Democratic Candidates in CO-03 are Burning Money

Drunken Sailor

There is a clear winner in the fundraising battle in Congressional District 3, where multiple candidates are hoping to win the Democratic nomination for the right to face incumbent Republican Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert in November 2022. You probably won’t recognize any of their names, unfortunately. 

The consultants are cleaning up in CO-03.

According to the latest campaign finance reports via the FEC, a handful of consulting firms and individuals are taking home the bulk of the money that is being raised by Democratic candidates in CO-03. Eight candidates (Kerry Donovan, Sol Sandoval, Don Valdez, Debora Burnett, Colin Wilhelm, Gregg Smith, Colin Buerger, and Kellie Rhodes) have combined to raise $2.8 million in the 2022 cycle, which is more than the total amount raised by Boebert thus far ($2.73 million).  

The problem here is that these eight Democrats have already combined to SPEND more than $2 million. That’s a cumulative burn rate of 72%. You don’t need to be a math whiz to understand that these numbers are not sustainable. 

Two of these Democratic candidates are no longer running; Donovan suspended her campaign after redistricting produced an unfavorable map, and Smith disappeared almost as quickly as he materialized in the first place (check out this Washington Post story from Dave Weigel for more on Smith). But the top two remaining Democrats in the field (Sandoval and Valdez) are burning through nearly 9 out of every 10 dollars they raise. 

That’s a lot of cash that is vanishing into the pockets of consultants. 

Sandoval has about $49k in the bank after paying more than $41,000 to “Middle Seat Consulting” for “fundraising consulting” and $13,000 to “The Strategy Division” for “fundraising consulting” and “management services.”

Valdez has just $29,182 in the bank as of September 30, 2021, because he’s written checks for more than $63,000 to a digital consulting firm called “Break Something” and and more than $12,000 to “Sterling Strategies” for “communications consulting services.” 

Sandoval and Valdez are both spending thousands of dollars on merchant fees for “Act Blue,” which is a necessary expense. Neither are spending unusual amounts on staffing, though at their current fundraising rates, salaries are quickly becoming a luxury item. 

The biggest overall winner is a Colorado firm called “Ascent Digital Strategies,” which collected more than $550,000 for digital fundraising services. Only Boebert spent this kind of money with a single consulting firm, shelling out more than $350,000 to “Rock Chalk Media” for direct mail and advertising expenses. 

How does this happen? If you are running against someone as well-known and as disliked (around the country) as Boebert, you’ll get a fair amount of money just from emails and social media posts that target donors who are simply irritated with the incumbent Republican. When the early money comes easily, it’s tempting to think it will always flow that fast.

It’s also true that you have to spend money to make money with online fundraising, but some of these exorbitant expenditures are difficult to rationalize. If the majority of your contributions are being used to raise more money, you’re basically just running in circles. Most of the money raised by a given campaign SHOULD be stuffed inside a mattress in order to pay for television and digital advertising closer to the election date (Primary or General Election).  

Obviously, this can’t continue if Democrats are to have any hope of defeating Boebert in 2022. In fact, it might be time to resurrect our “Drunken Sailor Awards,” a feature we ran on Colorado Pols in 2017-18 to look at how much money the top candidates for public office were spending in a given fundraising period.

Manchin, Tester Knock Down Hick’s Carbon Tax Aspirations

Sen. John Hickenlooper (D).

Politico reporting in their Congress Minutes brief today on news that will disappoint progressive Democrats who are hoping to see aggressive action to combat human-caused climate change in the budget reconciliation bill:

Key moderate senators are resisting efforts to impose a carbon tax as part of their climate action plan, sending progressives back to the drawing board.

Sen. Joe Manchin plainly told reporters Tuesday morning that “the carbon tax is not on the board at all right now.” And Sen. Jon Tester said separately “you might have problems with me on a carbon tax.”

“I just don’t think you can implement it. I use a lot more fuel than [a trucker does], and we’re both going to get the same check and it’s going to make us whole? It’s just not going to work. So I’ve got some issues with the carbon tax myself.” Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) told POLITICO.

Although a tax on carbon pollution gained new impetus in recent days after moderate obstinate Democratic Senators led by Sen. Joe Manchin shot down a previous incentive-based plan to encourage carbon reduction, it’s worth remembering as Colorado Newsline’s Chase Woodruff reported at the end of August that we’re talking about a longstanding proposal from Sen. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, who ran for President in 2019 on a platform of (among other things) taxing carbon:

As negotiations over a high-stakes budget bill begin in Washington, D.C., Colorado Sen. John Hickenlooper told constituents in a virtual town hall on Monday that a carbon-pricing mechanism to combat climate change tops his wish list for the legislation.

“The thing I’d like more than anything is to get a price on carbon,” Hickenlooper said. “It would be so much more efficient if there was some sort of a fee, and a dividend of some sort, that would allow us to incentivize and motivate all of these entrepreneurs all over the country … to find cleaner ways of delivering energy.”

…Hickenlooper made a carbon tax central to the climate plan put forward by his ill-fated presidential campaign in 2019. As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, he could play a key role in drafting and negotiating the $198 billion clean-energy component of the Democrats’ reconciliation bill.

Although Sen. Hickenlooper took plenty of heat from his left during a gubernatorial administration in which oil and gas development increased significantly, here we have Hickenlooper clearly positioned to the left of the obstructionist Democrats representing energy-producing states on a major climate change policy proposal. It’s a reminder that Colorado’s Democrats are not the problem in these fraught blue-on-blue negotiations, and might join those disappointed on the wrong side of whatever compromise emerges.

In that event we will all need to focus on the good stuff that doesn’t get cut, and remember to not blame the wrong people.

We say these things because when we get to what they call “nut-cutting time,” no one else remembers to.

Lauren Boebert’s Silence Roars, Too

As readers know, Colorado’s leading far-right freshman outrageophile Rep. Lauren Boebert is a devoted believer of what’s become known as the “Big Lie” that the 2020 elections were stolen from Donald Trump. During the leadup to the violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, Boebert did her part rallying the faithful to come to Washington, infamously Tweeting on the morning of the insurrection that “Today is 1776.” Boebert has of course never once conceded that the 2020 elections were legitimate.

Last week, the “Big Lie” went indirectly on trial in a Denver courtroom as a defamation lawsuit filed by a former employee of Dominion Voting Systems against the Trump campaign, multiple attorneys including Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, and local conspiracy theorist Joe Oltmann–whose evidence-free claim to have overheard a phone call in which the Dominion employee in question promised to steal the election inspired the entire narrative that Dominion machines had been somehow compromised. Oltmann’s attorneys made no attempt last week in court to prove this call had actually taken place, only arguing that if Oltmann believed it had taken place, that was a defense against defamation. And then everyone above Oltmann’s level in the case simply pointed to Oltmann as the source they were repeating uncritically.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R).

The disconnect between the acknowledgment in court that a factual basis underpinning the “Big Lie” does not exist and the rhetoric of Oltmann and others who continue to insist the 2020 election was stolen, especially in the wake of last week’s hearings, is getting untenably wide. Here’s Joe Oltmann ranting over the weekend, since the admission in court that there’s no evidence to support his allegations:

“They attack relentlessly those who stay focused yet that focus exposed the massive evidence of fraud and the result is a majority of Americans know the election was stolen,” Oltmann said. “Stay focused. MTG, Boebert, Gaetz, and all those who know what happened and how fraudulent the election was need to focus on the one thing that makes us a great nation… our voice. NOTHING ELSE MATTERS. We fix that, we fix EVERYTHING else.”

Take note: this is Joe Oltmann name-checking Rep. Lauren Boebert as one of the Republican politicians in office who know “how fraudulent the election was” and calling for Republicans to “Fix 2020 first”:

The message is simple: Future elections, including 2022, are compromised or worse until doubts held about 2020 are decisively put to rest.

It’s a message we know that GOP U.S. Senate candidate Ron Hanks will agree wholeheartedly with, along with Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters under criminal investigation for allowing unauthorized access to Dominion Voting Systems hardware–an alleged crime that, once again, did not end up validating any of the underlying allegations. Clerk Peters’ chief confidante over the last few months of developing controversy has been Sherronna Bishop, Rep. Lauren Boebert’s former campaign manager.

But there’s a problem: for reasons no one has yet conclusively determined, Lauren Boebert has refused so far to join in the defense of Tina Peters or Joe Oltmann. After an exchange of barbs on Twitter with Secretary of State Jena Griswold last summer that did not go well for Boebert, Boebert has remained dead silent as the news broke that Clerk Peters is under local, state, and now federal law enforcement scrutiny. Not a word from Boebert while Peters went into hiding for weeks after attending “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell’s joke of a “symposium” alongside Boebert’s former campaign manager Sherronna Bishop. Nothing while Mesa County’s Republican commissioners pleaded for Peters to return to Colorado and assist in the investigation.

Obviously, if Joe Oltmann is going to invoke Lauren Boebert in his defense, Boebert should be asked whether she supports Oltmann. And that in turn is a fine segue into asking Boebert about the national news playing out in her own district involving Boebert’s former campaign manager, “MyPillow Guy,” and the FBI.

There’s a reason Boebert went quiet about this, and we want to hear it.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (Oct. 19)

Return those ballots, people! Visit GoVoteColorado.com to check on the status of your mail ballot for 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 

 

Republican gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl is running the worst gubernatorial campaign in the entire country. She’s making national headlines today for another bad reason: Hosting an in-person event with a conservative speaker who was literally TRYING to get infected with COVID-19. We wrote about this story on Monday, but here’s more from The Washington Post:

Days before he announced he had tested positive, Prager was in Colorado, where he spoke at a campaign event for Heidi Ganahl, a Republican running for governor. Officials with her campaign told KUSA they were not aware of Prager’s plan to get infected with the coronavirus.

“We are reaching out to all those who attended to make sure they are informed,” Ganahl’s campaign told the station in a statement. “We encourage those who attended … to get tested and follow CDC guidelines if they experience any Covid-like symptoms.”

The problem with this response from the Ganahl campaign is this: There is video evidence of Prager flat-out telling Ganahl that he was hoping to get infected with COVID-19.

Here’s more from 9News:

 

The Denver Post updates the latest COVID-19 numbers in Colorado:

Colorado’s COVID-19 hospitalizations continued to rise over the weekend, but it’s difficult to predict whether that trend will continue.

On Friday, more people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Colorado than at any point since late December. The number of hospitalizations continued to increase, reaching 1,101 people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 on Monday afternoon.

New cases appeared to fall last week, however. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported 12,885 cases in the week ending Sunday — a decrease of roughly 2,500, if it stands. The state’s data has lagged in recent months, though, with late reports sometimes erasing any signs of progress.

“We’ve been in a period of uncertainty with the trends in the data,” said Talia Quandelacy, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health. “It’s hard to tell what some of these trends are showing.”

The bottom line seems to be the same as it has been: We’re still not yet getting a handle on turning back the coronavirus pandemic as too many Coloradans continue to refuse to get vaccinated. Westword has more on Colorado’s COVID numbers.

In related news, Larimer County is reinstating a mask requirement for residents in indoor public areas. As Colorado Public Radio reports, one of the safest places to be in Colorado, in terms of a high-percentage of people who are vaccinated, is on college campuses.

 

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection plans to move forward today with holding former Trump adviser Steve Bannon in contempt for refusing to respond to a Congressional subpoena.

 

As The Associated Press reports, Texas has approved a new gerrymandered congressional map that dilutes minority representation.

 

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

(more…)

If You Went to See Prager, You Had Better Get Tested

TUESDAY UPDATE: It’s getting worse for Hiedi Heidi Ganahl as her campaign bizarrely denies what Dennis Prager said directly to Ganahl’s face a week ago Saturday, in an attempt to shirk responsibility for potentially exposing everyone in the audience to COVID-19–Washington Post:

Days before he announced he had tested positive, Prager was in Colorado, where he spoke at a campaign event for Heidi Ganahl, a Republican running for governor. Officials with her campaign told KUSA they were not aware of Prager’s plan to get infected with the coronavirus. [Pols emphasis]

9NEWS’ Erin Powell:

In a statement to 9NEWS, Ganahl’s campaign said they did not know of Prager’s plan to intentionally get COVID [Pols emphasis] and did not know he tested positive before Prager announced it on his show. They plan to contact people who attended the event…

All you have to do is watch the clip of video below in which Dennis Prager matter-of-factly informs Ganahl that he’s “been trying to get COVID for a year and half” to know that this is a flat-out lie. It’s a lie that comes after days of Prager knowing he was infected, even receiving monoclonal antibody treatment, while the Ganahl campaign was supposedly never informed of Prager’s diagnosis to begin contact tracing.

Prager naturally claims that in addition to treatments he received that do have clinical backing for their use against COVID, he also took the “quack combo” of hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin. Apparently the goal here was to make every bad decision possible with respect to catching and treating COVID-19 so Prager could announce on his radio show that bad decisions in his case did not kill him.

For Heidi Ganahl, trying to convince blue Colorado that she can be trusted to lead, this is a disaster limited only by the lack of attention being paid in this early stage of the 2022 elections. It’s baffling to us that Ganahl brought this polarizing Republican blowhard in to brand her stumbling campaign early with exactly the partisan division Ganahl claims she doesn’t want. Now she’s a poster child for COVIDiocy along with Dennis Prager.

God help Heidi Ganahl if somebody from last week’s event gets sick.

—–

UPDATE: From ill-advised campaign event to full-blown public health crisis, reports Ernest Luning of the political blog once known as the Colorado Statesman:

A spokeswoman for Republican Heidi Ganahl’s gubernatorial campaign says the Coloradan’s campaign is getting in touch with supporters who attended a recent event in Colorado Springs that featured Ganahl talking on stage with conservative radio host Dennis Prager, who announced Monday that he tested positive last week for the virus that causes COVID-19 and had been attempting to get infected.

Prager said Monday on his radio show that he was broadcasting from his home because he has COVID-19 and has been “steadily improving” since testing positive “last week” for the coronavirus, adding that he has undergone monoclonal antibody treatment…

“The campaign was not aware Dennis had contracted Covid until the announcement on his show,” Swearingen said in a text message.

Wait a minute–Dennis Prager tested positive “last week” and has already had a course of monoclonal antibodies, but the Heidi Ganahl campaign didn’t know anything about it until his announcement on the radio today?

If we’d been in that room a week ago Saturday, we’d be very upset. That’s days of potential spread.

—–

We took note last week of an event with Republican gubernatorial Hiedi Heidi Ganahl featuring the right-wing lunatic rantings of Dennis Prager. Remember Prager arrogantly telling Ganahl how he’s “been trying to get COVID-19 for a year and a half?”

 

Well folks, if you were in attendance at Ganahl’s event on Oct. 10 in Colorado, you should get tested for COVID-19. Prager may have been spreading more than just right-wing disinformation:

Prager said again today’s he been trying his damndest to catch and spread the Rona, which should come as wonderful news to everyone he hung out with in Colorado Springs last weekend:

“It is infinitely preferable to have natural immunity than vaccine immunity and that is what I hoped for the entire time. Hence, I so engaged with strangers, constantly hugging them, taking photos with them, knowing that I was making myself very susceptible to getting COVID,” Prager said, according to MediaMatters.org.

Schadenfreude later. Public health first. Get tested.

Tuesday Open Thread

“Nothing is as dangerous as an ignorant friend; a wise enemy is to be preferred.”

–Jean de La Fontaine

What you can do to fight for progress this week (October 18)

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As negotiations continue in Washington, D.C. over the size and scope of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan, we as Colorado progressives know there are some agenda items that can’t be ignored any longer.

The Build Back Better plan is a crucial opportunity for America to take the lead in mitigating the effects of human-caused climate change. Instead of increasing the tax burden on working families, the Build Back Better plan sets us on a course toward taxing wealth the way we tax work–and asking those who have benefited most from decades of prosperity to pay the bill to clean up their mess.

The message this week: your congressional representatives need to know that addressing human-caused climate change is a mandatory component of the Build Back Better plan. It’s not right that one U.S. Senator from coal country can thwart the overwhelming scientific consensus that swift action is necessary.

Click here and let our friends at Climate Power connect you to your representatives directly with a message in support of the full Build Back Better plan.

Thanks for keeping the pressure on our lawmakers in Washington–for as long as it takes to pass legislation that meets the moment. Here are a few more great ways to take action for the week of October 18, 2021:


The Bell Policy Center 2021 Ballot Guide: Live Discussion with The Colorado Sun

Join us on Tuesday, October 19 at 5:30 p.m. for a live discussion between the authors of the Bell Policy Center’s 2021 Ballot Guide and reporters from The Colorado Sun. Education reporter Erica Breunlin and inequality reporter Tatiana Flowers will lead the discussion, asking the questions voters want answered as they fill out this year’s ballot. During this 45-minute conversation, we will focus on all three statewide ballot measures and dive into the analysis featured in the Bell’s 2021 Ballot Guide.

When: Tuesday, October 19 at 5:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


Conservation Colorado Phonebanks

Protecting our environment, our public lands, water, and air is critical. Join Conservation Colorado for a virtual group phone bank in support of our endorsed candidates.

Westminster
When: Tuesday, October 19 at 6:00pm
Click here to RSVP.

Commerce City
When: Thursday, October 21 at 6:00pm
Click here to RSVP.


Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition: Denver Immigration Town Hall

Join this virtual community discussion of everything you need to know about immigration and the Denver Immigrant Legal Services Fund. The presentations will be conducted by Joy Athanasiou, an immigration attorney and policy expert, Atim Otii, the Director of the City of Denver Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs and will feature the perspective of a directly impacted individual in the community.

When: Wednesday, October 20 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


GreenLatinos: Oil and Gas Focus Group

Are you concerned about or impacted by fracking? Then Join GreenLatinos and Conservation Colorado for a paid focus group regarding upcoming methane regulation rulemaking at the Air Quality Control Commission. No need to have prior knowledge on the issues just bring your lived experience.

When: Saturday, October 12 at 1:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Save the date: LGBTQ Health & Policy Changes

Join One Colorado and Colorado Consumer Health Initiative for a community townhall on Tuesday, October 26th for discussion about recent health care policy changes and how they affect our LGBTQ+ community. Learn about policies, access to insurance buyers guides for the LGBTQ+ community, as well as how Medicaid can be used to transition. Ask your health care questions to our panel!

When: Tuesday, October 26 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


We’ll be back next week with more ways to make a difference. See you then.

Sincerely,

Sara Loflin, Executive Director

Heidi Ganahl Fundraising is Even Worse than We Thought

Will sing for campaign contributions

Last week we noted that Republican gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl was poised to submit a very rough fundraising report for her first quarter as an official candidate. According to Ganahl’s own campaign, the perceived Republican frontrunner had raised just $137,000 — or $13,000 less than little-known U.S. Senate candidate Erik Aadland collected in Q3.

Ganahl’s campaign filed its official report with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office on Friday, however, and the news is actually worse than it first appeared last Wednesday.

Team Ganahl has just $125,000 cash-on-hand, which is not good…but the campaign would only have $75,000 in the bank if not for a $50,000 loan from the candidate.

You read that correctly: If not for a personal loan from Ganahl herself, her campaign for the Republican gubernatorial nomination would have less than $100k in the bank. It might be for the best, then, that Ganahl’s campaign manager is already looking for another job; regular salaries are a luxury that Team Ganahl can’t really afford at the moment.

Deep Benches Matter: Dylan Roberts Cuts In On SD-8

Last week, Colorado’s Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission adopted new maps for the General Assembly’s 65 House and 35 Senate seats. Despite some last-minute attempts to subvert the process on the part of a few Republican commissioners and a group of usual-suspect Republican lobbyists currently the subject of an investigation by the Secretary of State for illegally attempting to influence the process, by most initial analysis the new maps (pending their necessary approval before the Supreme Court) will position the Democrats to maintain their majorities in the House and Senate.

As the Vail Daily’s Scott Miller reported last week, one Democrat set to take advantage of the new map is Rep. Dylan Roberts of Eagle County, drawn into a revamped SD-8 that draws Roberts’ home in Eagle County and east along the I-70 corridor east as far as Gilpin County with the whole northwest corner of the state:

Dylan Roberts, an Avon Democrat, is the current representative for House District 26. He plans to run in 2022 for the Senate District 8 seat…

The new Senate district will be even more diverse, with economies in the district depending on mountain resorts, gambling, agriculture and mining.

Whoever the new Senator is for that district will have to both work with other Western Slope legislators in an Eastern Slope-dominated legislature, and recognize and work for issues that all 10 district counties have in common, Roberts said. That includes workforce housing, transportation and water.

Rep. Dylan Roberts (D).

With Rep. Roberts moving into position to claim the competitive but Democratic-leaning new SD-8, Republican incumbent Sen. Bob Rankin is set to inherit outgoing Sen. Kerry Donovan’s SD-5 seat through the end of his term in 2024–when this closely competitive seat becomes a major pickup opportunity for Democrats. It’ll take time for the effects of these map changes to sink in, and of course we won’t really have a hard data point until after they’re used in an actual election. But this undeniably provides more long-term opportunity for Democrats than Rep. Roberts simply succeeding outgoing Sen. Kerry Donovan in today’s SD-5.

A few such opportunities, and good candidates ready to take advantage of them, is how bigger majorities are grown. Any other outcome would not be consistent with the solidifying Democratic majority of the electorate in Colorado clearly demonstrated in this state in recent election cycles. There simply aren’t enough Republicans to go around without some serious gerrymandering–and although Democrats might have preferred more control over the process in line with the majority control they presently hold in Colorado, in the end, these are maps upon which Democrats can continue to fight and win.

Colorado Week in Review for October 17, 2021

awesome + uniting

awesome + controversy

awful + uniting

awful + controversy

Colorado Christian University Hosting Antisemitic Conspiracist Jack Posobiec Who Has Ties to White Nationalism

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado Christian University’s Centennial Institute has hosted many far-right speakers over the years, but next Monday the public policy think tank will see its most extreme guest ever, when it gives its podium to antisemitic conspiracist Jack Posobiec. Posobiec, whose antisemitic tweets and promotion of white supremacy have been extensively documented, is speaking on Monday Oct. 18 as part of his book tour. Reached for comment, ADL Mountain States Regional Director Scott Levin expressed concern at CCU’s decision to host Posobiec.

“It is difficult to understand how someone who peddles conspiracy theories, disinformation and Islamophobia, and who targets Jewish journalists online, would be given any airtime,” said Levin. “We encourage the Centennial Institute to review its policies to determine if someone with documented ties to white supremacists should be invited to speak on the Colorado Christian University campus.”

Antisemitic tweet by Jack Posobiec, Oct. 31, 2016

Posobiec repeatedly used the “echo,” adding (((triple parentheses))) to a person or group of people in a tweet, a meme popularized by white supremacists in 2016 to target Jews.

More recently, Posobiec used the Boulder grocery store shooting to promote false anti-immigrant sentiment. He falsely claimed on Twitter that the man who murdered ten Coloradans including a police officer immigrated to America as part of an Obama-era refugee program. Politifact debunked his statement.

Posobiec is also an enthusiastic election fraud conspiracist. He tweeted the #StopTheSteal hashtag numerous times up to and after the 2020 election. Following the Jan. 6 insurrection Posobiec deleted all of those tweets.

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Heidi Ganahl, CO’s Top Republican Candidate for Gov, Is Anti-Abortion. Here’s Why it Matters.

(One election away – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In what appears to be her first public statement on abortion, Colorado governor candidate Heidi Ganahl said she is “pro-life.”

Responding to a commenter on her Facebook page who asked if she’s pro-choice, Ganahl responded, “I am pro-life” and then urged the commenter to email her directly with “any other questions.” Ganahl did not, however, respond to multiple emails from the Colorado Times Recorder asking her to elaborate on her views on abortion rights, whether she’d support a Texas-style abortion ban, or what she’d do to combat the maternal health crisis.

Abortion access is in peril nationwide due to conservative state lawmakers passing a record number of abortion restrictions this year, including a near-total ban on abortion in Texas that the U.S. Supreme Court allowed to take effect in September. What’s more, the fate of Roe v. Wade is hanging in the balance as the court prepares to hear arguments in the Dobbs v. Jackson case in December, which threatens to end the constitutional right to abortion altogether.

As a result, abortion is on the ballot in all 50 states in the 2022 elections, which will determine whether states can protect access to abortion in the absence of Roe or if they’ll make abortion inaccessible.

While abortion hasn’t historically been a key issue in gubernatorial races here, these next few years are going to be pivotal when it comes to abortion rights and access for decades to come.

Those who have been in Colorado long enough will remember that Republicans in the state once mocked Senate incumbent Mark Udall – a person vying for the job of confirming Supreme Court justices that have the power to overturn Roe – for focusing “too much” on reproductive rights in his re-election campaign. Mark “Uterus,” as they called him, was derided as an alarmist for saying his Republican opponent Cory Gardner wanted abortion to be a crime and for the Supreme Court to make it so.

Now, seven years later, abortion rights are crumbling nationwide because of Senate Republicans’ unflinching approval of Trump’s Supreme Court nominees, all of whom allowed a law that rewards citizens for snitching on abortion providers to take effect. People of means in Texas are traveling to states like Colorado for abortion, and poor people are forced to give birth if they can’t scrape together the necessary funds to travel out of state.

Colorado politicos and members of the media now have an opportunity to not repeat past mistakes and take the issue seriously.

(more…)

Smashing Gov. Polis In Effigy With Sheriff Reams

Last weekend, as nobody reported because why would they, Republican Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams held a re-election fundraiser “car show” in Fort Lupton–where he was joined by sputtering GOP candidate for governor Heidi Ganahl and a few dozen variably “classic” cars in widely assorted stages of restoration.

But of all the cars at Sheriff Reams’ car show, one unlucky not-so-classic Chevy subcompact appears to have received substantially more than its share of attention:

We haven’t seen the video yet of the process by which this car went from the condition in the upper photo versus the lower, but it looks to us like it was pretty savage stuff! Did Heidi Ganahl take a sledgehammer swing at Gov. Jared Polis in effigy too? What do you suppose goes through one’s mind while smashing a car named after the sitting governor of Colorado with a sledgehammer?

Here’s another photo of Sheriff Reams role modeling this smashingly good behavior for the children:

We’re touched, folks, in that way one can only be when you throw up a little in your mouth.

Between this and Rep. Ron Hanks blowing up helpless copy machines, we’re getting a little worried about the safety of…well, just about any inanimate object in sledgehammer or rifle range of our local Republican tough guys. It seems like they’re on a mission to out-smash each other in search of the next big social media breakthrough.

It’s tough to see how that ends, you know, safely.