Ernest Luning

Colorado Repubs revel at Christmas party

The Colorado Statesman

Republican lawmakers told members of the Colorado Republican Business Coalition at the organization’s holiday party last Thursday that, even though Democrats will be in control at the Capitol next year, the minority legislators will have their backs.

“Next year, even though we are outnumbered, we can still stir a pretty mean pot,” said state Sen.-elect Vicki Marble, R-Fort Collins, who drew cheers from the party-goers when she declared, “I am a capitalist pig, and I’m damn proud of it!”

Challenge is likely to GOP State Chair

Douglas County GOP Chair Mark Baisley leaning to run against incumbent Call
The Colorado Statesman

In the wake of a solid thumping at the polls that has left Colorado Republicans trying to figure out what went wrong, state GOP Chairman Ryan Call could face a challenge from the head of one of the state’s most conservative county parties if he seeks a second term early next year. Mark Baisley, chairman of the Douglas County Republicans, told The Colorado Statesman this week that he’s leaning toward a bid for the top spot after receiving numerous calls from Republicans urging him to replicate the suburban county party’s successes statewide.

Choice is clear: Schaffer embodies essence of true reform in education

Out-going State Board of Ed member lauded by diverse group of Republicans and Democrats
The Colorado Statesman

Politicians from both sides of the aisle joined education reform activists to honor term-limited State Board of Education Chairman Bob Schaffer last week for his more than two decades of work at all levels of government to give parents a choice when it comes to their children’s schools.

‘Colorado Compact’ aims for immigration reform

The Colorado Statesman

While the document isn’t binding and doesn’t propose specific legislation, backers of an agreement on immigration reform unveiled this week say the Colorado Compact could help chart a course out of one of the country’s longstanding policy thickets and might help heal a yawning rift between Hispanic voters and the Republican Party.

Gessler gets earful on listening tour

Arapahoe County GOP chair cites blackjack-wielding volunteer and ‘hideous’ scene in Mission Viejo
The Colorado Statesman

Secretary of State Scott Gessler got an earful this week at the first stops on his self-described “listening tour” designed to solicit comments from the public about the conduct of the 2012 election.

Poll watchers, canvass board members, party officials and regular citizens lined up to air their grievances on Wednesday in Boulder and Centennial, complaining about everything from faulty polling lists and ham-handed county clerks to Gessler’s own actions chasing suspected non-citizens on the voter rolls while, some claimed, creating unnecessary hurdles for residents to register and vote.

Why did we lose?

Wadhams: Blame Romney
The Colorado Statesman

After enduring a shellacking at the polls in Colorado earlier this month, state Republicans are poised to come back in a big way in the next election, former state GOP chairman Dick Wadhams told a group of Aurora Republicans on Saturday.

But in order to win the favor of the state’s notoriously fickle electorate, he said, Republicans have to figure out how to reach increasing numbers of Hispanic voters, reject once and for all any association with the “lethal” personhood amendment, and do a better job picking candidates of “substance and discipline.”

GOP already chomping at the bit to take back state senate in 2014

The Colorado Statesman

Even as early returns were showing unexpectedly strong Democratic numbers on election night, at least a few Republicans at the state GOP’s watch party in Denver cast optimistic eyes toward the future.

“Don’t worry. We’re taking the Senate next time,” said one GOP operative. “No question.”

Ferrandino soon to be known as “Mr. Speaker”

The Colorado Statesman

Six months to the day after House Republican leaders killed a bill to establish same-sex civil unions in a bitter procedural standoff, a newly elected, triumphant Democratic majority on Thursday nominated Mark Ferrandino as speaker of the House, marking the first time an openly gay legislator will preside over the chamber.

The Denver Democrat fought to hold back tears as he told a packed committee room at the Capitol that he was humbled by the honor and considered it a win for kids who’ve been bullied or who grew up feeling like they didn’t fit in.

Colorado Democrats giddy over Obama, Statehouse wins

The Colorado Statesman

When the Associated Press called Colorado’s nine electoral votes for President Barack Obama on Tuesday night — swinging the election to the Democrat and cementing the state’s decisive role in national politics — an already ecstatic crowd in downtown Denver erupted in even more deafening cheers.

Riding a wave of strong support from the state’s Latinos, women and younger voters, Obama won Colorado with 1,252,679 votes, or 51.23 percent, over Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s 1,135,403 votes, or 46.44 percent. In 2008 Obama carried the state by a wider margin, roughly 9 points, only the second time in the last four decades that a Democrat has won the state.

Perlmutter head over heels after election victory

Republican Coors left in dregs after fizzling campaign
The Colorado Statesman

U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter was turning cartwheels after roundly defeating Republican challenger Joe Coors to win a fourth term representing Colorado’s 7th Congressional District on Tuesday.

Performing what has become a Perlmutter trademark — he embraced the move during his last campaign after an attack ad accused him of cartwheeling around Washington, D.C. — the Democrat went head over heels on election night in front of a room full of supporters at the Lakewood Sheraton and then again two days later at the State Capitol at Democratic caucus meetings.