Rich Guys Get Un-Deputized in Yuma County

Billionaire Republican megadonor Robert Mercer

Bloomberg News has a fascinating update to a story that we followed regularly in this space last year about Republican mega donor Robert Mercer and his pay-to-play posse scheme in Yuma, Colorado. As Zachary Mider writes for Bloomberg, Mercer will have to go play cops and robbers somewhere else:

The New York hedge fund magnate and conservative donor had his status as a volunteer deputy sheriff revoked by Yuma County, Colorado, Sheriff Chad Day on Monday, his last day in office. Day lost his re-election bid last year after Bloomberg News reported on Mercer’s role and his purchase of a new pickup truck for the sheriff’s official use. [Pols emphasis]

The arrangement provoked controversy in the prairie county that borders Kansas and Nebraska. Day submitted papers last week ending the appointments of Mercer, 72, and at least a dozen other volunteer posse members, effective Jan. 7, according to documents signed by Day and filed with the county clerk. Day also revoked the appointment of William Koch, 78, though a spokesman for the billionaire industrialist said he was never a posse member.

County records that became public in recent months show that four Mercer associates, including a bodyguard who says on LinkedIn that he’s a former “Cuban Special Operations Commander,” had also received badges from Day and that the value of Mercer’s donations of cash and equipment to the sheriff’s office totaled more than $135,000. Mercer declined to comment, and Day didn’t respond to multiple inquiries.

Chad Day is now the former Sheriff of Yuma County (and presumably the outgoing President of the Colorado County Sheriffs’ Association) in large part because he sold out his county in exchange for a new truck and a bunch of stun guns so that Mercer — who owns one of the world’s largest private collections of machine guns — and his buddies would be able to carry concealed weapons anywhere in the country. Day had insisted to Blair Miller of Denver7 that there was no quid, pro, or quo in this deal, but that’s not how it looks from Bloomberg’s follow-up investigation.

Much like Robert Mercer, Chad Day can now only pretend to be in law enforcement in Yuma County.

Mercer was apparently connected to Day via Rocky Mountain Gun Owners head honcho Dudley Brown, who is also associated with a certain U.S. Senator from Yuma. A spokesman for Sen. Cory Gardner told Miller at the time that “he didn’t know anything about the story aside from what he’d read in Bloomberg.”

For his part, Day had refused to answer detailed questions about the arrangement when it was first reported last spring, making the absurd claim that some of his “volunteer resources” were “directly involved in confidential undercover operations that involve direct ties and associations with the Mexican Cartel which has a presence in [the Yuma area].” No doubt the 78-year-old William Koch (yes, that Koch brother) was also a tremendous deterrent to any potential Mexican cartel operations.

The Bloomberg update to this story also provides more disconcerting details on some of the individuals involved in the arrangement Mercer had with Day and Yuma County.

In 2016, a foundation Mercer controls bought the pickup truck for Day’s agency. The foundation’s goals include educating local police forces about H.R. 218. At a county meeting, Day reported that he’d connected with Mercer through Brown, according to minutes of the meeting. It was a nicer truck, Day remarked, than the county would have spent its own money on.

That November, county records show, Mercer and four associates took oaths of office in Yuma, swearing “before the ever living God” to support the U.S. and Colorado constitutions. The crew included a Mercer son-in-law and three employees with backgrounds in bodyguard work, including the Cuban veteran; a self-described martial arts master; and a former Army Ranger whose LinkedIn page says he once guarded Afghan president Hamid Karzai.

The Cuban, Julio Garcia, had recently accompanied Mercer’s daughter Rebekah to the 2016 Republican convention. Garcia’s LinkedIn page boasts of training by Russian and Vietnamese special operations forces. An essay posted on a martial-arts website says he once served as a bodyguard to Fidel Castro. Garcia declined to comment.

In exchange for a shiny new truck and some other toys, Yuma County’s Sheriff deputized a guy who once guarded Afghan president Hamid Karzai and another man who served as a bodyguard to Fidel Freaking Castro!

Viva la revolución, Yuma County.

While Shutdown Rages, Cory Gardner Raises

American Bridge alerts the world to a fundraiser that took place a short while ago this morning in Washington, D.C. in support of Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado hosted by the ubiquitous Denver-headquartered law firm of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck:

A tracker from Bridge caught Gardner headed into the “undisclosed location”:

Needless to say the optics of Gardner holding a high-dollar D.C. fundraiser while federal employees in Colorado file for unemployment and the first missed payday for hundreds of thousands more cross the nation rapidly approaches are extremely poor, and undermines his credibility after nominally breaking with President Donald Trump over the shutdown. Every day the shutdown drags on now, Gardner proves himself ineffective at the one thing a majority of Colorado voters might value: persuading fellow his Republicans to do the right thing. Meanwhile, the Republican base fumes.

And when Gardner is cashing checks instead of taking every possible action to force a vote on reopening the government, he’s simply part of the problem–and he doesn’t deserve the praise he got a week ago.

Senator Owen Hill: Poetry Critic

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Owen Hill (R).

UPDATE: Senator Hill replied with a statement at the end of this post.

Governor Jared Polis took the oath of office today on the west steps of the state capitol. The ceremony featured a diverse group of speakers, religious leaders, poets and performers, all celebrating the inauguration of Colorado’s 43rd governor.

State Senator Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs) attended the event. The Senator is known to like yoga but apparently not poetry, or at least not the poetry he heard today. Hill used Facebook to dismiss at least one of the two poets who read their work at today’s inauguration ceremony for Governor Jared Polis, saying, “Just because you dress funny and no one understands what you are talking about, it doesn’t make you a poet.”

The two poets on the inaugural agenda were Anne Waldman and Toluwanimi Obiwole. Both have received considerable acclaim for their work.


Gov. Jared Polis Takes Office

UPDATE: Watch live:


UPDATE: Incoming Gov. Jared Polis’ vanquished Republican opponent Walker Stapleton sends his regards…from jury duty:


KDVR reporting on preparation and road closures around the state capitol building for today’s inauguration of Gov. Jared Polis:

Polis will be sworn in as the 43rd governor at 11 a.m. Tuesday on the west steps of the Colorado State Capitol.

Most of the road closures will begin at 10 p.m. on Monday night and last until around 8 p.m. on Tuesday. The Colorado State Patrol recommends planning accordingly and avoiding the area.

Grant Street: Two lanes between Colfax Avenue and 14th Avenue
Lincoln Street: Complete closure between 13th Avenue and Colfax Avenue
Sherman Street: Complete closure from 13th Avenue to 14th Avenue
14th Avenue: Complete closure at Broadway to Grant Street

We’ll update this post with coverage, and watch the inauguration live here at 11:00AM.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (January 8)

The 2020 election is 665 days away. In the meantime, 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 a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.



► Democrat Jared Polis will officially take over as Colorado’s Governor today. Polis’ 2018 opponent, Republican Walker Stapleton, will be reporting for jury duty. Denver7 has more on today’s inauguration festivities.


► President Trump will deliver a prime time address tonight about his fictional border crisis; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will follow with a Democratic rebuttal. As James Hohmann writes for the Washington Post, Trump’s rhetoric on immigration is not at all related to facts on the ground:

Leaks from inside the government continue to undercut the administration’s misleading spin on crime and terrorism vis-à-vis immigration:

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection encountered only six immigrants at ports of entry on the U.S-Mexico border in the first half of fiscal year 2018 whose names were on a federal government list of known or suspected terrorists, according to CBP data provided to Congress in May 2018,” NBC News’s Julia Ainsley reports.

Six people. Six. That’s quite a bit fewer than the 4,000 that White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders insisted were stopped at the border in 2018. And then there’s this:

“Despite their portrayal of Mexico as a teeming portal for terrorists,” the AP’s Calvin Woodward reports this morning, “the State Department issued a report in September finding ‘no credible evidence indicating that international terrorist groups have established bases in Mexico, worked with Mexican drug cartels or sent operatives via Mexico into the United States.’” (Read the State Department report for yourself.)

Here in Colorado, we’ll be anxiously waiting to see how Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) responds to Trump’s speech tonight. Gardner’s recent shutdown waffling has angered his Republican base (or what’s left of it) and prompted new talk about a “circular firing squad.”


► The New York Times examines the toll of the government shutdown on day 17:

The impact of a partial government shutdown began to ripple across the economy as it stretched into Day 17, with mortgage applications delayed, public companies unable to get approval to raise capital and thousands of Secret Service agents expected to show up for work without pay.

President Trump and congressional Democrats have made little progress in negotiations to end a shutdown that has affected about 800,000 federal workers, many of whom will miss their first paycheck this week, and who owe a combined $249 million in monthly mortgage payments, according to the online real estate firm Zillow…

…The standoff is beginning to inflict pain on Americans, whose lives are affected, in one way or another, by the federal government. It is already the second-longest shutdown in history, behind the one that started in December 1995 and lasted 21 days.

More than 600 federal employees in Colorado have now filed for unemployment benefits, as 9News reports.


Get even more smarter after the jump…


Bunny Boilers and Primary Challengers: Gardner’s Shutdown Statement Angers GOP Base

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado’s conservative activists are furious at U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner’s call to end the government shutdown without funding for President Trump’s wall. County GOP officials and Tea Party leaders are talking openly about the need for a primary challenger in 2020.

One official went so far as to joke about boiling a bunny on Sen. Gardner’s stove.

Jefferson County Republican Vice Chair Steve Dorman vehemently disagreed with a post written by a member of the Arapahoe Tea Party group that stated. “Sorry, we need to accept Cory Gardner.”

Dorman replied “this betrayal is too huge. I don’t care about 99.9% of the time. And yes….the wall and border security are very important.”

In another comment, the JeffCo GOP Vice Chair added “I don’t want him to come home and find a rabbit’s head boiling on his stove….but…….”
The author of the original post replied, “That’s a good idea.”JeffCo GOP Vice Chair wants to boil Sen. Gardner's bunny

Though presumably tongue-in-cheek, this quip is particularly dubious in light of a threatening video of a beheading Gardner’s wife received via text message back in October.

Pueblo County Republican Party Treasurer George Mayfield posted his call for a primary on the group’s Facebook page,

Our RINO U.S. Senator Cory Gardner just announced that he would vote to re-open the complete federal government, with no money for a wall. I think it’s time that he gets ready for a primary in 2020. He won’t win in blue Colorado by trolling for Democrat votes.

Pueblo GOP Treasurer: Primary Gardner in 2020

On Friday, Anil Mathai, chair of the Adams County Republicans, agreed with radio host Peter BoyleS that Sen. Gardner is a “useful idiot,” or easily manipulated pawn, presumably of establishment conservatives.


2018-19 #TrumpShutdown Day 18 Open Thread

“If you say who gets fired, it always has to be the top. Problems start from the top, and they have to get solved from the top, and the president’s the leader.”

–Donald Trump

GOP Tries To Swap FAMLI With “SCAMLI”

Sen. Faith Winter (D).

As the Colorado Sun’s Jesse Paul reported late last week, one of the top Democratic policy priorities in the Colorado legislature for 2019 is the passage of a paid family medical leave system, known as the Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) Act:

A paid family- and medical-leave bill is among the Democrats’ priorities this year. They’ve focused discussion on how to ensure that all Coloradans have the ability to get paid time off work when they have a newborn or become sick.

[Sen. Faith] Winter, who is leading the charge, called the measure “a social insurance program.” It’s not clear yet who will pay and how much, although preliminary estimates show employees and employers each paying about $1 to $2 a week into a fund. Initial costs would be covered by bonding.

Similar legislation has been introduced by Democrats for several years running now, only to meet its end in the single-seat majority GOP-controlled Colorado Senate. In 2018, Democrats including now-Sen. Faith Winter campaigned heavily on the passage of paid family medical leave and Republican obstruction of this popular idea.

With Democrats now in firm control of both chambers of the Colorado legislature, there’s little Republicans can do at this point to stop the FAMLI Act from becoming law. With that in mind, Republicans have switched tactics from a frontal assault on popular family leave, which is politically a train wreck, to more of a bait-and-switch approach:

Republican Rep. Lois Landgraf of Fountain plans to introduce her own paid-leave legislation, which would reimburse workers through tax credits.

The Republican counterproposal to FAMLI in 2019 is House Bill 19-1058, which just became available to read on the state legislative website over the weekend. Although this legislation purports to create a paid family medical leave system, that’s not the reality–this is a bill to let workers create their own savings accounts subject to a state income tax deduction, combined with a voluntary employer match that would qualify for a nonrefundable tax credit. The revenue reduction from these credits would presumably come from other programs.

In practice, this bill would do almost nothing to solve a serious problem faced by a large percentage of Colorado households. The incentives to save money for medical leave in this bill are simply not enough to motivate widespread participation, and the reality is that working people already have major challenges to establishing savings of any kind, let alone savings for such a specific purpose. The whole point of family medical leave is to provide relief to workers unexpectedly unable to work, but the GOP’s plan would only help those who already have the resources to prepare in advance.

As debate proceeds over the FAMLI Democratic plan for a family leave insurance system, look for Republicans and their mouthpieces to push hard on their “SCAMLI” alternative legislation as evidence that they are responding to the problem. Under the hood, however, these two plans could not be more different, and only one will actually accomplish the stated goal. Much like Ivanka Trump’s ill-fated idea to let workers drain their Social Security benefits to cover parental leave, it’s a naive solution–proposed without an understanding of the real problem.

What you can do to fight back this week (January 7)

I hope your holiday season was was wonderful and you enjoyed some quality time with your friends and family. The week, the new progressive Colorado legislature gets to work with a huge backlog of important legislation to consider. Tomorrow, the state’s new Governor Jared Polis will be sworn in, and then the fight is on to start making life better for Coloradans in immediate, tangible ways.

There has perhaps never been a more exciting time to be a progressive in Colorado. In the coming weeks, we’ll be in touch with opportunities to get directly involved with passing priority legislation at the state level. Many of the laws that most directly impact our daily lives come from the state capitol in Denver, not from Washington, and time after time it has been the testimony and support of regular people that makes the difference. Stay tuned!

Help support a living wage for every Denver employee. Workers at Denver International Airport have been fighting for $15 an hour, and the traction their effort is getting has prompted Denver’s mayor to propose extending that wage to everyone who works for the city—including contractors and vendors. Studies have shown conclusively that better wages for working people help everyone prosper and boost the economy. Click here to sign a petition in support of $15 an hour for every Denver city employee.

Once that’s done, make sure you’ve downloaded the RiseUp activism app to your smartphone! We’ll continue to produce these weekly email alerts, but the best source for up-to-the-minute information about action alerts and events is via RiseUp’s real-time notification system.

Thanks as always for everything you do to fight back for our shared progressive values. Here are more great ways to fight back for the week of January 7:

Featured Event: The Resistance 5280: Need to Impeach Rally

With a majority of seats in the House of Representatives next year, Democrats can initiate impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump. It’s important we continue to show up in large numbers to keep the pressure on Democrats not to back down. We don’t want to wait another 2 years to vote him out when he is systematically destroying our country!

Where: Colorado State Capitol, 200 E Colfax Ave, Ste 136, Denver
When: Sunday, January 13 at 3:00pm

Click here to RSVP.

Fracking Colorado: Aurora’s being Fracked! Speak Out at City Council meeting!

We are very concerned for Foxridge Farm mobile homes. They are already surrounded by existing fracking sites, and are hit by plumes from black smoke from the Wattenburg plant every few months. And now Aurora has administratively approved yet another large industrial facility just 1000 feet away from their homes.

Where: Aurora Municipal Center, 15151 E. Alameda Parkway, Aurora
When: Monday, January 7 at 7:00pm

Click here to RSVP.

Womxn’s March Denver Community Forum

Join us on January 8, 2019 from 5:30-7:30pm for a community forum dedicated to intersectionalty, allyship, and connection. This is an opportunity to meet with the organizers, ask questions and engage with Womxn’s March Denver’s new direction. See you there!

Where: Whittier Cafe, 1710 E 25th Ave, Denver
When: Tuesday, January 8 at 5:30pm

Click here to RSVP.

The Election’s Over – Now What?: Strategies for Bipartisanship

Building Bipartisan Bonds is back after a long slumber! Whether you liked the outcome of November’s election or not, join us on Tuesday, January 8 at Improper City at 6pm for our next round of conversation with Coloradans of different political persuasions. Our special guests will be Republican State Representative Hugh McKean, former Republican State Representative Polly Lawrence, and Democratic State Senator Jeff Bridges. They’ll share their thoughts on how we can move away from the political partisanship that characterized much of the recent election, as well as some of their experiences working across the aisle on bipartisan initiatives.

Where: Improper City, 3201 Walnut Street, Denver
When: Tuesday, January 8 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.

Denver Streets Congress

The Streets Partnership hosts the Denver Streets Congress to build and engage dialogue with the public about how to support people-friendly streets in Denver.

Where: Parr-Widener Room (389) 1437 Bannock St, Denver
When: Wednesday, January 9 at 11:30am

Click here to RSVP.

Latin America’s Democratic Decline+Possibilities for Resistance

The Sié Center for International Security and Diplomacy and the Latin American Center at Korbel are pleased to present a lunchtime talk featuring around these main questions – Why is democracy in crisis in Latin America? Is Brazil likely to return to dictatorship under Bolsonaro? And what are the prospects for civil resistance in increasingly authoritarian regimes? This event is free and lunch is provided, please RSVP.

Where: Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security & Diplomacy, 2201 South Gaylord Street, Denver
When: Wednesday, January 9 at 12:00pm

Click here to RSVP.

PPVC Legislative Kick-Off Happy Hour

Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado is excited to get to work during this 2019 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: Near Colorado State Capitol, Denver (location on RSVP)
When: Wednesday, January 9 at 5:00pm

Click here to RSVP.

Women Who Wine: The Notorious RBG

You may have heard of the Notorious RBG, but you’ve never seen her like this. Come and check out an exclusive screening of RBG, the renowned documentary detailing the life and work of SCOTUS legend Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We’ll taste and sip wines made by Wild Women Wine while we watch the film. After, we’ll take action for equal pay.

Where: Wild Women Wine, 1660 Champa St, Denver
When: Wednesday, January 9 at 6:30pm

Click here to RSVP.

The Purple Ball: from the Hate State to the Great State

Join One Colorado for an unforgettable evening honoring our state’s LGBTQ history with special guests Jared Polis, our first gay Governor, and Marlon Reis, our First Gentleman. The day after Jared Polis is sworn in as Colorado’s 43rd Governor, we invite you to celebrate this history-making moment: America’s first openly gay governor.

Where: EXDO Event Center, 1399 35th St, Denver
When: Wednesday, January 9 at 7:00pm

Click here to RSVP.

Colorado Consumer Health Initiative: Health Care Advocacy Training

Colorado’s legislative session will bring a lot of opportunities to advance health care policy. Join us to learn advocacy basics and different ways you can advocate for a better health care system. Come join us for this free training to learn how you can make your voice heard on the health care issues that are important to you. We’ll walk you through the who, what, where, when, why and how of health care advocacy, provide a quick overview of the health care landscape, answer your questions, and give you practical next steps to start your advocacy efforts.

Where: Benefits in Action, 8725 W 14th Ave, Suite 102, Lakewood
When: Thursday, January 10 at 3:00pm

Click here to RSVP.

Colorado Common Cause: 2019 Legislative Preview

Colorado Common Cause works to win concrete, pro-democracy reforms that break down barriers to participation, ensure each of us has an equal voice and vote, and rebuilds trust in our government. And we do that right here in Colorado. Join us in January to learn how we can ALL strengthen our democracy in Colorado. Learn how bills are introduced, debated and passed – as well as how Colorado Common Cause participates in this process.

Where: Irish Snug, 1201 E Colfax Ave, Denver
When: Thursday, January 10 at 5:00pm

Click here to RSVP.

Craftivism and Craft Beers

Join NARAL at Wood’s Boss with other choice activists as we make feminist themed crafts while drinking delicious beer! Feel free to bring your own craft supplies from the list provided. We will have some on hand and are asking a $5 donation if you use ours. Looking forward to crafting and craft beer-ing!

Where: Woods Boss Brewing, 2210 California St, Denver
When: Thursday, January 10 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.

Denver Women’s Commission January Meeting

The Denver Women’s Commission meets once a month to discuss policy suggestions for Denver Mayor, Michael B. Hancock, concerning the well being of Denver’s women and girls. All are welcome to join!

Where: Rose Andom Center, 1330 Fox Street, Denver
When: Thursday, January 10 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.

One Colorado’s Welcome to Volunteering Night

Join us to learn more about One Colorado’s mission and ways you can support LGBTQ Coloradans and their families.

Where: One Colorado, 1490 Lafayette St, Ste 304, Denver
When: Friday, January 11 at 5:00pm

Click here to RSVP.

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

Arapahoe Tea Party to Address Gardner and “The Problem of the Circular Firing Squad”

(Good luck with that – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Donald Trump, Cory Gardner.

At a meeting Tuesday, Arapahoe County Tea Party members will discuss ways to win (and lose) elections in Colorado, including the “problems of a circular firing squad,” according to the group’s Facebook page.

Republicans have been lashing out at U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) this week, in circular-firing-squad fashion, after Gardner called for passing legislation to open the federal government, without providing funds for a border wall.

In the political context, the term “circular firing squad” refers to members of a political party attacking members of their own party, inflicting damage and inciting intra-party anger.

Such firing squads can lead partisan activists to skip voting altogether for a controversial candidate.

After taking shots from a GOP circular firing squad, Gardner might be seen as lacking principles, which is a recurrent complaint of GOP Tea Party activists about Gardner, whom a prominent Republican recently called a “total [whore] for the Chamber of Commerce,” a “Mitch McConnell stooge,” and, “just like” U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, a “traitor to every [position] he held in 2010.”

In Colorado, with so many Unaffiliated voters who appear hostile to the Republicans, a GOP candidate can ill afford to lose GOP votes and hope to win statewide, say pollsters.

GOP activist Gary Kirkland will lead the discussion about the firing squad and Gardner. Kirkland wrote on Facebook that “Cory Gardner will be one of the topics” of discussion at the Tues. meeting, which takes place at 9195 E. Mineral Ave. in Centennial from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Also at the Jan. 8 meeting, failed GOP congressional candidate Casper Stockham will discuss “his message for a winning strategy.”

State Rep. Susan Beckman (R-Littleton), who’s rumored to be running for GOP state party chair, will offer an “in-depth look at the Democrat playbook that was used to turn Colorado.”

Donald Trump is Not Really Just Like You

Keyser Soze

We are currently in the midst of the third-longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history. Roughly 800,000 federal employees are not receiving paychecks.

President Trump says he can feel your pain.

Chris Cillizza of CNN finds this statement hard to believe:

But the most amazing trick Trump has pulled as a politician — and now as president — is to convince lower-middle class, predominantly white voters that he is one of them. [Pols emphasis]

I was reminded of that trick on Sunday when Trump was asked whether he can relate to federal workers not being paid due to the ongoing government shutdown. Here’s how the President responded:

“I can relate, [Pols emphasis] and I’m sure that the people that are on the receiving end will make adjustments, they always do, and they’ll make adjustments. People understand exactly what’s going on. But many of those people that won’t be receiving a paycheck, many of those people agree 100% with what I’m doing.”

Donald Trump was born into a wealthy family in New York City. After graduating from a private high school, Trump eventually ended up at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he had a part-time job at a family business called “Elizabeth Trump & Son.” After earning his undergraduate degree at Penn, Trump received a $1 million “loan” from his developer father, Fred Trump, to “get him started” in the business world. All told, Trump inherited somewhere in the neighborhood of $400 million from his father, at least some of which was generated from questionable tax and accounting schemes.

Raise your hand if you can “relate” to any of this.

Worst Possible Mag Limit Repeal Sponsor Strikes Again

Legislation filed for debate in the 2019 session of the Colorado General Assembly is starting to appear on the legislature’s website, and here’s one every Colorado voter should be aware of, regardless of how you feel about the hot-button underlying issue:

Rep. Lori Saine (R), in custody after being caught with a loaded gun at DIA.

House Bill 19-1021 is a bill to repeal Colorado’s 15-round limit on gun magazine capacity. This bill is scheduled for certain death in the House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee at an unspecified time in the next few weeks.

But the point is not really the bill, which Republicans in the Colorado legislature have introduced every year since the magazine limit became law. It is worth noting that the 15-round mag limit in particular outraged the gun lobby nationwide and helped drive the 2013 recall elections which ousted two Democratic Senators and promoted the resignation of a third. In 2014, gun-rights groups managed a reasonable crowd to testify in hearings on repeal bills, but since then turnout has steadily dwindled.

The real problem here is the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Lori Saine. In December of 2017, Rep. Saine was boarding a flight at Denver International Airport to receive an award from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) at that organization’s annual conference. A search of her purse at the airport revealed a loaded 9mm semiautomatic handgun that Saine had “forgotten” and brought with her. Saine was arrested when she stopped cooperating with security officers, but avoided charges by profusely claiming ignorance of the loaded gun in her purse.

Because this incident did not result in a criminal conviction, Rep. Saine’s right to possess guns–and presumably the concealed carry permit that allowed her to carry one in her purse–was not affected. But in every political sense, the event renders Saine the worst possible legislator of any serving in the Colorado General Assembly to carry a bill to weaken Colorado’s gun laws. We legitimately do not understand why Republicans would allow Saine to so perfectly undermine legislation we assume they would actually like to pass.

If anyone has an explanation that doesn’t boil down to some kind of bad joke, we’d like to hear it.

Colorado Republican Poutrage Burns In Record Time

By now, most of American is aware that a newly-elected Democratic member of Congress from Michigan, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, employed a colorful but undeniably vulgar term to explain her plans for President Donald Trump once in office:

A choice of words that has sent suddenly genteel Republicans wringing their hands and crying for civility–including the Colorado Republican Party, which as readers know has been sorely in need of something to whine about after one of its most sweeping defeats in history last November:

“Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s comment about our nation’s president is beneath the dignity of her office. Tlaib’s freshman colleagues from Colorado, Rep. Joe Neguse and Rep. Jason Crow, claim to want to elevate our civil discourse. They should start by elevating the discourse in their own house. We’re waiting for them speak out against Rep. Tlaib’s gutter rhetoric.” [Pols emphasis]

This statement from outgoing GOP chairman Jeff Hays seems to have been written in an alternate reality in which the President of the United States is not Donald Trump.

That is, this Donald Trump:

The internet did a good job last week of finding many, many more examples of Trump waxing every bit as vulgar, which should have surprised no one. The outrage being feigned over Rep. Tlaib’s dropping of the dreaded F-bomb in reference to President Trump makes very little sense given the President’s own unabashed vulgarity. But more important, what Democrats complain about with Trump is not dropping F-bombs so much as calling Nazis “very fine people” and saying that “laziness is a trait in blacks.”

In the end, we should all be able to agree that this was a very poor location for Colorado Republicans to plant the flag! And they’re left vulnerable to the next reasonable question, why a man can talk this way with impunity but a woman gets a press release from the Colorado GOP guilting her local colleagues by association.

Safe to say that no votes for the Colorado Republican Party were won back this go-round.