Biden’s “Build Back Better” Barnstorm Bucks Boebert’s Blather

President Joe Biden (D).

The Colorado Sun’s Jesse Paul:

President Joe Biden will make a stop in Denver on Monday as he travels to three Western states…

On Monday, Biden will also travel to Boise, Idaho, where he will visit the National Interagency Fire Center; Sacramento, California, to survey wildfire damage; and Long Beach, California, to participate in an event with Gov. Gavin Newsom. Newsom is facing a recall election.

We’ll update with details on President Joe Biden’s first trip to Denver as POTUS once they’re available, just one stop on what looks like a busy itinerary next week. Biden touring the West on presidential business should also be welcome news to Rep. Lauren Boebert, who today expressed some affected concern about President Biden’s wellbeing:

Looks to us like Biden is most certainly “in charge,” and a majority of Colorado voters will be glad to see him next Monday just like they were glad to vote for him last November. Don’t look for Boebert’s firehose of vitriol to slacken in the meantime, but the contrast between Biden being presidential and Colorado’s silliest carnival barker spouting nonsense could not be plainer.

Who The Hell Would Want To Be A GOP SoS Candidate Today?

Rose Pugliese (left) and Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters.

Ernest Luning of the Colorado Springs Gazette’s political blog took note of a Tweet yesterday from Rose Pugliese, the Republican former Mesa County commissioner widely expected to run for Secretary of State against Democratic incumbent Jena Griswold, putting the brakes on that speculation–which as we noted a month ago was getting wobbly:

“Despite speculation that I am ‘running for something,’ ” Pugliese tweeted, “I have decided not to run for office at this time so that I can focus on providing for my two young children.”

Since early this year, Pugliese has been making the rounds at GOP functions while chatter grew that she intended to run against Griswold, the first Democrat elected secretary of state in nearly 60 years.

The announcement leaves Colorado Republicans without even a rumored candidate for the state’s top election office. Since last year, Griswold has been at the center of a partisan firestorm surrounding voting methods and unfounded allegations of widespread election fraud by former President Donald Trump and his supporters.

Rose Pugliese shows her support for Tina Peters in 2018.

Pugliese was a regular feature at Republican Party fundraisers through the summer of 2021, often joined by all-but-announced gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl in what very much looked like a preview of the 2022 ticket. Pugliese had set up a generic fundraising entity “Rose For Colorado” chaired by GOP usual suspect functionary Katie Kennedy, and by all accounts was pretty far down the field toward launching a run for Secretary of State–“running for something,” anyway, like we said back in April.

So what happened? Notwithstanding personal circumstances we’re not able to speak to, the simple truth is that Rose Pugliese was severely compromised by the election data breach in Mesa County for which Pugliese’s longtime friend and political ally Tina Peters is now under criminal investigation. There was no way Pugliese could launch a campaign for the state’s chief elections officer without addressing the scandal in Mesa County, and any answer she gave would have the effect of undermining her campaign–with either the Republican base who think Tina Peters is a hero, or everybody else.

And that brings us to the next question: given the chasm between Republicans who believe without evidence that the 2020 elections were stolen from Donald Trump and the reality the rest of us live in, what Republican in their right mind would want to run for Colorado Secretary of State in 2022? Republican county clerks who dare to challenge the conspiracy theorists in their own party are subjected to threats and harassment. Trump and his minions are constantly on watch for signs of disloyalty. But at the same time, an SoS candidate who embraces the increasingly nonsensical conspiracy theories pushed by Trump’s dead-enders cannot possibly win a statewide election in Colorado.

If Rose Pugliese sized up this politically untenable situation and decided “no thanks,” it’s tough to blame her. The question is, can any Republican win the Secretary of State race in 2022 with Trump looming over their shoulder?

As of today, that seems unlikely.

Boebert Calls Her Own Bluff on 2022

When we wrote in this space on Tuesday about the new proposed Congressional maps in Colorado, we noted that for all of Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert’s tough talk about taking on Democratic Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish) in 2022, the truth was that Boebert wanted nothing to do with this potential matchup.

As we noted at the time:

This is a good time to remind you that Members of Congress DO NOT need to actually live within the boundaries of the district they represent. The chances are probably pretty good that Boebert would just run in CO-03 instead of challenging Neguse in a district with a slight Democratic lean in terms of registered voters.

At roughly the same time on Friday that the Redistricting Commission staff were presenting the new proposed map to the Redistricting Commissioners, Boebert was Tweeting out a completely false accusation against the Commission Staff that was full of false bravado:

 

Less than a week later, Boebert was singing a much different tune. Here’s what she Tweeted out today:

 

Given that the newest proposed redistricting map is NOT final and could still change significantly in the coming weeks, there was no real need for Boebert to call her own bluff so soon. But like most bullies and blowhards, Boebert is more comfortable pretending to be a “fighter” in a district in which she already has a built-in advantage.

If you draw a line in the sand with Boebert, she’ll raise her voice and puff out her chest…and then she’ll just step back and draw a different line.

Two Things to Not Be Doing on 9/11 Anniversary

This Saturday will mark 20 years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks that took the lives of nearly 3,000 Americans. President Biden will be commemorating the anniversary in an appropriate manner, as The Washington Post reported last weekend:

Biden will travel to New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania on Sept. 11 to mark the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at all three sites where they occurred, the White House announced Saturday.

Biden will be accompanied by first lady Jill Biden when he visits Lower Manhattan in New York City; Shanksville, Pa.; and the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., where planes crashed after terrorists hijacked them Sept. 11, 2001, killing nearly 3,000 people.

Last Friday, Biden signed an executive order authorizing the release of classified government documents relating to 9/11 investigations, which is something that he had promised to do while campaigning for the White House in 2020.

Former President George W. Bush, who was in office at the time of the attacks, will be in Shanksville, PA with wife Laura Bush on Saturday. Former President Barack Obama will recognize the 20th anniversary of 9/11 by visiting New York City.

This is a real thing.

As for former President Donald Trump, he has some different plans for Saturday. As CBS News explains:

On the day other ex-presidents visit memorial sites to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the September 2001 terrorist attacks, former President Trump will be providing commentary on a boxing match between former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield and former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort.

Donald Trump Jr. will join his father during the Triller Fight Club evening matchup in Hollywood, Florida. The Trumps’ “unfiltered boxing commentary” and match will be available on Pay-Per-View and FITE, according to a press release.

There are two things you need to understand about what Donald Trump and Don Jr. will be doing on Saturday: 1) They will provide commentary for the entire four-fight telecast on an “alternate” broadcast, which means they aren’t even going to be the primary event voices, and 2) The main event is a gimmick boxing match between a soon-to-be 59-year-old former boxer and a 44-year-old former MMA fighter. The winner of the main event won’t be any closer to earning a professional boxing title than you or your neighbor.

(NOTE: Holyfield is only on the card as a replacement for recently un-retired fighter Oscar De La Hoya, who was hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19. This entire event was supposed to take place in California but was moved to Florida over the weekend after the California State Athletic Commission REFUSED TO SANCTION THE BOUT on account of the fact that Holyfield is an old man who hasn’t boxed since 2011).

Trump has rightly been getting roasted on social media for his 9/11 plans. CNN’s Chris Cillizza called it “the single most Donald Trump thing Donald Trump has ever done”:

When I first heard that Donald Trump — you know, the former President of the United States — was going to provide ringside commentary for a boxing match featuring former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, I figured it was a prank. When I found out that the event was set for September 11 — the 20th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on American soil in history — I was sure it was a prank.

It’s not a prank.

This is the guy that the Republican Party is still devoted to following despite his 2020 re-election loss? Really? REALLY?

Tom Tancredo

Anyway, this isn’t the only completely-inappropriate thing that a Republican is doing on Saturday. As Ernest Luning reports for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman:

Republican Erik Aadland plans to kick off his 2022 campaign for Colorado’s U.S. Senate seat on Saturday at a rally in Lakewood headlined by former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo.

A decorated Army combat veteran who joined the GOP this spring, Aadland is one of four Republicans running for the nomination to take on Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, who is seeking a third term in next year’s election. It’s his first run for office.

Aadland told Colorado Politics that he’s formally launching his campaign on the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks because of the date’s importance. [Pols emphasis]

That’s right! “This guy” is hosting former Congressman Tom Tancredo to kick off his campaign for U.S. Senate in Colorado on the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

The preceding sentence is a string of words that should have never been written or read by anyone, ever. Unfortunately, everything in this entire post is true.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (Sept. 8)

Happy “International Literacy Day.” Please read responsibly. 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. 

 

As Meg Wingerter reports for The Denver Post, COVID-19 hospitalizations in Colorado have reached their highest levels since January and are approaching the peak levels of Spring 2020:

Data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment showed 12,877 people tested positive for COVID-19 in the week ending Sunday.

As of Tuesday afternoon, 957 people were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. The last time more people infected with the virus were receiving hospital care was Jan. 6, when the state was still recovering from the massive winter spike.

Counting only people with confirmed infections, 862 were hospitalized, which is only 26 fewer than on the worst day in April 2020, said Beth Carlton, an associate professor of environmental and occupational health at Colorado School of Public Health. The state’s COVID-19 trackers generally focus on hospitalizations where the person has tested positive, because of volatility in the number of people being evaluated for the virus from day to day.

“The number of people in the hospital is high, and poised to exceed the April 2020 peak,” she said.

Think about this for a moment: Hospitalizations in Colorado could soon surpass levels from the very first month in which COVID-19 was spreading through our state. Hospitalizations over Labor Day Weekend were worse this year than in 2020.

Vax that thang up, people! And lock up the mindless assholes who are trying to prevent other people from getting vaccinated. And stop listening to these people.

Cases of COVID-19 are on the rise everywhere, it seems, with doctors growing more concerned about an uptick in pediatric cases. Some school districts in Texas are moving to mandatory mask requirements after the death of two middle school teachers.

 

The Washington Post reports on a big solar energy announcement from President Biden:

The Biden administration announced a blueprint Wednesday outlining how solar energy could produce nearly half of the nation’s electricity by mid-century, part of its ambitious bid to address climate change.

The new Energy Department analysis shows how the United States can scale up production of solar panels, which now provide 3 percent of the nation’s electricity, to 45 percent over the next three decades.

The move, which would transform the nation’s energy industry and infrastructure, shows how President Biden is determined to reshape the economy and cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in the face of staunch political opposition.

While the administration has not set a specific solar energy target, the president has called for 100 percent of the nation’s electricity to come from clean energy by 2035.

Remember when we had a President who was so anti-renewable energy that he believed wind turbines caused cancer? Elections matter.

 

The Denver Post reports on the 169 new laws that took effect in Colorado on Tuesday.

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

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CO GOP Efforts to Opt Out of Open Primaries Complicated by Proxy Votes, Quorum Requirement, Potential Court Interventions

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

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A prominent attorney and legal advisor to the state Republican Party told conservative talk radio listeners last Saturday that GOP activists could potentially mount a legal challenge to a requirement in state statute that in order for Republicans to opt out of the primaries, 75% of the governing body of the state party must vote in favor.

Christopher Murray, a Republican attorney with the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schrek, appeared on KNUSGeorge Show, to discuss the likelihood of achieving the high bar for opting out, the viability of a legal challenge, and some of the parameters of the opt-out vote.

“Both major political parties have the ability to opt out of Colorado’s primary election,” explained Murray, professing neutrality on the topic. “Now, I’m going to say ‘have the ability.’ It is a hard thing to do, right? So, … I think folks who are for this would probably say, ‘But man, is the deck stacked against us!’ … Seventy-five percent of the total number, total voting members of the state central committee have to vote for an opt out. If they do that, and they do that before October 1 of this year … then the Republican Party at all levels is out of the primary election and chooses its candidates by convention.”   

Murray said that GOP bylaws dictate that a vote be taken by the central committee every two years on whether to opt out of the primaries. The motion failed in both 2017 and 2019, illuminating the “Herculean task” faced by opt out supporters, as Murray characterized it.

RELATED: Republicans Seek to Close Open Primaries, Exclude Unaffiliated Voters

In order to vote in person, many committee members will have to travel long distances to Pueblo for the Sept. 18 meeting.

However, proxy votes will be allowed to accommodate those who are absent, according to Murray, presumably within certain qualifying parameters.

[Three hundred and seventy-five votes are required] either in-person or by proxy, unless — unless — you don’t have 75% of the committee in attendance, right? Because if the vote won’t work, then there’s no reason to have the vote,” said Murray on air. “So far, — and the two times we’ve tried to do it, there have not — and when I say ‘tried to do it,’ I just mean ‘try to have that vote’ — there has not been 75% of the committee in attendance.

Even with proxy votes being allowed, the 75% standard is viewed by some as unreasonably burdensome to meet, and therefore possibly unconstitutional.

Show host George Brauchler, a GOP executive committee member who has opined publicly against opting out of the primaries, then inquired about the possibility of a legal challenge.

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ENOUGH: Lock Up Aggressive Anti-Vaxxer Hooligans

As the Denver Post’s John Aguilar reports, check out what eighteen months of misinformation and bad faith from one side of the aisle while a global pandemic raged has done for American society!

Besides 651,000 dead Americans, of course:

The head of Jefferson County Public Health pulled the agency’s three COVID-19 vaccination vans off the road over Labor Day weekend after nurses and medical staff administering shots to the public were jeered at and harassed by passersby.

JCPH Executive Director Dawn Comstock in an interview late Tuesday said that on Saturday, staff manning a mobile vaccine clinic in Gilpin County, which contracts with Jeffco for health services, were yelled at and threatened by passing motorists.

One driver, she said, ran over and destroyed temporary signs the clinic had put up around its vaccine tent. That same day, someone threw unidentified liquid at a public health nurse who was working a different mobile clinic stationed in front of a Jefferson County restaurant, Comstock said.

“Additional cars drove by screaming obscenities at vaccine staff and throwing garbage at them,” she said. “I will not put the hard-working public health staff in harm’s way.”

If you’re not totally incensed over some of our own neighbors harassing public health workers whose sole purpose in exposing themselves to such terrible behavior is trying to save lives in our community, then all we can say is that is a sad and ominous development for all of us. Americans today have easy access to vaccines literally billions of people across the world are dying for the want of, yet not only are millions of Americans convinced the vaccines (and for that matter, the pandemic) are a hoax, but some of them are driven by the overheated low-information rhetoric to do what we’re reading about today.

If you believe we as a community are better than this, it’s necessary to prove that. In this situation, that means not being intimidated by thugs, prosecuting said thugs, and maybe even some community support for mobile vaccine clinics instead of leaving them to be accosted.

And if you’re a Republican politician who has taken advantage of ignorance about COVID-19 and the vaccine over the last year and a half, you need to understand that this criminal behavior directed at public health workers is your responsibility. The people out there harassing health care workers at vaccine clinics aren’t likely to listen to mainstream media voices. It’s up to conservatives to speak out loudly against this before it gets any worse.

Or not. And that would be simply unforgivable.

What you can do to fight for progress this week (September 7)

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I hope you had a relaxing and safe Labor Day weekend. In addition to celebrating the traditional end of summer, this Labor Day weekend took place against the backdrop of new challenges–the end of expanded pandemic unemployment coverage for workers, the effects of human-caused climate change from fires in the West to devastating floods in the East, and an extreme, unconstitutional abortion ban allowed to take effect in Texas that puts Colorado on the front line of the national struggle for reproductive rights.

Let’s start this week with ways you can make a difference on all these fronts.

Building up American workers. The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act is an historic opportunity strengthen worker’s rights, level the playing field for organizing, hold big business accountable to their human resources, take concrete steps to implement lessons on workplace safety, and above all put more money in the pockets of working Americans. Click here to learn more about the PRO Act and contact your Senators.

Responding to human-caused climate change. Today, 20 national progressive advocacy organizations called on Congress to pass the “Climate Test” with respect to the current reconciliation budget bill by putting the country on a clear path to cutting in half planet-warming pollution by 2030. The climate investments in the Build Back Better Act as it exists today create a path to reduce climate pollution and achieve 100% clean electrical production in a timeframe that could actually make a difference. The alternative is even more devastating environmental consequences like we’ve witnessed this summer. Click here to learn more about this effort.

Defending reproductive rights. SB-8, Texas’ extreme, unconstitutional abortion ban is now law. This affects not just abortion providers but anyone at all who might be accused of helping someone access their constitutional right to reproductive healthcare. Colorado has been a haven for abortion care for years as other states have passed new restrictions, and our role in this critical civil rights battle is set to grow. If you haven’t already, click here to donate directly to select Texas abortion funds to empower those in need.

We’re getting closer to final maps of Colorado’s congressional and legislative districts. Over the weekend, the congressional redistricting commission released a new map that will be the subject of public hearings this week! Click here to get more information, and if you haven’t already click here to get on the list for future redistricting action alerts.

Finally, it’s a pleasure to headline my first weekly action alert as ProgressNow Colorado’s new executive director! ProgressNow Colorado has played such an important role in the political transformation of Colorado into a progressive stronghold and model for effective organizing in the digital era, and I’m excited to see what the next few years hold. Here are a few more great ways to fight for progress for the week of September 7, 2021:


Composting: What? Why? How?

Join The Climate Change Collective and Emcee Nick Campion on Tues Sept 7th to learn more about composting and get inspired to help with climate change and educate your friends and family. You’ll connect with like-minded folks (ice breakers provided!). Then we’ll hear from the founder of local company Wompost and the Executive Director of Recycle Colorado about the basics of composting and how Denver and Colorado is pumping out that black gold. Bring your most pressing composting questions!

When: Tuesday, September 7 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate: Tell Polis and the COGCC to Pause the Permits!

On Aug 30 a coalition of 30 health, environmental, climate and community groups, called on the COGCC to protect Coloradans and pause permitting until new financial assurance rules can be adopted. Instead the COGCC unanimously approved new siting permits. Tell Polis and the COGCC we need to pause all permitting and transfers until oil and gas have put up the funds to clean up after themselves!

When: Wednesday, September 8 at 6:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


Colorado People’s Alliance: We Are Home – Press Event for Citizenship

The House Budget Resolution that passed the House of Representative moves America one step closer to new pathways to citizenship for millions of Dreamers, TPS holders, farm workers and other essential workers. Momentum is on our side and we are moving full steam ahead. Congress is taking historic and long overdue steps to deliver on a visionary budget to modernize key sectors of our economy, including our immigration system. Our message to Washington: Bring solutions to the table and reject obstruction, half-measures or games. We urge Congress to reject controversial anti-immigrant amendments which would be a vote against immigrant communities who have been and will continue to be key to the robust economic recovery of the country.

When: Thursday, September 9 at 11:00am
Where: Colorado State Capitol, Denver

Click here to RSVP.


Conservation Colorado: Annual Legislative Scorecard Event: Denver

Join Conservation Colorado and Protegete for our annual Legislative Scorecard Event! Find out if your representative is an environmental champion and discuss our environmental wins during the 2021 legislative session. Enjoy an evening with a special guest and an environmental champion, Representative Alex Valdez. We will end with a fun trivia game and swag prizes.

When: Thursday, September 9 at 5:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


History Colorado: “Building Denver” Speaker Series: Colorful or Colorblind w/ Dr. Tom Romero

Please join us for a conversation with Dr. Tom Romero, most recently the Interim Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of Denver and the founding and current Director of the Interdisciplinary Research Institute for the Study of (in)Equality (IRISE). A native Denverite and advisory board member of History Colorado’s Lost Highways podcast, Dr. Romero will share with us the complex history of race and racism in “Colorful Colorado” and challenge us to directly confront what racism means for us today while providing ideas for us to move forward in our work to achieve equality and justice.

When: Thursday, September 9 at 7:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Colorado WINS: Step It Up Colorado! Rally at the Capitol

Join us online for a rally to demand a living wage for *all* Colorado employees! It’s time to tell Colorado enough is enough. All workers, no matter what we look like, where we work, or what we believe, deserve a living wage!

When: Friday, September 10 at 12:00pm
Where: Colorado State Capitol, Denver

Click here to RSVP.


Have You Eaten Yet – A Dinner Conversation with CIRC (Muslim Panel Edition)

Have You Eaten Yet? – A Dinner Conversation with CIRC will be the start of an ongoing series where CIRC invites different community leaders to talk about the multiple movements happening alongside our work with immigration here in Colorado. This is a way for CIRC to explore the many complexities that immigration plays out for different communities while uplifting the work happening outside of our membership. Our first episode will be with Muslim community leaders to talk on topics ranging from what’s happening globally, the disconnect between immigrants and refugees communities, and many more!

When: Friday, September 10 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


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

Sincerely,

Sara Loflin, Executive Director

CO Radio Host Recovers from COVID, But Still Won’t Say Whether People Should Get Vaccinated

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

A Colorado talk radio host whose show introduces him as a “newsman, now with an opinion,” is refusing to offer his opinion on whether his conservative listeners should get a COVID vaccination, despite his landing in the hospital himself this year and after contracting COVID.

I called Steffan Tubbs KNUS show Friday to find out why he’s withholding his opinion on vaccinations.

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So, About that New Congressional Redistricting Map…

If you were paying attention to Colorado politics over the weekend, you might have noticed a lot of people running around like they were on fire.

On Friday, Colorado’s Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission released a new proposed map of Colorado’s eight Congressional districts (officially called “First Staff Plan”). As Thy Vo and Sandra Fish report for The Colorado Sun today, there is much wringing of hands and discussions of viewpoints considering some pretty significant new district lines being proposed:

The dozen members of Colorado’s Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission questioned nonpartisan staff Monday about the latest draft map of the state’s U.S. House districts as they prepare to hear from the public about the plan this week.

The map, introduced Friday based on 2020 census data and which has thrown Colorado’s political world into a tizzy, is markedly different from an initial proposal based on 2019 population estimates.

Before we go any further, we should point out that the map introduced on Friday is not necessarily the map that will determine Congressional boundaries for 2022. The Redistricting Commission will hold four public hearings this week for comment on the First Staff Plan (FSP) Map, which can be confirmed with a ‘YES’ vote from 8 of the 12 Commission members. If this map is NOT approved, the nonpartisan redistricting staff can present as many as two additional proposals before the Sept. 28 deadline to finalize redistricting boundaries.

But if the “FSP Map” ends up being close to a final version of what we can expect for the next decade, then there is plenty to talk about. Here’s what that map looks like (CLICK HERE for a bigger version):

 

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The Get More Smarter Podcast: Come Home Tina Peters!

This week on Episode #85 of The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii discuss the whereabouts of Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters; we get ready for a Republican campaign for Governor; we wonder (and not for the first time) what in the hell Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) is trying to say; and we ponder the never-ending list of troubles for Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle)

Catch up on previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at GetMoreSmarter.com.

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

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