Ernest Luning

‘Twas the swing-state election…

The Colorado Statesman

’Twas the swing-state election, and all through the year
Colorado was crucial, or so ’twould appear.
From the peaks to the plains there was no place to hide:
Undecided electors hung on for the ride.

Colorado’s electors go for Obama

“A very special part of Colorado history,” Gessler acknowledges
The Colorado Statesman

Although President Barack Obama won the popular vote in Colorado last month, it didn’t officially count until Monday when nine Democrats convened at the State Capitol to cast the final ballots for Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in the constitutionally mandated ritual of the Electoral College, a formal step toward filling the highest office in the land. It was the second time in four years that Colorado’s electors had voted for Obama and Biden.

Hick talks pot, fracking, ed reform at Denver Young Dems holiday party

The Colorado Statesman

A boisterous crowd of Democrats had plenty to celebrate at the Denver Young Democrats’ annual holiday party on Dec. 11 at the Boettcher Mansion — better known as the Governor’s Residence — amid festive decorations from local artists marking Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanzaa.

“Here’s to Obama. That stuff doesn’t happen by accident, and I realize how hard you all worked,” said Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, raising a toast to the record number in attendance, estimated at roughly 120 by party organizers.

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.”