The West Archives - Colorado Politics

Ken RitterKen RitterNovember 1, 20165min161

The next U.S. president will have to act quickly to chart a course so the Colorado River can continue supplying water to millions of city-dwellers, farmers, Indian tribes and recreational users in the Southwest, according to a university research study made public Monday. A survey of policy- and decision-makers by the University of Colorado concluded that the president who takes office in 2017 could almost immediately face the prospect of Colorado River water supply cuts to Arizona and Nevada in January 2018.


Jared WrightJared WrightOctober 17, 20167min1640

Years of losses have left Democrats at historic lows in state legislatures. But now they're seeking to wrest control of as many as a dozen chambers from Republicans, a key step in gaining more influence in redistricting. The battle for statehouse control is playing out in more than half the states with tens of millions of dollars of planned political spending before the Nov. 8 general election. Democrats are hoping the turmoil surrounding Donald Trump's presidential campaign can boost their fortunes in down-ballot races, although Hillary Clinton remains unpopular in many Republican-leaning regions. "When you go district by district, when you look at where all these races are, we're in a highly competitive environment," said Matt Walter, president of the Republican State Leadership Committee.


Mike McKibbinMike McKibbinOctober 17, 20168min134

Republican state Sen. Ellen Roberts has announced she will resign her seat at the end of this year, after a decade in the Colorado House and Senate. In a statement posted on the Pagosa Springs Sun website on Sunday, Oct. 16, along with other news outlets in her district, Roberts said after six years in the state Senate and four years in the House, she was "looking forward to new work possibilities that will build on my past legal practice and my legislative experience and that will allow me to spend more time at home, with my family and friends, in the best area of the great state of Colorado that a person could live in."


David O. WilliamsDavid O. WilliamsOctober 17, 201615min182

U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, showing clear signs his race for CD3 has tightened in recent weeks, continues to aggressively call out former state Sen. Gail Schwartz for her comments and ads accusing Tipton of seeking to sell off federally owned public lands. Schwartz charges Tipton has sold out to coal mining and oil and gas companies and wants to transfer public lands to state or private ownership in order to increase domestic fossil fuel production. Schwartz, a Crested Butte Democrat who previously worked in ski-area design, favors preserving public lands to boost the outdoor recreation industry. “If we’re talking about outdoor recreation and protecting those public lands, let’s look at the Hermosa Creek bill that I had signed into law, that we were able to pass through a Republican-controlled Congress to be able to create those opportunities down in La Plata County,” Tipton said on a press call last month.


Matthew BrownOctober 12, 20168min1260

U.S. prosecutors have declined to pursue criminal charges against an employee of the Environmental Protection Agency over a massive mine wastewater spill that fouled rivers in three states, a federal watchdog agency said. The EPA's Office of Inspector General disclosed Wednesday that it recently presented evidence to prosecutors that the unnamed employee may have violated the Clean Water Act and given false statements. However, office spokesman Jeffrey Lagda said the U.S. Attorney's Office in Colorado declined to pursue a case against the employee. In lieu of prosecution, an investigative report will be sent to senior EPA management for review, Lagda said.


Jared WrightJared WrightOctober 5, 20165min1400

Already dealing with parched conditions, the U.S. Southwest faces the threat of megadroughts this century as temperatures rise, says a new study that found the risk is reduced if heat-trapping gases are curbed. Oppressive dry spells lasting at least two decades have gripped the Southwest before, but scientists said future megadroughts would be hotter and more severe, putting a strain on water resources. The study, published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, is the latest to find that droughts more extreme than what is currently being experienced could become more common as the planet warms.


Jared WrightJared WrightOctober 5, 20166min1190

A defiant Don Blankenship declared himself an "American political prisoner" on his blog, blaming others for the 2010 mine explosion that killed 29 men and led the former West Virginia coal operator to be imprisoned. The ex-Massey Energy CEO said this week that he plans to distribute 250,000 copies of the 67-page diatribe in booklet form. Blankenship reported to a California federal prison May 12 for a maximum one-year sentence for conspiring to willfully violate mine safety standards at West Virginia's Upper Big Branch mine, site of the explosion. He also paid a $250,000 fine. A jury convicted him of the misdemeanor last December.


Associated PressAssociated PressOctober 3, 20162min1180

The Supreme Court has agreed to referee a dispute between Delaware and 23 states over more than $150 million in uncashed money orders. The justices on Monday stepped into the dispute involving uncashed money orders from Dallas-based MoneyGram, which has been submitting unclaimed money to Delaware. The other states say the MoneyGram checks should be sent back to the state of purchase.


Jared WrightJared WrightOctober 3, 20169min91

Alaskans two years ago approved recreational use of marijuana. That doesn't mean they want it sold in their towns. Voters in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, a municipality just larger than the state of West Virginia, and one renowned for a potent strain of black market pot, on Tuesday will consider a ban on commercial enterprises that sell, grow or test cannabis. Fairbanks, the Kenai Peninsula Borough and other Alaska municipalities will put the matter to a vote next year. Former Matanuska-Susitna Borough Mayor Larry DeVilbiss pushed for a vote to ban commercial cannabis enterprises. Recreational marijuana may have been approved statewide, he said, but not in his borough.