Iacino Picks Up Big Endorsement in CO-3

Gail Schwartz

Businessman James Iacino, who is running against Diane Mitsch Bush for the Democratic nomination in CO-3 (Western/Southern Colorado) announced a significant endorsement today. From a press release:

Today, former State Senator, and former candidate for the 3rd Congressional District, Gail Schwartz announced her endorsement of James Iacino ahead of the June 2020 Democratic Primary.

From 2007 until 2015 Gail Schwartz represented large areas of the district in the Colorado Senate. from Eagle to Gunnison, and as far south the San Luis Valley and New Mexico border. Expressing her support Schwartz stated:

“I’m proud to endorse James Iacino, Democrat for Congress in Colorado’s 3rd district. A proven leader on sustainability, James also has the track record and solid business experience to help build an economy that works for everyone,” said Fmr. State Senator Gail Schwartz. “Having worked his way from the loading docks to running one of Colorado’s most successful businesses, we can trust James to look out for the hardworking families of Western and Southern Colorado. It is time for a strong voice in Washington who will stand up for the values of rural Colorado. I know James Iacino, and he has what it takes to beat Scott Tipton in 2020.”

Schwartz has long been a visible figure in Democratic politics, even aside from the time she spent in the legislature and as a Congressional candidate (her husband, prominent attorney Alan Schwartz, is also a well-known fundraiser). Gail Schwartz wasn’t able to defeat Republican Rep. Scott Tipton in 2016, but she raised a ton of money and her strong campaign put in play a seat that would otherwise have been largely ignored.

Iacino finished 2019 with impressive fundraising numbers, pulling in $295k compared to just $182k for Tipton. The Schwartz endorsement is a tangible sign of real momentum for Iacino as we move closer to caucus season.

Friday Open Thread

“History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”

–Maya Angelou

Scalia Died Four Years Ago Today. If a SCOTUS Seat Opened, Would Gardner Again Argue for Delay?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Exactly four years ago today, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died in his sleep at a Texas ranch.

About an hour after Scalia’s death was confirmed, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) told startled reporters that the “American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice” and “therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”

Five days later, on Feb. 18, 2016, Colorado’s Republican Senator, Cory Gardner, agreed with McConnell that the appointment of a new Supreme Court Justice should be delayed until after the 2016 presidential election, which was later won by Trump.

Gardner told fellow conservative Dan Caplis, who was on KNUS radio at the time:

GARDNER: “Again, I think we’re too close to the election. The president who is elected in November should be the one who makes this decision.”

“We are deep in the heart of a political campaign, a divisive election, a divisive president, who has done nothing but overreached Congress time and time again,” he added. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s well-known health problems appear to be at bay for now, but the question arises of what Gardner would do this time around if Ginsburg’s or another seat became vacant.

Gardner’s office did not return a call seeking comment, but in interviews at the time, he pointed to Democrats who’d made similar arguments about delaying confirmation of a Justice.

If Gardner follows the same logic of his arguments in 2016, he’d again call for delay.

Back in 2016, Gardner went on to join McConnell and other Republicans in denying Merrick Garland, Barack Obama’s choice to replace Scalia, even the opportunity for a hearing before the Senate.

In fact, Gardner refused to meet Garland at all.

On March 16, 2016, even before Obama finished introducing Garland to the country, Gardner issued a statement that “our next election is too soon and the stakes are too high; the American people deserve a role in the process as the next Supreme Court justice will influence the direction of this country for years to come.” In 2016, Gardner’s refusal to meet with Garland earned Gardner a personal rebuke from Obama.

“Sen. Gardner has not been doing his job as a senator,” Obama told The Gazette in a short interview after the Air Force Academy graduation. “He is perfectly free after having met with Judge Garland to conclude that ‘this is not somebody that I am going to vote for.'”

“If we start getting to the point where the Senate operates in such a partisan manner that even someone like Merrick Garland can’t get the courtesy of a hearing and a vote, then that’s going to start breaking down the system to the point where we can’t get any judges confirmed,” he said. “Our system of justice is going to break down, and that’s going to have consequences for all of us.”

After Obama left office, Trump nominees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh were confirmed for Supreme Court positions.

Cory Gardner Gives Trump “Unity” He Denied Barack Obama

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

Right-wing agit-prop site Breitbart News ran a notable short piece today, celebrating Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado’s earlier appearance this morning on Fox News to explain his opposition to any measure to restrict President Donald Trump’s war powers concerning action against Iran:

In an interview with Fox News Channel’s “America’s Newsroom,” Gardner called on his fellow senators to consider how less likely a terrorist would want to attack a country that appears united rather than a divided one.

“I think every senator taking this vote needs to ask a simple question: wilt a terrorist be more likely to strike the United States if they believe we are weak and divided, or will they be less likely to strike the United States if they believe we are strong and united?” advised Gardner. “Today’s resolution will make the United States appear weak and divided should it succeed. That is not a recipe for defending the American people from terrorism.” [Pols emphasis]

He later warned, “Any sign that the United States is weak, any sign that the Congress is divided or trying to fight his ability to take on the terrorists will ultimately lead to greater attacks and vulnerability when it comes to the United States.”

Now, if you’re reading this with no knowledge about Sen. Cory Gardner’s record, you might think that this is how Gardner has consistently felt about the need for “unity” in support of the nation’s vital foreign policy interests: that “politics ends at the water’s edge.” Gardner similarly voted against reeling in American support for the bloody civil war in Yemen through aid to proxy combatant Saudi Arabia, saying “any move to cut off this assistance without a national security rationale will only serve to embolden our enemies.”

But as it turns out, that’s just what Gardner says when a Republican is President:

That’s the very same Cory Gardner, showing the world how “strong and united” the United States was in 2013–after an attack by Syrian government forces using nerve gas-tipped ballistic missiles against civilians near Damascus killed upwards of a thousand people. Gardner claimed that military action in response to this chemical weapons attack “without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution.” This came after President Barack Obama told the Syrian government a year prior that use of chemical weapons would cross a “red line” obliging an American military response. Ultimately, despite Gardner’s (and the GOP-controlled Congress’) very public display of disunity a deal was brokered that resulted in the removal of most of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal.

This is far from the only example of Gardner taking a polar-opposite approach to similar actions taken by the two administrations he has served under in Congress. Gardner condemned and voted against President Obama taking military action in Libya in 2011, and Gardner’s helpless sycophancy in response to Trump’s misadventures in diplomacy with North Korea are by this point legendary–and credibility-shredding in contrast to what Gardner said about Obama’s handling of the same issue.

Nobody made Gardner do any of this. Hypocrisy of this magnitude can’t be ignored.

Trump Unleashed: Acquittal Has “Emboldened” President

Really, really great.

When Senate Republicans acquitted President Trump on two impeachment charges on February 5, some foolhardy souls — like Maine Sen. Susan Collinstried to argue that the impeachment process itself would make Trump more introspective and less authoritarian. That message remained digestible about as long as a container of cottage cheese left out on the kitchen counter.

As Salon.com reports today, Collins can’t run fast enough away from that narrative:

Collins, R-Maine, dodged questions from a reporter Wednesday who pressed her on whether she still believed her claim that President Donald Trump has learned a “lesson” by being impeached.

Collins, along with several other Republicans, defended her vote to acquit Trump in his Senate impeachment trial by arguing that though his actions were “wrong,” he had learned a “pretty big lesson” from being impeached.

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) never pretended that Trump would be chastened by his near-impeachment experience (though his acquittal explanation was equally ridiculous), but like Collins, Gardner wants nothing to do with questions about Trump’s behavior since he was officially let off the hook for obstruction of Congress and the extortion of a foreign country for personal gain. That’s because Trump has been an absolute menace in the last 10 days, laying waste to government norms and institutions because he is convinced that he can.

As the Associated Press reports in a frightening story today, Gardner and his fellow Senate Republicans have absolutely made Trump more dangerous — to everyone:

In the week since his acquittal on impeachment charges, a fully emboldened President Donald Trump is demonstrating his determination to assert an iron grip on government, pushing his Justice Department to ease up on a longtime friend while using the levers of presidential powers to exact payback on real and perceived foes.

Trump has told confidants in recent days that he felt both vindicated and strengthened by his acquittal in the Senate, believing Republicans have rallied around him in unprecedented fashion while voters were turned off by the political process,[Pols emphasis] according to four White House officials and Republicans close to the West Wing who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations.

Since then, Trump and his aides have moved with haste to clear his administration of those he sees as insufficiently loyal, reaching all the way back to the time of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Or as Jennifer Rubin writes today for The Washington Post:

Trump isn’t just pushing on Justice Department lawyers — he’s going after the judges, too:

“He’s trying to delegitimize anyone appointed by someone other than him and say that the only people who can be trusted are Trump judges,” said retired federal judge Nancy Gertner in a recent interview.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Cory Gardner.

Some of Trump’s rage-vengeance, like the firing of White House aide Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, has been widely covered in the media. Other pieces have not. Again, from the AP:

In recent days, the White House has yanked a senior Treasury Department nomination away from a former Justice Department official who supervised the prosecutions of several of Trump advisers. The administration also fired an EPA official who claims he was ousted because he was deemed too friendly with Democrats. [Pols emphasis]

If you don’t train your dog to go to the bathroom outside, then you sure as hell can’t yell at him every time he pisses on the carpet. Senate Republicans taught President Trump that there were no consequences to his actions. As Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer noted on Wednesday, Senate Republicans fully own The Orange Scare:

We’ll give the last word to Rubin in The Washington Post:

…without the cowardice of Republican senators including Susan Collins of Maine, Cory Gardner of Colorado, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and others, Trump would not be lighting a fire to the Justice Department and the Constitution. Voters must remember this come November.

There aren’t enough reporters on earth for Cory Gardner to blame for this one. For Gardner and Senate Republicans, President Trump is both their leader and their charge.

Republicans Who Don’t Like Anti-LGBT Bills: Whatcha Gonna Do?

Rep. Shane Sandridge (R-Your Bedroom).

As Jesse Paul at the Colorado Sun reports, at least some Republican state lawmakers in the General Assembly are…uncomfortable, we guess you could say, with a slate of starkly anti-LGBT bills set to be debated and killed in the Colorado House State Affairs Committee later today after the usual several hours of lurid testimony:

None of the bills will advance in the Democratic-led General Assembly, and if anything, the measures are sowing an ideological divide within the Republican Party. They’re also opening an avenue of attack for Democrats, who are using the legislation to angle for votes in November. Progressive lawmakers and groups are planning a rally on Thursday to blast the measures and support the LGBTQ community.

“This slate of hateful, bigoted anti-LGBTQ bills show exactly what the GOP would do if they had a majority: use their power to attack trans youth, loving couples hoping to adopt, and children,” read a tweet this week from the House Democrat caucus, which is led by House Speaker KC Becker of Boulder.

The measures are primarily being run and sponsored by three lawmakers: Republican Reps. Shane Sandridge of Colorado Springs, Dave Williams of Colorado Springs and Steve Humphrey of Severance. The lawmakers defended the legislation.

The Sun reports that a large number of Republican lawmakers didn’t want to discuss these bills at all. A few others like Sen. Don Coram, who has previously discouraged legislative attacks on LGBT people, were willing to tell a reporter–after being asked of course, not on their own–that these bills are neither politically helpful nor morally appropriate.

Today’s hearing at 1:30PM gives all Republicans who have ever argued that their party’s fixation on persecuting LGBT Americans is wrong one of the best chances they may ever have to enter those convictions into the permanent record. For years now while Republicans pulled out all the stops to kill even modest concessions to LGBT Americans’ right to exist–like civil unions in 2012–and paid dearly for their wedge issue fixation at the polls, there has always been a faction of generally younger and urban Republicans who have vocalized dismay and warned that the next generation will not accept the bigotry baby-boomer Republicans were steeped in.

If we’re to believe any of that regret was legitimate as opposed to simply the political sidestep of the moment, we expect to see an army of well-known Republicans in elected office and polite society lining up at today’s hearing to state clearly that the GOP lawmakers behind these bills do not speak for them.

Short of that, we have no reason to believe it was ever true.

Get More Smarter on Thursday (February 13)

Happy “World Radio Day.” Please celebrate responsibly. 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 an audio/visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show or The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.


►As Jennifer Rubin writes for The Washington Post, President Trump is turning the Justice Department into his own political hit squad — with little sign that Senate Republicans will do anything to rein him in:

President Trump, empowered by acquittal in his impeachment trial and allowed free rein by his Republican Senate allies, has waged a war of vengeance and retribution against those who declined to enable his impeachable conduct. Now he has taken a club to the Justice Department.

The Post reports on the four prosecutors who refused to go along with their boss’s directive to reduce the sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone following Trump’s tweet criticizing the seven- to nine-year sentence recommendation…

…Aside from the Saturday night massacre, we have never seen multiple Justice Department lawyers resign to protest a presidential abuse of power.

Just as Trump tried to engage a foreign government to announce an investigation into former vice president Joe Biden and ordered up a probe of Hillary Clinton (which came to nothing), this is an egregious perversion of the rule of law. The president, like a tin-pot dictator, now uses the Justice Department to shield his criminal cronies, putting his finger on the scale in a way no other president has done in the modern era.

Politico has more on the shockwaves of Trump’s Justice Department meddling, while Vox.com takes a deeper dive into overall problems under Attorney General William Barr.

Meanwhile, CNN Congressional reporter Manu Raju approached Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) for comment on Wednesday. This was Gardner’s response:

“I’m sorry…miss my vote.”

As such, Rubin finishes her Washington Post column with an appropriate hammer:

Coming on the evening of the New Hampshire primary, the latest crisis should remind us of the stakes in 2020 and the necessity that Democrats nominate someone who can beat Trump and stop our slide into authoritarianism. It should also remind us that without the cowardice of Republican senators including Susan Collins of Maine, Cory Gardner of Colorado, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and others, Trump would not be lighting a fire to the Justice Department and the Constitution. Voters must remember this come November. [Pols emphasis]


► Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will visit Denver this weekend as he campaigns for the Democratic Presidential nomination, but he won’t be the only top candidate coming through our state. From Jon Murray at The Denver Post:

Sanders, the progressive U.S. senator from Vermont who won the New Hampshire primary Tuesday, has set a rally for 6 p.m. Sunday in Denver, inside the Colorado Convention Center’s Exhibition Halls C and D. Doors open at 4 p.m., the campaign says, and the event is open to the public but an RSVP is encouraged via Sanders’ website. (The location was changed to a larger venue from the convention center’s Bellco Theatre, which has a seating capacity of 5,000, due to high demand.)

Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, placed a close second Tuesday and narrowly beat Sanders in Iowa last week. He will have a town hall in Aurora at 7 p.m. Feb. 22, according to a campaign event page. The location will be revealed closer to that date, but supporters are encouraged to RSVP on his website…

…Sanders has had a small staff in Colorado for months, and Buttigieg’s campaign, hoping to capitalize on its all-volunteer effort here so far, is expected to announce the hiring of its first three staffers in Colorado on Thursday. Buttigieg’s lead staffer here will be Ken Gonzalez, who has shifted from organizing duties in Iowa, a campaign spokesperson said.

Biden, the former vice president, is scheduled to visit Denver on Monday for a private fundraiser hosted by former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. He is alone among the major candidates in not having had a large public event in Colorado so far this campaign, though he has been sending surrogates.


► It’s “Hate Week” at the State Capitol. House Majority Leader Alec Garnett explains how that moniker applies to what GOP lawmakers are attempting in the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast:


Get even more smarter after the jump… (more…)

Thursday Open Thread

“Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.”

–Maya Angelou

Bloomberg’s Aspen “Stop And Frisk” Defense Deals Damage

Michael Bloomberg.

NPR reports and Coloradans are obliged to take note of newly unearthed audio of Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, speaking in 2015 at the Aspen Institute in defense of arguably his most controversial legacy: the “stop and frisk” policy employed by New York City police that greatly expanded under then-Mayor Bloomberg’s tenure, and from which Bloomberg has backed away and apologized as he runs for president today.

Back in 2015, however, Bloomberg sang a very different tune about “stop and frisk,” at least within the glitzy and cozy confines of Aspen, Colorado:

Bloomberg made the remarks at the Aspen Institute on Feb. 5, 2015. In the audio, he can be heard saying: “95% of your murders and murderers and murder victims fit one M.O. You can just take the description and Xerox it and pass it out to all the cops. They are male minorities 15 to 25.” [Pols emphasis]

He continues: “That’s true in New York. That’s true in virtually every city in America. And that’s where the real crime is. You’ve got to get the guns out of the hands of the people that are getting killed.”

Bloomberg’s idea of a solution? Flooding minority neighborhoods with law enforcement.

“People say, ‘Oh my God, you are arresting kids for marijuana who are all minorities.’ Yes, that’s true. Why? Because we put all the cops in the minority neighborhoods. Yes, that’s true. Why’d we do it? Because that’s where all the crime is. And the way you should get the guns out of the kids’ hands is throw them against the wall and frisk them,” Bloomberg says.

It’s not like the “stop and frisk” policy is unknown to Democratic primary voters, but Bloomberg’s factually challenged defense of the policy you can read above–the percentage of murders and murderers in America who are “male minorities” is nowhere near 95%–runs starkly counter to the distancing from “stop and frisk” Bloomberg has attempted since entering the presidential race. Today, Bloomberg claims credit for reducing the use of the policy, even though it was during his administration that “stop and frisk” grew to hundreds of thousands of incidents each year, dwarfing its use during his predecessor Rudy Giuliani’s administration. The numbers we’ve seen on the effectiveness on the policy indicate that between 70-90% of the persons who were stopped and frisked were found to be entirely innocent.

Although Bloomberg’s staff reportedly prevailed upon the Aspen Institute to withhold release of the video of these remarks, the conservative Daily Caller posted audio shortly after the event in February of 2015. The Aspen Times also reported on the controversy at that time, but it wasn’t until these publicly Googleable stories were recirculated by a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders in the last few days that it’s blown up into a controversy.

Regardless of how these remarks came back into circulation it’s definitely a problem for Bloomberg, since it both contradicts Bloomberg’s newfound contrition over “stop and frisk” and paints Bloomberg as exactly the kind of rich white elitist he needs to convince Democratic primary voters he is not. We’re not sure what Bloomberg could have done to blunt the inevitable re-upping of this easily-located material, but it’s pretty clear the “that was the old me” line isn’t going to work now.

Money can buy you love, but it can’t make your own words go away.

Think Cory Gardner Wants To Talk Roger Stone? Fat Chance!

Embed from Getty Images

CNN’s Manu Raju reports on the fresh controversy brewing in Washington after the Department of Justice dubiously intervened in the sentencing recommendation for convicted Donald Trump compatriot Roger Stone, prompting the resignation of several prosecutors working the case. We’ll give you three guesses whether Sen. Cory Gardner wanted to talk about Stone’s case, and the first two guesses don’t count:

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, a vulnerable Republican up for reelection in 2020, avoided questions from CNN today about Roger Stone.

“I’m sorry … miss my vote,” Gardner responded when asked if he is concerned about political interference.

Gardner walked away and didn’t respond to a follow up question asking if he’s concerned about Roger Stone.

Sen. Cory Gardner’s pertinacious refusal to answer questions about scandals involving Donald Trump, long past the point where any such refusal is believable or even at all helpful to Gardner and Republicans politically, has made him a symbol of GOP complicity with Trump’s misdeeds across the nation–from late-night TV to cable news. Here’s another clip to add to a devastating highlight reel you’ll be seeing in the fall in TV ads.

If anything, it’s perhaps noteworthy that Gardner isn’t even using complete sentences now.

Another State Senate Seat May be Off the Board for Republicans

In 2014, voters in Senate District 19 (Arvada/Westminster) elected Republican Laura Woods by a margin of fewer than 700 votes. Woods replaced Democrat Rachel Zenzinger, who had been appointed to the seat vacated by Sen. Evie Hudak in the wake of the 2013 Republican recall efforts. Woods instantly became one of the most hard-right members of the Republican caucus.

Some Republicans were correctly skeptical about Woods’ ability to hold on to her seat; two years later, Zenzinger unseated Woods in the rematch despite a barrage of negative (and demonstrably false) attacks from Republicans.

Election History in SD-19

Zenzinger is running for re-election in 2020. The district’s electoral history would suggest that SD-19 will be among the top targeted races for Republicans hoping to claw back into a Senate majority, but voter registration and turnout numbers paint a bleaker picture. According to a new analysis of voter information from Colorado-based Republican polling firm Magellan Strategies, Senate District 19 may no longer be competitive for the GOP:

…back in 2014 Republicans actually had a turnout advantage with a plurality of 35% of the vote, largely due to lower Unaffiliated turnout.

And while it’s not a perfect apples to apples comparison since there wasn’t actually a Senate race in SD 19 in 2018, come 2018 that advantage is completely gone. Even with about 12,000 more voters compared to 2014, there were actually 700 fewer votes cast by Republicans. Compare that to 4,755 more votes cast by Democratic voters and 7,863 more votes cast by Unaffiliated/Other Party voters.

While that suggests a turnout problem with a fairly simple solution (get more Republicans to vote), in reality, the problem is not quite that easy to overcome. That’s because turnout in 2018 wasn’t even especially low for Republicans – 84% of active Republicans in the district voted, which matched the percentage for Democratic voters. For a midterm, it is hard to expect much better than that. No, the real problem can be seen looking back at voter registration: The numbers simply aren’t there anymore. It’s basic math. A comparative advantage for Republicans in SD 19 has been completely wiped away by increased Unaffiliated registration and increased voter turnout among both Democratic voters and Unaffiliated voters. [Pols emphasis]

Via Magellan Strategies

As you can see from the Magellan Strategies chart at right, Republican voter turnout in SD-19 has plummeted over the last two election cycles. Those trends seem to fit with what we saw in Colorado in 2018 in general, when Democrats gained a “trifecta” in state government — control of the State House, State Senate, and Governor’s office. When all of the votes were counted in 2018, Democrats had flipped multiple Republican-held seats for a 41-24 majority in the State House and a 19-16 majority in the State Senate.

The numbers in SD-19 are going to be pretty disheartening for Republicans, who need to net at least two seats in order to regain majority control in the State Senate (the House is almost certainly unwinnable for the GOP this year). Heading into this election cycle, SD-19 was among four State Senate districts widely thought to be the most competitive races in 2020 — along with SD-8 (Carbondale-ish), SD-25 (Adams County), and SD-27 (Arapahoe County). But SD-19 is the only one of these four districts with a Democratic incumbent; Republicans can’t gain ground in the Senate merely by holding onto the other three seats.

State Sen. Rachel Zenzinger

In 2016, Republican Kevin Priola barely managed to eke out a victory in SD-25, a seat previously held by Democrats, by a margin of about four points. That same year, incumbent Republican Sen. Jack Tate won in SD-27 by a nearly seven-point margin. Both Senate districts have moved closer toward Democrats in recent years. Republicans only maintain a healthy historical advantage in SD-8, where Bob Rankin is seeking election to a full term after replacing Randy Baumgardner in 2019.

Now, back to SD-19: Zenzinger entered 2020 with about $56,000 in the bank, and she has strong name ID in the district after essentially campaigning non-stop since 2013. Republican Matthew Lantz formally entered the race about 10 days ago, but he was not recruited into the race by top Republican officials and it’s unclear whether he will be able to run a strong campaign without a GOP Primary challenger. Either way, persistent polling problems for both President Trump and Sen. Cory Gardner suggest that there won’t be much in the way of coattails for any down-ballot Republicans in 2020.

Colorado Republicans will have a hard time regaining control of the State Senate unless they can win in SD-19…which doesn’t seem likely at the moment. The GOP’s next best hope for flipping a seat might be in SD-26, but that’s also a tough sell; Democrats have never lost in the current iteration of this Arapahoe County seat, and they have a strong incumbent candidate in Sen. Jeff Bridges.

It’s entirely possible that the best-case scenario for Colorado Republicans in 2020 is to just not lose any more ground in the State Senate. That’s a hard slogan to fit onto a bumper sticker.

Fresh Off New Hampshire Win, Bernie Coming To Denver

FOX 31’s Eric Ruble reports, Colorado will “Feel The Bern” this weekend as Sen. Bernie Sanders rallies in downtown Denver after taking New Hampshire and kinda-sorta-probably winning the disastrously executed Iowa caucus:

Presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders will hold a rally in downtown Denver on Sunday.

According to the official campaign website, the rally will be held at the Bellco Theater inside the Colorado Convention Center.

Doors open at 4 p.m. Sunday and the event begins at 6 p.m.

Denver’s Bellco Theater seats up to 5,000, and we doubt Sanders will have any trouble filling the venue to capacity. The historical record of the winners of both Iowa and New Hampshire ending up the nominee for their respective party bodes well for Sanders today, with the principal caveat being that the Iowa caucuses became more of a story of technological fiasco than a triumph for anybody with a (D) after their name.

Ballots are arriving right now in mailboxes across Colorado, and resilient support among Colorado base Democrats means a Bernie repeat win here remains the oddsmaker’s choice–unless the unaffiliated vote taking part in a Democratic presidential contest for the first time in Colorado militates strongly in another direction. Anyone hoping to meaningfully alter this trajectory should consider themselves on notice: this state is in all likelihood Sanders’ to lose, but our newly open primary leaves a wild card no one can ignore in play.

Rudy Giuliani Doesn’t Speak For Colorado Women (As If)

(So, this happened – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Wednesday, February 12, 2020
CONTACT: Fawn Bolak, Communications Director at fawn@progressnowcolorado.org

DENVER: After over seven hours of testimony, the Colorado House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee killed two Republican anti-abortion bills on party-line votes yesterday. House Bill 20-1068 would have required physicians to “preserve the life” of a child “born alive” after an abortion procedure, imposing a medically inappropriate burden on doctors under threat of imprisonment. Already this year there have been more than a dozen “born alive” bills introduced in state legislatures across the country.

Former Mayor of New York City and controversial personal attorney for President Trump, Rudy Guiliani, personally weighed in on House Bill 1068 in response to a tweet by Jeff Hunt of the Centennial Institute, a Denver-based religious conservative advocacy group. Answering Giuliani’s misguided and misinformed comments, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest multi-issue progressive advocacy organization, issued the following statement:

“In Colorado, conservative pundits like Jeff Hunt are drawing from the same stale anti-abortion playbook as Donald Trump by doubling down on false, inflammatory rhetoric about abortion later in pregnancy,” said Fawn Bolak of ProgressNow Colorado. “There are already laws in place to protect newborns, regardless of the circumstances of their birth. Bills like House Bill 1068 do nothing but demonize pregnant women and abortion providers. Spreading this false narrative is just another feeble attempt by far-right conservatives to scare up support ahead of an election they are set to lose.”


Wednesday Open Thread

“In order to govern, the question is not to follow out a more or less valid theory but to build with whatever materials are at hand. The inevitable must be accepted and turned to advantage.”

–Napoleon Bonaparte