Roger Hudson, Author at Colorado Politics
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Roger HudsonRoger HudsonOctober 15, 20174min10230

Lines have clearly been drawn in Castle Rock: those who want to elect their mayor on one side and those who would rather let the town council continue to appoint their mayor on the other. Fingers have been wagged, names have been called and I expect a few friendships have been strained. With an election less than a month away, the fight continues in Castle Rock over who should pick your local government — you or someone else?  


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Roger HudsonRoger HudsonAugust 23, 20177min1570
Roger Hudson
Roger Hudson

The Left and the Right have both been pretty noisy in the days since neo-Nazis took to the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia. Self-elevated talking heads have been wagging their fingers nonstop on cable news and talk radio. Each ratcheting up the volume to denounce white supremacy — as if conflicts over race in America had just been discovered.

By the way, just a side note. Where in the world does cable news find so many, so quickly, who seem to sit so comfortably on their high horses? It’s as if a news producer rubs a magic lamp and they just appear. Or maybe they’re mass-produced back in the green room, each identical in their robotic use of rehearsed rhetoric.

Please don’t get me wrong. What took place in Charlottesville on the evening of Aug. 11 was shameful and disgusting. And for any American who believed racism had been overcome with the election of America’s first black president, this was a serious wake-up call. Some may call it free speech, but for the vast majority of Americans we don’t want torch wielding Klan members marching through our cities. We certainly don’t here in Colorado.

And so THIS is where I am confused.

If the vast majority of us find the violence of Friday, Aug. 11 unacceptable, why then are Republicans having such a difficult time successfully denouncing the hate filled violence of modern day Nazis? This seems like an easy message to share, especially for us law abiding flag waving republicans. And yet, republicans clearly stumbled – and in the absence of good strong messaging – they were undone by the Left

Look, I’m a Republican communications guy. It’s how I pay my mortgage. If you want to know how to sell an idea, product or a message, I’m your guy. You need a complicated thought turned into a 140-character Tweet, you call me. But I have to admit, I was startled by the number of Colorado nonprofits, politicians and business owners that continue to be unsure how to talk about race in relation to the events of Charlottesville.

I had a Colorado politico call me concerned over his Tweet punctuation. Let me say that again in case you missed it. An elected official called me because he was worried that if he capitalized the word “Nazi” that it would appear that he was showing respect for Nazis… or nazis… or Nazis. Honest.

One Colorado business owner shot me an e-mail asking if I would research what other similar businesses were saying about the president’s Charlottesville comments. He told me that he felt like he should say something but what? Like many, he wouldn’t want to say anything publicly that might hurt his business or upset his employees.

Understand, these are all educated Coloradans who care about justice, human rights and public service. And yet, each was frozen by the specter of talking publicly about race in America. But if Colorado Republicans can’t simply and eloquently denounce Nazi ideology as hateful, abhorrent and un-American… We didn’t just lose the metaphorical higher ground, we gift-wrapped it and hand-delivered it to both an anti-Trump media and the Democratic machine.

So what did I tell my Colorado clients and Republican friends?

It’s not your full-time job to “denounce” every ugliness you see. You’re a Republican and not a Democrat for goodness sake. You have a full-time job and it’s not minding everyone else business. But you should never be afraid to stand up for what’s right and principled. And it should never be difficult to call a Nazi a Nazi. Because let’s face facts, the uniforms may have changed since 1945 but the hate that sent millions to the ovens has not.

I had another well-known Colorado Republican trade emails with me last week. Seeing all the negative media coverage of the president’s Charlottesville remarks, he wanted to have a statement ready if asked. But he, too, walked this vague, weak line that was easily recognizable as coming from someone who didn’t want to rock the boat. Or even worse, a politician who obviously didn’t want to rock the boat.

A quote I remember from my reporter days keeps replaying in my head. I used it several times while running a Houston newsroom. In 2000, presidential candidate George W. Bush addressed race head-on in a speech delivered during the NAACP’s annual convention. Honest, unflinching and statesman-like, this speech from a Republican was a game changer:

“For our nation, there is no denying the truth that slavery is a blight on our history, and that racism, despite all the progress, still exists today. For my party, there is no escaping the reality that the party of Lincoln has not always carried the mantle of Lincoln. Recognizing and confronting our history is important… Transcending our history is essential.”


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Roger HudsonRoger HudsonJuly 19, 20174min1330
Roger Hudson
Roger Hudson

Tis the season, right?

Political campaigns this week are releasing — sometimes trumpeting — their fundraising numbers for the last quarter. Some candidates are waiting to the very last moment to expose the sensitive internal financial workings of their campaign. Standing naked, candidates show all to their opponents, donors and of course the critics.

Painful? Sometimes. Humbling? Almost always.

Which candidate raised the most money? How much cash does so and so have on hand? Were the donations from individuals? PAC money? How big a check did the candidate throw into his or her own campaign?

Outside of the purely legal aspect of keeping campaigns honest and above-board, this political voyeurism of finance reporting is really only interesting to a tiny political universe. I’ve never heard a constituent say they were voting for a candidate because that candidate out-raised the opponent. Let’s face it, political consultants may care but the only checkbook the average Colorado voter cares about is their own.

So why is so much attention paid to a financial horse race that no voter is actually watching or even cares about? Pretty good question, aye?

Campaign donations matter only as a means to an end. That’s it. Nothing additional. A candidate’s ideas matter much more than donations, don’t they? Yes, a candidate will need money to carry their message to Colorado voters, especially in a state-wide race. They’ll need gas money to get them to the Western Slope. But cash doesn’t equal ideas. Donations — no matter how large — don’t guarantee election wins.

Take for instance the last presidential race. The Trump campaign raised about $340 million in the course of the primary and general election. That included a hefty $66 million check the billionaire wrote to himself. Meanwhile, the well-oiled Clinton political machine shook the left-leaning trees to rake in more than $580 million.

We all know how that turned out and who’s set up shop in the Oval Office for the next three years or so. If out-raising her opponent by almost a quarter of a billion dollars couldn’t save Hillary Clinton from becoming a footnote, can’t we stop drooling over large checks written by the donor class?

So, when you read quotes this week from campaigns celebrating their fundraising efforts or degrading that of their opponents, ask yourself: How can politicians in one breath denounce the need for large pots of political cash and in the next brag about the “winning” amount they raised?

No wonder voters are suspicious and frustrated with politics and politicians.


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Roger HudsonRoger HudsonJune 28, 20175min2340

When was the last time you visited the little town of Castle Rock, Colorado? Has it been awhile? Just south of Denver, for many traveling along I-25 Castle Rock is simply a place we pass on our way to Colorado Springs. Of course, some may stop and fill up. Others might visit the ever-expanding Outlet Mall (slash) Promenade. And that’s just fine with most us who live there. We’re happy to see you, but even happier to see you go home.


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Roger HudsonRoger HudsonJune 19, 20174min920

My phone lit up this weekend with news that a group of Republicans marching in Denver’s Pride Fest had been “attacked on the parade route by an angry group wearing masks.” One text described the attackers as cursing lesbians dressed all in black. Another text said that all was well and nothing appeared to be organized.


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Roger HudsonRoger HudsonNovember 23, 201616min970

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VOL. 01 NO. 192 | NOVEMBER 23, 2016 | COLORADOSTATESMAN.COM/THE-HOT-SHEET | © 2016


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The Hudson Firm


DENVER — So let the giving of thanks begin. … Wow, what a political year! No matter on what side of the ballot you stood, it’s easy to be thankful that campaigns are behind us. Now, if we can just make it through Thanksgiving dinner without a fist fight, a divorce, being disinherited or the cops being called … we truly will have something to be thankful for, won’t we?

FYI — We plan to stuff ourselves Thursday and not fully recover until Monday … so, we’ll see you then, on the other side. In the meantime, have another cranberry shaped like a can and turkey sandwich.

The First Shot

“Shut up! Avoid that conversation as much as possible!”

– Advice from Denver family therapist Dr. Larry Curry on how to avoid political conflict this Thanksgiving.

 

The Hot Sheet Flame

Let the 2018 race for Colorado governor begin!

As I believe Colorado Republicans learned four and eight years ago … elections have consequences. The nation’s Democratic Party — and Colorado Democrats — are now feeling the pinch following the election of Donald Trump and the Republican control of both the U.S. House and Senate.

Hillary Clinton’s loss is reverberating among Colorado Dems. The headline from ColoradoPolitics.com blog says it well — “White House loss complicates things for leading Colorado Democrats.”

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In one of his first articles written for his new employer, reporter Peter Marcus notes … Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper is likely sticking around for his remaining two years, and former Interior Secretary and U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar, a Democrat, won’t be headed to D.C to assist with a Clinton transition.

As both Democrats and Republicans jockey for an early position ahead of the 2018 Colorado governor’s race, the reintroduction of Ken Salazar may scare off some from his party who had thought of running for the state’s top job. Hopeful Republicans would have also liked to see Salazar out of the mix. His ability to tap national fundraising and “Dem star power” is a distraction most on the right had hoped to avoid.

 

The Hot Sheet Flame

Pushing back against TABOR

Apparently looking to keep tax revenue instead of returning it back to taxpayers, the Poudre School District’s board voted unanimously Tuesday to join a lawsuit opposing the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights. The 2011 bipartisan lawsuit Kerr v. Hickenlooper alleges that TABOR is unconstitutional.

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According to USA Today, a ballot notice for the 2010 election estimated the City of Fort Collins would collect $18.7 million through the Keep Fort Collins Great tax in 2011 and have $146.5 million in spending. The tax brought in $19.7 million; the city spent $160 million.

The Hot Sheet Flame

Blame it on the legal weed

The problem of homelessness in Colorado has seemed to explode in recent years. Communities are being forced to look for solutions — often expensive — to deal with an unhealthy, uneducated and often addicted population living dangerously on our Colorado streets.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development ranks Colorado 4th behind California, Washington and the District of Columbia for its absolute increase in the homeless population this year. And as the Gazette’s editorial board emphasizes, all four jurisdictions have recently legalized recreational pot.

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Even more disturbing, Colorado’s growth in homeless veterans leads the nation, at 24 percent. Other states — according to the Gazette — averaged a decrease of 17 percent in veteran homeless populations. They are apparently leaving other states and moving to Colorado.

Like many Colorado communities, the state Legislature will be forced to look at the problem and explore possible solutions as well come January. The skyrocketing cost of caring for the homeless is an expenditure most communities are unable to pay.

 

The Hot Sheet Flame

RULE CHANGE: Three no longer a crowd

CDOT has thrown a curveball for those who are HOV travelers between Denver and Boulder. Blaming “rapid growth” and high usage, CDOT will be upping the riders who can travel for free from two to three come January 1st.

While some drivers are disappointed – according to Denver7 – the change to three in a car was actually decided in 2013, as part of a CDOT plan to handle rapid growth.

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Anyone who regularly commutes in and around the metro area knows that our traffic situation is already a mess. But apparently, we’ve not seen anything yet. CDOT estimates growth will soar by 47 percent by 2040. YIKES!

Noting the explosion of commuters traveling on Colorado roads, the Republican legislative caucus has placed solving the state’s transportation problem at the top of their list of priorities.

FYI — If you decide to break the new HOV rules, it could cost you a 250-buck ticket.

 

The Hot Sheet Flame

Pass the political opinion, please

It’s kind of understandable, right. Following one of the loudest and most divisive elections in U.S. history, many of us are dreading Thanksgiving small talk. Or maybe dreading the effort to AVOID political small talk at the dinner table this year.

According to the New York Post, so many of us are fearful that we’ll actually have to talk about current events that we’re canceling Thanksgiving dinner all together. Say it isn’t so!

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The best advice on how to handle political food fights this Thanksgiving comes from Denver-area family therapist Dr. Larry Curry who shared his deep insights with 9News.  His advice? “Shut up! Avoid that conversation as much as possible!”

While we agree with Doc Curry … this might be the year to pass on the alcohol.

 

The Hot Sheet Flame

Today in History

2011 – Arab Spring: After 11 months of protests in Yemen, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh signs a deal to transfer power to the vice president, in exchange for legal immunity.

1981 – Iran–Contra affair: Ronald Reagan signs the top secret National Security Decision Directive 17 (NSDD-17), giving the Central Intelligence Agency the authority to recruit and support Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

1963 – The BBC broadcasts the first episode of “An Unearthly Child” (starring William Hartnell), the first story from the first series of Doctor Who, which is now the world’s longest running science fiction drama.

1936 – Life magazine is reborn as a photo magazine and enjoys instant success.

 

The Hot Sheet Flame

Just for Laughs

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