The Colorado Statesman
The reliance on computers to design legislative districts ignores issues of community of interest and demographic homogeneity in favor of packing like-minded voters into predictably performing precincts. There may be no better example than Denver’s second house district, home to House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, which cobbles together the single-family residential districts south of Sixth Avenue in central Denver with the transient apartment blocks across Capitol Hill. While all these voters lean Democratic, they differ dramatically in age, attitude and habits of thought.
The Colorado Statesman
The 7 p.m. report from the Denver County Clerk placed Dr. Valentina Flores so far ahead of Taggart Hansen in the State Board of Education primary in District 1 that even her supporters at Democratic headquarters on Sherman Street were at a loss to explain the results election night. Her 55-45 lead would continue to swell throughout the evening until it reached 58.9 percent to her opponent’s 48.2 percent. The punditocracy had previously awarded the seat to Hansen, who enjoyed support from the Democrats for Education Reform and its well-heeled network of independent expenditure committees.
HUDSON: BILL CLINTON BACK IN 1984
The Colorado Statesman
With the “Big Dog” back in town this week, it seems appropriate to reminisce about Bill Clinton’s first political visit to the Centennial State 29 years ago. I was serving as Chair of the Denver County Democratic Party, and we were seeking a speaker for our annual dinner. Dale Tooley had recently been diagnosed with cancer and we were moving the event up in order to launch an annual Tooley Award recognizing long service to the Denver Party, which Dale had chaired twice. Tooley would pass just two weeks after the dinner.
HUDSON: WARNING TO INCUMBENTS OF ALL POLITICAL PERSUASIONS
There is nothing quite as annoying for a rabid partisan as an obviously bright adversary working in the enemy camp. A considerable slice of partisan doctrine consists of adherence to the premise that the intellectual abilities of one’s opponents are inherently suspect. That’s why Eric Cantor presented such a problem for Congressional Democrats. He coupled feral intensity with a shrewd recognition of precisely when Democrats were off balance. He made pushing them to the curb with split lips and a rip in their trousers look easy.
HUDSON: ATTORNEY DAVID LANE TO THE RESCUE
Scoot your chairs up next to the campfire, children, and I’ll tell you a scary story. Once upon a time in Aurora, Colorado, there was a gang of neo-Fascist thugs who threw up roadblocks and demanded to examine your driver’s license. They even asked why you were driving through this particular intersection (Iliff and Buckley) — curious to know where you were going and why, (as though this was any of their business).
HUDSON: STRETCHING MY COGNITIVE CAPACITY…
John Hofmeister is a genial, burly man with a mane of silvering hair and superbly tailored suits. The former president of Shell Oil’s American operations, he retired in 2008 following a career that included stops at General Electric, NORTEL and Allied Signal, among others. Somewhere during this journey he became a human resources specialist, joining the Shell Group in 1997 as its international Director for Human Resources. His is not a tale of hardscrabble success as a wildcat petroleum driller, which may explain his decision to launch the non-profit Citizens for Affordable Energy.
HUDSON: CHEERS AND JEERS FROM THE SESSION
During the first few weeks following each legislative session, Colorado’s public policy institutes convene their supporters to either brag about their successes or bemoan their failures. For nearly a decade progressive and liberal lobbying shops have had a lot to be happy about (not so much at CACI and the Independence Institute). Once Democrats figured out how to reliably win legislative elections, following nearly three decades of Republican dominance, it turned out they didn’t have any problems a handful of billionaires couldn’t solve for them.
HUDSON: LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE OLD TIMERS
If you’ve been watching the current reprise of Fargo on FX from the inimitable Coen brothers, you have witnessed several victims tossed into car trunks who later crawled out to find their captors either unconscious, dead or vanished. Governor John Hickenlooper emerged the day after the 2014 legislative session adjourned last week to deliver State of the State remarks before the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce in a similar daze of slightly mystified elation.
HUDSON: LABORING OVER STATISTICS OF STATE EMPLOYEES
Unless you happen to find yourself caught in the squeeze, salary compression is one of those phrases that bewilders far more than it enlightens. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Is it more or less a natural result over time, or a flaw introduced by shortsighted decisions and a disregard for legal obligations? During bouts of economic distress is it simply a burden that should be borne without complaint, or does it insinuate injustices that inexorably undermine the integrity of any organization? (Weighty considerations, to be sure.)
HUDSON: SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
Each spring, shortly before final exams, the Conference on World Affairs schedules a week-long program of forums, panels, speakers and cultural performances across the University of Colorado campus in Boulder. This year’s edition was the 66th outing for the CWA. Originally designed as a town meets gown opportunity for the larger community, the Conference was also created to provide a little international flair to what was then surely an obscure and backwater center of higher learning in flyover country.