DEMS HEADED TO GREENER – OR ORANGER – PASTURES
Those are going to be a lot of posters to move.
After more than a decade in the ramshackle storefront at 8th and Santa Fe in central Denver, the state Democrats are pulling up stakes and moving a few blocks to the east in coming weeks. They’re bound for the snazzy, at least slightly more modern offices at 789 Sherman St., in the building universally known as “that bright orange glass thing” next to Le Central, which calls itself “the Affordable French Restaurant.”
The Colorado Dems plan to share office space inside the reflective abode — universally reviled by rush-hour drivers, more than a few of whom have been literally struck blind by its intensely bright light — with the statewide Obama campaign headquarters through the fall and will likely keep the quaint digs on Santa Fe available for field operations.
The new location will be just down the street from the Capitol and boasts actual conference rooms, as well as a decided lack of wandering drunks popping in just to chat.
NEXT CYCLE ALREADY ON SOME HORIZONS
It’s springtime, when a young politico’s thoughts turn to … the 2014 elections?
With this fall’s ballot nearly set, idle hands and kingmakers are increasingly turning their attention two years into the future, when Colorado will have loads of statewide choices, including Democrat Mark Udall’s Senate seat and the top five statewide offices.
It’s a good question whether state Democrats would rather keep running against Secretary of State Scott Gessler or keep him around as a the party’s favorite piñata, but we hear Gessler could be facing a determined donkey challenger if he decides to seek a second term.
State Rep. Ed Casso, D-Commerce City, who will face term limits at the Capitol after this election, has been putting out feelers for a possible run against Gessler. The musings are in such a preliminary state, we hear, that even some of Gessler’s harshest critics haven’t heard the rumors yet, but after they’ve finished with this paragraph, they’ll no longer be outside the loop.
In the same vein, Fort Collins conservative icon Bob Schaffer, who served a slew of terms in Congress and ran twice for the U.S. Senate, is nearing “tanned, rested and ready” status, at least in the minds of some of the state’s top elephants.
It’s a topic lately in rarified GOP circles whether Schaffer — who earned shout-outs from presidential candidates passing through the state earlier this year for walking the walk in his role as principal at a charter school — is the great GOP hope for some unspecified statewide office next time around. Is it time, they ask, for him to return to elected office? Told that Schaffer decidedly still holds elected office, astride the State Board of Education, wags respond, “I mean a real elected office.” Ouch.
But don’t underestimate the guitar-strumming political veteran. In addition to molding young minds, he’s spent the past few years helping promote his wife’s premium margarita blend known as Coyote Gold. And for those who want something more portable, the tasty concoction now comes, Schaffer proudly announced recently, in frozen pouches. That’s right, just like Otter Pops, only filled with margarita goodness. Sounds like a recipe for the statewide ballot to us.
CU GUN BAN BACK ON TABLE?
Is the University of Colorado administration planning an end-run around the state Supreme Court’s recent ruling overturning a ban on carrying permitted concealed guns on campus? Our sources tell us that’s what’s likely in store at next week’s CU Board of Regents meeting, when the administration intends to put forward just such a proposal behind closed doors in an executive session.
The plan, CU sources say, is to require faculty, staff and students to sign away their right to bear arms contractually, as a condition of working for or enrolling in the CU system. Buff lawyers hope that will be enough to put the university on the right side of the state’s Concealed Carry Act, which allows anyone with a permit to pack heat everywhere in the state except for a proscribed few properties, including federal land, K-12 schools and places that have security checkpoints, like courthouses, airports and the state Capitol.
The 2003 law at issue was intended to take a gun ban out of the hands of the regents, the high court opined, throwing out the campus ban in place for four decades.
Legal precedents on that type of ban are mixed, our legal eagles say, with courts split over whether employers can infringe upon a right inscribed in the Constitution.
Whatever the outcome, expect the fireworks to continue exploding over the question.
BLAHA BLASTS LAMBORN MAILER
Congressman Doug Lamborn’s primary challenger Robert Blaha doesn’t think taxpayers should foot the bill for a mailer the Colorado Springs Republican recently sent out under his signature — “franked,” as the terminology goes — because, Blaha charges in a complaint filed with the House, it amounts to a campaign piece.
To the contrary, Lamborn responds, there’s nothing wrong with the flier, and Blaha’s complaint exhibits the political neophyte’s “profound ignorance” of the ways of Congress. Besides, Lamborn’s office goes on, the organization that received Blaha’s complaint has already OK’d the brochure.
“As a taxpayer I have raised this issue before,” quoth Blaha in a statement announcing his complaint, filed this week with the congressional Franking Commission. “This time Mr. Lamborn has crossed the line and must be held accountable.” He continues: “This behavior typifies the entitlement mentality of the permanent political class.”
Included with his complaint, Blaha presents a color-coded mark-up of the postcard, which went out at the end of March to CD 5 constituents.
“Most Conservative Member of Congress,” the piece proclaims in mailboxes all across the most conservative district in the state. Blaha contends that Lamborn violates House guidelines by referring to himself nine times (“me,” “my” and “I”) on a single side of the postcard, when the Franking Commission suggests elected reps contain themselves to an average of eight personal pronouns per page.
Lamborn also declares that he is “conservative” fully five times in the mailer, which Blaha charges exceeds more restrictive guidelines that limit party identification to just two mentions.
“The word ‘Conservative’ is synonymous with the Republican Party,” Blaha argues in his complaint, also claiming that Lamborn isn’t doing anything other than boasting to voters.
“Once again, Mr. Blaha displays his profound ignorance of Congress,” responds a Lamborn spokesperson. “All franked mail pieces must be reviewed and approved by the bipartisan Franking Commission before they are sent out. This mail piece, too, was reviewed and approved by the Franking Commission to ensure that it met the required standards. Congressman Lamborn believes it is important to communicate with his constituents.”
In addition, the Lamborn office says, the commission gave its final stamp of approval to the postcard after it was sent.