Get More Smarter on Friday (July 31!)

Get More SmarterColorado Pols has a new (server) home — enjoy the room and stretch your legs. Let’s 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 U.S. Senate went down to the wire — today is the deadline — to come up with legislation to keep the Federal Highway Trust Fund from expiring. From the Ft. Collins Coloradoan:

A six-year highway bill passed by the Senate Thursday includes provisions that would aid the widening of Interstate 25 from Longmont to Fort Collins…

…The Senate also voted Thursday to keep the Highway Trust Fund running for another three months, preventing an abrupt halt to road and bridge construction at midnight Friday. Bennet and Gardner also voted for the temporary extension.

The House passed the three-month bill on Wednesday. President Barack Obama has promised to sign the legislation, which ensures that states continue to receive reimbursement from the federal government for highway and mass transit projects.

The six-year Senate highway bill will be used in negotiations with the House when Congress returns from its August recess. Some states have complained they can’t plan or break ground on major transportation projects because Congress keeps passing bills that fund such projects for only a few months at a time.

Perhaps Congress will come up with another strategy aside from “kick the can” when lawmakers return to Washington D.C. following the August recess.

Yeah, probably not.

Republican Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina has put together her leadership team in Colorado…as far as she knows, anyway. In making the announcement, Fiorina’s National Political Director referred to Colorado as “The Boulder State.”

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

 

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Trump sounds like Coffman on immigration, but (surprise) we don’t know the details

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Mike Coffman (R).

Rep. Mike Coffman (R).

Reflecting yesterday on Donald Trump’s recent pledge to deport, cattle-car style, each and every one of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in America–and then expedite the return of the “good ones”– the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent called on reporters to extract detailed plans from the herd of Republican presidential candidates regarding their positions on immigration.

Indeed, one hopes that the moderators of the upcoming GOP debate will see an opportunity in Trump’s cattle car musings: why not ask all the GOP candidates whether they agree with him? And if not, where dothey stand on the 11 million exactly? Remember, Mitt Romney’s big “self-deportation” moment came at a GOP primary debate…

The point is that eventually, we’ll need to hear from all the GOP candidates as to what they would do about the 11 million — beyond vaguely supporting legal status, but only after some future point at which we’ve attained a Platonic ideal of border security. Trump may have just made it more likely that this moment will come sooner, rather than later. One can hope, anyway.

It’s a good idea and has direct application here in Colorado, where Republicans, like Rep. Mike Coffman, continue to slide by journalists with vague and shifting statements about immigration.

Like Trump, Coffman has said he favors some sort of “legal status” for adult undocumented immigrants, but it’s not clear whether he’d boot out everyone first, and then allow the good apples to return–or if he’d skip the cattle-car phase and grant “legal status” to the immigrants here.

Either way, would he wait for seamless border security? And what’s good enough, when it comes to the border?

And then, assuming the border is sufficiently seamless, and whether he chooses the cattle-car or no cattle-car opition, does Coffman really want t0 create an underclass of millions of noncitizens in America, with no voice in government? Would we be looking at good old fashioned taxation without representation? What rights (voting?) and responsibilities (military service? taxes?) would be denied? Even Helen Krieble, a Colorado resident who first proposed the cattle-car option, advocates giving a political voice to undocumented immigrants through citizenship.

Details, details. I wouldn’t want to go there either, if I were Coffman–because he’d get bitten by both progressive and conservative sharks. But that’s not a problem for journalists who should be asking him the questions.

Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt has got to go

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado’s most infamous far-right Republican legislator, Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt, is at it again.

In a new video posted by Rep. Klingenschmitt this past week, Klingenschmitt claims that allowing gay scoutmasters to serve in the Boy Scouts of America “will lead to sexual abuse” and goes on to quote a Bible verse that says for those who cause “little ones to sin,” “it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” Klingenschmitt then says it would be “better” for “child molesters” like the scoutmasters he previously described to be drowned.

Understand this: a sitting member of the Colorado legislature has called for gay scoutmasters to be killed. Sign our petition demanding that Rep. Klingenschmitt resign from the Colorado legislature immediately.

After Rep. Klingenschmitt claimed that a member of Congress from our state wants to “behead Christians,” and that the tragic attack on a pregnant woman in Longmont last March was “the curse of God,” we called for him to resign. Instead, House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso restored Klingenschmitt to his committee assignments as soon as the media stopped paying attention, and swept the matter under the rug. That was a huge mistake, and today Republicans are paying the price as Klingenschmitt once again brings shame upon the entire state of Colorado.

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Get More Smarter on Thursday (July 30)

Get More SmarterHappy Marter Day. Let’s 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…

► Colorado Springs legislator Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt has said plenty of disgusting and ridiculous things on his “Pray in Jesus’ Name” YouTube channel, but he pole-vaulted over the line with recent comments that gay Boy Scout leaders should be drowned. Calls for his resignation are growing louder by the hour, and the Colorado Republican Party quickly condemned Dr. Chaps.

Numerous domain names have been snapped up in relation to the controversy surrounding the embattled right-wing school board members in Jefferson County. You’ll never guess who owns domain names such as RecallNewkirk.com.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

 

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Get More Smarter on Wednesday (July 29)

Get More SmarterNo, your office does not have a “trade deadline.” Let’s 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…

► “Turn-In Tuesday” contained quite a surprise; supporters of a recall campaign in Jefferson County turned in more than 110,000 signatures in an effort to oust three right-wing school board members. Recall proponents needed less than three weeks to collect — and significantly exceed — the required number of signatures to place the measure on the November ballot. Opponents of the recall will now have a difficult time challenging the signature collection process, as Westword explains:

Now, the clerks have fifteen days to validate the signatures. Then there’s a fifteen-day window for any protest of the validity of the signatures. McCord hopes that doesn’t happen. “If somebody does protest, they will drag us past the date by which we can get on the November ballot,” she says. “Then we end up in a special election that costs the district a whole lot of money that we don’t want to spend.”

The parents estimate that a special election would cost half a million dollars. “We got lots and lots of extra signatures,” McCord adds. “So there wouldn’t be any valid protest. It would be frivolous.” [Pols emphasis]

Of course, this won’t stop opponents from making ridiculous Baghdad Bob-style arguments.

Congressional Republicans are fidgeting over how to deal with a new challenge to House Speaker John Boehner. In a surprise move on Tuesday evening, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) offered a motion to vacate the chair — an effort to force a vote on whether Boehner should remain Speaker. As it approaches its annual August recess, Congress appears to have completely run off the rails.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

 

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Is Michael Bennet Re-Electable?

I don’t know where ColoradoPols gets its numbers for “The Big Line -2016,” but I have a feeling that somebody is way off the mark when it comes to Sen. Michael Bennet’s chances of getting re-elected in 2016.  The most recent Quinnipiac poll showed voters say 40-32 percent that he does not deserve reelection in 2016.  If you go to his Facebook page and read his posts you may note that he spends a lot of time trying to work with Republicans.  There he is out in a wheat field with his pal, Koch-Republican Corey Gardner, touting  “bipartisanship the Colorado way.”  A little further down he proudly proclaims how he’s working with Voucher King, Orrin Hatch, to adopt successful educational programs and “invest in what works for kids,” a Republican code word for giving taxpayer money to for-profit corporations and charter schools.   Just read the comments that Colorado citizens write in response to Sen. Bennet’s posts.  People are angry.  And they’re fed up with being told that as a purple state in a center-right nation, it’s necessary for Democrats like Sen. Bennet to reach out to Republicans in order to get elected and, then reelected.  That’s nonsense.

The folks who publish this website spend a lot of time and energy telling us what we already know – that Republicans in Colorado are out to destroy public education, marginalize women minorities, and feed the rich at the expense of everybody else.  But I rarely see you take a fellow Democrat to task.  And if anybody deserves it, it’s Michael Bennet.  Just this year he has voted for a bill to build the Keystone XL pipeline and to override the President’s veto of that bill.  He has voted to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership bill.  And he has joined Senate Republicans to stifle the Obama administration’s efforts to secure a deal that would stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.  I won’t be a bit surprised if he votes with Republicans again to kill the deal altogether.

Somebody needs to tell Sen. Bennet that he needs to start acting and sounding like a Democrat if he wants to get re-elected in 2016.  And I’m calling on the editors at ColoradoPols to do more, much more, to push him in that direction.  Colorado has already lost one Democratic senator.  We can’t afford to lose another.  But that is exactly what is going to happen unless Sen. Bennet changes his ways.  One can only hope it’s not too late.

 

Vice chair of state GOP: Look at all the Hispanics on Los Angeles’ “Most Wanted” list!

(Stay classy, Colorado GOP vice-chair! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Danny Trejo as Machete.

Danny Trejo as Machete.

It’s widely known that Donald Trump’s angry comments about Mexican immigrants bringing drugs, crime, and rape to America are false. Recent immigrants, including undocumented ones, are actually factually less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans.

But the facts did not stop Trump, and, closer to him, they didn’t stop Derrick Wilburn, the elected vice chair of the Colorado Republican Party and founder of American Conservatives of Color, from polluting his Facebook page with mean bigoted comments about Hispanics.

Earlier this month, Wilburn suggested that his Facebook friends “take a look” at Los Angeles’ “Most Wanted” list, so they can see all the Hispanics.

Wilburn: Ann Coulter and Geraldo just got into it on “The Kelly File.” Ann told Geraldo to look at the LA “Most Wanted” and say illegals don’t commit most of the crimes. Here is the LA “Most Wanted” …take a look for yourself…I had a hard time finding one name that wasn’t Hispanic.

Who cares about real crime data when you can look at the “Most Wanted” list in Los Angeles, find people who appear to be Hispanic, and then apparently agree with Ann Coulter that undocumented immigrants commit most of the crimes in America?

Wilburn’s post continues: Granted we don’t know which if any of those are illegal, but, combine this with the beautiful young woman who was walking along with her family on a pier in San Francisco yesterday when a (Hispanic) man comes up behind her and SHOOTS HER IN THE BACK! In broad daylight. She was with her family, her father desperately tried to revive & save her life but was unsuccessful.
http://abc7news.com/…/sfpd-make-arrest-in-pier-14-f…/824358/

No matter where you are on the Obama supporter/Obama detractor spectrum – why do we want this? How does this president’s determination to reward any & everyone illegally in our nation with full citizenship status (not to mention access to welfare, IRS tax ‘refunds’ [even tho they’ve paid no income taxes], cell phones, housing credits, medical care, etc., etc.) benefit the American citizens? And if it doesn’t, then why does our chief elected *representative* want to do it so badly?

To Wilburn’s credit, he’ll usually discuss his outrageous Facebook posts with me, but this time family obligations understandably prevented him from talking to me. So we have to let his Facebook post speak for itself in this case.

And what it says is, “I’m mad, and I’m going to act like a bigot. And I don’t really care.” If you can find some other way of interpreting Wilburn’s post, please let me know.

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As former talk-radio hosts tell all, KLZ set to announce new morning show host Monday

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

WashPost-Scandal-71615-500KLZ 560-AM will install a new morning-show host this week, replacing Randy Corporon, who resigned in protest after station owner Don Crawford, Jr, temporarily banned former Rep. Tom Tancredo and (reportedly) GOP Chair Steve House from KLZ’s airwaves.

“Yes, our man, Rush, will announce and introduce him Monday during his show,” Crawford emailed me last week when asked if he’d decided which conservative would fill Corporon’s shoes. (In recent weeks, the station held on-air auditions for the job.)

Meanwhile, Corporon, along with KLZ’s other “liberty lineup” hosts Ken Clark and Kris Cook, who resigned along with Corporon, lit deeply into Crawford at a recent “Liberty Libations” event. Their presentation (below) to the libations folks illuminates not only their version of the events involved in the trio’s decision to resign from the radio station but also the angry divisions within the state GOP.

The videos were posted by GOP activist Marilyn Marks. It’s all interesting, if you’re a junkie and you want to pass some weekend down time in front of your computer.

But it gets especially good at about the 22-minute mark. The second video includes Tancredo talking off screen.

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Mosquitoes, Beetles & Global Warming – Climate Change and Colorado’s Great Outdoors

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado, summertime. The living is easy…  

Sure we have some of the best winter recreation in the world, and Color Sunday drives and hunting season make fall the busiest part of the season for many Colorado communities. But there is something about a Rocky Mountain summer that is hard to beat. 

The wet May and early, heavy monsoons much of the state has been getting since, have brought forth wildflowers that many say are the most outrageous, rainbow array seen in years.  Truly a display of Colorado pride. 

All the moisture, and warm weather between, has also led to another fact in this year’s backcountry – there are lots of mosquitoes out there.  And mosquitoes are not just an annoyance, but bring public health warnings.  In Colorado, for the West Nile Virus, which is likely to become an even larger problem under climate change.

Invasive species aren’t just species — they can also be pathogens. Such is the case with the West Nile virus. 

As Science Magazine (Online) reports:

The higher temperatures, humidity and rainfall associated with climate change have intensified outbreaks of West Nile virus infections across the United States in recent years, according to a study published this week.

…Warmer weather helps spread West Nile virus because it extends the length of the mosquito season, said Vicki Kramer, chief of the vector-borne disease section at the California Department of Public Health.

Higher temperatures also let mosquitoes reach biting age sooner and speed multiplication of the virus within insects, said Kramer.  Thus in a warmer climate not only are there more biting mosquitoes, but those mosquitoes carry more copies of the West Nile virus, making them more likely to infect their human targets.

“It takes a while for the disease to build up,” says Kramer.  “That’s why we see more cases in August than in June.”

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Greg Brophy Demands More Subsidies for Greg Brophy

It appears former state Sen. Greg Brophy is settling into his new life in D.C. as the Chief of Staff for Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley). He’s even taken to using Washington’s local bike share program, which allows him to get to Union Station and complain about things.

We know this because Brophy tweeted about it this week, snorting that he was using the “commie bike share program.” He also suggested he should be paid for not parking his bicycle somewhere besides Union Station, which he said always has plenty of empty spots on the bike rack.

So, what you’re saying is that you deserve — we’ll call it a “subsidy” — for your commie bike riding?

We’re talking about the same Greg Brophy who has received $113,000 in corn and wheat subsidies since 1999 from commies taxpayers. Perhaps he can start a fundraising campaign to help him pay for his bike share membership.

Q&A with Lynn Bartels on her Last Day at the Denver Post

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Lynn Bartels leaves The Denver Post today, ending a 35-year run in journalism, with 22 of those years in Colorado. After starting her career in New Mexico, Bartels joined the Rocky in 1991 as its night cops reporter. In 2000, she started covering the state legislature. The Denver Post hired Bartels in 2009, immediately after the Rocky closed.

This week, Bartels answered some questions via email about the state of journalism in Colorado and her career as a reporter. (See other interviews in this series here.)

Why are you leaving The Post? Would you have stayed on if not for the economic troubles facing the newspaper and the pressure this puts on reporters?

Bartels: Certainly, I wouldn’t be leaving if a buyout hadn’t been offered. In fact, when I went to sign the paperwork, they asked where my package of stuff was, and I said I threw it away because I didn’t think I was going to take the buyout.

I always said, “I can’t leave newspapers. Who would hire me?” It turns out, I had some interesting opportunities. And that made me look at the industry and consider the buyout. I took the offer that made my family the happiest and where my new boss made me laugh during the interview ordeal. I thought, “I could really work for Wayne Williams.” Friends pointed out when I talked about that job I seemed happy. And it’s still politics and elections, which I love.

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No matter who Julie Williams is comparing to Nazis, it’s gross

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Julie Williams of the Jefferson County School Board.

Julie Williams of the Jefferson County School Board.

Jeffco School Board member Julie Williams hopped on her Facebook page July 14 and shared a link titled, “How did the Nazis control education?”

“Controlling education was a way of taking over the minds of children from kindergarten to university,” reads the article, published by Yad Vesham The Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority. “Education was a major tool by which the Nazis’ racial policies were promoted and implemented. “In Nazi Germany, no one was allowed to think for themselves,” states the piece.

The post is shocking and confusing, which is in keeping with Williams behavior generally.

So I tried calling Williams so she could explain why she posted it, and to confirm, but I haven’t heard back yet.

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Big Line needs Trump adjustment

The Big Line for President is due for an adjustment. Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul are going nowhere fast. And Donald Trump is currently leading in the polls.

Now that doesn’t necessarily mean that The Donald has anywhere near a double-digit chance of winning the GOP nomination let alone the general election. However, he needs to be factored in.

I’d put the odds at:

70 Hilary, 20 Bush (aka Jeb!), 15 Rubio, 5 Trump, 5 Kasich, 5 Perry, 5 Sanders. The rest don’t merit mention. Including Huckabee. (I understand the Big Line odds don’t add up to 100.)

There’s also a strong possibility that Trump might run as a third party candidate if he doesn’t get the GOP nomination – since he’s pretty much already come out saying that any of the major candidates are “losers,” “idiots,” etc. – I can’t keep track of which pejorative he’s used for which fellow Republican. If he does run, the line would probably be 80 Hilary, 20 GOP Candidate, 10 Trump, in my humble opinion.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (July 22)

MoreSmarterLogo-300x218Maybe we need to do this in reverse — just raise your hand if you are not seeking the Republican Presidential nomination. Let’s 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 petition drive in Jefferson County to recall three far-right Jeffco School Board Members is nearly complete — after only a few weeks of signature-gathering. Activists appear to be close to collecting more than 15,000 signatures well ahead of the September 8 deadline. 

► The August Congressional recess is just around the corner, but there’s a lot left to be done before everyone flees Washington D.C. One of the biggest looming decisions, finding money for federal highways and infrastructure, appears to be heading nowhere in the House despite Senate support.

Get even more smarter after the jump…

 

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Conservative Jeffco education group has notorious anti-gay lawyer

(Birds of a feather and so forth – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

GOP state senate candidate Tony Sanchez and Jeffco board member Julie Williams.

GOP state senate candidate Tony Sanchez and Jeffco board member Julie Williams.

Failed state senate candidate Tony Sanchez, who lost the SD-22 Jeffco race last year to Democrat Andy Kerr, is now directing an organization whose registered agent, Barry Arrington, has a history of making anti-LGBT comments and working for extremist groups.

Sanchez’s organization, Freedom for Education, was formed in May to “strive for greater transparency in the policy process and empower local parents/communities.”

Since then, according to its Facebook page, Sanchez has been representing the organization at Tea Party and Republican events, offering conservative perspectives on Jeffco education issues.

Arrington, the registered agent for Sanchez’s organization, surfaced earlier this year after Twin Peaks Charter Academy blocked its valedictorian from giving his graduation speech, in which the valedictorian planned to announce he was gay.

During the ensuing controversy, the school hired Arrington, who heads the Arrington Law Firm, to represent them in the matter, and Rep. Jared Polis asked that Arrington be fired because, “…some political agenda that I don’t understand might be clouding the quality of your advice to the Twin Peaks board.”

The “political agenda” was presumably Arrington’s history of anti-LGBT comments, such as his blog post last year in which he wrote:

“A man’s body is designed to be complementary with a woman’s body and vice versa. All of the confusion about whether same-sex relations are licit would be swept away in an instant if everyone acknowledged this obvious truth.”

Sanchez did not return a call seeking comment on whether his organization would be promoting Arrington’s views, given that the group’s name, Freedom for Education, is a bit of a head scratcher.

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