Ernest Luning

Hickenlooper tosses COIN into economic development pool

The Colorado Statesman

Gov. John Hickenlooper announced on Monday the creation of a statewide initiative designed to bring together inventors and entrepreneurs with an aim of increasing the number of manufacturing jobs in Colorado while boosting the state’s reputation as a hotbed of innovation.

Pointing to areas around the country that combine cutting-edge research with market-shaking entrepreneurial zeal — from California’s Silicon Valley to comparable corridors in Massachusetts and North Carolina — Hickenlooper said it was time for Colorado to do what it can to join those ranks.

House Dems tap Ferrandino as Minority Leader

Rep. Claire Levy goes to JBC in leadership shuffle
The Colorado Statesman

House Democrats elected state Rep. Mark Ferrandino as the caucus’s minority leader by acclamation on Nov. 18, making the Denver Democrat the first openly gay man to win a top leadership spot at the Colorado Capitol. Ferrandino takes over for congressional candidate Sal Pace, D-Pueblo, who announced earlier this month he was stepping down from the post.

In one of his first official acts, Ferrandino named Minority Whip Claire Levy, D-Boulder, to take his place on the powerful Joint Budget Committee, which began wrestling with next year’s budget earlier this month.

Personhood measure heading back to ballot

The third time a charm?
The Colorado Statesman

Fresh off a thumping at the polls in Mississippi, supporters of a constitutional amendment that would legally define a fertilized egg as a person are back for a third try with Colorado voters.

On Monday, Arvada-based Personhood USA unveiled a measure that’s been substantially rewritten from ballot initiatives Colorado voters shot down by wide margins in the last two general elections.

Brown tells GOP donors to set aside abortion fights

The Colorado Statesman

Former U.S. Sen. Hank Brown — probably the closest thing the state GOP has to an elder statesman — urged a group of activist Republicans and major donors to the party to stop letting the divisive issue of abortion get in the way of electing Republicans. Speaking at a monthly fundraising luncheon thrown by the state GOP last Thursday, Brown told the group of about 100 that it was folly for federal candidates to draw sharp lines over abortion because, in the end, there’s not much they can do about it once in office.

Veterans dig new hospital going up in Aurora

First groundbreaking for VA hospital was in 2009
The Colorado Statesman

It was the second time they brought shovels to the pile of dirt in Aurora, but this time they meant it.

A group of about 150 veterans and their supporters on Monday joined U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter — universally hailed as the driving force behind the long-stalled regional veterans hospital — and other congressional dignitaries to celebrate a ceremonial groundbreaking at the site of the proposed Denver VA Medical Center replacement facility at the Anschutz Medical Center in Aurora.

GOP's Stapleton, Gessler jab Hick

Complain that Guv avoids controversy, lacks leadership
The Colorado Statesman

State Treasurer Walker Stapleton and Secretary of State Scott Gessler berated Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper for refusing to take controversial positions when the two Republicans spoke on Monday before a conservative audience in Lakewood.

Miklosi tries to shore up support for CD 6 nomination against Coffman

But speculation is rampant that Romanoff might enter race
The Colorado Statesman

The Democratic challenger to U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, an Aurora Republican, moved to shore up support this week amid speculation former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff would jump into the race for a newly competitive 6th Congressional District.

Bennet pumps up volunteers for 2012 presidential campaign

The Colorado Statesman

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet’s narrow victory in 2010 against GOP challenger Ken Buck has been held up as a model for how Democrats can win Colorado’s crucial presidential vote next year, and Colorado’s junior senator was on hand over the weekend to energize Obama volunteers in Denver.

Gay veteran drops out of primary, accepts newly created party post

Conservative blog suggests "illegal bribe" may have been offered
The Colorado Statesman

A gay veteran who last month launched a primary challenge against three-term state Rep. Andy Kerr, D-Lakewood, dropped his bid Monday while at the same time accepting a newly created volunteer post to advise the state Democratic Party on veterans’ affairs.

The announcement that Lakewood resident Brian Carroll would be running against Kerr in the newly drawn House District 28 drew national attention because, his supporters touted, he would be the first openly gay veteran to seek public office following the repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.

Democratic Women's Summit offers hope for aspiring officials

The Colorado Statesman

Women politicians face some of the same barriers that seemed outmoded decades ago, but it’s more important than ever to make sure women are well represented in government because of their unique perspective and, studies show, they make better lawmakers.

That was the message delivered to a group of nearly 100 women who gathered all afternoon on Oct. 29 at the downtown Sheraton for the state Democratic Party’s third annual Democratic Women’s Summit.