It was the summer before 8th grade (2003), a couple months before I turned 13. We were on a family vacation in my hometown of Albany, New York. After golfing with my grandfather, a familiar voice emanated from the car radio – familiar not because I really knew who Rush Limbaugh was, but because Grandpa had long been a “Dittohead.” The show lit my curiosity and sparked a vigorous, lengthy conversation.
What would you do if you had to give up your child in order to access mental health services? For some Coloradans, this is a reality.
Colorado ranked 48th in the country for overall youth mental health, according to Mental Health America’s 2018 “The State of Mental Health in America” report. This same report estimates that more than 13 percent of Colorado teens ages 12-17 have had at least one major depressive episode in the last year. Suicide remains the leading cause of death for Coloradans aged 10-24, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment.
A stage full of gubernatorial candidates agreed on the importance of addressing issues surrounding mental health and substance abuse, but some differed sharply on their approaches at a bipartisan forum devoted to the topics on Friday in Denver.
The nonpartisan Mental Health Colorado is conducting its inaugural forum for gubernatorial candidates on March 23, the nonprofit's president and CEO, former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, announced this week.
"We’re inviting the contenders for Colorado’s top job to tell us how they would improve care for people with mental health and substance use disorders," Romanoff said in the invitation, which also asks interested parties to submit questions for the candidates.
I'LL SEE YOUR BERNIE AND RAISE A JOYCE FOSTER ... The battle of the bold-faced names is on in the House District 9 Democratic primary, where three-term incumbent state Rep. Paul Rosenthal is facing two candidates seeking to dislodge him from the southeast Denver seat.
Less than a week had passed since Bernie Sanders — yes, that Bernie Sanders — endorsed Rosenthal challenger Emily Sirota when Rosenthal rolled out a Bernie endorsement of his own from Bernie Steinberg — yes, that Bernie Steinberg — to counter it.
Colorado Politics has told you before that other Republican candidates could learn a lot about politicking from Mike Coffman. Now a statehouse candidate has.
The congressman from Aurora has been running races in Colorado since before people knew Milli Vanilli was fake. And in 29 years, Coffman has never lost a race — not for state House, state Senate, secretary of state, state treasurer or the U.S. House.
So you can’t blame fellow Republican Grady Nouis for picking a campaign theme that worked well last year for Coffman’s re-election against former state Sen. Morgan Carroll: “One of Us.”
It resonated among voters because the campaign had a clear theme that Mike Coffman, soldier and statesman, was his own man, not the byproduct of Donald Trump and the Washington swamp. And when it comes to campaigning among a diversity of minority and ethnic groups since his district became more liberal after the 2010 Census, Coffman is everywhere. Hence, his supporters proclaimed in his ad that he was “One of Us.”
She won the seat in 2012, beating Republican incumbent Robert Ramirez by more than eight percentage points in 2012. In 2014 and 2016, Kraft Tharp won re-election over Susan Kochevar, including a 9-point win last year. That mirrors Coffman’s spreads over Carroll last year and former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff in 2014.
Nouis, a North Dakota native, moved to Colorado in 2012.
On his website, he says, “I stand with the moral conviction that equality, unalienable rights, personal responsibility, limited government, rule of law, free enterprise, free markets, and private property rights are the most important principles of true freedom. Government only gets power from the consent of the governed. I believe that we are all born with the same opportunity, not that we will necessarily achieve the same success in life.”
Team Coffman was amused by the borrowed theme.
“As my mother says, imitation is the highest form of flattery,” said Coffman campaign spokesman Cinamon Watson.