Search Results for: griffin

Faye Griffin is Running in Jefferson County (Yet Again)

Republican Faye Griffin, 82, is running for Jeffco Treasurer.

We wrote last week about the ridiculous Republican retread ticket in Jefferson County, where proven political losers such as Don Rosier, Libby Szabo, and Vicki Pyne are taking another shot at public office in Jefferson County government. We often say that the Republican bench in Colorado is basically a phone booth, but even so…is this REALLY the best Republicans could do in 2022?

Apparently so. There are roughly 93,000 registered Republican voters in Jeffco, but the GOP is returning to a long-dry well for the office of County Treasurer. Yes, Faye Griffin is back.

If you’re not familiar with this absurd person, allow us to catch you up. Griffin is a serial job-hopper in Jefferson County who has run for (and resigned early) from pretty much every elected position in county government. She was elected Jeffco Treasurer in 2006, but left that office two years later in order to run for County Commissioner; Griffin then left that job early in order to run (again) for Jeffco Clerk and Recorder. Griffin was not particularly good at any of these jobs.

In 2018 Griffin was finally sent packing — despite being endorsed by a Founding Father — when Democrat George Stern prevented her from a second term as Clerk and Recorder. Griffin lost that race in part because of revelations that she had charged the county for excessive reimbursement amounts related to conferences she attended in Washington D.C.

But, of course, the 82-year-old Griffin wants to get back on the ballot in 2022. Griffin is hoping that Jeffco voters don’t remember that she literally quit two years after being elected County Treasurer in 2008, just as Rosier needs voters to forget that he wants to be elected to the same County Commissioner position that he also quit in 2017.

Griffin, Rosier, and Szabo aren’t running for office in 2022 because they want to serve the people of Jefferson County; they’re running because they want the county to serve THEM.

You don’t have to go home, but for crying out loud, please leave.

 

Do Your Damn Job, Faye Griffin

FRIDAY UPDATE: They fixed it.

—–

Are you a Jefferson County voter planning to cast your ballot before Election Day on November 6, 2018?

Then you might want to let Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder Faye Griffin in on a little secret: It’s not 2019.

Readers of this site and one of our local spinoffs, Jeffco Pols, are probably familiar with Faye Griffin, who never met an elected position she wasn’t willing to abandon if it meant extending her time on the public dime. Griffin jumps from job to job in Jefferson County Government about as often as Donald Trump tells a lie. In fact, her job-hopping has become so notorious that the editorial board of the Denver Post agreed with our sentiment in 2014 when we documented another potential backroom office change.

We first discussed Griffin’s job-hopping in 2013 in a post titled, “Finish Your Damn Job, Faye Griffin.” That headline inspired the title of the post you are reading now, “Do Your Damn Job, Faye Griffin,” because this is what you’ll find on the website of the Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder:

Screenshot from www.jeffco.us/elections on Thursday afternoon.

Election Day is, in fact, on November 6. But not in 2019.

Obviously this is a relatively-harmless mistake. Nevertheless, the optics are terrible given that the long, long, longtime elected official in charge of the department is running for another re-election on the eve of her 79th birthday.

Griffin is being challenged by Democrat George Stern.

Finish Your Damn Job, Faye Griffin (Again)

Jeffco Republican Faye Griffin is (politically) immortal.

Faye Griffin will still be serving as an elected official in Jefferson County long after your children’s children have come and gone — even if Jeffco Republicans have to get her cryogenically frozen in order to make it happen.

It looks like we need to update a long-running saga involving Griffin’s political history in Jefferson County. Current Jeffco Commissioner Libby Szabo is rumored to be considering leaving the Commissioner’s office in order to focus her energy full-time on the open Congressional seat in CD-7. If Szabo does resign early from the Commissioner’s office, we hear that current Jeffco Clerk and Recorder Faye Griffin may be in line to replace Szabo. If this is indeed true, it would mean that the 78-year-old Griffin was leaving the Clerk and Recorder’s office in the middle of her third (non-consecutive) term in order to complete her third term as a County Commissioner. This is absolutely ridiculous, and it needs to stop.

We’ve talked about Griffin’s serial seat-hopping in the past, as well as the fact that her constant movement allows Jeffco Republicans to essentially subvert the will of voters. In the last 10 years or so, numerous Republican candidates have “run” for office for the first time with the power of an unearned-incumbency behind them. The Denver Post has also waded into this story and condemned the political malpractice. Take a look at what the Post wrote in October 2014:

When voters support a candidate, they should expect that person will serve the full term of office. It’s not too much to ask…

…Make no mistake, this isn’t about Griffin’s political affiliation. This is about a vacancy system that empowers party honchos instead of requiring special elections for vacancies, and Griffin’s willingness to abandon a commitment in order to continue in public office.

One of the more amazing parts of that editorial comes from an interview with Griffin herself:

We asked Griffin why she would leave the commission two years early, and she was candid in saying it was due to term limits.

Griffin is in the middle of her second term, and if she stayed in the position, she couldn’t run for the commission again — and there would be no other palatable options for her, in her mind.

“In two years, there’s no county office that is open,” Griffin said. So, she is seeking the office she held for eight years, starting in 1998.

Ahead of the 2018 election, there’s good reason for Jeffco Republicans to continue convincing Griffin to keep moving offices. Democrats appear to have a strong candidate for Clerk and Recorder in George Stern, so it is in the best interests of the GOP to try to place a new Clerk and Recorder now in order to give that person enough time to build up their name ID before 2018. And by moving Griffin back to County Commissioner in the meantime, she wouldn’t need to run again until 2020.

After the 2014 election, Griffin was quoted by the Golden Transcript with this comment about her future plans: “I am going to retire sometime, I just don’t know when.” We’re not saying that Griffin should retire — she just needs to finish her damn job for once.

 

Faye Griffin’s Seat-Hopping History
♦ 1998-2006: Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder (2 terms).
♦ 2006: Elected as County Treasurer (4-year term).
♦ 2008: Elected as County Commissioner after ditching Treasurer’s office mid-term. Republican-controlled Commissioners appoint Republican Tim Kauffman to fill remainder of Griffin’s term as Treasurer.
♦ 2012: Elected to second term as Jefferson County Commissioner
♦ 2013: Griffin announces that she will run for Jeffco Clerk and Recorder again in 2014. For the second time in 5 years, Griffin leaves elected office well before end of term.
♦ 2014: Elected as Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder for third time (1998, 2002). Libby Szabo later appointed to rest of Griffin’s term as Commissioner; Szabo elected to full term in 2016.
♦ 2017: Szabo rumored to consider resigning as County Commissioner in order to run full-time for Congress in CD-7. Szabo’s rumored replacement? Faye Griffin, of course.

 

Denver Post: Enough is Enough, Faye Griffin

Faye Griffin

The Denver Post published a strongly-worded editorial critical of Jefferson County Commissioner (and Clerk & Recorder candidate) Faye Griffin. The editorial board's rebuke of Griffin for what the Post calls "job hopping" contains some stunningly-candid quotes from Griffin herself:

We asked Griffin why she would leave the commission two years early, and she was candid in saying it was due to term limits.

Griffin is in the middle of her second term, and if she stayed in the position, she couldn't run for the commission again — and there would be no other palatable options for her, in her mind.

"In two years, there's no county office that is open," Griffin said. So, she is seeking the office she held for eight years, starting in 1998. [Pols emphasis]

Political blog JeffcoPols pointed out Griffin's move and speculated that it could be part of a larger shuffle of Republican politicians in Jefferson County intended to avoid open-seat elections.

Even if it is wrong about the specific moves, the blog makes a valid point about how Griffin's action would cede power to the GOP vacancy committee in Jefferson County.

Last week we outlined how Griffin's "job hopping" could sweep two other Republicans into elected office without having to be, you know, elected, which is a stunt Griffin has helped initiate on more than one occasion. This is an issue that Jeffco Pols first picked up last November, when we wrote, "Finish Your Damn Job, Faye Griffin."

The 75-year-old Griffin has been repeatedly elected to various offices in Jefferson County, primarily because of her longstanding name ID, but it's pretty amazing that she is so blunt about her own personal interests taking precedence over doing right by Jefferson County. Her supporters all say that Griffin is "a very nice old lady," and we have no reason to suspect otherwise, but that doesn't make this right. When Griffin tells the Post that "in two years, there's no county office that is open," she almost makes it sound as though she has no other choice but to run for something else before the end of her elected term. Griffin is asking a lot of Jeffco voters, yet as the Post notes in its editorial, it's not too much for voters to ask that she finish the job she sought in the first place.

Let’s Just Let Faye Griffin Choose All of Our Elected Officials

The Jeffco Shuffle: Government by Vacancy Committee

The Jeffco Shuffle: Government by Vacancy Committee

Jefferson County voters may be familiar with the name Faye Griffin, in large part because her name has been on a Jeffco ballot since the dawn of time. The 75-year-old Griffin is both allergic to the concept of "term limits" and more than willing to let the rest of the GOP county government trade on her name ID in order to retain any elected position for as long as possible.

As we first noted last November ("Finish Your Damn Job, Faye Griffin"), Griffin is a serial office jumper. Currently in the middle of her second term as Jefferson County Commissioner, Griffin is running (again) for County Clerk & Recorder; if she is successful in November, she will have held 4 separate elected positions in one 8-year span, and failed to finish her elected term for the second time in five years. More importantly for Republicans, Griffin's constant movement should allow two other term-limited Republicans a chance at holding a new office without having to go through an actual election — a pretty sneaky way to get around those pesky "voters" in Jeffco.

If Griffin is elected Clerk & Recorder (which is likely because of her high name ID that plays a major role in a countywide vote), that will create an immediate opening for a spot on the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners. The term-limited Treasurer Tim Kauffman would then likely be appointed by a Republican vacancy committee…which would leave Kauffman's Treasurer seat open for another GOP vacancy committee selection (likely to be the term-limited County Assessor Jim Everson).

And thus, with the election of Faye Griffin, Jeffco Republicans can avoid open-seat election battles for two other county jobs. Furthermore, Griffin has indicated that she may retire soon, which would open a vacancy for Clerk & Recorder that would be filled via…a Republican vacancy committee!

You can see Griffin's many moves over the years in the list below (after the jump). This is frequent occurrence in Jefferson County — Kauffman himself was appointed Treasurer when Griffin left that office to run for County Commissioner in 2008. But as Republican control over countywide elections continues to fade in Jeffco, the powers behind the curtain are doing everything they can to hold on to any office at the "Taj Mahal."

(more…)

Finish Your Damn Job, Faye Griffin

Faye Griffin, 74, County Commissioner

Faye Griffin, Jefferson County elected-official-for-life

This is Faye Griffin, Jefferson County Commissioner and former Jeffco Treasurer and Jeffco Clerk and Recorder. Griffin has been in elected office in Jefferson County government since 1998, a long record of service that might be commendable if she would stop gaming the system and actually finish an elected job once in awhile. As the Canyon Courier reports:

County Commissioner Faye Griffin is planning to run for Jeffco clerk and recorder — a position she held previously — two years before her current term on the commission ends in 2016. 

If elected once again to the clerk job, the Republican said, she would step down as a commissioner. In that event, a GOP vacancy committee would appoint a person to serve the final two years of Griffin’s term.

Griffin is a longtime employee of Jefferson County who was first elected to County Clerk in 1998. The 74-year-old Griffin is a very nice woman who has lived in the county her entire adult life, but that doesn't make you qualified for public office. In truth, she really shouldn't be serving in public office anymore; Griffin means well, but county employees have quietly joked for years that she couldn't find her desk without a staff member. Griffin has been a staple of Jefferson County politics because her name and visage have become so memorable, and in most county-wide races, voters are so little-informed about the offices or candidates that name ID trumps all else. If it hadn't already, Griffin's career on the public dime is being sullied by her manipulation of the system to help other fellow Republicans gain an easy entry into the "Taj Mahal."

Take a look at Griffin and other Republicans have ducked out of elected offices early in order to make room for other Republicans to build their own name recognition:

(more…)

Griffin beats Paschall in Jeffco Treasurer primary

Who knew?

Faye Griffin, who commented in a Rocky Mountain News article a few weeks ago that she wasn’t fundraising and she was paying for her own campaign, beat former state representative and current Jeffco treasurer Mark Paschall.

My household received at least two mailings from Paschall and he ran a weekly ad in The Colorado Statesman.

I didn’t receive any mailings from Griffin, she didn’t run any ads in The Statesman, but I did see a couple of ads in the Lakewood Sentinel.

Paschall whooped Griffin at the Jeffco Assembly; she made it onto the primary ballot by two votes. Yet, she beat him in the primary with nearly 55 percent of the vote.

A couple of obvious thoughts come to mind:
Colorado’s system of choosing candidates (caucus to assembly) only appeases the party loyalists but doesn’t select candidates that are necessarily palatable to the larger audience of primary and general election voters.

It took only one term of Paschall’s politics to remind Jeffco voters, even Republican voters, that we want decent people in charge of county business. Paschall played politics in the Jeffco treasurer’s office. It backfired.

While there are many reasons why candidates advertise in The Colorado Statesman, who in Paschall’s camp thought a weekly ad in The Statesman was the way to reach Jeffco Republicans most likely to vote in the primary? That’s a mistake a novice campaigner would make. Paschall is hardly a novice campaigner.

Could Griffin’s primary victory mean that Jeffco voters are tiring of the Jefferson County Republican Party’s far right wing and they prefer hardworking, decent, humble, talented leaders running the county rather than extremist politicians? We can only hope.

While the race between Griffin and Moser should be polite and focused on what’s best for Jefferson County, Griffin will ultimately come out ahead.

Get More Smarter on Monday (Feb. 28)

In like a lamb. Let’s Get More Smarter. 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 an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

 

As The New York Times reports, there are growing signs that massive economic sanctions against Russia are causing significant damage. 

Here in Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis is leading a push to enact local sanctions on Russia as a result of that country’s invasion of Ukraine. Among the bigger moves, Colorado’s pension fund will pull millions in investments related to Russia. As Alex Burness reports for The Denver Post:

The state pension fund will divest $7.2 million from a Russian bank, officials with Colorado’s Public Employees’ Retirement Association confirmed Friday, as Russia continued its military assault on Ukraine.

The board controlling the fund does not, as a matter of policy, divest from companies for moral reasons unless the state legislature or federal government directs it to do so. This divestment comes as a result of a federal order meant to sanction Russia by hurting its economy.

Colorado’s pension fund has about $8 million invested in five Russian-owned companies, a spokesman said. The majority of that — $7.2 million, as of Thursday — is invested in the Russian state-owned bank Sberbank, which is a target of federal sanctions. Neither state nor federal officials have yet commanded divestment from any of the other Russian companies tied to Colorado: OGK-2, Gazprom, Mosenergo, and Rosneft Oil.

U.S. Department of the Treasury officials have given until May 25 to comply with the order that mentions Sberbank.

Meanwhile, as The Colorado Sun reports, former Republican Gov. Bill Owens forgot that lesson about the stones and the glass houses. Owens has publicly criticized President Biden as the Russian invasion of Ukraine unfolds, but as the Sun notes:

Owens is the chairman of the supervisory board of the Credit Bank of Moscow, which has been barred by the Biden administration from issuing shares and debt in the U.S. after the Russian invasion of Ukraine…

…The Biden administration has issued sanctions against state-owned banks and financial institutions in Russia, including Sberbank, VTB Bank, Bank Otkritie, Sovcombank OJSC and Novikombank.

Credit Bank of Moscow is among “13 of the most critical major Russian enterprises and entities” slapped by the White House with new debt and equity restrictions.

Maybe just don’t talk about Russia right now, eh Woody?

 

As the war in Ukraine escalates and world powers become more involved, there is concern that some blowback could be felt in the United States. 9News reports on worries about cyber security threats, while CBS4 Denver considers the local economic implications.

 

This headline from Colorado Public Radio is a pretty clear summation of election-related legislation in Colorado:

Via Colorado Public Radio (2/28/22)

As Bente Birkeland reports for CPR:

The national partisan divide over voting policies is playing out in the halls of Colorado’s capitol this legislative session, with Republican lawmakers introducing some of the same policies their colleagues in other states have adopted, or are considering.

Colorado lawmakers in both parties have introduced close to a dozen bills so far this year dealing with how elections are conducted: everything from new candidate reporting requirements to restricting firearms near voting locations to measures some Republicans claim are needed to fight potential fraud.

While many of Colorado’s Republican leaders, including lawmakers, local officials and state party officers, have said they believe the 2020 presidential election was legitimate and want to move on to other issues, some of the GOP election bills this session have brought the issue to the forefront.

 

 Colorado caucuses kick off this week, with many taking place on Tuesday, March 1.

 

 

Click below to keep learning things…

 

(more…)

The Republican Retread Ticket in Jefferson County

Don Rosier

We’ve said many times in this space that the Republican bench in Colorado is basically a phone booth. For years, the Colorado GOP has had a hell of a time trying to find decent candidates for any number of important races. Things are as bad for Republicans in 2022 as they have ever been; the GOP has an awful candidate for Governor and a room full of nitwits and nobodies competing for the Republican Senate nomination.

On the local level, the news isn’t much better. Take Jefferson County, for example, which has long been understood to be Colorado’s bellwether county when it comes to statewide outcomes. Several Jefferson County government offices are on the ballot in 2022; most of them will be occupied on the Republican side by retread candidates who have embarrassed themselves repeatedly over the previous decade.

Democrat Lesley Dahlkemper is running for re-election as a county commissioner. Her opponent will be Republican Don Rosier, a former county commissioner who quit that job halfway through a second term in 2017 in order to embark on a different trail of #FAIL (you might also recall Rosier’s brief foray as a U.S. Senate candidate in 2016). Rosier left Jeffco before the end of his term for a job heading up a new development community in Douglas County; he was out on his ass after less than six months. In 2020 he ran for the state legislature (HD-25), losing to Democrat Lisa Cutter by nearly six points. Now he wants voters to elect him to the same job HE LITERALLY QUIT in 2017.

Former Republican county commissioner Libby Szabo, meanwhile, is running for Jeffco Assessor in 2022. Szabo was a member of the State House in 2015 when she abruptly resigned (two months after getting re-elected) in order to take a vacancy appointment in Jeffco and the keys to a special tiny car. Szabo was elected to a full term in 2016 but pummeled in her 2020 re-election effort by Democrat Tracy Kraft-Tharp.

But wait…there’s more dots to connect. Szabo’s 2015 resignation from the State House allowed Republican Lang Sias to finally win something (Sias was on the ballot in Colorado five times in the last decade; he was only successful once). Sias served in HD-27 until he heard the siren call to be GOP gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton’s running mate in 2018. That campaign failed, and Sias is now seeking the GOP nomination for State Treasurer.

Sias is connected to another 2022 Jeffco candidate. When he dropped out of the race in HD-27 in 2018, he was replaced on the Republican ticket by Vicki Pyne, who ran a blatantly-homophobic campaign against Democrat Brianna Titone. Pyne lost a fairly close race, and Titone went on to win re-election in 2020. Pyne is now running for the open Clerk and Recorder seat in Jeffco.

As recently as the early 2000s, Jeffco was home to more Republican elected officials than Democrats. This started to change in the 2010s, speeding up considerably following the 2013 election of three controversial school board members — Ken Witt, John Newkirk, and Julie Williams — who angered the entire county from the first day they took office. Witt, Newkirk, and Williams were recalled by huge margins in 2015, a seismic event that presaged Jeffco’s shift to a blue county. Republicans in Jefferson County government, meanwhile, kept racking up terrible headlines for seat jumping and general corruption/incompetence, which only hastened the Party’s demise. Today, the only Republicans elected to non-municipal offices in Jeffco are State Rep. Colin Larson and Sheriff Jeff Shrader, who is term-limited this year.

Jefferson County Republicans will look to win back seats in 2022 using candidates who have been soundly rejected by voters in recent elections. If you like watching re-runs, you’ll love this GOP ticket.

Get More Smarter on Thursday (Feb. 3)

Happy Setsubun; it’s not any weirder than asking a groundhog to forecast the weather. Let’s Get More Smarter. 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 an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

 

 

The leader of ISIS has been killed in Syria after a raid by U.S. forces. As The New York Times reports:

President Biden said on Thursday that the leader of the Islamic State died during a raid by U.S. Special Operations commandos in a risky pre-dawn attack in northwest Syria. Rescue workers said women and children were among at least 13 people killed during the raid.

In brief remarks at the White House, Mr. Biden said the choice to target the ISIS leader, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, using the Special Forces was made to minimize civilian casualties, despite the greater risk to American troops.

Speaking in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, Mr. Biden was understated as he described the ISIS leader’s history, saying that he had ordered a series of atrocities, including against the Yazidi people. “Thanks to the bravery of our troops, this horrible terrorist leader is no more.”

He said the operation was a warning to terrorist groups.

“This operation is testament to America’s reach and capability to take out terrorist threats no matter where they try to hide anywhere in the world,” he said.

Biden added that all Americans involved have “returned safely from the operation.”

 

Schools in Douglas County are closed today, but not because of the weather. As Jessica Seaman reports for The Denver Post:

Douglas County School District canceled classes for Thursday as hundreds of teachers and other staff members are calling out of work in protest of recent actions by the school board…

…The protest, which includes a rally at 1 p.m. at the district’s administration building in Castle Rock Thursday afternoon, follows allegations made by three members of the district’s Board of Education that other board members are trying to oust Superintendent Corey Wise. The board also recently voted to change the district’s equity policy, which upset employees…

Republicans, including former Attorney General candidate George Brauchler, are losing their damn minds over this and promoting the doxxing of teachers. This led to a plea for civility from Gov. Jared Polis:

 

Colorado Public Radio has more on the problems in Douglas County under a new conservative-majority school board.

 

Democrats in the state legislature are pushing for bills to protect abortion rights amid new right-wing attacks. 

 

The Washington Post has the latest on concerns over a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine:

U.S. officials say they have evidence that Russia has developed a plan, approved at high levels in Moscow, to create a pretext for invading Ukraine by falsely pinning an attack on Ukrainian forces that could involve alleged casualties not only in eastern Ukraine but also in Russia.

The details of the plan have been declassified by U.S. intelligence and are expected to be revealed Thursday by the Biden administration, said four people familiar with the matter. The administration last month warned that the Russian government had sent operatives into eastern Ukraine, possibly in preparation for sabotage operations.

The alleged operation the United States plans to expose would involve broadcasting images of civilian casualties in eastern Ukraine — and potentially over the border in Russia — to a wide audience to drum up outrage against the Ukrainian government and create a pretext for invasion, two of the people said. It was unclear if the casualties would be real or faked, one U.S. official said.

President Biden on Wednesday ordered the deployment of thousands of U.S. troops to Eastern Europe.

And then there’s Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley, a 2024 Presidential hopeful who is now calling on President Biden to do whatever Russia wants. It would be difficult to be more of a self-serving asshole than Hawley.

 

Click below to keep learning things…

 

(more…)

Get More Smarter on Monday (Dec. 13)

On this day in 2003, former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was captured by U.S. troops near his hometown of Tikrit. Let’s Get More Smarter. 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 an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

 

If you haven’t yet read Alex Burness’s weekend story about the Colorado Republican Party for The Denver Post…well, just stop what you’re doing and read it now.

Via The Denver Post (12/13/21)

There’s a LOT to unpack in Burness’s story, including the fact that State Republican Party Chair Kristi Burton Brown was heading up an actual militia before being elected to her position earlier this year:

Much more than signing on to a loyalty pledge, Burton Brown, the Republican party chair, actually led FEC United last year. In sworn court depositions this fall, Oltmann and another leader of the group, Stewart Butler, testified about it, and Burton Brown has confirmed it in statements to the press. Oltmann characterized her work as “basically the foundation of what we’re doing as an organization.”

In a three-minute interview with The Post, [Pols emphasis] Burton Brown said her time with the group was “very brief” but declined to say when exactly it began and ended. She said she only had a “verbal understanding” and that she never signed a contract with FEC United.

 

Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) may have finally vomited out enough nonsense to convince Republicans to challenge her in a Primary Election. Charles Ashby of The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel has more on a potential campaign from State Sen. Don Coram (R-Montrose).

Meanwhile, Colorado Public Radio reports on the more pressing question about what Congress might do about its Boebert problem. Democrats remain frustrated that Republican leadership seems to have no interest in engaging on the subject of Boebert’s recent anti-Muslim rhetoric.

 

More than 800,000 Americans have now died from COVID-19 — more deaths than any country in the world. As The New York Times reports, that figure includes 1 out of every 100 elderly Americans:

All along, older people have been known to be more vulnerable, but the scale of loss is only now coming into full view.

Seventy-five percent of people who have died of the virus in the United States — or about 600,000 of the nearly 800,000 who have perished so far — have been 65 or older. One in 100 older Americans has died from the virus. For people younger than 65, that ratio is closer to 1 in 1,400…

…Since vaccines first became available a year ago, older Americans have been vaccinated at a much higher rate than younger age groups and yet the brutal toll on them has persisted. The share of younger people among all virus deaths in the United States increased this year, but, in the last two months, the portion of older people has risen once again, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 1,200 people in the United States are dying from Covid-19 each day, most of them 65 or older.

The death toll in the U.S. went from 700,000 to 800,000 over the course of just 74 days. The total number of U.S. deaths from COVID-19 could reach 1 million by spring 2022.

Here in Colorado, we’re seeing a decline in the number of COVID-19 cases being recorded…but experts point to other data indicating that the state is experiencing far more positive cases than are being officially reported.

 

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

(more…)

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (February 16)

There is an expected high temperature of 43 degrees Fahrenheit in Denver today; compared to the last few days, that’s practically beach weather. Now, let’s get even more smarterer. 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 an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

 

► The Colorado legislature is back in session today after postponing action for more than a month out of concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Saja Hindi previews the session for The Denver Post with a list of some of the more notable bills on the agenda.

Alex Burness of The Denver Post is covering opening day speeches from the likes of Senate President Leroy Garcia, while Hindi is tracking the speechifying of Speaker Alec Garnett and other House leaders. Colorado Public Radio has more on Garnett as he takes control of the gavel as the new House Speaker.

 

► As had been expected, on Saturday Senate Republicans voted to acquit former President Trump on the impeachment charge of inciting an insurrection. Colorado Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper both voted “YES” on impeachment.

The Denver Post has more on how the impeachment trial raised the political profiles of two Colorado Members of Congress:

For 138 minutes this week, two Coloradans stood on the floor of the United States Senate and claimed that, for the first and only time in American history, a president incited an insurrection against his own country.

Their arguments earned pundits’ praise and handed them a national audience. They fueled talk of future political ascensions and sent search engines looking for more.

Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-Denver) served as an impeachment manager and has voted on three of the four impeachment cases in U.S. history. Congressman Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish) served as the youngest impeachment manager in American history and earned high praise for his performance.

 
As The Washington Post reports, it’s colder than Santa’s reindeer in much of the United States:

At least 12 people are dead in four states from the effects of a record-shattering cold snap and series of winter storms. In Texas, as the electricity grid struggles to keep pace with record high demand amid a historic cold outbreak, people are turning to unsafe means to heat their homes. A woman and a girl died from carbon monoxide poisoning in Houston after a car was left running in a garage to keep them warm, according to police.

The Arctic air has also claimed the life of at least one homeless person in Houston, and a 10-year-old boy died after he fell through ice near Millington, Tenn. A tornado associated with the storm system that helped draw Arctic air to the south struck in North Carolina overnight, killing at least three and injuring 10.

For the first time in history, the entire state of Texas is under a weather-related State of Emergency, where some 4.4 million people are still without power.

 

 Congresswoman Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) may soon have a credible 2022 Republican opponent: Retiring President of Colorado Mesa University Tim Foster.

 

Hospitalizations related to COVID-19 continue to decline in Colorado, though there is still much concern about new variants of the virus.

 

More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…

 

(more…)

Szabo vs TKT: The Bellwether County Commish Race In Colorado

Libby Szabo (right) poses with actor Scott Baio during the 2016 Republican National Convention.

With so much attention focused at the top of the ticket in this highest-stakes-ever presidential election year, the situation down the ballot is as always somewhat less clear than the emerging consensus in polling locking down the big races. It’s generally expected that voters in Colorado will be engaging in much less “ticket splitting” in 2020 than was the case in previous election cycles, owing heavily to the declining Republican brand and a strong sense among voters that Republicans at all levels have enabled the President they’re turning out in droves to vote out.

In one particular race in Colorado’s bellwether Jefferson County, the Jeffco District 1 commissioner’s race, there’s a change quietly unfolding that packs more political importance than meets the eye at casual glance. Outgoing Democratic Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp, termed out of the swing HD-29 seat she ably defended for Democrats for eight years, is running against former HD-27 Republican Rep. Libby Szabo. Szabo was appointed to the Jeffco board of commissioners in 2015 to replace “serial job jumper” Faye Griffin, another peculiarity of Jeffco politics we’ve discussed at length in this space.

Readers will recall that Libby Szabo’s term in the Colorado House was marked by distasteful wedge-issue crusades that made her a brief Fox News Channel celebrity and GOP convention speaker after she claimed that Colorado’s first LGBT House speaker was “protecting” pedophiles. Szabo’s base of support in HD-27 was (and still is, presumably) the notorious evangelical megachurch Faith Bible Chapel in Arvada, where her husband Denes Szabo taught a Bible study class on the ways Barack Obama fits the description of the Antichrist.

In a county that has served for decades as a leading indicator of Colorado’s political trends, Szabo’s re-election bid in 2020 after narrowly holding the seat in 2016 is definitely one to watch as an indicator of how far down the ballot Jeffco is trending blue. In previous years, swing voters disaffected with Republican choices at the top of the ballot would look elsewhere to “compensate” and retain their self-image as a voter unbeholden to either party. In 2018, the sweep of the statewide offices of AG, Secretary of State, and Treasurer in Colorado led a rout down the ticket that signaled the end of this psychological need on the part of voters to balance out their votes in the big races.

That’s bad news for Libby Szabo–and for Jeffco voters who do the homework, they’ll find that Szabo embodies every problem they have with Republicans writ large.

Tom Tancredo’s “We Build The Wall” Scam–Busted!

UPDATE #2: President Trump responds, sort of, to questions about why all of his top advisers keep facing criminal charges:

—–

UPDATE: Among the indicted is a Colorado resident, Timothy Shea of Castle Rock, who allegedly ran the shell company that paid off the conspirators with funds raised to build the wall:

To conceal the payments to Kolfage from “We Build the Wall,” the men allegedly devised a scheme to route those payments from the campaign to Kolfage indirectly through a nonprofit and a shell company under Shea’s control, among other avenues.

Here’s a 9NEWS story from December of 2019 quoting Tim and Amanda Shea as a nice suburban couple who knows tech and are just trying to help ‘Merica:

Amanda Shea and her husband Tim live in Castle Rock and said they helped create the GoFundMe with Kolfage.

According to Shea, she met Kolfage three years ago and eventually developed a conservative news website with him.

When Kolfage had the idea to set up a GoFundMe to help fund the border wall, Shea said she was immediately on board.

“He is just the face of it, because he’s really good at that, and I do a lot of the backend stuff,” Shea said during a Skype interview.

The “backend stuff.” Like cutting checks.

—–

Steve Bannon, Tom Tancredo pitch “We Build The Wall.”

AP and Scripps report via Denver7:

Federal prosecutors allege that [Former White House adviser Steve] Bannon and three others “orchestrated a scheme to defraud hundreds of thousands of donors” in connection with an online crowdfunding campaign that raised more than $25 million to build a wall along the southern border of the United States…

To induce donors to donate to the campaign, court documents say Kolfage repeatedly and falsely assured the public that he would “not take a penny in salary or compensation” and that “100% of the funds raised . . . will be used in the execution of our mission and purpose” because, as Bannon publicly stated, “we’re a volunteer organization.”

Those representations were reportedly false. In truth, prosecutors say Kolfage, Bannon, Badolato, and Shea received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donor funds from We Build the Wall, which they each used in a manner inconsistent with the organization’s public representations.

Steve Bannon.

The collapse of the “We Build The Wall” scam has resulted in the indictments of four individuals including former Donald Trump advisor Steve Bannon, who allegedly skimmed hundreds of thousands in spending cash for themselves from the $23 million raised by the group. Not indicted, at least not yet, is Colorado’s highest profile member of the “We Build The Wall”–former Rep. Tom Tancredo, who as Jason Salzman of the Colorado Times Recorder reported back in 2019 was very enthusiastic about the project:

[Tancredo’s] at it again now, sitting on the advisory committee of “We Build the Wall,” an organization that’s just completed building a half mile of wall along the southern border near El Paso, Texas.

Also on the advisory committee of We Build the Wall is former Trump adviser Stephen Bannon, former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, and other immigration hard liners.

The group used a GoFundMe campaign to raise over $23 million after Trump couldn’t get Congress to pay for the longer wall.

As Tanc told Westword’s Patty Calhoun:

“The border patrol says it’s the best barrier on the border,” Tancredo says. “I am absolutely proud of it. I’m almost hoarse from talking about it on the radio.” [Pols emphasis]

No doubt Tancredo raised a ton of money for “We Build The Wall” talking himself hoarse about it on the radio–but the question on the minds of Coloradans today is, how much cash did Tanc take for himself? Like we’ve learned from the Jared Polis recall cash cow and the Independence Institute’s high-commission “crowdfunding” site Freedomfy, raising and distributing the money is literally the whole operation.

If Tancredo really got conned by Steve Bannon into enlisting his “good name” with no consideration on the back end, we feel a bit badly for him. Tanc missed out on how all the smart Colorado Republicans are beating the high cost of living these days! After all, a felony conviction never stopped Doug Bruce.

We’re keen to hear Tancredo’s side of the story. At the very least, we assume he’s no longer “absolutely proud.”

Radio Station’s Ties to Hate Groups Look Ironic in Light of Hosts’ Tragedies

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Denver’s KNUS 710-AM management isn’t saying whether the radio station will air a new show hosted by the Colorado Proud Boys, a designated hate group, as reported by 9News’ Jeremy Jojola.

But Louie Huey, one of the Proud Boys behind the show, appeared as a featured guest on KNUS as recently as Oct. 26.

The Proud Boys have been labeled hate groups by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, two organizations that track such groups.

But Huey, who identifies as Hispanic, claims he’s not part of a hate group. He did not return an email from my colleague Erik Maulbetsch seeking comment.

Major League Liberty co-host Logan Schwarz

White supremacist and other hate groups are on the rise in Colorado, with increasing ties to Republicans and others in the state.

The presence of a hate group on KNUS would be tragically ironic, given that KNUS morning show anchor Peter Boyles regularly touts the legacy of Denver talk radio pioneer Alan Berg and the close friendship and professional association they shared before the evening of June 18, 1984 when Berg was assassinated in his driveway.  Berg was shot with a MAC-10 submachine 12-13 times in the face and body by a hit squad of 4 members of The Order, a white supremacist group that operated in the Pacific Northwest.

Another KNUS host, Randy Corporon, was a also victim of neo-Nazi violence. On April 13, 2014, Corporon’s 69-year-old cousin, Dr. William Lewis Corporon, along with Reat Griffin Underwood, Dr. Corporon’s 14-year-old grandson, were murdered in a hate crime at the Overland Park Jewish Community Center in Kansas City.  The shooter was a 73-year-old Klansman, neo-Nazi and former political candidate named Frazier Glenn Miller, Jr.

Corporon didn’t return a call seeking to know whether he had qualms about having Huey on his show and if he was opposed to having the Major League Liberty show co-hosted by a Proud Boy aired on KNUS.

KNUS faced scrutiny this week when producer Kirk Widlund was accused of posting neo-Nazi messages on the Russian social media site VK. One of Widland’s posts stated that Widlund believes the U.S. fought on the wrong side in WWII — as an ally of Communists, socialists, and Zionists, which is ironic since Widlund produces a show on KNUS which highlights American veterans, and has featured laudatory profiles of many WWII veterans.

But Widland says none of the VK posts under the “Kirk Widlund” profile were written by him, saying it is all a smear against him by Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists, the anonymous group that first posted the “Kirk Widlund” material.

Questions about KNUS’ ties to white nationalists were also raised due to its association with Michelle Malkin, a Colorado-based conservative activist who has partnered with KNUS in hosting rallies and counter-protests against immigrants rights groups. Malkin has been disavowed by groups due to her associations with known white nationalist individuals and groups. She also wrote a book defending the racial profiling and the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII.

Logan Schwarz, Huey’s partner on their Major League Liberty show, announced that the show would be moving to KNUS in a Facebook broadcast (at 4 minutes).

Weld County Musical Chairs

(Clockwise from bottom left): Lori Saine, Barbara Kirkmeyer, Perry Buck, and Vicki Marble

Four term-limited Republicans in Weld County are playing a fun game of musical chairs so that they can all hold onto the sort of government jobs that they simultaneously covet and criticize on a regular basis.

State Representatives Lori “The Historian” Saine (R-Firestone) and Perry Buck (R-Greeley) are running for open seats on the Weld County Board of County Commissioners in 2020. State Sen. Vicki Marble (R-Looney Tunes) is making the unusual move to the lower chamber — in this case, for the seat being vacated by Buck. And since Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer is termed out, she’s hoping to take her talents to Denver as Marble’s successor in the State Senate.

This is the same sort of nonsense that plagued Jefferson County for years until voters ultimately got sick of the job-hopping and tossed out the lot of them. Jeffco now has only one Republican representative in the legislature and two GOP officials in county government — incumbent Commissioner Libby Szabo and Sheriff Jeff Shrader, who was the only Republican official re-elected in 2018 by virtue of being unopposed on the ballot.

The 2020 election in Weld County is shaping up to be quite the circus. It looks like there will be a wacky Republican Primary for the right to fill Saine’s House seat. Nearby, unabashed racist Grady Nouis is taking his criminal record for a run at the State House seat being vacated by term-limited Rep. Stephen Humphrey (R-Ault).

Weld County is much more of a solid Republican area than the current iteration of Jefferson County, though Jeffco changed quickly over just a couple of election cycles in part because of the serial job-hopping among elected (and un-elected) Republicans. We wouldn’t expect a major shift toward Democrats in Weld County in 2020, but don’t be surprised if that’s where this trail of crumbs eventually ends.

William Barr Testimony Goes Very, Very Badly

UPDATE: Rep. Diana DeGette calls on Attorney General William Barr to resign.

“The attorney general of the United States is the people’s lawyer, responsible for enforcing the nation’s laws evenly and equally, regardless of anyone’s title or position. Attorney General Barr has shown over and over that he is either unwilling or unable to do that when it comes to evaluating the actions of the president and, for that reason alone, he should resign immediately.”

—–

Attorney General William Barr is testifying today in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on matters relating to the Mueller investigation. It has been an absolute disaster for both Barr and President Trump.

As conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin writes for the Washington Post:

Among Barr’s worst moments: Claiming there was a difference between seeking to remove special counsel Robert S. Mueller III for “conflicts” (which never existed), or firing him; claiming, despite the language of Mueller’s letter, that he did not think Mueller found Barr’s four-page letter from March 24 misleading; claiming that he did not release Mueller’s summaries because the entire report had to be released (yet Barr released his own four-page letter, which he refused to characterize as a “summary”); and claiming that Mueller refused to reach a prosecutorial decision (despite the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) guidelines prohibiting prosecution of a sitting president) because of insufficient evidence.

Again and again, the attorney general resorted to word games. He didn’t lie, he now argues, when he told committee members that he was unaware of the Mueller team’s objections because he was referring to the team, not to Mueller. (Isn’t Mueller part of his own team?)…

…“Barr’s testimony has been disgraceful,” constitutional scholar Laurence H. Tribe tells me.

There will certainly be much more to unpack from Barr’s testimony today. In the meantime…

Michael Tackett of the New York Times:

CNN’s Manu Raju:

Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institute:

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) and Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) have now called on Barr to resign as Attorney General.

The 2018 Election Ain’t Over Yet

SATURDAY UPDATE: Democrat George Stern has defeated Republican job-hopper Faye Griffin in the race for Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder.

—–

Jefferson County Democrat George Stern has moved ahead of Faye Griffin in the race for Jeffco Clerk and Recorder.

The 2018 Election was very good for Democrats, and it may yet get gooder.

In Arizona, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema has moved ahead of Republican Martha McSally in a nail-biter of a U.S. Senate race. In Florida, we could be looking at a recount in the state’s top two races, for U.S. Senate and Governor, while there may be some legal battles over an oddly-designed ballot in one Florida county. And in Georgia, the outcome of the race for Governor is still uncertain (though Republican Brian Kemp has declared victory over Democrat Stacey Abrams).

Here in Colorado there are a number of races that appear to be trending blue but are still uncertain. We wrote Thursday about three Democrats who moved ahead of their Republican opponents as late ballots were counted (HD-27, HD-47, and HD-50). As the Greeley Tribune reports, Democrat Rochelle Galindo now looks to be the winner in HD-50.

Elsewhere:

♦  In HD-47, Democrat Bri Buentello appears to have defeated “Deadbeat” Don Bendell, though a recount seems likely.

♦ In Arvada’s HD-27, Democrat Brianna Titone is closer to being the state’s first transgender lawmaker. The race between Titone and Republican Vicki Pyne may be headed to a recount.

♦ Arapahoe County is still working on a couple of important totals. In House District 38, Democrat Chris Kolker and Republican Susan Beckman are only separated by about 500 votes.

♦ In the race for Arapahoe County Clerk and Recorder, Democrat Joan Lopez has moved ahead of Republican incumbent Matt Crane and is the likely winner.

♦ In the Clerk and Recorder race in Jefferson County, Democrat George Stern has taken the lead over serial job-hopper Faye Griffin. Several thousand ballots still need to be counted, though most of them look to be from last-minute voters; as we’ve seen in other races this cycle, these late voters tend to favor Democrats.

 

December 4 is the deadline for candidates to request recounts in qualifying races.

Hopefully They Kept Their Receipts

UPDATE (3:49 pm): That didn’t take long. Here’s what happens now when you go to the URL below:

—–

We were recently alerted to digital ad that has been running in the last week in Jefferson County promoting the seven Republican candidates on the ballot for county government races. It is…not good.

This digital ad cycles through seven similar images that all point to the same website. The ads are promoting JeffersonCountyUnited.com, which doesn’t actually work as a standalone link but does work if you include a slash and a candidate’s name at the end, like so:

jeffersoncountyunited.com/tina-francone/

Now, the problem with this ad — aside from its grade-school production value and the silly qualifications listed for the candidates — is that it misidentifies 5 of the 7 people it is meant to promote.

Faye Griffin is running for re-election as Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder, but is identified as a candidate for Jefferson County Commissioner (this error is easier to forgive, since it is hard to keep track of which office Griffin is seeking in a given year).

Jeff Shrader is running for re-election as Sheriff — which should be obvious from the SHERIFF’S UNIFORM he is wearing — but is identified as a second candidate seeking the office of Jefferson County Assessor. Brian Cassidy appears earlier as a candidate for Assessor.

*Also, Bob Hennessy apparently has both “Public Sector Experience” and “Private Sector Experience.” This is a less egregious error but hilarious nevertheless. 

We looked up the domain name registration for JeffersonCountyUnited.com. The site is owned by Rearden Strategic, the consulting firm founded by Joe Neville (son of State Sen. Tim Neville and brother of House Minority Leader Pat Neville).

It isn’t common for political strategy firms to offer refunds to their clients, but in this case, that might be a good idea.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (October 16)

Check those mailboxes, people! It’s time to Get More Smarter. 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…

► Ballots should be starting to arrive at your mailbox this week. CLICK HERE to visit the Colorado Secretary of State website, where you can check on the status of your mail ballot and double-check your voter registration information. Colorado Public Radio explains what to do with your mail ballot after it arrives.

 

► Is it Festivus season already? President Trump seems to think so, as CNN reports:

President Donald Trump, with an empty public schedule and a litany of festering grievances, spent Tuesday unleashing fresh vitriol at his enemies over Twitter. His targets began with Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who this week released a DNA test seeking to rebut Trump’s insults about her claims of Native American heritage. But he soon moved on, griping about the porn actress who alleged to have spent the night with him, fake news, the Russia “witch hunt.”

Elsewhere, Trump’s campaign has already raised $106 million — more than any previous President at the same point in time relative to his re-election.

 

► The Colorado Republican Party paid for a mail piece in CO-6 touting the idea that Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) stands up to the Republican Party.

 

► The truth hurts. Local media outlets are tearing apart a new television ad full of falsehoods aimed at Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

(more…)

George Washington Could Not Be Reached for Comment

Readers of Colorado Pols are probably familiar with Faye Griffin, the longtime elected official in Jefferson County who changes jobs like most people change socks.

Griffin is running for re-election as Jeffco’s Clerk and Recorder — because she’ll never not run for some kind of office in Jefferson County government — and you can tell a lot about her from the three endorsements listed on her campaign website. Actually, you don’t even need to read further than the first endorsement:

 

Tom Jefferson

Someone is quite clearly playing a joke here. Griffin’s website includes a link to submit your own endorsement, and this is one of only three recommendations that Griffin could wrangle. Beggars can’t be choosers, we suppose.

It is at once hilarious and terrifying that the person in charge of overseeing elections in one of Colorado’s most important counties apparently has no idea that “Tom Jefferson” isn’t a real endorsement.

Just for grins, we checked Colorado’s voter registration records and found no listing of a “Thomas Jefferson” in Jefferson County.

Griffin is getting up there in years — she’ll be 79-years-old soon — but she’s not quite old enough to have shared a classroom with America’s third President.

Get More Smarter on Friday (September 7)

Take THAT, glass ceiling. It’s time to Get More Smarter. 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…

► President Trump is flipping out over that anonymous Op-Ed published by the New York Times on Wednesday afternoon. On Friday Trump said that the Justice Department should try to identify the author because it is a national security concern, but as the Washington Post writes, “It is unclear what law he believes was broken.”

Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that the White House has identified 12 potential suspects who might have authored the Op-Ed.

Who do you think is the author of the infamous Op-Ed? Cast your vote in our poll.

 

► Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman is suing Purdue Pharma L.P. over the company’s marketing and distribution of the dangerous painkiller Oxycontin. This will be a big issue in the race to succeed Coffman in November; Republican candidate George Brauchler has been reluctant to say much about the opioid epidemic because his campaign is heavily-funded by the pharmaceutical industry.

 

► Hey, look: Tom Tancredo’s support of Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton is becoming more problematic by the day. It turns out that making racist public comments isn’t very helpful for Stapleton. Whodathunkit?

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

(more…)

Walker Stapleton’s Short List for Lieutenant Governor

Libby Szabo (right) poses with actor Scott Baio during the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Earlier today we recapped the odd early-July saga of Republican gubernatorial nominee Walker Stapleton maybe (possibly) having chosen a Lieutenant Governor (LG) running mate but thus far remaining mum on the selection. We’ve heard that CU Regent Heidi Ganahl turned down Stapleton’s offer to be his running mate, which prompted a shift in attention toward someone like Mesa County Commissioner and Climate Change denier Rose Pugliese. Stapleton may well choose (or have chosen) Pugliese, but apparently there is another name in the mix.

Over the weekend we ran a poll asking about potential Stapleton LG candidates, and it appears that we just missed the mark on a finalist from Jefferson County. We speculated, half-jokingly, that longtime Jefferson County elected office hopper Faye Griffin could be Stapleton’s choice for LG, but from what we hear, Jefferson County Commissioner Libby Szabo has made Stapleton’s short list (pun intended) to run alongside him in the fall.

Szabo is a former state representative — and Assistant Minority Leader — who made headlines in late 2014 when she abandoned the Republican caucus shortly after winning re-election to the House in order to secure a vacancy appointment for an open seat on the Jefferson County Board of County Commissioners. The Jeffco Commissioner job came with a significant salary increase and other perks — including a brand-new car purchased by Jeffco taxpayers that was equipped with special pedals to accommodate Szabo’s short frame (in the photo at right, Szabo poses with 5-foot-10 actor Scott Baio; you can make your own guesses about Szabo’s actual height).

The upside (pun intended) of choosing Szabo as his running mate is that might help Stapleton with voters in the always-critical Jefferson County. Szabo is also a Spanish speaker, which would theoretically help in attracting Hispanic and Latina(o) voters. There is also considerable downside (pun still intended) of a Szabo selection beyond the negative stories related to her move to Jefferson County government. If Stapleton picks Szabo, it would focus new attention on her 2013 appearance on disgraced Fox News host Bill O’Reilly’s show in which she and O’Reilly agreed that there is some sort of correlation between homosexuality and child sex offenders. The significance of this story is obvious given that Democrat Jared Polis would be the first openly-gay man to be elected Governor in the United States.

In short (yep, still), Stapleton will likely announce a running mate who is either a noted Climate Change denier or someone who has no problem intimating that gay people are more likely to sexually assault children.

Have we mentioned that Democrats aren’t at all afraid of running against Stapleton in 2018?

Get More Smarter on Thursday (February 15)

There have now been 18 school shootings in 2018 alone. This year is only 45 days old. It’s time to Get More Smarter. 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…

► In his first public response to Wednesday’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, President Trump said that students should feel safe in their schools because, uh, well…

As the Associated Press reports:

President Donald Trump struck a solemn tone Thursday after the deadly school shooting in Florida, describing a “scene of terrible violence, hatred and evil” and promising to “tackle the difficult issue of mental health,” but avoiding any mention of guns…

…He did not answer shouted questions about guns as he exited the room.

While Republicans continue to say much but do nothing, Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy is not mincing words in blaming Congress for sitting on its hands.

This image from CNN.com says everything in one word:

 

Here’s a brief look at what Colorado elected officials had to say in response to Wednesday’s shooting.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

(more…)

Another Jeffco Republican Won’t Finish Elected Term

Jefferson County Commissioner Don Rosier

Walking out of an elected office before the end of your term has become something of a perverse tradition among Republicans serving in Jefferson County government. Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder Faye Griffin is the poster child for Republicans gaming the system for partisan benefit, but the problem is deeply-rooted in Jeffco…and it’s happening once again.

Earlier this week, a press release from Jefferson County announced that Commissioner Donald Rosier would be resigning his post in January 2018 in order to take a top job with an expensive new mixed-use development in Douglas County called Sterling Ranch. If Rosier’s name sounds somewhat familiar, you may recall that he was briefly (and laughably) a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in 2016.

Rosier was term-limited next year, but his early departure will allow a Republican vacancy committee to appoint a new County Commissioner. The early favorite for the vacancy appointment is Tina Francone, who was already running for Rosier’s seat but will likely now get to campaign as a semi-incumbent against Democrat Lesley Dahlkemper. Former legislator Libby Szabo got the same head start in 2015 — appointed Commissioner just two months after being re-elected to the legislature — which came a few years after Republican John Odom won the vacancy lottery in 2011 (Odom didn’t even bother to finish his partial term after losing to Democrat Casey Tighe in 2012).

Jefferson County has three County Commissioners who can each serve two four-year terms (if elected). The last time a Republican County Commissioner in Jefferson County completed a full two terms? That was back in 2005, when both Michelle Lawrence and Patricia Holloway were term-limited out of office.