Unaffiliated Voters Unite

Some of my friends know that I have been supporting Marina Zimmerman who is running in a primary race against Lauren Boebert. What you may not know is that Lauren Boebert was invited to speak at Pride Fest, but her campaign declined. As soon as Marina was told about Pride Fest, she said she wanted to come. She had a booth, and came home (she was staying with me) after both days elated about what a great day it was. She expected to be somewhat shunned because she is a Republican, but found inclusion everywhere. Not real surprising because inclusion is one of her campaign themes. The Queens of a popular reality show “We’re Here” were filming at the event. They interviewed Marina, and ended with a group hug. They said they were glad to find a Republican who was intelligent and kind. There is more than one way to dump Boebert, who has already said that she will be running in CD3 regardless of where the new district boundries are. Marina lives near Durango, so every map has her in CD3. The Colorado GOP is voting on September 18 to decide if they will have a primary this year or skip it and only decide on candidates through caucuses. If they keep the Primaries, as is expected, unaffiliated voters can vote in the GOP races. There are two that should interest Mesa County voters… Bobbie Gross to replace Tina Peters and Marina Zimmerman to replace Lauren Boebert. I am an unaffiliated voter.

Lauren Boebert: The Sublime And Not So Much

Rep. Lauren Boebert, Andrew Wommack.

The Colorado Springs Gazette’s Debbie Kelly reports from controversial evangelical Christian minister Andrew Wommack’s “Truth & Liberty Conference,” held last weekend at Wommack’s superspreader church campus in Woodland Park, at which Rep. Lauren Boebert waxed spiritual about her unlikely ascension to Congress, and what she sees as a divinely ordained mission to effect supernatural change right here on the Earth plane:

“God wants us to be involved in the affairs of government,” said U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, a Republican from the Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District and a keynote speaker.

“There are some things that are unjust that are taking place that God wants to make right,” she said. “He’s going to use his church, his children to infiltrate these people. … [Pols emphasis] They just don’t know they are being deceived…”

“It’s time we take what we know about the word of God and run with it,” said Boebert, who has become controversial for her outspoken conservative stances. “We don’t need to sit back and ask God, ‘Why is Nancy Pelosi being so mean today?’ We need to take the word of God and the promises he provides for us and go forward.”

To that end,

Boebert said she’s working on presenting articles of impeachment on President Joe Biden and wants to remove Pelosi, a Democrat from California, from her position as U.S. House Speaker, saying they aren’t doing their jobs properly.

None of that is going to happen, of course, though Boebert’s choice of words in describing herself as an “infiltrator” in Congress do make a strange–and by that we mean more than a little unsettling–kind of sense.

Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib (D).

But as the Staten Island Advance’s Paul Liotta reports from another event headlined by Rep. Boebert on September 2 in New York City’s coziest (and most conservative) borough, all that religious talk has an ugly side depending on the audience:

After characterizing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Queens/the Bronx) as a person who is wrong but has a heart filled with “rainbows and unicorns,” she described Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar as “black-hearted, evil women who want to destroy our country” [Pols emphasis] — an opinion some members of the crowd greeted with applause…

Boebert suggested that she, the staffer, and Omar were alone in an elevator together. She didn’t press the emergency break, as a member of the Sept. 2 audience suggested, but said she looked over at Omar to make a disparaging remark.

“Look it there. It’s the ‘jihad squad,’” she said she told her staffer.

As you can see, Rep. Boebert’s spiritual journey is not focused on interfaith dialogue.

Referring to colleagues of color as “black-hearted evil women” puts a stop to…well, any dialogue.

It’s difficult to argue that Lauren Boebert is doing what Jesus would do.

No thanks, Heidi Ganahl: what you can do to fight for progress this week (September 13)

Like these alerts? Click here to subscribe.

Here in Colorado, we’ve set milestones in recent years for women elected to the legislature, new laws to work toward equal pay, and strengthened protections for working women from discrimination and harassment. Let’s not forget, on Colorado’s major climate legislation in 2021, women led the way. It’s a legacy we are proud of, and there’s much more to do.

In Colorado, leadership and progress are about more than checking a box. The progressive values of freedom, fairness, and equal opportunity in Colorado have made our state a leader in elevating the power of women in society ever since Colorado women won voting rights decades before the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment.

The latest threat to our shared progressive values in Colorado is Heidi Ganahl. For years, the far right has been losing elections in this state as Colorado voters rejected bad policy, wedge issues, and most recently the divisive politics of Donald Trump in ever-greater numbers. Heidi Ganahl was part of the problem. As CU Regent, Heidi Ganahl severely damaged the integrity of Colorado’s flagship university with “conservative affirmative action” programs to make higher education safe for right-wing ideologues. Ganahl backed the hiring of John Eastman, a discredited, racist academic who helped incite violence at the U.S. Capitol on the morning of January 6th. [1]

Click here to help hold Heidi Ganahl accountable.

On every single issue that matters most to Colorado families, Heidi Ganahl is on the wrong side. Ganahl opposed landmark legislation passed this year to reduce the cost of health insurance premiums. Ganahl opposed the paid family leave program passed by Colorado voters in 2020, and even opposed ballots measures that could have helped the cashed-starved University of Colorado. Though you can’t tell it from her social media accounts–because she recently deleted all of them, [2] including those on the white supremacist sites Gab and Parler–Ganahl has spent her career empowering political extremists like John Eastman.

At ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest multi-issue progressive advocacy organization, it’s our job to make sure every voter in Colorado sees through Heidi Ganahl’s false image. Issues are what matter when first impressions fade, and on the issues Heidi Ganahl doesn’t pass the test. Help me spread the truth about Heidi Ganahl with your timely donation to ProgressNow Colorado.

Thanks for your help. Here are a few more ways to take action for the week of September 13:


Voces Unidas Latino Leadership Survey

Our Latino leadership survey is the first of its kind in CO. We NEED to hear from our Latina and Latino communities so policy work going forward is informed at every level by them and only them. If you self-ID as Latina or Latino, click here to participate in this short survey.


Colorado Common Cause: 2021 Champions For Democracy

Colorado Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit that has been working to safeguard our voting rights, hold elected officials accountable, and ensure that we all have a voice in our government since 1971. As attacks against democracy continue across the country, it is clear that our work now is as important as it ever was. To celebrate our 50 years of work strengthening democracy and to build momentum for our future we are hosting our annual Champions For Democracy celebration from 5:00pm to 7:30pm on Monday, September 13th 2021 at Attimo Winery in Denver. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year and we are thrilled to be hosting the event in person! The event will bring together our statewide members to recognize community leaders who have advanced pro-democracy work over the last year.

When: Monday, September 13 at 5:00pm
Where: Attimo Wine, 2246 Larimer St., Denver

Click here to RSVP.


History Colorado: Bold Women. Change History. Speaker Series: Linda Alvarado

Kick off Hispanic Heritage Month during an evening with barrier breaker and business leader Linda Alvarado. Overcoming adversity and financial challenges in her youth to become the wildly successful owner and CEO of Alvarado Construction, Linda made history as the first Hispanic (male or female) owner of a major league baseball franchise—our very own Colorado Rockies—which marked the first time that any woman was involved in a bid for ownership of a Major League team. Join us as Linda discusses how she shattered “Concrete Ceilings,” redefined a women’s role in business, and opened doors for future leaders.

When: Wednesday, September 15 at 7:00pm
Where: History Colorado, 1200 Broadway, Denver

Click here to RSVP.


Focus Points Family Resource Center: Linking Arms: A Mini-Conference for Immigrants and Refugees

Join us for an informative and entertaining mini-conference for immigrants and refugees. Breakout sessions will cover topics like English classes, rental rights, information about US workforce expectations, COVID-19 resources, and much more.

When: Friday, September 17 at 9:00am
Where: Focus Points Family Resource Center, 2501 E 48th Ave., Denver

Click here to RSVP.


Volunteer Day with Metro Caring

Volunteer with Women in Sustainability on Friday, September 17 from 12:00pm – 3:00pm! During this time, our group will be responsible for sorting incoming food, packing food boxes, and providing general warehouse support. This is a great way to help support those in need, network with other members of the WIS community and get out of the office for an afternoon to give back.

When: Friday, September 17 at 12:00pm
Where: Metro Caring, 1100 E 18th Ave., Denver

Click here to RSVP.


Save the date: Introduction to Climate Justice with 9to5 Colorado

Join 9to5 Colorado to learn about climate justice and its relationship to 9to5’s core issues of housing and worker justice.

When: Monday, September 20 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


We’ll see you next week with more ways to take action. Thanks again.

Sincerely,

Sara Loflin, Executive Director

Who Is Heidi Ganahl, Republican Candidate for Colorado Governor?

(Scientia est potentia – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Heidi Ganahl

On Friday, Sept. 10, after months of speculation, University of Colorado (CU) Regent Heidi Ganahl filed paperwork to run for Colorado governor in 2022.

She was expected to formally announce her campaign this coming Tuesday and has not yet issued an official statement or returned calls from local media.

“Out of all of the lackluster campaign announcements for GOP candidates, Heidi Ganahl’s takes the cake for being the most bland and botched rollout,” said Colorado Democratic Party spokesperson Nico Delgado. “Her announcement slip-up sends a clear message to Coloradans that she’s not taking this campaign seriously nor is she prepared to be governor. If she can’t even handle a simple campaign launch, how can we expect her to run an entire state?”

As the sole Republican statewide elected official remaining in Colorado following a blue wave in the state that’s spanned multiple election cycles, she’s the immediate frontrunner for the battered Colorado Republican Party.

Here’s a roundup of the Colorado Times Recorder’s news coverage of Ganahl:

(more…)

Kristi Burton Brown Keeps Using That Word

Responding to the announcement last Friday of a sweeping new mandate from the Biden administration requiring millions of American workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, Colorado Republican Party chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown fired back a volley of pointed if not exactly coherent words in opposition–including the one key word that gets thrown around so often in politics, by persons who know what the word means and those who do not–to CBS4’s Rick Sallinger.

The word in question is “unconstitutional.”

“I mean it’s absolutely unconstitutional. Joe Biden does not have the power to tell private business owners what to do with their employees,” she said.

As we discussed last Thursday ahead of the vaccine mandate’s formal announcement, it wasn’t that long ago when even most Republicans were uncontroversially in support of requiring vaccines for a range of childhood diseases. As recently as 2015 both Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman saw no political risk in endorsing mandatory vaccination for school-age children. As for the constitutionality of vaccine mandates?

Colorado GOP chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown.

In a timely in-depth story last week, Politico explains how The U.S. Supreme Court decided that question 115 years ago in the case of Jacobson v. Massachusetts:

The year was 1904, and when [Rev. Henning Jacobson’s] politically charged legal challenge to the $5 fine for failing to get vaccinated made its way to the Supreme Court, the justices had a surprise for Rev. Jacobson. One man’s liberty, they declared in a 7-2 ruling handed down the following February, cannot deprive his neighbors of their own liberty — in this case by allowing the spread of disease. Jacobson, they ruled, must abide by the order of the Cambridge board of health or pay the penalty.

“There are manifold restraints to which every person is necessarily subject for the common good,” read the majority opinion. “On any other basis, organized society could not exist with safety to its members. Society based on the rule that each one is a law unto himself would soon be confronted with disorder and anarchy.”

And that wasn’t the last ruling upholding the constitutionality of vaccine mandates:

In 1922, the Supreme Court further clarified in Zucht vs. King that a school system could refuse admission to a student not meeting vaccination requirements, and that this would not be in violation of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause for singling out a particular class of individuals, the National Constitution Center says on its website Constitution Daily.

Then, in 1944, in Prince vs. Massachusetts, the Supreme Court held that states may require vaccination regardless of a parent’s religious objection, making it clear that religious exemptions offered by states are elective, rather than mandated by the First Amendment, the Constitution Daily explains.

In short, there are words you can use to describe a vaccine mandate. “Unconstitutional” isn’t one. It’s not just factually wrong, it’s tragically ignorant of modern American history.

For generations of Americans in the 20th Century, vaccine mandates to attend school from preschool to university, not to mention as necessary to travel or to work in high-risk professions, were part of everyday life. The eradication of once-devastating epidemics of diseases like polio and smallpox taught a lesson to those generations that they never forgot, but relentless misinformation has chipped away at was once nearly universal consensus in recent years. The partisan politicization of the latter-day anti-vaxxer movement is a phenomenon we have witnessed here in Colorado over the last several years very clearly as local Republicans openly courted anti-vaxxer activists, and that embrace transitioned smoothly into the partisan political resistance to COVID-19 prevention measures.

The consequences of the partisan political backlash against what used to be one of the country’s greatest strengths, the ability to work together to overcome deadly diseases, are far-reaching. But to call what used to be considered our patriotic duty as Americans “unconstitutional” shows how far the reasoning that drives Republican rhetoric has degenerated.

This is the hubris that makes great nations weaker.

Monday Open Thread

“If there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers.”

–Charles Dickens

Colorado Week in Review for September 12, 2021

awesome + uniting

awesome + controversy

awful + uniting

awful + controversy

It’s Playtime In Lauren Boebert’s House!

Salon reports, but most of what you need to know is in the annotated photo above:

In a video reviewed by Salon and apparently recorded on July 25, the 8-year-old son of Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., can be seen singing, dancing and playing with cigarette lighters — while left alone in a room a few feet away from a high-capacity rifle. This would appear to violate a new Colorado state law, under which gun owners are required to store their deadly weapons in a gun safe, with a trigger or cable lock, whenever the owner is aware, or should reasonably be aware, that a “juvenile or a resident who is ineligible to possess a firearm can gain access to the firearm.”

Freshman GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert launched her bid for public office as a then-unknown owner of a gun-themed restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, by traveling 200 miles to Denver to call out Democratic Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke over banning assault weapons. Boebert campaigned with a Glock pistol on her hip everywhere it was legal to openly carry one, which is everywhere in CD-3 but not in Washington, D.C.–giving Boebert another opportunity to go viral with her gun on green-screen display.

In February, Boebert inexplicably appeared in a virtual hearing of the House Natural Resources Committee with an over-the-top number of firearms awkwardly stacked up on shelves behind her, revolting her colleagues but earning lots of adoring pro-gun press:

Everybody remembers Rep. Boebert’s pithy rejoinder to critics about those weapons being “safely stored,” right?

Salon reports that several now-deleted Tiktok videos shot over the course of a month or more this past July and August by Boebert’s eight-year-old in show firearms which can be readily seen in the background, including a long rifle that apparently didn’t move between videos. While the child filming doesn’t pick up the guns in view, he was apparently doing the next best thing for unattended children–playing with lighters!

In one video, Boebert’s son says that Donald Trump “is the real president, not Joe Biden — Joe Biden sucks.” Then he explains, “My mom is Lauren Boebert” before describing a red cigarette lighter as Biden and a green lighter as Trump. In several other videos, Boebert’s son lights and relights the lighters, tossing them on the floor behind him towards the rifle…

The videos are all gone now, but this must have been the most heartwarming child talent performance since Balloon Boy’s 2009 Youtube single “Not Pussified.” Which you can’t watch either, because sometime between 2009 and the present day Balloon Boy realized it was not casting him in the most auspicious light.

In 2021, Colorado passed House Bill 1106 requiring firearms in homes with either minor children or adults legally prohibited from possessing firearms to be safely stored via at minimum a lock on the weapon’s action if not locking them up in a gun safe. That law took effect on July 1, so if these videos were shot when claimed they could be direct evidence of a crime. In addition to plainly unsafe storage of firearms, we have to think child protective services in Garfield County might want to look into eight-year-olds playing with fire unsupervised. You’d hate for that to become an issue that the fire department (or God forbid the Forest Service) has to deal with.

Because Lauren Boebert’s public image is more or less a continuous rolling provocation constantly being piled on with fresh outrages for the express purpose of keeping her critics off-balance, what should be career-ending or at least severely damaging incidents don’t register like they should. But stop and think for a moment about someone who has so fervently pushed gun rights as a defining issue, making a big deal about carrying one with her everywhere she goes, stacking up so many guns to show off in an official hearing that it looked like they were going to fall on her, daring her critics to complain–being this irresponsible with guns and her own children.

It’s nothing short of abominable, and Boebert’s fellow gun owners should be among the most angry.

She’s making fools of them too.

Get More Smarter on Friday (Sept. 10)

It’s going to be really, really hot outside in Colorado…unusually hot, in fact. 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 

*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment. 

 

President Biden on Thursday announced new COVID-19 vaccine requirements for all federal workers and a choice for for companies with more than 100 employees to require either vaccines or weekly testing procedures. As The New York Times reports:

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University, said the policy was necessary, and likened it to military service in a time of war.

“To date, we have relied on a volunteer army,” Dr. Schaffner said. “But particularly with the Delta variant, the enemy has been reinforced, and now a volunteer army is not sufficient. We need to institute a draft.”

Amazon, which will be shipping Covid-19 testing kits at cost, said it was proud to help with the plan.

“We know vaccines, coupled with widespread and convenient testing, serve as powerful tools to help slow the spread of Covid-19 in our communities, keeping the U.S. economy open, and protecting America’s work force,” said Brian Huseman, vice president of public policy for the retailer.

Biden’s vaccination requirement plan comes amid new reports from the CDC that unvaccinated people are 11 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than their vaccinated counterparts. That didn’t stop the Colorado Republican Party from going all “freedumb”:

 

President Biden is telling Republicans complaining about a vaccine requirement to “have at it.

 

Denver7 has more on how the new vaccine mandates might affect Colorado companies.

 

 The movement by Colorado Republicans to opt-out of an open primary in Colorado gained more momentum. As The Colorado Sun reports in its “Unaffiliated” newsletter:

Two of the Colorado GOP’s three officers now support forgoing the party’s 2022 primaries to prevent unaffiliated voters from helping to pick Republicans’ general election candidates.

Secretary Marilyn Harris joined Vice Chair Priscilla Rahn in calling for the Colorado GOP’s executive committee to vote Sept. 18 to cancel the primaries and let candidates go through the caucus and assembly process instead.

“After studying all the facts and considering both sides, it is clear that the best option for Colorado Republicans is to opt out of the corrupt open primary system that dishonest Democrats unfairly administer,” Harris wrote in a letter last week. “If we opt out, we ensure election integrity by stopping crooked Democrats from corrupting our nomination elections.”

This is really not a good idea for the GOP, as many more moderate Republicans have pointed out recently. And as The Sun notes:

Republicans cannot win in Colorado without the support of unaffiliated voters, as we’ve written before, who at the end of July represented 43% of registered voters in the state. Republicans, meanwhile, made up just 26% of registered voters.

The vote that could end Republican participation in an open primary system is scheduled for next Saturday, Sept. 18. Those who seek to get out of the open primary process could get some dubious “discounted” legal advice.

 

 As a CU Regent, Heidi Ganahl is currently the sole statewide elected official for the Republican Party. After months of trying to raise her name ID and pondering different campaign scenarios, Ganahl appears to at last be nearing a formal announcement that she will run for Governor in 2022.

 

 President Biden will visit Denver on Monday as part of his “Build Back Better” tour. Details on Biden’s specific destination are still being finalized.

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

(more…)

Heidi Ganahl to Announce Something Eventually

UPDATE #2:

—–

UPDATE: It’s official, at 3:00PM on Friday afternoon via the Denver Post:

Heidi Ganahl, the only Republican to hold a statewide elected office, filed Friday as a candidate for governor, according to the Secretary of State’s website.

Ganahl is an entrepreneur who founded the pet care service Camp Bow Wow and currently serves as a University of Colorado regent.

She told Colorado Politics she is making an “announcement” Tuesday in Monument, but did not specify what she’d say. She did not answer The Post’s calls Friday afternoon. The filing shows a “Heidi for Governor” candidate committee, which is the finance arm of a campaign.

It’s not just you–this most certainly an unforced error that takes the suspense out of Heidi Ganahl’s announcement Tuesday. Then again, since it’s been obvious that Ganahl was running for something for many months now, her contrived “podcast tour” pre-launch campaign was turning into an ethical dilemma all its own.

Let the word go forth for the Friday news dump: Heidi Ganahl is definitely running for something.

—–

Heidi Ganahl

As we first reported here at Colorado Pols, Republican CU Regent Heidi Ganahl — the sole remaining statewide elected official for the GOP — will announce next week that she will seek the Republican nomination for Governor in 2022.

Probably.

As Joey Bunch and Ernest Luning report for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman:

Ganahl…will end the mystery of her political future at an event next Tuesday in El Paso County.

She’s saving the news until then. The event is being planned in Monument, but the time and location have not yet been disclosed.

Apparently Ganahl’s entire announcement is one big riddle wrapped inside an enigma stuffed inside a gum wrapper:

At various times, observers have speculated that she might run for state treasurer, which has long been a springboard to higher office for Colorado politicians — see Roy Romer, Bill Owens, Gail Schoettler, Cary Kennedy and Walker Stapleton…

…More remotely, Ganahl has been sized up to take on U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet in the Democrat’s re-election bid next year.

“I’m making a big announcement on Tuesday in the town where I grew up, Monument,” Ganahl told Colorado Politics Thursday night. “I love Colorado and our future is too important to risk.”

Ganahl has been prepping for a 2022 campaign of some sort since late 2020, and it’s not for re-election as CU Regent (that seat likely won’t even exist in 2022). She was initially focused on challenging Democratic incumbent Gov. Jared Polis, but earlier this summer her thinking was drifting more toward a potential run for State Treasurer — in no small part because many observers (including some prominent Republicans) worry that Polis could be unbeatable in 2022. We had heard some brief chatter about a potential bid for U.S. Senate against incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet, but that never seemed to be a serious consideration for Ganahl.

Thus Ganahl has zeroed in on Polis, particularly in recent weeks, and Tuesday’s announcement is almost certainly going to be that she is running for Governor. Ganahl won’t be the only Republican candidate seeking the top job in the state — former 2018 gubernatorial hopeful Greg Lopez basically never stopped campaigning for another chance — but she’ll be the frontrunner for the Republican nomination.

Ganahl’s big move toward running for higher office in Colorado has been stage-managed as much as possible by GOP advisers (though it hasn’t been helped by regular rumors of waffling about WHICH office to seek in 2022), including a statewide “podcast tour” that was largely ignored by media outlets. This all changes next week, when Ganahl will have to start answering real questions about issues such as whether or not the 2020 election was fraudulent (get ready to hear a lot more about Ganahl’s connections with Trump insurrection adviser John Eastman) and how she would deal with the COVID-19 pandemic while preserving all of the freedumbs that a right-wing Republican base seems to value more than the health of their own families.

Assuming that Ganahl is actually running for something in 2022, she’ll immediately take the mantle as the best statewide candidate that Republicans can muster this election cycle. And, no, that’s not really a compliment.

Friday Open Thread

“When ambitious desires arise in thy heart, recall the days of extremity thou has passed through.”

–Tokugawa Ieyasu

Trump Attorney to Represent State GOP in Suit Against CO Open Primary Law, Says GOP Activist

(As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. — Promoted by Colorado Pols

Grassroots activist leaders in the Colorado Republican Party have new hope in overcoming legal and financial barriers in their 5-year quest to withdraw from open primaries in Colorado, with an apparent offer of discounted legal representation in challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 108, a state law instituted by voters in 2016 that regulates how parties can choose their nominees for state elected office.

Attorney Chuck Bonniwell, publisher of the Glendale Cherry Creek Chronicle and member of the CO GOP executive committee who has led the effort for opting out of open primaries, announced on Saturday’s KNUS radio show, Wake Up! with Randy Corporon that Corporon, along with controversial constitutional law attorney John Eastman and the Claremont Institute have offered to provide legal representation at an affordable rate in order to challenge the constitutionality of Proposition 108.

Previously, motions among the state central committee proposing such a lawsuit were derailed on consideration of the cost involved, and the limited financial resources available to the state Republican Party to fund the challenge.

“I was at the Adams County Executive Committee meeting on Thursday … and the one thing that everyone agreed to — everyone, even the non-opt out people — is there ought to be a lawsuit brought by the Republican Party to vitiate a clearly unconstitutional law,” Bonniwell explained to Colorado’s Republican National Committeeman and attorney Corporon. “And I know you’ve been working [on] that along with John Eastman and others, and maybe there’s a point of agreement among everybody, which the Republican Party sorely needs. … And the question has always been, ‘Well, it will cost too much money!’ Well, you and John [Eastman] and and the Claremont Institute, you know, you’ve been willing to come up and you’ll support it for just a fraction of the money that they say that will be needed. So, it may be the one point on Sept. 18 we all can come together on and fight against this unconstitutional law.”

Despite a clause in Proposition 108 allowing major political parties to opt out of the primary elections in Colorado, there has been debate as to whether the requirement of 75% approval from a party’s entire ruling body in order to opt out of the primaries is too burdensome, and therefore unconstitutional. Republicans have not managed to meet that threshold in two previous attempts to opt out, and weren’t able to even vote due to an absence of quorum.

 

(more…)

Vaccine Mandate is a Battle Worth Fighting for All of Us

We have finally reached the point in the battle with COVID-19 in which reality takes precedence over politics. As The Associated Press reports:

President Joe Biden on Thursday is announcing sweeping new federal vaccine requirements affecting as many as 100 million Americans in an all-out effort to increase COVID-19 vaccinations and curb the surging delta variant that is killing thousands each week and jeopardizing the nation’s economic recovery.

The expansive rules mandate that all employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly, affecting about 80 million Americans. And the roughly 17 million workers at health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid also will have to be fully vaccinated.

Biden is also signing an executive order to require vaccination for employees of the executive branch and contractors who do business with the federal government — with no option to test out. That covers several million more workers.

Biden was to announce the new requirements in a Thursday afternoon address from the White House as part of a new “action plan” to address the latest rise in coronavirus cases and the stagnating pace of COVID-19 shots that has raised doubts among the public over his handling of the pandemic.

People may still try to oppose the COVID-19 vaccine on the grounds of religious exemption, but as CNN notes:

No major denomination opposes vaccination. [Pols emphasis] Even the Christian Science Church, whose adherents rely largely on prayer rather than medicine, does not impose an official policy. It counsels “respect for public health authorities and conscientious obedience to the laws of the land, including those requiring vaccination.”

And if a person claims their privately held religious beliefs forbid vaccination, that defense is unlikely to hold up in court if challenged, legal experts say. [Pols emphasis]

President Biden

The response from right-wing Republicans to news about vaccine requirements was as predictable as it is dangerous. Vaccine mandates from the federal government come at a time when Republican leaders across the country are spending more time and energy fighting people who are trying to stop COVID-19 than working to stop the spread of the virus. Anti-vax radio hosts are literally dying of COVID-19 on a regular basis.

Not all Republicans are opposing vaccines and mask mandates, however. West Virginia Republican Gov. Jim Justice has been apoplectic about people refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Indeed, Republicans used to be more intellectually honest about the need for vaccinations, as this 9News story about a measles outbreak from 2015 notes:

Sen. Cory Gardner and Rep. Mike Coffman both told 9NEWS that ideally there should be a legal requirement for parents to have their children vaccinated against disease. [Pols emphasis]

The argument that receiving a vaccine should be a “personal choice” ignores the reality of our current situation: Unvaccinated Americans are allowing COVID-19 to mutate and spread at alarming rates. We’re seeing more than 160,000 new COVID-19 cases EVERY DAY in this country. Hospitals across the country are rationing care as emergency rooms are overwhelmed with infected patients. The nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warned today that COVID-19 cases in the United States are ten times more prevalent than they should be at this point in a pandemic response.

Here in Colorado, COVID-19 hospitalizations are poised to surpass their highest levels since the beginning of the pandemic. We know that unvaccinated people are exponentially more likely to be hospitalized over a COVID-19 infection. we know that COVID-19 outbreaks in Colorado schools are also approaching record levels.

Health officials and (many) politicians have spent the last 18 months politely trying to convince people to take appropriate caution to stop the spread of COVID-19. We have access to vaccines that we know are working, but information campaigns haven’t been enough to move the sizable percentage of Americans who flat-out refuse to get vaccinated even if it’s just out of spite and a stubborn refusal to take advice from others. At the same time, polling data indicates that vaccine mandates are actually less divisive than you might think.

We tried to be nice about encouraging vaccinations, but the Delta variant changed the equation. The longer people wait to get vaccinated, the longer the entire country (indeed, the world) will continue to suffer the consequences.

In mandating vaccines, President Biden is taking the inevitable step that responsible leadership requires. The COVID-19 virus doesn’t care about your politics; it’s time to start fighting back without one hand tied behind our backs.