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

Like these alerts? Click here to subscribe.

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.

(more…)

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.

Get More Smarter on Friday (Oct. 15)

Have you voted yet? 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 

 

We’re just going to say it: Republican gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl is running the worst gubernatorial campaign in the entire country. Ganahl has officially been in the 2022 race for about a month…and it’s already time to start the campaign death watch.

Ganahl started the week by hosting an ill-advised forum with right-wing lunatic Dennis Prager, in which her campaign embarrassingly misspelled her first name for people interested in calling in with questions. On Wednesday, her campaign announced anemic fundraising numbers for someone who is supposed to be the frontrunner for the GOP nomination. And on Thursday, news broke that Ganahl’s campaign manager is leaving the campaign after only a month on the job, which is not something that you can even attempt to legitimately spin as being okay.

This is basically what Ganahl’s campaign looks like at the moment:

 

 

A defamation lawsuit filed by a former employee of Dominion Voting Services in Denver is basically de-pantsing “The Big Lie.” For more on this story, check out Axios Denver, The Colorado Sun, Colorado Public Radio, and 9News, among others.

 

If you’re interested in running for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in Colorado, you had better hurry up. Pretty much every Republican with a heartbeat is jumping into the field. Charles Ashby of The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel has more on the seventh Republican now running for U.S. Senate in Colorado.

 

The Department of Justice is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in the case of a controversial new abortion law in Texas. From The Associated Press:

The Biden administration said Friday it will turn next to the U.S. Supreme Court in another attempt to halt a Texas law that has banned most abortions since September.

It comes as the Texas clinics are running out of avenues to stop the GOP-engineered law that bans abortions once cardiac activity is detected, which is usually around six weeks. It amounts to the nation’s biggest curb to abortion in nearly 50 years.

The latest defeat for clinics came Thursday night when a federal appeals panel in New Orleans, in a 2-1 decision, allowed the restrictions to remain in place for a third time in the last several weeks alone.

Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said the federal government will now ask the Supreme Court to reverse that decision but did not say how quickly.

 

 Check out these 2021 voter guides from Colorado Newsline and The Denver Post.

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

(more…)

Unbury This Lede: Dominion Defamation Case Kills The “Big Lie”

Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis.

This week, some of the biggest names from ex-President Donald Trump’s failed legal campaign to overturn the results of the 2020 election are defending themselves in Denver District Court from a defamation lawsuit filed by Eric Coomer–a former employee of Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems baselessly accused by a local election conspiracy theorist of plotting with Antifa to somehow alter vote totals.

On the strength of this sole unsupported allegation from far-right activist group FEC United founder Joe Oltmann, Trump and his allies seized on Dominion as the as-yet unknown factor that somehow engineered Trump’s defeat–resulting in death threats against Coomer that forced him into hiding, and a persistent baseless conspiracy theory that motivated a criminal breach of election system security in Mesa County in a fruitless attempt to prove Dominion voting machines were in some way compromised.

The question in this defamation case, however, is much narrower as 9NEWS’ Marshall Zelinger explains:

To win a defamation case, Coomer must prove “actual malice.” However, Coomer does not have to prove The “Big Lie” was a big lie.

“This plaintiff (Coomer) has to prove that it was false that he attended that Antifa meeting and that he made the statement that was attributed to him. He has to prove that that didn’t happen. He doesn’t have to prove that Joe Biden legitimately won the election,” said Holland & Hart First Amendment attorney Jessica Smith. “He doesn’t have to prove that Donald Trump was deprived a valid and fair election. All he has to prove is that he didn’t attend the Antifa meeting and he didn’t make the statements that were attributed to him.”

The Colorado Sun’s Daniel Ducassi reports on the attempt by defendants in this case to pull the plug under Colorado’s novel anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) statute:

Defendants in the defamation case — including Rudy Giuliani, Powell, One American News Network and the Trump campaign itself — jockeyed to persuade Judge Marie Avery Moses to dismiss the lawsuit under Colorado’s anti-SLAPP law, which is meant to protect journalists and members of the public from being targeted by frivolous, retaliatory lawsuits aimed at stifling free speech.

The focus of the case is on claims made by conservative Colorado-based media figure Joe Oltmann that he infiltrated an antifa conference call in which Coomer allegedly stated that he had made sure Trump wouldn’t win the election. Conservative media outlets including One American News Network publicized Oltmann’s claims, which Trump-associated lawyers like Rudy Giuliani and Powell pushed in post-election news conferences to sow doubt about the integrity of the election.

What has been laid out very clearly in these first couple of days of testimony is the central role of FEC United founder Joe Oltmann in originating the entire nationwide conspiracy theory targeting Dominion Voting Systems. As our readers know from recent events in Mesa County, the damage done to Dominion’s reputation, however baseless, is enormous. But here’s the unsatisfying rub for those hoping for drama in the courtroom: Oltmann is making no attempt to prove his core contention that Coomer actually participated in a phone call where he said the things Oltmann alleged. John Frank at Axios:

Oltmann’s attorney argued in court that it didn’t matter if Coomer was on the call, but whether it was made with a reckless disregard for the truth. An attorney for Giuliani claimed the former New York mayor was just repeating what was in the news from Oltmann and spread by conservative Colorado commentator Michelle Malkin.

(more…)

Ganahl Dumps Campaign Manager As Guv Bid Sputters

9NEWS political reporter Marshall Zelinger with a scoop via Twitter this afternoon that Republicans hoping against hope to retake the Colorado governor’s office in 2022 don’t want to hear:

Zelinger asks optimistically, but we suspect he already knows the answer:

Help wanted.

The answer to that question is of course no, there is no realistic circumstance in which a campaign manager is hired with the expectation of only running the campaign for six weeks. Whether it’s the disastrous kickoff of Hiedi Heidi Ganahl’s campaign in mid-September, the used RV tour around largely depopulated areas of the state, complete lack of a coherent campaign message, or the lackluster fundraising numbers posted after months of legally dubious preparation, Democrats don’t have to embellish the story of Ganahl’s failure to launch–it has played out for everyone to see, and it was only a matter of time before somebody took the blame.

The real question is, was Ganahl’s failure to launch the campaign manager’s fault…or the candidate?

If it’s the latter, staff turnover will be a symptom not a cure. Either way, even Ganahl’s fiercest defenders should be troubled. There is no scenario in which this is a good sign.

Anybody Else Want to be a Republican U.S. Senate Candidate?

No, seriously, we’re asking in light of this news from Jesse Paul of The Colorado Sun:

 

What the hell?

Deborah Flora

Deborah Flora is a talk radio host with 710 KNUS in Denver. In terms of name ID among Colorado Republican Senate candidates seeking to eventually lose to incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in 2022, Flora probably fits somewhere between Gino Campana and Joe O’Dea (whoever that is).

From what we can tell, Flora is a former actress and Miss Colorado winner, as well as a seasoned veteran of the “aggrieved Republican mom” team.

The only Coloradan who life might be affected by this announcement is fellow right-wing radio host Dan Caplis. We have been under the assumption that Caplis was only pretending (again) to run for U.S. Senate, and this likely cements that status.

On the other hand, maybe it wouldn’t be that weird to have two talk radio host candidates since Caplis is now on KHOW instead of KNUS. That really could have been awkward otherwise.

Heidi Ganahl’s Colorful Campaign Finance Corporation

(“Heidi’s Dark Money” doesn’t sound as warm and fuzzy — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Still frame from Heidi Ganahl’s podcast “b-roll” video

More than six months prior to announcing her candidacy for Governor, University of Colorado Regent Heidi Ganahl launched a podcast called Heidi’s Colorful Colorado (HCC). In her introductory video, Ganahl says, “In typical Heidi fashion, we’re doing things out of the box!”

Out of the box, indeed. While the project’s purpose is ostensibly “to bring the people of Colorado together,” the podcast is registered as a 501c4 “social welfare” nonprofit, i.e., a dark money group that can raise and spend essentially unlimited money indirectly supporting her campaign without disclosing its donors.

Ganahl poses with supporters at her campaign kickoff event

Ganahl’s podcast nonprofit corporation was registered by Gwen Benevento, an attorney at Maven Law Group, a favored firm of Colorado Republicans.

Benevento, who specializes in political, election, and campaign finance law, also filed the paperwork for Ganahl’s official campaign committee.

Ganahl’s gubernatorial campaign uses a very similar color scheme and logo as the podcast, so the podcast’s early launch gave her campaign a half-year head-start on building crucial name and brand identity.

She gave numerous press interviews and made radio and public appearances promoting the podcast, which Colorado pundits generally agreed was a prelude to running for higher office.

(more…)