tipsheet
Daniel Doherty - Shaheen: Obama's Too "Busy" to Campaign For Me
Posted: 10/23/2014 9:15:00 PM EST

Concord, NH – Although tonight’s debate was closed to the public – i.e., there was no live television studio audience – one thing was clear from being on the ground in New Hampshire: Unlike two nights ago, Scott Brown fans were there and energized. It may be hard to see, but one Brown supporter (below in the red rain jacket) was wielding a microphone, leading “Go Scott Go” chants hours before the cameras rolled.

Computer Hope

In the background, you can see where the debate is being held (alas, I did not gain access myself), and to the far left (not shown) is where Team Shaheen supporters gathered. My sense is that there were actually more Brown supporters at the venue tonight than Shaheen supporters, but since (again) the debate was closed to the public, it should be noted that most people planned to watch the debate from home. Indeed, one of the security guards told me most of the journalists from the major New Hampshire newspapers weren’t even bothering to show up.

In any case, tonight’s debate was markedly different from two nights ago. Perhaps because there was no studio audience, both candidates seemed more subdued and less inclined to go on the attack. I also think Sen. Shaheen stumbled a bit. For example, the moderator, Wolf Blitzer, asked her if she wanted President Obama to come campaign for her. This is what she said:

She also said she was “proud” of her partisan record.

Still, Blitzer didn’t let Brown off the hook, either. For instance, while he routinely says on the campaign trail his opponent votes with the president “99 percent of the time,” Blitzer confronted him with the unsavory fact that during his last year in Washington, he voted…78 percent of the time with President Obama. This was a clever question that undercut one of the most widely-touted themes of his campaign – namely, that he was once the most bipartisan senator in Washington.

Interestingly, the candidates spent the first 15 minutes of the debate talking about either Ebola or ISIS. This was a bit surprising. They also discussed immigration, border security, the minimum wage, and jobs and the economy. On these issues, I cannot remember anything memorable happening. They both did well.

For what it's worth, the candidates will debate one more time before Granite Staters head to the polls. But I'll leave you with this, which gives some indication of who the winner was:

Daniel Doherty - NEC Poll: Brown: 48; Shaheen: 47
Posted: 10/23/2014 4:30:00 PM EST

Concord, NH -- I rounded up. Below are the exact percentages among registered likely voters:

The race is a coin flip, although each candidate has something to feel good about. Without leaners, Shaheen is locking up 88 percent of Democrats (Brown is only capturing 80 percent of Republicans) while the president’s approval rating is surprisingly above water (48/47). (The survey below suggests the latter statistic is an outlier. It's also inconsistent with other polls we've seen). Brown, on the other hand, is capturing independents (49/44) and men (50/46). He’s also only losing female voters by four percentage points (45/49).

Meanwhile, CNN/ORC’s freshly-released survey is equally interesting if contradictory. Among likely voters, the top-line number shows Shaheen barely edging Brown (49/47). In this poll, however, the president fares much worse. His job approval rating is upside down (39/57) -- although Sen. Shaheen is viewed slightly more favorably (52/45) than her opponent (48/50). Unlike the survey above, though, she holds a double-digit lead among female voters (54/44).

Bottom line: These polls indicate there is no front-runner. That being said, both polls were conducted before Tuesday night’s television debate. And there are two more. Speaking of which, I'll be attending the second one this evening at the University of New Hampshire. Politico has the details:

Shaheen and Brown will debate tonight on NH1, the new cable news station in the state, at 7 p.m. EDT. The debate, which will be co-moderated by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and NH1’s Paul Steinhauser, will also air on CNN across the country on tape delay at 11 p.m.

Leah Barkoukis - Federal Judge Deals Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn Ethics Blow
Posted: 10/23/2014 4:11:00 PM EST

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn was dealt an ethics blow by a federal judge this week, just 12 days before Election Day. 

The judge granted a request to appoint a monitor to oversee hiring practices at the Department of Transportation in Illinois after allegations that the Quinn administration put politics above job qualifications when filling positions. 

The Chicago Tribune reports:

The transportation agency came under fire in April after Chicago attorney Michael Shakman, who has long crusaded against patronage, argued the Quinn administration was filling positions based on political considerations rather than job qualifications.

A subsequent report by the state Executive Inspector General Ricardo Meza outlined how Quinn had failed to rein in patronage abuses at IDOT after replacing ousted ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Meza maintained hundreds of people were hired into so-called "staff assistant" positions without having to go through strict personnel procedures under rules designed to keep politics out of most state hiring.

Quinn fired 58 people hired into staff assistant jobs, but decided to keep another 103. Attorneys for his office have argued a court monitor was not needed because reforms were put into place following the inspector general's report, contending the ethics watchdog acts as an independent watchdog.

Shakman argued the changes amounted to little more than public relations, and questioned the thoroughness of the inspector general report.

Republican challenger Bruce Rauner has been hitting Quinn on ethics issues for months now, so this will certainly help validate those attacks.

"A federal judge in Chicago confirmed what we’ve known all along – Pat Quinn is a phony reformer who can't be trusted to clean up state government," a Rauner campaign email stated. 

It will be interesting to see how much, if at all, this ethics blow will affect Quinn at the ballot box, especially because the race is a toss up right now.

Matt Vespa - PPP: Hagan Up 3 Over Tillis, Race Still A Toss-Up
Posted: 10/23/2014 3:45:00 PM EST

A new PPP poll has Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan up 3 points over her Republican challenger Thom Tillis. Wait; didn’t Tillis say that Hagan is going to lose on Nov. 4? Did they not smell “victory in the air?”

Everyone, relax. As Tillis told Townhall, single digits in North Carolina decide races–and his campaign officials said that the Tar Heel state has a history of races breaking late. On Teusday night, there was another Senate debate, with one notable exception: Kay Hagan was absent. So, with two weeks out from Election Day, Thom Tillis had a solid hour to make a final argument with North Carolina voters in a race that’s virtually tied; reasons that MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow mentioned in her rant against Hagan for skipping the debate.

My colleague Guy Benson had this zinger last night.

So, how does the poll breakdown? First, it’s a D+7 poll. Second, it’s not shocking where the bases of support for Hagan and Tillis comes from in this race [emphasis mine]:

Hagan is up 49/37 with women, 85/4 with African Americans, and 61/27 with young voters. Meanwhile Tillis is up 49/42 with men, 55/34 with white voters, and 54/37 with seniors. Tillis is ahead 43/38 with independents but in an unusual finding for North Carolina politics, Hagan is getting the same share of the Democratic vote (81%) that Tillis getting of the Republican vote and if you do that as a Democrat in North Carolina you're generally going to win given the party's voter registration advantage in the state.

There’s also a question of how strong the evangelical vote will turn out this year. They’re one-third of North Carolina’s electorate, but this bloc of voters is difficult to poll. Yet, there are other positive indicators.

Education has been the Achilles heel of the Tillis campaign; a point even his own staff has admitted in private, but they are hoping this line of attack from Hagan and national Democrats has hit a ceiling with voters, according to the Washington Examiner.

As reported here at Townhall, foreign affairs has played a crucial role is shifting the debate away from Hagan’s “sins of Raleigh” strategy, even admitting to skipping an Armed Services hearing to attend a fundraiser last February. There are also questions relating to allegations that her family profited from stimulus cash injections they received for their business; questions that would have inevitably come up if she had attended last night’s debate.

But let’s not forget the Obama factor. Despite red state Democrats trying to run away from him, Obama keeps spoiling that narrative by saying his policies are on the ballot this November–and that they all support his agenda.

Tillis’ campaign manager, Jordan Shaw, sent out this memo as to why Hagan would skip the debate last night:

• On Friday, Sen. Hagan flip-flopped on implementing a travel ban from Ebola-inflicted countries. While Thom was one of the first Senate candidates in the nation to call for a travel ban, Sen. Hagan equivocated on the issue for weeks, even criticizing the idea of a ban at times, all while praising President Obama and the CDC for their “great guidance” in addressing Ebola.

• At the October 7th debate hosted by the N.C. Association of Broadcasters, Hagan couldn’t name a single instance where she regretted supporting President Obama’s policies, which she has done 96 percent of the time. Following the debate, Hagan admitted that she skipped a classified Armed Services Committee hearing on ISIS to attend a cocktail fundraiser in New York City, but has thus far refused to tell journalists why she chose to do so.

• At the October 9th debate hosted by WECT, Hagan struggled to answer questions about her family’s $390,000 stimulus payday, insisting that she consulted a lawyer who deemed taking the taxpayer money was “appropriate” even though Hagan was directly benefitting from legislation she voted for

As Tillis told Townhall, he knew he wouldn’t be leading in the polls during the summer, but he’s seeing a shift in direction towards him with undecided voters who may decide this election. Right now, Hagan and Tillis are garnering equal shares of the Democratic and Republican vote in North Carolina, which means this race will come down to turnout and it could be incredibly close.

Right now, both sides have eyes on early voting–and it’s not looking good for Democrats (via WaPo):

Compared to overall voter registration, Iowa and North Carolina Democrats are doing much worse than earlier in the month, and Republicans in those states much better.

How to read this: A red or blue dot above the diagonal line shows that the Republican (or, for a blue dot, Democratic) vote in the state comprises a larger percentage of the early vote than the total voter pool. A dot below the line indicates that the early vote is under-performing for that demographic. The further above or below the line the dot falls, the better or worse the group is faring. The change since the last time we did this is indicated with a line connected to the small dot at the previous percentage.

Interestingly, unaffiliated/undeclared voters are uniformly underperforming their registration numbers, perhaps in part because campaigns aren't targeting them as aggressively in the early vote process. But that puts the poor performance of Democratic campaigns in sharper relief. If unaffiliated voters are underperforming as a percentage of all of the votes that are in, one would expect the two parties to be overperforming.

But Democrats aren't. The bad news for them is clear: the extent to which the red dots are above the line and the blue dots are below it. In what we expect to be a relatively low-turnout election, Democrats would want (and really need) to leverage their generally superior turnout mechanisms to bank votes early. So far, they're getting beaten at that effort.

The bad news for Republicans is that — as we mentioned two weeks ago — these numbers can and will change quickly.

In all, Republican voters are turning out at higher rates–and that's not good news for Kay Hagan.

Editors note: Upon reviewing the North Carolina Board Of Elections website, in-person early voting began today.  We tried contacting the the board of elections multiple times, but high caller volume prevented us from getting a clarification on the early voting numbers from the Washington Post piece.  It's probably a calculation of the absentee ballots, but we will keep you updated on this matter.  

Daniel Doherty - Poll: Cotton Way Up in AR
Posted: 10/23/2014 3:00:00 PM EST

By eight percentage points, to be exact, if this poll is to be taken seriously. Last summer, when Talk Business and Politics, along with Hendrix College, conducted and released their last joint survey, Cotton’s lead was small (44/42). Now, however, he’s on much firmer footing (49/41) and “poised” to unseat Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor on Nov. 4th.

“As early voting begins and candidates begin their homestretch run, Cong. Cotton is poised to knock off Sen. Pryor barring any major disasters,” Talk Business & Politics Editor-in-Chief Roby Brock said in a statement. “I do think this race tightens, however, as Democrats are pushing for a massive get-out-the-vote effort among newly registered and dormant voters. How big that impact will be is anyone’s guess. It’s complicated and nearly impossible to accurately poll that universe."

Nevertheless, Cotton is currently winning male voters (55/37) and female voters (although, according to the pollsters, his lead among the latter demographic “is small”), independents (59/28), and seniors (51/42). For these reasons, he’s opened up an enormous lead.

But can Pryor close it?

“Moving into early voting, our survey says advantage Cotton,” Dr. Jay Barth argued in his analysis after reviewing the findings. “For Pryor to close the gap, a monstrous and effectively targeted turnout operation and the entrance of large numbers of new registrants into the fold are both essential.”

Boosting turnout, in other words, could save him -- or at least make the race more competitive. But as things currently stand, he's in trouble.

Katie Pavlich - BREAKING: Judicial Watch Obtains List of Fast and Furious Documents Held Under Obama's Executive Privilege
Posted: 10/23/2014 2:30:00 PM EST

Late last night the Department of Justice complied with a court order and turned over a list to government watchdog Judicial Watch , known as a Vaughn Index, of Fast and Furious documents being held from Congress and the American people under President Obama's assertion of executive privilege. Not surprisingly, DOJ failed to fully comply with the requirements of providing a Vaughn Index. 

The Vaughn index explains 15,662 documents. Typically, a Vaughn index must: (1) identify each record withheld; (2) state the statutory exemption claimed; and (3) explain how disclosure would damage the interests protected by the claimed exemption. The Vaughn index arguably fails to provide all of this required information but does provide plenty of interesting information for a public kept in the dark for years about the Fast and Furious scandal.

Regardless, the list of documents shows Obama asserted executive privilege to protect Attorney General Eric Holder's wife and to protect information showing Holder helped to craft talking points during the fallout of the scandal. What a preliminary review of Vaughn Index by Judicial Watch shows: 

Numerous emails that detail Attorney General Holder’s direct involvement in crafting talking points, the timing of public disclosures, and handling Congressional inquiries in the Fast and Furious matter.

President Obama has asserted executive privilege over nearly 20 email communications between Holder and his spouse Sharon Malone. The administration also claims that the records are also subject to withholding under the “deliberative process” exemption. This exemption ordinarily exempts from public disclosure records that could chill internal government deliberations.

Numerous entries detail DOJ’s communications (including those of Eric Holder) concerning the White House about Fast and Furious.

The scandal required the attention of virtually every top official of the DOJ and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). Communications to and from the United States Ambassador to Mexico about the Fast and Furious matter are also described.

Many of the records are already publicly available such as letters from Congress, press clips, and typical agency communications. Ordinarily, these records would, in whole or part, be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. Few of the records seem to even implicate presidential decision-making and advice that might be subject to President Obama’s broad and unprecedented executive privilege claim.

Keep in mind the White House has denied any involvement with Operation Fast and Furious when it was active between 2009 and 2010. The documents described in this list indicate otherwise. Further, former White House National Security Advisor Kevin O'Reilly was in contact with former ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Division William Newell about the details of the operation. Previous reporting shows at least three White House officials were aware of or involved in the operation despite denials after Congressional inquiries about the scandal. 

The emails Judicial Watch describes as showing Holder being directly involved "in crafting talking points, the timing of public disclosures, and handling Congressional inquiries in the Fast and Furious matter" only further solidify his role in the cover-up of the operation. As for Holder's wife Sharon Malone being involved, this is the first time her name has come up throughout the course of the Fast and Furious scandal. His mother hasn't been mentioned before, either. 

Notably, the document discloses that emails between Attorney General Holder and his wife Sharon Malone – as well as his mother – are being withheld under an extraordinary claim of executive privilege as well as a dubious claim of deliberative process privilege under the Freedom of Information Act. The “First Lady of the Justice Department” is a physician and not a government employee.

“This document provides key information about the cover-up of Fast and Furious by Attorney General Eric Holder and other high-level officials of the Obama administration. Obama’s executive privilege claims over these records are a fraud and an abuse of his office. There is no precedent for President Obama’s Nixonian assertion of executive privilege over these ordinary government agency records. Americans will be astonished that Obama asserted executive privilege over Eric Holder’s emails to his wife about Fast and Furious," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “Once again, Judicial Watch has proven itself more effective than Congress and the establishment media in providing basic oversight of this out-of-control Administration. This Fast and Furious document provides dozens of leads for further congressional, media, and even criminal investigations.”

After more than a year of stonewalling and a lawsuit from Judicial Watch, DOJ attorneys asked for an extension until November 3, the day before the midterm elections, to turn of the list explaining more than 15,000 documents. That request was denied.

President Obama asserted executive privilege over thousands of Fast and Furious documents just moments before Holder was held in contempt of Congress by the House Oversight Committee in June 2012. That same month, Republicans and Democrats in the House voted Holder in civil and criminal contempt of Congress. Holder is the first sitting cabinet member in U.S. history to be held in contempt of Congress. After six years at the Department of Justice, Holder submitted his resignation to President Obama in September, but will stay in his position until a new Attorney General is confirmed after the midterm elections.

This post has been updated with additional information. 

Cortney O'Brien - CNN Makes a Mockery of the Worst Moment of Bristol Palin’s Life, She Responds
Posted: 10/23/2014 2:30:00 PM EST

Bristol Palin was pushed to the ground. She was dragged across the grass. She was called a “slut.” She was robbed.

CNN’s Carol Costello thought that was hilarious.

In what was perhaps the worst moment of Bristol’s life, the media treated her as a laughingstock. Outlets couldn’t wait to report on the “Palin family brawl” or the “thrilla in Wasilla” that occurred at a party in Anchorage, Alaska, and turn it into a TMZ segment. Heck, it was probably even on the verge of becoming a Saturday Night Live skit. MSNBC’s Joy Reid referred to it as a “stunt” and said John McCain should apologize for putting Sarah Palin on the ballot in 2008. But, the worst “report” of all, had to be this insensitive segment from CNN’s Costello.

CNN obtained the audio from the unfortunate incident. In the clip, an exhausted and shaken Bristol describes how a stranger pushed her sister Willow, then assaulted her. To make matters worse, Bristol had her five-year-old son Tripp in the car and she was clearly concerned for his safety as well. It is this audio clip that Costella told her viewers to “sit back and enjoy:”

When the Ray Rice scandal broke and that terrifying video surfaced of the football player knocking his fiancé to the ground and dragging her out of an elevator, Costello slammed Fox News for supposedly making light of it. She also made sure to inform her viewers about the very real dangers of domestic assault. Here she is reading off a few statistics, for instance, that 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence and women 20 to 24-years-old are at greatest risk.

Fast forward a month later, Costello is openly mocking Bristol Palin for…being a victim of physical assault. You’d think she’d change her mind about making jokes about the encounter after listening to the troubling clip, but at the end, she merely says, “You can thank me later.”

Shame on Costello and her fellow media outlets for taking a horrible moment in Bristol’s life and turning it into a farce. Bristol and her family were in serious danger. You can hear the terror in Bristol’s voice when she’s speaking to the police.

It is for this reason that Bristol decided to respond to the media on her blog and share the real story: She and her sister Willow were brutally attacked and Bristol only “took a swing” at the attacker to defend herself. In a separate post, she asked how anyone could be so cruel as to call the disturbing police clip (which she refuses to ever listen to) as the "best audio" they've ever heard in their life? Bristol also wasn’t afraid to pinpoint the reason why the media is treating the incident so lightly: they are biased against conservative women.

Thankfully, we have journalists like the Daily Caller's Matt Lewis who are willing to go on TV and shame the media. Kudos to some media for admitting their mistakes as well, like Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski, who acknowledged the show had initially reported the story with a humorous tone.

Costello has yet to apologize.

UPDATE: She just did.

Katie Pavlich - Obama: We Need Michelle Nunn to Win So The Democrat Senate Can Advance My Agenda
Posted: 10/23/2014 1:15:00 PM EST

Over the past few weeks Democrats have expressed great frustration with the White House and President Obama's desperate attempts to tie himself to vulnerable candidates. Democrats have done everything possible to distance themselves from President Obama, whose 60 percent disapproval rating among voters is proving toxic. Candidates don't want Obama campaigning for them and won't even admit to voting for him in 2008 or 2012 when asked by reporters. 

Democrats are running from Obama's agenda just ahead of the midterm elections and the President is chasing them. 

First, during a speech at Northwestern University President Obama said his agenda is absolutely on the ballot for the midterms as Democrats have desperately tried to argue this election isn't about him. Then Obama said on Al Sharpton's radio program that "the bottom line is" vulnerable Democrats support his agenda and have repeatedly voted for it. And most recently, President Obama said during an interview earlier this week on Atlanta's Ryan Cameron Morning Show it is crucial Democrat Senate Candidate Michelle Nunn win her race against Republican David Purdue so "good work" and his agenda can continue in Washington with a Democrat majority and Harry Reid at the helm.

"If Michelle Nunn wins that means Democrats keep control of the Senate and that means that we can keep on doing some good work and so it is critically important to make sure folks vote," Obama said.

If Democrats keeping the Senate depends on keeping President Obama at a distance, then why is Obama continually inserting himself into places where he is not welcome? Over to you, Lou Dobbs.

"How much punishment can a practicing narcissist suffer?" 

President Obama, just leave the Democrats alone!

Guy Benson - Report: WH Lied About Releasing Illegal Immigrants Charged With Violent Crimes
Posted: 10/23/2014 1:12:00 PM EST

Rewind the tape to February of 2013, when the Obama administration was ramping up its machinations to make the federal government run as poorly as possible in order to terrify the public about the looming (microscopic) sequester cuts -- which were, we'll remind you, President Obama's own idea.  The plan was to make the "consequences" of sequestration as unavoidable and unpalatable as possible --  deliberately at the expense of responsible, priorities-oriented governance.  The White House's cynical ploy faltered, as they failed to fool most Americans, and as fact-checkers took them to task for their intentional, endless mendacity.  The sequester went into effect, and the earth did not implode.  But don't say they didn't try.  Team Obama was earnestly committed to hurting as many people as possible as a means of turning voters against the concept of fiscal responsibility. One of their most reckless gambits over the course of their calculated 'parade of horribles' was the mass release of hundreds of illegal immigrants being detained for various reasons.  The federal government couldn't afford to hold them any longer, we were informed at the time, thanks to those "draconian" budget cuts:

Federal immigration officials have released hundreds of detainees from detention centers around the country in recent days in a highly unusual effort to save money as automatic budget cuts loom in Washington, officials said Tuesday. The government has not dropped the deportation cases against the immigrants, however. The detainees have been freed on supervised release while their cases continue in court, officials said. But the decision angered many Republicans, including Representative Robert W. Goodlatte of Virginia, who said the releases were a political gambit by the Obama administration that undermined the continuing negotiations over comprehensive immigration reform and jeopardized public safety...A spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, an arm of the Department of Homeland Security, said the detainees selected for release were “noncriminals and other low-risk offenders who do not have serious criminal histories.” Officials said the releases, which began last week and continued on Tuesday, were a response to the possibility of automatic governmentwide budget cuts, known as sequestration, which are scheduled to take effect on Friday.

We're not endangering public safety, the administration insisted.  We're only releasing non-violent illegal immigrant detainees.  And we're doing it because of these tiny budget cuts, Congress.  So take the hint, and cancel the cuts.  (Lord knows there wasn't any federal fat to trim that didn't involve flinging open jail doors).  Well, USA Today has been digging into this episode and has gathered proof that the administration lied.  Surprise:

New records contradict the Obama administration's assurances to Congress and the public that the 2,200 people it freed from immigration jails last year to save money had only minor criminal records. The records, obtained by USA TODAY, show immigration officials released some undocumented immigrants who had faced far more serious criminal charges, including people charged with kidnapping, sexual assault, drug trafficking and homicide. The release sparked a furor in Congress. Republican lawmakers accused the Obama administration of setting dangerous criminals free. In response, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it had released "low-risk offenders who do not have serious criminal records," a claim the administration repeated to the public and to members of Congress. The new records, including spreadsheets and hundreds of pages of e-mails, offer the most detailed information yet about the people ICE freed as it prepared for steep, across-the-government spending cuts in February 2013. They show that although two-thirds of the people who were freed had no criminal records, several had been arrested or convicted on charges more severe than the administration had disclosed. ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen acknowledged the discrepancy. She said "discretionary releases made by ICE were of low-level offenders. However, the releases involving individuals with more significant criminal histories were, by and large, dictated by special circumstances outside of the agency's control."


Uh huh.  And what, pray tell, were those "special circumstances"?  And who was calling those shots?  The story reminds readers of the extent of the administration's deceit:

In hearings last year, Republican lawmakers pressed then-ICE Director John Morton for specifics on the criminal records of the people the agency had freed. At one, Rep. J. Randy Forbes, R-Va., asked Morton directly, "No one on that list has been charged or convicted with murder, rape or sexual abuse of a minor, were they?" Morton answered, "They were not." He told lawmakers that, to his knowledge, none had faced child pornography charges. White House spokesman Jay Carney similarly described them as "low-risk, non-criminal detainees." A spreadsheet ICE officials prepared listing the detainees includes one person in Texas charged with aggravated kidnapping and sexually assaulting a child, as well as others charged with armed assaults or assaulting police officers. Another immigrant released from Miami had been charged with conspiracy to commit homicide. Two detainees from Boston had been charged with aggravated assault using a weapon. One in Denver had a sexual assault charge. 

To review: The Obama administration opposed its own budget cuts, so they bent over backwards to dream up ways of making those reductions as visible as possible, packing as much sting as possible.  So they cut loose thousands of detained illegal immigrants, while carefully assuring the public that those released were "low risk non-criminals."  That detail was important, they reckoned, because releasing violent criminals of any sort, let alone illegal immigrants, would create a backlash that might complicate their scare tactics.  But they did release violent criminals, and they lied about it.  Then again, simply releasing thousands of illegal immigrants with criminal records is par for the course; you're just not supposed to know about it.  The most transparent administration in history has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal pertinent immigration statistics from inquiring journalists, opting instead to share the information with allied immigration activists.  Between this revelation, this disgraceful performance, and Harry Reid's breathtaking irresponsibility regarding the unaccompanied minor border crisis, Democrats are showing themselves to be the veritable definition of bad faith actors as it pertains to immigration reform.  That's why many of us who are at least theoretically in favor of a legislative package to addresses our broken system have become jaded.  Democrats and the Obama administration cannot be trusted to enforce the law or tell the truth.  Working with them to "solve" this problem is quixotic, as they clearly have no intention of solving anything.

Sarah Jean Seman - CO Governor's Race Turns into 'Rocky Mountain Slugfest'
Posted: 10/23/2014 12:45:00 PM EST

It is anyone’s game in the Colorado governor’s race. Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper and GOP Rep. Bob Beauprez are in a dead heat (45-44) and only eight percent of likely voters remain undecided, according a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.

Tim Malloy, the assistant director of the poll, noted:

"In just a few weeks, what looked like a slide toward political oblivion for Gov. Hickenlooper morphs into a down-to-the-wire Rocky Mountain slugfest with Bob Beauprez.

Let's see who's still standing when the bell rings on Election Night. Will they be talking about Hick the Comeback Kid of 2014, or Bob 'The Bomber' Beauprez?"

Gov. Hickenlooper, once the most popular governor in the country according to Public Policy Polling, is now finding it much more difficult to harvest support.

Some voters are turning away from Hickenlooper due to public safety concerns. Dave Maney, chief executive officer at Deke Digital LLC, told Bloomberg he donated to Hickenlooper in 2010, but will cast his ballot this year for Beauprez:

"I saw a guy I thought matched up with the way I looked at the world who failed to stop a runaway legislature. He went from being happy to drink fracking fluid to somehow being willing to brook this giant discussion on drilling near communities. Then he moved to restrict peoples’ personal freedoms with guns."

In addition to restricting Coloradans' ability to defend themselves, Hickenlooper’s softness on crime is raising concerns. The governor intends to grant clemency to convicted death-row inmate Nathan Dunlap, a man who murdered four Chuck E. Cheese employees and seriously wounded a fifth in 1993. Family members of the victims are speaking out on the issue.

Here is a video with Dennis O'Connor, whose daughter Colleen was murdered:

This is not an isolated example of public safety dereliction, according Beauprez’s campaign manager Dustin Olson:

"Hickenlooper has a long list of public safety failures, including the release of dangerous prisoners into our neighborhoods, an understaffed Parole Division, policies that discourage accountability for parolees even for serious violations, and an inability to lead his party on common sense legislation like a Felony DUI law."

Mail in ballots began flooding in last week, and more than 330,000 Colorado voters have already made their decision.