Ernest Luning

Trailblazing elephants on the hunt

The Colorado Statesman

Colorado Republicans last week unveiled a new set of rankings for its top-tier legislative candidates and then introduced most of them to a crowd of donors intent on wresting control of the state Senate from Democrats and expanding the GOP’s narrow House majority in the November election.

More than 400 donors gathered for an afternoon of barbecue and politics on a balmy Saturday afternoon last week at the Wiens Ranch in rural Douglas County south of Sedalia, where former state Sen. Tom Wiens breeds and raises quarter horses.

Mayor delivers optimistic State of the City message

But fiscal reality requires lifting of TABOR
The Colorado Statesman

Proclaiming Denver a “vibrant, world-class city,” Mayor Michael Hancock on Monday unveiled a host of programs aimed at delivering services more effectively and said the city plans to ask voters for a permanent repeal of revenue limits this fall in order to “remove the fiscal handcuffs of TABOR.”

Republican delegates look ahead to RNC in Tampa

The Colorado Statesman

Colorado delegates to this summer’s Republican National Convention gathered for the first time since the state convention at a mixer last weekend in Denver to get acquainted, preview a packed schedule, and joke about the possibility of a hurricane.

Because Colorado is considered one of only a handful of key battleground states in this year’s presidential election, the state’s contingent of 36 delegates and 33 alternates to the RNC can expect a lot of attention from national media at the convention, set for Aug. 27-30 in Tampa, Fla., organizers said.

Former Homeland Security chief Chertoff says citizen involvement is cornerstone of security

The Colorado Statesman

The United States is facing rapidly evolving threats unforeseen when the federal government established the Department of Homeland Security a decade ago, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, a former head of the department told a Denver audience last week.

Michael Chertoff, the second secretary of Homeland Security, warned against the risk of biological terrorism, cyber attacks and the rise of transnational criminal outfits that might not adhere to a particular ideology but nonetheless threaten the safety of Americans at an appearance on July 12 at the Denver Art Museum.

‘Anti-equity’ legislators targeted

Backers of civil unions legislation are behind Fight Back Colorado
The Colorado Statesman

A group formed by supporters of civil unions — and seeded with a hefty contribution from wealthy gay-rights advocate Tim Gill — aims to flip control of the Colorado Legislature in its favor by targeting a handful of Republicans in close races this fall.

Inspired by a similar effort that led to the adoption of same-sex marriage in New York a year ago, organizers of the nominally nonpartisan Fight Back Colorado group say they intend to pick “one or two or three races where we feel we have a chance of making a difference.”

Campaign launched to counter ‘manufactured’ war on women

527 organization formed to reach unaffiliated women voters
The Colorado Statesman

Countering what she terms a “manufactured War on Women,” a veteran El Paso County GOP operative has launched an advertising campaign aimed at persuading women to vote Republican instead of getting distracted by emotional appeals from Democrats.

“Our goal is to give women an alternate message than what they’re hearing,” said Laura Carno, founder of the group I Am Created Equal. “We want to help them see that Republican candidates are going to give them more power and control over their own lives.”

Colorado Democrats gear up for Charlotte

The Colorado Statesman

Colorado Democrats heading to Charlotte for the 2012 Democratic National Convention are finalizing hotel arrangements, raising money to help less well-off delegates and swapping convention stories just four years after the spotlight was on Denver.

Conservatives revved up at Summit

The Colorado Statesman

Convening just a day after the Supreme Court upheld the Obama administration’s signature health care reform legislation, speaker after speaker at the third annual Western Conservative Summit in Denver last weekend said the ruling would stand as a turning point in the presidential race.

“The Court had its say on June 28. The people in this room and around this country will have their say on Nov. 6,” U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner told attendees who packed the downtown Hyatt Regency Denver over three days to hear a host of prominent conservatives light a fire under the movement.

Dutch lawmaker brings his crusade against Islam to conservative confab

The Colorado Statesman

Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders brought his crusade against the Islamic religion to Denver last weekend, warning an audience at the Western Conservative Summit that Europe and the United States are vulnerable to an insidious takeover by what he termed a “dangerous, totalitarian ideology” masquerading as a religion.

Longoria stars in White House replay

The Colorado Statesman

A ctress Eva Longoria told a standing-room-only crowd in Wheat Ridge on Sunday that it’s an easy choice for women to support President Barack Obama over Republican nominee Mitt Romney, and that women will make the difference in the fall election.

“A lot of you are here because you want your voices heard, and, let me tell you, in November, our voices will be heard,” she told an estimated 400 Obama supporters packed into a conference hall at the Wheat Ridge Recreation Center.