Peter Marcus

Lots of petitions, lots of work still ahead

Selling voters on $950 million school finance reform ballot measure will be heavy burden
The Colorado Statesman

After submitting nearly double the number of signatures required to place a school finance reform measure on the November ballot, both sides of the debate have turned their focus to messaging. But convincing voters to back the $950 million tax increase may prove to be difficult.

Proponents — including Democratic Sens. Mike Johnston of Denver and Rollie Heath of Boulder — submitted more than 160,000 signatures on Monday. They appropriately hauled boxes of the petitions to the secretary of state’s office in a large white school bus, which was filled with voters’ signatures.

Energy execs tackle controversy

The Colorado Statesman

Energy executives who gathered in Denver this week for the Rocky Mountain Energy Summit were asked to bridge a divide between critics and the industry over hydraulic fracturing in order to move forward.

Ballots set for legislative recall elections

Sens. Morse, Giron will face voters on Sept. 10; campaigns in full gear
The Colorado Statesman

With legal challenges behind, campaigns are in full swing in Senate Districts 3 and 11 where Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo and Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs are facing recalls. For political observers, the odd-year summer battles are historic. The two recalls are the first for sitting lawmakers in state history.

But what will happen on Sept. 10 when clerks in El Paso and Pueblo counties hold elections is still very much up in the air.

Conservatives stick with their message, but look at repackaging it differently

The Colorado Statesman

Republicans at last weekend’s Western Conservative Summit in Denver focused on repackaging the party’s message in the wake of a clobbering at the polls in 2012. Party leaders acknowledged a need to better connect with moderate and minority voters, but their message of limited government remained constant.

‘Fractivists’ target chief oil & gas regulator

Hickenlooper’s appointee under fire
The Colorado Statesman

Environmentalists are targeting Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper and his chief oil and gas regulator after the administration joined a lawsuit seeking to overturn Longmont’s voter-approved ban on hydraulic fracturing.

Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Director Matt Lepore is taking the brunt of the criticism after commenting at a meeting in Loveland on July 16 that anti-fracking activists are wealthy enough to ignore the cost concerns associated with prohibiting the controversial drilling process.

‘Reform’ is key to DPS school board race

But definition of ‘reform’ is in the eye of the candidate
The Colorado Statesman

Nine candidates are vying for control of the Denver Public Schools Board of Education in this year’s November election. The under-the-radar race has major local and national political implications that could set the trajectory for the future of Colorado’s second-largest school district.

Just as was the case two years ago during the last DPS school board race, candidates have drawn a line in the sand. The unpaid board is nonpartisan, though the majority of its makeup is Democratic. But that hasn’t stopped candidates from creating factions.

Retired Air Force General hopes to take down Lamborn

The Colorado Statesman

Distinguished retired Air Force Major Gen. Irv Halter believes he can offer incumbent CD 5 Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn a battle in Colorado Springs.

But as a Democrat, Halter may find himself involved in a losing war in the heavily Republican-leaning Congressional District 5. Still, Democrats remain optimistic that the highly respected general can finally give Lamborn something to worry about.

Denver Mayor Hancock focuses on revitalization in ‘State of the City’

The Colorado Statesman

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock on Monday delivered his second State of the City address, discussing plans for homeless and housing, as well as uplifting somewhat forgotten neighborhoods like Elyria-Swansea and Globeville. He also focused on poising Denver to be a globally connected city.

It was fitting that Hancock delivered his remarks surrounded by vintage cars at the Forney Museum of Transportation on Brighton Boulevard. The north Denver community became the focus of his revitalization remarks.

Baumgardner enters 2014 U.S. Senate race

The Colorado Statesman

State Sen. Randy Baumgardner, the mustachioed “Capitol cowboy” at the Gold Dome, has become the second high-profile Republican candidate vying to take on U.S. Sen. Mark Udall in 2014, adding to what could become a crowded primary field.

Baumgardner announced his candidacy on July 12 in Granby, sporting his familiar Western-style hat. The rural Hot Sulphur Springs rancher this month joined state Sen. Owen Hill of Colorado Springs in announcing campaigns on the Republican ticket. Hill announced on July 8.

Recall elections are on!

Hickenlooper sets Sept. 10 for Morse, Giron recall elections
The Colorado Statesman

Denver District Court Chief Judge Robert S. Hyatt ruled Thursday afternoon that recall elections to oust Democratic Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo must proceed. In doing so, Hyatt rejected lawsuits that would have invalidated petition signatures, and paved the way for Sept. 10 recall elections — the first in Colorado history that are sure to capture national attention.