Get More Smarter on Wednesday (June 22)

MoreSmarterLogo-SunscreenGood news: it’s still hot outside, but for today, at least, we should be able to stay below 100°F. 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). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► One week from today, the Colorado Primary Election will be complete. If you haven’t yet received a mail ballot, you should check your registration or address status ASAP. Go to JustVoteColorado.org for more information.

If you haven’t yet voted, you might want to get moving — turnout numbers are still pretty weak thus far.

 

► Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has reversed course and will seek re-election for the U.S. Senate after months of “unequivocal” statements that he would be a “private citizen” in November. Rubio is not a big fan of the Senate — he barely bothers to show up to vote — but since his Presidential aspirations didn’t work out this year, he doesn’t have anything else to do until his next bid for the White House in 2020. National Republicans aren’t opposed to the idea, since an incumbent Rubio gives them a better chance to keep that Senate seat in Florida.

 

► The Aurora School Board member and State House candidate whose resume appears to be almost entirely fictional remains defiant despite calls from the Aurora School Board asking him to resignEric Nelson is doubling tripling quadrupling down on the validity of his personal biography — which has largely been disproved by the Colorado Statesman and Denver7.

 

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

No Surprises in Final Senate Fundraising Report Before Primary

Ernest Luning of the Colorado Statesman reports on the final pre-Primary fundraising totals for the five Republicans running for U.S. Senate. If you’ve been watching this race at all for the last couple of months, you probably won’t be shocked to see the fundraising updates:

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet raised $1.65 million — more than 10 times as much as any of the Republicans hoping to unseat him — in the most recent reporting period, pre-primary finance reports show, although GOP candidate Jack Graham wrote his campaign a check for $500,000, bringing his self-funding total to $1.5 million.

With $5.7 million in the bank, the Democrat had more than six times the cash on hand of the nearest Republican. Reports covered the second fundraising quarter up until the June 8 reporting deadline ahead of Colorado’s primary.

Via Ernest Luning of the Colorado Statesman

Via Ernest Luning of the Colorado Statesman

As you can see from the graphic at right, none of the Republican candidates are remotely close to collecting the kind of cash that incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver) has continued to put together.

If we focus only on the Republican candidates, pre-Primary fundraising numbers are following the same general trend that we’ve seen throughout 2016. The only exception was foreseeable: Darryl Glenn is finally raising some decent money ($109k) in the first fundraising period since he captured top-line at the State Republican Convention in April.

A few other noteworthy items…Former Colorado State University Athletic Director Jack Graham loaned his campaign another $500k, and Jon Keyser inexplicably contributed another $50,000 to his own campaign. Keyser’s contribution seems particularly pointless; he needed a lot more money than this to catch his Republican rivals with any sort of significant advertising buy.

Here are the cash-on-hand totals for the five Republicans with one week to go in the Primary:

Jack Graham:  $882,800
Robert Blaha:  $278,177
Jon Keyser:    $173,484
Darryl Glenn:  $50,198
Ryan Frazier:  $19,850

 

Poll: Who Will Win The GOP HD-16 Primary?

With the June 28th primary election now just a week away, we’re rolling out informal polls for our readers in a number of key races around the state. Safely Republican Colorado House District 16 is playing host to an unusual Republican primary race between incumbent Rep. Janak Joshi and former Rep. Larry Liston.

As with all of our polls, we’re interested in knowing who you actually think will win this election–not your personal preference.

Who will win the GOP HD-16 primary?
Janak Joshi
Larry Liston
View Result

 

Poll: Who Will Win The Democratic HD-3 Primary?

With the June 28th primary election now just a week away, we’re rolling out informal polls for our readers in a number of key races around the state. Highly competitive Colorado House District 3, presently held by Rep. Daniel Kagan, features a robust Democratic primary race between Jeff Bridges and Meg Froelich.

As with all of our polls, we’re interested in knowing who you actually think will win this election–not your personal preference.

Who will win the HD-3 Democratic primary?
Jeff Bridges
Meg Froelich
View Result

 

Poll: Who Will Win The Democratic HD-8 Primary?

With the June 28th primary election now just a week away, we’re rolling out informal polls for our readers in a number of key races around the state. Strongly Democratic Colorado House District 8, presently held by Denver DA candidate Beth McCann, features a closely-watched primary this year between Aaron Goldhamer and Leslie Herod.

As with all of our polls, we’re interested in knowing who you actually think will win this election–not your personal preference.

Who will win the HD-8 Democratic primary?
Aaron Goldhamer
Leslie Herod
View Result

 

Primary Turnout At 15%

votebuttonHere are the latest turnout numbers from the Colorado Secretary of State’s office for the June 28th Primary (numbers are accurate as of 7:55 a.m. on Tuesday):

Democrats

Ballots sent: 986,252;
Ballots returned: 145,572;
Percent: 14.76%

Republicans

Ballots sent: 994,450;
Ballots returned: 151,650;
Percent: 15.24%

How does this compare to 2014? In the June 24, 2014 U.S. Senate Primary, there were 213,746 Democratic ballots cast, compared to 338,324 for Republicans.

For more information on turnout based on a county-by-county basis, click here (PDF). For comparison’s sake, here’s how the numbers looked on Monday.

Yes, Rep. Janak Joshi Lost His Medical License

joshilicense

We wanted to make sure this report on the cut-throat GOP HD-16 primary from the Colorado Springs Independent from late last week didn’t escape mention–after all, it’s something we’ve been talking about for nearly six years now:

[A] few days ago, a mailer funded by Independent Expenditure Committee El Paso Conservative Forum of Denver hit mailboxes in the House district. The mailer, which cost $2,913.55, according to a campaign finance report, says of Joshi: “Can you trust him? A former patient trusted him … and DIED due to Dr. Joshi’s malpractice! RESULT: Colorado Medical Board revoked his license!”

The mailer provides this link to the agreement in which Joshi agreed to surrender his license.

Unlike the bizarre video circulating of an elderly woman accusing HD-16 GOP primary candidate Larry Liston of physically assaulting her, which is impossible to verify, the fact that incumbent Rep. Janak Joshi was forced to surrender his medical license before he became a state legislator is a matter of public record. We originally noted this fact in 2010 during Joshi’s first campaign for HD-16, and we’ve had numerous occasions to remind you–basically every time Joshi claimed to be “a physician.” It’s even been suggested to us that Joshi continuing to refer to himself as “a physician” after surrendering his license could itself be a violation of law.

In any event, in the nasty battle Rep. Joshi is waging against ex-Rep. Liston to keep his job, what we have here is a highly potent–and accurate–criticism of Joshi that seems to be getting very little notice. We’d say the Republican voters of HD-16 deserve to know that Joshi lost his medical license under a cloud before he was ever elected–and represents himself with no credibility as a “physician” in debates at the state legislature.

Because it’s true. Because unlike so much other mud slung in politics, this one can be proven.

Get More Smarter on Monday (June 20)

MoreSmarterLogo-SunscreenTry not to get too crazy celebrating the summer solstice. 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). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► Counting today, the Primary Election is just eight days away. If you haven’t yet received a mail ballot, you should check your registration or address status ASAP. Go to JustVoteColorado.org for more information.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office has released updated Primary turnout numbers; both Democrats and Republicans are voting/returning ballots at a similar rate of about 12%.

 

► Former Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz is back on the campaign trail, making national news for a stop in Denver today to endorse Darryl Glenn in Colorado’s five-candidate race in the Republican Primary for U.S. Senate. As CNN reports, Cruz took a noncommittal tone toward GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump:

Ted Cruz returned to the campaign trail for the first time since suspending his presidential campaign to stump for senate hopeful Darryl Glenn in Denver — but at least one fan of the Texas senator isn’t ready to let his 2016 bid go.

As the former candidate acknowledged the “unusual” presidential race, the audience laughed, as a man shouted, “Run, Ted.”

“We may all need to run,” Cruz joked, who kicked off his remarks in his trademark way, saying, “God bless the great state of Colorado.”

Without mentioning presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, the Texas senator stressed the importance of checks and balances, “regardless of what happens in November.”

Cruz and Glenn were together at a press event this morning in front of about 100 supporters at the Westin Hotel near Denver International Airport. ProgressNow Colorado points out some of the similarities between Cruz and Glenn.

 

► The Supreme Court has ruled that statewide assault weapons bans are permissible. As the Associated Press reports:

The justices on Monday left in place a lower court ruling that upheld laws that were passed in response to another mass shooting involving a semi-automatic weapon, the elementary school attack in Newtown, Connecticut.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly turned away challenges to gun restrictions since two landmark decisions that spelled out the right to a handgun to defend one’s own home…

…Seven states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws banning assault weapons. The others are California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. In addition, Minnesota and Virginia regulate assault weapons, the center said.

Still, nobody is coming to take your guns, no matter what the NRA says.

 

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

Get More Smarter on Friday (June 17)

MoreSmarterLogo-SunscreenIt’s possible that Colorado could see two straight 100-degree days this weekend as campaigns scramble to finish their door knocking before Primary Day. 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). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► Remember, friends: If you haven’t yet received a mail ballot, you should check your registration or address status ASAP. Go to JustVoteColorado.org for more information.

 

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump may be a bit of a consensus-builder after all…though not in the manner he would prefer. As Politico reports:

In 2016’s race to the bottom, Donald Trump is going to find out if you can become president when two-thirds of Americans don’t like you — and a majority can’t stand you…

…Trump is setting modern records for political toxicity — at least for a major-party candidate this far out from an election. Seventy percent of Americans surveyed in an ABC News/Washington Post poll out this week had an unfavorable opinion of Trump, up 10 points over the past month. The poll showed Trump’s favorable rating cratering at 29 percent, down from 37 percent last month…

…Trump’s unpopularity is without historical peer in the modern era of presidential campaigns. Mitt Romney averaged a 46-percent unfavorable rating in mid-June 2012, according to the HuffPost Pollster database. John McCain’s unfavorable rating four years prior was only 40 percent, and more voters had a positive opinion of the Arizona senator than a negative one. In June 2004, then-Sen. John Kerry had a 58-percent favorable rating, according to Gallup, with only 35 percent viewing him unfavorably.

On the bright side, to whatever extent there is a sliver of light here, Trump isn’t quite as disliked as Congress in general.

 

► It didn’t take long for Colorado Republicans to un-bite their tongues in reaction to last weekend’s shootings in Orlando.

 

► If “con artist” were an honorable title, we’d probably say that Aurora School Board member Eric Nelson is producing a masterpiece.

 

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

Eric Nelson Pulls a Jon Keyser–“I’m On The Ballot”

Eric Nelson impersonating a U.S. Air Force major in an undated photo.

Eric Nelson impersonating a U.S. Air Force major in an undated photo.

After damning revelations in local media this week that Democratic HD-42 candidate and Aurora Public Schools board member Eric Nelson has more or less fabricated his entire record, including military service os a field officer and numerous college degrees, the Aurora Sentinel’s Quincy Snowdon reports Nelson’s response.

It has a familiar ring:

Facing a barrage of allegations and multiple calls to drop out of the Democratic primary for Colorado House District 42 as well as resign from his seat on the Aurora Public Schools Board of Education, aspiring Aurora politico Eric Nelson made no indication of plans to capitulate in a newsletter sent via email Wednesday afternoon, June 15.

In his letter, Nelson addressed several — but not all — of the allegations cast toward him in recent days, including misrepresentation of his short-lived military service, felony warrants, misconstruing his academic record and missing child support payments. That all of the alleged incidents occurred in the past served as the basis for his decision not to drop out of the race for the State House, or resign his seat on the APS school board.

“There are no current criminal charges, inquires (sic) or investigations,” Nelson wrote. “Therefore, there has been no false pretense or misrepresentations of me to the public. Furthermore, to ask for a resignation or withdrawal is overstepping legal boundaries of the qualifications for an elected public office. … I am fulfilling my duties.”

Shorter version: “the important thing is that I’m on the ballot.”

In an updated story at the Colorado Statesman, reporter Ernest Luning confirms with at least one of the schools Nelson claims to have graduated from, Northwest Nazarene University, that the diploma he presented is an (obvious) fake:

Edwin H. Robinson, Ph.D., the vice president for academic affairs at the university, told The Statesman he had never seen a Northwest Nazarene diploma that looked anything like the one furnished by Nelson, and he’s seen plenty of the real ones.

“Thank you for your inquiry concerning the fraudulent diploma from Northwest Nazarene University,” Robinson wrote in an email. “Obviously, the diploma is not one officially granted by our University. The misspelled name on the seal, the mention of ‘Glassboro College,’ the wrong nomenclature for university trustees and officers, and the forged signatures reflect a very poor job of trying to duplicate a diploma.”

Meanwhile, as we’ve already discussed, basically every Democrat in Colorado has come out to demand that not only Nelson withdraw from the HD-42 race but resign his seat on the Aurora Public Schools board of education. The House Majority Project has taken the unusual step of endorsing Nelson’s opponent and calling for him to pull out of the race.

In short, it’s very difficult to understand the psychology that drives people to “not give up” in situations that are plainly career (or at least race) ending–but as we’ve already seen with self-destructed U.S. Senate candidate Jon Keyser this year, it happens a lot. Eric Nelson is not just a little bit done, he is completely obliterated as a viable candidate for office. If he were to somehow survive the primary now and win election to this safe Democratic seat, we can’t imagine how the legislature could possibly allow him to serve.

Accepting that it’s over. It’s one of the hardest things in politics.

Colorado SOS: Only About 7% of Ballots Returned Thus Far

votebuttonUPDATE: The SOS’s office says that there are some incorrect numbers in the county-by-county spreadsheet (the PDF link below) that they are working on fixing as we type. The overall statewide totals printed here are correct.

—–

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office is beginning to publicly release information about voter turnout (or ballot turn-in) for the June 28th Primary. Here’s the latest as of 9:00 am today:

Democrats

Ballots sent: 984,009;
Ballots returned: 74,600;
Percent: 7.58%

Republicans

Ballots sent: 992,545;
Ballots returned: 73,137;
Percent: 7.36%

For more information on turnout based on a county-by-county basis, click here (PDF).

 

Aurora School Board Member, House Candidate, Appears to be Spectacular Con Artist

UPDATE #3: Nelson for Colorado responds directly in the comments below….

—–

UPDATE #2: Rep. Rhonda Fields, who holds the HD-42 seat Eric Nelson is running for, calls for him to withdraw from the race and resign from the Aurora school board:

“Impersonating a military officer, violence against women, bigamy, dodging child support payments? This pattern of behavior is deeply disturbing to me, it’s unacceptable in a leader, it goes against everything Democrats stand for, and I believe the people of Aurora and the state of Colorado deserve better. Therefore, I call on Eric Nelson to immediately withdraw his candidacy for state representative and to resign his seat on the school board.”

—–

UPDATE: The “you know what” is hitting the proverbial fan in Aurora:

Meanwhile, Nelson’s Democratic Primary opponent in HD-42 — Dominique Jackson — is speaking out and taking the high road.

—–

While you were tucked all snug in your bed last evening, Ernest Luning of the Colorado Statesman was breaking a story that is so bizarre you’d be forgiven if you thought it was a fairy tale. Eric Nelson, a member of the Aurora School Board and a Democratic candidate for House District 42 (Aurora), is one hell of a con man:

This is Eric Nelson. As far as anyone else knows, anyway.

This is Eric Nelson. Or a man who calls himself Eric Nelson.

A member of the Aurora Public School Board and Democratic state House candidate who describes his occupation as “Life Visionary” appears to have taken his knack for self-invention to extreme heights, an investigation by The Colorado Statesman has revealed. [Pols emphasis]Eric Durane Nelson, 38, one of two Aurora Democrats in a primary for the House District 42 seat, was rebuked by the state Division of Insurance for lying about his criminal background — including domestic violence arrests spanning a decade — and was denied an application for another insurance license for “failure to demonstrate that you are competent, trustworthy and of good moral character.”

At another time, Nelson was married to two women at the same time, according to court documents.

Based on information uncovered by The Statesman, the organization that works to elect House Democrats on Monday said it is calling on Nelson to withdraw from the race and, in an unprecedented move, will endorse his primary opponent, Dominique Jackson. [Pols emphasis]

The HD 42 seat is currently represented by state Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, who is term-limited and in a primary of her own against state Rep. Su Ryden, D-Aurora, for an open state Senate seat. Republican Mike Donald is running unopposed for the GOP nomination for the heavily Democratic House seat.

You really have to read the entire story yourself — it is an incredible tale of a career criminal and con man who talked his way into a position of being the top-line candidate on the June 28th Primary ballot. Just look at some of these examples:

Although the specifics of his claims have changed over the years, Nelson says he’s earned numerous advanced degrees — as many as seven have shown up on various resumés — including a master’s degree from a university that says he was never enrolled there.

Asked by The Statesman early Monday afternoon why the Northeastern University registrar’s office in Boston said the school had no record of him, Nelson promised to email copies of his diploma and academic records but six hours later hadn’t sent anything.

—–

In earlier versions of his resume, Nelson describes himself as an Air Force veteran and has also been fond of posting photographs of himself on social media in a captain’s uniform, despite having been an active duty member of the service for just eight weeks, according to Department of Defense documents.

The story is not without its victims, unfortunately. Luning writes that Nelson recently talked his way into a job leading a nonprofit called Angel Eyes, claiming to have a Master of Social Work degree. By the time other employees and volunteers realized the lie, he had nearly robbed them blind.

“We were thinking, this couldn’t be happening because he was so slick. But it just snowballed,” said a woman who works at Angel Eyes, a Cherry Creek-based organization that comes to the aid of parents who have lost an infant.

From a political perspective, House Democrats absolutely did the right thing by immediately calling on Nelson to drop out of the race, as well as endorsing a Primary opponent for the first time in the history of the House Majority Project. It is a pretty stark difference between Democrats and Republicans in Colorado in recent years, particularly when it comes to troublesome individual candidates or campaigns.

Republicans often spend days and weeks wringing their hands when bad eggs emerge and legislators make terrible comments without rebuke; they only seem to act when something is so egregious that virtually no member of the public at-large would disagree. The Nelson story is going to leave a lot of confused and angry Democrats — particularly those who endorsed his House candidacy — but this is a band-aid that needs to be pulled quickly.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (June 15)

MoreSmarterLogo-SunscreenDon’t forget the sunscreen — it’s going to be pretty damn warm for the next couple of days. 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). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► Two weeks from today, the Colorado Primary Election will finally be behind us. If you haven’t yet received a mail ballot, check your registration or address status ASAP. Go to JustVoteColorado.org for more information.

 

► Aurora Democrat Eric Nelson — or some guy who says his name is Eric Nelson — continues to receive calls to drop out of the Democratic Primary in HD-42 after it was revealed by several news outlets that Nelson is an evil genius con artist whose resume is largely fictional. Ernest Luning of the Colorado Statesman broke the original story first, and followed up yesterday with an extensive update detailing Nelson’s bizarre attempts to falsify college diplomas in a failed effort to cast doubt on Luning’s reporting.

Marshall Zelinger of Denver7 also has more on this story, while the Aurora Sentinel is following discussions of the Aurora School Board, of which Nelson is a member.

 

► You are probably aware that Donald Trump has clinched the Republican nomination for President, but you may not be aware of how little Trump has been able to move forward in the 43 days since taking hold of the nomination. From “The Fix”:

Today, Trump is no closer to uniting the Republican party or pivoting to the general election than he was six weeks ago. And that is, at minimum, a massive waste of a critical time period and, at worst, a mistake that will could severely jeopardize his chances of winning the White House in November.

Trump’s time as the near-certain Republican nominee have been dominated by self-inflicted wounds — the most gaping of which is his suggestion that a federal judge overseeing a case involving Trump University was biased and should recuse himself due to the fact that he is of Mexican heritage. Trump doubled down on that comment, then tripled down on it  — even amid widespread outrage among Republicans already concerned that their nominee was dabbling (at least) in race-baiting.  Eventually,Trump released a statement insisting his comments about Gonzalo Curiel had been “misconstrued.” He did not apologize for making the comment…

…Yes, modern campaigns last forever. But, they are almost always defined by a small group of critical moments that change the trajectory of races.  The last six weeks was a major moment. Trump wasted it.

 

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

GOP State Senate Candidate Cries Foul…On Bob Beauprez?

"Both Ways" Bob Beauprez (right).

“Both Ways” Bob Beauprez (right).

A fascinating Facebook post from Republican state senate candidate Jess Loban out of Douglas County accuses two-time gubernatorial loser Bob Beauprez of “meddling”–not just in the hard-right Loban’s primary in Senate District 4 against Ben Lyng, but in a number of key GOP legislative primary races around the state:

We found the source of the attacks on me, and it was bigger than expected. It actually was extended to Rep. Lori Saine, Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt, and Rep Janak Joshi in the false and vicious attacks just like we have had here in Douglas County.

This was carried out by a group that is called Colorado Right Now that was started by a member of Pioneer Action that launched an all-out attack on conservative candidates across Colorado. The chairman of Pioneer Action is Bob Beauprez, and Bob Beauprez is endorser number 1 for Ben Lyng.

I am so very proud to be included with this group of standing legislators as a real threat to their liberal agenda. This is a fierce and direct RINO attack on anyone who stands for conservative values. WE MUST SPREAD THE WORD.

This is Douglas County, and we won’t put up with kingmaker actions and the oppressive will of an ultra establishment take over.

To be clear, the connection Loban is making to Beauprez isn’t quite bulletproof. According to Secretary of State filings by Colorado Right Now, the registered agent is Justin Prendergast–who also works for Bob Beauprez’s Pioneer Action group. Prendergast in fact uses a Pioneer Action email address in his filing as registered agent for Colorado Right Now. Prendergast is also engaged to Hillary Shoun, who along with Monica Owens runs the GOP PR firm Westbrooke Group. Monica Owens, of course, is married to Bob Beauprez’s son.

On second thought, it’s pretty much bulletproof.

With all of this established, what have here is a very interesting story of red-on-red infighting behind the scenes–not just in open-seat races like Jess Loban’s, but against incumbent GOP lawmakers like Lori Saine, Janak Joshi, and (yes) Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt. These incumbents are all members of the “House Crazies,” members who have all in their way contributed to the GOP’s high negatives–if not in their own districts, then elsewhere as a general problem for the brand.

One might conclude based on this limited information that Beauprez is attempting to mastermind some kind of “purge” of a few of the more hardcore Republicans in the Colorado General Assembly–much like the Republican Governor’s Association openly waded into the 2014 gubernatorial race to freeze out Tom Tancredo. If that’s right, and targets like Loban are successful at getting the word out, we could see it backfiring explosively on Beauprez and the “establishment” candidates he is backing.

And before moderate Republicans rush to express their gratitude, remember that Beauprez has easily done as much damage to the Republican cause as any Republican in Colorado. And for far, far longer.

Stay tuned, this story seems very likely to blow up before June 28th.

Rep. Joshi Takes The Gloves Off To Outlast Larry Liston

As ballots arrive in Colorado mailboxes for the June 28th primary election, the Republican HD-16 primary between incumbent Rep. Janak Joshi and former Rep. Larry Liston in Colorado Springs is getting nastier by the minute–with the latest volley from Joshi, unleashing a lengthy radio spot slamming Liston’s “RINO” record in the state legislature:

Ouch! Not what any Republican primary candidate in a safely red district wants on the radio. The spot directs to Joshi’s new website LarryLies.com:

larrylies

We’re actually very interested in seeing how this primary resolves. Janak Joshi, an arch-conservative ex-doctor from Ahmadabad, India who was forced to surrender his medical license before running for office, has the local party grassroots faithful in his back pocket–and in El Paso County that means he has placated, objectively speaking, the craziest of the crazies. On the other hand, Liston is a conservative Republican who has occasionally crossed over to move bipartisan priorities like the state’s “Amycare” health insurance exchange–a showing of reasonableness that the GOP grassroots more or less views as treasonable.

Which makes the GOP HD-16 primary a bellwether for how reasonable Colorado Republicans will be…in 2017.