John Tomasic

Author Archive | John Tomasic

State House GOP office lands on a theme

The Colorado House Republican Caucus for the 71st General Assembly. (Photo via www.cohousegop.com)

Republicans are the minority caucus in the Colorado House. It’s a tough gig. In the year of the Trump presidential election victory, the House Republicans lost three seats, swelling the Democratic majority to nine seats. The chamber’s committees are naturally stacked against perennial favorite conservative proposals. Vote tallies are often lopsided; the results just as […]

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Colorado escapes transgender politics battle, for now

At the University of Vermont in Burlington. (© AP Images)

Colorado law passed nearly a decade ago protects the right of transgender and queer students to choose to use the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identities. Democratic Governor Bill Ritter in 2008 signed the Anti-Discrimination Act that outlawed discrimination against LGBTQ Coloradans in “places of public accommodations.”

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Jack Graham resurfaces in Colorado politics universe

Republican U.S. Senate candidates Jack Graham, Ryan Frazier and Darryl Glenn observe the proceedings at a GOP forum on Feb. 24 in Greenwood Village. Although Graham and Glenn have made the June 28 primary ballot, Frazier was one of three candidates who learned the last week of April that he hadn't turned in sufficient signatures to qualify. He tweeted on April 28 that he would appeal the decision in court. (Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman)

Jack Graham joined the board of the Common Sense Policy Roundtable. “Our state is facing a number of serious issues,” said Graham in a statement accompanying the news. “Finding common sense solutions that address health care, education and transportation is essential to the well-being of the citizens of Colorado and the protection of jobs and […]

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Aguilar sex offender bills win few converts in Senate committee

Razor wire and sky, the outside and the inside. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

Sen. Irene Aguilar, a Denver Democrat and medical doctor, said she was “very nervous” going into Wednesday’s hearing. Rightly so. She had two bills to present and the direct beneficiaries of her bills don’t have many defenders at the Capitol — or anywhere else for that matter. Aguilar introduced Senate Bill 87 with a case […]

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Guzman: ‘I came to the Legislature to repeal the death penalty’

Colorado Senate Minority Leader Lucia Guzman talks about her proposed state death penalty repeal, Feb. 15, 2017. (John Tomasic/The Colorado Statesman)
Senate Minority Leader Lucia Guzman’s death penalty repeal bill was voted down by Republicans in committee last Wednesday, just as she expected. Speaking before the hearing, Guzman said she hoped mainly that the bill would foster heartfelt conversation on the issue. “It was not to be,” she said. She thinks she might have pulled off […]

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Protesters target Colorado anti-sanctuary cities bill ahead of hearing

Karla Gonzales Garcia, program director at Color, the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights, Feb. 22, 2017. (John Tomasic/The Colorado Statesman)

Civil rights protesters gathered Wednesday at the Capitol to protest the “Colorado Politician Accountability Act,” a hot-button Republican House bill being heard in the House State Affairs committee. The bill, HB 1134, is sponsored by Colorado Springs freshman Rep. Dave Williams. It taps into the harsh view of so-called sanctuary policies that marked the Trump […]

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Tancredo enjoying Trump-era resurgence: ‘I’m CNN’s piñata’

Congressman Tom Tancredo at the state Capitol, Feb. 22, 2017. (John Tomasic/The Colorado Statesman)

Colorado’s famously anti-illegal immigration former congressman, Tom Tancredo, is enjoying a resurgence in the Trump era. In between CNN appearances on Wednesday, Tancredo was at the Capitol in Denver to testify in support of House Bill 1134. The controversial bill aimed to hold officials who support sanctuary city policies criminally liable for the “carnage” committed […]

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State transportation event delivers no news, except that leaders optimistic, dedicated, talking

State Senate President Kevin Grantham, R-Canon City, left, and, far right, state Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran, D-Denver, talk transportation funding, Feb. 21, 2017. (John Tomasic/The Colorado Statesman)

The bad news is that Colorado Democratic Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran and Republican Senate President Kevin Grantham shared no new information Tuesday night at the north Denver ICOSA Event Center about the progress of high-stakes negotiations at the Capitol over state transportation funding. The good news is that the vision of the two […]

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Colorado campus free speech bill went off to House with broad bipartisan support

State Sen. Tim Neville at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, 2016. (John Tomasic/The Colorado Statesman)

State Sen. Tim Neville, a Littleton Republican, was determined to send his hot-button campus free speech bill to the lower chamber with strong support from Democrats as well as Republicans — and he succeeded. Senate Bill 62 is a response to the war around expression being waged largely by conservative media outlets who think speech […]

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