Legislative News

GOP Walsh seeks to oust U.S. Rep. DeGette in 2014

Challenger says he wants to be “big tent” candidate
The Colorado Statesman

Denver Republicans are under no illusion that defeating Democratic U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette in 2014 will be anything but an uphill climb — to say the least.

In the heavily Democratic-leaning Congressional District 1, DeGette has reigned supreme since 1996, earning her the title of “dean” of the Colorado delegation, and a position as chief deputy whip.

Recall proponents take aim at Hudak

The Colorado Statesman

On a warm, sunny Saturday morning in early October, proponents in a quiet Arvada neighborhood are readying their campaign signs for yet another recall of a state lawmaker.

Empowered by two successful recalls over the summer that ousted the Senate president and a fellow Democratic colleague, recall proponents are energized to target another Democrat, Sen. Evie Hudak of Westminster, over her support for gun control.

Senator Udall and Secretary Panetta discuss leadership in shaping global security

Long-term impact of government shutdown also discussed during CELL event
The Colorado Statesman

Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta joined U.S. Sen. Mark Udall in Denver on Oct. 17 for a candid conversation on national security and troubled domestic issues, including the recent federal government shutdown and spying by the U.S. on its own citizens.

KC Becker selected to replace Claire Levy in House

The Colorado Statesman

KC Becker, a Boulder city councilwoman, will be the next state representative in House District 13, which includes part of Boulder County and all of Clear Creek, Gilpin, Grand and Jackson counties.

Becker was selected by a vacancy committee in Idaho Springs on Oct. 19 to replace Rep. Claire Levy, who is resigning at the end of the month to become executive director of the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, a Denver-based research and advocacy group. Levy’s resignation takes effect Oct. 31; Becker will be sworn in soon thereafter.

Proposed pot ordinance might not pass smell test

Some wonder what bill sponsor Nevitt is smoking
The Colorado Statesman

As voters consider taxing a new marijuana marketplace, the Denver City Council and Mayor Michael Hancock are at odds over whether the city needs strict enforcement on smelling and seeing the newly legalized drug.

Many on the council feel the bill is an over-reach that violates a constitutional right to privacy.

The ordinance would:

• Make it illegal to possess and use marijuana in city parks and the 16th Street Mall;

• Define “open” marijuana to include sight or smell;

• Define “public” to include observation through sight or smell, including vehicles;

GOP field grows for Senate race

The Colorado Statesman

A Republican primary to challenge Democrat Mark Udall for U.S. Senate in 2014 saw a couple of twists and turns this week as Rep. Amy Stephens joined the race and state Sen. Owen Hill announced a major endorsement from Texas libertarian conservative Ron Paul.

Campaign finance disclosures for the third quarter were also released this week, revealing that Republicans will be competing against a financial machine; chasing Udall’s already estimated $4.1-million war chest.

Kopp announces for guv; refrains from attacking Hick

The Colorado Statesman

Surrounded by his family at Red Rocks Amphitheater early Tuesday morning, former Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp announced he is seeking the Republican Party’s nomination to challenge Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper next year.

Kopp became the fifth Republican to announce a gubernatorial bid, as the GOP clamors to unseat Hickenlooper. He joins state Sen. Greg Brophy of Wray, Secretary of State Scott Gessler from Denver and former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo of Lakewood. Also vying for his party’s nod is underdog Jim Rundberg from Moffat.

Senate Dems elect new leadership

The Colorado Statesman

Senate Democrats on Wednesday chose Morgan Carroll of Aurora to lead them as their next Senate president after a bitter recall election ousted their former chief.

The caucus election was free of political fireworks as Carroll was elected unanimously without other nominations offered. There had been rumors that Sen. Mary Hodge of Brighton would also be nominated, but that never came to fruition.

Legislature forms bipartisan Flood Recovery Committee

Legislative Council finalized a special legislative committee to address issues surrounding the recovery from last month’s Front Range flooding, and the four caucuses at the Capitol announced the legislative appointments this week.

Personhood proponents submit 139,650 sigs

Measure for 2014 ballot focuses on fetal homicide
The Colorado Statesman

Motivated by a grassroots uprising this summer that ousted two sitting Democratic state senators, proponents of a ballot initiative that would ask voters in 2014 to define an unborn child as a “person” say they are likely to target Republicans who don’t support their anti-abortion movement.