Capitol M: Week ending July 13, 2018
Author: Marianne Goodland - July 13, 2018 - Updated: July 26, 2018
Although the General Assembly is not in session, there’s enough going on outside of the legislative races, and inside it, too, to take another walk among the Mmmmmms.
Good luck…to Democratic Sen. Dominick Moreno of Commerce City, who was recently appointed to the Adams 14 school board. Now Capitol M did a little checking on this, because the idea that a state senator can be on a school board at the same time seems like a lot of work.
As it turns out, you can hold more than one office at a time but you can’t run for more than one office, so if Moreno gets ideas about running for the school board he would have to drop his re-election bid for the state Senate for 2020, for which he has already filed. According to spox Lynn Bartels of the Secretary of State’s office, you can’t have two campaign committees at the same time.
But there’s another thought Capitol M had about this. After this November’s election, Moreno will be the senior remaining senator on the Joint Budget Committee, given that the committee’s two Republican senators — Sens. Kevin Lundberg and Kent Lambert — will be gone due to term limits. Two other Democratic members of the House on the JBC will be gone, too: Reps. Millie Hamner and Dave Young (term limits there, too) which means the JBC brain trust will be Moreno and Republican Rep. Bob Rankin. Don’t go anywhere, either one of ya.
The chairmanship of the JBC swings back to the Senate for 2019. Should the Democrats take control of the Senate in November (given the possibility of a blue wave year, it could happen) Moreno would logically become the next chair of JBC. That’s a heavy lift: to run JBC at the same time sitting on a school board for a troubled district with a lot on its plate.
RMGO influence warning: Colorado CeaseFire this week called out the primary losses for Republicans backed by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. Capitol M noticed it, too, in a post-primary review of what happened on June 26.
Capitol M took a second look. The top recipient of RMGO’s largesse in the 2018 primary was Republican Frank Francone of Littleton, who lost to Colin Larson by a razor-thin margin of 139 votes, about 1.2 percent. Francone was the recipient of RMGO’s largest donations for any primary candidate statewide, a total of $2,400. RMGO head Dudley Brown also gave Francone $250. But RMGO’s biggest spending, through its independent expenditure committee, went toward advertising in support of Francone, to the tune of more than $6,100. Ouch.
Ray Garcia, who now has among his credentials a third consecutive losing effort to win a seat in the state House, got his head handed to him when he took on Rep. Lois Landgraf of Colorado Springs. It was a contest Garcia lost by 31 points. Brown was also a contributor to Garcia’s coffers, for $150. It turned out to be sizable for a campaign that drew a grand total of $800 in contributions. Garcia spent about $4,000 on his losing effort.
Among non-legislative candidates, RMGO also backed Sheriff Chad Day of Yuma County, who caught national attention this spring when it was revealed he’d given a deputy sheriff’s badge to Trump moneyman Robert Mercer in 2016, a deal allegedly brokered by Brown. The sheriff’s badge allows Mercer to carry a concealed weapon anywhere in the United States without a concealed-carry permit. Day lost to Todd Combs by 15 points.
RMGO’s only win in the primary was in backing Sen. Ray Scott of Grand Junction, who defeated Rep. Dan Thurlow.
The bottom line: next session could play out differently on the issue of guns.
Note on featured photo: my favorite from the 2018 session, Rep. Hugh McKean of Loveland and one of his best buds.