Bennet Competent In Prez Debate Swan Song

Sen. Michael Bennet (D).

Colorado Public Radio reports on how Colorado’s other Democratic presidential contender Sen. Michael Bennet did in last night’s debate–like former Gov. John Hickenlooper the night before, doing what he could with the limited face time he was bound to get on a stage full of big names. And while there weren’t any flubs from Bennet, his last chance to break out of the depths of the presidential pack with a dramatic showing seems to have eluded him:

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet focused much of his ire during the second presidential debate on the current occupant of the office he’s seeking.

“I believe we have a moral obligation to beat Donald Trump. He has to be a single term president. And we can’t do anything that plays into his hands,” he said…

Bennet’s loudest applause of the night came for his answer on how he would heal the nation’s racial divide. Drawing on his background as superintendent of the Denver Public Schools, Bennet said segregation in education remains a significant problem.

“Our schools are as segregated today as they were 50 years ago. We need a conversation about what’s happening now,” he said.

Bennet did spend some time attacking Sen. Kamala Harris’ health care plan, which was an odd choice given that her plan isn’t even as progressive as that of frontrunners not on last night’s stage like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. But the exchange was collegial, and you got the sense that Bennet was making a point to not say anything overly injurious to other candidates while triangulating from their right.

Both Bennet and Hickenlooper took a similar tack in their respective campaigns for president, generally arguing that other candidates were too far left to beat Donald Trump in 2020. In both cases this campaign message failed to gain traction, mostly because it was out of touch with a Democratic base that is much more supportive of an unapologetic progressive agenda than most of its leadership. Hickenlooper in particular pigeonholed himself early on as the “anti-socialism” candidate, when smart Democrats realized that message played directly into the hands of conservatives–especially coming from such a longshot campaign.

At the same time, none of this was bad enough to rule either out of future contests, and the experience undeniably raised their name ID both in and outside Colorado. The political dynamic in Colorado, driven by a decisive unaffiliated plurality and a state still only tentatively considered blue after 15 years of Democratic electoral wins, is much better suited to the moderate image and message of both men–which helps explain why they both been successful in repeated statewide Colorado elections.

So…we’ll see what comes next.

Colorado Celebrates Healthcare Savings; Gardner Shamelessly Claims Credit

Gov. Jared Polis outlines his healthcare savings plan in April. Note the absence of anyone who looks anything like Sen. Cory Gardner.

As Anna Staver reports for the Denver Post, healthcare costs will decrease significantly next year thanks to legislation passed by the Colorado legislature earlier this year:

Colorado has received federal approval for a new program that is expected to save families who buy health insurance through the individual marketplace thousands of dollars a year, Gov. Jared Polis is announcing Wednesday.

The program, known as reinsurance, is expected to drop premiums by an average of 18.2% when it gets under way in January, state officials estimate…

…The reinsurance program is expected to pool $260 million in state and federal money and use it to cover the costliest medical bills among the 250,000 Coloradans who buy their health insurance on the exchange. Taking that burden off of insurance providers will enable them to lower premiums overall.

Colorado is the ninth state to secure a federal waiver for a reinsurance program. Minnesota’s reinsurance program brought down its 2018 premiums by about 11.3%, and Alaska’s dropped by a statewide average of 26%, according to a Georgetown University Health Policy Institute report.

We noted this impressive 18% savings when figures were first projected by the Colorado Division of Insurance earlier this month. The reinsurance program is part of a broader healthcare savings plan promoted by Gov. Jared Polis and passed by Democrats in the state legislature. This reinsurance program is such a good idea, in fact, that Republican Sen. Cory Gardner is now TRYING TO TAKE CREDIT FOR IT:

This did not go over well with Colorado lawmakers such as State Sen. Kerry Donovan (D-Vail):

Likewise, Sen. Brittany Pettersen (D-Lakewood) was not amused:

 

But wait, it gets even more ridiculous. Not only did Gardner have nothing to do with this proposal — his support for getting rid of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would ultimately kill off the reinsurance deal entirely. As the Colorado Sun reports:

That’s because the Trump Administration — the same one that is expected to sign off on the program — is also backing a lawsuit to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act, the health law that makes a lot of the funding for the reinsurance program possible…

…Earlier this month, a panel of judges at the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard a lawsuit brought by the state of Texas and others — with the Trump Administration’s backing — arguing that the whole Affordable Care Act should be thrown out. The argument requires its own explainer (like this one), but the upshot from the hearing was that it didn’t gowell for defenders of the health care law. A challenge to the law also known as Obamacare appears headed for the U.S. Supreme Court.

If that lawsuit ultimately succeeds, then Colorado’s reinsurance program in its current form is basically doomed. The subsidies that provide money for the program — and the entire section of federal law that the program lives under — would be gone. Lawmakers would need to do some significant tinkering just to preserve any vestige of it.

This is not the first time that Gardner has been so blatantly duplicitous on the issue of healthcare. In March 2017, Gardner was one of four Republican Senators who signed onto a letter defending the expansion of Medicaid in states like Colorado. A few months later, Gardner voted in favor of a proposal to gut the ACA that quite literally would have ended Medicaid coverage for millions of Americans.

To recap, Coloradans are going to see a major decrease in healthcare costs in 2020 thanks to Gov. Polis and Democrats in the state legislature. Senator Gardner had nothing to do with this and is supportive of federal policies that would destroy this reinsurance plan, but he’s raising his hand like a conquering hero in the meantime.

Please, don’t clap.

Voters “Walk Away” From GOP Nationally, Locally

TFW Republicans realize it’s not getting better.

The Hill reports on new nationwide generic ballot numbers that show Democrats pulling away strongly from Republicans once again on the question to voters of which party should control Congress after the 2020 elections:

Democrats extended their lead over Republicans in a generic 2020 congressional ballot, according to a new poll.

The Economist/YouGov survey of registered voters found that 48 percent of respondents said they would vote Democratic next year, 37 percent would vote Republican and 11 percent were not sure.

The 11 point lead is up from an Economist/YouGov poll conducted July 21-23, when Democrats held a 7 point advantage over Republicans.

In their much-discussed survey of 500 likely voters in Colorado earlier in July (15-17), local Republican pollster Magellan Strategies found a similar wide margin of preference for Democrats to control Congress, in addition to President Donald Trump trailing the generic Democratic candidate by 12 points:

That is, a net 10-point Democratic preference in Colorado, right in line with the new YouGov numbers nationally and from several weeks ago. Historically speaking, these are very favorable numbers for Democrats even early in the election cycle. In June of 2017, national generic polling showed a seven point lead for Democrats, and was broadly interpreted as an early ominous sign for Republicans which proved accurate in the 2018 “Democratic wave.” Generic numbers have also accurately forecast losses for Democrats, both in 2010 and in 2014–years when Colorado Democrats lost their congressional delegation majority and state senate majority respectively.

Given that Republicans in 2018 were confidently predicting a “red wave” up until the historic “blue wave” crashed, don’t expect them to admit it. But if you’re thinking another Democratic landslide in 2020 is in the offing, maybe even bigger than 2018…these numbers back you up.

Cory Gardner Waffles His Way To Budget Deal Vote

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

CNN reports on ongoing process in the U.S. Senate ahead of a crucial vote on a two-year budget deal already passed by the House after a hard-won bipartisan agreement last week–an agreement that would take a number of thorny fiscal issues off the table ahead of the 2020 elections, but angering “down government in the bathtub” Republicans who object to anything other than cuts:

Bipartisan Senate leaders have agreed to limit debate on a long-sought budget deal — setting up a vote on the package, though as of Wednesday morning it’s not clear when they would vote…

GOP leaders are not giving passes for “no” votes and the goal is still to convince half or more of the conference to vote for the budget deal. Leaders want to avoid a show like the one in the House where there was a massive Republican uprising against the package negotiated by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and blessed by the President. Again, this bill is expected to pass (mostly with Democratic votes), but leaders want to stave off any surprises and want to make sure the President knows that his party is behind a top priority to raise the debt ceiling and stop automatic spending cuts on the defense budget.

And it’s not just congressional leaders. A GOP source close to the process told CNN that the President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper have made a small handful of calls to GOP senators to talk about the budget deal.

The situation is politically a little unusual, with the White House and leadership from both parties in the House and Senate trying to win over hard-line Republicans. The objections from dissenters are not new, and generally consist of the same talking points about “living within our means” that characterize any fight over spending regardless of the individual circumstances. The breakdown between ideological conviction and economic/political reality has repeatedly stymied effective GOP engagement on fiscal issues in recent years, going back to the government shutdowns under President Barack Obama and the fake fight over automatic “sequestration” budget cuts.

It’s a confusing situation, but you know who’s not leading? Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado.

Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican from Colorado up for reelection, said he is concerned “it’s just a lot of money and at some point, things become so free, we can’t afford it.” [Pols emphasis]

Once again, at a moment when Gardner could offer a clarifying vision in a fractious debate, he cops out with meaningless pablum. Yes, it’s “a lot of money”–but so were the huge tax cuts Gardner voted for that have contributed directly to this year’s trillion-dollar deficit.  If Gardner votes against the bipartisan budget deal today, the only people he’s pleasing are a relatively small faction of hardcore “starve the beast” conservatives–not the MAGA hordes loyal to Trump, and certainly not the independent voters Gardner needs desperately and would rather see Gardner with the majority.

Gardner’s habit of equivocating until the last possible moment on votes may afford him some maneuvering space, but it deprives him of the opportunity to show leadership that could distinguish him in a state which has been rejecting Gardner’s party brand at the polls ever since he narrowly won his seat in 2014. If Gardner’s goal is to show “independence” from Trump after cementing a reputation as a Trump toady, this hard-won bipartisan budget deal is the worst possible way to do that.

We’ll update when Gardner decides which course is best for his career.

Hickenlooper Has a Minor Moment, But Not Enough in Detroit

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper had what may be his last chance to make a big impression on Democratic Primary voters on Tuesday in the first round of Democratic debates from Detroit. Hickenlooper probably didn’t do enough to give his Presidential campaign the boost it needed, but at least this happened:

As the Denver Post explains:

In a rare charged exchange with Sanders, he said, “You just can’t spring a plan on the world and expect it to succeed.”

Hickenlooper suggested Sanders was throwing his hands up. Sanders responded, “I will,” and did just that. The moment quickly bounced around social media.

Later, he attempted to highlight his successes in Colorado and pushed back against the idea that he is too moderate.

“I’m as progressive as anyone up here on this stage, but I’m also pragmatic,” Hickenlooper said. “I know I can get results.”

Hickenlooper is at the back of the Democratic pack in terms of both fundraising and polling averages, and neither marker is likely to change much after Tuesday. Hickenlooper spoke for about 9 minutes of the two-hour debate, giving him the least amount of stage time of the 10 candidates present.

As Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren made clear in one of the most memorable lines of the night, candidates running on platform of cautious moderation may just be in the wrong place at the wrong time. “I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for,” said Warren.

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet will be on stage tonight for the second half of the Detroit debates.

Wednesday Open Thread

“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely.”

–Franklin D. Roosevelt

Neville: “Establishment Republicans” Oppose Recalls Because They’re Not Profiting from Them

(You’re not supposed to say that part out loud — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado House Republican leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock thinks “establishment Republicans” don’t support efforts to recall Democrats from office because the establishment Republicans aren’t “profiting from it.”

While Neville said his organization, RecallColorado.com, is “willing to work with anyone and spend money on any of these recalls” in Colorado, “there’s a lot of different establishment Republicans out there trying to discourage that, because they’re not profiting on it.”

Neville made the comments during an interview on KLZ AM-560’s Rush to Reason show Thursday.

It’s not news that Colorado Republican Party leaders are bitterly divided on whether Democrats, including state legislators and Gov. Jared Polis, should be recalled from office.

What’s new is Neville’s accusation that opposition from establishment Republicans stems from their not making money from the recalls.

So-called establishment Republicans who’ve come out against the recalls include Ryan Call, who’s a former leader of the Republican Party; Cole Wist, a former state lawmaker; State Sen. Bob Rankin (R-Carbondale); and Tyler Sandberg, a prominent GOP political operative.

Sandberg did not immediately return a call seeking to know whether he opposed the recall efforts because he was not profiting on them.

But some folks who could arguably be called “establishment Republicans,” such as state GOP vice Chair Kristi Burton Brown and U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, appear to support recalls, so the division between establishment and grassroots Republicans on the recall question may not be so stark.

In addition to Neville, recall campaigns have been supported by non-establishment Republicans such as pro-gun activist Dudley Brown.

Journalists have raised questions about whether Neville’s family members and their allies are themselves profiting from the recall campaigns.

9News’ Marshall Zelinger questioned GOP state leader Ken Buck on the topic in April:

Zelinger: House Minority Leader Patrick Neville has come out supporting recalls. His family could benefit from recalls because that’s their business. Should it be appropriate for elected officials and their families to profit off of recalls and elections? By being hired for election purposes–this is an added election outside of a cycle–perhaps this is being done in a way that benefits the family business?

Buck understood the logic behind the question but didn’t answer it.

Buck: So, Patrick’s brother is a consultant in the business and certainly there were some resources from the House fund that were used in the last cycle and his brother ran some of that political operation. I think that is something that Patrick and the elected Republicans in the state House will have to decide. It’s not something the state party will intervene in in any way

9News anchor Kyle Clark raised the profit issue after Brown and allied Republicans, like Burton, dropped their plans to recall Aurora Democratic lawmaker Tom Sullivan in July.

KYLE CLARK: The failed attempt to recall Democratic State Rep. Tom Sullivan did not raise one dollar and it did not spend a dollar. We learned that from some financial filings. Now that sounds funny unless you heard us saying weeks ago that this recall was really about a gun rights group called Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. The head of the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners says, they funded the entire recall and guess what? They don’t have to disclose their donors. So we are left to take that special interest group at its word that this was not just a fundraiser designed as a recall that was never going to succeed. We are left to take them at their word that they took in $30,000 and spent more than that $45,000 on a failed signature-gathering effort. If those happen to be your dollars, and your trust, my condolences.

Who Will Be the Democratic Nominee for President?


Who fills this spot in 2020?

With the second round of Democratic Presidential candidate debates kicking off tonight in Detroit, we thought it would be a good time to ask this question one more time before the field inevitably starts to shrink. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and California Sen. Kamala Harris were running neck-and-neck in our last poll, but do Colorado Pols readers still think these two women are at the top of the list?

As always, we want to know what you think will happen here — not what you want to happen or who you personally might support. If you had to place a bet on the outcome TODAY, who do you predict will be the Democratic nominee for President in 2020?

We don’t want to take up the entire screen with this one poll, so you’ll have to cast your vote after the jump…

(more…)

Treasurer Dave Young: Cleaning Up Walker Stapleton’s Mess


Former Treasurer Walker Stapleton (R).

As the Denver Post’s Anna Staver reports:

The Great Colorado Payback started in 1987 as a way to tell Coloradans about all the unclaimed property the state is legally required to keep, such as forgotten bank account balances, deposits to utility companies and even unused gift cards. Most people didn’t know the state held onto all this stuff until the treasurer’s office starting running television ads in the early 2000s and the number of annual claims tripled. The backlog of unprocessed claims grew to more than 12,000 — almost as many as the division receives in a calendar year.

“We agreed with all the recommendations in the report,” said Dave Young, the Democratic treasurer who took office in January. “We have been moving rapidly to change the course of the work in the office.”

For example, he said the unclaimed property team has essentially worked double time to knock down the backlog down to 2,200 claims — a success noted by the auditor’s office in its report.

Colorado Public Radio recaps how the audit of the Great Colorado Payback was initiated during the term of the predecessor to the current Democratic state treasurer, GOP Treasurer and failed 2018 gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton:

The results were released to the Legislative Audit Committee on Monday. Committee Chair Sen. Nancy Todd gave a nod to the work that the new administration has done over the past year but said there are still plenty of improvements to be made.

“There has been some remedy, but obviously still very concerned about the backlog,” said Todd, a Democrat from Arapahoe County. “And there was also a real genuine concern of, just the process, of how long and how cumbersome it is for people to get their property back.”

Bianca Gardelli has been the director of the division for just over a year and in that time she has taken the backlog of claims from more than 12,000 to less than 2,000 claims — a reduction of over 80 percent.

According to State Treasurer Dave Young, this was all done while processing the more than 16,000 new claims — within the required 90 days — that came in this year. [Pols emphasis]

During last year’s Republican gubernatorial primary, runner-up Vic Mitchell slammed Walker Stapleton over his handling of the Great Colorado Payback program, which provided the Treasurer with literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in free positive television advertising even while the program essentially ground to a halt due to mismanagement. Stapleton admitted the situation was “a big problem,” but didn’t offer any ideas for solving it other than welcoming an audit. Former Rep. Dave Young of the number-crunching Joint Budget Committee, on the other hand, has worked diligently since taking office in January to pull the Great Colorado Payback off the scandal sheets.

The moral of the story? What a difference a little competence at the top makes.

Public Lands Shenanigans: Why Play These Games At All?


Rep. Scott Tipton (R).

The Aspen Daily News’ Todd Hartley follows up on a story we’ve been watching for some days now, growing controversy over a “public lands” bill from Republican Rep. Scott Tipton and backed by Sen. Cory Gardner introduced in direct competition with the CORE Act–legislation Colorado Democrats are hoping to get bipartisan consensus on in order to move any kind of public lands protection bill forward in the current divided Congress.

As Hartley reports, Tipton is responding to the blowback with vague promises to revisit a major difference in the two bills pertaining to the Thompson Divide area, additional protections for which was “left out” of the Republican version:

“The congressman is interested and plans to have those conversations regarding Thompson Divide,” said Matt Atwood, Tipton’s communications director. “That’s part of the reason we left it out, because it is a ‘discussion draft,’ and we want to get all sides of the story before we introduce the full bill.”

That’s better than nothing, we guess, but it sidesteps the larger problem: why run two bills at all?

The prospect of having Thompson Divide protections included in an amended draft of the bill is welcomed by leaders of local conservation groups, but they still expressed skepticism about the underlying motivation behind the REC Act and the exclusion of the divide in the first place…

“We believe that the CORE Act is a well-crafted, well-vetted compromise that is the result of a decade of consensus and stakeholder engagement, and it has really broad community support,” said Julia Morton, interim executive director of the Thompson Divide Coalition. “We believe the solution that has been crafted in the CORE Act is a really fair and good one, and so I think our preference is, obviously, for Tipton to support the CORE Act.” [Pols emphasis]

Not surprisingly, it’s a sentiment echoed by Bennet and his staff.

“The CORE Act is the result of Coloradans working together to hammer out compromises and develop proposals that have widespread local support, including in places such as the Thompson Divide,” said Courtney Gidner, a spokesperson for Bennet. “Our focus is on advancing each of the four components of the CORE Act together. Any contribution that leads us to accomplish these goals is welcome, and we hope Congressman Tipton will join this effort.”

The problem, as we’ve outlined in previous posts, is straightforward. In a divided Congress, the only public lands protection bills that have any realistic chance of passage are bills that enjoy enough bipartisan support to survive the Democratic-controlled House and GOP-controlled Senate to arrive on the President’s desk. If Democrats have a bill and Republicans introduce competing legislation instead of working out their differences with Democrats, the most likely outcome is that no legislation at all passes. That’s why supporters of the CORE Act, the product of years of study and negotiation, were blindsided by Tipton’s introduction of the “REC Act” to accomplish many of the same goals but with certain key differences–in the case of Thompson Divide, taking a side by omission in a long-running fight over protecting a vast natural area from oil and gas drilling.

What happens next? We’ll have to wait. There’s always a chance of a resolution that’s acceptable to all parties, which would take this issue off the table politically ahead of a pivotal general election next year. But if the more likely outcome of no bill at all prevails, Scott Tipton’s bad faith is going to be plain for all CD-3 voters to see.

What you can do to fight back this week (July 29)


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Last week, Special Counsel Robert Mueller gave what’s expected to be his final testimony to Congress about the Russian operation to sabotage the 2016 presidential election to the benefit of Donald Trump, and Trump’s illegal attempts to obstruct the investigation.

Whatever comes next, there’s one thing we know: America is in a constitutional crisis for every remaining day that Donald Trump is in office. Whether accountability comes at the ballot box in 2020 or sooner by Congress exercising its constitutional power of oversight, it’s coming.

And who helped clarify that Trump’s day of reckoning is coming one way or another? Far-right Congressman (and also Colorado Republican Party Chairman!) Ken Buck of Colorado! In last week’s testimony from Mueller, Rep. Buck shocked fellow Republicans by asking Mueller to confirm that Trump could be charged with obstruction of justice even after he leaves office: not once, but twice.

Action item #1 this week: call Rep. Ken Buck’s office at (202) 225-4676 and thank him for clarifying that Trump could face obstruction charges once he leaves office. Let Buck know you support getting to the bottom of Trump’s crimes no matter what it takes–and urge Buck to support immediate impeachment hearings. Then call the rest of your Colorado delegation at (202) 224-3121 and tell them to do the same.

Once that’s done, check out all these great ways to keep making a difference for the week of July 29:


Indivisible Highlands Ranch – Education Inc. Movie

Education, Inc. is told through the eyes of parent and filmmaker Brian Malone, as he travels cross-country in search of the answers and sources behind the privatizing of American public education, and what it means for his kids. With striking footage from school protests, raucous school board meetings and interviews with some of the most well known educators in the country, Malone zooms out to paint a clear picture of profit and politics that’s sweeping across the nation, right under our noses.”

Where: Douglas County Libraries, 9292 S Ridgeline Blvd, Highlands Ranch
When: Monday, July 29 at 6:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


The Denver Press Club: Second Democratic Presidential Debate Watch Party (Night 1)

Where better to watch the second Democratic Presidential Debate than the Denver Press Club? Guaranteed: conversation and cheap drinks! Didn’t we just host a democratic debate watch party? Yes. Was it so fun we have to do it again? Yes. Join us at the historic Denver Press Club, the nation’s oldest press club, for a watch party for the second debate among the candidates for president among the Democratic Party. We’ll have drink specials, light snacks, and plenty of seating in front of our big screen projector upstairs. Join us for lively conversation and community. Paid street and lot parking is available, and we’re open to the public!

Where: The Denver Press Club, 1330 Glenarm Pl, Denver
When: Tuesday, July 30 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.

The Denver Press Club: Second Democratic Presidential Debate Watch Party (Night 2)

When: Wednesday, July 31 at 6:00pm
Click here to RSVP.


Harm Reduction Action Center Open House and Tour

As you may know, we are in the midst of an overdose epidemic. Wanna join us to learn more about your local syringe exchange program? Ever wonder what happens in one? They are invested in the health and safety of our community, just like the rest of us. Join us for a special open house on Wed. July 31 between 4-6pm, a tour won’t take more than 20 minutes.

Where: Harm Reduction Action Center, 231 E Colfax Ave, Denver
When: Wednedsay, July 31 at 4:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Our Colorado Way of Life: Wednesday Canvass and Phonebank – Pettersen Proud

Join Senator Brittany Pettersen and Jefferson County Activists for a canvassing or phonebanking shift every Wednesday! Stand with Sen. Pettersen against misguided, extremist-led recall efforts.

Where: 7510 W Mississippi Ave, Denver
When: Wednesday, July 31 at 5:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


Our Colorado Way of Life: Wednesday Canvass/Phonebank – Protect Pete

Join Senator Pete Lee and El Paso County Activists for a canvassing or phonebanking shift every Wednesday evening! Stand with Sen. Lee against misguided, extremist-led recall efforts.

Where: 218 W Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs
When: Wednesday, July 31 at 5:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


Conservation Colorado: JeffCo Scorecard Party

Community members of Senate District 19 (represented by Rachel Zenzinger), Senate District 20 (represented by Jessie Danielson), and Senate District 22 (represented by Brittany Pettersen) are invited to learn how their legislator voted on the priority bills that affect Colorado’s air, water, land, climate, and communities. At the event, we’ll go over Conservation Colorado’s 2019 Conservation Scorecard, play legislative bingo, and reflect on the past legislative session while digging into a taco bar.

Where: Jefferson Unitarian Church, 14350 W 32nd Ave, Golden
When: Wednesday, July 31 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights: LIPS 10th Aniversario

COLOR is celebrating our 10th aniversario of our signature youth leadership program, Latinas Increasing Political Strength (LIPS) with a luncheon on Thursday, August 1. This multi-dimensional program allows youth to become immersed in a rich learning experience that hones leadership skills across the areas of public speaking, fundraising, advocacy, lobbying, social media strategies, community organizing, networking, resume building, mentorship, anti-oppression, resiliency, mind/body/spirit, and more.

Where: Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd, Denver
When: Thursday, August 1 at 11:00am

Click here to RSVP.


Venture With VOYCE

We’re in the business of breaking barriers -so who says brunch can’t start at 6 pm?! Join us on August 1st for an evening Venture with VOYCE, a smorgasbord of brunch eats (for dinner), and a sample of what our young people have been working on at the VOYCE Academy this summer. Between a new Executive Director, Vanessa Roberts, a fresh vision for the organization, and new a roster of eager and ambitious young folks, we are so excited to share Project VOYCE’s plans for the future. We will also be featuring samples of our youth facilitated workshops. So come, be inspired, venture, and invest in the next generation of community game-changers who are already doing the work to make our future an equitable one!

Where: Manual High School, 1700 E 28th Ave, Denver
When: Thursday, August 1 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Our Colorado Way of Life: Saturday Canvass – Pettersen Proud

Join Senator Brittany Pettersen and Jefferson County Activists for a canvassing shift every Saturday! Stand with Sen. Pettersen against misguided, extremist-led recall efforts.

Where: 7510 W Mississippi Ave, Denver
When: Saturday, August 3 at 9:30am

Click here to RSVP.


Our Colorado Way of Life: Protect Pete – Saturday Canvass

Join Senator Pete Lee and El Paso County Activists for a canvassing shift every Sunday! Stand with Sen. Lee against misguided, extremist-led recall efforts.

Where: 218 W Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs
When: Saturday, August 3 at 10:00am

Click here to RSVP.


Stay Strong with Our Senators – Saturday Postcard Events in SoBo

An extremist group is trying to recall Colorado State Senators Brittany Pettersen and Pete Lee. They are collecting signatures for the recall petitions right now in Lakewood and Colorado Springs. Please join us in SoBo to write postcards and inform the voters on what’s going on and urge them to decline to sign the petitions. It’s the most cost effective way to stop the recalls in the bud and save tax payers tens of thousands of dollars down the road in recall elections.

Where: Southern Sun Pub & Brewery, 627 S Broadway St, Boulder
When: Saturday, August 3 at 12:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


APA August Meeting: Climate Change and Rocky Flats

Concerned about potential impacts of climate change? Worried about health threats from Rocky Flats plant? Wondering what you can do to make the future better? If you answered yes to any of these, come hear words of encouragement from two dynamic speakers!

Where: First United Church of Arvada, 7195 Simms St, Arvada
When: Saturday, August 3 at 4:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Our Colorado Way of Life: Sunday Canvass – Pettersen Proud

Join Senator Brittany Pettersen and Jefferson County Activists for a canvassing shift every Sunday! Stand with Sen. Pettersen against misguided, extremist-led recall efforts.

Where: 7510 W Mississippi Ave, Denver
When: Sunday, August 4 at 12:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Our Colorado Way of Life: Canvass w/Phil Weiser – Protect Pete

Join AG Phil Weiser and Sen. Pete Lee for a canvassing shift and stand with Sen. Lee against misguided and extremist-led recalls.

Where: 218 W Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs
When: Sunday, August 4 at 10:00am

Click here to RSVP.


2019 One Colorado For All Statewide Tour – Aurora

As the state’s largest advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Coloradans and their families, we’ve worked hard for the legal and political advancements we’ve achieved. And – there’s still so much work to do. As many of us know, legal equality and representation in elected offices does not eliminate the lived equality gap that affects many of us in our day-to-day lives. We are excited to announce our 2019 One Colorado For All Statewide Tour with seventeen stops all across the state, taking us from Grand Junction to Fort Collins, from Steamboat to Alamosa, from Pueblo to Aspen.

Where: Lowry Conference Center, 1061 Akron Way, Denver
When: Sunday, August 4 at 1:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Thanks for your help making these events successful! We’ll see you next week.

President Trump Says He Helped First Responders on 9/11


President Donald Trump

Because it happens so often, it is difficult to find the energy to maintain an appropriate level of concern or outrage whenever President Trump says something horrible. Today is one of those days where channeling an extra bit of dismay at Trump is more than appropriate.

As Chris Cillizza writes for CNN:

On Monday morning, in a speech to first responders and others impacted by the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, President Trump took his fantastical memory of himself to new and not-at-all-appropriate heights.

“I was down there also, but I’m not considering myself a first responder,” Trump said. “But I was down there. I spent a lot of time down there with you.” …

…Let’s be clear about what Trump is doing here: He is associating himself — very closely — with the men and women who were the first to respond to planes being crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. People who continue to suffer health issues due to their jobs. [Pols emphasis]

(They were at the White House for Trump’s formal signing of an extension of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, which ensures first responders continue to get money from the government to deal with their issues.)

This is not the first time that Trump has claimed that he helped clear rubble from the site of the World Trade Center — there is absolutely no evidence to support any of this — but it is the first time he made the argument in the White House with actual first responders in the same room.

We’ll let Cillizza sum up Trump’s comments today:

“We should be appalled that the President of the United States is willing to say things like this — especially to a crowd who has given so much to the country in its darkest hours.”

Consider us appalled.

Gardner Gets Loved Up by Tea Party Radio Host

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

If you haven’t followed Colorado’s U.S. Senate race very closely, you might think it’s a tough moment for Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, given how much hatred of Trump there is in Colorado, when a Trump-loving radio host asks Gardner, “Will you stand with Trump at a rally?”

But that’s the softest of balls for Gardner, who responded to the question over the weekend with a quick, “You bet! I hope everybody will!”

Gardner long ago decided to hitch himself to Trump. He endorsed him early. He’s said multiple times that he wants to campaign with Trump, and he wants the people of Colorado to get to know the president and like him.

Gardner, who once called Trump a buffoon and initially promised not to vote for him, now talks to the president frequently, as the senator boasted on air over the weekend:

“I’ve talked to him just as recently as I think Thursday — just a couple of days ago — about the Bureau of Land Management move to Colorado,” said Gardner on air. “You know, there are times when we’re going to disagree, but I hope he will come to Colorado and we’ll show him all the good things we can, that we’re doing in Colorado,” he added.

So, for now at least, questions about Trump are easy for Gardner, even though chances are his answers will prove to be his downfall in a state where voters deeply disapprove Trump–but Gardner even more.

The string of happy questions from KNUS’ Randy Corporon on Saturday surprised many listeners–who’d been expecting Corporon to be respectful to Gardner while hitting him hard after Gardner dodged his radio show for more than four years (Corporon even set up a Facebook page dedicated to shaming Gardner for not coming on the show.)

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