Ernest Luning

Early GOP caucuses could alter national political landscape

The Colorado Statesman

Just a couple weeks ago, it looked like the Colorado Republican Party’s decision to move its precinct caucuses up to the first week in February wouldn’t matter much. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, by all appearances, was prepared to bag the first three presidential nominating contests — in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina — leaving it to subsequent states merely to nod their approval and endorse the presumptive nominee.

Tried and true tips on how to navigate the caucus process

The Colorado Statesman

Douglas County Republican Crista Huff isn’t the only one teaching voters how to navigate the caucus process — Republican presidential campaigns are training supporters in hopes of netting delegates via subsequent assemblies, and some of Huff’s past pupils are organizing classes of their own this year — but she’s been running classes for more than two years and sounds like she has the art down to a science.

A new era begins for New Era Colorado

The Colorado Statesman

More than 200 young politicos — and their supporters — showed up at a Capitol Hill bar on Jan. 11 at New Era Colorado’s annual celebration of the Legislature’s opening day. Lawmakers, campaign operatives and candidates rubbed shoulders with young activists and raised toasts to an ambitious legislative agenda unveiled earlier that day down the street at the Capitol.

Hickenlooper’s second State of the State draws on images of the Colorado West

The Colorado Statesman

It was all about hats as Gov. John Hickenlooper delivered his second State of the State address before a joint session of the Legislature on Thursday at the Capitol.

Recounting the history of John B. Stetson — who ventured west to territorial Colorado, only to discover his “hatting” skills led the way to an extraordinarily lucrative business — Hickenlooper connected the iconic headwear to the audience in the House chamber.

Lawmakers pledge cooperation — but hard feelings linger

Opening day at the 2012 Legislature
The Colorado Statesman

For at least a day, the second floor of the Colorado State Capitol was among the happiest places on earth.

As the second regular session of the 68th General Assembly of Colorado kicked off on Wednesday, legislative leaders from both parties pledged to reach across the aisles to tackle the state’s sluggish economy and dismissed suggestions that election-year politics or lingering rancor over new district lines might impede the people’s business.

Colorado Black Caucus launched this week

The Colorado Statesman

Declaring that the time has come for African-American elected officials to band together to foster common goals, state Rep. Angela Williams, D-Denver, welcomed a crowd of more than 200 to the official launch of the Colorado Black Caucus on Thursday night at the Colorado Museum of Nature and Science.

Boots 'N Business

The Colorado Statesman

Normally staid denizens of Denver donned Colorado western wear on Friday, letting their true inner cowboy and cowgirl shine at this year’s Boots ‘n Business annual luncheon. The event, which attracted about 950 community leaders, kicked off the 106th annual National Western Stockshow & Rodeo.

Colorado Young Democrats celebrate the holidays in old-fashioned style

‘The reason that Obama won Colorado and Democrats did so well is because young people came out to vote.’
The Colorado Statesman

Young Democrats from around the state gathered under the viaduct on Dec. 19 to celebrate the holidays, collect donations for the needy and honor volunteers and elected officials.

Revenue forecast brings good cheer

The Colorado Statesman

The state unwrapped an early holiday present on Dec. 20 when a quarterly forecast showed this year’s tax revenues could be $231 million higher than earlier predictions, allowing Gov. John Hickenlooper to restore $89 million he had earlier proposed cutting from K-12 education.

Community leaders join in Hanukkah celebration

The Colorado Statesman

Gov. John Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock joined elected officials and leaders of Colorado’s Jewish community to help light the first Hanukkah candle at Allied Jewish Federation’s public menorah in southeast Denver on Dec. 20.