Ernest Luning

Arapahoe County Dems already giddy about 2014

CD candidate Romanoff already on the stump
The Colorado Statesman

Arapahoe County Democrats had plenty to celebrate at the party’s biennial reorganizational meeting on Monday at Cherry Creek High School.

Not only did the traditionally Republican county continue its tilt toward Democrats — President Barack Obama won the bellwether county by 10 points over Republican nominee Mitt Romney, and Democrats retook the state House in part by ousting an Aurora Republican — but what some are already anticipating could be the most hotly contested congressional race in the country next year is taking shape there.

Romanoff’s primary path becomes more certain

Sen. Newell says she won’t run in CD 6; Coffman not focused on campaign right now
The Colorado Statesman

Former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff’s path to take on incumbent U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, an Aurora Republican, became clearer this week after a Democratic legislator said she wouldn’t join what could be one of the country’s marquee congressional races.

State Sen. Linda Newell, D-Littleton, on Friday quelled speculation — fueled by her daughter’s Facebook post the previous week — that she would run in the 6th Congressional District and threw her backing behind Romanoff.

Community forum deals with immigration reform

U.S. Reps. DeGette and Polis joined by Gutiérrez
The Colorado Statesman

Just days before Congress began debating sweeping proposals to reform the country’s immigration policies, one of the key congressional architects of the plans appeared with two Colorado Democratic lawmakers to discuss the issue.

More than 350 packed Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church on Saturday afternoon at a community forum sponsored by U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette that also included U.S. Reps. Jared Polis and Luis Gutiérrez of Illinois, who heads the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Immigration Task Force.

Colorado Freedom Memorial project underway

The Colorado Statesman

Nearly a dozen years after the idea was first conceived, organizers, dignitaries and military families broke ground in Aurora on Saturday for a memorial honoring every Colorado member of the military killed or missing in action since statehood.

Pro-civil unions Republicans want to rebrand party image

The Colorado Statesman

A group of Republicans who support civil unions are pressing GOP lawmakers to back a bill to establish them in Colorado before the party permanently brands itself among younger voters as intolerant.

That was one message expressed on Monday afternoon at a Coloradans for Freedom gathering at the Colt & Gray restaurant in Denver. The group met to toast this session’s near certain passage of Senate Bill 11 and make a case that it isn’t too late for state Republicans to get on board — though some warned that the deadline is looming.

Volunteer lobbyists aim to teach legislators

The Colorado Statesman

Clad in bright, lime-green T-shirts, some 200 volunteers fanned out across the Capitol on Wednesday to deliver a message to lawmakers: Don’t adjourn without a plan to fix how Colorado funds education.

The 2013: Year of the Student Project, organized by school-funding advocacy group Great Education Colorado, recruited parents, students, teachers and business owners to distribute packets that included the plea backed by a petition and letters inquiring about legislators’ positions on school funding.

Inauguration of the President

Denver Dems celebrate Obama’s inauguration from afar
The Colorado Statesman

Denver Democrats cheered President Barack Obama’s second inauguration at a bash thrown locally on Monday night at an East Denver restaurant. The inaugural gala, sponsored by the Democrats of House Districts 6 and 8, featured replays of the day’s highlights in the swank surroundings at the Cork House Broker Restaurant, familiar to neighborhood denizens as the longtime home of the venerable Tante Louise.

Tancredo warns of GOP’s suicidal path

Plus, race for state chair down to just two contenders
The Colorado Statesman

The race to chair the Colorado Republican Party got a little less crowded this week.

Grassroots organizer Lori Horn announced at a meeting of the Arapahoe County Tea Party on Tuesday night that she was ending her campaign for state GOP chair and instead would be running for vice chair at the biennial reorganization meeting in March. Her move leaves incumbent state Republican chairman Ryan Call and Douglas County Republican chairman Mark Baisley as the only two announced candidates. Current vice chairman Don Ytterberg — also the head of the Jefferson County Republicans — is the other announced candidate for vice chair.

Controversial civil unions bill clears first hurdle in committee

Legislation likely to sail through Democratic chambers
The Colorado Statesman

A Senate committee waved ahead a bill to establish civil unions for gay couples in Colorado on Wednesday over objections that it infringes on the religious rights of adoption agencies and bakers.

“When two people are fortunate enough to have found someone that they want to share the rest of their life with, why should the state of Colorado stand in the way?” asked state Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver, one of four openly gay lawmakers sponsoring Senate Bill 11 this year.

Salazar to leave Cabinet in March

The Colorado Statesman

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar plans to return along with his trademark cowboy hat and bolo tie collection to Colorado in March after four years heading the department, he announced on Wednesday.

“I have had the privilege of reforming the Department of the Interior to help lead the United States in securing a new energy frontier, ushering in a conservation agenda for the 21st century, and honoring our word to the nation’s first Americans,” said Salazar in a statement.