Current News

Springs mayor accused of ethics violation

By Leslie Jorgensen
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

COLORADO SPRINGS — Mayor Lionel Rivera has been accused of violating the city of Colorado Springs’ ethics code. Under scrutiny is Rivera’s role in negotiating a deal that awarded a $53 million contract to a developer to build a new headquarters for the United States Olympic Committee, remodel offices in a city-owned building and upgrade the Olympic Training Center.

Ritter vetoes gun bill, draws fire from GOP sponsor

Cites Columbine shootings in veto message

By Jason Kosena
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Gov. Bill Ritter signed his first veto of 2009 last week, quashing a bill that would have allowed residents with a concealed-weapons permit to bypass criminal-background checks when purchasing new guns.

The legislation passed with heavy bipartisan support through the Legislature with 19 Democrats in the House and Senate approving the measure. It was sponsored in the House by Rep. Steve King, R-Grand Junction, and in the Senate by Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray.

Independent ethics commission ordered by court to come clean

By Jason Kosena
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

In a ruling last week, a Denver district judge ordered the state’s Independent Ethics Commission to turn over records including written requests from government employees asking for ethical advice.

The ruling by Judge Norman Haglund came after the non-profit group Colorado Ethics Watch sued the commission for what it said was an illegal effort to withhold its working documents from the public and operate essentially as a non-governmental entity.

Ritter hails bipartisan effort of Pueblo and El Paso Counties

By Leslie Jorgensen
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

FOUNTAIN — “There is no problem that defies a solution,” said Gov. Bill Ritter, extolling the bipartisan efforts to create the Fountain Creek Watershed District. The bill, which Ritter signed into law last month, will provide funding opportunities and resolve longtime disputes between El Paso County and Pueblo County over improving and maintaining the creek.

Colorado Libertarians elect new leadership

Aim to revamp their image

By Lucy McFadden
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Colorado’s Libertarian Party, long considered a political stepchild by the major political parties in the state, is trying to revamp its image — and it doesn’t stop with the addition of four new leaders elected a week ago. Former Libertarian Party legislative director David K. Williams, the new state chairman, plans to build the party and recruit unaffiliated voters frustrated with the current Republican or Democratic platforms. He also wants to hammer down and strengthen the vision of the Libertarians.

FDIC extends deadline for bank aid for farmers

By Jason Kosena
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Days after U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack heard pleas for federal help from Eastern Plains farmers in the state who stand to lose everything as a result of the closure of Greeley’s New Frontier Bank, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation said it would change its plans, but only slightly.

Stimulus funds pave the way for new highway projects

By Jason Kosena
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

LITTLETON — With one quick tug of the rope, Gov. Bill Ritter pulled the curtain off a new road sign on Belleview Avenue just west of Santa Fe Drive on Tuesday morning.

The sign is the first of many highway markers that will alert drivers to road projects funded by the federal stimulus package signed by President Barack Obama in February at the Museum of Nature and Science in Denver.

USDA's Vilsack listens to farmers

By Jason Kosena
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

BRUSH — On Monday, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack heard pleas for federal help from Eastern Plains farmers who stand to lose everything as a result of the closure of Greeley’s New Frontier Bank.

Ethics agencies dispute open records law

By Jason Kosena
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Should all ethics hearings be open to public scrutiny? That’s the murky area of Colorado’s open records law that’s at the center of a dispute between the state’s Independent Ethics Commission and a private, nonprofit watchdog group called Colorado Ethics Watch.

A court hearing this week between the IEC and CEW is expected to spur a Denver District court ruling on the issue within the coming weeks.

Club for Growth loves Lamborn; Sierra Club adores Salazar

By Lucy McFadden
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

The delicate balance between economic growth and environmental preservation is at the root of much public debate, and Colorado’s congressional delegation is middle of the fray. One of the easiest ways to assess where politicians stand on the spectrum is to look at the scores they get from various special interest groups.