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Today is Friday, April 17, 2015

Sen. Michael Bennet 5th most vulnerable Democrat up for re-election in 2016

The Fix at The Washington Post speculates that Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) is the fifth most vulnerable Democrat up for re-election in 2016. It  says that Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO CD 6), who just won a tough re-election battle, is the most widely talked about possible opponent for Bennet. But at least a couple of people I've talked to (note the small sample size) seem to have been convinced by Coffman that he's not interested in running for the Senate.

However, as Sen. Cory Gardner showed last year, minds change when opportunities present themselves.

I think Coffman, who is a former Colorado State Treasurer and State Secretary of State, would have a good chance of beating Bennet in an election when national security will be a top issue. Bennet already is making a few smart moves to the center in anticipation of a strong challenge.

Meanwhile, Republicans are wondering whether another strong candidate will take on the challenge. So far, none of the names I'm hearing sound like very strong challengers.


The 10 most competitive Senate Races in 2016, by Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake.

AMERICA'S MOST WANTED: Why the target on Bennet's back just grew exponentially, by anonyomous.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 03/28/15 at 11:37 AM
Congress 114thColoradoElections '16 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Senate resolution on fixing Common Core liked by Jeb Bush

In a non-binding resolution passed by the U.S. Senate Thursday, federal financial incentives for states to adopt Common Core education standards would be prohibited. The federal government would not be allowed to mandate, incentivize or coerce states to adopt the standards, which are so despised by Republicans and conservatives who believe public schools should be governed by local school boards and states, not by the feds. Jeb Bush, an early creator, adopter and advocate of Common Core, supports the resolution, a spokesman told The Washington Times. LINKs:

Jeb Bush hails Senate Republicans' stand on Common Core, by Rebecca Berg.

Common Core State Standards Initiative.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 03/28/15 at 11:28 AM
'16 PresidentEducation • (0) CommentsPermalink

Why we can’t trust peer reviewed scientific, climate change, global warming research

The scientific community has been repeatedly tarred over the last 20 to 30 years by fraudulent medical, scientific, climate change and global warming peer reviewed articles. Now the scandal widens to several publishers of peer reviewed articles whose peer review processes have been manipulated. And it is more than a "China" problem. It's an American and UK problem as well. LINK: Major publisher retracts 43 scientific papers amid wider fake peer-review scandal, by Fred Barbash.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 03/27/15 at 01:59 PM
EnvironmentClimate ChangeGlobal WarmingEthicsScience • (0) CommentsPermalink

Colorado unlikely to join push for taxpayer-supported private education

It is unlikely that Governor Hickenlooper and the Democrat-controlled House will go for using taxpayer money to fund private eduction. But it is happening in other states, according to LINK: Push for private options in education gains momentum, by Caroline Porter. Search web for "state funding of private education".

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 03/27/15 at 01:19 PM
ColoradoLegislationPoliticsEducation • (0) CommentsPermalink

Evangelicals like Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry; will Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt’s rant hurt their guys?

Around the country, some personhood evangelicals are saying pretty dumb and, to Small Government Republicans, offensive things. Won't that undermine and hurt GOP candidates like Scott Walker who says he is a personhood supporter and Perry who seems to be in the same camp along with Huckabee? 
For example, in Colorado, state representative Gordon Klingenschmitt, an evangelical and fundamentalist preacher is catching flack from state GOP legislators and Steve House, the new chairman of the state GOP party, for blaming society for a crime committed against a pregnant woman and her baby.  

Unhappy with a moderate Jeb Bush, conservatives aim to unite behind an alternative, by Trip Gabriel

Pick again, social conservatives, by Jennifer Rubin

Dr. Chaps calls attack on pregnant woman a 'curse of God upon America", by Jason Salzman

GOP aghast at Klingenschmitt's act-of-God comment in baby's death, by Lynn Bartels

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 03/27/15 at 01:00 PM
'16 President • (0) CommentsPermalink

Charles Krauthammer: Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush top GOP presidential candidates

Charles Krauthammer has a well earned reputation as a conservative pundit and critic. He handicaps the GOP presidential candidates. From top to bottom, Top tier: Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker. Second tier: Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 03/27/15 at 12:20 PM
'16 President • (0) CommentsPermalink

Rep. Mike Coffman introduces VA Hospital Construction Accountability and Reform Act

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO-CD 6) Thursday introduced the VA Hospital Construction Accountability and Reform Act. The act puts an $880 million cap on the cost of building the Aurora VA Hospital, which was originally budgeted at $600 million and now is projected to cost $1.73 billion. It also would require a criminal investigation of the reasons for the huge cost over run. And it would pay for the cost overrun by eliminating some $360 million a year in Veterans Administration staff bonuses until the hospital is completed.

The VA is not a state of the art provider of health care services, Coffman told a breakfast meeting of the Highlands Republican Club in Highlands Ranch today. The long troubled VA health care operation has a "culture of corruption," he charged. Earlier this year the Army Corps of Engineers took over the Aurora hospital project from the VA, which has a long record of cost overruns on hospital construction projects.

Back in the 1980s I wrote editorials in Modern Healthcare magazine about the low quality of care at VA hospitals and clinics. While there are some claims that the quality has improved, there is no question that our veterans are not getting the cost-effective and high quality care from the VA that they would get from private sector health care providers.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 03/27/15 at 11:12 AM
Congress 114thHealth Care ProvidersHealthcare ProvidersVAHospitals • (0) CommentsPermalink

Colorado State Republican Party will get involved in school board elections; fighting teachers union

The Colorado State Republican Party will get involved in local school board elections because teachers unions have raised millions of dollars to elect pro-union school boards across the country, State Chairman Steve House told the Highlands Club Republicans at a Highlands Ranch breakfast meeting this morning.

House, whose wife is on a school board in Adams County, noted that some 42 million babies were born between 2000 and 2009. They need broad educations that are directed by parents, not by teachers unions, he said. Most teachers are liberals and many use their positions to promote their political views. House said that 52% of a primary school student's time is spent being assessed and tested. School boards need to redirect the energies of students and teachers, he implied.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 03/27/15 at 10:10 AM
ColoradoPolitics • (0) CommentsPermalink

Republican National Committee getting involved in 5 mayoral elections across Colorado

The Republican National Committee will get involved in the 2015 mayoral elections in Thornton and four or five other towns across Colorado as part of its preparation for the 2016 presidential and senatorial elections, Colorado State Republican Party Chairman Steve House disclosed.

At a breakfast meeting of the Highlands Club Republican today, House explained that the RNC sees Colorado as one of four critical swing states in 2016's presidential election and an important state in the party's campaign to retain control of the U.S. Senate in what will be difficult races in 2016. Republicans will have more Senate seats to defend than  Democrats will in 2016. In 2014, Democrats were on the defensive and Republicans seized control of the Senate.

Colorado's Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat, is up for re-election in 2016, and he is among the Democrats mentioned as possible successors to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who today announced that he won't run for re-election in 2016.

Colorado Republicans are very interested in finding a strong challenger to Bennet, but so far no one who has a chance of beating him has stepped up to the plate. A lot of names are being mentioned as possible candidates, but non of them are big names state wide. And those who have run statewide apparently are not interested in taking on Bennet.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 03/27/15 at 09:57 AM
Congress 114th'16 PresidentColoradoElections '16 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Colorado GOP Chairman Steve House restructuring party; no executive director, diversified staff

Colorado Republican Party Chairman Steve House told Douglas County Republicans today that he is restructuring the state party so that it will be run by a team of rivals and that there will be no executive director of the party.

He told a breakfast meeting of about 40 Highland Club Republicans that he doesn't want an executive director to run the party or speak for him. Any party staffer who tries to speak for the party or him will be fired, House warned.

Instead he and the executive committee of the party's central committee will hire four staff members to run four departments: Communications, Finance, Political and State and County Party relations. Several people are being considered for the jobs, including former State Rep. Ted Harvey, who was rumored to be in line to be an executive director.

Harvey has been helping with the transition to the new leadership since House ousted former State Chairman Ryan Call who also has spent four or five days meeting with House and helping with the transition, House said. Both Harvey and Call are being very helpful, House said.

The new party chair said that after he was elected, he received a little over 4,000 emails. The top concerns were whether the party executive committee had been taken over by extremists and fundraising.

The executive committee and staff will include people from across the state and the GOP's political specturm of interests and beliefs, House said. 

As most parties are after elections, the Colorado state Republican party is in debt, as are some 14 other state GOP parties that have had recent leadership changes, House said. Since he was elected chairman, the party has collected some $30,000 to $40,000 from online donors he said. Of the 55,000 people who get appeals for funds, about 1,000 are regular contributors, House said.

House noted that his background is in business. Therefore he's taking a business approach to restructuring the party. Call is a lawyer and ran the party like a law firm and Call's predecessor, Dick Wadhams is a campaign consultant and ran the party as a consulting firm, House said.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 03/27/15 at 09:17 AM
ColoradoPolitics • (0) CommentsPermalink

Does Scott Walker want to be Jeb Bush’s VP? Flips on illegal immigrants’ amnesty; agrees with Bush

Reports that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has flip flopped from his "no amnesty" for illegal immigrants position to pretty much agreeing with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush can mean several things: 1. That's what he really thinks. 2. He thinks that would be a winner in a general election. 3. Potential donors are calling the shots for him. 4. He's really running to be Jeb Bush's pick as the GOP's nominee for vice president. 5. All of the above.

LINK: Scott Walker shifts stance on immigration at private dinner, by Reid J. Epstein (paid subscription, search the web).

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 03/26/15 at 01:31 PM
'16 President • (0) CommentsPermalink

Scott Tipton tweets link to news that GOP House Financial Services Comte passed 11 bipartisan bills

The GOP-controlled House of Representatiatives' Committee on Financial Services has passed 11bipartisan bills that will help small banks and other financial institutions better serve their customers, annouced Charman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX). Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO-CD 3) tweeted the link to this press release, which includes the bill numbers for those interested.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 03/26/15 at 01:17 PM
Congress 114th • (0) CommentsPermalink

Jeb Bush continues to win the Big Money GOP donors

Jeb Bush is succeeding in his Big Money campaign to win over major GOP donors, reports The New York Times.

Big Money people know how to evaluate candidates and place their bets on the most likely winners. This year, that's Jeb Bush for the GOP, and, most likely, Hillary Clinton for the Democrats. 

Losers deplore the roles of Big Money donors to political campaigns. But I celebrate them. They help sort the winners from the losers, and they ensure that their candidataes will have enough money to be competitive and get their messages to voters.

This is a huge, complex country. If Big Money wasn't involved, voters would be fed misleading rumors and vote blindly.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 03/24/15 at 08:44 PM
'16 PresidentCampaign MgmtPACS ColoradoFundraising • (0) CommentsPermalink

National Republican Senate Committee is after Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO)

The National Senate Republican Committe is campaigning against Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) who is up for re-election in 2016. So far, nobody has declared his candidacy in opposition to Bennet. Here is the NRSC's press release:

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 03/23/15 at 10:01 PM
Congress 114th • (0) CommentsRead More

Ted Cruz misleads voters on his agenda; evangelicals can’t elect him; he’s wrong on social issues

Sen. Ted Cruz, a 44-year-old rookie senator from Texas, today announced his candidacy for president. His announcement has been anticipated and received with great skepticism in Washington and among most political pundits. While he has attracted a tiny following, he's not respected nor well liked by his peers or opponents.

With only 4% of the respondents to polls saying they back Cruz, he seems to be on an ego trip, a mission or a fast trip to politcal reality.  

While I respect Cruz's intellect and conservatism on economics, immigration and defense, I don't respect candidates who use their religious beliefs to win political power.

Worse, I don't like his radical and extreme stands on social issues or his misleading claims that he would totally repeal ObamaCare and balance the budget with a Constitutional Amendment, which is one of the worst ideas in politics.

As long as Democrats have 40 votes in the U.S. Senate, ObamaCare will not be repealed. So would Cruz, a skilled Constitutional lawyer, follow President Obama's example and use unConstitutional executive orders to change laws he doesn't like? Would Cruz, an advocate of the rule of law, follow Obama in not enforcing laws he doesn't like?

A  balanced budget Constitutional Amendment would cause more problems than it would solve. And it probably never would be supported by the states. So why waste time grandstanding on the idea? 

When it comes to his promise to abolish the IRS with tax reform, does anyone believe that can be done as long as Democrats have 40 votes in the Senate, which they always will? A president can't change the rules of the Senate, which allows the minority to filibuster bills it doesn't like. 

Again, Cruz is misleading voters about what he could do as president. He is  pandering to voters who don't pay much attention to politics and aren't realistic about what is and is not politicaly feasible. What does such pandering tell you about Cruz? That he's desperate and is lying for power?

Cruz says he'll win by bringing out real conservatives who haven't voted when people he calls moderates—Bob Dole, John McCain and Mitt Romney–were the GOP's presidential  nominees.

Now, having worked for the election of Senator Barry Goldwater in 1964 and watched him fail to bring out the "silent majority", I doubt very much that Cruz can bring out enough evangelicals to vote for him and win the White House. I doubt that he can win both evangelicals and young, Small Government libertarians who totally disagree with evangelicals and voters who want Cruz to use Big Intrusive Government to stop abortions and gay marriages.

So while I like Cruz's positions on some issues, I think Jeb Bush and others are better candidates on those issues. Cruz is one of the weakest on social issues,   a balanced budget amendment and readiness to be president. He's never been a governor and he has shown over and over again that he doesn't know how to work with Congress.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 03/23/15 at 08:11 PM
'16 President • (0) CommentsPermalink
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