Colorado Republicans Choose Irrelevance for 2016

Rick Santorum.

Colorado Republicans have enacted “The Santorum Rule” for 2016.

Colorado Republicans have decided not to formally select a candidate for President in 2016 so that they can (theoretically) play a bigger role in selecting a candidate for President in 2016.

Confused? You should be. Colorado is currently the only state in the country where Republicans are essentially taking a pass on participating in the early nomination process, in large part because there are too many bad Republican candidates for President. As John Frank reports for the Denver Post:

Colorado will not pick a Republican candidate for president in its 2016 caucus after party leaders approved a little-noticed shift that is likely to diminish the swing state’s clout in the most open nomination contest in the modern era.

The GOP executive committee voted Friday to cancel the traditional presidential preference poll at the caucus after the national party changed its rules to require a state’s delegates to support the candidate that wins.

What in the name of Ronald Reagan’s ghost is going on in Colorado? There is some actual logic behind Friday’s decision — though not necessarily good logic:

State Republican Party Chairman Steve House said the party’s 24-member-executive committee made a unanimous decision — six members were absent — to skip the preference poll. He said the move would give Colorado delegates the freedom to support any candidate eligible at the Cleveland convention in July. Republican National Committee officials said the change complies with strict party rules.

“If we do a binding presidential preference poll, we would then pledge our delegates … and the candidates we bind them to may not be in the race by the time we get to the convention,” House said in an interview Tuesday. [Pols emphasis]

You might call this “The Santorum Rule,” the result of a strange 2012 cycle whereby former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum somehow ended up with the support of the Colorado delegation not long before his entire campaign cratered. The solution to this problem, according to House and other Republicans, is to skip the “preference poll” part of the GOP caucus so that Republicans don’t feel compelled to support a campaign that no longer exists by the time the Republican National Convention convenes in late July.

In other words, Colorado Republicans don’t want to be forced to select — and continue to support — a bad candidate in a field of bad candidates. There is some disagreement about whether or not this will cause Republican candidates to largely avoid Colorado through 2016; you could argue that Republicans will actually work harder in Colorado in order to make sure that they hold on to delegates who could change their mind at any time.

The upside, if you can call it that, is that Colorado Republicans could wield a lot of power if the 2016 GOP nomination comes down to a brokered deal at the National Convention. Of course, we haven’t seen a brokered convention in this country in more than 60 years, and the likelihood that it will happen in 2016 is about as probable as Donald Trump growing a new head of hair.

The Colorado Republican Party has had an odd year in 2015. They elected Steve House as their new State Party Chair in March, despite a fairly successful 2014 election cycle under Ryan Callthree months later a group of GOP leaders, including Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, tried to blackmail House into resigning from the job (and as it turns out, efforts to oust House probably began on the very day he was first elected). Republicans continue to insist that incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver) is beatable, yet they can’t find anybody to actually run against him in 2016. Oh, and don’t forget…this?

When viewed with the proper amount of perspective, perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that GOP leaders decided against participating in the 2016 Republican Presidential Primary…

…On second thought: Nope, it’s still really, really weird.

Colorado Republicans cancel 2016 presidential caucus vote

Move makes Colorado only state to date to opt out of early nomination process

Colorado will not pick a Republican candidate for president in its 2016 caucus after party leaders approved a little-noticed shift that is likely to diminish the swing state’s clout in the most open nomination contest in the modern era.

The GOP executive committee voted Friday to cancel the traditional presidential preference poll at the caucus after the national party changed its rules to require a state’s delegates to support the candidate that wins.

The move makes Colorado the only state so far to forfeit a role in the early nomination process, according to experts, but other states are still considering what to do.

“It takes Colorado completely off the map” in the nomination process, said Ryan Call, a former state GOP chairman.

More at http://www.denverpost.com/politics/ci_28700919/

Wonder why… Are they 1) broke? 2) Afraid of Trump or 3) or still infighting in the Colorado Republican Party to care about their own caucus?

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (Aug. 25)

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TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► JEB! is in Colorado today. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush is making his first official visit to Colorado as a candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination. This morning he addressed a group of veterans at an Englewood VFW, with much of the focus on completing the Aurora VA Hospital project. From the Denver Post:

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush told veterans at a metro town hall Tuesday that he supports finishing the Aurora VA hospital despite huge cost overruns.

“We need to finish up, we can’t just can’t waste hundreds of millions of dollars,” Bush said, during the event at VFW Post 9644 in Sheridan.

More than 100 people turned out at the event, where Bush highlighted a plan to revamp veteran services.

Bush called the construction project, and  its projected $1.73 billion cost “an unmitigated disaster.”

► The Animas River Stakeholders Group is meeting today to discuss…the Animas River. Colorado Pols has you covered on the latest news from the aftermath of the Gold King minewater spill. Meanwhile, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman continues to demonstrate a bizarre lack of common political sense; on Monday Durango city leaders revealed that Coffman tried to schedule a private meeting with local elected officials, which would be a violation of Colorado’s “Sunshine Laws.”

 

 

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Are GOP donors satisfied with efforts to address state party’s financial mess?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

houseforgopchairThe Colorado Republican Party’s Executive Committee met Friday, and sources say a significant amount of time was dedicated to trying to understand the financial issues plaguing the state party.

The severity of the situation, and its political ramifications, were brought into focus by a Aug. 4 email (below) by State Chair Steve House in which he wrote that he concealed the party’s “dire financial straits,” because he “really didn’t want donors thinking they were investing in debt.”

You’d think the ears of political reporters would perk up at the mention of hiding financial information from donors, but if there’s been coverage of House’s statement outside of this blog, and partisan social media, I’ve missed it.

House wrote that legal bills, which constitute part of the debt, may not be the party’s responsibility—and it’s not known whether this issue was clarified at Friday’s meeting. In any case, a review of the party’s recent state and federal financial reports do not reveal large payments to lawyers.

State party leaders continue to assure party activists, on social media and elsewhere, that the financial situation will be brought under control, but it appears not to have been resolved yet

The outstanding question is, what specific expenditures or loans, if any, have gone unreported, in violation of campaign finance law? Is the party delaying payment of expenses, which would be illegal under state law, to shine up its financial situation?

Are GOP donors being scared off by all of this, even if these problems are actually being addressed?

At the last Executive Committee meeting, you recall, members voted 22-1 to support Chair Steve House, after Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, former Rep. Tom Tancredo, and former Pueblo GOP chair Becky Mizel attempted to oust House due to his alleged failures on numerous issues.

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Get More Smarter on Monday (Aug. 24)

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If the kids aren’t starting school this week…have fun with that. 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…

► Attorney General Cynthia Coffman is the chief law enforcement officer for the State of Colorado. With any luck, Coffman will eventually decide that it would be a good idea to, you know, learn the law. Here’s the money quote from the Colorado Independent on claims that Coffman tried to convince Durango elected officials to participate in a closed-door meeting about the Animas River mine water spill (such a meeting would violate Colorado’s “sunshine” laws):

Talk about awkward – being asked by the attorney general herself to violate the law,” Mayor Dean Brookie told The Colorado Independent. “We were all pretty taken aback that she would have created that situation.” [Pols emphasis]

 

► Enjoy it while it’s happening before your very eyes, Polsters: The Coffmangate Scandal may very well be the most inexplicably ridiculous political scandal you are ever likely to witness. The group of Republicans who allegedly tried to blackmail State GOP Chair Steve House decided to throw a party for themselves on Friday — and, naturally, somebody thought it would be wise to take a bunch of pictures. Cynthia Coffman was either not invited, or was at least wise enough to not show up in the photos.

 

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Brauchler misrepresents jury decision to loving talk-radio hosts

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Arapahoe County DA George Brauchler.

Arapahoe County DA George Brauchler.

Journalists have been careful to report, as The Denver Post’s John Ingold and Jordan Steffen did today, that nine jurors apparently voted for the death penalty in the Aurora shooter’s trial, two were undecided, and one voted for life in prison. So the prosecutors were three votes short of the unanimous decision needed to put the murderer to death.

George Brauchler appears to present different versions of the decision, depending on the audience. If he’s talking to talk-radio hosts, who apparently aren’t concerned about the basic facts, Brauchler whines that he was only one juror away from winning the case.

“We were one vote away from getting what I thought was the just sentence on this,” Brauchler told KHOW’s Mandy Connell shortly after the trial ended. (Listen here at the one-minute mark.)

Talking to KNUS 710-AM’s Craig Silverman, Brauchler delivered similar misinformation at 36 minutes, uncorrected by Silverman.

Brauchler: It was one juror. You and I both know [former State Rep. Jovan Melton]. You know him better than I do. But it is such an outrageous blanket statement on an entire law based on the decision of one juror, who by the way found this guy sane, found the he committed this crime with aggravators, found that the aggravators outweighed any mental health issues or any other mitigators, and then hung up on that very last phase. And from that one decision, not only do you have Javon calling the application of the death penalty racist, but you got The Denver Post backing him up and going crazy with their comments as well. And it’s an indictment of a system you can’t prove is racist….

Later in the same interview, at 53:55, Brauchler puffed:

Brauchler: But for this one juror, I think folks would have said roundly, ‘Men, you did this case perfectly.”

Yet, in talking about the decision to The Denver Post, where reporters are actually factually concerned about reality, Brauchler tells a different story.

The Post reported: “To Brauchler, [the 9-2-1 decision) is evidence that he was right to go to trial and seek the death penalty. After all, he said, he convinced at least nine jurors of his position.”

It’s a good example of why reporters are important. Brauchler apparently knew he wouldn’t get away with spinning them like he can loving talk-radio hosts.

An Open Letter to Donald Trump

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Donald Trump.

Donald Trump.

I am compelled by conscience to respond to your recent hate-filled rhetoric toward immigrants and your call to deport all 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living and working in the United States.

I must call out your words for what they are: cowardly and immoral. It is cowardice to categorically attack and dehumanize 11 million people to further your own political ambition. Your words are those of a demagogue—a false ‘solution’ that riles up the worst of our humanity.

I must ask you: Did undocumented immigrants make the decisions to shutter thousands of American factories and send millions upon millions of good jobs to other countries? Did undocumented immigrants pass the ‘free trade’ agreements that have ruined both well-paid manufacturing and, increasingly, service jobs in America?  Did undocumented immigrants pass the massive tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans that have showered further wealth upon them and led to public services cuts and extreme deficits? (I could go on and on.)

No, people with enormous economic and political power made those decisions—Wall Street, CEO’s, members of the 1%, and the politicians whom they have bought made those decisions. I will say that again—people with incredible power made those decisions. Yet, you prey upon the considerable economic insecurity that almost all Americans feel today and blame undocumented immigrants—a group that is a far cry from wielding power over the commanding heights over our economy and our politics. This is not courage, sir—it is rank cowardice.

Worse than that, you are attempting the ugly, dangerous, and age-old tactic of scapegoating. We must look at our history—and the history of the world—and remember just how dangerous scapegoating is. I urge you, and every American, to pause for a moment and reflect upon what has happened every time in history when a group that is different is first made to be the ‘other’ then blamed for that society’s problems? The next step on that treacherous path is always a call for their removal from that society—or much, much worse. This perilous call is what you have just issued.

Already, that peril is becoming clear. Two men, apparently ‘inspired’ by your rhetoric, beat a Latino homeless man in the place of my birth, Boston.  Mr. Trump, can you imagine Jesus Christ uttering the hateful words that you have towards undocumented immigrants? In fact the Bible says, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40) Where in any tradition of any major world religion does it call for such hatred and dehumanization of our fellow man? This is why your words are immoral.

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Get More Smarter on Friday (Aug. 21)

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The Denver Broncos play their second preseason game tomorrow in Houston against the Texans; let’s all join hands in hope that nobody breaks Peyton Manning. 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…

► It’s Friday, and the Gold King mine spill into the Animas River continues to dominate the political headlines. As Mark Matthews reports for the Denver Post, Congress may have been able to prevent this month’s wastewater spill…if Congress actually did stuff:

Twice in the mid-2000s, a program intended to clean up the mine-fouled waterways in the region around the Gold King Mine failed to find traction in Congress, where a fight between miners and environmentalists kept the idea from going forward. The legislation proposed by U.S. Reps. Scott McInnis and John Salazar in 2003 and 2006, respectively, would have created a pilot program in the Animas River watershed that would allow so-called good Samaritan groups to clean up polluted mines without fear of long-term liability…

…The program was aimed at getting a start on cleaning up waste from old mines in the area and could have at least lowered pre-spill levels of contaminants that have killed stretches in the watershed.

Advocates of good Samaritan legislation say the failed attempts were emblematic of a long-running fight in Congress, spearheaded by Colorado legislators, to find a way to deal with thousands of defunct and dirty mines in the West.

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver) and Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) are working together on a new version of the so-called “Good Samaritan” legislation.

 

► Famous rich person Donald Trump is on the cover of Time magazine because of his unexpected early success as a Republican candidate for President. Every now and again, Trump says something that makes you pause and consider whether maybe — just maybe — there is more to his candidacy than meets the eye:

As he bids farewell, he has a final thought, something he has been mulling over. It’s about that massive audience for the first Republican debate on Fox News, which he credits almost entirely to himself. On Sept. 16, CNN will host the next debate, under the direction of Jeff Zucker, the man who helped launch Trump’s NBC show, The Apprentice. Trump has no doubt it will be huge.

“Here’s my question: So if I go to CNN and I say, Look, you’re going to have a massive audience, and if I say to them, I want $10 million for charity, nothing for myself, what happens?”…

…“If I’m in it, they’ll get this crazy audience, and they’re going to make a fortune since they’re selling commercials every time we take a break. Would you ever say to them, would you ever say, I want $10 million for AIDS research, for cancer, for this type or not, or is it too cute?”

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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Josh Penry Brings The Classy To Team Rubio

Josh Penry.

Josh Penry.

As the Denver Post’s John Frank reports:

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio is starting to form his team in Colorado.

The campaign announced that Josh Penry, a former state Senate GOP leader, will serve as Rubio’s state chairman. The volunteer role will put him in charge of building an organization to support Rubio’s 2016 ahead of the Colorado caucuses in March.

Yes, that Josh Penry:

His pick as Colorado chairman drew a reaction from national Democrats in an email blast about “Marco retro-Rubio.” The Democratic National Committee highlighted Penry using the word “shrill” to describe Democrat Morgan Carroll, the former state Senate president mounting a campaign to challenge U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman in the 6th District…

The DNC release also noted Penry’s remark in 2012 comparing [it] with one Penry gave in 2010 suggesting that Democrat Michael Bennet’s campaign “looked like the Student Body Association at an all-girls school” for its focus on abortion rights and birth control.

On the one hand, Josh Penry brings undeniable campaign experience in Colorado, with years under his belt organizing both for himself and fellow Republicans as one of the principals at GOP-aligned political consultant firm EIS Solutions.

On the other, you have Penry’s propensity for, if you will, verbal diarrhea. And as with Penry’s other client Rep. Mike Coffman, Penry’s (not so) smart mouth could end up doing more harm than good for Marco Rubio in the long run. For an ambitious and talkative guy like Penry, it’s worth keeping in mind at all times that being the story isn’t always a good idea for one’s client.

Despite Gardner’s claim, people in Colorado would suffer if Planned Parenthood were defunded

(Basically, Cory Gardner thinks you’re stupid – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

After he voted to defund Planned Parenthood, Sen. Cory Gardner hopped on the radio said, not to worry, no one in Colorado will suffer if the health organization loses federal funding.

“We voted to take the money from Planned Parenthood and distribute it to the community health clinics around the state of Colorado,” Gardner told KNUS 710-AM’s Dan Caplis Aug. 13, vowing that the investigation of Planned Parenthood in Congress will continue. “There are nine times more community health clinics than there are Planned Parenthood clinics, and so they provide more access to women and men across the state.” (Listen to Caplis belowAug. 13 and also on Kelley and Company here on Aug. 10.)

It’s true that there are many more community health centers than Planned Parenthood clinics in our state. But this doesn’t mean that throwing more money at the community health clinics would provide equal or greater access to healthcare than what’s available now.

First of all, studies have shown that the community health center (CHC) network and federally qualified health center (FQHCs) network don’t offer all types of birth control and reproductive health care. That’s why many large community health centers actually factually refer patients to Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood specializes in reproductive health care–while community health centers offer a wider range of services.

So it’s not surprising that even though Planned Parenthood operates just 10 percent of all publicly funded family clinics, 36 percent of patients seeking family-planning services turn to Planned Parenthood.

Poor people on Medicaid go disproportionately to Planned Parenthood for these services, and it’s unlikely that the safety net and the health care system, as currently configured, could absorb Planned Parenthood’s patients. This means that defunding Planned Parenthood would weaken our country’s already weak safety net.

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Reporters should expect to have to dog Walker Stapleton for answers

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Treasurer Walker Stapleton.

Treasurer Walker Stapleton.

Update: Colorado Independent reporter Nat Stein’s answer to my question of whether Stapleton’s office gave her a reason for declining comment: “His comms guy pretty much hung up on me, and three emails went unanswered,” tweeted Stein. “I just wanna talk!!”

———-

When a public official starts to develop a reputation for stonewalling the media, the trend should be highlighted, especially now that fewer reporters are out there to ask public officials anything at all. Every reasonable question should be cherished. And every denial called out.

No long ago, State Treasurer Walker Stapleton declined to take questions from the evil Denver Post about why he withdrew his support from a bill aimed at making money for PERA, the state’s public retirement program. Then Stapleton shamelessly called the resulting article “completely misleading,” even though he’d refused to talk to the reporter about it.

Now Stapleton declined to comment on a softball request by the Colorado Independent’s Nat Stein about a #BlackLivesMatter campaign to change the name of the Stapleton neighborhood, because former Denver mayor Benjamin Stapleton was a member of the KKK.

Stein reports:

The Stapleton legacy — or its name, at least — still lives on in state government. Republican Walker Stapleton is currently serving his second term as state treasurer. His press office declined to comment on this article.

And as for the obvious question — well, what should Stapleton be named instead? — Pullen said Black Lives Matter 5280 hopes Stapleton could be renamed after a woman of color who made significant, historical contributions to Denver.

Nat Stein did not respond immediately to a request via Twitter to explain why Stapleton’s office refused to address questions about his family’s KKK history. My suggestion is to push harder for an answer.

All of Colorado is (NOT) Contaminated

Gov. John Hickenlooper drinks from the Animas River.

Gov. John Hickenlooper drinks from the Animas River.

Governor John Hickenlooper juggles a lot of different responsibilities as Colorado’s top elected official — which includes serving as Colorado’s chief tester of gross-looking water, which he did again last week in chugging a bottle of water from the Animas River in the aftermath of the Gold King mine wastewater spill.

Hickenlooper agreed to drink from the river at the request of several people in the Durango area in an effort to assure people that the water was safe — and the big sip made Hick plenty of friends as a result. From the Durango Herald:

John Hickenlooper was Johnny-On-The-Spot, clearing his schedule to be in town, see the Animas River firsthand, listen to concerns and offer the power of his office.

Then there was The Moment – when Gov. Hickenlooper took a bold stand for Durango and La Plata County. He defiantly raised a bottle of river water and downed it.

“If that shows that Durango is open for business, I’m happy to help,” he said.

Hickenlooper didn’t say whether or not the Animas River was tastier than the glass of fracking fluid he once quaffed, but the move nevertheless generated a bit of controversy. On Monday, Denver Post reporter John Frank Tweeted a link to his Sunday story about the Animas River, asking the question “Is [Hickenlooper’s] big Animas River sip a liability or political win?” Here’s what the Governor had to say regarding his motivation for drinking from the river:

“The point I was trying to make is that the river is back to normal,” Hickenlooper said in an interview after returning from Durango. “There’s a silver lining in all this. It doesn’t appear there is going to be lasting environmental damage or significant environmental damage, and what most of us were fearful of didn’t happen.”

Sunday’s Post story notes some vague disapproval from the likes of state Sen. Ellen Roberts, who offered her usual brand of WTF-flavored commentary, but you’d have to really squint your eyes in order to make out the downside of Hick’s demonstration. By swigging river water, the Governor was making a pointed effort to ease fears and tamper speculation about the extent of the pollution in the Animas River — and to make sure that misinformation didn’t cripple the tourism economy in Southern Colorado. (more…)

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (Aug. 18)

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TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► Discussion over the Gold King mine spill into the Animas River continues to generate an overflow of nonsense political rhetoric. Make room on the grandstand!

Congressman Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) promised a congressional investigation into the minewater spill during an editorial board meeting with the Durango Herald. Elsewhere, Republican Presidential candidate Ben Carson is scheduled to visit Durango today to shake his fist at the EPA and the federal government in general. Carson will tour the Animas River by helicopter before holding a “town hall” meeting at 2:00 pm. Perhaps someone can convince Carson to explain his position on abortion in some sort of logical answer.

► School is back in session in Jefferson County, and so is the awful management of the school district that prompted a November recall of three right-wing school board members.

 

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Trump’s stance against birthright citizenship mirrors Coffman’s

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Rep. Mike Coffman (R).

Rep. Mike Coffman (R).

Donald Trump sort of clarified some aspects of his immigration position over the weekend, giving local media a chance to educate us about the illusory stance of Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora.

Trump released a document outlining a number of ideas, but the headliner was his newly articulated opposition to “birthright citizenship,” the longstanding U.S. law granting citizenship to people born on American soil, even if their parents are not citizens.

Coffman has been way ahead of Trump on this one, reaffirming his opposition to birthright citizenship in a Denver Post interview in 2013.

Coffman: You know, I think we should probably adopt the policies of other countries, that you are a citizen of your parents. But the fact is, that we have children who were born under current U.S. law. And therein lies the challenge that I have, particularly in meeting families up in what is a very new district. And that –

Denver Post: You’d see that changed, right? Is that what you’re saying?

Coffman: Sure. I mean, I think we ought to look at that. But , the fact is, what we have to understand, the fact is, we don’t revoke citizenship once it’s given. [BigMedia emphasis]

Trump’s immigration paper, which received substantial attention, also renewed his call for deporting all undocumented immigrants, cattle-car style, back to their country of origin. And then expediting the return of the good ones, but not granting them a path to citizenship.

Like Trump, Coffman has also called for giving a vague “legal status” for adult immigrants, without a path to citizenship. He hasn’t said whether he’d require cattle-care deportation first. Either way, Coffman appears to be aligned with Trump on creating an underclass of workers, in the great tradition of taxation without representation.

High-profile policy pronouncement by celebrity presidential candidates continue to offer a great avenue to educate the public about the positions of their local politicos. I’m hoping reporters jump all over these local angles as we get closer to next year’s election.

Get More Smarter on Friday (Aug. 14)

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TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► Back-and-forth accusations continue over the massive wastewater spill into the Animas River near Silverton. As the Denver Post reports, wastewater contamination from the Gold King mine may have been nearing a tipping point even before an EPA investigation inadvertently triggered last week’s river spill:

The EPA has yet to release its work order detailing precautions the crew was to take before the Aug. 5 spill. But other documents reviewed by The Denver Post show the EPA was acting on a growing awareness that state-backed work done from 1998 to 2002 on mines around Gold King had led to worsening contamination of Animas River headwaters.

The EPA was acting at Gold King after what, in an October document, the agency deemed a “time critical” effort to try to contain the increased toxic leakage — with elevated cadmium at 35 parts per billion, lead at 60 ppb and zinc at 16,000 ppb — from the nearby Red and Bonita Mine.

► We’ve started the “The Dropout Clock” on Colorado Pols as we try to gauge which Republican candidates for President are most likely to leave the race before the Iowa caucus. Our guess is that Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul will be the first to go; “Republican insiders” tell Politico that they think former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is the most likely candidate to fold up shop.

 

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