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Kelly SloanKelly SloanJune 29, 20186min330

President Trump’s approach to foreign affairs has been blunt, to say the least, and certainly has not conformed with what has come to be accepted as de rigueur diplomatic behavior. But, while bearing the president's distinct mark, the approach is not entirely unprecedented, and has even spawned some considerable successes, mostly centered around reversing mistakes of the previous administration and reasserting American strength. But the mutual temper tantrums displayed by the playboys-in chief of the U.S. and Canada at the end of the G-7 meeting in Quebec – on the eve of the North Korea summit – might indicate an unwillingness on Trump’s part to keep his eye on the important ball.


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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirJune 26, 20176min466

In ordinary times, if there were an ordinary Republican in the Oval Office, there’d be no need to comment on Colorado Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner’s stand on foreign trade. The two likely would be on the same page, supporting a more or less free exchange of goods and services between the U.S. and the world. Business as usual for the party of business.

But the Republican now in the White House is of a different stripe on trade as on some other key issues. At least, if you go by his policy pronouncements thus far. Which explains a joint press statement today by Gardner and Colorado’s Democratic senior U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet calling on the administration to narrow its “investigation” launched in April into “Aluminum Imports and Threats to National Security.”

It’s an obscure policy initiative by the White House, far off the Colorado public’s radar — essentially, a first step toward trade sanctions against aluminum imports — and Gardner and Bennet make a case in their press release that what we don’t know could hurt us:

In April, the President directed the Secretary of Commerce in consultation with the Secretary of Defense to investigate whether foreign imports of aluminum are endangering our national security. Colorado is a major beer-producing state and the results of this investigation could have an enormous impact on Colorado’s beer industry.

And by “enormous impact,” they mean raise the cost of doing business. So the two senators and six others (including another Democrat) signed a letter asking the administration to exempt from its investigation the kinds of sheet aluminum used to make food and beverage containers, among other products. The letter reads in part:

We are concerned, however, that the scope of this investigation could include aluminum that has no national security application …

… Import restrictions or tariffs on these products could increase consumer prices, add hundreds of millions in costs for companies in the beverage industry, and potentially affect American manufacturing jobs in industries that rely on these products.

Moreover, the letter states, there simply isn’t enough U.S.-produced aluminum to satisfy demand by U.S. industries — including Colorado beer — that need it.

You may be wondering how importing aluminum could imperil national security. Ask most economists, and they’ll say it can’t. But there is an opposing, pro-“fair” trade school of thought — embraced by some economists but probably more politicians — that holds that cheap imports put vital U.S. industries at risk. As the administration explains it in the above-linked, April 27 memorandum ordering the investigation by the Commerce Department:

… The artificially low prices caused by excess capacity and unfairly traded imports suppress profits in the American aluminum industry, which discourages long-term investment in the industry and hinders efforts by American aluminum producers to research and develop new and better grades of aluminum. …

Presumably, that would undermine the U.S. aluminum industry’s preparedness for some crisis. A war, perhaps.

Wouldn’t the U.S. still be able to get aluminum from abroad? Maybe not, the fair traders say; overseas aluminum sources might dry up if those foreign sources are hostile.

OK, but Gardner and Bennet tell us, “Primary aluminum that is made into rolled can sheet is largely sourced from Canada” — a nation with which the U.S. is unlikely to go to war. Especially not with a charmer like Justin Trudeau at the helm.

The fair traders would say you can’t be too cautious; critics would say the fair traders are connecting too many dots — and that “national security” is really just a lofty label for job protection. What’s wrong with that? Nothing, say the critics, so long as you don’t mind protecting a relative handful of jobs at the expense of millions of U.S. consumers.

Enough with the economics lesson; let’s get back to politics: The takeaway here is that Cory Gardner again finds himself at odds with his own party’s president on trade — and it’s the president, not Gardner, who is outside his party’s mainstream on the issue.

Last month, Gardner voted against confirming Trump’s pick for U.S. trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, who is a longtime critic of free trade. Gardner at the time contended Lighthizer’s policies, “could hurt Colorado’s farmers and ranchers.”

Gardner of course takes care not to turn any of it into a thumb in the president’s eye; he keeps it all very cordial. It’s not a hill to die on, not when there’s so much else at stake.

 


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Clifford D. MayClifford D. MayApril 13, 20179min367

Whatever happened to Charlie Hebdo? For years, the French satirical magazine threw spit balls at polite society. Its writers and cartoonists particularly delighted in ridiculing religions and pieties. Some people found that amusing and thought-provoking. Others were appalled and offended. Such is life in a free country. Then on Jan. 7, 2015, two French Muslims of Algerian descent broke into Charlie Hebdo’s offices firing automatic weapons and shouting “Allahu akbar!” They killed 12 people including the editor-in-chief. As they left, they proclaimed: “We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad!” Their broader message: Under Islamic law (as interpreted by them), insulting or even parodying Islam is forbidden. That law applies not just to Muslims in Islamic states but to everyone everywhere. Those who violate it are to be executed. ...



Jared WrightJared WrightMarch 10, 201642min337

The Colorado Statesman Hot Sheet

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

Thursday, March 10, 2016

DENVER — Good morning and good Thursday to you. Your presidential race and stateside politics updates in brief …

BREAKING: Cruz receives his first endorsement from a U.S. Senator (not himself) — U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, someone Cruz “love(s) like a brother,” plans to endorse Cruz at an event in Florida today according to multiple reports.

GOP side: Despite what has been called a civil war — paid staff vs. donors — within the previously go-to establishment candidate’s campaign, Marco Rubio is not getting out, he says. He is in this thing to win his home state of Florida. But according to every recent poll conducted, Trump still smashes him in The Sunshine State by an average of 15 points. Rubio must really, really believe a contested convention is in the works … or he’s delusional. His statement yesterday to Megyn Kelly on stage at one of his Florida campaign rallies, after introducing her to the stage in Spanish, “I will be on that ballot on Tuesday, I will campaign as long and as hard as it takes. We are going to the White House! We are going to win this nomination.” This conflicts with a report on FoxNews Business in which Charles Gasparino said, “What I’m hearing from his money-men here in New York City … they’re saying barring some better polling … his internal polling, he will likely suspend before Florida.” Campaign staff immediately pounced on Gasparino’s claim as blatantly false.

Democratic side: Bernie Sanders has been on a steady rise in the polls since February 2015 — what you would want your stock performance to look like — but with a very slight, recent Feb.-Mar. dip. But, with Hillary Clinton over half way to the nomination in terms of delegate count, Sander’s hill to climb is about as steep as his rise in the polls. Last night, the two debated in Florida at Miami-Dade College, and, mathematically appropriate, immigration was the topic. Clinton accused Sanders of supporting “vigilantes known as Minutemen” on the border. Sanders responded, “No, I do not support vigilantes — that is a horrific statement, an unfair statement to make. Madam Secretary, I will match my record against yours any day of the week.”

Stateside: The U.S. Senate campaign was in full swing yesterday, with GOP candidates trying to land punches on Sen. Michael Bennet for his support of the Iran Deal after reports surfaced that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard had fired two long-range missiles Tuesday. The missiles were marked with the phrase, “Israel should be wiped from the pages of history” in both Hebrew and Farsi. They struck targets 870 miles away, proving they could easily reach Israel, which is located only 660 miles from Iranian territory. Bennet called on the Obama Administration and United Nations to “move quickly to hold Iran accountable,” offering no specifics. Republicans were quick to call this far from good enough. “Sen. Bennet and President Obama were sadly naive to think any overture or cash infusion would change the behavior of a nation that chants ‘death to America’ and continually threatens to ‘wipe Israel off the map,” state GOP chairman Steve House said in a statement. Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Jon Keyser also offered up harsh words for what he said was Bennet’s reckless decision-making on the issue. Read the full report here.

“I want to reiterate, which I know people doubt here, if in fact they break the deal we will act.” — Joe Biden

Now, your substrata feed straight from the politics pipeline:

GOP U.S. Sen. candidates who should drop out … now — Memo: While some might think thirteen candidates running for U.S. Senate is an endearing exercise in Democracy, it is no way to ignite a coup at the ballot box against incumbent Michael Bennet, who has a $6.7 million war chest at his fingertips. Eleven candidates seated at a table longer than a circus train in Montrose last weekend was an embarrassment to the GOP and a testament to the overwhelming power of personal ego contributing to pointless acts of vanity.

This should be no more than a seven person race. To those candidates who are in this to pass down stories to their grandkids, lob a Hail Mary pass at a long-shot political career, or notch an item on their bucket list, seriously … move on to skydiving or something. If you want to have a real general election race, let’s actually prepare for a real general election race.

Candidates who should drop out posthaste: Charlie Ehler (who?), Jerry Eller (who?), Darryl Glenn (nice guy, no traction), Tom Janich (who?), Michael Kinlaw (who?), and Don Rosier (almost who?).

Candidates who should stay in: Of the more well-funded candidates Jerry Natividad has said he’s likely headed to assembly, meaning he and seasoned campaigner Sen. Tim Neville would face each other there. While Natividad hasn’t held public office, he has serious community and public service credentials and a solid, professional team of consultants behind him. Peg Littleton should stay in too — though she has no chance. She is going to convention and has been proven to be decent at the stump and brings a nice balance to the race, though her influence is likely to stay isolated to El Paso County with no real A-team staffing the operation, therefore, when taken with poor funding, the no real chance part.

Meanwhile the candidate with the most heavyweight party backing and best hands-on foreign policy experience, former state Rep. Jon Keyser, is seeking the petition route along with Jack Graham, who is indisputably qualified with the biggest head start, having dropped $1 million of his own money into the race and securing the advisement of seasoned political consultant Dick Wadhams. Graham also has some positive Colorado notoriety outside of politics (though he could work on his public speaking a bit).

Robert Blaha and Ryan Frazier should also stay in. Because Blaha also has a personal war chest (though we know not precisely how much) at his disposal and Frazier has proven some fundraising ability (albeit it still needs a ton of work) these guys should stick it out.

May the best signature gathering operations and candidates at convention win. The field is going to sort itself out in this fashion anyway, but in the meantime, public debates and forums look like a total joke with so many bottom-tier candidates embarrassing themselves thinking they have even a remote shot at this. So the rest of you … seriously, stop it. Let’s be real. Go skydive into a city council — or at least statehouse — race where you belong.

Do you know this woman? Trump staffer with Colorado connection working Florida for The Donald as we speak — Donald Trump has at least one staffer with a Colorado connection working on his campaign. Jennifer R. Locetta, a 31 year-old woman who lived in Broomfield, CO, started as the deputy state director for the Trump campaign in Florida in November. Locetta is completely dark on social media — and the internet as a whole (like all the best campaign consultants). She formerly worked as a human resources and office manager for Innoprise Software in Colorado from 2006 to 2011. Locetta reportedly has an extensive background related to data organization and grassroots voter contacts. In 2012, she served as Statewide Data Director for the Republican Party of Florida and worked at the Romney for President Headquarters in Tampa. She is also listed as the campaign manager for Joe Gruters in his race for Florida House District 73 this year. Gruters is currently vice-chairman of the state Republican Party and is Trump’s state co-chair. Locetta has a B.A. in American studies from University of Notre Dame where she graduated in 2006. She runs two registered consulting firms Casselberry, Florida, and appears to have been active in Republican politics in the Sunshine State since 2012. When she lived in Colorado, she served as the social committee chair for the Carter Lake Sailing Club in Loveland.

Trump supporter Earl Tony Leadbetter standing with Trump for President Florida State Director Karen Giorno and Deputy Director Jennifer Locetta (Facebook)

Who’s behind closing the tax loophole? — Democrat Reps. Mike Foote and Brittany Pettersen’s bill, HB 1275, to ask voters to eliminate tax havens for some Colorado companies that hold revenue offshore, which passed a third reading vote in the House yesterday on a 34-30 party-line vote, is a big deal in terms of money involved. According to a Times-Call story on the legislation, Colorado could potentially bring in $97.1 million more dollars in tax revenue based off a calculation on when the state of Montana passed similar legislation in 2003. But at what cost? Perhaps an even greater one in terms of revenue earned from high-dollar businesses operating within the state that could vaporize. Some of Colorado’s largest companies like Level 3 could be directly impacted if the bill passes. What’s more, the recruitment of new businesses into the state could be irreversibly damaged by the passage of such a bill. Currently, only five other states and the District of Columbia have such loophole closing laws on their books — Alaska, Montana, Oregon, Rhode Island and West Virginia. Read the full story here.

HB 1275 PLAYER ROUNDUP: So who are the entities behind this legislation? Two groups have registered their support for the bill … both school districts, Adams County School District 14 and the Boulder Valley School District. Meanwhile, a host of business entities are opposed including: The Colorado Bar Association, Bayer Corp., Colorado Competitive Council, Colorado Concern, RELX Group, T-Mobile, Denver South Economic Development Partnership, Colorado BioScience Association, the Jefferson County Business Lobby, Exxon Mobile, Novartis Pharmaceutical Corp, and the Douglas County Business Alliance. Verizon is currently monitoring the bill. Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry’s Loren Furman is also on record very much opposed to the legislation. The bill will clearly get killed in the Senate, which is likely why OEDIT and Gov. John Hickenlooper’s office have stayed out of it. As a governor, you’ve got to love a split legislature.

Net worth of the remaining presidential contenders — From richest to poorest

Donald Trump: $4.5 billion
Hillary Clinton: $31.3 million
John Kasich: $9 – 22 million
Ted Cruz: $3.5 million
Marco Rubio: $100,000 – $975,000
Bernie Sanders: $300,000

Gordon Klingenschmitt — Got slammed by the Colorado Springs Gazette yesterday for invoking the name of a local priest in his fundraising activities. The problem. The priest died of cancer last month and was known to stay out of endorsing candidates. Read the full editorial here.

Nancy Reagan — Former first lady Nancy Reagan began her final journey to her husband’s side Wednesday as a police motorcade carried her casket down an empty freeway lined with saluting firefighters and mourners holding hands over their hearts in tribute to the former first lady. Read the full story here.

Ritter steps in for nephew in DA race — Former Gov. Bill Ritter authored a fundraising email this week calling on people to support his nephew Kenneth Boyd for Denver District Attorney. He asked folks on his (and Kenneth Boyd’s) mailing list to attend two upcoming events for the candidate and to donate to his campaign.

“You might expect I would endorse Kenneth solely because he is my nephew, but I truly believe he is the best person for the job,” Ritter said in the email. “In addition to my endorsement, Kenneth also has been endorsed by the present Denver DA, Mitch Morrissey.  If you do the math, that is 23 years of service by the two prior DA’s, basically saying that we know what it takes to serve in that office, and Kenneth has what it takes!”

The two Boyd campaign events are:

March 17, Event hosted by Blair Richardson, Maggie and Mitch Morrisey, and Jeannie and Bill Ritter. Richardson home from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

March 28, Event hosted by Bill Mosher and Molly Broeren, and co-hosted by Jeannie and Bill Ritter. Broeren home from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Cory Gardner is not a member of the Illuminati … he claims — From Jason Salzman at Bigmedia.org, who wrote about a radio interview with Sen. Cory Gardner on KNUS 710-AM where Gardner was asked if the American Enterprise Institute’s annual World Forum that he attended consisted of a secret plot by Tim Cook, Larry Page and other powerful tech industry individuals to seize the impending nomination from Donald Trump. Gardner responded that the Huffington Post report that initiated the speculation was both highly speculative and inaccurate at best. Read Salzman’s full blog here.

“Don’t blame the Illuminati – Become the Illuminati!” — Adam Gnade

From the wires:

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports on Democrats ripping the Republicans for not backing the tax haven reform bill

CNN reports data from a CNN/ORC poll which shows Trump and Clinton continue to lead in Ohio and Florida

The Hill reports on a poll that shows Clinton would easily beat Trump as it stands now 

The Denver Business Journal’s Ed Sealover reports on the Colorado Senate’s blocking of efforts to resurrect parental-leave rules

The Denver Channel reports on Colorado leaders attending public-private partnership conference ahead of the I-70 P3 redevelopment

Times Call’s Karen Antonacci reports on Rep. Mike Foote and Sen. Matt Jones’s bill that would give Colorado cities more control over oil and gas well locations

The Colorado Statesman’s Mario Nicolais writes a column, Going all in on SCOTUS 

Sen. Owen Hill writes a column in The Statesman, in support of his anti-BDS, pro-Israel legislation, standing up to the Denver Post’s editorial against the measure

Roll Call’s Bridget Bowman reports that Loretta Lynch does not want to be considered for a SCOTUS appointment

The Hill’s Jordan Fabian reports that Obama is claiming the “Republican crackup” aka Trump is not his fault, with Canada’s Justin Trudea at his side.

The Colorado Statesman reports on the Western Governor’s Association meeting in Denver yesterday

Birthdays:

Happy Birthday to Colorado Auto Dealers Association President and CEO Tim Jackson! Hope you have a great day, Tim!

Events:

Happy Hour with Chief Justice Michael Bender — Today, Mar. 10, Join the Colorado Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society for a happy hour featuring former Chief Justice Michael Bender of the Colorado Supreme Court! Chief Justice Bender will share his reflections about his time as Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court. Bring a friend – all are welcome to attend! Katie Mullens, 1550 Court Pl, Denver, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Pat Caddell Pacific trade deal poll briefing live stream — Today, Thurs., Mar. 10, 8:00 am MST. Americans for Limited Government will be releasing the results of a comprehensive national poll conducted on our behalf by Pat Caddell examining voter attitudes toward the trade issue with an emphasis on economic security issues, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  Senator Jeff Sessions will also be providing his reaction to the polling data along with Americans for Limited Government president Rick Manning at the National Press Club. Live Stream: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nBfCjxrJFkJ  Replayed on that channel.

CU Denver professor of political science Dr. Kathryn Cheever memorial service — Today, Thurs., Mar. 10, Lawrence Street Center 2nd floor Terrace Room, 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Arapahoe County Democratic Party Convention — Sat. Mar. 12, Aurora Central High School, Check-in at 7:00 am

Community discussion and town hall meeting about the proposed land swap with the Broadmoor — Mon., Mar. 14, Broadmoor Community Church, 315 Lake Ave, Colorado Springs, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Facts on refugees and immigrants event — Mon., Mar. 14, Colorado Capitol, Old Supreme Court, 11:45 pm — 1:30 pm

Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association 7th Annual “Delightful Dishes and Dreamy Getaways” — Tues., Mar. 15, Denver Marriott City Center, 6:00 am — 9:00 pm

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

Colorado Young Democrats 2016 Legislative Showdown — Wed., Mar. 16, The 1up, 717 E Colfax Ave, Denver, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm. Please join Sen. Ulibarri, Rep. Garnett, Rep. Melton, Rep. Moreno, and other legislators for one of our signature annual events.

NFIB Colorado Small Business Day at the Capitol — Thurs., Mar. 17, Luncheon Speaker: Phil Kalin, Pinnacol Assurance, Keynote Speaker: Jake Jabs, Founder American Furniture. Tickets are $20.00 and include breakfast, Lunch and legislative program. Register and pay by calling 303-860-1778

Brave Leaders Award Ceremony and Panel Discussion — Thurs., May 17, Panelists DU Chancellor Rebecca Chopp PhD, Denver Mayor Michael Hancockand Colorado State Treasurer Walker Stapleton will participate in what is sure to become one of Colorado’s great events. Frederico Peña will serve as moderator. Margery Reed Hall, 2306 E Evans Ave, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Colorado Republican Business Coalition Monthly Luncheon — Guest Speaker Sen. Chris Holbert, Fri., Mar. 18, Brooklyn’s at the Pepsi Center, 901 Auraria Pkwy, Denver, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

17th Annual Icon Awards Gala — Fri., Mar. 18, Grand Hyatt Denver Downtown, 6:00 pm, Ticket includes appetizers, seated dinner, open bar, fabulous entertainment and dancing! Voted year after year as the best party in Denver! Tickets available at: http://bit.ly/1PN5Jj3

Roasting Mike Rosen — Sat. Mar. 19, Denver Marriott Tech Center, 4900 S Syracuse St, Denver, 5:30 pm – 11:00 pm, www.taps.org/classic

CD-1 Meet and Greet for candidates for Delegates to the 2016 Republican National Convention — Tues., Mar. 22. This is your opportunity to meet with candidates who are running to become delegates to the 2016 Republican National Convention. The people CD-1 chooses will have a direct opportunity to vote for the GOP candidate for President. Come if you wish to run or come if you wish to know more about those who wish to be delegates. 290 E Speer Blvd, Denver, 5:30 – 8:30 pm

Fundraiser for Denver DA candidate Rep. Beth McCann at the Denver Athletic Club — Wed., Mar. 23. Join hosts Pres Askew, Mary Ricketson, Mary Frances Kelley, John Maslanik & Linda Kreem, Craig Joyce, Jorge Castillo, Jack Melito & Tess Ellis, Chuck Holum, Mark Fulford, Alice Barton, and Jesse Ogas to hear Beth McCann‘s vision for the Denver District Attorney’s office. Denver Athletic Club, 1325 Glenarm Pl, Denver, 5:30 pm — 7:00 pm

Larimer County Republican Breakfast Club — John Keyser, candidate for U.S. Senate will be there, Johnson’s Corner meeting room, 2842 SE Frontage Rd., Johnstown, 7:00 am – 8:30 am

Morgan Carroll for Colorado Grassroots Happy Hour — Tues., Mar. 29, Apex Sports Lounge, 14567 E Alameda Ave, Aurora, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

2nd Annual Westminster Chamber Awards Gala — Fri., Apr. 29, Westminster Chamber of Commerce, Denver Marriott Westminster, 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm. Join us for our 2nd Annual Awards Gala on April 29th at the Denver Marriott Westminster. Awards will be given to area business in different categories. Food, Music and a Silent Auction will be part of this years event. There will be a 1 hour preview for VIP members and higher from 5-6pm and doors open to the public at 6pm. Purchase your ticket early and save $5 per ticket.

Want your event listed? Just let me know.

Colorado Capitol Watch — From our bill tracking partners:

WE HAVE NOW BROKEN 500 BILLS INTRODUCED

6 New Bills (portrait)

6 New Bills (landscape/spreadsheet)

All Bills as of 3/9: 503

All Bipartisan Bills as of 3/9: 309

All PIed Bills as of 3/9: 767 in the Kill Hill

House Wrap-Up: Today

Senate Wrap-Up: Today

Audio Updates: Today

– Calendars –

3/10 Bills in order of appearance

3/10 Bills sortable by time, number

All Upcoming Bills From Today Forward

House and Senate Calendars:

HOUSE – Your Mar. 10 Calendar here 
SENATE – Your Mar. 10 Calendar here 

You’re up to date. Have a great Thursday! 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.

JW