Morgan Carroll Tells It Like It Is, GOP Helps Spread The Word

Senate Minority Leader Morgan Carroll.

Senate Minority Leader Morgan Carroll.

As one of the nation’s most competitive congressional races heading into 2016, national Republican political media operations are clamoring for the chance to catch Democratic CD-6 candidate Morgan Carroll in a gaffe they can use in a TV spot. America Rising PAC is one of the bigger “independent” message groups working on the GOP side, and they’ve detailed a tracker to keep tabs on Carroll at public events.

Unfortunately for America Rising, their first “scoop” on Carroll is likely to help her more than it hurts:

During a September 2015 “Listening Tour” in Douglas County, Colorado, Democratic candidate for Colorado’s 6th Congressional District Morgan Carroll attacked what she called the “mainstream media,” specifically calling out The Denver Post and two of its top journalists.

When discussing the need for strong grassroots support for her congressional bid, Carroll claimed that she and her supporters “can’t count on the mainstream media to do real reporting.” Carroll then launched a diatribe against The Denver Post Editorial Board and two of the paper’s top journalists – Politics Editor Chuck Plunkett and Editorial Page Editor Vincent Carroll…

Oh noes! You mean the same Denver Post that has seen its reputation on the left collapse in a heap after their perfidious endorsement of Cory Gardner? The same Chuck Plunkett who made an unfavorable story about Rep. Mike Coffman vanish completely after deciding he “hadn’t heard” something everybody else knew?

It seems there are some circumstances on the ground here in Colorado that America Rising would do well to bone up on–starting with the fact that Democrats in Colorado agree with Morgan Carroll. Here’s the heart of Carroll’s recorded remarks:

CARROLL: “See they get to reinvent themselves and when we don’t point it out, the problem is is that it’s almost being complicit in letting it stand as true. And we’re going to need help on social media so it’s not just ‘oh candidate said this and that,’ but part of what we’re going to have to do because TV is so expensive in buying is have folks that are willing to ‘friend,’ ‘like,’ ‘share,’ so when we need to do rapid response on fact check that we have a grassroots army of people that are willing to ‘like,’ ‘share,’ ‘forward,’ call it out. And eventually at this point the media, if anything might wag, and decide to pick it up. But we can’t count on the mainstream media to do real reporting.”

There’s no nice way to say it: the sum of our experience with the local Colorado political media, especially since the closure of the Rocky Mountain News in 2008 and the steady contraction of political reporting at the Denver Post and other local outlets, strongly agrees with Sen. Carroll’s assessment that the mainstream media can’t be counted on to reliably report the full story. In recent years, the traditional journalism dynamic has been turned on its head by blogs and social media, to the point where news routinely breaks first without any help from the mainstream media–which is often days late to the story now if they cover it at all.

Too often, the decision of what mainstream outlets cover is not made based on news value. But social media still can’t transcend social networks like a news story. In short, if this is what Carroll is telling her core supporters, she’s exactly right, and she needs to keep saying it. There’s not a single constituency this hurts her with, except for a couple of named Denver Post employees who most Democrats we know agree need shaming.

Besides, aren’t Republicans usually the ones harping on the “lamestream media?” Not in this town, we guess.

Ben Carson Says Some Ridiculous Stuff About the Oregon Shootings

GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson.

GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson. More guns, less gravity!

Republican Presidential candidate Ben Carson has a pretty large following in Colorado, where conservative Republicans have regularly voted him #1 on straw polls in advance of the 2016 Presidential election. We won’t go into detail here about why Carson is so popular among Colorado Republicans, but we do wonder why anyone could support a Presidential candidate who is this obtuse. From the New York Times:

Ben Carson defended his position on Tuesday that tougher gun control measures would not curb violence and said that he would have been more aggressive in the face of a shooter than the victims of last week’s attack in Oregon.

The remarks on Fox News came a week after a gunman entered a community college classroom in Oregon and opened fire on students after asking them to say if they were Christians. Mr. Carson, a Republican presidential candidate who has been rising in recent polls, said that if he were in the classroom he would have handled things differently.

“Not only would I probably not cooperate with him, I would not just stand there and let him shoot me,” Mr. Carson said, explaining that he would defend his faith at any cost. “I would say: ‘Hey, guys, everybody attack him! He may shoot me but he can’t get us all.’”

Uh, yeah. It’s easy to play Monday Morning Quarterback about a mass shooting when you aren’t the one standing in front of someone with a gun.


Preview Your Ballot at

County clerks across the state will begin mailing out ballots for the November election sometime next week. To make sure you are registered to vote and receive a mail ballot, visit

This year, you can also see a preview of what your ballot will look like as well. So go to and…practice voting, or something. Here’s how to do it, courtesy of the Secretary of State’s office:

Once you are on the page, click on “Manage my registration” and underneath that click on “Find my registration.” Type in your name, ZIP code and date of birth. Your voter information should come up on the screen. Go to the link that says “View my sample ballot.”

Candidates are always listed before ballot measures and a number of school districts are holding school board elections and cities are holding municipal elections. In addition, there could be local issues on your ballot, including tax proposals.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (Oct. 6)

MoreSmarterLogo-300x218Today is National [FILL IN THE BLANKS] Day! 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).


► Whose down with TPP? Negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement have reached a conclusion, as Aldo Svaldi reports for the Denver Post:

The conclusion of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership early Monday brought out both supporters and detractors of the largest trade pact since the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The trade agreement among the United States, Canada, Mexico, Chile and eight Pacific Rim countries is expected to boost Colorado exports and increase foreign direct investment in the state, supporters argue…

…But manufacturers, along with labor and environmental groups, have been among the most vocal critics of the proposed partnership.

Colorado Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) has publicly supported the TPP, while Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver) has been largely noncommittal.


► Wind up the rhetoric machine! Two more members of Colorado’s Congressional delegation are up in arms about a proposal to transfer some prisoners from Guantanamo Bay to federal prisons in Colorado. Congressmen Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) and Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) are upset about the possibility that “terrorists” could be transferred to Colorado prisons. From Rebecca Kheel at The Hill:

“The people of Colorado do not want the world’s worst terrorists housed in our own backyard, and we will not stand for this,” Rep. Doug Lamborn said in a written statement. “I will do everything in my power to resist these unlawful terrorist transfers from taking place.”

The Pentagon confirmed Friday that in the next few weeks it will visit two Colorado prisons to assess possibly transferring Guantanamo detainees. The prisons are Colorado State Penitentiary near Canon City and the Federal Correctional Institute in Florence.

President Obama has been working to close the military facility at Guantanamo Bay to keep a promise from his first campaign for president. But the administration has struggled to find a place to house those who are considered too dangerous to be transferred to other countries…


Congressman Coffman says that he will do “everything I can to stop” a potential transfer, which should be comforting to those who support President Obama’s idea; whenever Coffman starts getting all fiery about something, a long period of inaction usually follows.


Get even more smarter after the jump…


Americans Die, @ColoSenGOP Yucks It Up

SS El Faro, American cargo ship believed sunk.

SS El Faro, American cargo ship believed sunk by Hurricane Joaquin.

NBC News reports on the increasingly desperate search for the SS El Faro, an American-flagged cargo ship lost at sea during Hurricane Joaquin somewhere between Florida and the coast of Puerto Rico:

A cargo ship missing since Thursday with 33 crew members board was believed to have sunk 15,000 feet in the teeth of Hurricane Joaquin, which began strengthening and moving closer to its path almost as soon as it set to sea…

The Coast Guard planned to focus on findng “people in the water,” Fedor said. “We are not looking for the vessel any longer.”

The 790-foot ship, the El Faro, was likely swallowed by the Category 4 hurricane two days after it left Jacksonville, Florida for San Juan, Puerto Rico. When it set off on Tuesday, Sept. 29, Joaquin was just a tropical storm with wave swells of 7.5 feet and sustained winds of 65 mph.

Hurricane Joaquin.

Hurricane Joaquin.

The Chicago Tribune reports on damage assessments just beginning to take place in South Carolina, after moisture from Hurricane Joaquin collided with a cold front headed southeast across the United States to create a “1,000-year flood event.”

Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said he’s never seen flooding as bad in his 40 years as mayor.

“This was a record storm,” he said. “You know the amount of rainfall that we have experienced is unprecedented. I feel very fortunate that we were able to get through this as well as we have.”

At least seven weather-related deaths have been reported since rains began spreading over the Eastern Seaboard, which appeared to dodge the full brunt of Hurricane Joaquin as it veered out to sea.

It’s an horrific situation for the families of American merchant sailors awaiting word on the fate of the El Faro, and the citizens of East Coast states who have lost their lives in this massive storm. Coloradans still recovering from 2013’s devastating floods along the Front Range have some idea of what folks down there are going through today.

But unfortunately, the Colorado Senate GOP Majority Office is rather short on empathy.

While most of America, especially official America is expressing condolences to the families of the dead, the official Twitter account for the Colorado Senate Republican Majority is laughing it up–about a supposed “hurricane fizzle” that they think discredits those darned “climate alarmists.” Never mind that the storm appears to have killed several dozen Americans, on the El Faro and on the East Coast. To the Colorado Senate GOP, that the hurricane’s most damaging winds have moved away from the coast after sinking an American ship and killing Americans in South Carolina “rains on [the] parade of ‘extreme weather’ hucksters.”

In short, the Colorado Senate GOP’s desire to score political points via Twitter has now trumped common decency at a very basic level. Does Senate President Bill Cadman approve of this? Because it surer than hell reflects on him.

And in an objective, nonpartisan sense, it’s really disgusting.

Clinton’s Colorado Campaign Ramps Up, Tackles Big Issues

Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton.

As the Colorado Stateman’s Vic Vela reports:

Volunteers for Hillary Clinton’s Colorado campaign this week received an education in “how to win a caucus 101,” laying the team’s groundwork for winning votes that won’t be cast for another five months.

“If we win Colorado, that puts Hillary in the best possible position to win the Democratic nomination,” Brad Komar, Clinton’s Colorado campaign lead, said in a call to volunteers Tuesday evening. Komar invited the press to listen in during the call…

In an interview with The Colorado Statesman following the call, Komar said many Colorado Democrats who have lived in the state for a long time know the caucus system “like the back of their hand.” But others might not have lived here or been eligible to vote in 2008, the last time a competitive Democratic caucus was held here — the same year then-candidate Barack Obama defeated Clinton for the nomination.

Komar, who ran Gov. John Hickenlooper’s successful re-election bid last year, said the organizing effort is just getting started but adds that Clinton has built-in advantages here.

“Hillary has a lot of institutional support in Colorado,” he said. “We have a lot of elected endorsers, just a lot of folks who want to help her. And that’s important in a caucus.”

Sources tell us that Colorado is taking a major role in Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s caucus and general election campaign strategy. Despite a summer of Republicans throwing the proverbial kitchen sink at her, Clinton remains the broadly-anticipated Democratic nominee for president, and her campaign views the caucus in Colorado as an opportunity to organize rather than any kind of political make-or-break. A press release from Clinton campaign chair Brad Komar today announced Hillary’s campaign leadership team in Colorado, headed by a face you’ll recognize:

“Coloradans are pioneers who collaborate from instinct,” said Governor Hickenlooper. “We were the first state where the people gave women the right to vote. That is why we are excited to finally crack that glass ceiling by electing Hillary Clinton as the first woman president of the United States.  From fighting for the rights of women and children across the world as Secretary of State to helping create SCHIP as First Lady which now provides health insurance to 8 million children, Hillary Clinton is a champion that has delivered results.”

That’s right–the same Gov. John Hickenlooper who made headlines last week after tossing out some throwaway speculation about the extremely well-publicized private email server Clinton used while serving as Secretary of State. Hick pulling his foot out of his mouth long enough to sign on to Clinton’s leadership council should help put that gaffe in its proper perspective. That’s Hick for you.


At Least She’s Not Your County Commissioner

Blount County (TN) Commissioner Karen Miller.

Blount County (TN) Commissioner Karen Miller.

It’s been awhile since we refreshed one of our longest-running features here at Colorado Pols: “At Least They’re Not Your Legislator…”

For today’s example, we take you to Blount County, Tennessee, where this is happening tonight:

A Tennessee county plans to take up a resolution begging God for mercy and asking that the deity not smite their community “like Sodom and Gomorrah” because of the Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing gay marriage.

The “resolution condemning judicial tyranny and petitioning God’s mercy” was written by Blount County commissioner Karen Miller and will come up for consideration at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Miller’s resolution claims the “so help me God” part of the oath taken by lawmakers means they are committed not only to upholding the U.S. Constitution but also “higher Natural Law.”

As such, the resolution calls on lawmakers throughout the state “to protect Natural Marriage, from lawless court opinions, AND THE financial schemes of the enemies of righteousness wherever the source AND defend the Moral Standards of Tennessee.”

Hat tip to Pols reader BlueCat for the story.

Get More Smarter on Monday (Oct. 5)

MoreSmarterLogo-300x218The Broncos are undefeated, and the Rockies are finally done flailing away. 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).


► State Sen. Tim Neville is officially in the race for U.S. Senate, but that hasn’t prevented Republicans from continuing to seek out another potential candidate for 2016. As you can tell from this story in the Loveland Reporter-Herald, people are just throwing darts at walls at this point. Heck, things are so fluid that Dan Caplis is even doing his annual “maybe I should run for Senate” thing.

But back to the Loveland Reporter-Herald…here’s the best sentence of the entire story:

[Justin] Smith said in a previous  Reporter-Herald story that if elected, the issues he plans to tackle are the economy, national safety and international policy.

Why doesn’t Smith just say this instead: “If elected, I promise to focus on issues.”


► Vice President Joe Biden may decide on a 2016 Presidential bid as soon as this weekend. As Politico reports, confidants of Biden are starting to think he’s leaning toward getting into the race.


Get even more smarter after the jump…


Tim Neville Wastes No Time, Announces for U.S. Senate

U.S. Senator Cory Gardner, left, and Tim Neville Saturday in Denver. Gardner had been pushing Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler as his preferred candidate for 2016, until Brauchler dropped out last week.

Over the weekend, the U.S. Senate campaign of Colorado Sen. Tim Neville kicked into high gear after (presumed, we didn’t see any photos) launch on Thursday–though perhaps delayed by Thursday’s mass shooting incident in Roseburg, Oregon. Either way, on Friday Neville’s new Senate campaign Twitter account announced his run, and Neville attended GOP fundraising events in Denver and in Jefferson County over the weekend. In Denver, he had his photo taken alongside U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (above). In Jeffco, he served up barbeque with close political ally Sen. Laura Waters Woods:


As we’ve noted in the past, one of Neville’s biggest strengths in the 2016 Senate primary is a strong knack for “retail politics.” Neville is very much at home in one-to-one interactions with prospective voters, and is by all accounts an energetic field campaigner who will tirelessly knock on thousands of doors in search of the votes he needs. Combined with a strong conservative reputation that has already preceded him with a large percentage of Colorado GOP primary voters, it’s a big reason why the race for the Republican nomination is, as of this writing, Tim Neville’s to win.

We would kind of like to know what he’s thinking in that photo with Sen. Gardner, though.

Monday Open Thread

“We all know what Parliament is, and we are all ashamed of it.”

–Robert Louis Stevenson

This Week in Rhetorical Nonsense

John Andrews.

John Andrews.

Listen up, Polsters, we need your ideas!

Politics is full of ridiculous rhetoric, of course, but some diatribes stand out more than others for sheer absurdity. For example, check out the opening paragraph from an email we received this week from John Andrews, outgoing director of the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University:

Conservatives put the USA first, liberals the UN. This week’s spectacle at Turtle Bay reminds us why. Another divide: conservatives think character is destiny, liberals think biology is. That led to what may be the mainstream media clunker of the year, aimed at, but deflected by, the Formidable Fiorina. Read on & smile.

Is that some fantastic rhetoric, or is that some fantastic rhetoric? (that’s a rhetorical question). We’re almost positive that this is written in the English language, and we have a rough idea of what Andrews is talking about here… but even after multiple readings, this is still difficult to understand.

We’d like to start a new weekly feature whereby we spotlight some of the best rhetoric we can find, and we need your help. First off, we need a name for this feature, so please fire off some ideas in the comments section below. Please also send us your favorite rhetorical nonsenses whenever you find them by emailing us at

Let’s get rhetorical in here!

Get More Smarter on Friday (Oct. 2)

MoreSmarterLogo-300x218Uh, anybody seen Tim Neville? 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).


► Is Colorado the future? Newsweek magazine seems to think so, and is devoting its next cover issue to the idea that Colorado is a microcosm of the future of politics (we know, we didn’t realize Newsweek still printed a magazine, either).

► The debate over whether or not Silverton should receive a Superfund Site declaration, which would free up funds to help clean up scores of polluted mines, continues to center around the idea that Silverton has a reputation to uphold anyway. There are about 629 residents of Silverton, but clean up polluted mines could protect tens of thousands of people downstream. You can probably guess where Rep. Scott Tipton comes down on the matter.

Over at POLITICO Pro (behind the paywall), an increasingly bleak assessment of GOP chances at winning Colorado’s 2016 U.S. Senate race after the party’s top choices have all bowed out:

“Not a single person in the current field has a snowball’s chance of defeating Bennet or even giving him a serious challenge,” said one prominent Colorado Republican, but still expressed hope that a “credible candidate” could still be recruited…

But a very long list of possible candidates circulated through Denver this week — including, Ryan Frazier, who lost a 2010 congressional bid, state Senate President Bill Cadman, state Sen. Kevin Lundberg, state Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, state Majority Leader Mark Scheffel, Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith. “It’s literally back to the drawing board,” said Laura Carno, a local GOP activist.

Get even more smarter after the jump…