Search Results for: boyles

Republican Wars Have Consequences

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

No matter what side they’re on in their internal war over whether to dump open primaries, Republicans are telling the world — and each other — how weak they are in Colorado, how much swing voters hate them, how deep blue the state is turning, and how depressed they are about it.

That’s the most amusing collateral damage for Republicans in the lead-up to Saturday’s vote on the open-primary question. And they are inflicting it on themselves.

In a devastating opinion posted today, Republican Mark Hillman expertly outlines the irrefutable math on how much unaffiliated voters, who are essential in winning elections, dislike Republicans nowadays.

“Even in GOP strongholds of Douglas and El Paso counties, unaffiliated voters are breaking hard against Republicans,” wrote Hillman, repeatedly using the phrase “deep hole” to describe the Republicans’ whereabouts in Colorado.

George Bruachler, a former candidate for Colorado Attorney General, was more circumspect about spotlighting his party’s ongoing failures in Colorado, but he did so nonetheless. “The notion that Republicans’ lack of electoral success since 2018 in Colorado is attributable to open primaries and all of the conspiracy theories that flow from them is contrary to facts.”

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Get More Smarter on Thursday (Sept. 16)

Happy Mexican Independence Day. Please celebrate responsibly. Let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

 

As The Colorado Sun reports, there’s a new proposed congressional redistricting map out for discussion:

The latest draft of Colorado’s congressional map avoids putting the state’s current U.S. House members into the same district, while creating a sweeping district across most of the Western Slope and southern Colorado. The new 8th Congressional District in the north Denver metro region would be nearly 39% Hispanic.

The new map released Wednesday groups most of the Western Slope and southern Colorado into a single, L-shaped 3rd Congressional District. Northwest high-country counties including Routt, Jackson, Eagle, Summit and Grand are grouped with Larimer and Boulder into a proposed 2nd Congressional District. And the new districts would no longer pit Garfield County Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert against Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse of Lafayette.

And the proposed 7th District, now centered in the north and west metro area, would include much of Jefferson County but stretch to South Park in the central Rocky Mountains.

This new map is not without problems, as The Sun notes:

Morgan Carroll, chair of the Colorado Democratic Party, disputed the congressional commission’s formula for determining the political competitiveness of a district.

“Measuring competitiveness by focusing on strong years for one party and ignoring 2014 — which was a strong year for the other party — is simply wrong,” Carroll said in a statement. “As a result, this could very likely end up a 4-4 map after the midterms, which is in no way reflective of Colorado voters.”

The Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission will debate this new map tonight. If at least eight votes can’t be garnered, the nonpartisan staff will produce a third proposed map on Sept. 23. CLICK HERE to see Congressional Map #2.

In other redistricting news, the Colorado Secretary of State’s office is investigating potential illegal lobbying activity committed by a handful of well-known Republican operatives. The Colorado Times Recorder also has the full video of a ham-handed presentation that Republican Rep. Matt Soper gave to several Republicans in July.

 

Republican Heidi Ganahl announced her campaign for Governor on Tuesday and is off to the worst start for a statewide candidate in recent memory.

Former State Republican Party Chairman Dick Wadhams has some biting criticism that applies to Ganahl, as The Colorado Times Recorder reports:

A day after Heidi Ganahl, the newly minted GOP gubernatorial candidate, refused to tell reporters whether she thought the last year’s presidential election was legitimate, Wadhams said Republicans won’t be “credible in a general election” unless they say the election was not stolen.

“I think candidates ought to look at the reporter and say, ‘I do not believe the election was stolen. I do not believe we should ban 1.6 million unaffiliated voters from voting in the primary.’ And I think we just ought to take a stand on this because it’s defining our party,” Wadhams told Peter Boyles.

“I honestly think we’ve got to have strong candidates who were willing to say, no, the election was not stolen because that’s the only way they can be credible in a general election.”

You know Republicans are worried about Ganahl’s campaign when they immediately start blaming the media for her troubles.

 

The Denver Post reports on a significant new finding from the Colorado Attorney General’s office:

Colorado’s attorney general will require the Aurora Police Department to make sweeping reforms after a year-long investigation found officers’ pattern of racially biased policing and use of excessive force routinely violated state and federal law.

The department’s officers persistently arrested and injured Black individuals and other people of color at higher rates than white residents, according to the investigation released Wednesday.

Officers also routinely used excessive force against people unnecessarily, failed to de-escalate encounters and failed to properly document information about individuals they stopped as required by state law, the investigation found.

The department’s training and accountability structures are inadequate and create a culture of violence, according to investigators’ 112-page report.

Anyone who has been paying any attention to Aurora in the last couple of years will not likely be surprised by this report. Attorney General Phil Weiser wants to create a consent decree to allow his office to work with the Aurora PD on making widespread reforms.

 

As Denver7 reports, ICU capacity in Colorado hospitals has reached its lowest levels of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

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Wadhams Wouldn’t Be ‘Surprised’ if Majority of CO GOP Governing Body Votes To Exit Open Primaries

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Former Colorado Republican leader Dick Wadhams “would not be surprised” if over 50% of the governing body of the Colorado Republican Party votes Saturday not to participate in open primaries anymore, falling short of the 75% that’s legally required to dump open primaries but setting the table for GOP activists to file a lawsuit that could overturn the 75% threshold and allow Republicans to eschew primaries as early as next year.

Wadhams made the comments on KHOW’s Peter Boyles show this morning in an interview in which he also cast a decidedly sour view on GOP candidates who baselessly say the last presidential election was fraudulent.

“I would not be surprised if they get over 50% of the people who show up that day,” said Wadhams on air. “And frankly, that is concerning enough to me that our state central committee, the most active Republicans around the state, might vote to support this crazy idea to eliminate the primary.

“It will not get 75%,” said Wadhams. “It will fail. But what I would wish happen, is like it would be defeated soundly. I don’t think that’ll be the case, to be honest, Peter. I think it’s past.”

A day after Heidi Ganahl, the newly minted GOP gubernatorial candidate, refused to tell reporters whether she thought the last year’s presidential election was legitimate, Wadhams said Republicans won’t be “credible in a general election” unless they say the election was not stolen.

“I think candidates ought to look at the reporter and say, ‘I do not believe the election was stolen. I do not believe we should ban 1.6 million unaffiliated voters from voting in the primary.’ And I think we just ought to take a stand on this because it’s defining our party,” Wadhams told Boyles.

“I honestly think we’ve got to have strong candidates who were willing to say, no, the election was not stolen because that’s the only way they can be credible in a general election.”

Last week, A Republican lawyer joined an ACLU of Colorado attorney in saying Republicans have a case in court to argue that the 75% threshold should be tossed out and replaced by a simple majority.

They’d have an even better argument if the party votes by over 50% to exit the primaries, say GOP activists.

The percentage required is not just based on the Republicans who show up Saturday but on the total membership of the GOP governing body, including those who aren’t present Saturday. There are different opinions on whether proxy votes will be allowed.

Polis Is Unbeatable in Next Year’s Election, Says GOP State Sen. John Cooke

(Moment of clarity – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Gov. Jared Polis (D).

Appearing on right-wing talk radio yesterday, state Sen. John Cooke (R-Greeley) said he thinks Republicans can’t unseat Gov. Jared Polis (D-CO) in next year’s election, due to the incumbent’s potential war chest and the absence of a “viable” candidate so “late in the season.”

“Can Polis get beat?” KNUS radio host Peter Boyles asked Cooke, who’s the Republican Assistant Minority Leader in the Colorado Senate.

“You know, I would like to say yes, but no, I don’t think he can at this point,” replied Cooke, who praised Polis as smart and popular. “You know, it’s unfortunate, but money runs campaigns. And one, we need to have a good candidate, and it’s really getting late in the season.”

Cooke’s comments came as a surprise, as leaders of political parties don’t usually predict that their party will lose upcoming elections for fear of scaring away donors. Yet Cooke lamented one GOP candidate’s lack of money.

“We have one person that announced [to run for governor],” said Cooke on the radio. “Greg Lopez, good guy. But if you ask 99, if you ask 100 people, walk up to strangers say, ‘Who’s Greg Lopez?’ Ninety-nine, I bet, maybe even all 100 would say, ‘I have no idea.’ And so he has no name recognition. And if you don’t have name recognition, you’re not going to raise the money. And if you don’t have the money, you’re not going to get the name recognition. So it’s kind of a Catch 22. So we don’t really have a viable candidate yet running for governor. Nobody seems to be out in the wings waiting. And, you know, Polls can write his own checks.”

Asked by Boyles about defeating U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), Cooke said it will be “tough” to unseat him.

“You know, maybe in Colorado,” said Cooke on air. “It’s going to be tough unless we get organized and unify on a message, then I don’t know if that could be beaten either.”

Cooke’s assessment of the Republican Party’s prospects in next year’s election is largely supported by voter surveys and expert opinion, which point to Democratic victories in the absence of a fundamental political shift. That’s seen as not likely but always possible.

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Bid to Opt Out of Open Republican Primaries in CO Is Close to Success, Now With Help From Tancredo, Say Organizers

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Tom Tancredo.

As grassroots Republicans continue their statewide road tour to lobby 517 county GOP officers and other central committee members to vote to end open primaries for their party, leaders of that effort are celebrating their successes and the most recent big-name recruit to their cause, Tom Tancredo.

Randy Corporon, Colorado’s Republican National Committeeman, and Chuck Bonniwell, who sits on the state GOP governing committee, updated listeners on Saturday morning during a joint appearance on Corporon’s KNUS conservative talk radio program.

Bonniwell sees open primaries, which allow unaffiliated voters to cast ballots for Republican, Democratic, or other candidates, as an existential threat to the survival of the state Republican Party. He believes that the open primary system allows Democratic donors to fund establishment Republicans’ campaigns in the primaries, causing the grassroots Republican candidates to lose.

“They pour all their money into electing RINO Republicans who will sign on to the bills in the legislature,” said Bonniwell. “We lost Patrick Neville as leader because the new group that came in elected Hugh McKean, who loves to work with Democrats and denigrate other Republicans. We will, in two to four years, have no conservative members left.”

September 18 is the deadline for Bonniwell and his fellow GOP activists to convince at least 388 central committee members, or 75%, to vote with them, as required by statute to opt out of open primaries. The central committee, made up of Republican delegates from across Colorado, will meet on that day to determine how Republican nominees will be selected in the future.

Bonniwell is encouraged by his group’s progress in convincing state GOP officers to end open primaries.

“The party is really struggling,” said Bonniwell. “I’ve gone around the state along with Anil Matthai, … Peg Cage, Jimmy Mack, … Ben Nicholas. And we’ve gone to virtually — we’ve done 45 counties, talked to the Republicans, everybody who will meet with us, and it has all of a sudden started to snowball. It is really starting to go because they haven’t seen, often, a[n] executive committee member, ever! And they are desperate in a lot of these places. The economic stress in eastern Colorado is just heartbreaking, if you’ve been out there. But we started to gain a lot of traction. And so the establishment decided, ‘Uh oh! We’d better squash these guys. They look like they’re starting to get enough people to opt out of the primaries and have a Republican run primary.’ … So, we’ve got to get 75% to say ‘yes’ at the September 18th meeting. And obviously we’re threatening [to reach] that [threshold] or they would not have pulled out Jon Caldara and the Independence Institute and all the rest of them to attack us. It means we’re really making a difference.”

Politicos and pundits are weighing in on the prospect of reversing a voter mandate from 2016 which allows for unaffiliated Colorado voters to participate in the party primary election of their choice to determine party nominees for legislative seats, statewide executive offices, and Congressional representatives in the general election.

Last week, Jon Caldara of the conservative think tank Independence Institute wrote a column for The Gazette. And on the same day, The Colorado Sun published a column by Mario Nicholas.

Both columnists punctuated their opposition to the state GOP opting out of open primaries with ominous predictions for the party, which featured words such as ‘death’ and ‘defeat.’

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Colo Republican Leaders Deny Party Division, Claim Pro-Trumpers Have Won Control

(For if it prosper… – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

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So-called grassroots Republicans have lots of excuses for the party’s diminishing returns in Colorado politics over the past two decades, but they want you to know that the party is united and ready to claim its deserved mantle of victory in 2022.

According to two grassroots members of the Colorado GOP executive committee, the 20-year losing trend is a result of many factors. It’s the media. It’s “Trump derangement syndrome” and ignorant voters. It’s fickle unaffiliated voters. It’s legalized cannabis. It’s Democratic dark money playing in Republican open primaries. It’s ballot harvesting, rigged elections, and voter fraud. It’s Antifa posing as Trump supporters in a false flag operation of violently storming the U.S. Capitol.

For them, the Colorado GOP’s dismal political prospects are definitely NOT due to Trump’s documented sinking popularity, rapidly changing state demographics, GOP policy positions, nor candidates’ tone-deaf messaging.

And it definitely is not due to intraparty power struggles between establishment and “grassroots” or Trump factions of the Republican Party. That is, until their message discipline falls apart and their truth comes out.

Randy Corporon, conservative radio host, GOP National Committeeman, and member of the CO GOP Executive committee appeared from CPAC in March on a conservative podcast hosted by Chuck Bonniwell, also an Executive Committee member, and they agreed that the Republican Party is united, as verified by the optimistic vibe among CPAC attendees.

“Somebody asked a few minutes ago if I had to describe the takeaway so far at CPAC, what would I say in two words,” recounted Corporon. “And I said, ‘Party Unity.’ The swamp has no idea what’s coming. … I was on with Peter Boyles this morning and he talks about a division in the Republican Party. I just don’t see it. This is a sorting, a flushing out of the old guard, you know, four-decade-long establishment Republicans who are at the end of their power and they know it.”

Bonniwell begins his response by agreeing, but changes tack to the more familiar frame that has come to define his confrontational and provocative style. He passive-aggressively slams Republican pollster David Flaherty of Magellan Strategies and sardonically insults former Colorado Republican legislator Lois Landgraf for launching an organization to train candidates and promote an element of reasonableness among conservatives.

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CO Republicans Once Declined Interview Requests From Toxic CO Radio Hosts. Not Anymore

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Peter Boyles.

Some of Colorado’s most right-wing talk radio hosts, who regularly promote views that drive Colorado voters away from the Republican Party, are rejoicing over the willingness of Colorado Republican leaders to appear on their shows again — after past GOP leaders rejected interview requests from the toxic radio yappers.

“You know, I got to tell you something,” KNUS morning host Peter Boyles told Aurora City Council candidate Danielle Jurinsky on air earlier this month. “…If I told you I could not get a Republican candidate or an elected official to sit in that chair for ten years, would you believe me? They never came.”

“How sad is that?” said Jurinsky.

“I never got Walker Stapleton; they wouldn’t even return phone calls,” continued Boyles, adding that the “old guys” were really “machine” Republicans. “Cory Gardner, forget about it. I’ll give you a list of people that wouldn’t come near the show.”

But now, Boyles is thrilled to say on air, he can get the leader of the Colorado Republican Party, Kristi Burton Brown to appear on his show any time he calls. Same with the party’s vice-chair and secretary. 

Boyles talks about possibly hosting a series of “lunches” to raise funds for these women.

Republican leaders who want to be hated by most Colorado voters should go yuk it up with Boyles as early and often as possible. He’ll help them lose elections.

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GOP Stands for ‘Bland Milquetoast,’ Says Neville in Response to Minority Leader McKean’s Voting Error

(With friends like these… – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Patrick Neville (R).

On a Colorado talk radio show Tuesday, former GOP House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock) lambasted a bill that would modify background check requirements for firearm purchases, exchanges, and transfers.

And at the same time, he took a swipe at his successor and rival, Rep. Hugh McKean (R-Loveland), who won his leadership position last year by proposing a shift away from the intra-party divisiveness and far-right positions that characterized Neville’s tenure.

McKean had mistakenly cast a ‘yes’ vote for the gun-safety bill when it cleared the Colorado House Monday.

In his interview with Peter Boyles on KNUS, Neville did not miss his opportunity to attack McKean early on, with a comment that highlighted his lingering animosity from the contentious legislative leadership campaigns in November:

“You know, I’m not going to do exactly like he did to me, … and issue a press release and say he doesn’t fit the values of the party. But it did happen. … One of the most controversial bills we’ve dealt with all year, of course. … I spent a lot of time on it. And then yesterday, our minority leader accidentally voted for the bill.”

Presumably, Neville was referring to a press release from McKean in December admonishing Neville for “reprisal” in doxxing Denver Post reporter Conrad Swanson over an article about Neville’s leadership of the House GOP caucus, his handling of a House fund, charges of nepotism involving his brother Joe Neville, and a losing electoral record among GOP legislative campaigns.

McKean characterized Neville’s reprisal as “not acceptable and does not represent the values we, as Republicans, hold.”

In his interview with Boyles on Tuesday, Neville seemed to admit that the doxxing incident had been a mistake on his part, though he doubled down on his actions at the time when he came under criticism.

An email to Neville requesting clarification on this statement, and seeking comment for this post, was not immediately returned. This post will be updated with any response received.

Later in their on-air discussion, Boyles and Neville drift to the perennial topic of how the Colorado Republican Party can make a comeback in Colorado.

Neville identifies the need for strong, principled messaging and caucus unity among GOP legislators in order gain the trust and confidence of voters:

“The Republican Party hasn’t really stood for anything other than basically bland milquetoast,” said Neville. “And because of that, the voters don’t trust us. And then you see where it’s happening right now. We’ve got to have some intra-party discipline on some things.”

Neville illustrated his point by calling out state Sen. Kevin Priola (R-Adams County) for diverging from his caucus to support Senate Bill 21-260, a transportation-fee bill to fund infrastructure investment, despite an initiative passed last fall to apply TABOR restrictions to fees enacted by the legislature.

Neville also called out deceased former U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for having undermined the repeal of Obamacare by voting with Democrats in 2018.

Neville wasn’t the only Colorado conservative to hammer McKean following his mistaken vote on Monday.

Late Monday afternoon, following his mistaken vote for the gun bill, McKean was criticized in an email blast from Neville’s longtime ally, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, a hardline group, founded by Dudley Brown, that opposes all gun-safety measures, including background checks.

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Get More Smarter on Monday (May 17)

Happy Tax Day! Let’s Get More Smarter; if you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment. 

 

The Colorado Sun reports on some bad news following last week’s decision by the CDC (and Colorado) to ease off on mask requirements:

Colorado on Sunday sat atop a New York Times tracker for national hotspots, recording the worst 7-day average rate for new coronavirus cases in the nation. (It first rose to the top spot on Friday.)

Measurements of how well the virus is under control are near the lowest they’ve been since the start of the pandemic. An estimated one out of every 81 people in the state is currently contagious with the virus. In March, that number was one out of every 350 people.

The most recent modeling projections produced by health experts at several Colorado universities estimate more virus will be in circulation this coming summer than last summer. And the virus that is circulating will be predominantly from more infectious variants — most of the cases in the state now come from the B.1.1.7 variant, which is believed to be 50% more transmissible than older strains.

We are not doctors here at Colorado Pols, so take our advice with the appropriate grains of salt: You should probably keep wearing a mask in public even if you are vaccinated, but DEFINITELY if you are unvaccinated. Colorado businesses can also set their own requirements for wearing masks inside stores.

In related news, President Biden is announcing plans for the U.S. to share 20 million COVID-19 vaccines with the rest of the world.

 

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider an abortion law from Mississippi that could mark a path toward the dissolution of Roe v. Wade. As The Washington Post explains:

The Supreme Court on Monday said it will review a restrictive Mississippi abortion law that opponents of the procedure say provides a clear path to diminish Roe v. Wade’s establishment of the right of women to choose an abortion.

Abortion opponents for months have urged the court’s conservatives to seize the chance to reexamine the 1973 precedent. Mississippi is one among many Republican-led states that have passed restrictions that conflict with the court’s precedents protecting a woman’s right to choose before fetal viability.

In accepting the case, the court said it would examine whether “all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.” That has been a key component of the court’s jurisprudence.

The Mississippi law would ban almost all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. But both a district judge and a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit said that could not be squared with decades of Supreme Court precedents.

The Court could hear the case as soon as Fall 2021.

 

Be more smarter than Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs)

The editorial board of The Denver Post hopes that Republicans will field a decent candidate to oust Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) in 2022:

Congressman Doug Lamborn should be in trouble. But there have been many times that he should have been in trouble before and yet has eked out many tough primary victories in Colorado’s safely Republican 5th Congressional District.

We hope this time the evidence that he is mismanaging his office and misspending government funds will result in voters ousting him from the post.

The complaints filed in a lawsuit against Lamborn last week by a former staffer (some of which are backed up by emails obtained by The Denver Post’s Conrad Swanson) are just embarrassing…

…We’ve long heard Republicans were going to mount a strong challenger to Lamborn, but often the vote gets split between multiple challengers. This year, we hope someone steps up for the primary and the folks are able to coalesce behind the challenger.

Here’s more background on the lawsuit filed against Rep. Lamborn by a former staffer. For further reading, check these stories from The Denver Post; Colorado Public Radio; The Colorado Times Recorder; Denver7; CNN; POLITICO; and The Associated Press.

 

Let’s get caught up on more news from the state legislature, which has just a few weeks left in the 2021 session…

Governor Jared Polis will sign the “long bill” today (SB21-205), otherwise known as the 2021-22 Appropriations Bill.

Colorado Democrats killed a bill on policing and jails after much discussion.

As The Denver Post reports, legislation dealing with marijuana potency has also been altered significantly.

Colorado Newsline reports on a watered-down bill advocating for tenant rights.

Denver7 looks at a couple of bills aimed at improving pre-natal care in Colorado.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports on the progress of legislation that would offer discounted state park passes for motorists obtaining or renewing vehicle registration in Colorado.

Legislation dealing with alcohol-to-go is moving along in both chambers.

 

More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…

 

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Get More Smarter on Friday (March 19)

Good news, hoop heads: The NCAA Men’s basketball tournament is back after a one year COVID-19 absence. Let’s Get More Smarter; if you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

 

The public option bill is in the House (and, also, the Senate). From Colorado Newsline:

A group of Colorado Democrats officially introduced legislation that would potentially create the Colorado Option: a lower-cost, nonprofit-managed health insurance plan sold on the individual and small group markets that all providers would be required to accept.

Under the legislation, the Colorado Option would only become available — starting in 2025 — if private insurance carriers failed to reduce premiums by 20% over two years for standard individual and small group plans sold on the state’s exchange.

The public option would be carried by a quasi-governmental nonprofit entity called the Colorado Option Authority, set up by the state and managed by a board of directors. Individual and small group plans carried by the authority would have to achieve a 20% cut in premiums as compared with 2021 rates, and all health care providers in the state would be required to accept the plans.

The health care industry is all fired up in opposition to this, which should tell you everything you need to know about which side to be on.

 

► House Minority Leader Hugh McKean (R-Loveland) is about four months into his job. It’s not going well. McKean appears to be in over his head at the State Capitol.

Now, let’s catch up on more news from the Colorado legislature:

The Denver Post, The Colorado Sun, and Colorado Public Radio have more on the unveiling of a public option plan.

Jon Murray of The Denver Post looks at how lawmakers plan to fix Colorado’s transportation infrastructure problems. Colorado Public Radio also reports on the transportation discussions.

Colorado Newsline looks at the progress of legislation that would improve wages and working conditions for farm workers.

A proposal to put a fence around parts of the State Capitol continues to draw opposition from former Colorado leaders.

 

► Now that Colorado’s Independent Redistricting Commissions have been selected, it’s time to get to work on those new maps…maybe. As The Colorado Sun reports in its “Unaffiliated” newsletter:

This week, Gov. Jared Polis, the Democratic and Republican leaders of the Colorado General Assembly, and the co-chairs of the campaign for Amendments Y and Z urged the congressional commission to push ahead using population estimates from 2019. There are, however, questions about the legality of doing so.

Jeremiah Barry, a legislative attorney and legal counsel for the congressional redistricting commission, said he isn’t opposed to using the estimated data to get the commission’s work started, but he thinks the Colorado Supreme Court should be asked first if that’s OK.

State lawmakers are now planning to do just that, said Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, a Boulder Democrat. Initially, legislative leaders were going to ask the Colorado Supreme Court to push back September and December map-drawing deadlines placed in the Colorado Constitution when voters passed Amendments Y and Z in 2018. That’s no longer in the cards.

The redistricting commissions should be able to start working on maps based on 2018 Census data, at the very least.

 

 Colorado is doing a great job of vaccinating adults over the age of 65. We aren’t doing quite so well with everyone else. The last subgroup to become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine is activated today; the next step is to open up eligibility for all Coloradans.

President Biden, meanwhile, says the U.S. should hit his goal of 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in his first 100 days by today — 40 days ahead of schedule.

 

More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…

 

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500,000 Dead Americans, Zero Apologies From Colorado GOP

Having officially passed the tragic milestone of half a million Americans dead, we can say with certainty today that the COVID-19 pandemic was not a “psyop.”

Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams got it wrong:

“I’m going to rant just a bit,” wrote Reams on Facebook. “I understand that nobody wants to catch Coronavirus but statistically, even if you catch it you’re likely to be just fine. [Pols emphasis] What I’m concerned with is our Country catching a huge case of socialism. We (our government) has self imposed an economic crash in the name of saving us from a virus and now they are offering the “solution” through money that isn’t really available; let’s call that debt. If you read the attached article, examine what is being suggested and ask yourselves if this is makes sense. Maybe it’s just me but I’d rather take my risk with the virus then socialism.”

So did Reams’ buddy, Colorado GOP chairman Rep. Ken Buck:

Fauci and his team insisted that the best-case outcome for the virus was between 100,000 to 200,000 fatalities stemming from the coronavirus. But that was before the number was revised down to 75,000. And, that was before it was revised down again to 60,000. Surely, more revisions are to come… [Pols emphasis]

Play this nine infuriating seconds of video:

 

Remember former House Minority Leader Patrick Neville downplaying the threat in the most offensive terms:

Describing the metro area’s stay-at-home order as “outlandish and outrageous,” leading to a “gestapo-like mentality,” Colorado’s Republican House leader vowed Wednesday to fight it, ignore it, and continue doing his job.

“It’s completely insane,” said Colorado House Republican leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock this morning on KNUS’ Peter Boyles show, as first reported by 9News. “I think we have — what? — something like 40 people, maybe it’s 80 people, somewhere in that range, who have actually been hospitalized…” [Pols emphasis]

And a joke now ex-Sen. Cory Gardner told last August that did not age well:

“My 8-year-old son came to me and said, ‘Dad, I know when the pandemic ends.’ And I said, ‘You do?’ He says, ‘Yes, the day after the election.’ [Pols emphasis] Now, he picked that up somewhere or heard that somewhere, or maybe mom and dad were talking too much around him,” Gardner told a laughing crowd.

If we had the time and inclination, we could write a book just about Republicans in Colorado who made tragicomic fools of themselves by disregarding the danger posed by the COVID-19 pandemic from the beginning of the crisis. Had these politicians only endangered their own safety, recounting their stupidity in hindsight would involve more comedy and less tragedy. Unfortunately, it is this willful disregard for public health and safety for the purpose of election-year posturing on the part of Republicans that has led directly to the United States suffering more illness and death from COVID-19 than any other nation.

None of them have said they were sorry. Most of them never will. As a nation we may be too numbed and fatigued to be outraged. But everyone who scoffed at this possibility owes an apology now that this once-unthinkable death toll from COVID-19 is a reality.

At long last, have they no shame?

Boebert To “Rally the Troops” in Georgia

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep.-elect Lauren Boebert (R-ifle).

You knew the only thing stopping Congresswoman-elect Lauren Boebert (R-CO) from exploding across the conservative underworld nationally was actually getting elected.

Now that she’s cleared that obstacle, Boebert is lighting up social media, Fox News, and other right-wing platforms as she launches her national campaign for…anything that will draw more attention to herself.

That’s the theme that runs through Boebert’s life. To the extent she’s been successful in business and politics, it’s because she knows how to get attention.

The latest sign of her national rise is her travel schedule.

She was on the radio over the weekend bragging not about returning to Colorado in December to talk to constituents but, instead, about “fun trips,” first to Georgia to inflame right-wingers there in hopes of getting them to vote.

“A couple of fun trips in December that we are taking,” Boebert told KNUS’ Randy Corporon Friday. “I’m gong to Georgia to help with the Senate races. And I’ll be down there with Senator Cruz. And we’ll be rallying the troops down there” (here at 43:30).

Republicans are worried that Trump’s lies about rigged elections will keep loyal and logical conservatives from voting in Georgia’s upcoming Senate election, because, why vote if the election is rigged anyway?

Boebert continues to not only question the election results, but also attacks any elected official who isn’t doing the same.

(more…)

Jenna Ellis Claims Dominion Voting Machines May Have “Swung” Colorado Races

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis.

After joining a news conference yesterday with Rudolph Giuliani claiming without evidence that widespread fraud undermined November’s presidential election, Trump’s legal advisor Jenna Ellis jumped on a Denver conservative radio show and alleged, again with no evidence, that Colorado-based voting machine firm may have committed fraud to give victories to losing candidates in Colorado.

“We are seeing how Dominion may have swung some of the state and local races in Colorado as well,” Ellis told KHOW radio host Dan Caplis yesterday afternoon. “I mean, this is stuff that is just incredible and is absolutely unconstitutional and goes against our fundamental constitutionally protected right to free and fair election. So this is massive.”

Ellis is referring to the Dominion voting platform that’s used in 62 of 64 Colorado counties and in other states. It’s come under baseless fire by Trump’s legal team challenging election results.

On the radio yesterday, Ellis didn’t specify which Colorado races may have been affected by fraud.

Ellis said, “We are also getting some people who have independent knowledge,” said Ellis, declining to “share anything further to protect their identity.”

But Colorado voting experts, including former Republican Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Republican county election officials have expressed complete confidence in Colorado’s November election.

“I can’t speak for what’s going on across the nation, but I can tell you, right here in Larimer County and in Colorado, I’m completely comfortable with our system as we have it,” said Larimer County Clerk and Recorder Angela Myers, a Republican, on KCOL this week here at 20 min. “I feel like it’s been completely reliable. We’ve had no issues of any kind, no indication that there have been any issues of any kind of these many, many years.”

In Colorado, said Williams on KNUS over the weekend, “the process is working; we can prove that it’s working; we can show that every step of the way has been conducted properly.”

“With respect to Dominion, we have run over 350 risk-limiting audit tests on Dominion’s software in Colorado,” said Williams. “It has passed every single one of those. So we have verified in election after election, in county after county, that the system functions properly.”

(more…)

Neville Laments & Stokes Division Among Statehouse Republicans

(No peace among the losers – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Outgoing House Minority Leader Patrick Neville chose not to run for a second term leading the Colorado House Republicans, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t still willing to speak his mind publicly. Whether on social media or talk radio, Neville, who’s never been one to be shy about sharing his opinions, is letting everyone know how he feels.

In the past week he’s called out House colleague Rep. Matt Soper (R-Delta) on Facebook and given an on-air interview in which he pulled the curtain back on conservative donors’ attempts to influence Republican political strategy.

Douglas County Rep. Kim Ransom’s re-election to the Joint Budget Committee was one of the caucus’ several contested elections on Monday. She narrowly defeated Soper, who challenged her incumbency on the basis that his law background would make him more effective.

Soper expressed his disappointment on social media in a since-deleted Facebook post lamenting his defeat as a loss for the Western Slope and describing Ransom as a “Denver-metro career legislator.” Soper promised to fight for rural Colorado, even if that means “[battling] the Republican caucus.” He posted his statement along with a picture of himself and Rep. Neville, a choice which angered the former House Minority Leader.

Neville called Soper’s post “outrageous,” and made it clear he supports Rep. Ransom. Addressing Soper, who is 36 years old, as “young man,” Neville, 37, disputed his characterization of Ransom as a “career legislator.” He also noted that in 2018 the caucus spent “major dollars” on legal fees defending Soper (from claims he didn’t actually live in his district) and expressed betrayal over Soper’s statement:

“So much for unity, Matt. We spent major dollars defending you legally two years ago. Now you pull this? I guess we know where you stand now.”

(more…)

Neville Blames GOP Consultants for Demise of Colorado Republican Party

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R).

In announcing his decision not to seek re-election as the leader of Colorado’s House Republicans, state Rep. Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock) issued an unvarnished critique of the Colorado Republican Party.

His primary target: Republican consultants, who, says Neville, make millions of dollars and attack Republicans while going soft on Democrats.

RELATED: How Conservatives Lost Colorado.

Neville told KNUS morning-show host Peter Boyles Friday that won’t seek his leadership post so he can “get back, get closer to the grassroots, work with the grassroots; I think they’ve been ignored far too long.”

(more…)

Birtherism Is Back? If So, It Has Plenty of Precedent in CO

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

University of Colorado visiting scholar John Eastman landed in the national spotlight last week after speculating in a Newsweek op-ed that Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris might not be eligible to serve as vice president because her parents were possibly temporary visitors at the time of Harris’ birth.

Eastman, who’s attending a conference in Beaver Creek this weekend, later faced a national outcry denouncing him as a “birther,” in the mold of Trump himself who long promoted the falsehood that former president Barack Obama was ineligible to be president.

Colorado has seen birthers emerge repeatedly over the years, some apologizing some not, most recently in the form of Colorado Republican National Committee delegate Randy Corporon, whose views were profiled by profiled by CNN.

 

By far the most memorable of Colorado birther’s, aside from talk-radio host Peter Boyles, was U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), who was caught at an Elbert County fundraiser 2012 saying he didn’t know if Obama “was born in the United States of America,” but that “in his heart, he’s not an American.”

(more…)

How Boebert Wowed Colorado Talk Radio Hosts

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Lauren Boebert (R-ifle).

In the months before her upset victory over fellow Republican Scott Tipton, Colorado congressional candidate Lauren Boebert developed a loud-mouthed fan base among a key group of Colorado conservatives: talk radio hosts.

Boebert was a regular guest on Colorado’s largest talk radio station, KNUS 710-AM, as well as competing stations, giving updates on her campaign and the saga about her restaurant, Shooters Grill, which she refused to close despite orders to do so to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The dozen or so radio interviews confirm the portrait Boebert creates of herself on social media, as an aggressive, media-savvy politician, who delivers zingers more effectively than the zinger-delivery experts on the radio.

“Did you ever think that in your lifetime you would be labeled defiant simply because you want to run your business in a responsible manner?” Boebert was asked on KFKA’s Mornings with Gail May 19.

“No. You know, flattening the curve turned into communism very quickly,” Boebert replied, referring to government health orders, like the one resulting in the temporary shutdown of her restaurant, where the wait staff openly carry guns, even including her servers who are under 18 years old.

(more…)

Republicans Disown House District 34 Primary Winner

HD-34 GOP nominee Mark Bromley.

Marianne Goodland of the Colorado Springs Gazette’s political blog reports, the snakebit follies of Adams County Republicans in House District 34 continue as the party announces they will not support the winner of the primary election in that district, Mark Bromley:

The House District 34 Republican Central Committee announced recently it would not support the winner of the June 30 primary, Republican Mark Bromley of Northglenn.

The July 3 announcement cited Bromley’s threats against fellow Republicans and other candidates, and his “abject failure to exhibit beliefs that are consistent with the Republican platform, along with his indecent means of doing so.”

Those threats and other comments came through a series of now-deleted Facebook posts in which Bromley called a home-schooling parent “Home Hitler.”

Not that we would endorse characterizing home-school parents or most anyone else as a “_____ Hitler” unless they are, you know, actually a Nazi–which does happen, of course–but it’s especially bad for Republicans seeking higher office to refer to home-school parents as Nazis, since that’s an overwhelmingly Republican constituency. There’s nothing to suggest that Bromley is a moderate when it comes to education or any other issue, since he avidly promotes all of the current Republican conflict theories and even calls himself a supporter of homeschool education.

It appears that Mark Bromley is just an asshole, to friend and foe alike.

House District 34, in theory a competitive district, has been a frustration for Colorado Republicans since they were handed the seat by outgoing Rep. Steve Lebsock–who switched to the GOP as a parting shot to Democrats after being expelled from the House for his unrepentant sexual harassment. Lebsock’s GOP-appointed replacement Rep. Alexander “Skinhead” Winkler served one of the shortest terms in state legislative history before losing the seat by a wide margin in 2018 to the current incumbent Rep. Kyle Mullica. Mullica, who distinguished himself in his first term fighting to improve Colorado’s dismal child vaccination rate against thoroughly unhinged opposition, was in a good position to hold this district for Democrats comfortably going into November of 2020.

With Republicans now fleeing their own nominee, the anti-vaxxers are going to be sorely disappointed.

“Antifa” Slapped With “Terrorist” Label? KNAZI Sure Hopes So

KNUS host Steffan Tubbs, ex-KNUS producer Kirk Widlund.

CNN reports on yet another controversy caused by the simple act of thinking through a Tweet from President Donald Trump to its logical conclusion:

President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday that the United States will designate Antifa as a terrorist organization, even though the US government has no existing legal authority to label a wholly domestic group in the manner it currently designates foreign terrorist organizations.

Current and former government officials say it would be unconstitutional for the US government to proscribe First Amendment-protected activity inside the US based on simple ideology. [Pols emphasis] US law allows terrorist designations for foreign groups since belonging to those groups doesn’t enjoy the same protections.

Antifa, short for anti-fascists, describes a broad group of people whose political beliefs lean toward the left — often the far left — but do not conform with the Democratic Party platform.

Antifa positions can be hard to define, but many members support oppressed populations and protest the amassing of wealth by corporations and elites. Some employ radical or militant tactics to get out their messages.

We weren’t initially decided on whether or not this latest probable empty threat via Twitter from the President of the United States against far-left activists was worth its own blog post. For one thing, our understanding of the “Antifa” movement is that is rejects organization, and self-organized autonomous bands of people engage in all kinds of activity under the brand from online to direct action. With that said, we want to be absolutely clear that do not condone any kind of violence, property destruction, or any other criminal activity by any person or group.

But to label “Antifa” as terrorists, with all that entails in the post-9/11 world, is a frightening prospect.

Here in Colorado, the Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists group in particular has proven to be an accurate source of information about far-right and unapologetic neo-Nazi movements–unmasking a local white supremacist activist serving in the Air Force in Colorado Springs and more recently the not-so-secret Nazi double online life of Kirk Widlund, now fired producer at local conservative AM radio station 710 KNUS where top-shelf Colorado Republicans like Sen. Cory Gardner regularly appear.

Because Antifa by design has no hierarchy, there’s no “group” for law enforcement to target–just individuals, and under terrorism laws those who have provided “material support.” Because these are Americans acting autonomously, there’s no qualifying connection to foreign terrorism to permit those laws to apply. All Trump will most likely succeed in doing with this threat is to motivate his supporters to all every kid wearing black with a bandanna as a face mask a “terrorist.” No doubt to Nazis outed by Colorado Springs Antifa, it would feel like sweet justice.

For the rest of us, plenty of whom will never identify as any kind of radical, this is playing with authoritarian fire.

Conservative Radio Host Says Not to Expect ‘Breaking News’ from His ‘Town Hall’ with Cory Gardner

(Hater radio lovefest! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In advance of his radio station’s online discussion with U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), KNUS host Steffan Tubbs warned “not to expect breaking news” from his “virtual town hall” with Gardner tonight at 7 p.m.

Still, Tubbs said he’d ask “what I perceive to be tough questions” of Gardner.

Those attending the online event are encouraged to submit questions, but Tubbs didn’t know how he’d choose which questions to ask Gardner.

“I don’t know, Pete, to be honest with you, the process of what questions are going to be asked,” Tubbs told KNUS’ Peter Boyles this morning.

Tubbs said prior to the event on air that he would not be  working with Gardner’s staff on deciding which questions would be asked.

In an indication that his questions won’t cause problems for Gardner, Tubbs said on air not to expect “breaking news” from the event.

In fact, Tubbs apparently criticized 9News anchor Kyle Clark, who’s known to grill Gardner and other politicians, for what Tubbs apparently sees as Clark’s unfair questioning of Gardner.

“I have noticed of late the little digs by a certain anchor on Channel 9. I don’t get it,” said Tubbs on air, almost certainly referring to Clark who’s the object of frequent criticism on KNUS.

(more…)

Research & Rhetoric: How Republicans Manufactured a Political Attack on John Hickenlooper

(Read this – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Even in its purest form, political opposition research is by its nature a fishing expedition. Researchers scour public records for evidence of lawbreaking or wrongdoing by their target. Any evidence found can then be used for legal action, media pitches or paid advertising.

When a political goal is prioritized over factual accuracy, however, then the endeavor is less about catching fish and more about slinging mud. How much mud depends on how much those paying for it can afford.   

In the case of former Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO), a trio of conservative attack groups sprung into existence to turn what might have been a standard political hit based on public records into a red herring about September 11th.

The groups have poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into amplifying a single misleading news headline that created a false impression that an obscure line item in the governor’s budget has something to do with the terrorist attacks of 2001.

That misnomer about 9/11 has not been repeated by the mainstream media since first appearing in print last fall, but that has not stopped the groups from airing that attack for weeks.

The catalyst for these relentless ads? A political research project that started over two years ago.

In spring of 2018, more than a year before then-Gov. Hickenlooper would declare his candidacy for the presidency, national GOP opposition research firm America Rising requested records of all his out-of-state travel expenses while in office. He wasn’t the only target; the Republican firm was looking for dirt on all the Democratic contenders. Furthermore, his name was already in the mix as a potential challenger to Sen Cory Gardner. As a former Governor, Hickenlooper traveled extensively to promote Colorado’s interests across the nation and overseas. Within a week, the state produced 161 pages of records. 

Seven months later, Republican lawyer and former Speaker of the Colorado statehouse Frank McNulty, who had already been working with the same public records of travel documents obtained by America Rising, filed paperwork for a nonprofit organization, the Public Trust Institute (PTI). 

(more…)

The Top Arguments Colo Conservatives Are Using to Oppose Gov’t Efforts to Fight Coronavirus

(None of them are GOOD arguments — promoted by Colorado Pols)

Here’s a summary of how conservatives are justifying their opposition to government efforts to save people from getting sick or dying form COVID-19.

Get the Government Out of the Way

“As a conservative, I know governments don’t solve problems. They typically create more. A free people operating with individual liberty is best to solve problems,” former Colorado State Sen. Tim Neville, a Republican, opined yesterday, in an opinion piece that concludes with the line, “Get Out of Our Way and Let Us Get Back to Work.”

Stop Socialism

Some conservatives would rather take their chances with coronavirus than socialism, which they see in government aid and assistance to fight the virus. “I understand that nobody wants to catch Coronavirus but statistically, even if you catch it you’re likely to be just fine,” said Weld County, Colorado, Sheriff Steve Reams on Facebook. “What I’m concerned with is our Country catching a huge case of socialism.”

My Expert Says Not to Worry!

Notorious right-wing talk radio host Peter Boyles said Monday he wasn’t worried about taking his grandchild, whom Boyles is helping home school, to a playground where “bazillions of kids” are “touching the slides” because he had a doctor on his show who told him the sun will kill the virus. [There’s no evidence for this.]

Say No to Overreach

“It doesn’t have to come from a government mandate,” said Kevin Lundberg, a former Colorado state senator who suggested the health orders were “overreach.”

Let Individuals Decide

“Personally, just speaking for myself, there’s probably any number of restaurants that I would go into,” said Colorado State Rep. Liston of Colorado Springs. “I would be very cognizant of my surroundings, to make sure everything is swabbed down, not just with a dirty dish towel.”

Fight the Stealth Government Takeover

Being told to stay home or not go to restaurants is a step government should not take. “It is an action taken by the worldview that the state should control individual behavior,” state Rep. Mark Baisley of Colorado Springs told the Denver Chanel. “Let’s remember who we are as Americans and defeat this virus as Americans — not as ignorant subjects in need of an overlord.”

The Dems Are Really Out to Get Trump!

This one has faded as Trump himself acknowledged the danger of coronavirus—even as the president says we have to open everything up in two weeks.

Give Me Liberty or Give me Coronavirus

This is emerging as a prime objection, as stay-at-home orders spread across the country. “Over and over again what we are seeing is an overreaction to a very serious situation, and that overreaction is now causing some serious civil liberties issues,” said Colorado Congressman Ken Buck. “We are telling people they can’t go to church. We are telling people they can’t hold political rallies. We are telling people that, as the result of a disease that is not targeting younger populations, they can’t go to school. [COVID-19 is found in young people.] We are in the midst of a panic that is creating irrational responses,” the congressman told The Denver Post. He describes himself as “not a good example of someone who avoids social contact,” and has in recent days continued to shake hands with constituents.

Let Old People Die

You find some people in the conservative underworld floating the idea that it’s not worth it to save the lives of people with short life expectancies, at the expense of the economy and business. “It’s the Pansy-demic,” said Chuck Bonniwell, the conservative publisher of a suburban newspaper in Denver. … “The people who it’s killing are costing society huge amounts of money… Their death is not hurting the economy, it’s enabling the economy. But we are never allowed to discuss those things.”

The “Cure” Is Worse than the “Problem.”

“WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF.” —President Donald Trump.

The president’s comment, more than anything else, seems to have given fellow Republicans the strength to speak up about what they see as misguided anti-coronavirus measures—and now potential and current coronavirus victims may suddenly feel as if they are under widespread attack, either directly or indirectly, like so many other vulnerable people in Trump’s America.

Get More Smarter on Thursday (March 26)

Happy Purple Day, which is probably not what you think it is. Now, let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio/visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show or The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

BECAUSE CORONAVIRUS…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

 

If you are reading this in Colorado, you had better be doing it from home. As part of ongoing efforts to combat the coronavirus, Governor Jared Polis on Wednesday announced a “stay at home” order that takes effect as of 6:00 am today and runs until April 11. The Denver Post has more on the order from Gov. Polis.

♦ CLICK HERE to watch the press conference announcement.

♦ CLICK HERE to read the full text of the Governor’s order.

♦ CLICK HERE for an FAQ guide about the “stay at home” order.

♦ CLICK HERE to read the public health order.

The decision to issue a “stay at home” order for the entire state came as some of Colorado’s most highly-populated areas were issuing similar decrees locally — most recently the Tri-County Public Health Department (Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas Counties), as well as Jefferson County Public Health and Boulder County Public Health (the City of Denver began its stay-at-home order on Tuesday evening).

The statewide order puts a bit of a lid on a controversy stirred up Wednesday by six Republican legislators from Douglas County who would apparently prefer to become a Sanctuary Virus County. Here’s 9News with more on this shameful political stunt:

House Minority Leader Neville also said Wednesday on The Peter Boyles Show that he feels the orders, in general, are leading to a Gestapo-like mentality.

Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman, also a Republican, said earlier in the week that he would defer to the department to make the decision for his city. But Republican State Senate Majority Leader Holbert told 9NEWS he considered it an overreach…

…”For an unelected bureaucrat at Tri-County Health to put out this order and have no accountability to any elected official, that is wrong,” said Republican State Senate Majority Leader Holbert. “It is, in my opinion, against the spirit of our nation and our state it is against our constitution.”

“I’ve advised them to sever the contract as soon as possible. If it costs Douglas County money, what’s the cost of freedom and liberty — it’s probably worth it.”

Just so we’re clear, the Republican Senate Minority Leader and the Republican House Minority Leader would like Douglas County to sever its relationship with the Tri-County Health Department IN THE MIDDLE OF A GLOBAL PANDEMIC.

At least one Douglas County Republican is not a complete twit. County Commissioner Abe Laydon supports Tri-County Health and says “Now is not the time to politicize a pandemic.”

Elsewhere, Colorado Republicans across the state are pounding their chests about their brave opposition to social-distancing guidelines meant to prevent people from dying from the coronavirus outbreak.

 

► The Senate finally passed a $2 trillion coronavirus recovery bill late Wednesday. As The Denver Post reports:

The legislation passed by a vote of 96-0, with aye votes from Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, and Sen. Michael Bennet, a Denver Democrat. Both Colorado senators made clear earlier in the day that they supported the massive agreement…

…Before the vote, Gardner and Bennet voted against an amendment from Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., to cap unemployment benefits at a worker’s full salary.

In remarks Wednesday, Bennet criticized Senate Republicans for not including a $600-per-week unemployment insurance increase, which was later added at the request of Senate Democrats. He also credited Democrats with adding money for the health care system, middle-class Americans and lower-class Americans.

“States and local governments not only have to fight this health crisis, they have to pay teachers, police and firefighters, even as their tax revenues collapse,” Bennet said in a lengthy statement. “The initial bill included nothing to help them confront these yawning budget caps. It was ridiculous.”

The Washington Post has more details on the guts of the stimulus bill. Democrats had been pushing for $4 billion to support elections in the wake of the pandemic; they only ended up with $400 million.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the bill on Friday.

 

► Coronavirus deaths in the United States have surpassed the 1,000 mark.

 

► Health officials are sounding the alarm about a second wave of the coronavirus. As The Washington Post explains:

The 1918 flu hit the United States in three waves — a mild outbreak in the spring, the deadliest wave in the fall and a final spike when the virus returned that winter. All told, the pandemic infected a third of the world’s population and killed at least 50 million people, including at least 675,000 Americans.

One of them was the great-grandmother of Debbie Birx, the lead coordinator of the federal government’s coronavirus task force. “My grandmother, for 88 years, lived with the fact that she was the one, at age 11, who brought home flu to her mother … when her mother had just delivered,” said Birx, 63. “She never forgot that she was the child that was in school that innocently brought that flu home.”…

…The 1918 case study weighs on leaders of the public health community as they scramble to ramp up capacity and spur vaccine development in preparation for a sustained war against covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. “We’re dealing with Cycle A right now, not the one that could come in the fall of 2020 – although we’re getting prepared for it by the innovations that are being worked on,” Birx said at the White House on Wednesday evening.

 

If you’re looking for political news that isn’t about Coronavirus, it’s available right after the jump…

 

(more…)

Neville: Lawmakers Will Fight ‘Outlandish’ Stay-At-Home Order

Describing the metro area’s stay-at-home order as “outlandish and outrageous,” leading to a “gestapo-like mentality,” Colorado’s Republican House leader vowed Wednesday to fight it, ignore it, and continue doing his job.

“It’s completely insane,” said Colorado House Republican leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock this morning on KNUS’ Peter Boyles show, referring to the stay-at-home order, as first reported on 9News. “I think we have — what? — something like 40 people, maybe it’s 80 people, somewhere in that range, who have actually been hospitalized [due to coronavirus]. I mean, look, there is a real shortage on things like [protection equipment], the masks and stuff like that for hospital workers, because global supply chains have been disrupted, a real shortage on ventilators and things like that.  Those are kind of the real issues we need to be facing.”

The Tri-County Health Department explained its reasoning in the stay-at-home order:

“Although a large portion of the individuals who contract COVID-19 do not become seriously ill, persons with mild symptoms and asymptomatic persons with COVID-19 may place other vulnerable members of the public at significant risk,” states the order. “A large surge in the number of persons with serious infections can compromise the ability of the healthcare system to deliver consistent and necessary healthcare to the public. Colorado is experiencing a rapid increase COVID-19 transmission, and it is threatening the health of residents and threatening to overwhelm the healthcare system in Colorado, including within TCHD’s district [which includes Neville’s district].”

Neville did not return a call seeking to find out if he disagrees with the order’s assessment of COVID-19 in Colorado and, if so, on what basis he disagrees.

Neville said he and other state lawmakers representing Douglas County would be leaning on county commissioners to terminate the county’s agreement with the Tri-County Health Department, which issued the stay-at-home order for Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas counties.

This morning, Neville and other Republican lawmakers, one of whom is quarantined after testing positive for the virus, sent a letter to Douglas County commissioners urging them to cut ties with TCHD, as first reported by Denver’s 7.

The letter calls the stay-at-home order “heavy-handed.”

“We’ll push back,” said Neville on air. “I mean, at least I think all of us in the Douglas County delegation, we’re going to be looking to our commissioners to terminate the contract with Tri-County. I don’t think un-elected bureaucrats [at the Tri-County Health Department] should be making this decision. I think Castle Rock probably has the authority through home rule, which is constitutional authority rather than a statutory authority, to push back on this as well. So, that’s what I’m working on, because people just lost their minds. This order is outlandish and outrageous. It’s going to cause even more harm, because now it’s going to cause a run on all the stores.”

Neville pointed to one alleged member of the Tri-County Health Department board as an example of why the board was ill-equipped to make the stay-home decision.

“I mean, to give an example, I think one of them is a maintenance worker for some building and doesn’t even know what a mill levy or bond is,” said Neville. “So, he’s not, like, a super professional doctor or anything.”

It was not clear whom Neville was referring to, as the board’s members are health professionals.

Why Aren’t Leftists “Hysterical About Defecating on the Street?” And Other Views on Coronavirus from Colo Right-Wing Radio

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

If you want facts about coronavirus, you can visit the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But if you want to believe the threat of coronavirus is a hyperbolic creation of Democrats and the news media, tune to some of Colorado’s leading right-wing talk radio shows.

On KNUS’ flagship program, Peter Boyles said Colorado Gov. Jared Polis called a state of emergency “because every Democrat mayor and governor and his mother are lock step in this.”

“You don’t think they’re not playing this on Trump, do you?” asked Boyles on air. “Does anyone else besides me see this? Of course it is.” “I’m not saying people aren’t going to get sick. But I mean there’s a list of things,” said Boyles, listing Y2K, the end of the Mayan calendar, Ebola, the Doomsday Predictions of Nostradamus, Mad Cow, Y2K, SARS, HSN1, and H1N1. “…I mean, think of everything you’ve survived already.”

“It’s created. If you watch the local news geeks, they lower their voices,” said Boyles. “They get in what I call, you know, the dead cop voice.”

On Saturday, KNUS guest host Karen Kataline, subbing for Randy Corporon, blamed the “left” for creating hysteria.

“While the left and other people are creating such hysteria in an election year, about yet another virus, they don’t seem to be hysterical about defecating on the street, or Typhus in California, or the dangers they seem to ignore,” said Kataline, prior to introducing a guest who said on air, “Get yourself healthy so you don’t get a virus” by taking vitamins A, B, C, D, and Zinc and losing weight.

“It is also a distraction,” said Kataline, who said she wants level-headed concern. “If you can be all distracted about the coronavirus, then maybe you won’t notice, for example, that Joe Biden is one of the most corrupt politicians ever to run for president, and that’s saying something!”

On KVOR in Colorado Springs, longtime host Richard Randall said the coronavirus isn’t as “bad as the flu or just a cold.” He said the situation helps the Democrats because Trump can “no longer have his rallies” and Biden won’t have to debate the president.

Listen to Boyles here.