By TCS Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Jared Wright @_JaredWright_
Monday, February 15, 2016
DENVER – Happy President’s Day 2016, a time to celebrate our nation’s leaders, both past and present, and an occasion to become inspired for the future. As President John F. Kennedy once said, “Life is never easy. There is work to be done and obligations to be met — obligations to truth, to justice, and to liberty.” May we all commit our work to those causes.
A big weekend in news, so here’s getting you caught up on the important stuff you need to know.
“I attack ideas. I don’t attack people. And some very good people have some very bad ideas. And if you can’t separate the two, you gotta get another day job ” — Antonin Scalia
Now, your substrata feed straight from the politics pipeline:
Scalia’s death at 79 draws Colorado reactions and theories — With the passing of the U.S. Supreme Court’s senior justice on Saturday, Antonin Scalia’s life and Supreme Court legacy was both celebrated and castigated over the remainder of the weekend and continues to be.
Scalia reportedly died of natural causes in his sleep sometime Friday night or Saturday morning while vacationing at the private, 30,000-acre Cibolo Creek Ranch Five Star Resort, located in the Big Bend region of Texas. Scalia was discovered deceased in his bed by ranch owner John Poindexter after he failed to show up for breakfast or lunch Saturday. Scalia’s Washington D.C. physician confirmed he had been suffering from a host of chronic health conditions, and the justice’s family requested an autopsy not be performed.
The Colorado U.S. Senate crowd of candidates and current elected officials reacted Saturday to the news, reported here in The Colorado Statesman.
The news also elicited revolting wisecracks from a few of Colorado’s less-tasteful in the progressive community. One of them from Colorado liberal figurehead, Progress Now’s Alan Franklin, who posted this within hours of the news of Scalia’s passing:
Stay classy, Alan. My advice to you — get a different day job.
In related news from one of the Supreme Court’s remarkable women with immeasurable class, read fellow Justice Ginsburg’s moving tribute to her “best buddy” Justice Scalia here.
Scalia’s death, like any major U.S. event, also fanned the conspiracy theory flames from some of the nutter-group, blogging from their mom’s basements across the web almost immediately. The Washington Post reported on the chaos, confusion and conflicting reports surrounding the death, while other less legitimate (you might say “non-mainstream”) “news” sites like WND began stoking the fire with a headline that the deceased justice had been discovered with a pillow over his head.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed that the Republican controlled Senate will not confirm any nominee offered by President Obama, stating, “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice,” he said in a statement. “Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.”
Two of the most vulnerable Senate Republicans in this years election agreed with McConnell, stating the Senate should not move forward with the confirmation process until after the 2016 election.
Meanwhile, President Obama hailed Scalia’s service and announced his intention to fulfill his own constitutional obligation to appoint Scalia’s successor to the high court.
Scalia replacement speculations have begun. One name being rumored amongst Colorado Democrats —Colorado’s own Ken Salazar:
Will Srinivasan be Obama’s pick? — While Colorado Republicans (and many second-tier Democrats) are giddy with the thought of a Ken Salazar appointment, thus removing him from his all-but-assured candidacy for Colorado governor in 2018, Robert Reich and his White House mole would say, “not so fast,” to the Salazar SCOTUS rumoring. According to Reich, “Obama will nominate 46-year-old Judge Sri Srinivasan, an Indian-American jurist who Obama nominated in 2013 to the U.S. Court of appeals for the D.C. Circuit — and the Senate confirmed unanimously.”
Srinivasan also appears on Obama’s short list as outlined by Politico, but, Salazar does not (sorry Colorado Republicans and would be governors.)
The Denver Post’s Emilie Rusch reached out to some Colorado professors who warned that waiting to replace Scalia is risky. Melissa Hart, a law professor and director at the Byron White Center for Constitutional Law at the University of Colorado went so far as to say, “It would be a monumental crisis for the development of the law and the need to resolve large legal questions.”
On this topic, we leave you with a report on the precedence (or lack thereof) of presidential lame-duck judgeship appointments.
Debate #9, a fiery GOP fiasco — Following the news of Scalia’s death Saturday, Republican presidential candidates took to the stage at the Peace Center in Greenville, South Carolina, for debate hosted by CBS News.
The important SC GOP debate takeaways? —
1. When asked about nominating a new justice to the Supreme Court, unsurprisingly, all six Republican candidates for president agreed the next president — perhaps even he (sorry no she anymore, remember?)— should be the one to nominate Scalia’s replacement.
2. The election season is now showing evidence of ripening, with personal attacks and mudslinging amping up to full pitch. For Example, Donald Trump’s calling Ted Cruz the “single biggest liar” on stage.
3. Many in the media came to agreement that Trump flopped in the debate — in a big way — with The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza claiming Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio came out winners.
4. According to a focus group poll of debate watchers conducted immediately following the debate by CBS News, Rubio won the debate with 32 percent to Donald Trump’s 24 percent.
5. Recent polls still show Trump maintains a commanding lead in South Carolina with 38 percent to Ted Cruz’s 21.1 percent and Marco Rubio’s 14.6 percent.
6. John Kasich, in an email distributed yesterday, claims he now holds second place in South Carolina, having surged into the prestigious sloppy seconds position in the Palmetto State in a poll taken prior to the debate. An ARG poll conducted Feb. 12-13 does indeed show the Ohio governor moving into a 15 percent second place following Trump’s handed lead.
7. Whoever wins second place in South Carolina will have staying power in the presidential primary race. If Kasich does not take second place, he should go home.
8. The Jeb Bush campaign realizes this is their final moment to shine with a strategy of winning South Carolina at all cost being fully deployed. If he takes third place, Bush will probably be able to stay in a while longer. If he falls to fourth place in the South Carolina results, he should pack it up and go home as well.
Read the full report about the debate here in The Colorado Statesman.
The Colorado Democratic Party’s 83rd Annual Dinner — Saturday night’s “Democratic prom,” as Reps. Tracy Kraft-Tharp and Max Tyler termed it, was a huge turnout, with an estimated 1,550 people in attendance, the largest turnout ever according to Democratic State Party chairman Rick Palacio.
Photo by Roxann Elliott/The Colorado Statesman
Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders spoke to the large crowd, and Clinton called the GOP’s plans to block President Obama’s Supreme Court nomination “outrageous.”
Colorado House Majority Leader Crisanta Duran was awarded the Rising Star Award award at the dinner.
To which state Rep. Paul Rosenthal exclaimed, “Crisanta Duran isn’t a rising star but a star who has risen, earning an award & our respect,” via Twitter.
Big, BIG Colorado Sanders rally — Bernie Sanders held a rally at the Colorado Convention Center prior to the Democrat prom down the street at the Sheraton. The estimated turnout at Sander’s rally was a massive 18,000 in attendance, according to the campaign, dwarfing the dinner’s perhaps less populist turnout where both Democratic candidates for president were speakers.
Nevada up next — Both Hillary and Bernie flew on to Nevada following their Colorado stop, visiting the same church and hoping to drum up support from African-Americans. But Clinton’s campaign found itself in the midst of a backfire because of a race-based remark, an attempt to downplay her expectations in this coming Saturday’s caucus state. The campaign stated in part that Nevada, “is still a state that is 80 percent white voters.” U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-NV, and his allies were upset by the claim, stating that the reason the senator had pushed for the state to move forward on the primary calendar in the first place was precisely because of its diversity of voters.
Jim Gilmore is out of the GOP presidential primary race — Who? That’s about all the text that item deserves.
Steamboat Institute appoints new board member — Up and coming Western Slope conservative think tank, The Steamboat Institute, announced the addition of Ronald C. Lazof to its board of directors. Lazof is a managing director and member of Prism Advisors, LLC, and was formerly President and CEO of Behr Process Corporation.
New Trustees at Keystone Policy Center — The Keystone Policy Center, a Colorado-based public policy mediation and collaboration firm, added five new members to its board including: Cari Boyce, Don Cravins Jr., Paul Jarris, Kerry McNamara and Pam Strifler.
“When I take action, I’m not going to fire a $2 million missile at a $10 empty tent and hit a camel in the butt. It’s going to be decisive.” — George W. Bush
Colorado Agricultural Leadership Program, Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture Reception — Wednesday, Feb. 17 at the Governor’s Mansion from 5:30 – 7:30 pm.
Colorado Beverage Association, Legislative Reception — Wednesday, Feb. 17, at the University Club, 17th and Sherman, 5:30 – 7:30 pm.
Colorado Nonprofit Association, Annual Meeting and 30th Birthday Reception — Thurs. Feb. 18, Kevin Taylor at the Opera House, 1345 Champa St. Denver, 5:30 pm
Adams State University Reception — Thurs. Feb. 18, Warwick Hotel, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
South Carolina Primaries — Democrats: Saturday, Feb. 20; Republicans, Tuesday, Feb. 23.
Nevada Caucuses — Saturday, February 20
Washington Republican Caucuses — Saturday, February 20
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
Agriculture Day at the Capitol — Set for Tuesdays, March 16 — get ready for awesome food and great folks to descend upon the Capitol.
A very Happy Birthday to Valentine’s Day baby, Rep. Angela Williams
More from the wires:
KRDO reported on Black Hill’s energy customer’s protest outside the firm’s Pueblo facility on Sunday.
The Gazette’s editorial board did not mince words in its authoring of a frank editorial against the Clean Power Plan
The Denver Post’s Jordan Steffen and John Frank write about criminal sentencing reform bills this session
Denver CBS 4 reports on Sen. Kevin Grantham and Rep. Yeulin Willet’s efforts to draw awareness to the dangers of teen sexting while Willet seeks to downgrade sexting crimes to a misdemeanor. Willet’s HB 1058 is up for hearing in the House Public Health Care and Human Services Committee tomorrow.
The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel’s Erin McIntyre reports on slain Mesa County Sherrif Deputy Derek Geer’s funeral and the overflow crowd that is expected there today
The Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports on this week in the legislature.
The Durango Herald’s Jessica Pace reports that 2 years of data on marijuana DUI’s are now available from the Colorado State Patrol
The Colorado Statesman’s Ernest Luning delivers a detailed report on the first GOP Senate candidate forum
The Colorado Statesman’s Ramsey Scott reports on the stirring of Capitol emotions by GOP personhood and fetal homicide bills that were heard in House committees last week
Colorado Capitol Watch — From our bill tracking partner at Colorado Capitol Watch:
House Bill Wrap-Up: 2/12
Senate Bill Wrap-Up: 2/12
Bills Passed 3rd Reading: 2/12
(House & Senate Bill Wrap-Up Links will update for 24 hours.)
Five New Bills: 2/12
All Bills: 390 as of 2/12
Bipartisan Bills: 167 as of 2/12
Audio Update: This Week, 2/12
(Link to Audio will show up after login)
2/16 Bills in order of appearance
2/16 Bills sortable by time and number
All Upcoming Bills From Today Forward
House and Senate Calendars:
HOUSE – Your Feb. 16 Calendar here
SENATE – Your Feb. 16 Calendar here
You’re up to date. Have a great Monday and enjoy your day off (if you have it off)! Until tomorrow …
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