Reporters Still Looking for Cory Gardner’s Spine

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) was busy today firing off Tweets about trade agreements and speaking in front of an empty Senate chamber about the four corners of Colorado and…something.

What Gardner was NOT doing today is the same thing has has NOT been doing for months: Commenting in any way, shape or form on the pending impeachment trial against President Trump.

Justin Wingerter of The Denver Post has noted Gardner’s refusal to talk about the most important political subject in the entire country, but he’s not alone in trying to track down the elusive junior Senator from Colorado. As The New York Times reported today:

For Republicans in difficult re-election races — with the possible exception of Ms. Collins, who is her own brand in Maine — the political calculations are complex. Senators Joni Ernst of Iowa, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Martha McSally of Arizona and Mr. Gardner all face tough contests in states that are not nearly as conservative as they used to be…

…The pressure on Mr. Gardner mounted on Monday when the Lincoln Project, a group of Republicans that describes itself as “dedicated to defeating President Trump and Trumpism,” targeted him in a brutal advertisement that described the Colorado senator as “just another Trump servant — weak, frightened, impotent — a small man, terrified of a political bully.”

“Colorado voters want a fair trial in the Senate and honest leadership,” the ad said. “Either do your job, or Colorado will find someone who will.”

In the Capitol on Tuesday, Mr. Gardner was making himself scarce. When Republicans wrapped up a luncheon featuring a discussion of trial procedure, he zipped out a back door and headed for a little-used elevator, avoiding a throng of waiting reporters. 

“I’m sorry, he’s got to get going,” an aide to Mr. Gardner told a reporter who followed him, as the elevator doors opened and the senator slipped inside. Then Mr. Gardner jumped in, begging off any discussion of whether he could be the elusive fourth vote who could upend hopes of a quick acquittal of Mr. Trump. [Pols emphasis]

Gardner’s, um, “spinal problem” is quite a contrast with another prominent member of Colorado’s Congressional delegation. This morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that Rep. Jason Crow (D-Aurora) was among seven Representatives chosen to prosecute the House impeachment case in the upcoming Senate trial.

One man is standing up to fulfill the Congressional duties set forth in his oath of office. The other is hiding from reporters in elevators. If you’re embarrassed by the ridiculous charades of Sen. Cory Gardner in this critical moment in American history…well, you absolutely should be.

Rep. Jason Crow (D-Aurora) at far right of image.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (January 15)

Happy “Korean Alphabet Day.” Please celebrate responsibly, or whatever. It’s time to Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio/visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show or The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► The House of Representatives will vote today to send articles of impeachment to the U.S. Senate. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made the announcement today and introduced the seven House Members who will serve as “impeachment managers.” One of them is Colorado’s own Rep. Jason Crow (D-Aurora).

The Washington Post breaks down how Crow ended up being among Pelosi’s chosen few:

The Democrat from Colorado is in his first term as Congress. Before Congress, he served as an Army Ranger, leading combat units in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was also partner in a law firm in Colorado. According to the Almanac of American Politics, he wasn’t a prosecutor, but he “conducted internal investigations nationwide, responded to emergency events and handled a wide-range of government inquiries.” He also represents the kind of district — a suburban one in a swing state — that Democrats will need to hold onto in November to keep their majorities.

He is the only manager who does not sit on any of the impeachment inquiry committees, but he had a role in swaying Pelosi to authorize the impeachment inquiry. He was one of seven House freshmen with national security backgrounds who co-authored a Washington Post op-ed calling Trump’s actions on Ukraine impeachable, a move that signaled a significant momentum shift within the Democratic caucus. Pelosi announced the impeachment inquiry a day after that published.

Crow’s selection provides a stark contrast to the impeachment involvement of another key Colorado elected official: Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma). As Justin Wingerter writes for The Denver Post, Gardner just keeps ducking questions about President Trump:

Gardner’s office declined again Tuesday to answer questions from The Denver Post about whether he would support a motion to dismiss the two charges against Trump or vote to allow witnesses in a Senate trial that’s expected to begin next week. Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah have said they want to keep open the option of hearing from witnesses after opening arguments.

CBS reported Monday that the White House expects at least four Republicans will vote to call witnesses in the Senate trial. That “possibly” includes Gardner, according to the report, though he has said nothing to indicate that he will. There are 53 Senate Republicans, and a simple majority of 51 votes will be needed to pass trial rules.

Silence has become the norm for Gardner on the topic of impeachment. His office previously declined to say whether witnesses should be called and whether he agrees with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s “total coordination” with the White House.

The New York Times apparently wasn’t able to corner the squirrelly Senator, either:

In the Capitol on Tuesday, Mr. Gardner was making himself scarce. When Republicans wrapped up a luncheon featuring a discussion of trial procedure, he zipped out a back door and headed for a little-used elevator, avoiding a throng of waiting reporters.

“I’m sorry, he’s got to get going,” an aide to Mr. Gardner told a reporter who followed him, as the elevator doors opened and the senator slipped inside. Then Mr. Gardner jumped in, begging off any discussion of whether he could be the elusive fourth vote who could upend hopes of a quick acquittal of Mr. Trump.

 

► Evidence continues to mount against President Trump ahead of a Senate impeachment trial. As Jennifer Rubin writes for The Washington Post:

One can only imagine what evidence we have yet to see during the impeachment proceedings against President Trump. With each new tranche of evidence — including emails regarding the hold on military aid to Ukraine and now documents from Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani’s — the conclusion that Trump abused power and obstructed the investigation becomes incontrovertible…

…Constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe tells me the new evidence is ” jaw-dropping” and “highly incriminating of both Giuliani and Trump.”

 

► Candidates for the Democratic Presidential nomination met for another debate on Tuesday in Des Moines, Iowa — just three weeks ahead of the Iowa caucuses. Who won and who lost the big debate? Here are a few takes from The Washington Post, CNN, Politico, The New York Times, and The Des Moines Register.

 

► Today is the deadline for open enrollment for health care coverage through Connect for Health Colorado.

 

 

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

Happening: A Bipartisan End To The Death Penalty

Lethal injection chamber.

Denver7’s Blair Miller reports:

Colorado lawmakers on Tuesday introduced their much-anticipated bill to repeal the state’s death penalty – the sixth time such a bill has been introduced in recent years.

SB20-100 , if passed as introduced , would take the death penalty off the table as an option for prosecutors when they take a class 1 felony case to trial – but that would only apply to suspected criminals charged by prosecutors after July 1, 2020…

…[T]his year’s measure also has Republican sponsors and cosponsors, which could help push it over the edge in the Senate, where Democrats hold a 19-16 majority but are expected to see one senator go on maternity leave soon and another seat have to be filled in the wake of the retirement of Sen. Lois Court. The measure is almost certain to pass the Democrat-heavy House.

Democrats looking to repeal Colorado’s death penalty have long had a friend in Sen. Kevin Priola, a Catholic whose opposition to the death penalty for years was the lone exception to a wall of Republican support. This year, two additional Republicans, Sens. Jack Tate and Owen Hill, have padded the margin needed to get the bill out of the Senate and on to Gov. Jared Polis’ waiting desk.

Previous attempts to legislative repeal the capital punishment in Colorado have failed for different reasons. In 2013, an historic progressive legislative session encountered fierce Republican backlash which ultimately led to recalls against Democratic Senators, and at least partly because Democrats had achieved so much that year, it was determined politically necessary to hold off. In 2019, the dissent of one Democrat, Sen. Rhonda Fields of Aurora, resulted in a standoff in the upper chamber that ended when sponsors pulled the bill late in the session.

Although repeal of the death penalty for future cases seems assured this year with this new infusion of bipartisan support, a word of respect for Sen. Fields is called for as this long struggle heads for its inevitable conclusion. Two the three men currently on death row in this state are there for the murder of Sen. Fields’ son in 2005. We of course have not been party to every discussion about this legislation, but it’s been suggested that Sen. Fields has been treated insensitively by some of her colleagues over the years for her difference of opinion on the issue–a difference that no one can fault Sen. Fields for having after her own tragic experience.

The decline of capital punishment is nevertheless a global trend, and increasingly the choice of Americans in recent years as the cost, process, and stigma of judicially sanctioned killing has combined to make it basically unworkable. Colorado’s move to end capital punishment is mostly symbolic given the extreme rarity of its application, but it’s also consistent with the growing consensus that it’s not appropriate as a society to kill people.

And it looks like 2020 is the year it’s going to happen.

Jason Crow Among House Impeachment Managers

Rep. Jason Crow (D-Aurora)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced this morning the names of seven Democrats who will help prosecute the House impeachment case in a U.S. Senate trial as soon as next week. Colorado Rep. Jason Crow (D-Aurora) was among the names selected.

As Politico reports:

The seven lawmakers will be tasked with prosecuting the case against President Donald Trump in the Senate’s trial, giving them a high-profile role and a chance to be at least a footnote in history.

The long-awaited announcement comes as the House is scheduled to vote later Wednesday to send the managers and the two impeachment articles over to the Senate — a formality that triggers the start of the trial.

Pelosi’s list reflects her desire for geographic, racial and gender diversity among the impeachment managers, and it draws from the Democratic Caucus’ wide swath of legal and national security-related experience.

Here’s Politico’s rundown of Crow’s selection:

Crow, 40, was a surprise choice, but Pelosi has leaned heavily on the so-called “national security freshmen” in the Democratic Caucus during her deliberations for the impeachment process. [Pols emphasis] Crow, serving in his first term, doesn’t sit on any of the committees charged with investigating Trump. But he is a former Army captain who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he received his law degree at the University of Denver. He was one of seven national security-oriented freshman lawmakers who wrote an op-ed in September calling for an impeachment inquiry after the Ukraine scandal came to light. He serves on the House Armed Services Committee.

This is a very big deal for Crow and for Colorado in general.

Gardner Erases His Opposition to Obamacare from his Campaign Website

(Shaking the Etch-a-Sketch – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R), holding a Sham-Wow.

In a little-noticed change to the “Health Care” section of his new re-election campaign website, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) has removed any mention of his stance in favor repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.

That’s a major shift in campaign tactics for Gardner, who made killing Obamacare a major theme of his political campaigns, first for the U.S. House in 2010 and then for the U.S. Senate in 2014.

“Cory has been a leader in modernizing our health care system, lowering costs, and improving the quality of care for Coloradans,” states the new website, which was changed sometime since November. “He understands any health care plan needs to cover pre-existing conditions and must be a part of any plan he will support.”

Contrast this to Gardner’s stance on health care when he was running against Democrat Mark Udall in 2014, when not only did Gardner’s campaign website call for repealing the “misguided” ACA, but it was the centerpiece of his entire campaign, his reason for entering the race.

“Throughout his time in Congress, Cory has voiced his strong opposition to Obamacare and the premium increases, thousands of pages in new regulations, and burdensome mandates it creates,” states Gardner’s 2014 campaign website, courtesy of the Way Back Machine. “…He supports legislation that repeals this misguided law and replaces it with a solution that allows the purchase of insurance across state lines, bolsters state high-risk pools to provide for those with pre-existing conditions, and enacts badly needed tort reform to reduce medical costs, among other ideas.”

Health care analysts believe Gardner’s campaign is trying to hide or downplay the senator’s longstanding opposition to the ACA, in light of the fact that the popularity of Obamacare was at a low point when Gardner was elected to the Senate, and it’s at a near high point now.

“Gardner is trying to erase his history of voting to repeal the ACA in 2017 and well before,” said Adam Fox, Director of Strategic Engagement for the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative. “He knows that Coloradans will not look favorably on it, and it damages his chances of re-election. He’s just trying to obscure the way he consistently votes, because it’s politically inconvenient for him.”

Gardner’s office did not return a call asking if he no longer wants to kill Obamacare and/or if he plans to remove references to repealing the ACA from his Senate website.

(more…)

Hickenlooper Posts Massive Fundraising Haul


Former Gov. John Hickenlooper

Democrat John Hickenlooper released some jaw-dropping fundraising numbers today in the race for U.S. Senate, with $2.8 million raised in the last three months of 2019.

According to a press release:

Ninety-three percent of contributions the campaign received were $200 or less, and the average grassroots contribution was $26.

This quarterly total sets a record for Senate campaigns in Colorado in the off year. In 2019, Hickenlooper received contributions from each of the state’s 64 counties and $0 from corporate PACs.

Hickenlooper for Colorado heads into the election year with $3.2 million cash on hand.

Hickenlooper’s $2.8 million quarter in Q4 (2019) is easily the best quarterly fundraising period for an off-year election in Colorado — particularly for a non-incumbent candidate. Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) raised $2.4 million in Q3 last year with the power of incumbency and a Republican Senate Majority in his favor.

Hickenlooper’s Q4 bests his initial fundraising haul of $2.1 million in Q3, which itself was more than four times the amount raised by his closest Democratic competitor (Andrew Romanoff).

We’re still waiting to see what Gardner raised in Q4. For comparison’s sake, Arizona Republican Sen. Martha McSally raised more than $4 million in Q4 but still trailed Democratic challenger Mark Kelly, who hauled in an incredible $6.3 million.

Cory Gardner Smokescreens Crucial Impeachment Question


CBS News reported last night, and politicos coast to coast took note:

The White House is preparing for some Republican senators to join Democrats in voting to call witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial, which could get underway in the coming days.

Senior White House officials tell CBS News they increasingly believe that at least four Republicans, and likely more, will vote to call witnesses. In addition to Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah and possibly Cory Gardner of Colorado, [Pols emphasis] the White House also views Rand Paul of Kentucky as a “wild card” and Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee as an “institutionalist” who might vote to call witnesses, as one official put it…

Gardner and Alexander have both said the Senate trial should be fair and impartial. Paul has said the president should be able to call his own witnesses, including the whistleblower whose complaint about Ukraine sparked the impeachment inquiry in the first place.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Cory Gardner.

The possibility that Sen. Cory Gardner might break with the White House and vote to call witnesses in the Senate trial, such as Gardner’s admirer and Donald Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton, would be a noteworthy move for Colorado’s vulnerable incumbent Republican Senator–a change from what has been steadfast support for the President and disdain for the impeachment process up to now.

But as The Hill reports, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is not interested in calling witnesses. And as readers know, Mitch McConnell outranks Cory Gardner:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday knocked talk of calling additional impeachment witnesses, arguing that Democrats want the Senate to go “fishing” during the soon-to-start impeachment trial.

“If the existing case is strong, there’s no need for the judge and the jury to reopen the investigation. If the existing case is weak, House Democrats should not have impeached in the first place,” McConnell said from the Senate floor…

Democrats are planning to force votes on calling four witnesses, including Bolton and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. They need four GOP senators to successfully call a witness.

McConnell, however, argued on Tuesday that demands for additional witnesses “do not show confidence” in the House case. [Pols emphasis]

McConnell’s opposition to witnesses in the Senate trial of President Trump blatantly contradicts his vote in 1999 to call Monica Lewinsky and other witnesses to testify in the trial against former President Bill Clinton–and like all questions about the hypocrisy of Republicans who voted to convict Clinton shamelessly covering for Trump twenty years later, there’s not even really an attempt by Republicans to justify it.

But if McConnell has decided that there will be no witnesses against Trump, and it comes down to a single deciding Republican vote to allow this crucial step in the trial to take place, we’ll wager hard money that deciding vote will not be Cory Gardner. Based on Gardner’s long record of misdirection ahead of important votes, whatever Gardner is saying now to create uncertainty is subterfuge ahead of what he does in almost every such case: toeing the party line.

If Gardner does defect on this specific question, it’s still most likely just a feint to reduce the damage from his near-inevitable vote against conviction. But it would nonetheless show further weakening among Republicans as the day of reckoning approaches, and that would be significant.

In the end, though, the last thing Gardner needs right now is a negative Tweet from the boss.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (January 14)


Happy “Feast of the Ass” day. Please celebrate responsibly, or whatever. It’s time to Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio/visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show or The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► The House of Representatives will vote on Wednesday on the issue of sending articles of impeachment to the U.S. Senate in advance of a Senate trial on President Trump’s misconduct. Senate Majority Leader “Moscow” Mitch McConnell, meanwhile, says he still opposes the idea of calling witnesses in a trial — yeah, read that sentence again — as word leaks that some Republican Senators might support such an idea. From The Hill newspaper:

McConnell on Tuesday knocked talk of calling additional impeachment witnesses, arguing that Democrats want the Senate to go “fishing” during the soon-to-start impeachment trial.

“If the existing case is strong, there’s no need for the judge and the jury to reopen the investigation. If the existing case is weak, House Democrats should not have impeached in the first place,” McConnell said from the Senate floor…

…A small number have suggested they are open to calling witnesses midtrial, but they’re getting public pushback from their conservative colleagues, who warn that if Republicans support calling former national security adviser John Boltonthey also have to support calling witnesses Trump might want such as Hunter Biden or the whistleblower at the center of the House impeachment inquiry.

Democrats are planning to force votes on calling four witnesses, including Bolton and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. They need four GOP senators to successfully call a witness.

CBS News reported late Monday that Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) might be among those Republican Senators who are supportive of calling witnesses in a Senate trial — though the odds are long that Gardner will do anything other than whatever McConnell tells him to do. A recent poll from Quinnipiac University found that 66% of Americans support the idea of witness testimony from former National Security Adviser John Bolton.

Elsewhere, James Hohmann of The Washington Post ponders 10 questions now that the House is poised to send impeachment articles to the Senate.

 

► A Republican group called “The Lincoln Project” absolutely blasted Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) with a new advertisement on Monday. A subsequent “Truth Test” from 9News was equally brutal.

Says 9News anchor/reporter Kyle Clark: “Calling Senator Gardner a weak, impotent, small man? Let’s assume they’re speaking figuratively, and label that opinion.”


► Candidates for the Democratic Presidential nomination (most of them, anyway) will debate once again tonight in Des Moines, Iowa — just three weeks ahead of the Iowa caucuses.

 

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

The Get More Smarter Podcast: Weak, Frightened, and Impotent


The Get More Smarter Podcast drops its 25th episode with a look at a killer new (Republican-led) advertisement against Sen. Cory Gardner; the Trump administration makes Iran foreign policy more problematic for Colorado Republicans; and we preview the first full week of the Colorado legislative session with another discussion featuring House Majority Leader Alec Garnett.

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Hit us up at AngryRants@getmoresmarter.com.

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn

James Carville Knows Something You Don’t*


The Hill reports:

James Carville.

Veteran Democratic strategist James Carville has formally endorsed Sen. Michael Bennet’s (D) long-shot presidential campaign, saying he thinks that the Colorado senator is the best candidate to face President Trump due to what he calls stark differences between the two men.

“The best way to beat Donald Trump is to show you’re not him in any way, shape or form,” Carville said in a statement released by the Bennet campaign Monday…

Carville predicted that Bennet will “surprise people,” specifically predicting the senator will do well in the New Hampshire primary next month.

“I think Sen. Bennet is uniquely suited for New Hampshire,” Carville said. “It’s a historical fact that people like him do well there.”

* Legendary Democratic strategy man James Carville knows a lot of things that other people don’t. As for when or where Carville proves accurate in the long run, of course, nobody who has been in politics as long as he has can claim a 100% perfect prognostication record. While most of the political class in America has written off Sen. Michael Bennet’s resolute but persistently second-tier presidential campaign, Bennet has vowed to stay in the race in hopes of achieving exactly what Carville is forecasting–a surprisingly strong showing in the New Hampshire primary that rockets Bennet back from the nether reaches of the pack.

In that event, James Carville will be here to say he told you so.

Tuesday Open Thread


“There are many sham diamonds in this life which pass for real, and vice versa.”

–William Makepeace Thackeray

What you can do to fight back this week (January 13)


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This week in Washington, the articles of impeachment passed by the House of Representatives will be formally handed over to the U.S. Senate. Senators will swear a constitutional oath to “do impartial justice” in deciding the guilt of President Trump, and the third trial in American history to remove a sitting President from office following impeachment will begin.

What happens after that depends on Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado.

In October of 2016, Sen. Gardner called on Trump to drop out of the presidential race, saying he could not support a candidate to “brags about degrading and assaulting women.” Since Trump’s unexpected victory, Gardner has shamelessly reversed course and become one of Trump’s most steadfast defenders. A majority of Colorado voters support the impeachment and removal of Donald Trump from office, but Gardner refuses to even acknowledge the incontrovertible facts that led to Trump’s impeachment.

After five failed years in office, it’s too late for Cory Gardner to save his political skin. Colorado has rejected Trump at the polls every time they have had the chance to do so, either directly by electing Hillary Clinton in 2016 or by punishing Trump’s party at every level in 2018. All Gardner has the chance to do now is salvage his moral credibility by demanding a fair trial of the allegations against President Trump, and end his political career with more integrity than he has shown up to this moment.

For years, you’ve called and written Sen. Gardner over and over demanding he serve Colorado ahead of Trump. It’s been a frustrating experience as Gardner has time and again refused to honor the wishes of Colorado voters. Gardner needs to hear from you one more time, so it’s crystal clear that his continuing support for Trump will spell the end of Gardner’s U.S. Senate career in November.

Call Sen. Gardner right now at (202) 224-5941 and tell him Colorado demands an impartial trial of the evidence against President Trump, with witnesses and every relevant fact included. This isn’t about Gardner saving his skin anymore; it’s about the judgment of history.


Once that’s done, check out more great ways to make a difference for the week of January 13:

Featured Event: American Resistance: From the Women’s March to the Blue Wave

Join ProgressNow Colorado’s Ian Silverii next Wednesday evening for a conversation with Dana Fisher, author and professor, about her new book American Resistance: From the Women’s March to the Blue Wave. This book traces activists from the streets back to the communities and congressional districts around the country where they live, work, and vote. Using innovative survey data and interviews with key players, Fisher analyzes how Resistance groups have channeled outrage into activism. Beginning with the first Women’s March and following the movement through the 2018 midterms, Fisher demonstrates how the energy and enthusiasm of the Resistance paid off in a wave of Democratic victories.

Where: Tattered Cover Colfax Avenue, 2526 East Colfax Avenue, Denver
When: Wednesday, January 15 at 7:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Puppy Mill Bill Kick-Off Party

We are celebrating the beginning of the Colorado 2020 legislative session by having a kick-off party for our puppy mill bill! We will be introducing legislation to ban the retail sales of puppies and kittens in pet stores, to prohibit sham “rescues” from sourcing their puppies from breeders, and to improve standards in large-scale breeding facilities. Our hardworking and dedicated bill sponsor, State Representative Monica Duran, and devoted animal advocate First Gentleman Marlon Reis will also be attending!

Where: Oasis Brewing Company, LLC, 3257 N Lowell Blvd, Denver
When: Monday, January 13 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


ACLU of Colorado: End the Death Penalty Lobby Day

We need your help ending the death penalty in Colorado in the 2020 legislative session. For months, activists across Colorado have been writing postcards to legislators asking them to end the death penalty. On January 14th, join us for a pivotal day of action as we converge at the Capitol to deliver the postcards and speak with our representatives to advance civil liberties and end the death penalty. Over breakfast, hear from legislators that champion repeal, receive a lobby training and share why you support an end to this broken system. Then, join us at the capitol to engage in the legislative process, meet with your elected officials and hold legislators accountable.

Where: First Baptist Church of Denver, 1373 Grant St, Denver
When: Tuesday, January 14 at 8:30am

Click here to RSVP.


PPVC Legislative Session Kick-Off Happy Hour

Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado is excited to get to work during this 2020 legislative session. Come learn about our legislative priorities and mingle with activists, partners, and elected officials. We’re excited to kick off this session and hope you’ll join us as we work towards expanding access to reproductive health care across our state.

Where: Location upon RSVP
When: Tuesday, January 14 at 5:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


The Denver Press Club: Watch Party: 7th Democratic Debate

Join us at the historic Denver Press Club for the lucky 7th Democratic Presidential Debate – and the last one before the Iowa caucuses!

Where: The Denver Press Club, 1330 Glenarm Pl, Denver
When: Tuesday, January 14 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Denver Vote Common Good Rally

This Vote Common Good Rally is a 90 minute large group event designed to inspire voters in practical ways to make the common good their voting criteria by pursuing faith, hope, & love for a change on election day 2020 and to prevent the re-election of Donald Trump. Together with Together Colorado Action, Our merry band of musicians, poets, speakers, activists, candidates and other common do-gooders invite you to join us.

Where: 1595 N Pearl St, Denver
When: Tuesday, January 14 at 7:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


Fair Elections Act Launch Party

Hear from candidates opting in for The Fair Elections Fund’s matching funds and from activists and elected officials working on the implementation of Denver’s Fair Elections Act and on new legislation locally in Aurora and statewide for Colorado. Celebrate these significant developments with like-minded folks determined to counter the effects of Citizens United and rid our politics of the corrupting influence of big money.

Where: Irish Snug, 1201 E Colfax Ave, Denver
When: Wednesday, January 15 at 6:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


One Colorado: 2020 Legislative Kickoff Happy Hour

The 2020 legislative session is right around the corner and there will be several bills that will impact the lives of LGBTQ Coloradans and their families. We’re hosting a happy hour to give you an opportunity to grab a drink or two, meet pro-equality legislators, AND learn about what we’re expecting in 2020!

Where: Pride and Swagger, 450 E 17th Avenue #110, Denver
When: Thursday, January 16 at 5:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


Womxn’s March Denver 2020

Denver’s Fourth Annual Womxn’s March and Community Exhibition will take place on Saturday, January 18th 2020. This is more than a March; this is a Movement. To better ignite action and create lasting impact, we will forgo a rally this year. Instead, after you march, make your way to the McNichols Building (attached to Civic Center Park) and connect with almost 60 local non-profits and grassroots organizations that are serving the community.

Where: Civic Center Park, Denver
When: Saturday, January 18 at 9:00am

Click here to RSVP.


Thanks as always for everything you do! See you next week.

Trump Keeps Digging on Iran; Colorado GOP Getting Buried


Clockwise from top left: Cory Gardner, Ken Buck, Doug Lamborn, and Scott Tipton.

The House of Representatives voted last week on a resolution to restrict President Trump’s ability to attack Iran without provocation. The vote was split along party lines among Colorado’s delegation, with all four Democrats in approval and all three Republicans voting “NO.”

Colorado’s three Republican Members of Congress — Reps. Scott Tipton (R-Cortez), Ken Buck (R-Greeley), and Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) — may soon be looking for avenues to walk this vote back. As Aaron Blake explains for The Washington Post, President’s Trump’s ever-changing rationale for the killing of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani “has utterly fallen apart”:

Trump has said in recent days that Soleimani was planning to “blow up” the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and also that he was going after “four embassies.”

But Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper revealed on talk shows Sunday that the idea that Soleimani was about to attack four embassies wasn’t based on intelligence. Instead, he said it was simply something Trump and others “believed” to be the case.

Here’s Esper trying to explain Trump’s comments on CNN’s “State of the Union” over the weekend:

“What the president said was, he believed it probably could have been. He didn’t cite intelligence.”

“He believed it probably could have been.”

Trump administration officials are scrambling to understand and explain Trump’s Friday comments. Members of Congress who were briefed last week on the Iran strike said this was the first they had heard about a potential attack on American embassies. If there was such intelligence indicating this type of attack, nobody bothered to alert any of the embassies that would have theoretically been at risk.

Senate Democrats are pushing for a vote on a similar War Powers Resolution as soon as this week. Though Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) hasn’t yet had to cast that vote, he is in a worse spot than his Colorado colleagues after he came out last week in full-throated defense of the killing of Soleimani. Said Gardner:

“I commend the administration for taking decisive action last week in Baghdad against Tehran-backed terrorists planning an imminent attack on American targets. The administration’s action, with regard to Qassem Soleimani, was not only decisive, but necessary and legal under longstanding presidential authority to protect American lives from imminent attack.”

Decisive? Only in that Soleimani is definitely dead, since the threat from Iran is probably stronger now than ever before (according to polling from Quinnipiac University, most Americans polled now think that we are less safe as a result of Soleimani’s death).

Necessary and legal? Was it necessary and legal to kill an Iranian General and bring the United States to the brink of war based on something that “probably could have been” a threat? That’s almost a rhetorical question now.

Gardner has long portrayed himself as something of a foreign policy expert in the U.S. Senate, but now Democratic Senate candidates can tee off on Gardner as uninformed and dangerous when it comes to dealing with foreign threats. Much of what Jennifer Rubin writes about Trump for The Washington Post today could also apply to Gardner:

The ever-shifting explanations for Trump’s conduct are emblematic of how his utter lack of credibility in the national security realm has come back to haunt him. He has gone from smearing the intelligence community, to praising it, to inventing intelligence. The media too often pretend that there is credence to his assertions or that maybe there is some super-secret intelligence that cannot be shared with them.

Trump has a consistent pattern of misleading the public and out-and-out lying. He has ignored uncontroverted intelligence, hyped false allegations and now given what seems like false justification for launching offensive military action without congressional authorization.

Colorado’s Republican Members of Congress bizarrely decided to take Trump’s word on Iran when they came to his defense. Now they’ll need to decide on which Iran story to take seriously from here on out.