Miller Hudson

Legalization of pot heats up stone cold day in Denver

It’s a brave new world out there
The Colorado Statesman

In the gloom before sunrise on January 1, TV trucks were lined up like dominos along Brighton Blvd. just south of I-70 as more than a hundred journalists of every stripe (think Al Jazeera) sipped coffee and munched sticky, warm donuts purchased from an opportunistic food truck situated in the parking lot at Denver’s Discreet Dispensary (DDD). Occasional snowflakes swirled briskly in the air as nearly 200 customers awaited the first retail marijuana sales in Colorado.

HUDSON: HE EARNED YOUR RESPECT, IF NOT YOUR AFFECTION

Ken Gordon’s pleas on behalf of the better angels of our nature will be sorely missed

The Colorado Statesman

Thirty years ago, after I departed the Legislature, I allowed myself to be recruited as a candidate for Democratic Party Chair of Denver County. This didn’t have so much to do with my intimate involvement in party politics, but because two young candidates and personal friends, Wellington Webb and Federico Peña, were running for Mayor. The party machinery had been in the grip of Tooley or McNichols supporters for nearly two decades and both insurgent candidates were interested in a dispassionate and neutral hand at the helm of Democratic Party affairs.

Export-Import loan guarantees could help state

...if Colorado would utilize them
The Colorado Statesman

John McAdams, former Vice President and CEO of the U. S. Export-Import Bank, visited Denver this week as a guest of state Rep.Tracy Kraft-Tharp, D-Arvada. Part marketing junket and part tutorial, McAdams explained how the EX-IM bank could assist Colorado businesses and manufacturers in marketing their goods and services to an expanding global market. Some of his numbers were astonishing. The U. S. economy represents only 5 percent of the global market today.

HUDSON: INJUSTICE PREVAILS

Criminal penalties stacked against the poor

The Colorado Statesman

Several weeks ago Michelle Alexander, author of the bestselling examination of our exploding African-American prison population in The New Jim Crow, spoke at the Turnhalle on the Auraria campus. Her appearance drew a standing room only, turn away crowd. A civil rights attorney in California, where she graduated from Stanford, and today a law school faculty member at Ohio State, Alexander began her research on American prison populations more than a decade ago. When her book first appeared in 2010 it drew modest critical acclaim, but little public attention. Yet, once it was released in paperback last year, it has enjoyed 35 weeks on the New York Times bestseller index and turned its author into a celebrity.

Secessionist move was defeated

Rural Coloradans are no less unhappy
The Colorado Statesman

As kids we were all talked into doing something incredibly stupid by an older brother or sister, (perhaps the smart kid next door or down the block), but whoever it was, he or she should have known better. If we were lucky, our parents never discovered our misdeeds, but more often than not we found ourselves listening in painful silence to the embarrassing query, “If Johnny decided to jump off the roof, would you jump too?” In a few instances these conversations took place in the company of local law enforcement.

Salazar asks Coffman to demand vote on immigration

The Colorado Statesman

Organizing for Action, a political remnant from the Obama presidential campaign held yet another immigration reform rally at the Aurora City Hall this week, featuring former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. About 50 demonstrators assembled on a bright, sunny morning to ask Congressman Mike Coffman to personally demand that Speaker John Boehner bring a comprehensive reform bill to the House floor for a vote before the end of the year. The theme was clear: Coffman should knock on the Speaker’s door and ask that the Senate Bill adopted earlier this year be scheduled for a vote in 2013.

HUDSON: FORMER AP REPORTER WILL BE MISSED

Carl Hilliard personified the Western ethic of unwavering personal integrity in his life

The Colorado Statesman

Carl Hilliard’s first cousin serves as the associate pastor of the Longmont United Methodist Church. She opened the storied journalist’s memorial service with the observation that it was indeed ironic this event was being held in a church — an institution for which Hilliard apparently harbored substantial skepticism. Born in 1937 in Gebo, Wyo., a transient oil drilling camp near Thermopolis, Carl attended the University of Montana before launching a journalism career that ended with 32 years as a reporter for the Associated Press covering the Colorado Legislature from 1968 through 1999.

No fireworks among GOP guv candidates

The Colorado Statesman

COMCAST’s Westworks Studio in Centennial was the site for the first debate in 2014’s Colorado Republican primary campaign for governor. Aaron Harber, local political talk show host, gathered up four of the declared candidates who yearn to return John Hickenlooper to his brewpub barstool in LODO. The field is likely to grow after the first of the year as additional aspirants scurry to put exploratory committees in place.

HUDSON: ARE YOU READY FOR THE FUTURE?

Everyone’s focused on taking back America — but what about taking us ahead?

The Colorado Statesman

Last week the Conference on World Affairs in Boulder brought Hedrick Smith to campus as part of University of Colorado’s Athaneum lecture series. Wearing a tailored grey tweed jacket, Smith cut a suave and dapper figure despite his 80 years. He has enjoyed a frequently honored journalistic career — a pair of Pulitzers during his quarter century with the New York Times (1962-88) and several Emmys for his 50 documentaries produced at PBS.

After the election, alarm claxons should be blaring

Can you hear them at Dem headquarters and in the Guv’s office?
The Colorado Statesman

Americans love fads. Whether it was hula-hoops on the playground, or new math in our schools, or management by objectives on the job, we could hardly wait to embrace the very latest rage. Granola, Pilates, gluten free everything — bring them on! Following the successful recall of two state senators by populist mobs and the clobbering Colorado voters administered to Amendment 66 on Election Day, it appears the progressive agenda for the Centennial State is trapped on a careening bus without brakes headed for a precipice.