Staff picks: 5 Colorado Politics stories worth revisiting

Author: Joey Bunch - May 7, 2017 - Updated: July 31, 2017

Like bubbles in boiling water, things are moving faster at the Colorado Capitol as we move closer to the May 10 adjournment.

As lawmakers continue to wrangle with the most important bills that have been at the top of the agenda since January, a pipeline explosion in Firestone and a news out of Washington shook things up.

These are the stories out staff thinks are worth revisiting, because these issues aren’t going away soon.


Former Colorado U.S. Rep. Ray Kogovsek of Pueblo died Sunday. (Kirk Speer/The Gazette)

5. Former congressman from Pueblo remembered as a legend and friend

Ray Kogovsek, the congressman who never took politics personally, was remembered as “a legend in southern Colorado politics, a linchpin in the state Democratic Party and a friend to countless Coloradans.” He died at his home in Pueblo. He was 75.

Read the full story here.


Taxes and Trump
Vice President Mike Pence applauds as President Donald Trump arrives in the Kennedy Garden of the White House in Washington Monday to speak to the Independent Community Bankers Association. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

4. Religious liberty advocates had faith there would be more

President Trump signed his long-awaited executive order on religious liberty this week, and people on both sides of the issue in Colorado were underwhelmed. One Colorado, the state’s largest LBGTQ advocacy group, didn’t even bother to comment, and Colorado Springs religious leaders said Congress needs to get onboard to do more.

Read the full story here.


Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) celebrating Thursday’s health care vote with President Trump. (Credit Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tex.)

3. Republican health care plan divides Colorado congressmen

Colorado Springs Congressman Doug Lamborn sounded thrilled to vote to repeal Obamacare last week, saying it would put America on the path to a healthier insurance marketplace. But fellow Republican Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora said he couldn’t do what the bill asks to people with pre-existing conditions, so he voted no.

Read the full story here.


construction defects
(Photo by Joey Bunch/Colorado Politics)

2. Construction defects litigation is finally going to the governor

It took four legislative session and a dozen unsuccessful bills, but Republicans and Democrats finally agreed on a way to address lawsuits against builders, the alleged reason why fewer affordable condos are being built in a growing affordable housing crisis. Is it real reform or smoke and mirrors?

Read the full story here. 


In this April 18, 2017, photo, investigators stand by as debris is removed from a house that was destroyed in a deadly explosion in Firestone, Colo., on April 17. Anadarko Petroleum said Wednesday, April 26, that it operated a well about 200 feet (60 meters) from the house in the town of Firestone. The company didn’t say whether the well was believed to be a factor in the explosion or whether it produced oil, gas or both. (Matthew Jonas/The Daily Times Call via AP)

1. Firestone explosion continues to rumble through politics

After it was announced Tuesday that the double-fatal house explosion is Firestone was the result of underground gas lines, pressure mounted quickly on lawmakers and the industry to respond. Friday House Democrats introduced a bill to make maps of all underground oil and gas operations accessible to the public, land planners and state regulators.

Read the full story here.

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.