A Sept.17 Quinnipiac poll showed Bob Beauprez with 50 percent of likely voters. That same poll had Gov. John Hickenlooper with 40 percent support of likely voters. A USA Today poll released the same day had Hickenlooper with 43 percent of support. And GOP nominee Beauprez trailed with 41 percent support of likely voters.

9/19/2014
By Ernest Luning
The Colorado Statesman

Just over three weeks before mail ballots go out to Colorado voters, a pair of polls released this week said Republican Senate candidate U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner and gubernatorial nominee Bob Beauprez hold commanding leads over Democratic incumbents U.S. Sen. Mark Udall and Gov. John Hickenlooper, marking a dramatic shift from previous polling that has shown the races too close to call.

But a flurry of other polls also released in the past week paint a different picture of the midterm electorate in the purple state, saying either that the races are toss-ups or that the Democrats are ahead.

9/19/2014
By Ernest Luning
The Colorado Statesman

Arapahoe County Republicans toasted an abundant slate of candidates and vowed to steer Colorado toward GOP victories this fall at the party’s annual Lincoln Day dinner on Saturday in Greenwood Village.

“We are going to turn this country around, we are going to turn this state around, and it’s all going to happen because of the work you are doing here in Arapahoe County,” said the GOP’s Senate nominee, U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, who is challenging U.S. Sen. Mark Udall in a tight race that could determine which party controls the Senate.

MACE: ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL
9/19/2014
By Frana Mace
GUEST COLUMNIST

Additional education is the choice that most reliably improves an American family’s quality of life. Consequently, both as a former Colorado legislator and during my professional career I have consistently attempted to expand access to and opportunity for college and specialized training programs.

9/12/2014
By Ernest Luning
The Colorado Statesman

GRAND JUNCTION — While they disagreed plenty about policy, the candidates on stage on the evening of Saturday, Sept. 6 at the Club 20 gubernatorial debate differed most in the leadership styles they displayed.

9/12/2014
By Miller Hudson
The Colorado Statesman

GRAND JUNCTION — Club 20 sponsored seven legislative debates last Saturday punctuated with presentations from four candidates, three Republicans and one Democrat, who are running unopposed for re-election this year. The actual debates ranged from the overtly hostile to amiable exchanges between candidates who actually like each other. Breaks for the legislators running without opponents allowed the audience to refill their coffee cups and run to the restroom.

9/12/2014
By Miller Hudson
The Colorado Statesman

Exactly 13 years after the Sept. 11 Al Qaeda attacks on the American homeland, retired General David H. Petraeus, commander of American troops during combat surges in both Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007 and later the Director of the CIA, addressed about 2,000 people at an anniversary commemoration held at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in downtown Denver.

9/12/2014

Dear Editor,

I’ve admired former Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave for many years and appreciated her advocacy on behalf of pre-born children. Your coverage of her recent event in the Aug. 29 issue is illuminating. I wish I could thank Marilyn for promoting National Right to Life’s 20-week abortion ban, but I can’t.

9/5/2014
By Ernest Luning
The Colorado Statesman

Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Udall brought a liberal superstar from Massachusetts and a nationally prominent pro-choice advocate to Jefferson County on Friday afternoon to rally volunteers preparing to contact voters ahead of what could be one of the key Senate races in the country.

9/5/2014
By Morgan Smith
The Colorado Statesman

It’s August 26, and I’ve driven to the ranch of Helen Shoemaker and her husband, former State Representative Bob Shoemaker in a beautiful valley north of Cañon City to visit. Sunday, August 31 was Helen’s 90th birthday and Bob, her husband of 67 years, will be 90 next June.

8/29/2014
By Ernest Luning
The Colorado Statesman

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker dazzled a standing-room-only crowd of Democrats in northeast Denver on Saturday with some tart observations about a Republican candidate named Cory in an effort to pump up enthusiasm for Colorado Sen. Mark Udall.

8/29/2014
By Ernest Luning
The Colorado Statesman

The head of the national Democratic Party helped urge students to register to vote on Monday at the Auraria campus in Denver, a key element of the party’s strategy to win races in competitive states.

“This is a mid-term election. We do have drop-off,” Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz told The Colorado Statesman. “That’s why we’re focused on voter expansion.”

8/29/2014
By Ernest Luning
The Colorado Statesman

Although Andrew Romanoff hadn’t quite turned 48 yet, some 500 supporters showed up on Saturday evening in Centennial to wish him a happy birthday in what has become a traditional fundraising opportunity for the Democrat, who is locked in one of the tightest congressional races in the country this year.

8/29/2014

Dear Editor,

I am disappointed and shocked that the Republican Chair of El Paso County, Jeffrey Hays, did not follow the lead of his party chair at the state level, Ryan Call, and distance himself from the racist and incendiary remarks of House District 15 candidate, Gordon Klingenschmitt.

8/29/2014

Dear Editor,

I must say, Coloradans, that there are no statesmen from Colorado in the U.S. Senate. Why, you ask? Because statesmen do not tell lies or false facts. Senator Mark Udall and his special interest groups are doing just that. TV ads are full of false facts (lies) and scare tactics about Cory Gardner. You see, Cory Gardner is a statesman — a man of honor and integrity. Udall is a politician; one who is more concerned about winning favor and retaining power than about maintaining principles.

8/22/2014
By Ernest Luning
The Colorado Statesman

The skies smiled on the more than 400 supporters of U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman on Sunday as they gathered for what has become an annual tradition, a fundraising barbecue in the spacious Greenwood Village backyard of James and Joy Hoffman, who chairs the Arapahoe County Republican Party.

8/22/2014
By Miller Hudson
The Colorado Statesman

PUEBLO — It wasn’t exactly a political convention per se, but from the looks of this very large get together on Aug. 22, it could have been. Several hundred current, former and potentially future elected officials, lobbyists and well-connected (and hungry) guests packed into a large white tent at this annual event signifying the official start-up of the summer’s 11-day showcase for the agricultural engines that drive the state’s rural economy — the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo.

FULTON: THERE’S A SMART WAY TO DO THINGS
8/22/2014
By Greg Fulton
GUEST COLUMNIST

What if I told you that there was a voluntary federal program that has resulted in a savings of 5 billion gallons of fuel, saved $16.8 billion in fuel costs, and reduced carbon monoxide emissions by over 52 million tons since the program’s inception in 2004. You probably wouldn’t believe it.

While we hear stories in the media about government boondoggles, very rarely do we hear about those public programs that do work and may even exceed expectations.

8/22/2014

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Starring Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell; directed by
Matt Reeves

This week’s review is written by Caesar, an ape critic who can amazingly utter rudimentary English (as opposed to French, or Portuguese, or Swahili) with some helpful translation:

8/15/2014
By Ernest Luning
The Colorado Statesman

The contenders in what could be the most closely fought congressional race in the country clashed over immigration, federal spending and campaign finance at their first debate on Thursday morning, but it was one candidate’s punt and the other’s fumble that drew the sharpest barbs from both sides.

8/15/2014

If you glanced up at the Colorado State Capitol this week, you might have seen expert gilders rappelling from the lantern atop the historic structure to complete a final touch-up on the iconic gold-leafed dome. Contractors have almost completed the final touches of the nearly three year long, $17 million dome restoration project.

8/15/2014
By Morgan Smith
GUEST COLUMNIST

“I want to tell this next generation that the philosophers were right; that St. Francis, Buddha, Muhammad, Maimonides – all spoke the truth when they said the way to serve yourself is to serve others. And that Aristotle was right, before them, when he said that the only way to assure your happiness is to give.”

U.S. District Judge John L. Kane
50th Class Reunion
University of Denver College of Law
May 22, 2010

8/8/2014
By Jody Hope Strogoff
The Colorado Statesman

The last minute compromise announced on Aug. 4 by Gov. John Hickenlooper that resulted in the withdrawal of four controversial ballot initiatives related to oil and gas drilling was contingent upon a series of domino type actions among the key players in Colorado’s fracking battle. By the end of the week, all had been accomplished — to various degrees of satisfaction — and Coloradans will be spared the assaults and counter assaults in what was potentially a $20 million election year all-out war.

8/8/2014

The Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry has endorsed a slate of 49 incumbent and new legislative candidates for election to the Colorado General Assembly, of which 27 are incumbents and 22 are new candidates. Of the 49 total endorsements, 11 are Democrats and 38 are Republicans. The full slate of endorsements can be found on CACI’s full page ad on the website of The Colorado Statesman.

STEPHENS: WAR ON WOMEN STRATEGY WON’T WORK THIS TIME
8/8/2014
By Amy Stephens
GUEST COLUMNIST

Democrats are wondering why it’s not working this time. In 2010, the War on Women strategy helped U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet edge out Republican Ken Buck in a close election. In 2012, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney found his campaign on the losing end of the WOW attack. However, in 2014, the ploy isn’t working so well for incumbent Sen. Mark Udall in a tight election against challenger Cory Gardner.

LINZEY: COLORADANS DESERVE BETTER
8/8/2014
By Thomas Alan Linzey
GUEST COLUMNIST

Well that didn’t take long. For all of the grandiose political statements about supporting Colorado communities that have banned oil and gas drilling, the whole house of cards fell overnight.

First came Food and Water Watch, a non-profit organization, which led its supporters across a bridge to nowhere. After announcing that it would run a statewide ballot initiative to bolster the authority of communities to ban oil and gas extraction, the group instead drafted a measure that didn’t. When confronted, the group then tried to redraft the initiative, but then threw in the towel.

8/1/2014
By Ernest Luning
The Colorado Statesman

Supporters and opponents gathered in Denver this week to air their concerns as the Environmental Protection Agency held hearings on proposed regulations to reduce carbon emissions in existing power plants.

DODGE: WAS RYAN CALL THE RINGMASTER, OR THE CLEAN-UP GUY?
8/1/2014
By Cliff Dodge
The Colorado Statesman

A funny thing happened on the way to the Republican primary election this year. Tom Tancredo, Scott Gessler and Mike Kopp were working hard to persuade voters that beating John Hickenlooper was their primary objective. Tom Tancredo, in the month of March, was gathering signatures to have his name placed on the primary ballot. Both Scott and Mike decided to duke it out at the Republican State Assembly.

SMITH: THE U.S. HAS AN OBLIGATION TO HELP
8/1/2014
By Morgan Smith
Contributing Columnist

Governor Rick Perry orders 1,000 National Guard troops to the US-Mexico border. President Obama urges the presidents of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to focus on their “shared responsibility” for the influx of migrant children from their countries. But where are Governor Perry’s troops going to go and what are they going to do? And what responsibility does President Obama think we have for this crisis?

8/1/2014

Dear Editor,

I was disappointed to see a lack in the usual thoroughness of Statesman reporting in one of last week’s articles, “Coalition rallies to defeat personhood amendment” by Ashley Chase Sinclair. It was an article about opposition to the amendment, so logic would ask, “what does the amendment say?”

The wording of the amendment was not included in the article, which is an important, objective omission.

From the Secretary of State’s website:

The title as designated and fixed by the Board is as follows:

8/1/2014

Dear Editor,

Ashley Chase Sinclair’s July 25 coverage of the pro-abortion rally against Amendment 67 sadly lacked a single quote from Brady Amendment proponents who were there. ‘A Voice for Brady’ advocates distributed materials questioning the moral standing of child-killing profiteers, who oppose this human rights measure, crafted to bring justice to pre-born children who become victims of criminal acts.

LEVY: BALLOT MEASURE PRESENTS A TRIFECTA OF PROBLEMS
8/1/2014
By Claire Levy
GUEST COLUMNIST

Using gaming money for education is hardly a winning solution.

I don’t know where to begin with this article expressing my profound dismay over the prospect of Colorado resorting to gambling to pay for education.

8/1/2014

Dear Editor,

I am a great fan of being “politically incorrect.” However, the July 25 Statesman headline, “Christie throws full weight behind Beauprez” is just politically nasty journalism. You may or may not like Gov. Christie but that was just plain not right. I might expect that from a kid on a school playground.

William F. Hineser, DPM,
Arvada

8/1/2014

Boyhood
Starring Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Lorelei Linklater; directed by Richard Linklater

Lucy
Starring Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Min-sik Choi, Amr Waked; directed by Luc Besson

The reflective evolutionary timeline of Boyhood and Lucy:

9/19/2014
By Miller Hudson
The Colorado Statesman

[Updated 9-23-14 to reflect Federal Judge R. Brooke Jackson's decision on 9-22-14.]

9/19/2014
By Ernest Luning
The Colorado Statesman

More than 300 clients, family members and caregivers involved with a host of nonprofit groups that serve Jefferson County had the chance to talk over plates of barbecue with lawmakers and candidates on Tuesday evening at the fairgrounds.

For the 12th year running, four large community service organizations — Developmental Disabilities Resource Center, Jefferson Center for Mental Health, the Seniors’ Resources Center and The Family Tree — invited those who benefit from their services and those who might have a say in how those services are delivered to share stories and talk policy.

9/19/2014

A PRIME NEW YORK DINNER FOR A COUPLE COLORADANS

Straight from The Colorado Statesman’s bureau in the Big Apple comes this meaty item... Spotted at New York City’s elegant Capital Grille restaurant on Sept. 14 was Colorado Republican U.S. Senate nominee Cory Gardner enjoying a fine dining experience with South Carolina U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham. Also at the table, of course, was local GOP bigwig Larry Mizel.

9/12/2014
By Ernest Luning
The Colorado Statesman

GRAND JUNCTION — Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Udall and his Republican challenger, U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, clashed over the federal government’s role in virtually every aspect of life in Colorado on Saturday, Sept. 6, at their first debate, before a crowd of nearly 1,000 at Western Slope advocacy group Club 20’s fall meeting.

9/12/2014
By Miller Hudson
The Colorado Statesman

Deputy Attorney General Bernie Buescher, a former Democratic state representative and former secretary of state, and his wife Mary Beth hosted a fundraiser for Gov. John Hickenlooper in Grand Junction prior to the Club 20 debate Saturday afternoon. While Mesa County leans heavily Republican, 40 or 50 supporters of the Democratic incumbent enjoyed Palisade peaches and ice cream on a warm afternoon. The Governor arrived with several West Slope members of his cabinet, son Teddy and wife Helen Thorpe in tow.

9/12/2014
By Ernest Luning
The Colorado Statesman

’Tis the season for complaints against candidates, and they’re flying fast and furiously, particularly in high-profile races in this swing state.

Just this week, state Democrats and a conservative pressure group logged complaints aimed at the two major party Senate candidates, alleging violations of congressional rules, federal regulations and general decency.

HUDSON: A FULL WEEKEND OF ELECTIONEERING
9/12/2014

Some 30 years ago the Bell System crumpled under pressure from Congress, regulators and competitors, not-so-voluntarily acceding to an anti-trust dissolution of its monopoly over national telephone service. American Telephone & Telegraph announced a divestiture plan that would spin off seven Baby Bell companies that would continue to offer the basic dial tone, while its manufacturing divisions, including Western Electric and Bell Labs, would emerge as an independent equipment developer and AT&T itself would carry on as primarily a long distance and high volume data transfer provider.

9/5/2014
By Miller Hudson
The Colorado Statesman

For many attorneys, an appointment to a judgeship is the culmination of a career aspiration that may appear somewhat aside from politics. An appointment to the bench often rewards either evident legal acumen or the generous financial support of politicians. In the case of former Colorado Supreme Court Justice and Federal District Court Judge James “Jim” Carrigan, it was also his sense of humor that was lauded during a memorial service last week at the University of Colorado Law School in Boulder.

9/5/2014

Farm dinners, like the Isabelle Farm partnership with Boulder’s Zolo Grill held August 18, reverse the trend, still utilizing a bounty of organic and sustainable fresh produce but instead bringing the table (and the chefs and all their expertise) to the farm.

8/29/2014
By Ernest Luning
The Colorado Statesman

Agroup of pro-life organizations headlined by former U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave called on Colorado’s Democratic senators to back a bill that would restrict abortions at a rally on Tuesday at the State Capitol.

Musgrave, currently the vice president of government affairs for the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List, urged Sens. Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, who is locked in a close race with Republican U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, to back the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which passed the House last year with Gardner’s support.

8/29/2014
By Miller Hudson
The Colorado Statesman

During a whirlwind 24 hours in Denver, Democratic National Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz squeezed in a quick fundraiser for Colorado Democratic Treasurer candidate, Betsy Markey on Tuesday afternoon. The pair served together during Markey’s single term in Congress before she surrendered her Eastern Plains seat to Cory Gardner. Introduced by former Democratic legislator Bryan Jameson of Fort Collins, Markey then introduced her fellow Gatorland alumna and former colleague.

8/29/2014

Dear Editor,

Thousands of Coloradans must stand together in light of the recent backroom deal cut by Governor John Hickenlooper and Congressman Jared Polis that short-circuited ballot measures that would have helped communities protect their health, safety and property from fracking. The only way to overcome this betrayal is to continue to build a unified, grassroots movement of moms and dads, business owners, and Coloradans from all walks of life. And within this movement, there is no place for the divisive attacks made by Thomas Linzey (guest column “Coloradans Deserve Better,” Statesman, 8/8/14). We invite all who want to protect their families and the future from fracking to rise above this unproductive finger pointing.

8/22/2014
By Jody Hope Strogoff
The Colorado Statesman

Tracy Winchester, who heads up the Five Points Business District, glanced around at the large and excited crowd gathered outside the old Denver health services building and invoked the image of the iconic Mr. Rogers. “It’s a wonderful day in the neighborhood,” she declared simply.

And indeed it was.

8/22/2014
By Sandra Fish
Special to The Colorado Statesman

To understand the national importance of the 6th Congressional District matchup between incumbent GOP Rep. Mike Coffman and Democratic challenger Andrew Romanoff, look no further than the money.

The Colorado race is ranked fifth in the nation in terms of money raised — $6.8 million through June 30 — by the candidates among the 435 U.S. House seats up for election Nov. 4.

And it’s one of only eight races in the nation where a challenger from the opposite party has raised more money than the incumbent.

8/15/2014
By Ernest Luning
The Colorado Statesman

Arapahoe County elections officials worked out the kinks this week on a new way to verify the vote count, one that should increase confidence in election results and will be adopted by most counties in Colorado within three years.

8/15/2014
By Jody Hope Strogoff
The Colorado Statesman

The theme for a special Democratic fundraiser in Denver in late July by legendary songstress Carole King could have been “You’ve got a Friend,” the iconic song from 1971 that King wrote and included in her best-selling Tapestry album. Approximately 60 appreciative Democrats had the pleasure of hearing the sweet rendition by the Grammy Award-winning songwriter at a private event sponsored by the DNC Dialogue Forum Colorado.

HUDSON: DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH FOR RESULTS
8/15/2014
By Miller Hudson
GUEST COLUMNIST

I own cookbook that offers the best Blue Ribbon recipes from state fairs across America. It serves as my go-to guide when attempting to prepare a dish for the first time, or when neighbors dump garden bags of parsnips and rutabagas on my porch. Seeing as how a jury has awarded these recipes a first prize, I can count on a quality meal that will please even the most finicky gourmands. They usually generate compliments; I need only faithfully execute the winner’s instructions.

8/15/2014

Dear Editor,

Gov. John Hickenlooper wants an 18 member fracking commission to “compromise.” But Hickenlooper’s preconditions for the fracking commission are one-sided and laughable.

The governor will only appoint people who believe the state’s control of fracking operations preempts any local community’s right to control or ban fracking operations. Where is the compromise?

The governor demands that the commission NOT discuss air quality and water quality impacts from fracking. Where is the compromise?

8/8/2014
By Ernest Luning
The Colorado Statesman

The oil and gas industry leaders who filled the ballroom at the Colorado Convention Center on Wednesday were avid to hear Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper discuss the deal unveiled earlier this week to head off a clash at the ballot box over hydraulic fracturing, but it was an off-hand comment about the Keystone XL pipeline that set off a frenzy of denunciation from Hickenlooper’s political opponents.

HUDSON: FROM NORTH CAROLINA TO D.C. AND BACK
8/8/2014
By Miller Hudson
Contributing Columnist

It’s always educational to take a trip almost anywhere in America. Wherever you happen to travel, people are far more cheerful and helpful and warmer than their economic circumstances might suggest. My granddaughter moved with her parents to Asheville, North Carolina last November and this was our first opportunity to visit them there. Delta Airlines operates a red-eye flight into Atlanta from Denver that only costs $100 and every seat was occupied — stuffed with bargain hunters. Stumbling off the plane at 5:30 a.m. we picked up our rental car and headed for the Tiger Run Vineyard.

8/1/2014
By Jody Hope Strogoff
The Colorado Statesman

The timing for State GOP Chairman Ryan Call couldn’t have been more precipitous last Wednesday when he bravely showed up at Garcia’s Mexican restaurant in the Denver Tech Center to address the 7 a.m. weekly meeting of the Arapahoe County Republican Men’s Club.

8/1/2014
By Marianne Goodland
The Colorado Statesman

Oil and gas advocates warned Tuesday that Colorado’s economic recovery could shift back into recession if two ballot initiatives on oil and gas development get onto the November ballot and are approved by voters.

During a telephone town hall Tuesday, attorney Peter Moore, chairman of Vital for Colorado and Tisha Schuller, president and CEO of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, advised callers to say “no” to anyone asking them to sign petitions for the two ballot measures.

8/1/2014
By Alicia M. Cohn
Special to The Colorado Statesman

Mike Dunafon has thrust himself into this year's race for governor, adding to the traditional sparring usually reserved for the major party candidates for the state's top office. He became certified for the ballot a couple of weeks ago as an unaffiliated candidate, securing the necessary 1,000 valid signatures and positioning himself to officially take on popular incumbent Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat.

HUDSON: MORE INSTANCES OF HOA PROBLEMS
8/1/2014
By Miller Hudson
The Colorado Statesman

Thirty years ago Prospector’s Point was constructed as a condo development a few blocks east of Federal Boulevard, roughly between 84th and 88th Avenues. It’s a topnotch location affording easy access to both I-25 and U.S. 36. Sited atop one of the highest points in Adams County, panoramic sightlines to the Northwest include Long’s Peak and the foothills, while to the south is a magnificent view of downtown Denver’s skyscrapers, snuggled deep in the Platte River valley. Four hundred individual units comprise the homeowners association. Nearly a hundred of these were added about 15 years ago.

8/1/2014

Dear Editor,

Thank you to Ernest Luning for his refreshing article in The Statesman covering Gov. Chris Christie’s fly-by in Colorado throwing his “weight” behind Bob Beauprez. It is nice to read a factual story about a man whose physical appearance matches his political convictions. Good job. Glad to see there is still a sense of fun in politics.

Keep it coming, it’s going to be a long road to 2016.

Appreciating a little chuckle,

Shelia Canfield-Jones
Bailey