Thursday Open Thread

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

–Martin Luther King, Jr.

Hick is Running for Senate

POLS UPDATE: John Hickenlooper makes it video official:

The Denver Post’s Nic Garcia:

John Hickenlooper is launching a bid Thursday to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, exactly one week after pulling out of his run for the presidency.

“I’ve always said Washington was a lousy place for a guy like me who wants to get things done – but this is no time to walk away from the table,” the former governor of Colorado says in his announcement video, posted at hickenlooper.com. “… I’m not done fighting for the people of Colorado.”

In the video, filmed at the Denver brewpub he founded, Hickenlooper echoes his presidential pitch to voters, which focused on ending the conflict in Washington. And he promises to work on fighting climate change, prescription drug prices and economic inequity.

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From CNN:

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper announced his Senate candidacy on Thursday, giving Democrats a widely known contender to take on a vulnerable GOP incumbent a week after Hickenlooper dropped out of the presidential race.

Hick’s website is already updated to list the Senate race.

Inaccessibility is the Gardner Brand

State Rep. Tom Sullivan (D-Centennial) speaks with Cardboard Cory at #SinceUBeenGone tour.

The Cardboard Cory Bus Tour is in the middle of a weeklong jaunt around Colorado. In multiple stops across the state (most recently in Ft. Collins and Greeley), the cardboard version of Gardner is attracting more attention than the real man himself. Some of this is because of a clever idea and effective organizing by progressive groups behind the tour, but none of it would have been possible if Gardner had not built himself into the image of a politician who can be so easily caricaturized by a piece of cardboard.

Of course, Gardner and his staff have nobody to blame but themselves for this predicament, but it has been fascinating to watch how the Yuma Republican is playing right into the hands of his detractors lately. The Cardboard Cory Bus Tour is intended to demonstrate the Senator’s inaccessibility, and Gardner is helping this cause during the August recess by regularly showing up (with little notification) at small venues on the same day and in the same zip code as Cardboard Cory. It’s inexplicable.

Take a look at this story today from the Ft. Collins Coloradoan:

Gardner took a tour of Wellington businesses last week as part of his Main Street Walking Tours series. The Wellington visit included prearranged stops and conversations at local businesses. His office informed the Coloradoan about the private tour a day in advance.

On Tuesday, Gardner spoke at a Larimer County Republican Party event in Fort Collins that wasn’t widely publicized, the Coloradoan learned.

And this story from the Greeley Tribune:

In fact, the Gardner office informed the Greeley Tribune on Tuesday afternoon the real Gardner would be in Greeley that very same day, touring a pair of food production facilities in town. The public was not invited to either event, but the newspaper was invited, without cameras, to join the senator as he toured Hungenberg Produce…

…Gardner, through a spokesperson email, provided a statement he also gave to another media outlet in the region earlier in the day:

“I have been traveling across all four corners of the state meeting with Coloradans,” the statement read. “My Main Street Walking Tours have continued, taking me to more than a dozen towns across the state. These informal meet and greets are a great way to hear directly from Coloradans, and I take these discussions to Washington to fight for bipartisan solutions.”

Does Team Gardner not realize how this looks? Are they trying to validate their critics? It is puzzling to say the least. We could be just a few days away from Gardner holding a press conference to challenge his cardboard counterpart to a fist fight (alas, that would require Gardner to show up in public with advance notice).

The Cardboard Cory tour arrives in town and spreads the message that Gardner is ignoring his constituents. The real Gardner sneaks into the same area like he’s in the witness protection program and feeds the same obtuse statement about his visit to local reporters. You’d be hard-pressed to come up with a worse response to this sort of activism than what Gardner is actually doing at the moment.

Perhaps this sort of behavior is so ingrained that Gardner and his staff can no longer operate any differently. Inaccessibility is the brand; obfuscation is the service. It’s possible that they don’t know how to sell anything else. Gardner is a walking, talking paywall, minus a working URL; even if you can find him, you can only access the relevant content if you have a premium subscription.

Gardner hasn’t held a “town hall” event in two years; prior to his last town hall event, Gardner went more than a year between public meetings. His staff has largely been unable to convince media outlets that he is making a good-faith effort to meet with his own constituents (with one notable exception). It doesn’t help that Gardner has otherwise taken to ignoring local reporters altogether.

It’s been clear for some time now that Gardner isn’t very good at his job. As we wrote in July 2017, the Gardner mystique died before he was halfway through his term. Gardner’s polling numbers would have to improve just to be considered bad, and things are about to get worse.

This sort of political bumbling is still hard to grasp considering Gardner’s once-rapid rise in Republican politics. With such a difficult re-election campaign on the horizon, you’d think Gardner and his campaign would be better than they appear.

On the other hand, you don’t become the most endangered incumbent Republican Senator in the country by accident.

Damn “Faithless Electors” Screwing Everything Up!

Ex-Secretary of State Wayne Williams (R).

As the Colorado Sun’s Jesse Paul reports, a federal court ruling today could result in historic changes to the role of presidential electors–a change giving them essentially the power to disregard the will of the electorate in choosing who to cast their Electoral College vote for:

Colorado’s presidential electors do not have to vote for the candidate who wins the state’s popular vote, the powerful 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled Tuesday evening, a decision that could have major ramifications for future elections.

A three-judge panel on the federal appellate court ruled 2-1 against the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office in a case dating back to the 2016 presidential election, when three of the state’s nine presidential electors — the state’s Electoral College voice — tried to vote for candidates other than Democrat Hillary Clinton, who won handily in the state.

Readers will recall that former GOP Secretary of State Wayne Williams was extremely upset about the prospect of Colorado electors making their own choice, and threatened them with every available retaliation including criminal prosecution. Williams wasn’t nearly as perturbed by rampant petition fraud that went unchecked through his office in two consecutive elections, and certainly didn’t exercise the same integrity over his office’s discretionary spending account–but those nefarious “faithless electors” seemed to put at risk everything Williams got into county clerking and then Secretary of Stating to uphold.

Or is it the Electoral College putting everything at risk? That’s the question at the heart of today’s ruling, which seeks to reconcile the enormous power of the Electoral College (and the attendant responsibility) with the constitutional rights of individual electors. It’s a system that was created as a buffer between the “unchecked” will of the majority and the rights of smaller states, historically in the context of preserving the rights of slave states. So if the courts rule that individual electors can do whatever they want because they are free Americans who can do whatever they want, how is that any less objectively fair than protecting slavery, which was the original purpose of the Electoral College?

If your answer to all of this is that it’s time to get rid of the Electoral College–or at least reduce its ability to put someone in office against the will of a national majority–you’re getting closer to identifying the real problem. Though you won’t find many Colorado Republicans who will agree, since they’re in the middle of a so-far successful campaign to repeal the National Popular Vote Compact legislation Colorado signed into law this year. That compact is still years if ever from passage in enough states to take effect, but as the Sun continues, today’s ruling could scramble that question as well:

[Secretary of State Jena] Griswold said that since the 10th Circuit’s ruling says that Colorado law cannot compel an elector to vote one way or the other, the national popular vote compact’s mandates could be ignored under the decision. She reiterated, however, that she’s optimistic a remedy can be found before that situation would ever arise and her office is still reviewing the long, complex ruling to understand its impact.

One such remedy, and if today’s ruling stands we’ll be talking more about it, is to abolish the Electoral College.

Douglas County GOP Uses Ten Commandments As Weapon Against Dems

(“You shall make no idols.” Love ya, irony! — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Groups on the religious right in Colorado have long pushed Republicans to embrace the Ten Commandments–and insert them in public life.

The issue used to pop up in candidate questionnaires, like this one in 2010 from the Christian Family Alliance of Colorado, which asked candidates if they support the “public posting of the 10 Commandments.”

And so you had candidates like Cory Gardner in 2010, when he first ran for Congress and was facing a tough primary race, saying, yes, Gardner was on board with posting the Commandments in public buildings.

Now, the Douglas County Republican Party is trotting out the Ten Commandments as part of its campaign against Democrats.

The group shared a Washington Times opinion piece arguing that socialist Democrats want government to “confiscate ever more income and power.”

In contrast, “[w]hen we look at each of the Ten Commandments, we see that they’re directly at odds with socialism,” states the post.

“With a couple dozen Democratic presidential hopefuls vying to see who’s pinker,” states the opinion article posted by the Douglas County GOP on its Facebook page Aug. 13, “perhaps its time to contrast socialism with something more helpful and permanent: The Ten Commandments. “Socialism teaches that wealth should be held in common ownership, controlled by the state. Hence, the Democrats’ constant push to have government confiscate ever more income and power. “By contrast, the Bible teaches that God owns all things and that we’re merely stewards of His creation. When we look at the Ten Commandments, we see that they’re directly at odds with socialism.”

The piece goes on to run through each of the Ten Commandments and explain why Socialism (wink, Democrats) runs counter to each of them.

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Get More Smarter on Wednesday (August 21)


After a slow start to the week, things are heating up quickly in Political Land. 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/visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show or The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us Facebook and Twitter.

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

President Trump had another bad day on Tuesday. As Dan Balz writes for the Washington Post:

He poked another U.S. ally in the eye, questioned the loyalty of American Jews, backpedaled on gun legislation and undercut the denials of his advisers on the economy. It was just another normal day in the Trump administration.

Take this quartet case collectively and it portrays an administration and White House in chaos, lacking in systematic policymaking. It portrays a president who changes his mind whenever it suits him, whose statements change with the moment, and who uses words carelessly and sometimes destructively. It forms a pattern of dissembling, of deliberate or unknowing falsehoods as well as efforts to divide already divided Americans from one another.

Trump is spending part of his day today slinging barbs at Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, whom he says said “nasty” things about his dumbass idea to try to buy Greenland. As Chris Cillizza writes for CNN, this Greenland nonsense is the perfect metaphor for Trump’s Presidency.

Trump is also further inflaming his comments about Jewish voters, as USA Today explains:

Speaking to press on Wednesday, Donald Trump reiterated his earlier comments on Israel, saying “In my opinion, if you vote for a Democrat you’re being very disloyal to Jewish people and you’re being very disloyal to Israel.”

“I have been responsible for a lot of great things for Israel,” Trump said.

This is the second time Trump has expressed this sentiment, which prompted backlash on Tuesday from Jewish Americans. Trump, though, said his assertions are not anti-Semitic.

The Chair of the Colorado Democratic Party, Morgan Carroll, had harsh words for Trump on Tuesday.

 

Cardboard Cory is getting a lot of love around the state during the August recess. The same can not be said of the real guy, Sen. Cory Gardner. Here’s more on the “Since You’ve Been Gone” tour from the Ft. Collins Coloradoan and the Greeley Tribune.

Gardner, meanwhile, continues to avoid public events in Colorado. At a posh fundraiser in the Denver area earlier this week (hosted by former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley) Gardner spoke to reporters and it did not go very well.

 

► You can mark this down in the category of “Completely Unsurprising Political News.” As 9News reports:

The group trying to recall Democratic Governor Jared Polis could choose not to turn in the signatures they’ve gathered. And that might be a smart strategy.

The poorly-funded effort to recall Polis is declining whether to say if organizers are even approaching the 631,266 signatures needed as they approach a September 6th deadline.

No petition signature-gathering effort in Colorado history has needed so many signatures. The amount represents 25% of the votes cast in the last election….

…[Dismiss Polis spokeswoman Karen Kataline] confirmed that recall organizers will not submit the gathered signatures to the Secretary of State for verification if they believe they will fall short of the required 631,266 valid signatures.

Of course the recall Polis groups aren’t going to get enough signatures. But that was never really the point. Getting paid was the point.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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CDP Chair Rips Trump Over Jewish “Disloyalty” Crack


CNN reports, and it deserves a mention in this space:

Trump was speaking to the press in the Oval Office about two Democratic congresswomen barred from entering Israel over their involvement in the movement to end international support for the country because of its policies toward Palestinians.

“Five years ago, the concept of even talking about this — even three years ago — of cutting off aid to Israel because of two people that hate Israel and hate Jewish people — I can’t believe we’re even having this conversation,” Trump added. “Where has the Democratic Party gone? Where have they gone where they’re defending these two people over the State of Israel?”

He added, “I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat — it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”

The suggestion that any Jewish person who votes for a Democratic candidate is “disloyal,” though exactly to whom they would be disloyal wasn’t elaborated on by President Donald Trump, understandably did not sit well with Morgan Carroll, the chair of the Colorado Democratic Party who happens to be of Jewish descent:

“As a Jewish woman, I cannot begin to express the level of anger and disgust I have over President Trump’s disturbingly ignorant remarks. Considering that Trump himself is not a Jewish man, it is frankly insulting that he would presume to tell Jewish Americans how we should vote, and to basically call us stupid or ‘disloyal’ if we don’t support his party. It boggles the mind that Ken Buck, Cory Gardner, and the Colorado Republican Party continue to go to bat for this man.” [Pols emphasis]

Being accused of “disloyalty” is a very old anti-Semitic trope, one of the oldest in fact–though it’s entirely possible that Trump was accusing Democratic Jewish voters of disloyalty to Israel, which would turn the rhetorical device at least partway on its head. That would make this a case of Trump backhandedly trying to “support” Israel by trafficking in offensive stereotypes about Jewish people, which he has happily done before. But above all, a very large percentage of American Jews vote Democratic–and a few individual critics of Israel within the Democratic Party’s big tent won’t change that fundamental:

American Jews tend to favor Democrat candidates, with 71% of Jewish voters choosing Democrat candidates and only 25% choosing Republicans since 1968. [Pols emphasis]

At the end of the day, it’s not necessary to extract rhyme or reason from this latest offensive pronouncement, coming from a President who offends faster than the news cycle can keep up most days.

It’s enough to recognize that any way you look at it this is one of the worst yet.

And it should give even Trump’s most loyal Jewish supporters pause.

Wednesday Open Thread


“To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful.”

–Edward R. Murrow

Emerson: Sanders, Biden, Warren Battle, Hick Crushes Cory


The Denver Post’s Nic Garcia reports on a new poll from Emerson College showing a tight three-way race for Colorado’s Democratic presidential nod:

Among the Democratic candidates, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who won Colorado’s 2016 caucus, leads with 26% support, according to the Emerson College poll released Tuesday. Former Vice President Joe Biden comes in a very close second with 25%, and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is third with 20%. The margin of error is 4.8%.

Colorado’s own U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet — who has suggested Sanders and his more progressive ideas couldn’t win in Colorado — received just 1% support in the poll.

Comparing these in-state numbers to a nationwide April poll also conducted by Emerson, we see that Joe Biden’s support has remained static at 24-25% while frontrunner Bernie Sanders has sagged three points. The bulk of the momentum between these polls appears to be solid growth of support for Elizabeth Warren, who shot up from 7% nationally in April to third place behind Biden and Sanders with 20% today in Colorado.

This new survey also corroborates a related data point in Colorado’s U.S. Senate race:

The survey also found former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper leading U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, the Yuma Republican up for re-election, 53-40 in a hypothetical match. Hickenlooper, who dropped his bid for president last week, has yet to announce whether he’ll mount a Senate bid.

It’s interesting to us, but not unexpected, that in a survey showing such strength for two progressive candidates, Sanders and Warren, also shows former Gov. John Hickenlooper with a powerful advantage over incumbent GOP Sen. Cory Gardner. Hickenlooper’s ill-fated presidential campaign was heavily focused on attacking Sanders and “socialism,” after all, and this poll shows Sen. Michael Bennet’s presidential campaign with little traction even here in his home state. This could be an indicator that Colorado Democrats are more lucid of the different dynamics governing the national versus our local political landscape than they’re given credit for.

One thing’s for sure: as a Super Tuesday state, we won’t be hurting for polls to show the trends as they firm up.

Greg Lopez Announces Campaign…for 2022


Greg Lopez

Some day there will be an entire generation of Coloradans who don’t remember a time when Greg Lopez was not a candidate for statewide office.

The former Mayor of Parker ran for U.S. Senate in 2016 (he dropped out of the race before he could fail to make the Primary ballot) and sought the GOP nomination for Governor in 2018 to no avail. Lopez can’t run for Senate in 2020 without mounting a Primary challenge against incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma), so he has set his course for 2022 instead.

On Tuesday, Lopez announced via something called “The Richard Randall Show” that he will be a Republican candidate for Governor in three years:

Greg Lopez joins me today to make his announcement about his run for Colorado Governor in 2022. He just narrowly lost the 2018 primaries, and now with our current Governor just making us more and more like California in the Mountains it is time for Greg Lopez.

The Bronze Medal

You could quibble with Randall’s definition of “narrowly lost,” as you can see from the graphic at right (you could also quibble with the phrase “California in the Mountains,” but we can’t even begin to help you with that one). Lopez was never a serious threat to actually win the GOP nomination in 2018, though he was one of two Republican candidates with a criminal record, and the first statewide candidate in memory to have both asked and answered the question, “When did you stop beating your wife?

Lopez managed to get his name on the ballot for the Republican Primary in 2018 largely because better-known and better-funded campaigns promoted him as a good foil to frontrunner Walker Stapleton. Perhaps Lopez can do even better in 2022 with such a ginormous head start on the rest of the field. If nothing else, it should give him time to make a new campaign video instead of recycling the same one he used in 2018.

Cory Gardner Fears (In Order): Dudley Brown, Reporters, Voters


Cory Gardner and Dudley Brown of RMGO.

Yesterday, Sen. Cory Gardner appeared at a fundraiser featuring former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, after which has was corralled by FOX 31’s Joe St. George for an interview on a variety of topics. Sen. Gardner has a notorious reputation for giving reporters pablum-laden nonanswers to just about every controversial question put to him on any issue–enough to where plenty of reporters have simply given up on trying to get straight answers from Gardner, which for Gardner is a significant victory that insulates him from blowback he should be regularly receiving as the leading Republican in a state rejecting the GOP en masse at the polls in the era of Donald Trump.
Yesterday, though, Joe St. George commendably chose not to take Gardner’s evasive word salad for an answer. Pressing Gardner on camera about support for H.R.8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 back at the fore of debate following recent mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, St. George captured Gardner at his worst: trashing a popular law that has been on the books in Colorado for six years.

ST. GEORGE: Guns: there’s a new commercial airing on Denver TV today urging you to pass background check legislation. Traditionally you have been opposed to such legislation. Has the shootings in El Paso, Dayton, has President Trump’s words about meaningful background checks, has it changed your mind at all?

GARDNER: This is horrible what’s happening in this country. We can’t accept a status quo where people are committing these kinds of atrocities and we have to stop and work hard to prevent them. And I’m going to continue to work on my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to do that. But what I’m not going to do…

ST. GEORGE: But what are you where where do you stand on HR8…

GARDNER: What I’m not going to do is make sure that we partisanize this issue and play politics with it. That’s not what the people of this state or this country expect or will accept. And so I’m going to work with anyone who’s interested to protect the rights of people in our community: their constitutional rights, their rights from harm. Whether it’s legislation to protect our schools, legislation that will be introducing in September to provide additional resources to kids to prevent bullying and to detect those who could commit harm to themselves or others. We’re going to continue that work together, but I’m not going to hurt rights in order to protect rights. [Pols emphasis]

ST. GEORGE: Where do you scan an HR8? Have you made up your mind? Why haven’t you?

GARDNER: Well I’m sure there will be hearings in the Senate and we’ll have a conversation about this. What’s important is that we do what’s right by this country, what’s right for the people to protect our communities, to protect our constitutional rights and that’s what I’ll continue to do.

The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 would require most private sales of guns to be approved via a background check in the same manner that gun sales by licensed dealers are subject to background checks. The law is functionally equivalent to Colorado’s own universal background check law passed in 2013, which has prevented the sale of thousands of weapons to prohibited would-be purchasers. It’s clear from Gardner’s answers under pressure from St. George that he does not consider universal background checks to be constitutional, and that the constitutional right to bear arms supersedes the community’s right to be protected “from harm.”

Given the overwhelming public support for universal background checks, both here in Colorado and nationally polling over 90%, Gardner’s position is extreme by any rational measurement. In fact the only crowd in which you’ll still find serious opposition to universal background checks is the fringe gun lobby in Colorado, whose ideological driving force is Dudley Brown of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. As our readers know, Brown not only considers background checks on private gun sales to be unconstitutional, Brown thinks the entire NICS background check system utilized for all other gun purchases is unconstitutional too. After President Trump came out in support of tightening background checks soon after the recent spate of mass shootings, Brown and the “no-compromise” gun lobby set to work undermining him, and in recent days Trump’s short attention span seems to have lighted elsewhere.

What this all leads to is the realization that Cory Gardner, who has benefited tremendously from the support of RMGO and literal millions from the National Rifle Association over his career, remains beholden to the hardcore fringe of the gun debate as a U.S. Senator. A U.S. Senator representing a state that broke with the gun lobby for good after repeated mass shootings six years ago and hasn’t looked back. A state that is now a model for the background check legislation under serious bipartisan consideration.

If Gardner breaks with RMGO, he could lose a primary. But staying this course appears no less politically fatal.

NOPE: Gardner Is Not Doing Public Town Hall Events


UPDATE: Kudos to Joe St. George of Fox 31 News, who specifically asked Gardner about why he is not informing the public about his whereabouts.

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Grumpy Cat is dead, but it can still fact check this claim.

Former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley was in Colorado on Monday to headline a fundraiser for Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma), who faces a difficult re-election bid in 2020.

Political reporter Shaun Boyd of CBS4 Denver has more on Gardner’s fundraiser, including a nice little mention of a Gardner talking point that has absolutely no basis in reality whatsoever. Boyd has always gone out of her way to be helpful to Gardner, as she does here with a mindless “he said/she said” paragraph at the end of the story:

The Colorado Democratic Party released a statement accusing Gardner of hiding from voters because the event was invitation only. Gardner’s campaign noted he’s held three town halls open to the public in the last couple of weeks. [Pols emphasis]

Fact Check: NOPE!

Gardner hasn’t held a public “town hall” event in more than 600 days, which is damn near two entire yearsThis is about the easiest fact check you can get, quite frankly, and it’s embarrassing for a local reporter to just repeat the statement without question. It’s like looking out the window to confirm whether or not it’s raining outside. If you doubt us, go ahead and do a quick Google search for public town hall announcements from Gardner. No, really…we’ll wait.

The only recent advance notice of any public event featuring Gardner was in June, when the Morgan County Republican Central Committee hosted Gardner for a “legislative update” at a small venue in Fort Morgan, Colorado. This was most certainly not a “town hall” event, and it clearly was not meant to be advertised to anyone outside of the Fort Morgan area.

Unless your definition of a “public town hall” is an event that nobody knows about and nobody attends, then this line from Gardner’s campaign is complete nonsense and should not have been included in the CBS4 Denver story. Do better, Shaun Boyd.

Gardner Continues to Brag about a Bipartisanship Rating that Ignores His Actual Votes

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

During a recent stop in a Denver suburb, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) first bragged about getting a high bipartisanship ranking, and then he denounced the practice of simply sponsoring bills that have little or no hope of passage.

That’s notable because his high bipartisanship ranking is based on co-sponsoring legislation that had little or no hope of passage.

Confronted by 9News’ Kyle Clark prior to a little-publicized meeting in Wheat Ridge Aug. 8. (at 2 min 30 sec here), Gardner touted his high bipartisanship ranking, telling Clark:

Gardner: “I’m going to continue to do what’s right by the people of Colorado. And I will continue to make my voice heard. And I’m going to try to do it by not playing politics but by bringing people together. That’s what I promised the people of Colorado to do. And that’s what I continue to do. “And that’s why I’m the fifth most bipartisan member of the United States Senate, according to the Lugar Institute. That’s why I’m going to continue to work with my colleagues to address real problems.”

Lugar’s “Bipartisan Index” totally relies on whether a lawmaker sponsors or cosponsors legislation with members of the opposite party. Nothing else is evaluated by Lugar. Not Gardner’s actual votes. Not his loyal support for hyper-partisan Republican legislative tactics, nor his behavior as a leader of the national Republican Party.

In fact, only 23 out of over 175 bipartisan bills, sponsored or cosponsored by Gardner, even made it out of committee last session, when Gardner scored 5th place in Lugar’s bipartisan ranking.

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Reversal: Neville Now “Can’t Say” that He Talked Trump Out of Backing Red Flag

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock)

Republican State House leader Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock) is walking back his claim that he went to the White House last year after the Parkland massacre and convinced Trump not to support red-flag legislation, which would allow guns to be confiscated by people deemed dangerous by a judge.

“I can’t say that I’m the guy that talked [Trump] out of it or anything, and I don’t even know if he’s still talked out of it,” Neville told KNUS host Randy Corporon Saturday.

That contradicts Neville’s comment on KNUS Aug. 9, in which he took credit for talking Trump out of supporting a red flag bill after Parkland.

“Just about eighteen months ago, I went and visited the president and actually talked him out of [supporting a red flag bill],” Neville told KNUS hosts Chuck Bonniwell and Julie Hayden.

A call to Neville asking about the discrepancy between the two statements was not immediately returned.

A video of a meeting with Neville and Trump last February (at 26 min here) raises questions about whether Neville talked Trump out of backing the legislation, which would allow guns to be confiscated by people deemed dangerous by a judge.

As you can see in the video, Neville indeed argued against gun-safety laws in Trump’s presence in the White House’s Roosevelt Room, and Trump agreed with him. But you can’t conclude that Neville flipped Trump on the the red flag bill, which was barely mentioned. But you also can’t say Neville did not convince Trump.

It turns out that Neville flew to Washington for second meeting with Trump, about a week later, where Neville says he applied more of his persuasive prowess on Trump,

But after describing his meeting with Trump, Neville says he can’t be sure he convinced the president of his stance on the red-flag bill.

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