Capitol M, Week ending April 20, with 19 days until Sine Die edition

Author: Marianne Goodland - April 21, 2018 - Updated: May 10, 2018

A look at the behind-the-scenes stuff that Capitol M finds interesting, amusing or wants you to know about.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery…to Colorado Press Association lobbyist Greg Romberg, who suffered a brain injury in a skiing accident on March 31. According to CPA President Jerry Raehal, Romberg is alert, able to handle day-to-day tasks and doctors expect he will make a full recovery. However, that recovery is likely to take several months, so he won’t be around the Capitol for the last month of the session. Get-well wishes can go to gregromberg@comcast.net; get-well cards can go to 2357 South Hearth Drive, Evergreen, CO 80439.


Quote of the week, and a speedy recovery to…three women in the House who are battling cancer or cancer scares: Democratic Reps. Dominique Jackson of Aurora; Dafna Michaelson Jenet of Commerce City and Republican Rep. Kimmi Lewis of Kim.

Cancer doesn’t ignore people in places of power. There was a time, back in 2011, when several lawmakers were dealing with illness, either their own or for a family member. Rep. Wes McKinley of Walsh who came from the same House district as Lewis, lost his wife to cancer. Just a few months later, Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp of Littleton lost his wife to cancer.

Jackson found out a week ago that she didn’t have cancer, despite having clots in every lobe of her lungs, undergoing surgery a week ago and a change in her meds that made her nauseous.

But somebody in the House chamber took a picture of an ill Jackson this week, who had her eyes closed, and posted it on a GOP party website. The photo has since been deleted, along with a somewhat snarky comment.

Capitol M
Reps. Kimmi Lewis, Dominique Jackson and Dafna Michaelsen-Jenet, all who have been battling cancer or cancer scares, support each other in the well of the House Wednesday.

“People don’t always know what goes on in other people’s lives” and can do things that are hurtful, Jackson told the House. Michaelson Jenet was medically cleared to work in the second week of the session. Lewis has been regularly receiving chemotherapy throughout the session.




“It is not easy to get here,” Michaelson Jenet said. Cancer “will not stop me from coming here.”

Lewis added the only moment of levity in an otherwise somber speech. She told lawmakers “I shaved my head at the ranch with the horse clippers,” which drew some surprised laughs. “I told the group, the Freedom Row” (which refers to the row of Republican lawmakers in which she sits) “this is my new look, cost about $200 and I’m not buying another one. Get over it.” More chuckles.

But Lewis also ended her comments on a more somber note: she lost her husband, Dave, to cancer in 2000.

Keep a’fightin, you three.


Capitol M
Sen. Don Coram, a Montrose Republican, decided to “help” the governor with a bill signing this week.

It’s not safe to leave Sen. Don Coram unattended in the governor’s office, apparently…during a series of recent bill signings, Gov. John Hickenlooper left his desk, pen and an unsigned bill unattended for a few minutes. The ever-helpful Sen. Coram decided to jump in and lend his assistance on that unattended bill. (He didn’t actually sign it. C’mon.)

On one hand, Coram signing the bills would certainly shorten the amount of time it takes for signing, given that his name is so much shorter than the governor’s.

On the other: it begs the question about Coram’s future political ambitions, yes?


Quote of the week, part two…Capitol M doesn’t usually uses quotes from fellow reporters but this one is too good to miss.

Gov. John Hickenlooper told CNN on Friday that he “wouldn’t rule out” recriminalizing recreational marijuana, despite the fact that it’s in the state Constitution, based on voter approval in 2012. It drew this response from the Denver Post’s John Frank:

It led to this, from Rep. Mike Coffman campaign spox Tyler Sandberg:

And this, from our former colleague Peter Marcus…

Marianne Goodland

Marianne Goodland

Marianne Goodland is the chief legislative reporter for Colorado Politics. She's covered the Colorado General Assembly for 20 years, starting off in 1998 with the Silver & Gold Record, the editorially-independent newspaper at CU that was shuttered in 2009. She also writes for six rural newspapers in northeastern Colorado. Marianne specializes in rural issues, agriculture, water and, during election season, campaign finance. In her free time (ha!) she lives in Lakewood with her husband, Jeff; a cantankerous Shih-Tzu named Sophie; and Gunther the cat. She is also an award-winning professional harpist.