2020?

Who fills this spot in 2020?

Polling data suggests that President Trump is in trouble as he gears up for his re-election campaign, but Democrats will still have to pick somebody to run against him. So, again, we’re asking you: Who will be the Democratic nominee in 2020? Click below to cast your vote.

When we asked this question in January, Sen. Kamala Harris was the clear favorite with 38% of the vote. Last summer, Pols readers thought former Vice President Joe Biden was the frontrunner. The field of potential candidates is changing quickly — just this week former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper officially joined the race, while Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown announced that he was out.

Pols readers are generally pretty good about predicting Colorado outcomes, so let’s see if you can keep it going in a national race.

As always, we want to know what you think will happen — not what you want to happen or who you personally might support. If you had to make a choice TODAY, who would you predict will be the Democratic nominee for President in 2020?

Since there are a gazillion candidates and we don’t want to take up the entire screen with this one poll, you’ll have to cast your vote after the jump…


Friday Open Thread

“Writers who have nothing to say always strain for metaphors to say it in.”

–Florence King

Let’s Talk About the U.S. Senate Race!

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) is among the most endangered Republican incumbents in the country. We know this because hardly a week goes by without some news outlet mentioning his vulnerability in 2020. While the 2020 election is still 607 days away (as of today), we’re less than a year out from the party caucuses in Colorado, which means the clock is ticking as potential candidates jockey for position in 2019.

Gardner officially kicked off his Senate re-election campaign last month with a high-dollar fundraiser in Washington D.C., but he has yet to announce any sort of campaign launch in Colorado. We’re still not convinced that Gardner will ultimately be on the ballot in November 2020; sharing a slate with Donald Trump is going to be rough for any Republican, particularly in a state like Colorado where Democrats ran roughshod over Republicans in 2018.

Gardner is not the kind of politician who joins a fight he isn’t confident about winning, and his polling numbers have been in the toilet for several years now. His increasingly-close embrace of Trump – Gardner was one of the first big Republican names to endorse Trump’s re-election — won’t help him in a state carried by Hillary Clintonin 2016. His strange waffling on Trump’s “emergency declaration” for border wall money suggests that he’s also worried about a potential Republican Primary.

But enough speculation about Gardner for now. He’s still the incumbent and he says he’s running for re-election, so let’s focus instead on the Democratic side of the aisle, where the likely 2020 nominee isn’t even a candidate yet…



Buck Joins Weird GOP Faction Against Anti-Hate Resolution

Rep. Ken Buck (R).

FOX News excitedly reports on a resolution that passed the U.S. House today in part to respond to controversial remarks by a Democratic member of Congress from Michigan suggesting that supporters of Israel are pushing for “allegiance to a foreign country”–a resolution that by the end saw only a handful of Republicans voting against:

After several days of infighting and a near-rebellion by rank-and-file Democrats, as well as a major last-minute revision, the House on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan resolution that only indirectly condemned Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar’s repeated ‘anti-Semitic’ and ‘pernicious’ comments — without mentioning her by name.

The final vote was 407 to 23, with 23 Republicans voting no, and all Democrats voting yes. Iowa GOP Rep. Steve King, who faced his own bipartisan blowback for comments purportedly defending white nationalists, voted present.

The final draft of the resolution was expanded to condemn virtually all forms of bigotry, in what Republicans characterized as a cynical ploy to distract from Omar’s remarks. Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert, speaking on the House floor to announce that he would vote against the resolution, remarked, “Now [the resolution] condemns just about everything. … Hatred for Israel is a special kind of hatred. It should never be watered down.”

Readers will have sharply varying opinions of this Rep. Ilhan Omar’s remarks and this resolution, based largely on their own view of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict–and our purpose here is not to sort out that much larger and more fractious question. But whether or not you believe Rep. Omar’s comments amount to “a special kind of hatred” for Israel or anyone else, the inability of these 23 Republicans to condemn anything but anti-Semitism, to include Rep. Steve King’s unapologetic pining for our nation’s white supremacist past, stands out in our minds much more.

Among Colorado’s delegation, the only vote against this resolution came from arch-conservative Rep. Ken Buck. We’ve haven’t seen a statement from Buck about this vote, but it wouldn’t surprise us if his rationalization like that of Rep. Louie Gohmert is the extra-special horror of anti-Semitism compared to, you know, Steve King.

On a subject where there is plenty of dishonesty to go around, some people are still more dishonest than others.

Get More Smarter on Thursday (March 7)

Just be glad your name isn’t Paul Manafort. It’s time to “Get More Smarter.” If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.


► We’re barely two months into the 2019 legislative session, and Republicans are already plowing ahead with recall efforts and threatening (again) to secede from Colorado. House Minority Leader Patrick Neville and his brother, political consultant Joe Neville, are apparently behind a seemingly ill-advised recall attempt in South Denver targeting State Sen. Jeff Bridges and State Rep. Meg Froehlich.


► As the Washington Post reports, President Trump can’t seem to make progress on any of his signature issues. Naturally, he’s blaming others for his problems:

Trump is losing ground on top priorities to curb illegal immigration, cut the trade deficit and blunt North Korea’s nuclear threat — setbacks that complicate his planned reelection message as a can-do president who is making historic progress.

Late last week, Trump flew home empty-handed from a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi — and, within days, new satellite images appeared to show that the North was secretly rebuilding a rocket-launching site.

On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security announced that unauthorized border crossings have spiked to the highest pace in 12 years — despite Trump’s hard-line rhetoric and new policies aimed at deterring migrants.

And on Wednesday, the Commerce Department said that the nation’s trade deficit is at a record high — in part due to punitive tariffs Trump imposed on allies and adversaries. Trump vowed throughout his 2016 campaign and during his presidency to shrink the trade deficit, which he views as a measure of other nations taking advantage of the United States.

So much not winning should concern Trump supporters, but it probably won’t.


► Colorado’s oil and gas industry is still making a lot of noise about Senate Bill 181, though it’s not clear that anybody is listening. In fact, there are more supporters turning out to testify on SB-181 than opponents.


Get even more smarter after the jump…


Gardner’s National Emergency Waffle Getting Painful To Watch

As the standoff over a pending vote in the U.S. Senate to disapprove of President Donald Trump’s dubious declaration of a national emergency to appropriate by fiat the billions he needs to fund construction of a wall on the southern U.S. border drags on, our friends at WaPo’s The Fix take stock of the seven U.S. Senators still calling themselves “undecided”–and topping the list of the most vulnerable fence-sitters is, no surprise here, Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado:

According to Rand Paul (Ky.) — one of four GOP senators on record supporting the Democrats’ resolution to overturn President Trump’s national emergency declaration — as many as 10 Republicans could buck the White House and vote with Democrats next week.

The president is reportedly upping the pressure on Republicans. On Wednesday afternoon, he tweeted: “Senate Republicans are not voting on constitutionality or precedent, they are voting on desperately needed Border Security & the Wall. Our Country is being invaded with Drugs, Human Traffickers, & Criminals of all shapes and sizes. That’s what this vote is all about. STAY UNITED!”

…Of all the possible Republican defectors, Gardner has the most to lose. [Pols emphasis] He is up for reelection in 2020 in a purple state that Hillary Clinton won in 2016 by 5 points. Taking the president’s side on this could jeopardize his already tenuous reelection prospects, but voting against the president will invite the wrath of Trump’s core supporters who make up a large share of the loyal GOP voting constituencies.

As we’ve analyzed in this space in detail, this political quandary helps explain why Gardner waffled on his prior seemingly clear opposition to Trump declaring a national emergency for the border wall as soon as Trump went through with the order. We’re not sure whether Gardner simply thought Trump wouldn’t pull the proverbial trigger, or was prepared to move himself into the “unsure” camp as the lesser of two political evils once Trump did despite his prior statements. Since Trump’s declaration, Gardner has stalled for time while waiting for other Senators to make his position a moot point.

But it’s not working out that way. Instead, Gardner’s indecision is standing out more by the day–and the fact that Gardner has already waffled, which The Fix missed but local journalists have been diligently reporting, only makes it worse.

We’ve said it before: Cory Gardner isn’t as politically skilled as his carefully-crafted reputation suggests. Sometimes, more often than gets reported in fact, he’s really as weak and disorganized as he looks–and this is one of those times.

Saine Wants Weld County to Consider Becoming an “Oil and Gas Sanctuary”

(This is getting silly – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

After a handful of Colorado counties declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries, rejecting a proposed law that allows judges to take guns from dangerous people, a Colorado lawmaker now wants her county commissioners to consider not enforcing state laws regulating the oil and gas industry.

“I definitely would encourage the commissioners to take a look at making it an oil and gas sanctuary county, too – a business sanctuary county,” said State Rep. Lori Saine, the Republican told KCOL radio Monday.

Saine made the comment in response to KCOL host Jimmy Lakey’s question about whether Weld County could be an “oil and gas production sanctuary,” in response to legislation under consideration at the Capitol that would, among other things, prioritize health and safety in oil-and-gas regulations and give more control to local jurisdictions.

Asked whether he favors Saine’s suggestion, Weld County Commissioner Mike Freeman told the Colorado Times Recorder that he strongly opposes the proposed oil-and-gas legislation at the state Capitol, but he doesn’t think that Weld County has the constitutional authority to declare an oil-and-gas sanctuary county.

“There is a little bit of difference between the Second Amendment sanctuary county versus oil and gas,” said Freeman. “And this is just my opinion. The difference is, with the Second Amendment, with the red flag bill, I think it’s a direct violation of the Constitution, which makes it much easier for us to take a stand on. I don’t really know that this oil-and-gas bill, at this point, could be declared unconstitutional.”


Thursday Open Thread

“A sovereign’s great example forms a people; the public breast is noble or vile as he inspires it.”

–David Mallet

Neville Family Launches Recall Effort Against Minority Leader’s Colleagues

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

House Minority Leader Patrick Neville’s threats to recall his own colleagues aren’t just words anymore. He’s endorsed his caucus’ fundraising committee, run by his brother Joe, which has launched recall efforts against at least two Democrats.

Late Wednesday Minority Leader Patrick Neville shared a link to “Recall Colorado,” a website built and paid for by Values First Colorado, the Republican House Independent expenditure committee run by his older brother Joe’s consulting firm, Rearden Strategic. The link was also shared by “Advancing Colorado,” an online attack brand also run by Rearden.

The site lists four bills it claims are examples of “overreach,” all of which have been covered extensively in the press. They include the National Popular Vote, Comprehensive Sex Education, Extreme Risk Protection Order firearm removal, and the Protect Public Welfare Oil And Gas Operations bill, which enhances health and safety regulations on the oil & gas industry. The list also includes two immigration-related items: a floor amendment to a bipartisan juvenile justice bill, and a “pending bill” that doesn’t actually exist yet, but which the site says has been “announced by Democrats.”

The site makes no mention of another “announced” bill that initially prompted Neville to publicly threaten to recall his fellow legislators: the safe injection site bill to address the opioid crisis. Neville purported to be so upset by that bipartisan proposal he told 9News he would recall the bill’s Democratic sponsor, though not the Republican one. That bill was eventually dropped, but House Minority Leader Neville apparently never dropped his threatened response.

The site confirms the recalls, reported by Colorado Politics earlier in the day, against Sen. Jeff Bridges (D-Greenwood Village) and Rep. Meg Froelich (D-Englewood). It also teases additional targets with the tagline “Who’s Next?”

The family connections between Patrick Neville’s leadership role and his brother’s consulting company was explored in a twopart series by Colorado Politics reporter Marianne Goodland. From the first story:

Several Republicans who spoke with Colorado Politics said they believe the Nevilles’ key objective in 2018 was to ensure that Republicans elected to the House would vote for Patrick Neville as minority leader for another term, which, in turn, would keep donor dollars flowing into various committees and companies controlled by Joe Neville. According to campaign finance filings with the state, Joe Neville and his firm Rearden Strategic were paid $194,360 in fees for consulting with political committees and candidates during the 2018 election cycle, including $114,716 from Republican caucus funds and the rest from candidates.

In the second story, titled “A hard look at 2018 GOP’s soft money,” Goodland laid out a complex trail of money moving between various Neville-controlled groups, the end result of which was a lot of unspent cash and un-won races.

Values First Colorado routed additional money to at least two other IECs run by Joe Neville: Coloradans for Secure Borders and the Colorado Liberty PAC. Out of the total of $416,150 raised by the Colorado Liberty PAC, $393,000 came from Values First Colorado. The committee spent $264,580, leaving an ending balance of $152,009 after the final reports for the 2018 election cycle were filed on Dec. 6. Rearden Strategic and its employees, Joe Neville and Yates, got $11,416 for consultant services from the Liberty PAC and another $239,886 to do advertising on behalf of a dozen Republican House candidates. Of those dozen candidates, 11 lost their races.After raising $1.214 million, the Values First Colorado caucus-fund committee and its related IECs left ending balances of $305,961, just over a quarter of what the GOP House caucus raised for the 2018 election.

The disclosure on the website reads “Recall Colorado is an entity operated by Values First Colorado. Paid for and authorized by Values First Colorado.”

Joe Neville during the 2013 recall effort against Sen. Evie Hudak

It’s unclear whether Values First Colorado is using the leftover funds from 2018 to pay for this recall effort, but it certainly has enough in the bank to do so. Calls to Minority Leader Neville and to Values First Colorado inquiring about the funding for the recall effort were not immediately returned. This piece will be updated with any response.

State Senator Vicki Marble Says She Wants to Secede

(Bye! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

State Senator Vicki Marble at the Capitol

State Senator Vicki Marble (R-Fort Collins), the third ranking member of her party’s leadership team, proposed secession as “recourse” to a “global agenda,” represented by a bill to strengthen health and safety rules for the oil & gas industry.

Posting a picture of the public hearing for the “Protect Public Welfare Oil And Gas Operations,” aka SB19-181, which lasted for twelve hours and featured testimony from hundreds of proponents and opponents, Marble wrote:

No discussion, no stakeholder process, and no consideration for the hundreds of thousands of workers in oil and gas and their families. Democrats have declared war on oil and gas and have deemed these workers and their families as “collateral damage.” Unacceptable, and I’ll fight it ever step of the way.

In response to a comment on her post agreeing with her sentiment, Marble replied,


Now THIS is the Real “Overreach”

UPDATE: These recalls are brought to you by the Neville clan.

Even before the final votes were counted in a 2018 election that saw sweeping victories for Colorado Democrats, local Republicans were keen on telling anyone who would listen to expect Democrats to “overreach” in the 2019 legislative session.

As we noted in this space last November, “overreach” is the kind of term normally reserved for the losers of a given election:

As all sides in Colorado politics take stock of this year’s landslide victory for Democrats up and down the ballot, we’re seeing reactions that closely parallel–at least on the surface–the response to the last big Democratic surge in Colorado in the 2012 elections. Hand-wringing about the supposed horrors of life under Democratic control in Colorado leads to talk of certain areas of the state either seceding or (new in 2018) joining Wyoming.

And that’s how it’s spun: Democratic “overreach” prompts a completely unhinged secession movement that is nonetheless taken at least somewhat seriously. And of course, in 2013 Democratic “overreach” led to recalls! Some variation of this faux concern warning  to victorious Democrats has been the conclusion of the majority of post-election opinion from conservatives, as well as the state’s crop of aging white male “centrist” opinionmakers.

It was silly for Republicans to predict a Democratic “overreach” in 2019 when you consider the results of the 2018 election. Democrats won every statewide office, something that neither political party had accomplished in decades; Jared Polis was elected Governor by a double-digit margin; and Democrats added seats to their State House majority and took control of the State Senate. Nevertheless, Republicans clung fast to their “overreach” message, using the same club to whack away at issues from gun safety to a National Popular Vote for President.

While Republicans yell “overreach” every time a Democrat grabs for a cup of coffee, the real “overreach” is happening within their own ranks. As Marianne Goodland reports today for the Colorado Springs Gazette,

Recall petitions are underway against two Colorado Democratic lawmakers over their votes on Senate Bill 42, the bill that will add Colorado to the national popular vote interstate compact.

And a Facebook page has been set up to start the process for a recall of Gov. Jared Polis, though he has yet to sign the bill.

Statements of purpose, the first step before the petition filing, have been submitted to the secretary of state. They target state Sen. Jeff Bridges of Greenwood Village and Rep. Meg Froelich of Englewood. Both voted in favor of Senate Bill 42.

Sorry, wrong Jeff Bridges. But maybe they’ll try to recall him, too.

We’re a bit surprised that the first recall attempt of Democratic lawmakers is in reaction to National Popular Vote legislation; we would have put better odds on the first recall attempt coming in overreaction to so-called “red flag” legislation, since the 2013 GOP recall efforts were related to the darn libruls taking everybody’s guns high-capacity magazines.

It also strikes us as odd that the first recall targets would be Denver-area Democrats from House District 3. Last November, incumbent Rep. Jeff Bridges pummeled Republican challenger Toren Mushovic by a 61-39 margin; you can’t make much of an argument that HD-3 voters were on the fence about Bridges in 2018. Bridges has since been appointed to fill the remainder of Daniel Kagan’s State Senate term, with Froehlich selected to replace Bridges in the State House. In the case of Froehlich, we’re talking about a recall attempt of a legislator who has not yet been elected by voters; local residents approached about signing a recall petition for Froehlich will be excused for being confused.

And finally, as Goodland reports, any effort to recall Gov. Jared Polis will require more than just a Facebook page:

Recalling the governor (who has not yet signed Senate Bill 42) will take more than 631,000 signatures to get to the ballot. And he cannot be recalled until he’s been in office for six months, according to the secretary of state.

To recap, an “effort” is underway to recall a legislator who won re-election by 22 points just four months ago. Another group is trying to oust Gov. Polis — who was elected by an 11-point margin — which is something they can’t even legally attempt until later this summer.

This should work out well.

Recent Polling Suggests Trouble for Trump in 2020

We first added “President” to The Big Line ahead of the 2016 election. We don’t try to predict the outcome of the nationwide race for President — only the outcome in this state — but we might be on to something with our current odds to win Colorado:


As Harry Enten explains for CNN, early polling numbers aren’t looking good for President Trump:

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll out this weekend found that Trump trailed a generic Democratic candidate by 7 points in a hypothetical 2020 matchup. The important statistic here isn’t so much that Trump was losing (it’s still early 2019, after all). It’s why Trump was losing. Trump trailed because among the same voters gave Trump a -6 point net approval rating (approval rating – disapproval rating).

This was not the first NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll to show Trump losing to a generic Democrat. Back in December, Trump trailed a generic Democrat by 14 points. His net approval rating in that poll was -11 points. (The average poll shows Trump is about this popular currently.) Again, the key statistic here is Trump’s margin is directly related to his own popularity.

In limited polling, the well known Democratic candidates seem to doing as well against Trump by what you’d expect given his popularity. In a January Glengariff Group poll of Michigan voters, Trump trailed Joe Biden by 13 points and Bernie Sanders by 11 points. The same poll put Trump’s net approval rating among Michiganders at -9 points. A poll from Quinnipiac University of Texas voters out last week showed something similar: Trump’s position against the most well-known Democrats in Texas (Biden, Beto O’Rourke and Bernie Sanders) matched his approval rating…

…The 2020 polling looks a lot more like what occurred in 2018 than 2016. Last year, Democrats won the national House vote by 9 percentage points. Not surprisingly, Trump’s net approval in the exit poll was -9 points. That is, if you liked Trump, you voted Republican. If you didn’t like Trump, you voted Democratic.

If the 2020 election ends up being a referendum on Donald Trump — which seems fairly likely — things don’t look positive for his re-election hopes at the moment.