Who Weeps For Doctors Chaps and Nick?

Gordon Klingenschmitt, Janak Joshi.

Gordon Klingenschmitt, Janak Joshi.

Two incumbent Republican members of the legislature from Colorado Springs responsible for a lot of negative press lost their seats in yesterday’s primary elections, results that seem likely to manifest in further GOP infighting down the road–even as some more socially well-adjusted Republicans breathe a small sigh of relief today. The Colorado Springs Gazette’s Rachel Riley reports on the long-awaited ouster of Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt in the SD-12 primary:

“I work hard to establish God’s kingdom, not my own, and, as you know, God’s will is not always done in this world,” Klingenschmitt told dozens of supporters beneath model airliners hanging from the ceiling…

Klingenschmitt fielded handshakes and pats on the back from throngs of supporters encouraging him to keep faith.

“I thank God for the opportunity to run a clean race on my side, even if that was not reciprocated,” he said in an interview. “I’m disappointed that people can lie, steal and cheat and violate their cadet honor oath and still win elections. I kept my cadet honor oath, and I ran with integrity, and I hold my head high.”

On Facebook, Colorado’s most (in)famous Republican lawmaker, who freely accused his detractors of being possessed by demons, implied gay scoutmasters should be “drowned in the depths of the sea,” and claimed Rep. Jared Polis wants to behead Christians like ISIS, sounds like he’s finally ready for the Second Coming:

In all my endeavors I have tried simply to establish the kingdom of God on this earth. In Luke 19, Jesus commands us to occupy until he comes. But in verse 14 of the parable of the talents, the citizens did not want God’s appointed steward to rule over them. At the end of the story, the King returns and takes his throne. I look forward to His return, and I want only Christ to rule my heart and world. Maranatha. Come quickly, Lord.

nickOver in House District 16, once-and-future Rep. Larry Liston is celebrating his hard-fought win over incumbent Rep. Janak “Dr. Nick” Joshi. The Liston vs. Joshi race featured some of the nastiest red-on-red attacks in any Colorado election this primary season, and as the Gazette’s Ellie Mulder reports, don’t look for them to kiss and make up anytime soon:

Liston told The Gazette in early June that he entered the race because he heard complaints about Joshi’s lack of community involvement.

“People know me and they trust me,” Liston said in the June 15 interview. “They appreciate the fact that I run a clean, above-board, issue-oriented campaign and not a sleazy gutter campaign like my opponent.”

Meanwhile, the Committee to Elect Janak Joshi created the website larrylies.com.

“We wanted to show people who is telling the truth,” Joshi said in the interview. “We have all the evidence of everything we’re saying. That’s why we have this web page, so people can go and check it out themselves.”

Joshi’s campaign positively threw the kitchen sink at Liston, attacking him on bipartisan votes like the state’s health insurance exchange, dubiously using photos of Liston from “Hummer” skits at the legislature against him, a huge violation of decorum–and even finding a senior citizen willing to accuse Liston without any supporting evidence of beating her up.

In response, Liston had his own legislative record, Joshi’s lack of engagement in the district, and (of course) the fact that “Dr.” Joshi lost his medical license before being elected to the legislature–a fact that for whatever reason Joshi managed to keep from media scrutiny for his entire House career.

In both Chaps’ and Joshi’s cases, these are lawmakers whose base of support was always on the far right of the Republican political spectrum. Although defeated last night in what appears to be only a partly successful attempt at an intraparty “purge,” the hard right isn’t going away. Whether these men or new “whacktivist” contenders, you can be assured that they’ll be back. They’ll be angrier than ever. And they’ll win seats.

For today, though, you can celebrate a couple of baby steps toward relative sanity.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (June 29)

MoreSmarterLogo-300x218Still holding onto that Primary ballot? Consider making a nice paper airplane. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► The five-way Republican race for the U.S. Senate nomination came to a conclusion on Tuesday night with a surprisingly-easy victory for El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn. With nearly 36% of the Republican vote, Glenn easily held off his nearest challenger; Jack Graham finished a distant second with slightly more than 24%.

The biggest winner in the Senate race appears to be Democratic incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet. Republicans in Colorado and around the country are openly admitting long odds for Glenn to knock off Bennet in November.

 

► There were a lot of uncontested Primary races on the ballot on Tuesday, so we broke down the results to give you the numbers on the most notable Primary fights.

 

► We’ve updated The Big Line following Tuesday’s Primary. We predicted the correct order of finish in the GOP Senate race for the top three spots (Darryl Glenn, Jack Graham, and Robert Blaha).

 

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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Colorado is First Again

(We like making history – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

flag-decorative-transgender02_1Among the big stories of Tuesday night’s primary, there is a story that I think is a bigger deal than it’s coverage would indicate.

As the New York Daily News reports, Colorado tied with Utah as the first states to nominate openly transgender candidates for Congress.

Two women have become the first transgender candidates to gain a major party nominations to Congress after Democratic primary wins.

Colorado’s Secretary of State website still showed one county left to be tallied in Plowright’s race, though she led Donald Martinez by more than 16 points and local media had called the race for her.

On her campaign website the 33-year-old former Microsoft employee describes herself as “an Army veteran, a self-educated woman, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and a passionate social democrat.”

She will face Douglas Lamborn, a Republican incumbent running for his sixth term in the House who has had a series of easy wins for the positions in general elections and easily defeated a primary challenger on Tuesday.

Misty Plowright defeated Donald Martinez in CD-5, and will now go on to face Doug Lamborn in the general election. Neither of the two candidates featured in the article are likely to win their elections in November, but nonetheless, this is a milestone worthy of notice.

Michael Bennet Big Winner After GOP Senate Primary

Sen. Michael Bennet and GOP nominee Darryl Glenn

Sen. Michael Bennet and GOP nominee Darryl Glenn

As the Washington Post reports this morning, Republicans are feeling glum about the chances of GOP nominee Darryl Glenn (R-Colorado Springs) knocking off incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver) in November. In fact, the Post goes so far as to say that “Senate Republicans are basically writing off Colorado”:

Republicans can’t afford any mistakes, and Tuesday’s GOP primary in Colorado looks like it qualifies. In that swing state, Sen. Michael Bennet is one of Senate Democrats’ most vulnerable incumbents — or at least he was supposed to be. Republicans stumbled to find a credible challenger, and a messy, chaotic primary ended Tuesday with the one candidate Senate Republican operatives really, really didn’t want to win: El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn. [Pols emphasis]

…Glenn turned a shoestring primary campaign into a victory. The problem is that he’ll have to repeat that all over again to have a chance in the general election. It’s a long shot — so much so that his own party doesn’t really see a path to victory.

In the overarching race for control of the Senate, Senate Republicans just took a big hit.

Republicans have already reserved some $40 million of air time for TV ads in key states; tellingly, Colorado is not one of them.

Key Race Watch: Primary Election Results

The Primary Election is (finally) complete. You can view the complete election results at this link via the Secretary of State’s website, but for your convenience, we’ve rounded up the results in some of the most-watched Primary races (we’re assuming you already know what happened in the Senate race).

There are only a few races that were close enough that it may still be too early too declare a winner, such as the 3-way Republican Primary in SD-4 (Douglas County), where Jim Smallwood leads Benjamin Lyng by less than 100 votes (5,858 — 5,789 as of this writing). In HD-7 (Denver), Democrat James Rashad Coleman leads Michele Wheeler by a slim margin as well (2,609 — 2,529 as of this writing).

Click after the jump for the full list of key race results…

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Darryl Glenn Wins Republican Senate Primary

UPDATE: AP’s James Anderson:

Darryl Glenn, a county commissioner from deeply conservative Colorado Springs, rode endorsements from Sen. Ted Cruz and other big names on the right to win Colorado’s Republican Senate primary and face a well-funded Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in November.

Glenn’s decisive victory in Tuesday’s five-way primary set up an uphill battle with Bennet, once considered vulnerable in this swing state for his close association with President Barack Obama. Only two years ago, Coloradans ousted Democratic Sen. Mark Udall and replaced him with then-U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner.

Having outflanked his fellow conservatives to secure the nomination, Glenn now has to tack to the center — as Gardner did in 2014 — to woo enough of Colorado’s independent voters, who outnumber both registered Republicans and Democrats.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) is, well, pretty psyched about Darryl Glenn:

“After one of the most divisive and bizarre primaries of 2016, Colorado Republicans must now rally behind their ultraconservative, nightmare-scenario candidate Darryl Glenn. Glenn denies that climate change exists, believes Ted Cruz should be the next Supreme Court Justice and has called Donald Trump, ‘a patriot.’ It’s no surprise he stands ready to enact the Trump agenda that would hurt Colorado’s hardworking families and move our country backward. Glenn was not the first or even fifth choice of national Republicans, whose recruitment meltdown was shocking, and he begins this general election ill-prepared to face Senator Michael Bennet, who has fought and delivered for the people of Colorado. We look forward to celebrating Senator Bennet’s re-election in November.”

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Darryl Glenn, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate

Darryl Glenn, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate

9News is calling the Republican Senate Primary for Darryl Glenn, who jumped out to a big early lead when numbers showed he had a 20,000-vote advantage in El Paso County alone.

ProgressNow Colorado issued the following statement as the news was breaking:

With Republican U.S. Senate primary returns showing El Paso County Commissioner Darryl “Gridlock” Glenn winning that party’s nomination to run against Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, decried the result as further proof of the right wing’s complete leadership breakdown at every level of government.

“From Ted Cruz to Donald Trump and now Darryl Glenn, Colorado Republicans appear determined to make the worst possible choices in 2016,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Ian Silverii. “Glenn is the least qualified candidate to win a statewide Republican nomination since Dan Maes in 2010, and we all remember how well that worked out for the GOP. Glenn’s arch-right conservatism, refusal to reach across the aisle, and outright hostility to even the idea of compromise has earned him the nickname ‘Gridlock Glenn.’”

Tonight, the far right in Colorado once again picked a candidate who can’t win,” said Silverii. “While Democrats are rightfully cheering this outcome, the real losers are reasonable Colorado conservatives who have no one left to support in either the presidential or the U.S. Senate race.”

“Darryl Glenn’s nomination shows how little Colorado conservatives have learned from their mistakes,” said Silverii.

 

2016 Primary Election Day Open Thread #2

UPDATE 9:05: Lots of results in now. GOP incumbents Gordon Klingenschmitt and Janak Joshi both go down in El Paso County. Leslie Herod wins in the Democratic stronghold of HD-8. Rhonda Fields way ahead of Sue Ryden in SD-29.

For much for that: CD-1 Rep. Diana DeGette crushes challenger Chuck Norris with over 86%. In CD-5 Doug Lamborn whoops upstart challenger Calandra Vargas, but we suspect we haven’t seen the last of her.

Democrat Jeff Bridges narrowly leads Meg Froelich in competitive HD-3.

And Beth McCann wins big, perhaps anticlimactically big, over Michael Carrigan in the Denver DA race.

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UPDATE 7:34PM: In HD-42, Dominique Jackson is crushing con-man Eric Nelson in a Democratic Primary.

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UPDATE 7:21PM: Election results from the Secretary of State’s office available at this link.

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UPDATE 7:10PM: Darryl Glenn has a sizable lead in early returns out of El Paso County — the home county of both Glenn and Robert Blaha. As of this writing, Glenn had 28,000 votes in El Paso — 20,000 more than the next highest candidate, Blaha.

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UPDATE 7:08PM:

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chosepoorly

Stand by for results.

BREAKING: Shooting At Colorado Liberal Political Office Building

The Alliance Center, Denver CO.

The Alliance Center, Denver CO.

A terrible story taking over local headlines right now, though there’s not much to say just yet. Denver Post:

Denver Police and emergency crews swarmed into lower downtown Tuesday afternoon after a gunman opened fire inside a crowded office building. Police said the gunman is dead.

One woman was taken to Denver Health in critical condition with multiple gunshots, said Dr. Eric Lavonas.

Police closed streets near 15th and Wynkoop and urged merchants and residents in the area to shelter in place. Police said officers have cleared the shooting scene at the Alliance Center in the 1500 block of Wynkoop in what remains an active investigation. The building houses a number of left-leaning political and environmental groups.

We’ve heard early reports suggesting that the employees of a number of liberal and environmental groups who have offices at the Alliance Center, including Conservation Colorado and Common Cause, were not injured. We’ll update once we learn more about the victim(s) and the shooter.

Scary stuff, folks–but as always, let’s be careful about speculating until we know more.

Windholz implies pro-choice supporters care less about women than opponents of choice

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

GOP Rep. JoAnn Windholz (center).

GOP Rep. JoAnn Windholz (center).

Colorado State Rep. JoAnn Windholz, who called Planned Parenthood officials the “real culprits” in last year’s clinic massacre in Colorado Springs, took to Facebook yesterday to condemn the Supreme Court’s decision affirming a women’s right to choose.

“The liberal leaning US Supreme Court once again protected the made up right of abortion,” Windholz wrote on Facebook, adding that that it “isn’t enough that the child is killed, now the mother is in danger as well.”

“So who cares about women more?” she asked in the post.

In fact, the Supreme Court based its decision on the fact that the Texas abortion restrictions, which, among other things, required that abortion clinics be equipped like complete surgical units, were not medically necessary.

Windholz: Who could find fault with a law that improves health and safety standards in order to protect women inside abortion clinics? You would think that the pro-abortion side would want to have additional safety measures in place for women. That is not the case. The liberal leaning US Supreme Court once again protected the made up right of abortion in a 5-3 decision (against 2013 Texas law) to not make it a necessary for abortion doctors to have admitting privilege at a local hospital. Why – because it would mean something went seriously wrong with an abortion. It isn’t enough that the child is killed, now the mother is in danger as well. So who cares about women more?

The court found that real intent of the Texas legislature was, in fact, to unconstitutionally limit a women’s right to an abortion by requiring clinic doctors to have, for example, admitting privileges, when the health benefit of such privileges is minimal.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer  wrote in the majority opinion, “Nationwide, childbirth is 14 times more likely than abortion to result in death… but Texas law allows a midwife to oversee childbirth in the patient’s own home.”

It’s unclear what Windholz means when she wrote, “So who cares about women more?”

And Windholz did not immediately return a call seeking an explanation.

But it appears Windholz does not believe that people or even Supreme Court Justices care about women if they support a women’s right to choose.

Shortly after the shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs last year, Windholz wrote on Facebook, as first reported by The Colorado Independent:

Windholz: Violence is never the answer, but we must start pointing out who is the real culprit. The true instigator of this violence and all violence at any Planned Parenthood facility is Planned Parenthood themselves. Violence begets violence. So Planned Parenthood: YOU STOP THE VIOLENCE INSIDE YOUR WALLS.”

Get More Smarter on Primary Day (June 28)

MoreSmarterLogo-ElectionIt all comes down to this…until it all comes down to November. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► The Primary Election is today, which should not come as much of a surprise to anyone reading these words. If you still have a mail ballot buried under a pile of coupons at the end of your kitchen table, don’t even think about mailing that sucker (ballots must be received by your county clerk before 7:00 pm on Tuesday; postmark dates are irrelevant). For ballot drop-off locations and other in-person voting locations, go to JustVoteColorado.org.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office has updated voting turnout results as of 8:00 am today. Turnout for Democrats is at 23%, while Republican voters are nearing 28%.

And remember, if you see a candidate, staffer, or volunteer today, say thanks.

 

► Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is in Denver today to enjoy the Primary festivities for a campaign event at the headquarters of something called the “Galvanize” co-working space. Clinton will also attend at least one private fundraising event today before departing Colorado.

 

► Benghazi! Oh, wait…

As the Washington Post reports:

A final report issued by the Republican majority that investigated the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, found fault with virtually every element of the executive branch response to the attacks but provided no new evidence of specific wrongdoing by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton [Pols emphasis]

…But while it contains voluminous additional details of what happened before, during and after the attacks on State Department and CIA compounds in Benghazi, the report’s overall narrative does not substantively differ from previous investigations and numerous news accounts over the years.

That sound you hear is the echo of Republicans slapping their foreheads and yelping, D’oh!

 

► Can El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn complete his long journey to win the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate? As the conservative National Review explains…maybe:

Three months ago, El Paso (Colo.) county commissioner Darryl Glenn had just over $11,000 in his Senate-campaign account. He had no paid staffers. And though he’d elevated his profile with a stem-winder of a speech at Colorado’s GOP convention and won his way onto the ballot — much to the surprise of many onlookers — as recently as mid May, most Republicans were still writing him off.

But that was then.

Though several Colorado Republicans describe the primary race as a “crapshoot,” many now expect Glenn to emerge victorious when primary ballots are tallied Tuesday evening. In the five-way primary, he has managed to capitalize on the fractured field thanks to a surge of support from movement conservatives, including an outside group that has made independent expenditures on his behalf.

We’ve had Glenn atop The Big Line ever since he pulled off his stunning upset at the State Republican Convention in April. If we were the betting type — and we are — we’d have to go with Glenn as the favorite tonight. But if you read the news today in Colorado, you’ll notice a common theme: CRAPSHOOT!

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

(more…)

Last Ballot Return Numbers Before Primary

votebutton

Here you go: The latest (and last) turnout numbers from the Colorado Secretary of State’s office for the June 28th Primary (numbers are accurate as of 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday):

Democrats

Ballots sent: 990,961;
Ballots returned: 232,273;
Percent: 23.43%

Republicans

Ballots sent: 997,793;
Ballots returned: 277,588;
Percent: 27.82%

How do these numbers compare to past Primary races? According to the SOS’s office:

The turnout among active voters in the 2014 primary was 21.84 percent. In that contest, almost one-fifth of the ballots were turned in on Election Day. In 2012, the primary turnout was 23.76 percent.  In 2010 — a year with high-profile contested races among both Republicans and Democrats — the turnout hit 36.7 percent.

For more information on turnout based on a county-by-county basis, click here (PDF).

Jon Keyser: A Hyperlink Metaphor

iraqiinformationministerUPDATE: The link in question in the Keyser email has been broken since at least Monday, when a similar GOTV email was sent out.

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We’ve been increasingly amused over the last few days by last-minute get-out-the-vote missives from the star-crossed Jon Keyser for U.S. Senate campaign. As Keyser gets ready to ride Election Night out on the couch at home this evening, on course for fifth place in this five-man race, whatever is left of his campaign is busy sending out bizarrely confident messages to the email list about Keyser’s imminent primary election victory.

See the image to the right for the best analogy we can think of.

Today’s GOTV message was little different, cheering Keyser on to glorious victory in November after his win tonight:

We’re going to give Michael Bennet the fight of his political life this November, but we need your help getting over this first hurdle.

It’s time Michael Bennet be made to answer for his support for President Obama’s dangerous policies, like closing Guantanamo Bay and setting up a nuclear Iran with their “deal.”

It’s time Michael Bennet be made to answer for his support for Obamacare. He should have an answer on the impacts Obamacare has had in our state—forcing people out of the plans they like and making them pay even higher premiums.

I’m ready to take the fight to the Democrats this November, and I hope you are too. It starts now—please vote today!

But from there, things get a little technically…well, screwy:

If you have your ballot but haven’t sent it in, don’t put it in the mail – – there are ballot drop off locations all over the state.

When you click the link to get your ballot dropoff location, you’re taken to a blank white page with these two words (go ahead, try it):

nicetry

Playing around with this, we realized that Keyser’s campaign was trying to link to JustVoteColorado.org, the voter information site run by Common Cause. The trouble is, their email software attached a long “tracking code” to the link that Common Cause’s website rejects with the above message.

In Jon Keyser’s particular case, an ironic, even tragicomic message.

For what might be the last message from Keyser’s once-promising campaign before his ignominious defeat this evening, it’s an unintended metaphor like few others we’ve seen in politics.

Nice try indeed, Jon Keyser. Nice try indeed.

To Everyone Who Worked on a Primary Race: Take a Bow

It’s finally here. You’ve labored through months and months of long hours, endured sore knuckles and blistered feet, angry voters, angrier opponents, and fire-breathing supporters of your opponents.

And now, you wait.

For candidates, campaign staff, and volunteers, Election Day is a strange time; you want to do everything you can to help your campaign to the finish line, but there’s really not much left to be done. So you fidget. You make a few phone calls. Perhaps you wave signs at intersections. But mostly, you wait.

So to all of the candidates and campaign staffers throughout Colorado who have put their hearts and souls into one particular race — no matter the political party — take a bow. You’ve earned it. Thanks for everything you do.