Peter Marcus

Fracking compared to slavery at debate

But Josh Penry defends the practice during oil and gas forum
The Colorado Statesman

Environmental activists walked into the lion’s den on Monday night, supporting the notion for a ban on hydraulic fracturing at a meeting of the conservative-leaning Centennial Institute, which favors the controversial oil and gas exploratory process.

The debate included activists Phil Doe and Wes Wilson of the progressive organization, Be The Change.

But the activists did not shake in the face of opposition. In fact, they doubled down, comparing fracking to slavery.

Current, former governors celebrate life of Vanderhoof

The Colorado Statesman

Two former governors joined Gov. John Hickenlooper and lawmakers in the House chamber on Monday to celebrate the life of former Gov. John Vanderhoof, a man remembered for being forward thinking and able to work across the aisle to advance the interests of the state.

Vanderhoof died on Sept. 19, 2013. He was 91 years old.

Dem delegates unite around incumbents

The Colorado Statesman

More than 1,200 Democratic delegates poured into the Colorado Convention Center Saturday, April 12 for the 2014 State Assembly, nominating a slate of statewide candidates to battle against Republicans this November.

The anticipation in the air was palpable inside and outside the Bellco Theatre. Delegates, volunteers and supporters donned pins and waved signs to demonstrate their endorsements for the Democratic ticket. Repeatedly, Democrats danced to the hit pop song “Happy” by Pharrell, hopeful that the party will walk away joyous and victorious this fall.

Environmental issues are in the air — and below the ground

The Colorado Statesman

As Earth Day approaches on Tuesday, environmental issues are in the air — and below the ground.

Citizens are pushing a series of ballot initiatives that would allow bans on hydraulic fracturing, while the oil and gas industry continues to grapple with how to educate the public on what they perceive to be the benefits of so-called “fracking.”

Support — and non-support — of ‘personhood’ comes back to haunt Republican candidates

Democrats, meanwhile, have to deal with the abortion issue
The Colorado Statesman

For the first time, so-called “personhood” supporters are actively opposing a Republican candidate, and that candidate is Weld County District Attorney and Congressional District 4 hopeful Ken Buck.

The pro-life movement, which aims to assign constitutional rights to the unborn in an attempt to ban abortion, feels like Buck stabbed them in the back when he reversed course on the initiative.

Termed-out Democrats discuss their legacies

The Colorado Statesman

Several Democrats will face term limits this year after many years of service, including Rep. Mark Ferrandino, the first openly gay speaker of the House, who believes that his rise to leadership oddly rested in part on the failure of a same-sex civil unions measure in 2012.

Sworn-in on Oct. 1, 2007 after then-Rep. Mike Cerbo of Denver stepped down, Ferrandino was only 29 years old. The bright-eyed optimist with a penchant for budget discussions could have never dreamed that his legislative journey would take him to the top of the House chamber’s food chain.

Outgoing GOP lawmakers share memories

The Colorado Statesman

Several Republican lawmakers will face term limits this year, exiting the legislature after many years of service, including a former House speaker and a former majority leader who both stood at the helm through one of the most tumultuous times in the legislature’s history.

Reps. Frank McNulty of Highlands Ranch and Amy Stephens of Monument came in together, built a majority together, lost control of the power structure together, and will now leave the institution together.

House GOP coup against Rep. Priola fails

Frustration with caucus whip exposes rift as GOP talks unity 
The Colorado

Just two days before Republicans head into the State Assembly with a message of unity, conservative House Republicans on Thursday attempted a coup against Minority Caucus Whip Kevin Priola in an effort to oust him from leadership.

The effort — led by Rep. Chris Holbert, R-Parker — failed due to confusion over caucus rules. But an initial vote by the caucus during the 30-minute meeting indicated that a majority of House Republicans were willing to oust Priola as whip.

Neguse hopes to bridge political divide in the Secretary of State’s office

The Colorado Statesman

One thing Democrat Joe Neguse will not be doing if he is elected secretary of state in November is moonlighting.

The University of Colorado Regent from CD 2 points to the kerfuffle current Secretary of State Scott Gessler, a Republican, caused shortly after taking office in 2011 when Gessler planned to work part-time at his old law firm, which deals almost exclusively with election law.

Democratic candidate for AG is a quick study

The Colorado Statesman

The sole Democratic candidate for attorney general says that he would look at each case through a legal lens rather than through a political filter if he were elected the state’s next chief attorney.

Don Quick, the former district attorney for Adams County, is almost sure to receive his party’s nomination at the State Assembly in order to compete against one of two Republican candidates, either Rep. Mark Waller of Colorado Springs, or Chief Deputy Attorney General Cynthia Coffman.