Hot Sheet

The Hot Sheet, August 11, 2016

Author: Jared Wright - August 11, 2016 - Updated: August 11, 2016

The Colorado Statesman Hot Sheet

By TCS Editor and Publisher Jared Wright

DENVER — Today is the 150th day anniversary of The Hot Sheet! Pretty cool, huh? Thanks for being a loyal reader.

In Colorado politics, who among us thought we would be writing so much about an elevator in a Colorado Springs hotel? Seriously? And, Mike Coffman continues to distance himself from Donald Trump, riding a careful strategy that is no doubt attached directly to polling data (smart, but too crafty by half for Democratic strategists not to take note and make issue – also smart). Democrats continue to take full advantage of an unprecedented GOP “toxic” coat tails situation by playing an ongoing game of connect the dots between the national political stage and the state one. The Colorado GOP, however, is not exactly inexperienced in maneuvering through this particular minefield. Lest we not forget, it was not all that long ago they had Dan Maes to deal with … and Tom Tancredo … well, they still have Tancredo.

Read on for much, much more …

The most notable state politics headline today: COFFMAN CALLS TRUMP REMARKS ‘RECKLESS,’ BUT MOST STATE GOP OFFICIALS STAY MUM — “Once again, Donald Trump has made a reckless and irresponsible statement — it’s become a habit for him, and it has to stop,” U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman told The Colorado Statesman. Full story here

Most notable national political headline: SECRET SERVICE SPOKE TO TRUMP CAMPAIGN ABOUT 2ND AMENDMENT COMMENT — “‘There has been more than one conversation’ on the topic, a U.S. Secret Service official told CNN. But it’s unclear at what level in the campaign structure the conversations occurred.” Full story here

CONFLICTING REPORT disputing the CNN story: OFFICIAL: NO FORMAL SECRET SERVICE DISCUSSIONS WITH TRUMP CAMP ON REMARK“A federal official on Wednesday said the U.S. Secret Service had not formally spoken with Republican Donald Trump’s presidential campaign regarding his suggestion a day earlier that gun rights activists could stop Democratic rival Hillary Clinton from curtailing their access to firearms.” Full story here

Just for fun (flashback to 2011): VILNIUS, LITHUANIA MAYOR ARTURAS ZUOKAS FIGHTS ILLEGALLY PARKED CARS WITH TANK — New strategy idea for Mayor Michael Hancock?

“My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California.”

Hillary Clinton, May 24, 2008

Now, your substrata feed straight from Colorado’s politics pipeline:

INTERNAL EMAILS GIVE DETAILS HOW DONALD TRUMP GOT STUCK IN THE ELEVATOR — Statement: “The Colorado Springs Fire Department (CSFD) confirms that it responded to a call for service Friday, July 29 to perform an elevator rescue for approximately ten people trapped inside an elevator, including Presidential Nominee Donald Trump. A fire truck arrived at The Mining Exchange–A Wyndham Hotel & Spa, 8 South Nevada Avenue, Colorado Springs, Colo and found the elevator stuck between the first and second floors.  The firefighters were able to secure the elevator, open the top elevator hatch, lower a ladder into the elevator which allowed all individuals to self evacuate, including Mr. Trump, onto the second floor lobby area.  No injuries were reported.” More internal memos here on capacity requirements and agreements for the Colorado Springs Rally via Denver ABC 7.

STATEMENT FROM MIKE COFFMAN’S CHALLENGER, MORGAN CARROLL — Democrat State Sen. Morgan Carroll, who is challenging Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman in the 6th Congressional District, released the following statement yesterday on Coffman’s approach to Trump’s recent 2nd Amendment/Hillary Clinton remarks: “Donald Trump’s suggestion that his supporters use gun violence to oppose Hillary Clinton is beyond words. But before Mike Coffman takes to the airwaves to say that he once again ‘strongly condemns’ these comments, before he employs political double-speak to pretend he is still weighing his options, let’s all think about what that means: a man who has suggested a violent attack against his opponent is still likely to earn Coffman’s vote. Every Democrat, Independent, and Republican should unequivocally denounce Donald Trump’s campaign and work to ensure he is never Commander-in-Chief.”

FIFTY BOXES FOR ANTI-FRACKING INITIATIVES 75 AND 78 WERE EMPTY AFTER CONSOLIDATING PETITIONS — via the Glenwood Springs Post Independent: “Lynn Bartels, the spokeswoman for the [secretary of state’s] office, tweeted a photo Tuesday of about 50 boxes that were emptied from the group’s display, after officials consolidated petitions to fully fill the boxes.”

Lauren Petrie, the Rocky Mountain director of Food and Water Watch, a major contributor to the ballot measures’ campaign, said the group, Yes for Health and Safety over Fracking, knew going into the weekend they had well over 100,000 signatures but they kept going through Monday to capitalize on the time they had left.

“’As they were coming in, toward the last-minute gathering efforts, we might have only been handing out a new box, so they were coming back like empty boxes,’ Petrie said.” Full story here

A statement from pro-fracking group Protect Colorado‘s Karen Crummy:”Yesterday, an anti-fracking group delivered petition signatures to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office to get their anti-energy measures on the November ballot.

“In a big display, they carried numerous boxes out of a U-Haul truck.

“Now, as the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office begins the validation process, it turns out many of these boxes contain very few petitions.

“Was it all a publicity stunt to advance their agenda or a serious attempt to ban fracking in Colorado? Your guess is as good as ours.”

FOOD AND WATER WATCH: ‘WE PULLED AN ALL-NIGHTER’ AND BARTELS’S ‘TWEET CALLS INTO QUESTION OBJECTIVITY OF SECRETARY OF STATE’S OFFICE IN BALLOT INITIATIVE SIGNATURES’ — “The tweet” posted by Secretary of State Wayne Williams‘s spokeswoman Lynn Bartels yesterday drew further condemnation from one of the principal environmental activist groups, Food and Water Watch, involved in the Colorado effort to limit fracking via ballot Initiatives 75 and 78. Food and Water Watch’s Lauren Petrie issued the following statement in response to the tweet, suggesting it demonstrated questionable motive:

“We find it troubling that an employee of the government body tasked with fairly and objectively counting the signatures would publicly comment on the quality or quantity of the petitions before any official count could have been made. It has resulted in media coverage including headlines like, ‘Empty Petition Boxes Put Anti-Fracking Initiatives In Doubt,’ in which the spokesperson is again quoted.”

 The tweet from Colorado Secretary of State spokeswoman Lynn Bartels being called into question.
The tweet from Colorado Secretary of State spokeswoman Lynn Bartels being called into question.

Petrie continued, “We’re unclear what the motive could possibly be in making such comments about the fullness of each box of petitions—which is a complete distraction and has no bearing on the numbers of signatures delivered. At this point, we question whether or not the Secretary of State’s office will engage in an honest and unbiased accounting of the signatures. If they do, they will find that we indeed have provided more than enough signatures to get on the ballot. Any other result at the end of the day should be called into question given these public statements from their spokesperson.

“This was a truly historic, and monumental effort as hundreds of dedicated and passionate volunteers from across the state pounded the pavement in a tireless effort to gather enough signatures over the past few months. And in the final days leading up to the delivery, many of us spent more than 14 hours per day petitioning, notarizing, and collecting petition packets from across the state on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday night, we pulled an all-nighter to process each packet for delivery the next day. Many of these same people hit the streets as early as 6:00 am on Monday to take advantage of every moment we had to continue gathering signatures until noon.

“To imply this effort is a publicity stunt before the signatures have been assessed is a major disservice to the people of this state who have worked so hard to participate in our democracy.”

ENERGY INDUSTRY INSIDERS: ‘THIS STRATEGY IS NO SURPRISE” — Two insiders speaking on the condition of anonymity told me the approach being taken by environmental groups is beyond a publicity stunt, it is an attempt to “elevate themselves and their cause by discrediting those who count the signatures,” one said. “This is no surprise – we expected this, because they are most likely not going to have enough valid sigs,” said another.

Discrediting the petition process – a recurring thematic strategy this election year (think back to the primary season).

DEMS POUNCE ON AUDIO OF GLENN SPEECH WHERE HE SUGGESTS OBAMA CONSPIRACY IN ORLANDO TERRORIST SHOOTING — At a Republican women’s forum in Douglas County, Republican U.S. Senate nominee Darryl Glenn gave a speech suggesting President Barack Obama limited the FBI’s investigation into the Orlando nightclub shooting. Glenn said the FBI takes “direction from the top” and repeated the claim two more times before completing his response to a question asked from the audience. “I think we need to have hearings on this. I think people need to be held accountable. I want to know whether or not our FBI personnel were personally directed to look the other way. The president should be held to account for that if he gave direction that limited the FBI.” Full audio here

COLORADO INDEPENDENCE ETHICS COMMISSION WILL BEGIN LIVESTREAMING MEETINGS FOR THE FIRST TIME AFTER ETHICS WATCH PUBLICLY DEMONSTRATED HOW EASY THE PROCESS IS — The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission reportedly received a state grant more than a year ago to broadcast its proceedings live via the Internet, according to watchdog group Colorado Ethics Watch. “We’re glad the Ethics Commission has finally joined the internet age by broadcasting its meetings on-line,” said Ethics Watch Director Luis Toro. “The Ethics Commission’s meetings are of interest to people around the state, many of whom cannot travel to downtown Denver to watch the meetings in person. Today’s step is a victory for transparency and accountability.”

The Independent Ethics Commission was created by Colorado voters in 2006 to hear complaints and issue advisory opinions on ethics laws. State elected officials and employees in the executive and legislative branches, and many county and municipal elected officials and employees, are under the jurisdiction of the Commission.

MORE TRUMPERS FROM EL PASO COUNTY: MARK WALLER ALL ABOARD TRUMP TRAIN, ADDED AS STAFFER FOR COLORADO CAMPAIGN EFFORT — Former House Minority Leader and Republican El Paso County Commissioner candidate Mark Waller has been added to the list of staff for Donald Trump‘s presidential election effort in Colorado. Waller will serve as deputy director. Colorado Springs resident and former NRSC Political Director Patrick Davis is the Colorado Trump campaign’s director, and Colorado Springs businessman and former GOP U.S. Senate candidate Robert Blaha is serving as the state chair among a host of other staffers announced earlier this week.

SHOUT OUT: U.S. SENATOR CHRIS MURPHY SAYS HE GOT PHONE CALLS FROM MICHAEL BENNET AND ED PERLMUTTER LENDING SUPPORT AND ADVICE ON SANDY HOOK MASSACRE — U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., to POLITICO’s Glenn Thrush: “Well, I mean, one of the most awful things was being in that firehouse and receiving phone calls from other members who had already been through these mass shootings, getting calls from Michael Bennet and Ed Perlmutter from Colorado, to give me recommendations on, you know, the best way that I could try to add some value to the unfolding tragedy. And, you know, there is now an even bigger fraternity that probably encompasses the majority of the Senate and the House, of people who have been through this.” Full interview here

FORMER GOV. DICK LAMM SAYS COLORADO IS IGNORING PERA AT IT’S OWN RISK — Former Colorado Gov. Dick Lamm: “… PERA is incredibly indebted, um, $26 Billion as I recall in unfunded liabilities, so I think that there’s a whole series of hidden liabilities that we’re leaving our children that I feel very guilty about …”

Full interview here

POLITICO NAMES TWO COLORADO COUNTIES IN LIST OF TOP 25 NATIONAL CONTESTED POLITICAL AREAS — Arapahoe County and Jefferson County (no surprises). Arapahoe County 2016 winners: Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz. 2012 presidential results: Obama 54% to Romney 44%. Population: 631,096. Jefferson County 2016 winners: Sanders and Cruz. 2012 presidential results: Obama 51% and Romney 46%. Population: 565,524. Full story here

COLORADO OFFICIAL: RIGGED ELECTION A ‘CONSPIRACY OF EXTRAORDINARY PROPORTIONS’ — “’I can insert it and then it resets the card, and now I’m able to vote again,’ Brian Varner, principle researcher with Symantec, told CBS News.

“Symantec experts said votes cast in direct-recording electronic (DRE) voting machines are not encrypted and can be vulnerable to hacking. Yet Colorado Election Director Judd Choate said a rigged election is next to impossible in Colorado.

“‘It would be a conspiracy of extraordinary proportions,’ Choate said.

Full story here

COLORADO FAMILY SAYS SON DIED FIGHTING FOR KURDISH MILITIA — “The parents of a Colorado man reported killed fighting against the Islamic State group says their son joined Kurdish forces to ‘fight the evil that is ISIS.'”

“Jordan MacTaggart, 22, was believed to be killed on Aug. 3 while fighting in a squad that included two Americans and a Swede in Manbij, Syria, said his father Robert MacTaggart Wednesday.” Full story here

BRUCE BENSON TO RECEIVE STEAMBOAT INSTITUTE’S “COURAGE IN EDUCATION” AWARD — The Steamboat Institute has announced that Bruce Benson, President of the University of Colorado, will receive a special Courage in Education Award at its 8th Annual Freedom Conference & Festival at a luncheon on Aug. 27, in Steamboat Springs. “I’m honored to be the first recipient of the Steamboat Institute’s Courage in Education Award,” said Benson. “It recognizes the important work we are engaged in at CU to ensure that diversity of thought is a part of our institutional culture. It’s critical that we teach students how to think, not what to think, and that our university is a place that values and promotes debate, discussion and, above all, free speech.”

COLORADO BLACK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ACCEPTING NOMINATIONS FOR ASCENSION AWARDS — It’s that time of year. Soon African-American owned businesses and African-American individuals who have shown exceptional leadership in the community will be recognized by the Colorado Black Chamber of CommerceThe following are the award categories: 

Business Award Categories

  • Corporation of the Year – A Company that has demonstrated significant business stability, commitment to the business community, community service, and leadership.
  • Small Business of the Year – Business with less than $5 million annual revenue and a demonstrated commitment to the community.
  • Non Profit of the Year – Non Profit organization that has demonstrated its commitment to the community.

Leadership in Diversity Award Categories

  • Corporate Executive of the Year – An Executive who has demonstrated a commitment to inclusion, retention, and support of African-Americans within business and community.

Nomination forms available here

NO LUCK COLORADO: DEA WILL NOT LOOSEN RESTRICTIONS ON MARIJUANA — From USA Today, “Marijuana advocates who hoped the cascade of states moving to legalize medical marijuana would soften the federal stance on the drug faced disappointment Thursday as the Drug Enforcement Administration announced it will keep marijuana illegal for any purpose.

“Marijuana will remain a Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Substances in Schedule 1 are determined by the Food and Drug Administration to have no medical use. States that allow marijuana for medical use or legalize recreational use remain in defiance of federal law.”

Full story here

“This is a vindication for science and for people who have said to go slow. I think it’s a bad day for legalization efforts and a good day for scientists.”


Luncheon Fundraiser for Rep. Clarice Navarro — Wednesday, August 10, 11:30 a.m. — 1:00 p.m. El Señor Sol, 2301 7th St, Denver. $100 per person. Hosted by Jefferson County Commissioner Libby Szabo and state Rep. Justin Everett. RSVP to Tammy at

Custer County Democrats Monthly Meeting — Monday, August 8, Custer Library Community Room, 209 Main St., Westcliffe, CO

Last day for unaffiliated candidate for president and vice president to submit a statement of intent to run, a $1,000 filing fee, and a list of electors — Wednesday, August 10, no later than 3:00 p.m.

El Paso County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner — Friday, August 12, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Join the El Paso County GOP to celebrate President Abraham Lincoln. Guests include U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner and GOP U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn. Location: Cheyenne Mountain Resort, 3225 Broadmoor Valley Rd, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906. For more information, contact Mary Bradfield at or (719) 578-0022. For tickets, visit here.

Larimer County Republican Breakfast Club — Monday, August 15, 7:00 – 8:30 AM, Johnson’s Corner, Southeast Frontage Road, I-25 Exit 254. Meeting held every Monday morning. Same time, same place. Attendance is open to the public. Cost for a buffet style breakfast is $10, and $2 for students. Join for $20, and get a monthly mailing of upcoming speakers and a name tag. Congressman Bob Schaffer founded this club in 1996, when he first went to Congress. For more information, contact Donna Gustafson.

Fundraiser for Rep. Ed Perlmutter — Thursday, August 18, 5:30 p.m. — 7:00 p.m., Home of Cassie Perlmutter and Joe Levi, Denver, Suggested contributions: Host $1000, Co-Host $500, Friend $250, Guest $100, Supporter $36, RSVP to Kelly Hogan at

Policy Conversation with Hon. Kathleen Sebelius in support of Hillary Victory Fund — Saturday, August 20, 2:00 p.m. — 3:30 p.m., Home of Drs. Alisa and Steve Sherick, Denver, Host, $5,000, Co-Host $1,000, Supporter $250. RSVP here]

American Majority’s Digital Campaign and Activism Training with special guest trainer Lee Hopper — Monday, August 22, 6:00 p.m., Crossroads Community Church, Northglenn Campus, 10451 Huron St., Northglenn, CO.

5th Annual Senate Majority Fund All-Star Party! — Tuesday, August 23, 5:00 p.m. — 7:00 p.m., 1600 Glenarm Place, 3rd Floor, Demonstration Kitchen, Denver. Your Colorado Republican State Senators cordially invite you to join them for cocktails, appetizers and to reminisce about the recently played MLB All-Star Game!

Denver Reception for Rep. Kit Roupe — Thursday, August 25, 5:00 p.m. — 7:00 p.m., DCO 110 16th St. Ste. 501, Denver. Please join Kyle Forti and Caleb Bonham in re-electing Kit Roupe for Colorado House District 17. $400 maximum individual contribution. No contributions from corporations allowed.

Adams County 50th Anniversary JFK Dinner — Saturday, August 27, 6:00 p.m., Double Tree by Hilton, Castle Event Center, I-25 and 120th Ave. Master of Ceremonies state Sen. Morgan Carroll. Special guest speaker to be announced after the Democratic National Convention.

Last day for U.S. Senate and U.S. House candidates to submit a voluntary term limits declaration form — Monday, August 29

Clean Energy Fair and Celebration hosted by Sierra Club and Google Project Sunroof — Wednesday, August 31, 11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Denver Skyline Park (off 16th St Mall). RSVP here

House Republican Joint Republican Candidate Reception and Fundraiser — Wednesday, August 31, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., 1410 Grant St., Denver, CO 80203. Join the House Republican Caucus to support these candidates: Richard Bowman * Rep. J Paul Brown * Katy Brown  Chris Hadsall * Kimmi Lewis * Jessica Sandgren Host Committee: Assistant Minority Leader Polly Lawrence * Caucus Chair Lois Landgraf * Minority Whip Perry Buck * Representatives Jon Becker * Paul Lundeen * Dan Nordberg * Lang Sias * Kit Roupe * Cole Wist. $200 suggested contribution. Please RSVP to

Young and Active Conservatives of Denver — Wednesday, August 31, 7:00 pm. Highland Tavern, 3400 Navajo Street, Denver, CO. HAPPY HOUR! We are conservative young adults in our 20s – 40s who enjoy talking politics and doing social activities. More information here.

Denver GOP First Friday Breakfast featuring special guest, former Sen. John Andrews — Friday, September 2, 7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m., Pete’s Greek Town Cafe, 2910 E. Colfax Ave. Andrews will be speaking on what to look forward to in the upcoming election. The title of his talk is “What Would Churchill Do?” Breakfast sponsor is Viano Construction.

General Election mail ballots drop – Monday, October 17

General Election polling locations open — Monday, October 24

General Election — Tuesday, November 8

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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.