This is All Very Silly

Esteban Hernandez of Denverite sums up the incredibly-wispy rumors of a “poll” in the Democratic race for Governor that nobody seems to have actually seen:

From “Denverite” (6/12/18)

Well, this is awkward. People are citing a recent “poll” on the Democratic gubernatorial candidates, but nobody seems to have pretty critical information about it.

Last week, Democratic gubernatorial candidates Cary Kennedy and Mike Johnston sent out fundraising emails referencing a poll showing Kennedy leading the Democratic field and Johnston making progress. The email includes numbers showing Kennedy in first, with U.S. Rep. Jared Polis in second, Johnston in third and Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne in last place.

The results are exactly the same as those from a brief blog post dated June 6, which under the headline “New Poll Puts Kennedy Ahead in Democratic Race” were published by independent pollster and political analyst Floyd Ciruli…

…For one thing, Ciruli starts his post with a disclaimer in his post by saying that this “new poll” is rumored but not released — that is, not only do we not know the methodology or who was asked, but Ciruli may not either (and he hasn’t returned our calls about it). The numbers are all also multiples of five, and he notes they’re “likely rounded” — in other words, he apparently doesn’t know what the actual numbers are.

Ciruli says in the blog post that it’s the poll “referenced by Governor John Hickenlooper.” What Ciruli is referring to here is what Hickenlooper said to the media on May 30, when he said he was disappointed in Kennedy for running a negative ad since “most polls” he’d seen seemed to show she was going to win.

It’s hard to decide who should feel more embarrassed about all of this, but if forced to make a choice, we’d go with Floyd Ciruli.

The Orange Man and the Rocket Man

Front page of “The Daily Beast,” 6/12/18

President Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore today (well, sort of “today,” since it’s closer to Wednesday in Singapore now). Anyway, the early reviews from this historic summit are rolling in, and they are not good; if “Singapore” were a blockbuster summer movie, it would have a “Rotten Tomatoes” score in the single digits.

Here’s James Hohmann with the Washington Post:

President Trump expressed a bewilderingly high degree of confidence after meeting with Kim Jong Un that the North Korean leader is personally committed to giving up the nuclear weapons that ensure his grip on power.

“I think he might want to do this as much or maybe even more than me,” the president said during a 65-minute news conference on Tuesday, after spending four hours with Kim in Singapore…

…Eager to cement what he’s calling “a very special bond” with Kim, Trump is giving someone the benefit of the doubt who has done little or nothing to earn it.

When a reporter at the news conference asked how he’ll ensure Kim follows through, Trump was dismissive: “Can you ensure anything? Can I ensure you are going to be able to sit down properly when you sit down?”

If the Washington Post isn’t your thing, how about White House TV Fox News:

“This is a slave state with 25 million prisoners and a gulag system hundreds of thousands of people wide,” Ben Shapiro said on “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday. “The president’s praise for the dictator of North Korea was disquieting.”…

…”We didn’t have the do this. The guy’s a tin-pot dictator, and treating him as though he’s an equal world leader seems to me counterproductive,” Shapiro said.

ICYMI, “Fox & Friends” host Abby Huntsman had to apologize after calling the Singapore summit a meeting of “two dictators.”

Now, back to our news. From David Sanger at the New York Times:

On paper, there is nothing President Trump extracted from North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, in their summit meeting that Mr. Kim’s father and grandfather had not already given to past American presidents.

In fact, he got less, at least for now. But as Mr. Trump made clear in a lengthy but vaguely worded reconstruction of their five hours of talks, none of that really matters to him. [Pols emphasis]

Instead, he is betting everything on the “terrific relationship” and “very special bond” that he said he developed with the 34-year-old dictator, and Mr. Trump’s seeming certainty that they now view the future elimination of North Korea’s arsenal of atomic weapons the same way. He swatted away suggestions that the phrase “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” means something different in Pyongyang than it does in Washington.

Trump also blindsided both South Koreans and U.S. military leaders with his statement about ending “war games” and military exercises in the region.

“It sure looks as if President Trump was hoodwinked in Singapore.”

— Nicholas Kristof, New York Times (6/12/18)

Here’s David Axe with The Daily Beast:

Despite Trump telling reporters that his meeting with Kim went “better than anybody could have expected,” only one man truly had any reason to celebrate.

Kim walked away from the brief summit at a Singapore hotel on June 12 with all the legitimacy that a meeting with the world’s most powerful person confers—and without giving up very much in return. In addition, Trump said the U.S. would end war games with South Korea, which the president later described to ABC News as “very, very expensive” and “provocative.”

The New York Times reported the announcement stunned South Korea’s leadership—and left surprised Pentagon officials scrambling.

“Kim achieves a huge goal of his father and grandfather in exchange for… agreeing to acknowledge progress,” Jeffrey Lewis, a nuclear expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, told The Daily Beast. [Pols emphasis]

And here’s Dave Boyer of the Washington Times:

The president sounded at times like the developer who built a real-estate empire, pointing out the opportunities for development in North Korea.

“It’s going to be up to the people what they want,” he said. “As an example, they have great beaches. You see that whenever they’re exploding their cannons into the ocean, right? I said, ‘Boy, look at that place, wouldn’t that make a great condo?’ And I explained it, I said, ‘Instead of doing that, you could have the best hotels in the world right there.’ “ [Pols emphasis]

As they say in the real-estate business: location, location, location.

We’ll let former professional basketball player Dennis Rodman get the last four minutes-worth of words here, because nothing else makes sense:

Caption This Thousand-Word Photo

Here’s a photo anonymously forwarded to us from inside last weekend’s Western Conservative Summit at the Colorado Convention Center. Depicted is the booth set up by the Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives, but there seems to be a small problem:

That is, a lack of “black conservatives.” But fortunately these nice white folks were there to, you know, fill in.

There’s a larger metaphor here for those who care to see it.

Cory Gardner Said a Proposed Abortion Ban Was Just Symbolic, but He Has Yet to Co-Sponsor It Again

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

It’s been almost four years since U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) was running around Colorado saying that federal personhood legislation, which aimed to ban all abortion, even for rape, and which Gardner co-sponsored as a member of the U.S. House, was “simply a statement that I support life.”

Reporters repeatedly objected, reading the text of the anti-abortion bill directly to Gardner, but the words of the bill, and the fact checkers views of it, slid off Gardner, as did all those political advertisements warning everyone about Gardner’s extreme anti-choice views. Gardner said his Democratic opponent was just “trying to distract voters.

If the personhood legislation was indeed the symbol Gardner said it was in 2014, you’d think Colorado’s Republican senator would have co-sponsored the senate version of the bill once he was seated in the senate.

But Gardner’s name doesn’t appear on the Life at Conception Act, the Senate’s personhood legislation, sponsored by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). Eleven other U.S. senators have co-sponsored the bill but not Gardner.

I called Gardner’s office to find out why he’s not on board with the bill, which is pretty much identical to the one he co-sponsored as a Congressman from northern Colorado in 2913. No response.

It doesn’t appear that Gardner’s anti-abortion position has changed since Colorado voters installed him in the senate.

You’d expect him to take action to restrict a women’s right to choose, and he has.

Since he was elected senator in 2014, Gardner has voted seven times to de-fund Planned Parenthood (e.g., Four Obamacare repeal measures, backed by Gardner, contained provisions that would have rescinded funds from the women’s health organization.)

Gardner hasn’t objected to Trump’s orders to gag some federally funded clinics from even talking about the option of abortion, a rule which will cause Planned Parenthood to lose millions of federal dollars.

And before that, Gardner didn’t object to Trump’s order imposing the same rule on U.S. funded clinics internationally.

Gardner continues his anti-abortion fight. So why hasn’t he co-sponsored the personhood bill again? It’s just a statement of his support for life, he said before about the bill, which came to define the 2014 campaign.

Tuesday Open Thread

“Forgive me my nonsense, as I also forgive the nonsense of those that think they talk sense.”

–Robert Frost

What you can do to fight back this week (June 11)

This weekend, a who’s-who of the far right gathered in Denver for the Western Conservative Summit. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, two of the most anti-Colorado members of the Trump administration, headlined an event that seems tailor-made to showcase the very worst in American politics today.

As usual in the era of Trump, the real excitement was outside the event instead of inside. Once again, ordinary Coloradans turned out in force to show the world that the Western Conservative Summit doesn’t speak for Colorado. While speakers inside the convention proudly declared their intention to divide America, hundreds outside sent another message clearly: enough is enough.

From now until November, it’s only going to get more intense. This summer and fall represent the greatest opportunity progressives have had to change the course of this nation since we elected Barack Obama president in 2008. It’s up to all of us to seize this moment, and channel the energy of the resistance to Trump into taking America back at the polls. This weekend was just the beginning.

Action item #1 this week: defend the Affordable Care Act and Coloradans with pre-existing conditions. The Trump administration is refusing to defend patients with pre-existing conditions in a Texas legal case that could have implications of health care across the nation. Join our friends at the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative as they urge Gov. John Hickenlooper and the state’s attorney general to join the defense of the ACA before it’s too late.

Once that’s done, here are more ways to take action for the week of June 11:

NARAL 2018 Scorecard Release Party!

The 2018 Colorado Legislative Session is now over, and so much has happened! The NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado Scorecard will let you see how your legislators did in supporting pro-choice priorities in the legislature, such as defeating anti-choice bills, fighting for the Reproductive Health Rights and Justice Act and defending bodily autonomy by supporting the #MeToo movement.

Where: North Wash Park Neighborhood (Address upon RSVP)
When: Tuesday, June 12 at 5:30pm

Click here to RSVP.

3rd Annual The People’s Party

It’s time for our 3rd annual, The People’s Party! Join us to celebrate our shared humanity! Let’s come together to stand with each other in solidarity and in a fight for our rights and dignity. COPA members have been hard at work resisting attacks while still pushing for our bold vision for Colorado! Join us and help us raise the much needed funds to continue our work. We need your support to continue our resistance but also to move our vision forward for a Colorado that is welcoming to all regardless of their immigration status or background, a Colorado that protects our air and water rather than corporate interests, and an economy that works for all and not just the wealthy few.

Where: Denver City Park Pavilion, 1700 N York St, Denver
When: Tuesday, June 12 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.

Measuring Policing Equity Forum

Across America the issue of equitable policing has been the subject of much debate arising out of deep societal concerns for fairness, transparency and accountability in our justice system. Many important research questions remain regarding the training of police officers and their interactions with community members of color who are over-represented in the justice system.

Where: Denver Park Hill SDA Prayer Ministry, 3385 Albion Street, Denver
When: Tuesday, June 12 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.

Plates for Pride

Four courses, five chefs, supporting 2 amazing local charities. $45 per person, $25 wine pairing. Portion of proceeds benefitting: One Colorado & Gender Identity Center of Colorado.

Where: Old Major, 3316 Tejon St, Denver
When: Wednesday, June 13 at 5:00pm

Click here to RSVP.

One Colorado Pride Kickoff and Sign Making Party

Come join One Colorado and help us get ready for the Denver Pride festival and parade! This will be a great opportunity to hang out, enjoy the June weather, and help us make some great signs and buttons for the Denver Pride Parade on Sunday, June 17th.

Where: Ratio Beerworks, 2920 Larimer St, Denver
When: Wednesday, June 13 at 5:30pm

Click here to RSVP.

Families Belong Together: Denver Stands Against ICE

We have organized a unifying event across Colorado in an effort to increase awareness and discuss tangible ways of helping our immigrant communities. This effort is unique in its partnership with various activist groups, non-profit organizations working within the community, the places of faith taking in those in need of sanctuary, people supporting those impacted, and most importantly, those who have been directly impacted. Together we are vowing to work together and to take a stand against what is happening to immigrants, refugees and asylees in our country.

Where: 3130 North Oakland Street Aurora
When: Thursday, June 14 at 5:00pm

Click here to RSVP.

TEDxMileHigh: Race & Identity

Through stories, we educate, understand, and influence others. The story of race, specifically in the US, and even more specifically in Denver has a deep history. These stories, beginning from indigenous tribes, to slavery, to civil rights, to our world today, have shaped the permeable framework of our human identities. TEDxMileHigh is honored to invite some of Denver’s most compelling voices to share space in telling stories of how we exist and navigate race in the public space.

Where: Mirus Gallery Denver, 1144 Broadway, Denver
When: Thursday, June 14 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.

Zero Tolerance for Family Separation

We are repeating this event to peacefully demonstrate we have Love for our Neighbors and Zero Tolerance for Family Separation. We are also walking to join the marches across the country who are marching this June 14th to demand justice for the children who were picked up at the border and are now missing from their parents.

Where: Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church, 1980 Dahlia St, Denver
When: Thursday, June 14 at 6:30pm

Click here to RSVP.

“Zero Tolerance For Separating Families” Rally And Vigil

We will be gathering to protest the policies of the Trump Administration that separates children from parents at the border, even when seeking asylum. This will be a poster rally and candlelight vigil.

Where: Sister City Plaza, Pueblo
When: Thursday, June 14 at 7:00pm

Click here to RSVP.

Defend Our Democracy Activist Training

The 2018 primary and general elections are quickly approaching. Are you ready to get out the vote, draw attention to the money flowing into our elections, and improve our democracy? Join Colorado Common Cause and partners for a Defend our Democracy Activist Training on Saturday, June 16, 2018 from 9 AM – 1 PM at The Alliance Center in downtown Denver.

Where: Alliance Center, 1536 Wynkoop St., Denver
When: Saturday, June 16 at 9:00am

Click here to RSVP.

White Anti-Racist Allyship: Beyond the Basics

So, you are a white person who considers themselves an ally to black and brown folks. Are you someone who was horrified by the election and has gotten more involved in anti-racist community initiatives and trainings? Are you someone supportive of movements like BLM and criminal justice reform? Are you someone who works or volunteers in a progressive organization? Are you someone looking to deepen your understanding of oppression, privilege, and your role in combating racism as a white ally beyond your initial introduction into this subject? Then this training is for you.

Where: Park Hill UCC, 2600 Leyden St, Denver
When: Saturday, June 16 at 11:00am

Click here to RSVP.

Volunteer with NARAL at Juneteenth

Join NARAL in Historic Five Points in Denver as we celebrate Juneteenth Music Festival. Come table with us and talk about reproductive rights in Colorado.

Where: Juneteenth Music Festival, 605 26th St, Denver
When: Saturday, June 16 at 11:00am

Click here to RSVP.

Denver PrideFest Family Day

Denver PrideFest is the largest celebration of LGBT pride in the Rocky Mountain region. The FREE two-day festival kicks off with family day featuring the Pride 5K, the PrideFest Family Area, Rainbow Alley youth area, plus a full day of entertainment on three stages and more than 200 exhibitors including great food and drink.

Where: Denver’s Civic Center Park, Colfax and Bannock, Denver
When: Saturday, June 16 at 11:00am

Click here to RSVP.

Volunteer with One Colorado at Denver Pride

LGBTQ Pride season is here! Pull on a new One Colorado t-shirt, sign up new supporters of LGBTQ equality, and join in the fun this summer.

Where: Denver’s Civic Center Park, Colfax and Bannock, Denver
When: Saturday, June 16 – Sunday, June 17

Click here to RSVP.

Volunteer with NARAL at Denver PrideFest!

Join NARAL as we celebrate Pride in Denver! Help us table at PrideFest and march with our partners in the parade!

Where: Denver’s Civic Center Park, Colfax and Bannock, Denver
When: Saturday, June 16 – Sunday, June 17

Click here to RSVP.

Join New Era Colorado At Denver PrideFest

Join New Era Colorado at Denver Pridefest to ensure that young people are registered to vote and excited about the upcoming midterms! This weekend at Pride is always full of tutus, laughs, and TONS of fresh voter registrations! In past years, we’ve registered upwards of 800 people during this one single weekend, and we know y’all wanna be part of the huge team that will make it happen! Come join us, and be part of hands-on democracy, all while having fun in the sun and taking in everything that Pride has to offer!

Where: Denver’s Civic Center Park, Colfax and Bannock, Denver
When: Saturday, June 16 – Sunday, June 17

Click here to RSVP.

March with PP at Denver PrideFest 2018

Volunteer with Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado at Denver Pridefest! Our PP table will be stocked with brand new swag and shirts! Rock your pink & show your support for the LGBTQ+ community and reproductive rights.

Where: Denver’s Civic Center Park, Colfax and Bannock, Denver
When: Saturday, June 16 – Sunday, June 17

Click here to RSVP.

March with One Colorado at Denver Pride

Put on your “One Colorado” shirt and march with us at the Denver Pride Parade on Sunday, June 17! We will be meeting at 8:15 AM at Cheesman Park — We’ll have more details closer to the parade. A light breakfast will be provided!

Where: Cheesman Park, Denver
When: Sunday, June 17 at 8:00am

Click here to RSVP.

Join Labor and Pride@Work in the Denver Pride Parade

Join your union siblings as we march to support all LGBTQ workers in their fight for protections on the job and in their communities!

Where: Cheesman Park, Denver
When: Sunday, June 17 at 9:00am

Click here to RSVP.

2018 Denver Pride Rally for Equality

Join One Colorado, state leaders, activists, and community groups from throughout the state right after the Denver Pridefest Parade on the West Steps of the Colorado Capitol Building to rally for LGBTQ equality!

Where: Colorado State Capitol, 200 E Colfax Ave, Denver
When: Sunday, June 17 at 12:00pm

Click here to RSVP.

Thanks as always for everything you do to fight back week after week. We’ll see you at these great events!

Gun Nut Assholes Afoot As Primary Election Nears

FOX 31 reports, with passions running as high as ever over the issue of gun control and the primary elections just a couple of weeks away, the issue’s trademark nastiness was bound to bubble up sooner or later:

A man said he is rattled and his children are frightened after someone put a target practice paper with bullet holes in his backyard one day after he put up a sign for a Democratic gubernatorial candidate in his front yard…

Ryan is a supporter of Mike Johnston, the former state legislator now running for governor of Colorado in 2018. On Friday, he planted a sign for Johnston in his yard.

On Saturday, Ryan said someone put a target practice paper in his backyard with bullet holes in it.

“It was so surreal. I think here in Stapleton, you think you are in a bubble but it brought me back to reality,” said Ryan.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Johnston has made gun safety a major campaign theme, so it’s not a surprise that his name has come to be associated with the issue in the minds of angry supporters of gun rights–and with public opinion turning against the laissez faire interpretation of the Second Amendment that has prevailed in recent years, ardent gun rights supporters, especially in the state of Colorado, are very angry. That makes this incident deplorable, but unsurprising in the least.

On the upside, for every piece of human debris who thinks this kind of intimidation is cool there are a dozen who will be just a little bit more anti-gun after they see it.

First Ballot Return Numbers for June 26 Primary

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office has released the first batch of numbers for returned ballots in the June Primary. These numbers do not include ballots that may have been submitted at 24-hour drop boxes over the weekend.

In total, 37,661 ballots have been submitted, which includes 15,982 Republicans, 14,737 Democrats and 6,942 unaffiliated voters.

If you’re looking for some analysis…sorry. It is wayyyy too soon to try to extrapolate any sort of meaning from these numbers. In the 2016 Primary, 644,723 total ballots were cast, and that number should be significantly higher given that this is the first year Unaffiliated voters are allowed to participate in a partisan primary. In the last decade, the highest turnout for a Primary Election was in 2020 2010, when 774,071 voters cast a ballot — but that was when Colorado’s Primary Election took place in August.

How Colorado Republicans Blocked an Opportunity to Save Lives

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Alec Garnett (D-Denver)

I am respectfully responding to my colleague and friend Senator John Cooke’s recent op-ed regarding the “red flags” legislation introduced this session.  Red flag laws save lives.  When a person is in crisis, loved ones and law enforcement are often the first to see signs that they pose a threat.  The bi-partisan proposal we brought forward this year would have established a process to temporarily remove firearms from individuals who pose a serious threat before they harm themselves or others.

Red flag laws are on the books in eight states and are being proposed in over 25 others. Without laws like these, family members and law enforcement are often helpless to prevent tragedies despite having seen major warnings signs. One tragic example is Douglas County Deputy Sheriff Zackari Parrish III – who we named this year’s legislation in honor of. Deputy Parrish was killed in the line of duty last New Year’s Eve by an individual in the middle of a mental health crisis. The shooter was identified as a significant risk by several law enforcement agencies and by his own mother months before the encounter, but there wasn’t anything law enforcement or his family could do, and on a fateful night, there were tragedies.

Unfortunately, Senate Republicans chose to oppose this commonsense measure that is proven to save lives and increase the safety of our first responders and Coloradans.  The op-ed used misleading and inaccurate opposition talking points, which I felt strongly should not go unanswered and uncorrected.

The Republicans argue that the bill goes too far in setting up an “ex parte” – or emergency hearing — process for issuing an emergency protection order.  But ex parte hearings are not extraordinary; this is the same process domestic violence survivors use to obtain a protection orders.

Sen. Cooke also claims the bill does not provide enough due process.  The fact is, this life saving bill included substantial due process safeguards. The bill provides for a full hearing before a judge within 7 days following the emergency order, places the burden of proof on the family member or law enforcement officer, requires they meet the highest standard of evidence to demonstrate why the order is needed, and allows the individual to request a hearing after an order is issued to reassess whether it is still necessary.  Additionally, challenges against similar laws in Indiana and Connecticut have been dismissed and this bill went beyond those states’ laws in protecting individuals’ due process rights.

Senate Republicans then argue that the bill did not go far enough in addressing mental health.  I would ask them to explain to the people of Colorado how a bill that was supported by Mental Health Colorado and which explicitly allows for individuals to seek the treatment they need does not address mental health.  Researchers who have studied this policy identify it as one of the most effective suicide prevention laws. And yet, opponents who claim to advocate for mental health hide behind the falsehood that this does nothing to support mental health.

The rest of the Republican arguments fare no better and reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of the bill. For example, there are in fact dozens of safeguards in the bill to protect individuals from false and malicious claims, including prosecuting acts of perjury. It is frustrating that the Senate Republicans seem to have so little understanding of the details of the bill, when the reasons they used to justify voting against this life-saving measure are simply incorrect.

On the whole, the op-ed shows the internal conflict many Senate Republicans faced: if they were to vote for a sensible, well-measured bill that had support from unified law enforcement, leading Republicans statewide and House Republicans, they risked crossing the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and its boss, Dudley Brown.

Unfortunately, I could not convince them, even after weeks and weeks of discussions prior to introduction, to support the safety of our first responders and the public by going against the fringe gun groups that hold my Republican colleagues hostage under the threat that they will “primary them from the right.”

Coloradans want leaders who stand for something, not against everything. They want elected officials who will continue fighting for solutions to address the scourge of gun violence and improve access to mental health services to those in crisis. Voters will remember where their elected officials stood on this issue in November.

Eighty percent of Coloradans support red flag laws. But this is not about polling. This bill is about saving lives. And when I introduce it again next year, I will again fight for Colorado to be among those leading the charge to save lives and protect communities.

Rep. Alec Garnett (D-Denver), is assistant majority leader of the Colorado House of Representatives

Magellan Poll: Stapleton Maintains Healthy Lead in GOP Field

The Republican race for Governor appears to be a two person race between Walker Stapleton (L) and Victor Mitchell

Last week the Colorado-based, Republican-leaning polling outfit Magellan Strategies released the first public numbers in the Democratic gubernatorial Primary that we’d seen in several months. According to Magellan’s numbers from a survey taken May 30-31, 2018, Rep. Jared Polis led closest challenger Cary Kennedy by 13 points among likely voters, with both Mike Johnston and Donna Lynne failing to even reach double digits.

Today Magellan released numbers in the Republican gubernatorial Primary. If these figures are accurate, Walker Stapleton leads the rest of the GOP field by — you guessed it — 13 points! From Magellan:

Treasurer Walker Stapleton currently leads the Republican primary field for Governor with a 13-point lead and 36% support. His closest challenger is businessman Victor Mitchell with 23% support. Former Parker Mayor Greg Lopez has 10% support, Doug Robinson has 4% and 27% of likely Republican primary voters are undecided. Among male voters, Walker Stapleton holds a commanding 23-point lead over Victor Mitchell. Among female voters the election is much tighter and within the survey margin of error. Among seniors aged 65 and older, the most dominant and important Republican primary voter sub-group, Walker Stapleton leads Victor Mitchell by 24 points, 47% to 23% respectively.

Victor Mitchell appears to be the only Republican candidate within shouting distance of Stapleton, while Greg Lopez (10%) and Mitt Romney’s Nephew (4%) are likely out of the picture altogether. Lopez can at least console himself with a weekend straw poll victory.

Magellan Strategies, June 6-7, 2018

Monday Open Thread

“No scoundrel is so stupid as to not find a reason for his vile conduct.”

–Shakti Gawain

The Get More Smarter Show: June 10, 2018

Today on the Get More Smarter Show: Rep. Jared Polis, Democratic candidate for governor, drops in for a quick interview with Get More Smarter host Jason Bane as the primary election nears. Get those ballots marked and returned!

Click here to catch up on previous Get More Smarter episodes. Thanks for watching!

Lopez Wins WCS Poll, Thinks Twitter Is Censoring Him

With the annual Western Conservative Summit wrapping up today, we have the results of one of the more useful data points that emerges from this convention–the straw poll of attendees on the year’s principal Colorado races. This year that’s of course the governor’s race, and WCS attendees have given the nod to former Parker Mayor Greg Lopez:

Thus continuing Lopez’s unlikely rise in the GOP gubernatorial race, as nominal frontrunner Walker Stapleton continues to struggle mightily under the weight of his own unforced errors. Back at the GOP state assembly, Lopez’s role as a Stapleton spoiler is primarily what rescued his campaign from the abyss–but there’s a non-zero chance that what we’re witnessing now is the beginnings of a Darryl Glenn-style upset.

Here’s Exhibit A for why Democrats would be fine with that. When Lopez wasn’t congratulating himself on Twitter for winning the WCS straw poll yesterday, he was apparently helping spread a bizarre conspiracy theory that his Tweets are being “suppressed” by that social media platform. This theory comports with broader allegations in some conservative online forums that Twitter is suppressing conservatives in general as part of an attempt to improve the quality of interactions there.

We’re not going to get into the details of this allegation, but the chances that Twitter has indeed singled out a single also-ran Colorado gubernatorial candidate with an unremarkable number of followers for “quality filtering” for any electoral purpose is extremely far-fetched. If Lopez’s account has been qualitatively filtered some way, we fully expect that is the result of a qualitative judgment made by either a human or (much more likely) an algorithm at Twitter–with no conscious desire whatsoever to “suppress conservative voices.” Because if that was the goal, there would be much more, no offense, useful conservative voices to suppress.

The thing to keep in mind is that this is how rational, well-adjusted people evaluate conspiracy theories.

That’s not the GOP primary voters who could make Lopez the next Dan Maes.

Giant Conservative Gathering Looks Counter-Productive, from My Seat on The Blue Wave

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Dave Williams (R), Congressman Steve King (R-IA).

I bounced around the Western Conservative Summit, which is billed as the “largest gathering of conservatives outside of Washington DC,” and I kept thinking, how can this colossal event possibly help the conservative cause, much less the Republican Party?

My first stop was the exhibit hall, where I stopped at a booth for the “Association of Mature American Citizens.” Exactly what the right-wing needs, I thought.

But it turned out to be an alternative to the AARP, because the AARP is considered a leftist entity!

But the AARP is one of the most popular mainstream organizations in our country, I told the woman at the desk.

No, she replied, it needs to be replaced with a group that will protect health care from government control and balance the budget.

I was passing the “NRA: Stand and Fight” booth when I say Raymond Garcia, a Republican  candidate for Colorado State House. He made the Denver Post a while back for his extreme Facebook posts, like, “Hillary Meal Deal: Two Fat Thighs, Two Small Breasts, and a Bunch of Left Wings.”

At a time when women appear to represent the decisive force in American politics, it’s hard to see how Garcia can be anything but a destructive element for conservatives. But the former Marine didn’t flinch, telling me, “You have to fight fire with fire,” and promising to battle the left with the same tactics it uses on the right.

Next stop, the Colorado Right to Life table, which is also likely to grab the attention of all those mobilized women in America.

Colorado Right to Life is a no-holes-barred  group that opposes all abortion, even for rape, arguing that the crime of the father has nothing to do the acceptability of abortion.


9NEWS Shreds Stapleton Over Dumbest Lie Ever

Back in mid-May, we were the first observers to note that GOP gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton’s premiere TV spot contained a major false statement: Walker claimed without supporting any evidence that he was the “only treasurer in the country” to support President Donald Trump’s tax bill. As it turns out many Republican state treasurers supported the Trump tax cuts, some of whom traveled to Washington to shill for the law and took other actions well beyond Stapleton’s mere endorsement on paper.

Over the next few days, every local television station in Denver proceeded to call out this false statement, along with other falsehoods and exaggerations in Stapleton’s ad though this was by far the most blatantly false claim. Despite these unfavorable fact-checks, the ad has continued to run unmodified including the false claim that Stapleton was the “only treasurer in the country” to support the Trump tax cuts.

This week, the situation came to a head after Stapleton made an ass of himself at a 9NEWS debate when questioned about the discrepancy. In the aftermath of that performance, outgoing 9NEWS political correspondent Brandon Rittiman has apparently had enough of Stapleton’s unrepentant bullshit:

We rated that claim false in a Truth Test last month. It’s easily disproved because several other GOP state treasurers publicly supported the President’s plan.

We don’t know what Stapleton was thinking when he started running this ad, but we know he knows better now.

In the 9NEWS Republican debate Thursday night, Stapleton acknowledged that what his ad says isn’t true.

What’s more, he said it’s not important that it isn’t true…

And that (see video above) was a big mistake.

We can’t take his ad down, but it’s fair for his opponents to call it a lie.

If Mr. Stapleton doesn’t want to be called a liar, then he should stop saying something he knows is false. [Pols emphasis]

It’s extremely rare for journalists to use the word “lie” or “liar” without qualifications, or as anything other than a verbatim quote. That’s because journalists, rightly or wrongly, consider their role to be to report rather than judge, and leave the question of truthfulness to the viewer. There’s a credible argument to be made that the chronic unwillingness of journalists to aggressively call out false statements contributed to the “post-factual” political environment that facilitated the rise of Trump to begin with.

But not this time. Stapleton is lying, he knows it, and everyone else does too now. At this point it’s truly baffling why Stapleton didn’t just admit the “mistake,” change the ad, and move on with his campaign. But he couldn’t own up to even such an obvious error. He had to double down. He had to defend this pointless lie as not a big deal, and claimed he learned nothing from the experience.

To use any other word than “liar” in this case would simply be a whitewash.