Colorado Pols Q&A: The State of the GOP Senate Race

Today is the official deadline for the Colorado Secretary of State’s office to finalize the names that will appear on the June 28th Primary ballot, but with so many last-minute decisions about ballot access, it wouldn’t be a surprise if a legal motion delays that process.

To help you understand what is happening in the Republican Senate race, and what to expect next, we put together a nice little Q&A with ourselves. Enjoy:

Jack Graham (L) and Darryl Glenn

Jack Graham and Darryl Glenn

Q: The Republican field of candidates for U.S. Senate once included 13 different names. How many candidates will ultimately end up on the ballot for the June 28th Primary?

A: As of now, there are three candidates on the ballot: El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn, former Colorado State University Athletic Director Jack Graham, and former half-term legislator Jon Keyser. Robert Blaha and Ryan Frazier learned from the Secretary of State’s (SOS) office on Thursday that they had failed to submit enough valid signatures for ballot access; Frazier is pursuing legal action and has hired former Secretary of State Scott Gessler as his legal representative, while Blaha has yet to announce whether or not he will challenge the SOS ruling.

 

Q: It was announced this morning that Keyser has successfully appealed his case and will be placed on the Primary ballot after all. What does this mean for Blaha and Frazier?

A: That’s a difficult question to answer when there is very little precedent here; prior to 2012, Colorado held its Primary elections in August, which left plenty of time to figure this out before ballots were finalized. Because Primary ballots are supposed to be completed by the SOS office today, Blaha and/or Frazier probably need to file some sort of injunction to stop that process from happening. We’d be surprised if there were no injunction filed today; Frazier hired Gessler to help him challenge the petition decision and seems to be fairly confident about his chances from what he has said publicly.

There are a lot of directions this could go from a legal standpoint, but it stands to reason that both Frazier and Blaha would benefit from the ruling in Keyser’s case. None of these three candidates submitted enough petition signatures to give them wiggle room if there were any problems – only Jack Graham was wise enough to turn in double the required amount of signatures – so if a judge is inclined to let Keyser on the ballot anyway, it would seem to create an opening for Frazier and Blaha to get the same shoulder shrug from a Denver judge.

 

Q: Is Keyser the frontrunner to win the Senate nomination?

A: Are you kidding? Of course not. Keyser supporters are celebrating their legal ruling as though his campaign accomplished something significant. In truth, Keyser did only what he was supposed to do: He made the ballot, and he had to file a lawsuit to do it. By failing to initially make the ballot, Keyser picked up more media coverage than he has had for his entire campaign – but all of it was bad. He now must convince potential Republican donors that his campaign is not already dead, despite what they may have seen or read earlier this week. That’s not a position of strength by any means, especially for a candidate who was already struggling to raise enough money just to keep the lights on.

 

Q: Okay, so if it’s not Keyser, then who is the frontrunner for the GOP nomination?

A: That’s an easier question: It’s the two candidates who didn’t have to spend the last week wondering if they were even going to be on the ballot in June. Colorado Republicans are going to be receiving their Primary ballots in the mail in 5-6 weeks, which isn’t much time for a bunch of unknown candidates to raise their name ID. Only Graham and Glenn have been able to campaign as full-fledged candidates for the last week or two, and both have a sizable advantage so long as they have the resources to run a solid campaign.

A low-information, low-turnout Primary certainly benefits Glenn, the man whose name will appear at the top of the ballot thanks to his victory at the Republican State Convention on April 9. But if we had to pick one name to be the favorite right now, it would be Graham; as of today, he is literally the ONLY Republican candidate whose name is on the ballot and has demonstrated an ability to generate significant campaign funds.

Tea Party activist is now “executive editor” at the Colorado Statesman?

POLS UPDATE: Yes, this is the same political hack Jennifer Kerns who absurdly claimed ballots were being mailed “from Chicago” for the 2013 recalls, and who later warned the nation of Colorado’s epidemic of “marijuana crack babies.” What can we say? People fail upward sometimes.

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Jennifer Kerns.

Jennifer Kerns.

If all you knew about Jennifer Kerns is her job title of executive editor of the Colorado Statesman, you may have been surprised if you attended last Thursday’s meeting of the North Jeffco Tea Party, where she provided an evening lecture titled, “Brokered Brand: How the GOP continues to compromise its brand and lose elections… and what you can do about it.”

A couple days before her Jeffco speech, Kerns’ Tea-Party conservatism was blaring from KNUS 710-AM, where she subbed for arch conservative Dan Caplis:

Kerns: We can’t forget that we have a big senate race coming up here in 2016, the race against Sen. Michael Bennet, one of the more liberal members of the U.S. Senate, very similar to Mark Udall, except, in my view, there’s one big problem with Senator Bennet, and that is, whereas Mark Udall was concerned about one thing and one thing primarily, your uterus–That was his nickname at least on the campaign trail, given to him by The Denver Post.–Sen. Michael Bennet has many, many interests that he wants to control in your life. And to talk about that a little bit is the executive director of Advancing Colorado, Jonathan Lockwood. … I want to go through some of the attacks you’ve made on Sen. Michael Bennet and rightfully so, given his track record. Let’s start with his support of President Obama’s nuclear deal that gives Iran basically unfettered access to nuclear material… Great work you’re doing, Jonathan Lockwood….

This doesn’t sound like a journalist who, a couple weeks later, would be writing a front-page Statesman article about the Bennet race. But, yes, Kerns authored the April 13 piece, headlined “Bennet will have a fight, but how much of one is TBD.”

The headline was fair enough, but the article hit a low note by repeating an inaccurate conservative attack against Bennet:

“[Bennet’s] initial support of transferring prisoners from Guantanamo Bay detention camps was an unpopular sell to many Colorado voters,” Kerns reported.

Bennet never supported transferring GITMO prisoners here, and Kerns was immediately challenged on Twitter by “MissingPundit,” who pointed out that Politifact found it untrue that Bennet supported bringing Gitmo detainees to Colorado.

In response, Kerns called Politifact a “lefty site,” again repeating a conservative talking point that ignores the fact that Politifact won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009. Kerns tweeted that Politifact is “lefty” in the same way America Rising is “righty.” In reality, America Rising was established to expose the “truth about Democrats”, while the mission of Politifact is fact checking.

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When will a reporter ask Woods why she likes Trump?

In an email to supporters Sunday, Woods wrote that she’d vote for Trump, if he were the nominee, adding, “I have liked Trump and Cruz, and at times I have disliked them both.”

Woods, who’s been more open about her support for Cruz, said earlier this year on KNUS 710-AM of the Republican prez candidates:

Woods: “My favorites are Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.”

Now, with Trump set to roll one step closer today to securing the Republican nomination–and with Woods apparently the only elected official in Colorado to affirmatively and proactively express her fondness of Trump–you’d think a journalist out there would jump on the local angle and ask her why.

Yet, apparently Woods has skated by the press corps, somehow avoiding the scrutiny you’d expect her to receive as the senator whose fate in November’s election will likely decide whether divided government comes to an end in Colorado.

So, with so much at stake, as well as a news hook the size of Trump, you’d think Woods would have explained her feelings for Trump many times over on the record.

To emphasize the point, and as a means to suggest a few obvious avenues of questioning that reporters might pursue in questioning Woods about Trump, here’s a video.


BREAKING: Jon Keyser Fails to Make Primary Ballot

UPDATE #3: The clock is ticking for Keyser to make this challenge. The deadline for the Secretary of State to finalize the Primary ballot is April 29th:

Last day for the Secretary of State to deliver the Primary Election ballot order and content to county clerks. (No later than 60 days before the Primary Election)

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UPDATE #2: The Denver Post’s Mark Matthews:

Keyser fell short by 86 votes in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, according to Colorado’s Secretary of State, which verifies the signatures. The district is represented by U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, and has 145,778 registered Republicans to 124,007 Democrats.

Keyser’s campaign is expected to appeal the decision and has five days to do so. The 16,067 signatures he submitted overall allowed him to clear the threshold in the six other districts…

If Keyser’s challenge is unsuccessful, his bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., will end weeks before a single vote is cast in the June 28 primary — throwing an already chaotic race for Senate into further disarray.

Liberal group ProgressNow Colorado says it’s time for “Liar Keyser” to hang it up:

“We wouldn’t put anything past Jon Keyser, including dishonesty,” said ProgressNow Colorado political director Alan Franklin. “This is the same Jon Keyser who claimed as a House candidate that he had received ‘two ballots’ for an election, when the truth is Keyser was lying–and he knew it the whole time. Keyser can’t blame our Republican Secretary of State for his own incompetence. It’s time for Keyser to do what he seems to have the most trouble doing: play by the rules, and respect our election system even when it doesn’t go his way.”

“Jon Keyser is the biggest nothingburger in Colorado politics, and it’s time to throw in the towel,” said Franklin. “Keyser promised to clear the field with his Washington, D.C. insider support, but he could barely raise enough money to keep the lights on. Now we learn his pay-to-play petition campaign also came up short?”

“In hindsight, Jon Keyser should have held on to his House seat,” said Franklin. “Keyser has a long way to go before he’s ready for prime time.”

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Jon Keyser will have plenty of time to spend with his young family now that he's no longer a Senate candidate.

Jon Keyser will have plenty of time to spend with his young family now that he’s no longer a Senate candidate.

UPDATE: Keyser campaign says they will challenge, but this is a complete disaster regardless. Keyser came up 86 signatures shy in CD-3, and just barely got enough signatures in CD-1 (Denver) to get over the 1,500 threshold (he made it in CD-1 by just 20 signatures).

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Just in from the Colorado Secretary of State’s office:

Former state Rep. Jon Keyser’s petition to appear on the Republican primary ballot for U.S. Senate has been declared insufficient, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams announced today.

Keyser was required to gather 1,500 valid signatures from Republican voters in each of Colorado’s seven congressional districts for a total of 10,500 signatures. He came up 86 signatures short in Congressional District 3.

Keyser submitted 16,067 petition signatures to the Secretary of State’s office, which began a line-by-line review of the signatures. Of that 11,436 were deemed valid.

His campaign has five days to protest the decision.

We had a feeling this might happen after Republican Jack Graham made the ballot last week with a meager 56.6% “validity rate” on his signatures. Keyser’s campaign never did release a number on how many total signatures they collected — every other GOP candidate made sure to reveal a rough number when they first submitted signatures prior to the April 4th deadline. With four candidates competing to collect 1,500 signatures from each of seven congressional districts, there was always a strong possibility that at least one Republican would fail to qualify for the ballot.

Keyser can certainly challenge this decision, but as we wrote over the weekend, the former half-term state representative had an awful fundraising quarter and his campaign is running on fumes already.

Keyser’s campaign has been a raging dumpster fire since the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) first started flirting with the idea of making him their top recruit back in December. Perhaps it’s better that everyone just cut their losses on Keyser now.

Get More Smarter on Monday (April 25)

Get More SmarterEnjoy the weather today; the sun is going on hiatus for the rest of the week. 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…

► Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich say that they have formed some sort of alliance in hopes of preventing Republican frontrunner Donald Trump from capturing the GOP nomination for President. As our friends at “The Fix” explain, this isn’t likely to turn out well:

When most of the country — including me — was watching the season 6 premiere of “Game of Thrones,” the campaigns of Ted Cruz and John Kasich announced a major strategic alliance. Kasich would stop campaigning in — and trying to win — Indiana’s primary on May 3. Cruz would do the same in Oregon on May 17 and New Mexico on June 7

…This is a massive gamble born entirely of desperation. What likely became clear to the Cruz campaign and, to a lesser extent, the Kasich campaign, is that they weren’t going to beat Trump in Indiana’s winner-take-most primary and, by losing, would put the real estate billionaire on a reasonable path to the GOP nomination.

And so, they acted. Which they deserve credit for — since most of the time politicians in unwinnable/untenable situations continue to cling to the idea that everyone else is wrong and they are right, right up until they lose.

But, action doesn’t always produce the desired results.  And, I think that’s what is going to happen here.

As “The Fix” notes, there are a number of strategic problems with this so-called alliance, not the least of which is the general lack of overlap between Kasich voters and Cruz voters (i.e., if you like Kasich, you probably don’t like Cruz, and vice-versa). The other big problem here is that this “alliance” feeds directly into Trump’s narrative that the entire process for selecting a Republican nominee is rigged against him.

 

► The race for President takes another big step on Tuesday with the “Acela Primary” as voters go to the polls in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island to cast ballots in both the Democratic and Republican Primaries.

There is also a big Democratic Primary for a U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania, where Katie McGinty hopes to use endorsements from President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to defeat former Congressman Joe Sestak. The winner of the Democratic Primary will face Republican Sen. Pat Toomey in a General Election that is expected to be one of the most expensive of the 2016 cycle.

 

► Campaign finance reports are a good indicator of the state of a political campaign, and the details of these reports can be particularly revealing. In the case of Republican Senate candidate Jon Keyser, his Q1 fundraising report tells the story of a campaign that is barely functioning from a financial perspective.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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How to protect Colorado’s “non-prime population” from being exploited as a “market opportunity?”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Reporters have done a good job informing us that most people who sign up for predatory loans are struggling.

But there’s a media gap in pointing out just how important the “struggling” part is to the business model of OneMain Holdings, the company backing legislation that would allow it to charge 36 percent interest on more and larger loans.

In a presentation a couple months ago, OneMain boasted to investers about its “Market Opportunity” in the personal loan business.

After noting that “Americans have $3.3 trillion in consumer debt,” and then identifying its “target market” as the 100 million Americans with low credit scores, the company pointed out where its pay dirt lies:

OneMain Holdings: “Large non-prime population with limited liquidity–63 percent of American households do not have at least $1,000 in savings, more than 40% have no emergency savings.” [Emphasis added by OneMain Holdings, not by the BigMedia Blog.]

“Non-prime population?” That’s an unfortunate phrase for this company to use, but it spotlights the point.

A lot of poeple are struggling with debt problems, and they need loans. But they obviously need protection from a big company that targets them as a “market opportunity.” How much protection from interest-rate hammering is appropriate?

We’re never going to know exactly how much money OneMain Holdings is really making in Colorado.

We’re just going to get shards of information, like the company representative confirming 30 percent growth in Colorado during the last four years.

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Forget Moe Mentum. Ground rules decide elections.

(Good analysis from a local who knows stuff – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton.

Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton.

The late quarterback/broadcaster Don Meredith often mused that “Old Moe Mentum is a fickle friend.” If nothing else, the 2016 political season suggests it is time to retire the concept from the ranks of the political chattering class and banish it to the even more hackneyed vocabulary of sportscasters.

Old Moe did put in an early appearance when Bernie Sanders did his “better than expected” photo-finish second place in the Iowa caucus. That validated his campaign and he roared to a big win in New Hampshire. But while the chatterers burbled about “Moe Mentum,” every contest since – beginning with Clinton’s second, and last, caucus victory in Nevada, appears to have followed two basic sets of political predictors: demographics and ground rules.

In terms of ground rules, Hillary has fared poorly in caucuses and open contests — those that allow voters who aren’t registered as Democrats. But she does well in primaries or closed contests.

So far, the New York Times Upshot column estimates she has done about nine percentage points better in primaries than in caucuses, and three points better in closed contests than in open ones. Unfortunately for Bernie Sanders, there is only one state caucus left,  a closed one, in North Dakota on June 7. And Sanders has never beaten Clinton in an closed primary.

Demographics have also been key as African-American voters favor Clinton by wide margins, as do Latinos by somewhat narrower ranges. Affluent voters also lean to Clinton. Sanders has never beaten Clinton in a primary where more than 25 percent of the voters are minorities.

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House: Trump can fall short of magic number and still win

(Everybody say “Thanks, Steve!” – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

houseforgopchairFormer Fox 31 Denver political reporter Eli Stokols writes that GOP operatives see mogul Donald Trump winning the GOP nomination if he gets close to the magic number of 1,237 delegates.

Colorado GOP chairman Steve House appears to agree, according to Stokols’ post yesterday:

When the convention opens in Cleveland in mid-July, roughly 200 delegates will arrive as free agents, unbound by the results of primaries or caucuses in their states. Trump’s campaign is confident they can win as many of them as they must in order to get to 1,237 on the first ballot.

“Trump has to get to 1,237, but there’s a lot of talk about, ‘What is the real number?’” said another RNC member. “Whatever half the uncommitted number is, that’s probably a reasonable number.”

“I think a lot of people think if he gets within 50 to 100 [of 1,237], he’ll be able to carry it,” said Steve House, Colorado’s GOP chairman and an unbound delegate already being courted by the Trump and Cruz campaigns.

House hasn’t said how he’d vote, but he validates the point that Trump has a serious shot a locking up the nomination during the first round of voting at the GOP national convention in Cleveland, even if he doesn’t arrive with all the delgates he needs.

This is a substantial departure from the narrative you hear most often in the news, that Trump has to have the full 1,237 going in to win on the first ballot.

Will choice matter in Colorado U.S. Senate race?

In a radio interview yesterday, GOP U.S. Senate candidate Robert Blaha said choice is “not going to be an issue” in in Colorado’s U.S. Senate campaign because women are “really smart” and will not be concerned about Blaha’s opposition to all abortion, even for rape and incest (unless the mother’s life is in danger).

For perspective, I dredged up this video of Bennet arguing with then Weld Country District Attorney Ken Buck on the topic of abortion.

Blaha argues that he can turn the issue against Bennet by bringing up his support for partial-birth abortion, a rare late-term procedure performed only when serious medical issues warrant it.

Watch the video above, and read Blaha’s comments below, and tell me if  smart women will side with Bennet or a candidate like Blaha. Reporters should keep the comparison in their pockets for November’s campaign trail, as it makes for a good contrast.

Robert Blaha on the Dan Caplis Show – KNUS, 710am – April 20, 2016

Blaha: You know, people have got to realize that women — my women, the women I know — are really smart. And they think about far more than just the issues of abortion. That’s one issue of five or six or seven that move them. So, you know, I’m a pro-life candidate. I’m proud of that. I don’t move off of that, and I have an exception for the woman’s life. But besides staying on message, I don’t think you’ve got to back off a bit, because that issue — that singular issue — was a winner in ’10, it was a winner in ’11. It wasn’t an issue in ’12. ‘13 and ’14 and it’s not going to be an issue in ’16. It’s not a winning issue for the far left.

Caplis: Yeah, and I think if handled right, it backfires on him, because –.

Blaha: Exactly!

Caplis: and I think you are one of a number of candidates in the field who have the high intelligence and the verbal skills to, you know, just turn it on Bennet in a hurry, because he is the true extremist. And when you have the verbal skills you do, you know, you can pin him down. He supports late-term abortion through labor and delivery. And at that point he goes from looking like some kind of moderate to some kind of monster, so–.

Blaha: And, you know, I’m a — because of what I do for a living –I’m a stats guy. I am a data guy. I’m a numbers guy. You know, we can look at poll after poll, we can look at anything. When Michael Bennet and his ilk want to explain why it’s okay to kill somebody in their third term, near the end of a birth. When they can explain that to America and they can get America to embrace that, then I’ll worry about whether, you know, — whether he’s got a better position than I. Because he doesn’t. His position, actually, is the extreme position. Our position is not.

Rescheduled Pols meetup Sat 4/23 2 pm at Jezebel’s in Denver

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

So we’re trying this again. Who’s in? If a later time works better, speak up. The weather is supposed to be good. 2 pm is still in time for brunch. They also have a happy hour.

Jezebel’s is at 32nd and Tejon in Highland. Great food, great atmosphere.  I’ll be there. I think (notaskinny)cook will. Anyone else?

Jack Graham Makes Primary Ballot…Barely

Collect twice the amount needed and submit them as early as possible; that's how Jack Graham made the Senate ballot.

Collect twice the amount needed and submit them as early as possible; that’s how Jack Graham made the Senate ballot.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office announced today that Republican Senate candidate Jack Graham is the first of four GOP Senate candidates to make it onto the June 28th ballot. But if Graham’s low validity rate is any indication of things to come, there may be some serious sweating’ happening at the campaign headquarters of Robert Blaha, Jon Keyser, and Ryan Frazier. 

The validity rate is the percent of signatures submitted that are from actual registered Republicans in the relevant districts; Graham submitted 22,786 signatures to the SOS office on March 28, and a whopping 9,895 were deemed invalid signatures (if you’re doing the math at home, that’s a “validity rate” of about 56.6%). A total of 10,500 valid signatures are needed to qualify for the U.S. Senate ballot (1,500 from each congressional district), and there’s no way that Graham could have made the cut had his campaign not submitted twice as many signatures as needed.

We wrote a few weeks back about how the petition process could get messy for Republican Senate candidates, and Graham’s low “validity rate” does not bode well for the other three candidates — all of whom used paid signature gatherers to some extent.

From a post on April 7:

Because he was the first one through the door, Graham will be the first GOP candidate to have his petition signatures verified by the Secretary of State’s office. Once a signature is confirmed as valid, that name cannot be counted again for another candidate. Keyser’s campaign will thus need 1,500 valid signatures (per district) that have not already been submitted by Graham. Blaha will need 1,500 signatures that have not already been submitted by Graham AND Keyser. You can see how this becomes a problem for Frazier; as the last candidate to submit petitions, there are at least 4,500 registered Republican voters in each congressional district that cannot be counted toward his petition total. Frazier doesn’t just need 1,500 valid signatures from each district — he needs 1,500 different names.

For a rough analogy, consider the NFL Draft that will be held at the end of this month; if your team has the fourth selection in the draft, there are three collegiate players who will be off the board before your team gets a chance to pick a player. You cannot select a player who has already been chosen by another team, obviously, and the petition process works in a similar fashion.

 

Graham turned in a total of 22,786 signatures to the SOS on March 28, followed by Keyser, Blaha, and Frazier. Keyser’s campaign never disclosed how many total signatures his campaign submitted, which likely means it was not an impressive total. Both Blaha and Frazier claimed to have submitted more than 17,000 signatures. All three candidates are sweating bullets right now, hoping that they have a much better “validity rate” than Graham’s campaign.

Also today, the Secretary of State’s office announced that Adams County District Attorney Dave Young turned in enough valid signatures to make the June 28th Primary (Young was upset by Democrat Caryn Datz and did not make the ballot through the caucus process). Two Republicans also made the ballot today: Tom Lucero (HD-51) and Colleen Whitlow (HD-63).

Post reporter stands out for asking predatory lender about Colorado profits

(Credit where due – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

loanshark2A predatory-lending bill, allowing lenders to make more money on high-interest loans, passed a state senate committee yesterday, with supporters of the bill telling reporters that increased profits are necessary to keep personal-loan lenders in Colorado.

That’s the major argument for the bill. Specifically, backers told the Durango Herald that the one company offering such loans will leave Colorado if it’s not allowed to make millions more here.

The Denver Post’s Joey Bunch was the only reporter to ask Springleaf Holdings, Colorado’s only lender of personal loans (after a merger last year with its competitor), how the company was doing. I mean, that’s the key question.

Is it struggling to make ends meet, like many of the folks it lends money to are? People who pay the company 36 percent interest on a $1,000 loan as it is?

Bunch reported:

Phil Hitz, who represented Springleaf Holdings, acknowledged that the company is very profitable nationally and confirmed the 30 percent Colorado growth over the past four years.

Bunch apparently didn’t ask Hitz if Springleaf would leave Colorado if the bill didn’t pass, but all indications are that it would not.

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Denver Post deceives subscribers with stealth fees for advertising and other inserts

The Denver Post is shortening the length of subscriptions with a deceptive tactic, allowing the newspaper to collect more money by forcing subscribers to renew earlier than they might have expected when they signed up.

The ploy is to charge subscribers $3 for four newspaper inserts delivered throughout the year, unless subscribers, many of whom are elderly and likely struggle to track life’s details, proactively opt out of receiving the newspaper inserts. Three of the supplements are advertising inserts and one is a Broncos bonus, presumably filled with pages and pages about the football team.

Unless subscribers know about the inserts and assert, at the time of their subscription renewal, that they don’t want them, then the length of their subscriptions are reduced by $12 worth of deliveries, which is a bit less than a month. That’s a lot of money for the newspaper, if you multiply it by hundreds of thousands of subscribers.

In another effort to make more money on subscriptions, The Post has stopped giving subscribers credit for vacation stops. If you halted delivery of your newspaper during your vacation in the past, you used to be able to add extra days to your subscription. Now you can’t.

This isn’t going over well with some subscribers, like my mother-in-law, who cancelled her subscription recently. She follows life’s details to a fault, so the shortened subscription didn’t escape her attention or her temper. She’s done with The Post.

When The Post called me to renew my own subscription, I confirmed all of this from the telephone saleswoman.

But I cannot provide an official comment or verification from The Post because, unfortunately, multiple calls and emails over the last few months to Circulation Director Bill Reynolds and Publisher Mac Tully were not returned. Before he left the newspaper, former Post Editor Greg Moore referred me to them.

I think the vacation-stop policy makes sense.

But charging for advertising supplements and pages full of minutia about the Broncos that should be part of your subscription anyway? That’s sleazy. And it will drive away customers.

Are Republicans already giving up on Bennet race?

(No “Con Man Cory” to the rescue this time… – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Michael Bennet.

Sen. Michael Bennet.

After State Sen. Tim Neville was surprisingly knocked out of the Republican battle for the right to take on Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, State Sen. Justin Everett (R-Littleton) took to Facebook to lament:

Everett: “Sadly, our only chance to defeat Michael Bennet is no longer in the race. Thank you, Tim, we know you will always be on the front lines in the fight for freedom and liberty. God bless you and your family.”

Reporters might write off Everett’s comment as despondency after a shocking loss by Neville, whom Everett was obviously backing. But judging from the first quarter fundraising numbers, showing that none of the GOP primary candidates are, in Politico reporter Eli Stokols’ words, “really crushing it,” you have the privilege of wondering if Republicans are starting to join with Everett in thinking the race has already been won by Bennet, who’s sitting there with $7.6 million in the bank.

As The Denver Post put it:

No one in the crowded Republican field looking to unseat [Bennet] has reported more than $1 million cash-on-hand, and whoever emerges from the five-way fight likely will drained of resources just trying to win the June 28 primary.

The GOP fundraising leader, Jack Graham,the former CSU athletic director, dropped $1 million on his own campaign, and has, as ColoradoPols pointed out, more money in the bank “than the rest of the Republican field put together.”

Anything can happen, and big campaign spending may flow from 527 groups still unknown. But with the Colorado Republicans’ A-Team out of the race before they got in it, and the remaining B-Team not catching fire money-wise or otherwise, it’s a legitimate question for reporters to ponder: When will the toll of layers of candidates, piled upon divisiveness and Democratic unity, against the backdrop of an improving economy and even an increasingly popular president, make Republicans say, hmm, maybe we should throw our time and money elsewhere.