Current News

Personhood pushers prepare for the polls — again for 2014

And the opposition is readying for the challenge once petitions are certified
The Colorado Statesman

So-called “personhood” proponents are back at it again, trying to convince Colorado voters to define an unborn child as a “person.” But this time they’re repackaging their message, shining the spotlight on “fetal homicide” with a mother who lost her unborn son to a drunk driving accident.

Heather Surovik was eight months pregnant last summer with her son, Brady, when a drunk driver slammed into her car in Longmont. Her life changed immediately when she woke up in the hospital to find that the accident had taken the “short life” of Brady.

Lots of petitions, lots of work still ahead

Selling voters on $950 million school finance reform ballot measure will be heavy burden
The Colorado Statesman

After submitting nearly double the number of signatures required to place a school finance reform measure on the November ballot, both sides of the debate have turned their focus to messaging. But convincing voters to back the $950 million tax increase may prove to be difficult.

Proponents — including Democratic Sens. Mike Johnston of Denver and Rollie Heath of Boulder — submitted more than 160,000 signatures on Monday. They appropriately hauled boxes of the petitions to the secretary of state’s office in a large white school bus, which was filled with voters’ signatures.

Energy execs tackle controversy

The Colorado Statesman

Energy executives who gathered in Denver this week for the Rocky Mountain Energy Summit were asked to bridge a divide between critics and the industry over hydraulic fracturing in order to move forward.

Colorado Proud launches Choose Colorado tour

A community-to-community road trip across the state’s agricultural landscape

Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture John Salazar, a sixth-generation San Luis Valley potato farmer and rancher, was on hand Aug. 1 to help agricultural experts and members of Colorado Proud launch the Choose Colorado tour to celebrate food and agricultural products grown, raised or processed in Colorado.

They would later “drive home” the impact the agricultural industry has on Colorado’s economy — from jobs to income — by embarking on a three-week, statewide road trip in a specially designed “Colorado Proud” vehicle to educate consumers and stimulate pride for local goods.

Bipartisan support for a former House colleague

Legislators, lobbyists turn out to help former Rep. Ken Summers recover from his illness
The Colorado Statesman

It isn’t often [never!] when the two major party’s legislative campaign fundraising organizations rally together on a joint project. But that’s what happened on Wednesday, August 7, when a large bipartisan group of state lawmakers and lobbyists gathered across the street from the Capitol to help former state Rep. Ken Summers, who remains hospitalized in serious condition after being stricken with encephalitis caused by the West Nile virus.

The fundraiser was sponsored by about 30 lobbyists as well as lawmakers from both aides of the aisle.

What’s behind Weld County’s mantra: ‘We don’t get no respect’?

The Colorado Statesman

The senior member of Colorado’s Congressional delegation usually serves as the state’s informal caucus Dean, but the identity of the “go to” office when you actually need something accomplished in Washington shifts over time. While I served in the Legislature, and for nearly two decades, that honor belonged to Denver’s Patricia Schroeder.

Ag committee members bridge urban vs. rural divide

The Colorado Statesman

Agriculture is Colorado’s number two economic engine, with receipts of more $8 billion in farm and ranch products in 2012. The legislative committee that has the most impact on that industry, the House Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee, saw some of its greatest turnover ever with the 2013 session, with eight new legislators from both sides of the aisle. None work in the agriculture or livestock industries. That led to concerns about a steep learning curve on agriculture issues for those first-year representatives.

Conservatives stick with their message, but look at repackaging it differently

The Colorado Statesman

Republicans at last weekend’s Western Conservative Summit in Denver focused on repackaging the party’s message in the wake of a clobbering at the polls in 2012. Party leaders acknowledged a need to better connect with moderate and minority voters, but their message of limited government remained constant.

‘Fractivists’ target chief oil & gas regulator

Hickenlooper’s appointee under fire
The Colorado Statesman

Environmentalists are targeting Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper and his chief oil and gas regulator after the administration joined a lawsuit seeking to overturn Longmont’s voter-approved ban on hydraulic fracturing.

Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Director Matt Lepore is taking the brunt of the criticism after commenting at a meeting in Loveland on July 16 that anti-fracking activists are wealthy enough to ignore the cost concerns associated with prohibiting the controversial drilling process.

‘Reform’ is key to DPS school board race

But definition of ‘reform’ is in the eye of the candidate
The Colorado Statesman

Nine candidates are vying for control of the Denver Public Schools Board of Education in this year’s November election. The under-the-radar race has major local and national political implications that could set the trajectory for the future of Colorado’s second-largest school district.

Just as was the case two years ago during the last DPS school board race, candidates have drawn a line in the sand. The unpaid board is nonpartisan, though the majority of its makeup is Democratic. But that hasn’t stopped candidates from creating factions.