Peter Marcus

School board candidates defend support of vouchers

Denver candidates also dispute alleged conflicts of interest
The Colorado Statesman

The Denver Public Schools Board of Education race has turned into a discussion on vouchers and conflicts of interest as the reform versus neighborhood-oriented battle continues for control of the seven-member board.

Two factions have emerged in the school board race, which will be decided this November. The two sides include reformers, who support the administration, and neighborhood candidates, who support traditional schools. Most candidates and current school board members are Democrats, though the board is nonpartisan.

Recall proponents still bristling

Claim state GOP dissed them; Chairman Call says otherwise
The Colorado Statesman

The revolutionary spirit held by proponents of two successful Colorado recalls appears to be gaining in strength without political borders. The message is simple: “no one is safe.”

Proponents of the two recalls earlier this month that ousted Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo — both Democrats — have now set their sights on “establishment Republicans,” with the current target being state GOP Chairman Ryan Call.

Baisley elected new vice chair of state GOP

The Colorado Statesman

The Colorado Republican Party central committee on Saturday in Denver elected a new vice chairman who hopes to offer a grassroots balance to Chairman Ryan Call’s agenda.

Douglas County Republican Mark Baisley, who challenged Call earlier this year for the chairmanship, will replace Don Ytterberg of Jefferson County, who is exiting in order to explore a run for congress in the 7th Congressional District.

Gessler officially in governor’s race

The Colorado Statesman

After months of speculation, the fearless conservative secretary of state, Scott Gessler, officially announced his campaign to challenge Gov. John Hickenlooper in 2014. But how the political world analyzes Gessler’s brazen approach to politics differs between parties.

Levy to leave Legislature early for new job

Vacancy committee will choose Boulder Democrat’s replacement
The Colorado Statesman

Four-term Democratic state Rep. Claire Levy of Boulder has resigned to become executive director of the Colorado Center on Law and Policy. She will miss her final year at the legislature to advocate for the progressive organization around economic, health care and fiscal issues for low-income Coloradans.

“I truly love the Colorado General Assembly, and I will miss my colleagues on both sides of the aisle,” said the longtime lawmaker. “But as my time as a legislator grew short, I began to think about ways I could continue to make Colorado a better place for all of its citizens.”

Morse goes down with political hit

The Colorado Statesman

Democrats were unable to dodge a major bullet Tuesday night when two state senators became the first in Colorado history to be recalled from office. Tears streamed down faces of supporters as Senate President John Morse and Sen. Angela Giron were ousted following their votes this year of stricter gun control.

In Senate District 11 in Colorado Springs, 17,858 voters cast ballots, with 51 percent supporting the recall of Morse, while 49 percent opposed it. Morse only lost by 343 votes.

Chicken incident ruffled feathers, but Poverty Task Force prevails

Despite nitpicking & bickering, Kefalas cites bipartisan progress
The Colorado Statesman

The work of an interim legislative task force examining ways to reduce poverty in Colorado has become overshadowed by distracting racial controversies. But despite all the public attention, members of the bipartisan interim committee say they are making progress and hope to submit a package of bills for the full legislature to consider when they reconvene in January.

Municipalities energized for fracking votes

The Colorado Statesman

President Barack Obama’s June climate change declaration that “Americans across the country are already paying the price of inaction” resonates in Colorado where a surge of skepticism to the oil and gas industry is likely to play out at local polls this November.

Five Colorado communities — Fort Collins, Loveland, Lafayette, Boulder and Broomfield — are expected to vote in November on whether to impose a ban or enact lengthy moratoriums on the controversial hydraulic fracturing drilling process.

Campaign launched to tax recreational pot

The Colorado Statesman

Proponents of a campaign to tax newly legalized recreational marijuana in Colorado officially launched the effort Wednesday on the heels of an announcement by the Department of Justice that it will defer to the state on enforcement.

The Committee for Responsible Regulation is comprised mostly of marijuana industry representatives and union officials with the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7. But the campaign has widespread support, including local municipalities and business organizations.

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.