Peter Marcus

School finance measure is officially on the ballot

Small cushion, big cost in petition gathering
The Colorado Statesman

Partisan wrangling over a ballot initiative to raise $950 million for school reform continued Wednesday just moments before the secretary of state’s office deemed the question sufficient for the November ballot.

Colorado Commits to Kids submitted 165,710 signatures last month after paying Washington, D.C.-based FieldWorks at least $779,047 for petition gathering activities. Only 89,820 of the signatures were deemed valid after a line-by-line review.

Another tumultuous week leading to recall elections

Big money, huge endorsements, countless campaign ads, and some major court decisions!
The Colorado Statesman

The seemingly never-ending soap opera that is the Colorado recall election took many more twists and turns this week, including a glimpse into massive campaign finance spending that has proven to be anything but grassroots, and complicated court rulings that have altered the direction of administering the Sept. 10 election.

Delegation addresses biz community at CACI congressional luncheon

Partisan split is obvious as members discuss energy, health care and immigration
The Colorado Statesman

Members of Colorado’s congressional delegation on Wednesday spoke to the state’s business community, covering a range of issues including energy, health care, immigration and regulatory affairs.

The partisan split was obvious — and expected — between the six congressional leaders from the U.S. House who spoke at the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry’s inaugural congressional luncheon at the downtown Westin Hotel in Denver. Despite promising to work together on a range of topics, the ideological gap between the Republican and Democratic lawmakers appeared to run deep.

Republicans Gessler, Brophy criticize incumbent Governor

Tancredo skips Lincoln Club forum, complains it pits GOP candidates against each other
The Colorado Statesman

Republicans Greg Brophy and Scott Gessler attacked Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper on Wednesday over failed leadership and an inability to make concrete decisions, as the two prepare for a possible gubernatorial challenge.

Brophy, a state senator from Wray, has already formally announced his campaign and has been actively hitting the trail. Gessler, the conservative stalwart secretary of state, plans to make his announcement on Sept. 17.

Comments by Marble elicit quick reaction

State senator comes under fire for remarks about diets of blacks, Latinos
The Colorado Statesman

Republican state Sen. Vicki Marble’s comments this week linking poor health within black and Latino communities to diets including barbecue chicken has led to Democrats declaring open season on Republicans.

For Democrats and critics of the Republican Party, her poorly chosen words offer the secret recipe for a “finger-lickin’” opportunity to pounce on a party that they have continually accused of being antiquated, disconnected and insensitive to minorities.

Biz, labor support tax on recreational marijuana

But medical pot attorney Corry is not high on proposal
The Colorado Statesman

With less than three months before Colorado voters decide whether to tax recreational marijuana for schools and enforcement, proponents are only just sparking the proposition.

But the Committee for Responsible Regulation is not too worried. Its last polling in April showed that the measure would pass by 77 percent of the vote. And now some big names and organizations are committing to rally behind the effort, with both the business and labor communities on board.

Political gunfire erupts in both recall campaigns

The Colorado Statesman

The first-ever Colorado recall season is in full swing as two Democrats — Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo — defend themselves against an onslaught of political gunfire.

The two lawmakers face recall elections after supporting a package of gun control measures this year at the legislature, including banning high-capacity ammunition magazines of more than 15 rounds and requiring universal background checks and fees.

The recall elections are the first in Colorado history for sitting state lawmakers.

Recall elections revised; no Supreme Court review

Make room for the Libertarian candidate in upcoming recall elections
The Colorado Statesman

Recall elections to oust Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and state Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo were once again thrown into flux this week after a Denver District Court judge’s ruling essentially made mail-ballot voting impossible. A few days later, the Colorado Supreme Court declined to hear the case on appeal and let the District Court ruling stand.

Judge Robert McGahey ruled from the bench Monday evening after hearing a day’s worth of arguments on a lawsuit brought by the Colorado Libertarian Party.

‘Good bipartisan policy’ is goal of new leg director

Tracee Bentley replaces Christine Scanlan as Hickenlooper’s liaison
The Colorado Statesman

Tracee Bentley acknowledges that she has big shoes to fill. As Gov. John Hickenlooper’s new legislative director, she is replacing former Rep. Christine Scanlan, a Democrat, who served the governor since he was elected in 2010.

“They’re so big I don’t think I can fill them,” Bentley laughed as she described the changing of the guard in the governor’s legislative office. “But I’ll do my best.”

Personhood pushers prepare for the polls — again for 2014

And the opposition is readying for the challenge once petitions are certified
The Colorado Statesman

So-called “personhood” proponents are back at it again, trying to convince Colorado voters to define an unborn child as a “person.” But this time they’re repackaging their message, shining the spotlight on “fetal homicide” with a mother who lost her unborn son to a drunk driving accident.

Heather Surovik was eight months pregnant last summer with her son, Brady, when a drunk driver slammed into her car in Longmont. Her life changed immediately when she woke up in the hospital to find that the accident had taken the “short life” of Brady.