Current News

U.S. Sen. Bennet to head Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

The Colorado Statesman

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet on Tuesday accepted a position to lead the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, bringing to an end several weeks of speculation as to whether the moderate Coloradan would thrust himself into such a partisan spotlight.

Bennet’s role — which he was asked to take on by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada shortly after the November election — earns Colorado a Senatorial leadership position for the first time in more than 20 years. The last time was in the mid-1980s when Sen. Bill Armstrong chaired the then-Republican Policy Committee.

Bipartisan leaders launch Colorado Compact

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, along with former Senator Hank Brown and statewide leaders spanning the political, business, agricultural, civic, and religious spectrum, have unveiled The Colorado Compact, a set of principles signed by over 100 statewide stakeholders to guide a national discussion on comprehensive immigration reform.

Fired up about new gun control legislation

Governor’s office working with legislators, gun control activists
The Colorado Statesman

A group of gun control activists have been working with the governor’s office and lawmakers on a package of bills for the upcoming legislative session. The measures take aim at curbing firearm possession by the mentally ill, statewide bans on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips purchased online, and prohibiting handguns on college campuses.

DU panel tackles complex campaign finance reform issue

Regulation of campaign donations and spending proves thorny issue even for election lawyers
The Colorado Statesman

A University of Denver panel that is attempting to provide recommendations for campaign finance reform heard from Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler, prominent Democratic election law attorney Mark Grueskin and Colorado Republican Party Chairman Ryan Call on Wednesday. The four-hour circuitous presentation by the three experts left panel members walking away shaking their heads at the overwhelmingly complex system that regulates campaign donations and spending.

Rookies learn the ropes from legislative leadership

The Colorado Statesman

Leadership made one thing very clear to new lawmakers on Tuesday at a welcome luncheon at the Brown Palace Hotel where they received a briefing on the tone of the legislature: “The battle here… is between the House and the Senate.”

The tongue-in-cheek remark from Senate President-designee John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, came as new legislators were told that there is much more of a bipartisan atmosphere at the Capitol than the general public believes. But while Republicans and Democrats may sing “Kumbaya” together more than they bicker over policy proposals, the war between the House and the Senate wages on, joked Morse.

Why did we lose?

Wadhams: Blame Romney
The Colorado Statesman

After enduring a shellacking at the polls in Colorado earlier this month, state Republicans are poised to come back in a big way in the next election, former state GOP chairman Dick Wadhams told a group of Aurora Republicans on Saturday.

But in order to win the favor of the state’s notoriously fickle electorate, he said, Republicans have to figure out how to reach increasing numbers of Hispanic voters, reject once and for all any association with the “lethal” personhood amendment, and do a better job picking candidates of “substance and discipline.”

GOP already chomping at the bit to take back state senate in 2014

The Colorado Statesman

Even as early returns were showing unexpectedly strong Democratic numbers on election night, at least a few Republicans at the state GOP’s watch party in Denver cast optimistic eyes toward the future.

“Don’t worry. We’re taking the Senate next time,” said one GOP operative. “No question.”

Colorado ASSET may see new life in new legislature

The Colorado Statesman

Those who support offering reduced tuition rates to undocumented students are gearing up for the 2013 legislative session, optimistic that with Democrats controlling both chambers, so-called Colorado ASSET legislation will finally pass this year.

On six separate occasions the legislature has denied Colorado Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow (ASSET). The proposal has taken many different forms over the years, including offering in-state tuition rates to undocumented students, as well as simply creating a new reduced tuition rate category. The latter was the version introduced in the last legislative session.

Cannabis community braces for regulatory fix

Rules must be set in place after passage of Amendment 64
The Colorado Statesman

Medical marijuana advocates are considering pushing their own bill to establish penalties for driving while under the influence of cannabis in an attempt to fight off a proposal by Sen. Steve King, R-Grand Junction, which would establish much stricter guidelines.

Michael Elliott, executive director of the Medical Marijuana Industry Group, told The Colorado Statesman that if King goes through with his driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) bill, then the trade association might find sympathetic lawmakers to introduce their own version, although they did not identify specific lawmakers to work with in the upcoming legislative session that begins Jan. 9.

EAGLE-Net circles state

Rural telcoms take aim
The Colorado Statesman

Republican state and federal lawmakers are concerned that a federally backed intergovernmental program, EAGLE-Net Alliance, which is aimed at delivering broadband to rural parts of the state, is overbuilding infrastructure and taking customers away from existing smaller providers.