Marshall Finds Maureen, Hilarity Ensues

UPDATE: As Denver7’s Marshall Zelinger reports:

The woman who turned in petitions with some signatures that Denver7 has identified as being forged, would only respond “No comment” when we met up with her late Monday morning.

In the last three weeks, Denver7 has exclusively reported a number of stories surrounding forged signatures on petitions that helped Republican Senate Candidate Jon Keyser qualify for the June 28 primary ballot…

Monday, investigators looking into the forged signatures wanted to speak with Moss, but when they met her she refused to answer their questions. Shortly after, Denver7 political reporter Marshall Zelinger tried to speak with her as she left her former employer’s office.

—–

Denver7 reporter Mitchell Marshall Zelinger somehow managed to find “Maureen” today. “Maureen” is the signature collector who has emerged as a key figure in the petition fraud scandal that has destroyed the Senate candidacy of Republican Jon Keyser.

As you can see for yourself in the video posted to Zelinger’s Facebook page, “Maureen” is about as media-savvy as Keyser himself:

Listen closely near the end of the video for a fantastic attempt to “discourage” Zelinger by the driver of the van waiting for “Maureen”:

“Get away from my van! You’re not allowed by my van!”

Jon Keyser Defined by Petition Fraud and His Response

Republican voters know Jon Keyser as the "ballot fraud" candidate.

Republican voters know Jon Keyser as the “petition fraud” candidate.

Earlier this month we wrote that the U.S. Senate campaign of Republican Jon Keyser was “basically finished” in the wake of the then-still growing scandal over fraudulent petition signatures used by Keyser to make it onto the June 28th primary ballot. As we said at the time, the stories of ballot fraud coupled with Keyser’s disastrous response to the problem were rapidly defining Keyser’s entire campaign. Keyser entered the Senate race with pretty low name ID among even Republican voters, which made it even more difficult for Keyser to avoid the shadow being cast by his petition problems.

This week we updated our assessment of Keyser’s campaign from “basically finished” to “cratered,” the obvious next — and final — stop when your fellow candidates are calling on you to drop out of the race. A story today in the Loveland Reporter-Herald shows again why Keyser is not going to recover from this scandal anytime soon:

Loveland residents were among the signers of U.S. Senate candidate Jon Keyser’s petition, and the statewide controversy surrounding fraudulent signatures elicited a variety of reactions.

Nancy Rumfelt, executive director of the conservative group Liberty Watch, was one of the signers of Keyser’s petition. Rumfelt signed it at the Larimer County GOP assembly.

“I just signed on to support his ability to get on the ballot,” Rumfelt said, adding that she supports anyone’s ability to get onto the ballot through any legal method available.

The options, she said, are available to anyone who wants to run for office, which is a daunting task in and of itself, and it doesn’t make sense to place a stigma on any of the methods.

Rumfelt said she wasn’t sure if she was going to vote for Keyser, but after his mishandling of “the media and his response” to the issue of fraudulent signatures, she said she’s definitely not going to support him now. [Pols emphasis]

Mail ballots go out to Republican Primary voters in a little more than two weeks, and that last quote above is a pretty strong condemnation of Keyser’s Senate hopes. Keyser is the “petition fraud” candidate now — it defines him as a candidate even among active Republicans — and he has neither the time nor the money to be able to shake that image before ballots are counted on June 28th.

There’s probably not a lot that Keyser can do to make things much worse than they already are, but if anyone can find a way to double-crater, it’s Keyser. Before this petition scandal broke a few weeks ago, Keyser’s campaign was still trying to figure out how to present him as an authentic Colorado candidate when the bulk of his support came from establishment Republicans and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), which had selected Keyser as its top contender back in January.

As the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) was happy to point out today, Keyser skipped out on a Colorado debate in order to attend meetings in Washington D.C.:

Keyser was a no-show at another debate on Thursday night, instead opting to meet in Washington DC with fellow robot Marco Rubio.

On the bright side, Keyser is serving as a valuable real-life example for future Colorado Republican candidates; if you plan to seek a top elected office in the coming years, just make sure you do the opposite of whatever Keyser is doing.

 

Keyser says “liberal media is not going to give up”

(It’s kind of pathetic – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Jon Keyser.

Jon Keyser.

U.S. Senate candidate Jon Keyser has proven to be a horrible media critic, threatening a reporter with his dog and saying the media is out to get him, without offering any evidence for his anger. In fact, I can’t identify a single question from reporters that’s been unfair to Keyser or unreasonable given the facts on the table.

If anyone doubts this, I offer the following exchange between Keyser and KNUS 710-AM’s Dan Caplis, beginning at 28:50 May 18 Hour 2 here.

Caplis: Obviously you’ve been getting a lot of questions over the way you handled an interview with a particular reporter from Channel 7. Give folks your perspective of that conversation through your eyes.

Keyser: The interview that you’re talking about, it actually took place during the middle of a debate. We were in a debate, a candidate debate. We took a five-minute stretch-your-legs break, and then of course this guy  [Denver7’s Marshall Zelinger] came and shoved a camera in my face. We were in the middle of the debate!

You know, I think it takes a lot of discipline to stick you your guns and say, ‘Here’s what I know. I know that I’m on the ballot. The Secretary of State has looked at that. A judge has looked at that again and again.’

And it takes a lot of discipline to not give the left what they want, which is — it’s not the 24-hour news cycle anymore–it’s something that will feed into the 24-minute news cycle.

They wanted me to misspeak, or they wanted to have me say something that they could run with or that would hurt me later. But I was focused on not stoking that fire, because, frankly, that is a very serious thing. And we wanted to make sure that we had the truth, that we knew exactly what happened. And that takes a little while sometimes. Now that doesn’t satisfy 24-minute news cycle.

But, you know, I think it was important that I stood in there, and frankly, we got to have a Republican who can stand there and take the punches, because the liberal media is not going to give up. They are not going to give me a free pass. That’s for sure. So, I’ve got to be able to stay on message, stay disciplined and be able to take the punches. And I’ve shown again and again that I can. I’ve answered more questions in the four months that I’ve been running for the United States Senate than Michael Bennet has in 4 years…

Caplis: This reporter who went to your home during the day?

Keyser: Yeah, certainly I think there are boundaries. And like any dad, I’m protective of my family. And if it seemed in that interview that I was agitated or somewhat upset, it’s because I was! It’s because I’m a dad. I’m very protective.  He scared my kids. My baby cried for another hour after they left. Nobody’s jumping out of Michael Bennet’s bushes to ask him questions.

Keyser is correct. The media isn’t going to give up. Why should it, when it’s just doing its job?

Robert Blaha Campaign Manager Quits

Robert Blaha needs a campaign manager.

Robert Blaha needs a campaign manager.

The 2016 Republican race for U.S. Senate may go down as one of the all-time biggest disasters in Colorado political history.

Surely you are aware by now of the crater that was once Jon Keyser’s campaign for U.S. Senate, but Keyser isn’t the only GOP candidate with problems. Ryan Frazier is still waiting to find out if any potential votes he receives will actually be counted. Jack Graham is clearly nervous about his personnel file from his time as Athletic Director at Colorado State University — a topic that came up in Tuesday’s Denver Post debate — and now Robert Blaha has problems of his own.

As John Frank reports for the Denver Post:

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Robert Blaha’s team is experiencing a staff shakeup after his campaign manager quit.

Katey Price, a veteran political operative, resigned her post at the top of the campaign amid disagreements about political strategy. It’s unclear whether Blaha’s consultant, Jordan Gehrke, is still working for the campaign.

The turnover puts Blaha in a tough position at a crucial point in the campaign, as the candidate looks to regain footing from  a prolonged fight to make the ballot just weeks before mail ballots are sent to voters in the June 28 primary.

And it’s just the latest bit of drama in a race  full of it.

A spokesperson for Blaha’s campaign tried to downplay the departure of Price as part of the natural “ebb and flow” of high-profile political campaigns, but losing your campaign manager just weeks before ballots are sent to voters is far from common.

Nevertheless, Blaha maintains at least one advantage over the rest of the field (sans Jack Graham); as a candidate with the ability to self-fund, Blaha will be up on television with a new advertisement on Thursday. While outside soft money groups may play a role in the Senate Primary, campaign finance reports indicate that only Blaha and Graham — who is also personally wealthy — have any real money with which to pay for TV ads.

Blaha losing his campaign manager just weeks before voting begins is absolutely a strange development…or it would be if the GOP Senate race was at all a normal undertaking in 2016.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (May 18)

Get More SmarterExcept for the rain cloud following Jon Keyser around, we may finally be in for some warmer, drier weather. 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…

► The hits just keep on coming for Republican Senate candidate Jon Keyser, whose campaign officially cratered on Tuesday.

Keyser’s EPIC meltdown in response to questions about alleged forged petition signatures had already gone viral earlier this week…and that was before the Colorado Secretary of State’s office announced on Tuesday that there was at least one DEAD VOTER whose name appeared on Keyser’s petitions.

Then things got even worse last night during a GOP Senate debate moderated by reporters from the Denver Post, where Keyser was called out by fellow candidate (and Air Force Academy graduate) Darryl Glenn, who asked Keyser to drop out of the race if an investigation shows that he did not receive enough valid petition signatures to legally get his name on the June 28 Primary ballot (check out Mike Littwin’s column at the Colorado Independent for more on the debate). There’s no way around it now: Keyser’s Senate campaign has officially cratered.

 

► The Denver Post hosted a debate for the five Republican U.S. Senate candidates on Tuesday. ICYMI, we watched the entire exchange and graded each candidate on their performance.

 

► Soon-to-be Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump released a list of names he would consider for Supreme Court vacancies, and as the Denver Post reports, there’s a Colorado connection:

A Colorado Supreme Court justice was one of 11 potential nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court released Wednesday by Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump should he be elected.

Allison Eid was appointed to Colorado’s highest court  in 2006 by then-Gov. Bill Owens, a Republican, who called her a premier legal scholar.

Prior to her appointment, Eid was the state’s Solicitor General to then-Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, also a Republican.

According to the Colorado Judicial Branch, at the time she joined Colorado’s Supreme Court, Eid was a tenured associate professor of law at the University of Colorado School of Law where she taught constitutional law, legislation and torts.

We’re sure that Eid’s husband, former U.S. Attorney Troy Eid, is more than happy for his wife at being included on such a prestigious list. But part of the news has to sting for Eid, who in the past 15 years has floated his name for more potential Colorado races than Jon Keyser has forged petition signatures.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump… (more…)

Colorado Springs GOP primary turns the Legislature’s smiles into snarls

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

They're mean with Photoshop in Colorado Springs.

They’re mean with Photoshop in Colorado Springs.

A mailer  in Colorado Springs includes actual factual photos of state house candidate Larry Liston cross-dressing, but the attack letter fails to mention that Liston’s step into a dress was all part of a joke.

As reported by the Megan Schrader at the Colorado Springs Gazette:

One page of the letter includes two photos of Liston from Hummers, a skit put on by the minority party in the House chambers every year skewering the majority party. It also includes a link to a story about criticism Liston faced for calling unwed mother’s “sluts.” Liston later apologized for the statement. Another link in the letter takes readers to the 2011 voting log on Senate Bill 200, which created the state exchange for the Affordable Care Act and shows Liston voted for the legislation.

Liston said those are “gross misrepresentations.”

[Former State Rep. Amy] Stephens said there is a “long-standing House and Senate agreement” that anything in Hummers would not be used for or against someone in political campaigns.

“It’s just reprehensible that this would be violated,” Stephens said.

The mailer appears to be the work of GOP consultant Jon Hotaling in support of Rep. Janak Joshi (R-Colorado Springs), whose facing a primary challenge from Liston. Hotaling defended the letter in the Gazette’s story.

(more…)

Keyser fails as media critic

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Jon Keyser.

Jon Keyser.

Republican Senate candidate Jon Keyser is adopting the Douglas-Bruce style of media criticism.

You recall Bruce, who authored Colorado’s TABOR amendment, once kicked a newspaper photographer at the capitol. Keyser didn’t kick, but he threatened a bite or two when he told Denver7’s Marshall Zelinger:

Keyser: “He’s a great dog. He’s bigger than you are. He’s huge. He’s a big guy. Very protective.”

At last night’s Denver Post debate, Keyser continued to be a low-information media critic. After complimenting The Denver Post for its coverage of his campaign’s forged ballot-access signatures, including one from a dead person, Keyser said:

Keyser:  “But frankly, there are a lot of media outlets in this state that have really done lots of heavy lifting, carried the water, for liberals on this to disguise Michael Bennet’s record and get us talking about anything that doesn’t involve Michael Bennet…

There’s big problem here in the media, because, there’s a double standard that exists. You know, frankly, I don’t know of anybody jumping out of the bushes to ask Michael Bennet questions about Iran or his support of closing Guantanamo Bay…

If he continues to criticize the media, Keyser would do well to focus on very specfific facts and stay away from misniformation and dogs and threats. For example, no one needed to jump out of the bushes to ask Bennet about Iran, because he took questions about it.

If Keyser keeps going after reporters like he’s doing, he risks creeping into the media’s doghouse. And no candidate wants to be there.

Now There are DEAD VOTERS on Jon Keyser’s Petitions

UPDATE: The Colorado Independent’s Corey Hutchins:

File this one under “One thing a Republican candidate never wants to see”: A dead voter’s signature on a petition to get him on the ballot.

But that’s the allegation from Colorado’s Republican Secretary of State, Wayne Williams, who today released a statement saying he “notified the Denver district attorney that a petition circulator turned in the signature of a deceased voter.”

In recent years, Republicans across the country have over-hyped inaccurate reports of “zombie voters,” fear mongering about in-person voter fraud, which is extremely rare. They’ve done this while trying to enact restrictive voting measures to make voting more difficult…

In 2013, Keyser himself got into the voter fraud fray when he suggested he had improperly received duplicate ballots in the mail. It turned out that wasn’t the case.

—–

Jon Keyser supporters this afternoon.

Is it still getting worse?!? Yes, it’s still getting worse.

As the Denver Post explains:

Colorado’s Secretary of State’s Office first learned about the possibility of fraudulent signatures — including a dead voter — on U.S. Senate candidate Jon Keyser’s petitions in April but did not refer the matter to investigators.

The revelation — made clear in documents obtained Tuesday by The Denver Post — adds a new layer of culpability to the controversy surrounding the Republican primary and raises additional questions about how Keyser qualified for the ballot.

The suspect voter signatures that appeared on the former state lawmaker’s petitions included one dead person and an unknown number that appeared to have been written in identical handwriting — potentially more than previously known.

A data specialist at Integrated Document Solutions — the state division that first reviews the petitions — contacted Jeff Mustin, Secretary of State’s petition lead, on April 12, the documents show, and sent a subsequent e-mail that included the suspicious signatures.

Yowza.

Jon Keyser’s campaign had been getting absolutely pummeled in the media over allegations of ballot fraud and forgery in petitions used to get his name on the June 28th Primary ballot. On Monday, Keyser decided to finally speak out — albeit in a rather nonsensical manner — but not before his Senate campaign had become little more than an Internet meme.

And now…dead voters. We didn’t think it possible for this story to get much worse than it already was for Keyser’s campaign, but (credit where due, here), it seems Keyser has a special kind of magic for this sort of thing. Bravo, or, whatever.

Humans not contributing to global warming, Glenn again says

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Darryl Glenn.

Darryl Glenn.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn reiterated his belief last week that humans are not contributing to global warming.

Asked about the issue by KNUS 710-AM’s Jimmy Sengenberger Show May 7, Glenn, an El Paso Couty Commissioner, said:

Glenn: Climate change, we can debate that until the cows come home, for lack of a better way of stating that. The bottom line is, I do not believe that man is contributing to that factor. We need to stand up for energy independence, and Colorado needs to lead the nation.

Sengenberger: I think this issue is so overblown. But it is something that is very important to Millennials in particular, because they have gone through a college process and a K-12 education where this is something constantly ingrained in them. How can we appeal to Millenials, to young people, in your mind on the issue of energy, to say, ‘We need to be developing our energy infrastructure in this country and in the state of Colorado, not harming it.

Glenn: I agree. And it’s an extensive conversation.  You mentioned education. As conservatives, we cannot just concede education over to the Democrats. We really need to be actively involved. And that’s why I’ve been such a proponent of school choice and the other options that are out there, because the left is clearly out there driving the agenda, trying to shape the minds of the next generation.

Glenn’s position contrasts with the consensus view among scientists worldwide that human activity is contributing to climate change. Interestingly, Glenn’s stance has so little credibility that some journalists argue that it should be ingored as a legitimate opinion in news articles.

Glenn hopes to prevail in Colorado’s June 28 GOP primary and take on Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, who believes climate change is already affecting Colorado and who hammered his GOP opponent in 2010 for denying that humans were causing climate change.

(more…)

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.

 

 

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.”

 

Get even more smarter after the jump… (more…)

A predatory lender’s empty threats to abandon its growing business in Colorado

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

loanshark2If you followed the debate over a bill allowing a predatory lender to charge millions more in high interest rates, you know that the key question, at the end of the day, was: Will OneMain holdings leave Colorado if it can’t make even more money here?

In a Denver Post op-ed over the weekend, I addressed this question by comparing last year’s debate about predatory lending to this year’s.

This year, the bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Jovan Melton (D-Aurora), was quoted as saying that OneMain will pack up its money bags and leave Colorado unless it’s allowed to make more cash:

“I’m running this [legislation] for progressive reasons,” Melton told The Durango Herald last month. “If we don’t do something about this now, then we’re going to lose that last company, which means the only option we’ll have left is payday lenders.” [BigMedia emphasis]

Trouble is, Melton essentially said the same thing last year, when a similar bill was under consideration, and, lo and behold, OneMain didn’t go anywhere.

“This is one of those issues where you almost have to hold your nose and still vote for it, because if you don’t, the branches will close, and the only option you’ll have is payday lending,” Melton told The Herald last year. [BigMedia emphasis]

A year has elapsed, and OneMain is still in Colorado, and payday lending is not the only option. In fact, OneMain’s business has grown, even as some branches have closed, following a merger and an industry trend toward online (and more efficient) business.

So now that House Democrats have killed the predatory-lending bill, who expects Colorado to “lose that last company,” as promised by Melton? Last year’s threat is probably the best yardstick we have, meaning it probably won’t be going anywhere.

And if OneMain doesn’t go away, and the company or its supporters trot out a sob story next year about needing to flee Colorado because profts are so intolerably low here, we’ll know what to tell them.

Does Bernie rule in Oregon and Kentucky? The polls say otherwise

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The chattering classes latest take on the Democratic presidential race is that, while Hillary Clinton will surely clinch the nomination on June 7 in California and New Jersey, Bernie Sanders’ sweep of such interim contests as Indiana and West Virginia and his probable upcoming victories in Kentucky and Oregon on May 17 will leave her a badly wounded candidate against Donald Trump in the November contests.

Of course, not long ago these same infallible oracles assured us that neither Sanders nor Trump were serious candidates.   And already there are strong reasons to doubt their confident conclusions about Bernie’s “winning streak.”

For one thing, Bernie’s streak is already over! After he won in Indiana and West Virginia, Hillary won the Guam caucus May 7 and the Nebraska primary May 10.  Tiny Guam only netted her one delegate and Nebraska — which was purely advisory — awarded no delegates at all.   But if the “momentum” so beloved by the pundits matters, Hillary’s 59-40 win in the Cornhusker primary is a marked reversal over Bernie’s 57-43 edge in that state’s caucuses, with their much smaller voter turnout.

But assuredly, sayeth the conventional wisdom, Bernie will regain his balance with a thumping victory in Kentucky, where so many out of work coal miners are expected to take out their woes on Hillary — as West Virginia miners already have.   That may yet happen but the only recent survey, a Public Policy Polling effort, has Hillary ahead  by five points, 43-38.

Five points isn’t much of a bulwark against Bernie’s patented tactic of sweeping into a state, holding large rallies to fire up voters, then leading a surge of independent voters to an upset victory.   But as we have noted in the past, that tactic only works in an open primary, where those fired up Independents can vote for him.  Alas for Bernie, Kentucky is a closed primary — and he has never beaten her in such a contest.   West Virginia was an open primary where Bernie’s 15 point final margin stemmed solely from his yuuge popularity among Independents.  Hillary beat Bernie by 4 points among Democrats living in “almost Heaven.”

These facts are no surprise to a now-aroused  Team Hillary, which has already dispatched the “Big Dawg” to campaign for her in Kentucky and which is also belatedly increasing its spending.  As much as it would love to pivot wholly against Donald Trump, Hillary’s  campaign seems resigned to fighting a two-front war at least until California and New Jersey settle things on June 7. None of this means Bernie can’t win in Kentucky but it does mean he can’t catch Hillary napping there, as he did in Indiana where she spent nothing on advertising to counter $1.6 million in Sanders’ ads.

But even if Hillary does hold on in Kentucky, Bernie will pummel her in mostly white and traditionally liberal Oregon, the pundits purr.   It could happen.  But once again the chattering class is ignoring both the polling and the format of the contest — another closed primary.   The most recent survey puts Hillary up by 15 points, 48-33.

A 15 point lead in a closed primary looks formidable.  But the primary might not be as closed as it looks because  there is a major wild card in those calculations — newly minted Democrats. Between January and April, 140,000 Oregon voters are said to have changed their party affiliations – with an estimated 90,000 having switching to the Democratic Party.  If those newbies lean heavily to Bernie and vote in higher than expected numbers, Bernie might yet overcome the odds.  But again, if he wins Oregon, he’ll have to fight for it.  Hillary Clinton seems determined not to give him any more free passes in this nomination fight.

Even if Hillary gets the majority of Kentucky’s 61 delegates and Oregon’s 73, she’ll still need delegates from California and New Jersey to lock up the nomination — though a trifling ten percent share of those two states’ delegate bounty would put her over the top.  Her all-but-certain victory in the final contest, the June 14 District of Columbia primary, would be a delicious frosting on another of those chocolate cakes African American voters love to give her.

But Sanders’ fund-raising fell off precipitously after he lost New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut,  Delaware and Maryland.  His once overflowing money machine has since been forced to lay off staff and cut back on advertising in ultra-expensive California.  And if Hillary does defy the pundits by winning both Kentucky and Oregon, her triumphs will be a hard rain that could  put out the Berne even before its first flames reach the Golden State.

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.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump… (more…)