“Dr. Chaps” Loves Him Some Manly Men

And as usual, Colorado’s most (in)famous Republican state representative, Rep. Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt, is all about telling you so on Facebook:

chapsmenweremen

Yeah, we don’t have time to point out all the problems with this.

Wayne Williams: So Helpful When He Wants To Be

UPDATE: A stunning disclosure from Wayne Williams’ office today that could raise many more questions:

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams has notified the Denver district attorney that a petition circulator turned in the signature of a deceased voter.

Williams learned about the deceased voter when he was informed today that an elections staffer had been notified in mid-April there might be problems with petitions collected by circulator Maureen Moss, who turned in signatures some voters now say were forged…

The administration was unaware of the communication, and first learned about alleged forgeries on Moss’ petitions through news reports.

“As soon as I was made aware of this, I directed my staff to refer the matter of the deceased voter to the district attorney,” Williams said Tuesday.

Understand this, folks–GOP Secretary of State Wayne Williams is admitting his office had evidence of petition fraud a month ago, but claims that nobody brought it to his personal attention? If signatures belonging to the dead aren’t enough to raise alarms at the Secretary of State’s office, what on earth is? How could an elections staffer at the Secretary of State’s office be warned about potential fraud, and then fail to pass that information on? How can voters be expected to have confidence in this process?

This latest revelation helps explain why Williams is so nonchalant (below) about Jon Keyser’s petition forgery crisis, but it is totally unacceptable–and raises very serious questions about the competency of Williams’ office.

Correction: we hope it’s just incompetence.

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Secretary of State Wayne Williams.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams.

Colorado’s Republican Secretary of State Wayne Williams hasn’t developed a reputation as a flagrantly partisan chief elections officer quite like his predecessor Scott “Honey Badger” Gessler did. The at-length controversy playing out over Republican U.S. Senate primary ballot petitions has put considerable strain on that office’s limited resources, but we haven’t seen anything that we can directly call out as evidence of partisan dirty dealing in Williams’ handling of the situation. It should be remembered, after all, that it was Williams’ office who originally ruled insider-favored candidate Jon Keyser’s petitions insufficient for the ballot.

We’re obliged to note, however, that even as the scandal over Keyser’s apparently forged ballot petitions has escalated, Williams’ office has consistently stated that they have no investigative powers beyond the prescribed reviews of submitted petitions they already undertake. Anything beyond that is supposedly “beyond their scope.”

Unless, as CBS4’s Shaun Boyd reports, it isn’t!

Secretary of State Wayne Williams said if signatures were forged on petitions for Keyser, chances are the campaign wasn’t aware.

“There is no indication that I have seen that any of the campaigns themselves knew of that,” Williams said. “Typically it’s a subcontractor of a contractor of a candidate, and so you don’t have an actual causal effect from the campaign.”

Regardless of what the district attorney decides, Williams says it’s highly unlikely Keyser would be disqualified.

“If additional information were introduced in respect to any of the candidates, they would then still have the ability to say, ‘Yes, but you disqualified this other section which should have been counted,’” Williams said.

Got that? Secretary of State Williams is apparently qualified to make very broad assumptions in this case, which even criminal investigators have yet to establish any basis for–investigators conducting the kind of investigation Williams has repeatedly insisted his office doesn’t do.

And yet he’s suddenly qualified to declare there’s nothing to see?

The second and much more obvious problem here is that the Secretary of State is tacitly saying that petition fraud doesn’t matter. It’s no big deal, because hey, Keyser could always get more signatures that were originally thrown out (by Williams) to count again. Never mind, you know, the fraud.

We may find at the end of this story that in our election law as it exists today, there is no adequate legal remedy for a candidate to who makes the ballot and is later found to have done so via petition fraud. That too has yet to be determined with certainty. But even if that were true, that doesn’t make petition fraud okay–and it certainly is not okay for our state’s chief elections officer to downplay it, even if it’s his party that takes the fall.

Don’t go all “Honey Badger” on us now, Mr. Secretary.

BREAKING: Keyser Breaks Silence…Badly

Jon Keyser.

Jon Keyser.

After nearly two weeks since a scandal over forged petitions broke in Denver media, embattled Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jon Keyser gave an extended interview to the Denver Post’s John Frank that went up a short while ago:

The former state lawmaker blamed an employee hired by a canvassing firm connected to his campaign and suggested the issue will not hurt his once-promising bid because he collected more than enough voter signatures to qualify for the race.

“It appears, in fact, that some of those signatures were turned in in an improper manner and that’s a very, very serious thing,” Keyser said in an exclusive interview with The Denver Post two weeks after questions enveloped his campaign. “It’s an extremely serious allegation. I think that speaks to why I was very measured and very disciplined in talking about this.” [Pols emphasis]

By “very disciplined,” we assume he means repeating the words “I’m on the ballot” over and over again while claiming the whole business is a Democratic plot. Repeating those words thirteen times between the Thursday debate and his confrontation with Denver7 reporter Marshall Zelinger during a break has become by orders of magnitude Keyser’s biggest-ever press hit–far bigger than the original shock that he had initially missed the ballot before his court challenge got him restored.

Meanwhile, Zelinger reports today on increasing law enforcement activity on the case:

On Monday, investigators with multiple District Attorneys offices met to discuss complaints received from voters who said they did not sign petitions for Keyser.

Two voters contacted the 18th Judicial District in Arapahoe County to complain about their signatures being forged.

Denver7’s online list of petition signers has reportedly produced many more tips to that news station, as well as the independent contacts by voters who found their names on that list to the Arapahoe County District Attorney. Sources tell us that the Denver DA’s office is taking the lead in the active investigation into the Keyser campaign’s alleged petition fraud, working with the Jeffco and Arapahoe DAs. Speaking to the Colorado Statesman’s Ernest Luning Friday, Arapahoe County DA George Brauchler sounds pretty serious about prosecuting:

“It is illegal to forge a name on a nominating petition that is filed with the State of Colorado,” Bruachler told The Statesman. “Under Colorado law,” he said, citing C.R.S. 1-13-106, “any person who ‘forges any name of a person as a signor or witness to a petition or nomination paper’ commits the crime of forgery,” which is a Class 5 felony punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. In certain cases, he noted, the potential prison time could increase to six years.

“We consider forgery of candidate petitions to be a serious matter that we would diligently investigate if an instance of it occurring in this judicial district was brought to our attention, and we will prosecute those cases where there is sufficient evidence,” Brauchler continued. “We encourage any persons with knowledge of this or any other election offense occurring in the 18th Judicial District to report it to us. If it happened outside of this judicial district, we encourage citizens to report violations to the appropriate District Attorney’s office.”

Looks like that’s happening all over the place, folks. The political questions and now criminal investigations into whether Keyser qualified for the ballot due to fraud have effectively ended Keyser’s U.S. Senate bid, helped in no small part by his worst-case-scenario initial reaction to them. But even as Keyser finally admits after nearly two weeks that he indeed has a serious problem, albeit taking no responsibility for it, he defends the part of the story that might have done as much to off-put potential supporters as the petition fraud. It certainly helped made him the butt of nationwide jokes. Frank:

Asked why he invoked his 165-pound Great Dane, Duke, in an interview with a local TV reporter — a comment some found menacing — Keyser pushed back.

He said the reporter crossed a line by knocking on the door of his home to request an interview in the middle of the afternoon.

“Like any father, I was upset that my privacy was invaded at my house while I wasn’t there,” he said.

The problem with this, of course, is that it’s totally ridiculous. Marshall Zelinger has reported that his attempts to contact Keyser for days to get a response were fruitless–and that the address given by the campaign went to a rental mailbox. After trying the state GOP and other intermediaries without success, Zelinger did what any reporter on a hot story would do. He knocked on Keyser’s door.

That is not an invasion of privacy. That does not rise to the level of threatening a reporter with your dog. If you don’t agree, the thing we would suggest to ensure you are not likely to be contacted by a reporter is this simple.

Do not run for the United States Senate.

At Least He’s Not Your Mayor (Sorry, Castle Rock)

Castle Rock Mayor Paul Donahue, for now.

Paul Donahue, Mayor of Castle Rock (for now)

We’ve been keeping an eye on a strange story out of Castle Rock (between Denver and Colorado Springs), where local residents have succeeded in securing a July date for a recall election to oust Mayor Paul Donahue.

Donahue is term-limited in 2016 anyway, but has apparently done enough to antagonize enough residents that a recall election has been set for July 26. As the oddly-named Castle Rock News-Press reports:

A mail-in ballot election on the recall of District 1 Councilmember and Mayor Paul Donahue has been set for July 26. Voters in Castle Rock’s District 1 can expect to receive a ballot in the mail in July…

…Castle Rock residents Suzanne Hackett, John Buckley and Malia Reeves initiated the recall petition for Donahue in early March.

Specific incidents cited in the petition allege he has dramatically reduced allotted time for public comment, denied residents the opportunity to speak and shown deference to out-of-town developers and “citizens who support his personal and political interests.”

Recall attempts are always interesting stories to some degree, but in this case, it’s what happened after the recall petition signatures were collected that gives this story a category of its own. Donahue has tried — unsuccessfully — to challenge some of the signatures collected to initiate the recall by insinuating that people were inebriated when they signed, among other nonsense. From KDVR:

Donahue is disputing the way in which he said the signatures were collected.

“This is a very vocal minority that is doing things in an inappropriate fashion,” said Abe Laydon, an attorney with Burns Figa & Will who represents Donahue.

Laydon said the mayor went door to door and found about 50 percent of the signers he spoke to were misled. [Pols emphasis]

“If somebody is approached and someone said, ‘Well, this is about development in Castle Rock,’ especially if they’re at a bar and may be inebriated, they might sign it and then walk out of the bar not knowing what they signed,” Laydon said.

Yes, you read that correctly: The Mayor himself went door-to-door to talk to people who signed the recall petition in order to see if they, you know, wanted to change their mind or something. Just…think about that for a moment. The Mayor of your town comes to your door asking whether or not you really meant to sign that petition to initiate a recall election. How awkward is that conversation?

Fox 31 has more from one of the women who collected petition signatures for the recall:

[Stacey] Rogers believed residents might have felt intimidated having the mayor show up at their door.

“People were already very nervous about signing,” she said. “Then for him and his crew to go to their doors, people are mortified.”

Mayor Donahue says that about half of the signers admitted to him that they were “misled” about the petition, but what else are you going to say when the freakin’ Mayor pounds on your front door?

Despite Donahue’s efforts to un-initiate the recall, an election will go ahead on July 26.

Yes, Republicans are STILL Trying to Take Out Trump

As the Washington Post reported over the weekend:

A band of exasperated Republicans — including 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney, a handful of veteran consultants and members of the conservative intelligentsia — is actively plotting to draft an independent presidential candidate who could keep Donald Trump from the White House.

These GOP figures are commissioning private polling, lining up major funding sources­ and courting potential contenders, according to interviews with more than a dozen Republicans involved in the discussions. The effort has been sporadic all spring but has intensified significantly in the 10 days since Trump effectively locked up the Republican nomination.

Those involved concede that an independent campaign at this late stage is probably futile, and they think they have only a couple of weeks to launch a credible bid. [Pols emphasis] But these Republicans — including commentators William Kristol and Erick Erickson and strategists Mike Murphy, Stuart Stevens and Rick Wilson — are so repulsed by the prospect of Trump as commander in chief that they are desperate to take action.

 

 

Colorado Senate Republicans Freak Over “Bathroom Edict”

Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R).

Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R).

On Friday, the Obama administration issued a new directive through the federal Department of Education, establishing guidance for public schools on the matter of providing appropriate access to facilities for transgender students. Politico:

While the Obama administration’s directive on bathroom access for transgender students was praised by supporters as a historic moment for civil rights, the sweeping new rules have re-energized the right — and a top lawmaker in Texas even argues that Donald Trump can use the issue as a springboard to the White House.

The right has been consistently losing culture-war fights in the courts during the Obama era, most significantly in the Supreme Court case last year that legalized gay marriage. Now, conservative governors, state officials, education advocates and parent groups have extra motivation to unify in their revolt against a federal intervention directed by a president they loathe that will affect every public school in the nation…

Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family is all grossed out:

“It’s just an egregious federal overreach,” Candi Cushman, Education Analyst with Focus on the Family, told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann. “You have in one sweeping action the White House setting policy for over 16,000 school districts and 7,000 colleges.”

And she didn’t stop there:

“You have common sense issues of safety for the most vulnerable members of our society,” Cushman said. “We know there are predators out there unfortunately who are looking for loopholes. We’re by no means saying this applies to students or individuals, who identify as transgender in schools, but we are saying there are predators who look for loopholes and what makes us think they’re not going to look at this one?”

Now folks, it’s important to recognize one very basic fact about Obama’s action and the resulting panic attack on the conservative right: there is no “loophole” being created here for predators to “look for.” Nothing about providing appropriate accommodations for transgender citizens creates a “loophole” that would legalize sexual assault or abuse. In fact, the suggestion is deeply offensive to transgender Americans who have already been–surprise!–using the stall next to you for most of, or their whole damned lives without ever causing you a bit of trouble.

But hey, you know, that’s how reasonable people think through questions like these. If you’re not one of those people, you’ve got the Colorado Senate GOP in your corner!

Colorado Senate Assistant Majority Leader Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud) today said Colorado should simply ignore today’s “Letter of Guidance” to all schools and colleges from the US Department of Education saying that schools must give transgender students equal access to the restroom of their choice.

“This is absurd,” said Senator Lundberg. “The US Department of Education must not have much to do if they are now spending time on public school bathroom policies in Denver, Danville and Duluth. Plain and simple, this is none of their business and totally beyond Congressional intent in the enactment of Title IX. Therefore, it is a policy Colorado should ignore.”

“This is sheer insanity,” added Senator Kevin Grantham (R-Canon City). “Does the President honestly think he can use executive authority to substitute his opinion over those of local school districts and moms and dads?”

Charles Heatherly, director of policy at the Colorado Senate Majority Office, went even further:

No, its a perversion of law. Tutle [sic-Pols] IX is about sex discrimination.Sexual identity is biological and fuxed [sic-Pols], whereas “gender self-idenitification” is a social construct of Politically Correct academic elites.

Isn’t that great? The only thing is, you could substitute the word “transgender” for “black,” roll this all back a few decades, and suddenly have a very different-sounding press release. After all, it’s none of the federal government’s “business” who gets to use what bathroom in a public school, right? And if “local school districts and moms and dads” don’t want those kids using the same facilities as their kids…why, who are we to tell them differently?

In the not-too-distant future, no one will think twice about this issue, any more than we think about racially desegregated public accommodations. But when we get to that point, history is going to look back at Focus on the Family and Colorado Senate Republicans.

And history is not going to be kind.

Get More Smarter on Monday (May 16)

MoreSmarter-RainToo bad you have to wait until August for those rain barrels to become officially legal. 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).

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

How bad is it this time? That may be the new internal mantra for the Jon Keyser for Senate campaign. Keyser’s EPIC meltdown in response to questions about alleged forged petition signatures has gone more than viral — it is transcending politics altogether now. Comedian Samantha Bee, who hosts a nightly talk show on TBS, Tweeted out a couple of Keyser-related barbs this morning, comparing him to a character on HBO’s “Veep” and highlighting their own remix of Keyser’s stumbles into the “I’m on the ballot dance.”

The Denver District Attorney’s office is now investigating the alleged forgeries that helped Keyser get his name on the June 28th Primary ballot. And editorials around the state are piling on, like this one from Dave Perry of The Aurora Sentinel:

No, Jon Keyser. You won’t be winning Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet’s seat in November. You’ve just lost the primary election by losing your dignity, integrity and above all, respect for voters.

In what looked like a pathetic stunt straight out of Donald Trump’s playbook, Keyser — hand-picked and hand-groomed by big-player state Republicans to take on the politically vulnerable Bennet this fall — trashed his already tattered political career Thursday.

Keyser, acting the insolent spoiled brat, refused to answer questions from reporters about why there are at least 10 forged signatures on petitions that got him a place on the GOP primary ballot…

…For godsake, if you fold like a whiny teenager from this, what would you have done when Sen. Elizabeth Warren or Sen. Ted Cruz got in your face or tripped you on the Senate floor? Cry? Repeat the Pledge of Allegiance like some kind of secret spell?

Coincidentally, Perry just recently won an award from the Colorado Press Association for Best Editorial Writing. Read the entire editorial above and you’ll see why.

ICYMI, Keyser’s absolutely epic #FAIL(s) on Thursday are must-watch TV — as is this MSNBC segment from Rachel Maddow.

Elsewhere, The Denver Post is hosting a debate among the Republican U.S. Senate candidates on Tuesday. The event begins at 6:00 pm tomorrow evening (May 17).

 

► The U.S. Supreme court has decided to punt on an issue related to contraceptions and Obamacare. From the Washington Post:

A short-handed Supreme Court declined Monday to decide challenges to an Affordable Care Act requirement about providing contraceptive coverage, saying that there was a possibility of compromise between religious objectors and the government.

The court punted the issue back to lower courts, and said its unanimous ruling “expresses no view on the merits of the cases.”…

…The unanimous three-page decision maintains the status quo, and indicates that the court — evenly divided along ideological lines following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia — could not reach agreement.

A week after oral arguments in the case, the justices took the highly unusual step of floating their own compromise about how to resolve the case, and asked the parties to weigh in.

 

► The Colorado legislature wrapped up its 2016 session late Wednesday, but they may yet be called back to the Capitol. Rumors continue to grow that Gov. John Hickenlooper could call legislators back into a “special session” in order to focus on the “Hospital Provider Fee” issue that Senate President Bill Cadman basically killed in order to appease his rulers at “Americans for Prosperity.”

 

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Caption This Photo: The Face of Fear

MONDAY UPDATE: TBS’ Samantha Bee immortalizes Jon Keyser’s meltdown:

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UPDATE: You knew the remix would not be far behind. From a real high school student, so you know it’s cool:

 

 

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Here’s an animated .GIF to remember: the first few telling seconds of Denver7 reporter Marshall Zelinger’s confrontation with GOP U.S. Senate candidate Jon Keyser over allegedly fraudulent petition signatures submitted by his campaign. It’s all about that subtle look of sheer terror that breaks across Keyser’s face, for just a brief fleeting moment until he regains his robotic composure:

keyserfear

No matter how little sympathy you may feel for Keyser, you know that look.

Monday Open Thread

“Everything becomes a little different as soon as it is spoken out loud.”

–Hermann Hesse

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Destroys Jon Keyser

After a wild week in local news, the rapidly escalating scandal over allegedly forged petitions that helped Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jon Keyser qualify for the 2016 primary ballot made its way to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow last night.

There’s really nothing quite like an in-depth Rachel Maddow takedown:

Maddow replays lots of details from Denver7 reporter Marshall Zelinger’s reports this week, including Tuesday’s story breaking the existence of many more forged petitions than the first example uncovered over a week before. She goes on to discuss Keyser’s disastrous public appearances Thursday, in which Maddow reports Keyser’s recitation of the words “I’m on the ballot” a total of thirteen times between the debate and Keyser’s calamitous interview with Zelinger afterward.

The point of all this, and this is where Maddow takes the question above the back-and-forth of local news and punditry, is that Colorado’s U.S. Senate race is pretty much the only GOP hope of picking up a Senate seat–in a year that is increasingly looking like a rout for the Republican Party, from Donald Trump all the way down the ticket. Keyser has been successfully sold to the Republican Party elite in Colorado and Washington, D.C. as the only contender who can challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in November. With the national Republican Party much more straightforward these days about “meddling” in primary races to avert further Todd Akin (or for that matter, Ken Buck) catastrophes, and with no big name like Cory Gardner to turn to, the decision had already been made to fall in behind Keyser.

Today, after almost two weeks of nightmarishly bad press, and having metastasized into a nationwide press spectacle after Keyser boorishly horrified every reporter in America on Thursday, the decision by Republican kingpins to vest their hopes for taking out Bennet in Jon Keyser looks like a very bad decision indeed. Whether Keyser is forced to withdraw from the race or he limps on to defeat in June, this once-promising “wunderkind” is politically done for. At best, maybe he takes a Scott McInnis-style sabbatical and reappears someday to run for Delta County Jefferson County commissioner.

And to Democrats reveling in Keyser’s destruction, we’d say it’s time to shift focus to the candidates left standing.

Self-Destruction, Doggie Style: Keyser Meltdown Recap

UPDATE: We’re not sure exactly what to call this, since Keyser’s campaign has already passed “bad” and “worse” and rounded the corner to “disaster,” but yet another shoe is dropping:

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Here’s a brief roundup of the absolutely disastrous national press coverage received by Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jon Keyser in the last 24 hours, after his first public appearance in days since revelations of extensive petition fraud that may have help qualify him for the ballot went…well, so far off the rails that it could go down as one of the greatest flameouts in contemporary American politics.

Jon Keyser.

Jon Keyser.

We’ll kick off with the Washington Post’s The Fix blog, which still includes Colorado as one of their most competitive Senate races this week–though just barely, and probably not for much longer:

9. Colorado (D): Are Republicans blowing their chance to take on Senate Democrats’ most vulnerable incumbent, Sen. Michael Bennet? We asked that question in April after one of their top candidates stumbled to get on the ballot for the June primary. Jon Keyser, a 34-year-old combat veteran, is now back on the ballot. But he immediately stumbled with this painful exchange Thursday at a GOP candidate forum, where he failed to answer or sufficiently deflect questions about a report that at least 10 signatures on his petition were forged. Keyser’s missteps and more is why Colorado, a classic swing state where Republicans managed to snag a Senate seat in 2014, isn’t higher on this list.

Safe to say, that’s not what Keyser needs Washington, D.C. reading today. And if you think that’s bad, check out Politico’s Morning Score:

ROCKY DAY — Keyser stumbles on signature forgery question in Colorado Senate race: Former GOP state Rep. Jon Keyser refused to answer questions about 10 signatures on his ballot petitions that were allegedly forged during a candidate forum Thursday afternoon. Keyser instead repeated “I’m on the ballot” six times during the exchange with the moderator. “And I’m going to beat Michael Bennet. And I can guarantee you this. The Democrats are doing everything that they can right now to try to derail me from being on the primary ballot. You know what? I’m not going to let them do it,” Keyser said.

— But things got really awkward afterwards, when Denver7 reporter Marshall Zelinger approached Keyser with further questions on the signatures. Keyser twice called him “Mitchell,” in between repeating, “The important thing is I’m on the ballot.” (Keyser also faux-cheerily asked Zelinger if he was “creeping around my house yesterday,” and whether he’d met his dog: “He’s a great dog. He’s bigger than you are. He’s huge.” Watch the exchange here: http://bit.ly/1s3LskV

Even the notoriously fickle Denver Post editorial board isn’t mincing words:

[F]raud…strikes at the heart of the petition process, whether the candidate is aware of the abuse or not. And yet Denver7’s Marshall Zelinger has confirmed at least 10 instances of forged signatures on Keyser’s petitions in a district where he collected only 20 more than the minimum. Worse for Keyser, the Denver7 report says “many more signatures appear to have the same handwriting style and characteristics” as the fraudulent 10.

If Zelinger’s report survives scrutiny — and especially if additional forgeries are identified — then Keyser may not belong on the ballot. In that case, even if his name must remain there, GOP voters should take note — especially if Keyser can do no better than he did Thursday to explain it, when he repeated robot-like the mantra, “I’m on the ballot.”

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Last night, Keyser attended a second U.S. Senate Senate candidate forum, after the forum earlier in the day in which Keyser’s not-so-thinly-veiled threats against Denver7 reporter Marshall Zelinger were caught on camera and subsequently went viral. 9NEWS reporter Jonathan Gonzales again cornered Keyser on the question of petition fraud–and while this time Keyser didn’t threaten the reporter with his Great Dane, he again did himself no favors:

 

 

We have to say we are genuinely surprised that Keyser had no better answer to these growing questions about petition fraud than the words “all that matters is I’m on the ballot.” It’s a little like being caught in a bank robbery and responding, “all that matters is I’ve got the money.”

Keyser’s incredibly bad response to these questions about his petition signatures, first by hiding for days from the allegations and then his disastrous on-camera performances yesterday, do much more than raise questions about Keyser’s fitness to serve as a U.S. Senator. Having had so much time to formulate a response to these allegations and failing so miserably to do so, one has to ask at this point if Keyser knows more about the petition fraud his campaign is accused of than he is letting on. It should have relatively straightforward for Keyser to put distance between himself and his campaign hires and subordinates by claiming ignorance. While not a great answer, it would still have been much better than repetitious non-answers that satisfy no one.

Or threatening a reporter on-camera with your giant dog.

After yesterday’s nigh-on unbelievable developments, we’re not completely sure what the next steps in this story even are–but it will likely involve the Denver and Jefferson County district attorneys who have been contacted about investigating the case. Behind the scenes, we expect Keyser is doing whatever he can to undo the damage with national GOP funders and strategists at the National Republican Senatorial Committee–who all watched this epic meltdown via D.C. and local media outlets.

But folks, we just don’t think there’s any coming back from this. Whether he ends his campaign now, or limps along Scott McInnis-style to defeat in next month’s primary, Keyser’s U.S. Senate race–and probably his political career as a whole–is over.

Get More Smarter on Friday (May 13)

Get More SmarterToday is the last Friday the 13th of 2016, so relax. 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).

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► Earlier this week we wrote that the Senate campaign of Republican Jon Keyser is “basically finished.” But after Keyser’s completely disastrous day of “interviews” on Thursday — video of which has since gone national — we think it’s safe to go ahead and remove the word “basically.” Jon Keyser is not going to be Colorado’s next Senator, and even fellow Republicans are abandoning ship.

ICYMI, Keyser’s absolutely epic #FAIL(s) on Thursday are must-watch TV.

 

The Colorado Supreme Court will hear a case from the campaign of Republican Senate candidate Ryan Frazier, who is trying to remain on the Senate ballot despite coming up short in the signature-gathering process.

 

► It’s official: Colorado has a new Lieutenant Governor following Thursday’s swearing-in ceremony for Donna Lynne.

 

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