Peter Marcus

2012 Legislative Wrap-up

Legislators get passing grades on the subject of education

The Colorado Statesman

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed legislative bills having to do with education that aim to increase intervention and teacher effectiveness, while motivating parental involvement and modernizing the state’s K-12 and higher education systems.

Perhaps the most ambitious of the education bills was House Bill 1238, an early literacy bill sponsored by Reps. Tom Massey, R-Poncha Springs, and Millie Hamner, D-Dillon, and Sens. Mike Johnston, D-Denver, and Nancy Spence, R-Centennial.

2012 Legislative Wrap-up

Jobs, the economy helped focus agenda of conservation

The Colorado Statesman

Colorado Conservation Voters highlighted two major legislative successes this year around electronic waste and electric vehicles, noting that a focus on jobs and the economy helped to advance their agenda, despite a divisive political environment.

The advocacy group for the conservation community released its annual legislative scorecard on July 12, giving the legislature high marks for passing Senate Bill 133 with bipartisan support. The measure, which has been signed by the governor, bans many electronics from landfills.

Audits show College Opportunity Fund not working; PERA weathers storm

The Colorado Statesman

State lawmakers this week reviewed audits concerning state-backed stipends for college tuition, as well as an annual review of the Public Employees’ Retirement Association of Colorado.

Democrats, Republicans spar over jobs, economy

The Colorado Statesman

Republicans and Democrats in Colorado advanced a political messaging war over jobs and the economy this week, with both sides arguing for and against policies that they believe will create and bring jobs back to America.

U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Golden, stood with communications workers and union leaders on Monday in Lakewood to rally support for federal legislation that would offer tax incentives to companies that repatriates jobs from overseas.

Threat of gag order could silence talk about ballot secrecy case

The Colorado Statesman

A federal judge considering a ballot secrecy case put forth by the Aspen-based Citizen Center said on July 2 that he is considering a gag order, and then issued another warning to all litigants against trying the case in the press.

Magistrate Judge Michael J. Watanabe, who is hearing the case in U.S. District Court, issued the admonishment after Citizen Center’s founder Marilyn Marks’ comments were published in a June 15 Colorado Statesman article.

Selection of Denver is a patently good move

The Colorado Statesman

The Denver metro area will be home to a new federal satellite patent office that is estimated to generate $439 million for the region just over the first five years alone.

The announcement on Monday that Denver has been selected by the U.S. Department of Commerce for one of three new satellite patent offices brought a welcome showing of bipartisanship from Colorado’s political leaders, and has been hailed by business and technology experts as a symbol of the state’s emergence as one of the top research and technology innovators in the nation.

Stroud beats Murphy; now ready for DeGette

The Colorado Statesman

Former Denver Republican Party Chairman Danny Stroud crushed opponent Richard Murphy in Tuesday’s Congressional District 1 Republican primary, paving the way for an uphill general election challenge against incumbent Democrat U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver.

The relatively tame campaign between Stroud and Murphy, nicknamed the “mystery trucker” for his profession and sudden emergence onto the Colorado political scene as a true neophyte, resulted in Stroud receiving 11,781 votes, about 65 percent, compared to Murphy’s 6,353 votes, about 35 percent.

In CD 2, Lundberg defeats Weissmann

The Colorado Statesman

Boulder businessman Eric Weissmann is throwing his full support behind state Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, after losing Tuesday’s Republican primary in Congressional District 2 to the social conservative lawmaker.

Weissmann had distinguished himself from Lundberg by veering away from the social conservative issues for which Lundberg has become known, including his strong opposition to same-sex civil unions and abortion.

White sees red in loss to fellow Republican

Nasty Republican primary in northwestern Colorado
The Colorado Statesman

Sen. Jean White, R-Hayden, says it’s unfortunate that “lies” and “deception” took over the Republican primary race for Senate District 8 in western Colorado.

The dejected lawmaker spoke of her painful defeat to Rep. Randy Baumgardner, R-Hot Sulphur Springs, on Tuesday night, a loss that has cost her a chance to return to the legislature. White was only appointed in January 2011 to fill the SD 8 seat after her husband, Al White, resigned to become director of the Colorado Tourism Office.

Lawrence is unofficial GOP winner in HD 39

She’s still waiting for primary opponent Busse to concede
The Colorado Statesman

Conservative activist Lu Ann Busse of Larkspur is refusing to concede Tuesday’s Republican primary election to opponent Polly Lawrence of Roxborough in the newly drawn House District 39 legislative district, despite Lawrence unofficially winning by 469 votes as of Friday.

Busse, who was recently evacuated from her home in Teller County due to the fires there, did not return phone calls from The Colorado Statesman, but issued a statement on her website to the effect that there may be ballots that need to be cured before she acknowledges defeat.