Hot Sheet

The Hot Sheet, February 23, 2016

Author: Jared Wright - February 23, 2016 - Updated: August 20, 2016

The Colorado Statesman Hot Sheet

By TCS Publisher and Editor in Chief Jared Wright _@JaredWright_

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

DENVER – Good morning, and welcome to The Hot Sheet, Colorado’s premier daily political newsletter. We are now exactly one week away from Super Tuesday (what?! you say … yep, February – the short-straw month, remember?), and today the Republican presidential candidates will square off in their first Western showdown, a battle over 30 delegates in the Nevada Republican Caucus. So let us wish all the Nevada Republicans luck today as they check their buffet trays and emerge from their favorite casinos into the glaring daylight that awaits them, if only for a moment, to serve their partisan duties.

Chair of the political science department for the University of Nevada, Reno, Eric Herzik predicts Trump will win Nevada today — “He’s probably going to get about 35% of the vote, and it will be enough to win.”  Full story here.

“The first voice they hear is mine, the first touch they feel is mine, the first human face they see is mine. They just think I’m a strange tiger who walks on two legs.” — Roy Horn

Now your substrata feed straight from the politics pipeline:

Are you with Donald/Bernie or aren’t you? — This question has reached a fever pitch — at least in its breadth, in partisan circles over the last couple of weeks — solid political strategy simply playing itself out, undoubtedly, in an attempt to tie Colorado candidates to what are perceived to be the extreme poles of the respective parties’ political benches for president this year … sort of the reverse coat-tails approach.

The question has trickled down from targeted Congressional seats — think 6th CD where the Democrat’s have been asking U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman repeatedly to go on record whether or not he’s with The Donald and the Republicans are asking U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet whether he’s feeling The Bern. (Hint: Michael already answered the question right >>>>>>>here<<<<<<<< guys … big hyperlink so you can’t miss it … again. I know, I know. You didn’t miss it. You just want a more glamorous answer. Totally understand.)

Now, the question is being asked — and recorded — of candidates like Sen. Laura Woods, who has openly cast her support (or preferences at least) on the radio for Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.

The bottom line — will any of this actually matter? If more moderate candidates (think Hillary and Marco) win their respective nominations, yes, probably it will factor into these state level races. At least, many, many in the political class will attempt to make it matter. If a Cruz or Trump or Bernie wins the respective nominations … then most likely these recorded preference polls from state electeds will not have a whole lot of impact down the meandering road to the White House.

And, as we learned yesterday, extremist perceptions certainly don’t matter to three state lawmakers and perhaps a couple of others (we are hearing one of them a significant heavy-weight former legislative leader) who are banding together today to formally announce their endorsements of Bernie Sanders. Read on through the next item …

Today, several Democratic lawmakers, say ‘heck yes we feel the Bern!’ — State Rep. Joe Salazar has already made his support for Bernie Sanders known. But The Statesman learned yesterday and reported last night, at least two more sitting state lawmakers are joining him, announcing their berning flames for the presidential candidate today at 11:30 am on the west steps of the state Capitol. Well known progressives Sen. Mike Merrifield and Rep. Jonathan Singer will step up to the mic to make their endorsements public from the 5280 mark in a news-gathering event that has been pieced together over the last several days. There are reportedly others who will be announcing support for Sanders today at the event as well. One of them, if this person comes through, is indeed a former legislative heavyweight. Stay tuned …


Rep. Jonathan Singer, Bernie Sanders, Rep. Joe Salazar, Sen. Mike Merrifield and … the mystery endorser(s)

A thoughtful quote tweeted this morning by former Speaker Terrance Carroll —

Did Bernie Sanders really win the Latino vote in Nevada? — A great story from NPR  addressing just that question and the accuracy of the entrance poll (not exit poll as was mistakenly reported yesterday) upon which that claim was based. 

Crowder officially heading into battle — State Sen. Larry Crowder, the cigarette puffing, boot toting, country-western-stylin’ Republican maverick from Alamosa announced yesterday his intent to run for re-election to Senate District 35. Crowder has no Republican challenger at this date, but he will face Democrat Jim Casias, the Las Animas County Sheriff.

Las Animas County Sheriff Jim Casias and State Sen. Larry Crowder

In 2012, Crowder ran against Democrat Costilla County Commissioner Crestina Martinez and Libertarian William Stuart Bartley in the general election and won with 49.2 percent of the vote (31,117) to Martinez’s 46.9 percent (29,617) and Bartley’s 3.9 percent (2,461). Martinez had defeated Armando Valdez in a Democratic primary with 62.5 percent of the vote.

But because Crowder is indeed a “maverick”, he isn’t only facing a challenge from the left, but from the right as well — not in the form of a candidate (at least not yet), but from Americans for Prosperity Colorado — specifically over his potential support of moving the Hospital Provider Fee to an enterprise fund. A fairly epic Twitter war has been raging between the two:


SD 35 Finance report: As of the Jan. 15 filing deadline:

Crowder: $480.08 cash on hand at beginning of reporting period, raised $50,807.00 with a remaining cash on hand balance of $41,528.66 at the end of the reporting period.

Casias: $0.00 cash on hand at beginning of reporting period, raised $20,270.00 with a remaining cash on hand balance of $17,137.59.

SD 35 voter makeup: 

Active Democrats: 27,080
Active Republicans: 26,395
Active Unaffiliateds: 18,839

President Obama goes live with Guantanamo plan — The White House submitted its plan to close Guantanamo Bay to Congress this morning. The plan includes the federal Supermax prison in Florence, CO, as one of 13 options, but does not specify a specific facility or facilities to which the 30-60 remaining detainees who would be transferred.

“This plan has my full support, it reflects our best thinking on how best to go after terrorists and deal with those who we may capture,” Obama, flanked by Vice President Biden and Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, said in a statement from the Roosevelt Room of the White House.

Read the full report here.

Sen. Cory Gardner was quick to attack the plan reiterating that any transfer under current law would be illegal.

“Pursuant to law he signed just three months ago, the President is prohibited from transferring or assisting in the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States homeland, as confirmed by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Regardless of today’s futile proposal, transferring detainees to the U.S. is illegal, and it’s rejected by Coloradans, top Colorado law enforcement officials, and Americans across the country,” said Gardner. “Today’s proposal only signals that the President may be willing to once again circumvent Congress and ignore the very law he approved in order to fulfill his campaign promises. This represents a grave threat to Colorado and our national security and I will take any and all action as a United States Senator to ensure Guantanamo Bay detainees remain in Cuba and out of Colorado.”

Rain Barrel Reboot 2016 clear first hurdle — This year’s rain barrel bill, HB 1005, passed the House Agriculture committee yesterday and moves on to the COW. All but Reps. Don Coram and Jon Becker voted for the bill, 10-2. Rep. Tim Dore was excused, but notably, Republican Rep. J. Paul Brown, a rural, conservative legislator, voted for the bill. The bill would allow Colorado citizens to use rain barrels to collect rainwater for personal, outdoor use — a practice that is currently illegal in the state. A win for the conservation community on the eve of their annual legislative reception.

Wist gets his final hazing in the House — Rep. Cole Wist, R-Centennial, reached a Legislative milestone Monday when his first bill passed the House. But only after receiving a final round of hazing from his fellow representatives. The bill, HB 1189 that changes some of the regulations on bingo-raffle licenses, passed its second reading on the House floor Feb. 22 only after Wist was subjected to some good-natured harassment over the legislation from members of both parties.

Several representatives got up and asked Wist obscure questions about his bill, including some that asked Wist, a lawyer, about how the bill would interact with provisions in the state Constitution. Before the vote was about to take place. Rep. Max Tyler, D-Lakewood, requested division be put into place during the vote for Wist’s bill, drawing out the process further with the standing/sitting, counted vote.

“It’s all in good fun. And it’s a good bill,” Wist said after the bill passed its second reading Monday. “I appreciate the spirit and appreciate the ribbing and it helps to keep things friendly and light. It’s always a good thing.” — Reported by The Statesman’s Ramsey Scott

“Hazing is an extraordinary activity that, when it occurs often enough, becomes perversely ordinary as those who engage in it grow desensitized to its inhumanity. Hank Nuwer


Annual Conservation Community Legislative Reception — Feb. 23, 5:30 – 7:30 pm, University Club, 1673 Sherman St.

Nevada Republican Caucuses — Tuesday, February 23

Secretary Ken Salazar for Jeff Bridges Endorsement Event — Home of Rutt and Annie Bridges, 9694 E Progress Place, Greenwood Village, Wed. Feb. 24, 5:30 – 7:30 pm

State Treasurer Walker Stapleton to speak at Opportunity Coalition — Thursday, Feb. 25, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, The Innovation Pavilion, 9200 E Mineral Ave, Centennial. Click here to RSVP

South Carolina Democratic Primary — Saturday, Feb. 27.

Super Tuesday — Alabama, Alaska Caucus (R), American Samoa Caucus (D), Arkansas, Colorado caucuses, Democrats Abroad, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Dakota Caucus (R), Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Wyoming Caucus (R) — March 1

Denver County GOP Friday Breakfast with Senate Candidates — Ryan Frazier, Darryl Glen and Tim Neville are all confirmed to speak at the breakfast — March 4, 7:00 am, Pete’s Greektown Cafe, 2910 E Colfax Ave

Agriculture Day at the Capitol — Set for Tuesdays, March 16 — get ready for awesome food and great folks to descend upon the Capitol.

Want your event listed? Just let me know.

From the wires:

The Denver Post’s Joey Bunch reports on the Colorado rain-barrel pills passage from its first house committee with Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg already sounding the war drums

Colorado FOIC’s Jeffrey Roberts writes on the death of Sen. Andy Kerr’s school board ethics commission bill, SB-101, yesterday in committee

The Coloradoan’s Nick Coltrain reports on U.S. Rep. Jared Polis’s Monday night town hall meeting where he talked about TPP, gun control and other issues

The Denver Business Journal’s Ed Sealover reports on the Colorado Senate’s passage of right-to-work legislation (it’s going to die in the House folks) 

The Durango Herald’s Peter Marcus reports on the Public Lands Day bill that passed the Senate post-GOP amendment yesterday

Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reporter Charles Ashby tells us Colorado Department of Human Services Executive Director Reggie Bicha fell prey to the oft-perceived notion that the Continental Divide somehow inhibits communication

The Durango Herald’s Jessica Pace reports that the Silverton Board of Trustees and San Juan County Commission both unanimously voted to support Superfund designation for the mining region around Gold King

Colorado Capitol Watch —From our bill tracking partners:

ONE New Bill:  Today  

All Bills: 421 as of 2/22  

All Bipartisan Bills: 191 as of 2/22

All PI Bills: 44 as of 2/22  

House Wrap-Up: Today  

Senate Wrap-Up: Today

Audio Update: Today

– Calendars –

 2/23 Bills in order of appearance  

 2/23 Bills sortable by time, number, etc. 

All Upcoming Bills From Today Forward

House and Senate Calendars:

HOUSE – Your Feb. 23 Calendar here 

SENATE – Your Feb. 23 Calendar here 

You’re up to date. Hope you have a productive day (but not too productive — one that is full of significant checks and balances ,,, you know for liberty’s sake). Until tomorrow …
Tell us what you know! — To submit a tip, event, happening, gossuping, chattering or other interesting tidbit to The Hot Sheet, click here to submit via our contact form … yes, even anonymously if you’re feeling all cloak and dagger.


Jared Wright

Jared Wright

Jared Wright runs the business side of Colorado Politics, including circulation, advertising and marketing. He started as CEO and Publisher of the Statesman in 2015 and served as editor-in-chief for the journal during part of that time. He has worked in politics at both the state and federal levels, serving on a U.S. Congressman’s staff and working in government affairs in the private sector. Wright was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 2012 and served as member of Colorado’s 69th General Assembly from 2013-2014. He is also a writer, photographer and cartoonist.