Coffman Votes to Restrict Abortion Access, Women’s Health Care

(Of course he did — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Still from Rep. Mike Coffman's 2014 ad using Planned Parenthood's logo.

Still from Rep. Mike Coffman’s 2014 ad using Planned Parenthood’s logo.

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) joined House Republicans yesterday in approving a bill that would give federal cover to anyone who refuses to give, provide, or even facilitiate medical care.

Among other things, the bill would provide legal protection for Catholic hospitals not to peform abortions.  These and other medical services are forbidden by directives promulgated by the Catholic Church and are not offered at such hospitals.

A NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado news release stated:

The bill would give federal permission to any health-care company or individual that wants to refuse to cover or even “facilitate” medical care. It would even allow an administrative assistant to refuse to schedule you for an appointment if he disagreed with your choice to have an abortion…

Mike Coffman thinks health care providers should be allowed to refuse to provide reproductive health care to women in Colorado. That’s just wrong. Colorado needs someone who respects women, not insults them with what he says and does.

A news release from the Family Research Council, an anti-choice organization, states:

“Only one day after the Republican Party’s platform committee adopted a plank protecting conscience rights, the House of Representatives stepped in to do the same. I applaud the House for voting to codify longstanding federal conscience protections, and to give pro-life victims of government discrimination the right to sue in court. No person, organization or healthcare provider should ever be forced by the government to participate in the abhorrent act of abortion.

In Colorado, a Catholic hospital refused in March to allow a doctor to perform a tubal ligation, a sterilization procedure that runs counter to Catholic directives, after a C-section. The patient was told she’d have to go to a different hospital, and she elected not to have the tubal ligation.

Thursday Open Thread

“Censorship, like charity, should begin at home, but, unlike charity, it should end there.”

–Clare Boothe Luce

Gardner Eyes NRSC Title (Co-Title?) in 2018

I'll take the easier route for $200, Alex.

I’ll take the easier route for $200, Alex.

Timing can be everything in politics, and few Colorado elected officials understand that better than Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma).

Gardner was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2014 for a number of reasons — foremost the fact that he ran a strong campaign while incumbent Sen. Mark Udall did not — but also because he picked the right year to make the leap from the House of Representatives. His political timing has always been impeccable, whether cruising into his prior Congressional seat in the Tea Party wave year of 2010 or getting his start in the state legislature by way of a Republican vacancy committee.

Gardner is not a risk-taker, politically-speaking, which is why this news from Politico about the 2018 Senate cycle makes perfect sense:

Sens. Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Cory Gardner of Colorado are floating a novel idea: Sharing the job of leading the Senate GOP’s campaign arm.

The freshmen lawmakers are gauging support for a proposal to become co-chairmen of the National Republican Senatorial Committee for the 2018 election cycle, a prime opportunity for the GOP to pick up seats or recapture the Senate if they lose it this year. [Pols emphasis] Democrats will be defending 25 seats vs. just eight for the GOP, and Tillis and Gardner are aggressively pursuing a leadership role at the organization to capitalize on the opportunity.

It is certainly true that 2018, a non-Presidential election year, appears to be a better cycle to be heading up campaign operations for Senate Republicans. Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker won the job in 2016 with a close insider-election over Nevada Sen. Dean Heller; considering the fractured nature of the Republican Party and its less-than-ideal Presidential nominee (Donald Trump), Wicker probably wishes he had a do-over.

Should Democrats re-take control of the U.S. Senate this year, Gardner (and Tillis) would be well-positioned to emerge as heroes if they are able to wrestle back the Senate in 2018. And by serving as “co-chairs” of the NRSC, both could avoid the brunt of the blame in case things don’t turn out so well for the GOP. Either scenario helps Gardner prepare his own fundraising efforts in advance of his 2020 re-election bid.

There’s another good reason for the NRSC to go with a “co-chair” lineup in 2018: Gardner may be good at managing his own political career, but he really sucks at identifying other strong candidates to support.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (July 13)

MoreSmarterLogo-SunscreenJulius Caesar may or may not have been born on this day a long time ago; we’re not doing the math regardless. 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…

A new poll from Monmouth University has Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by 13 points in Colorado — the same margin that Sen. Michael Bennet holds over Republican nominee Darryl Glenn. Both Clinton and Bennet are also doing well in Colorado according to data from Republican polling outfit Harper Polling. As the Denver Post reports:

The survey by Harper Polling found that Sen. Bennet had a 46 percent to 40 percent advantage over Republican rival Darryl Glenn. Clinton, the Democrats’ presumptive nominee for president, was ahead 45 percent to 38 percent over presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump…

…“Glenn receives less support from Republicans (78 percent) than Bennet does from Democrats (83 percent), a result of lower name identification for Glenn among party voters,” noted Harper Polling. “Bennet holds a comfortable lead among Democratic-leaning moderates (32-48 percent) but Glenn narrows his lead to just 4 percent among independent voters (33-37 percent).”

Less comforting for Bennet, however, is that it was a tie at 38 percent as to whether he deserves re-election versus the feeling that it’s time to give someone new a chance.

We’d take that last caveat with more than one grain of salt, since poll respondents are often inclined to be more interested in something new when the question is this generic. The fact that Glenn receives less support from Republicans than Bennet does from Democrats is much more relevant in our mind, because those numbers aren’t likely to improve for Glenn given his low name ID and far-right policy beliefs. And with the Monmouth University poll showing Bennet with a 13-point lead, it’s safe to say that Bennet is comfortably ahead at this point in the race.

The Colorado Springs Independent ponders whether Glenn will continue to exceed expectations in his bid for U.S. Senate or ultimately flame out in November. If you’re playing at home, go with choice #2.

 

► We’re still waiting to hear who Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump will choose as his running mate in advance of next week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland. While the list of potential Vice Presidential candidates hasn’t been particularly robust for Trump — many top names in the Republican Party want no part of this mess — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence may need Trump more than Trump needs him. From the Washington Post:

Pence risks looking desperate as he all but pleads for the job. During their joint appearance outside Indianapolis, it felt at times like the governor wants to be rescued from having to stand for reelection this November…

…A major reason Pence wants to be Trump’s running-mate so badly is that he could lose his bid for a second term.

— All along, the Democratic theory of the case to beat Pence this fall has been to define him as “distracted.” He ran promising to focus on jobs and education, but his tenure has been overshadowed and defined by culture war clashes, from a botched religious freedom bill (which he had to “fix” under pressure) to new restrictions on abortion.

If you aren’t catching the whiff of desperation from Pence, consider this comment from Pence during a Trump rally on Tuesday: “Trump understands the frustrations and the hopes of the American people like no other American leader in my lifetime since Ronald Reagan.”

Just 10 weeks ago, Pence endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz for President.

 

► Colorado delegates may be at the front of the line in an “anti-Trump” movement during next week’s GOP National Convention. Shaun Boyd has more for CBS4 Denver.

 

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

(more…)

Poll: Who Will Be Hillary Clinton’s Running-Mate?

Here’s a highly informal poll, meant purely for discussion purposes among our readers, of potential choices by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to serve as her vice president. Who is the right complement to Clinton to represent the ideologically fractious Democratic Party and become the next President of the United States? If your favored candidate isn’t listed, feel free to suggest one in comments.

As always with our reader polls, we’re looking for your honest prediction–not your personal preference. Happy voting!

Who will be the Democratic vice-presidential nominee in 2016?
Xavier Becerra
Cory Booker
Sherrod Brown
Julian Castro
John Hickenlooper
Tim Kaine
Deval Patrick
Tom Perez
Bernie Mothaf*cking Sanders
Elizabeth Warren
Better not be Bill/not sure/other (specify)
View Result

Poll: Who Will Be Donald Trump’s Running-Mate?

Here’s a highly informal poll, meant purely for discussion purposes among our readers, of potential choices by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to serve as his vice president. Who brings the right combination of…whatever the hell it is Trump needs most to pull this thing off and become the next President of the United States? If your favored candidate isn’t listed, feel free to suggest one in comments.

As always with our reader polls, we’re looking for your honest prediction–not your personal preference. Happy voting!

Who will be the Republican vice-presidential nominee in 2016?
Chris Christie
Newt Gingrich
Joni Ernst
Mike Pence
Larry Mizel
A Trump family member
Other/not sure (specify)
View Result

Statesman freelancer calls on Mizel to come clean

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Larry Mizel.

Larry Mizel.

Colorado journalist David O. Williams has a great post in RealVail.com today, based on his decades of newspaper-industry experience up there, beautifully illustrating the dangers and weirdness of anonymous political journalism and calling on Republican mega-donor Larry Mizel, who’s been raising cash for Donald Trump, to come clean about whether he owns the Colorado Statesman.

I’ve shown that Mizel, in fact, controls the Statesman, which makes Williams’ post today all the more admirable, because Williams is a Statesman freelancer, whose last Statesman piece appeared in May. He’s written a handful of stories for the political weekly this year, one of them co-authored by John Tomasic.

Here’s part of what Williams wrote about Mizel in his post today:

“For me, the issue of ownership now raises the question of what Colorado political stories the Statesman is choosing to cover, and what stories the venerable political journal is ignoring.

And if you’re scratching the checks for a publication these days, why not just put your name on it and end the mystery, even if your agenda really is just about getting one person or a group of like-minded people elected to political office? Then let your readers judge whether your reporting is biased based on your agenda or fairly reflects the views of the opposition.”

You should take a moment to read Williams’ entire post, but it will be interesting to see how Williams is received by the Statesman, now that he’s challenged Mizel. I honestly wouldn’t expect any repercussions for Williams.

But wouldn’t it be nice if Mizel took this issue off the table by laying out his relationship with the Statesman?

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (July 12)

MoreSmarterLogo-SolsticeIf you’re in Northern Ireland and Protestant, Happy Orangemen’s 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…

► Today’s top story in politics is the long, long, long-awaited endorsement by defeated Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders of Hillary Clinton:

So ends the most bitter Democratic campaign rivalry since Barack Obama beat Clinton for the 2008 presidential nomination. Republicans have sought refuge from the unfolding catastrophe at the top of their ticket by playing up disunity between Sanders’ grassroots supporters and the “mainstream” Democratic party personified by Clinton. Now that Sanders has delivered this unequivocal endorsement, all but the most ardent Bernie supporters–in many cases “low propensity” voters anyway–should come back into the fold after an appropriate period of grieving and coping.

And yes, that’s bad news for Republicans. It’s true they don’t need more bad news. Sorry about that.

Donald Trump responds with a quixotic appeal to disaffected Sanders supporters:

Good luck with that! We’re just not foreseeing a mass exodus of Bernie backers to Trump.

► On the Trump side in Colorado news, defeated GOP U.S. Senate candidate Robert Blaha is taking his blowhard trademark rhetoric to the Make America Great Again campaign as Trump’s Colorado campaign co-chair. After Blaha made a big splash with his wild “out-Trumping” comments as a Senate candidate, this seems right as rain.

Get even more smarter after the jump…

(more…)

Bernie Endorses Hillary

Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton.

Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton.

NBC News reporting, ranks in the Democratic Party have now officially closed with a strong endorsment from Bernie Sanders for presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton:

Bernie Sanders officially endorsed Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, capping off a contentious presidential primary and solidifying the former secretary of state’s hold on the Democratic party.

“I have come here to make it as clear as possible as to why I am endorsing Hillary Clinton,” Sanders said while standing next to Clinton at an event in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

“This campaign is not really about Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders. This campaign is about the needs of the American people and addressing the very serious crises that we face,” Sander said. “And there is no doubt in my mind that as we head into November, Hillary Clinton is far and away the best candidate to do that.”

So ends the most bitter Democratic campaign rivalry since Barack Obama beat Clinton for the 2008 presidential nomination. Republicans have sought refuge from the unfolding catastrophe at the top of their ticket by playing up disunity between Sanders’ grassroots supporters and the “mainstream” Democratic party personified by Clinton. Now that Sanders has delivered this unequivocal endorsement, all but the most ardent Bernie supporters–in many cases “low propensity” voters anyway–should come back into the fold after an appropriate period of grieving and coping.

And yes, that’s bad news for Republicans. It’s true they don’t need more bad news. Sorry about that.

“Really, there’s no ground game,” says Adams County GOP Chair of Trump efforts

(No, this is not good news for Republicans – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

trumpburnAfter Colorado Trump campaign director Patrick Davis said last week that Trump will rely on the “robust operations” of the Colorado Republican Party to mobilize voters leading up to November, a key county Republican chair said Saturday there’s no signs of any Trump ground game in Adams County, a critical battleground in our state.

ADAMS COUNTY GOP CHAIRMAN, ANIL MATHAI: Honestly, I have not seen [the Trump ground game] in Adams County.
KNUS RADIO HOST CHUCK BONNIWELL: [chuckles, knowingly]
MATHAI: It’s consistent with what happened before caucus. Really, there’s no ground game. There’s no campaign here in the state. I know that [Republican donor and Colorado Statesman owner] Mr. Mizel is helping with fundraising here in Colorado. Also, I believe Mike Shanahan and Pete Coors are helping to raise major donations for Mr. Trump.
CO-HOST JULIE HAYDEN: Right.
MATHAI: So, there is activity going on. It’s going to ramp up. But honestly, there is no real solid ground game here.And that needs to be increased. And the state party, [Sate GOP Chair Steve House], I believe, is working on that.
BONNIWELL: Well, you better get to it one of these days. [laughs]
HAYDEN: I agree with you, there, too. I was worried that that was going to be your answer because, you know, just as a reporter, having covered it and sometimes seeing the difference in sort of the Democratic Party’s ground game and the Republican Party’s ground game – it seems to me it can make a big difference.
MATHAI: It can. And we expect – I expect the state party, and I believe, will set the tone on this and set the leadership on this. They’re having a unity tour for, uh, Darryl Glenn up and down the state, going to different places, here. Yeah, it starts in Larimer at, I believe, nine o’clock, and then all the way down to Pueblo County. So, they are making attempts here to make sure that we win all of our races.

Adams County is widely regarded as one of the most important counties in the state, so the total absence of a Trump ground game there in mid-July is not good for Republicans, who’ve been facing the same problem nationally, according to an Associated Press piece yesterday titled, “A lot of holes in GOP ground game in key states.” The AP reported:

“In Colorado, recent staff departures have left about two dozen employees, far short of the 80 that were to have been in place.”

Notes From The Colorado GOP’s Irony-Packed “Unity Tour”

GOP "Unity Tour" in Colorado Springs.

GOP “Unity Tour” in Colorado Springs.

On Saturday, GOP U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn was joined by a variety of Republican politicos up and down the Front Range on a “GOP Unity Tour” to promote Glenn and the GOP’s much-discussed campaign efforts in general this year. Here’s a roundup starting with the Denver Post’s John Frank:

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner on Saturday heralded Darryl Glenn as the U.S. Senate candidate “who is going to stand up for what is right” in an effort to champion a message of Republican Party unity in a year marked by conflict…

Glenn criticized Gardner earlier this year for his support of the omnibus budget bill, which helped prevent a government shutdown, and found plenty of his critics on the campaign trail. But Glenn didn’t hesitate to welcome the Yuma lawmaker’s support.

Marcomentum! As for the elephant in the room,

Glenn called Trump “a patriot.” Gardner called Trump “a buffoon.” Glenn endorsed Trump. Gardner remains silent.

Now that’s what we call “unity!” But as the Colorado Springs Gazette’s Megan Schrader reports, at least one of Glenn’s former opponents is joining the Donald Trump campaign in a fairly substantial way:

Robert Blaha was absent, but House hinted Blaha was on an important mission. Later, Patrick Davis, state director for Trump’s Colorado campaign, confirmed that Blaha will be a co-chairman of the Trump campaign. Blaha is the first to be announced.

Up in Fort Collins, as the Loveland Reporter-Herald’s Sady Swanson reports, Rep. Ken Buck tried to turn the conversation back toward the common…well, this gets a little more complicated:

Buck said the divisions within the Senate are preventing things from getting done and getting another conservative like Glenn in the Senate would be beneficial for the party.

“The Democrats are our opponents and the Senate is our enemy,” Buck said. [Pols emphasis] “There are so many bad rules we are fighting every day.”

Got that? The Republican-controlled U.S. Senate is the “enemy!” Now we know Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn’t been very kind to Glenn on the campaign trail, and of course 2010 U.S. Senate loser Ken Buck has no love lost for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). But did anyone snap a photo of Sen. Cory Gardner’s face when Buck called the Senate the “enemy?”

To recap, you’ve got a sitting GOP Senator who won’t support his party’s own presidential nominee, and a Senate nominee who does support the presidential nominee and has made a sport out of criticizing said senior Senator. Plus you’ve got a member of Congress who calls the Senate, even though it’s controlled by his own party, the “enemy.”

All of which played out this weekend. On the Colorado GOP’s “unity tour.”

Sometimes we spend way too long looking for a punchline, only to realize that none is needed.

Get More Smarter on Monday (July 11)

MoreSmarterLogo-SunscreenHot enough for ya? 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…

► Presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump says he will make up his mind on choosing a running mate within the next couple of days. From “The Fix”:

“I have 5 people including the General [Michael T. Flynn],” Trump told me in a 25-minute phone conversation Mondaymorning. “I do like the military but I do very much like the political.” Trump added that “in my mind I have someone that would be really good.”

While Trump was careful not to eliminate Flynn, it was clear that he believed picking someone “political” was the right move, meaning, presumably, that former Speaker Newt Gingrich, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin are in his final four.

Trump is working with a relatively small list of contenders in large part because most potential VP candidates on the Republican side want nothing to do with His Hairness. The Republican National Convention kicks off next week in Cleveland, OH.

 

► Colorado Republican candidates who were hoping for a strong “ground game” this fall — organized through the Presidential ticket — had better start looking at Plan B. The likes of Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) and 2016 GOP Senate nominee Darryl Glenn are traveling around Colorado on some sort of “unity tour,” but the mood among Colorado Republicans is far from festive.

The Associated Press has more on the GOP’s ground game troubles from a national perspective:

Presidential battleground states were supposed to be swarming with Republican Party workers by now.

“We’ve moved on to thousands and thousands of employees,” party chairman Reince Priebus declared in March, contrasting that with the GOP’s late-blooming staffing four years earlier. “We are covering districts across this country in ways that we’ve never had before.”

That hasn’t exactly happened, a state-by-state review conducted by The Associated Press has found.

With early voting beginning in less than three months in some states, the review reveals that the national GOP has delivered only a fraction of the ground forces detailed in discussions with state leaders earlier in the year. And that is leaving anxious local officials waiting for reinforcements to keep pace with Democrat Hillary Clinton in the states that matter most in 2016.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

(more…)

Trump campaign will “graft” itself to “robust operations” of Colorado Republican Party, says Trump state director

(Translation: they’re screwed – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

houseforgopchairColorado’s Trump campaign is relying on the “robust operations” of the Colorado Republican Party to mobilize Trump voters, including “many new people” who are drawn to Trump but are not yet in the campaign databases.

Davis: “Because Donald Trump has been bringing so many new people back to politics and to politics, they are really not in our databases,” Colorado Trump campaign director Patrick Davis told KLZ 560-AM’s John Rush on Thursday.  “We don’t know what they believe. In some cases, they are not registered to vote.  In some cases, we don’t know how to find them to remind them when Election Day is, because, believe it or not, people do forget. You do have to remind them.” [BigMedia emphasis]

Davis said the Colorado Republican Party, with its “robust operations,” is tasked with finding these newly politicized people, along with voters of “all stripes,” totaling 1.3 million people, the number of votes Davis thinks Trump needs to win in Colorado.

Davis: “Because the Trump campaign did not invest in a ground game—everybody knows it; it happened all over the country—we are having to graft ourselves into the robust operations at state Republican parties all over the country,” said Davis on air.

“Colorado is one of 11 battleground states, and the state Republican Party here has been preparing for this day for over a year. Now, I run campaigns based on metrics and numbers. We believe that for Donald Trump to win Colorado, he needs to identify and turn out 1.3 million voters in Colorado of all stripes. Republicans, Democrats, independents, Libertarians, liberals, conservatives, we got to turn them out.”

Trump officials have been saying in recent weeks that the campaign will rely on state parties, which have uneven strengths around the country.

The unprecedented upheaval in Colorado’s state GOP in recent years, including the ouster of state chair Ryan Call last March and the subsequent efforts to depose current chair Steve House last summer, raise questions about the robustness of the party’s operations. But House has insisted in recent radio interviews that the party is fully functional and up to the tasks it needs to perform to win races up and down the ticket in November.