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Joey BunchJoey BunchFebruary 14, 20183min2770

Democratic Colorado Senate District 15 candidate Rebecca Cranston released her first campaign video to coincide with Loveland’s role in celebrating Valentine’s Day.

Because it has love in its name, Loveland is called the Sweetheart City. Each year since 1947 love letters from all over the world have been remailed from the city in Senate District 15 to bear the the postmark from the land of love.

Cranston got her friends and campaign supporters to star in the video.

“I am proud of this video and grateful for the support of a wide array of northern Coloradans who are looking for an energetic and committed candidate who can win this seat,” she said.

“There are a number of critical issues before the Colorado State Senate that impact our special quality of life in northern Colorado. I am looking forward to being a strong and inclusive voice for solution-oriented and compassionate representation.”

Cranston is a third generation Coloradan who lives i Larimer County. She said her grandmother was born and lived in Northern Colorado including Loveland and Longmont. She is the executive director of the Northern Colorado AIDS Project.

Cranston’s friends in the video, in order of appearance are Judith Powers, Tim Wormus,
Matt Merolli, Judy Sanchez, Dara Ector, Bob Bongiovanni, Neil Breslau, Jacqueline Trice, Joe Werne, Holly Herson, Kimberly Chambers, Stephanie Pas Hamill, Carrie Ann Lucas, Susan Janty, Jim Janty, Stacia Ryder and Nate Donovan.

Cranston is running for running for the seat being vacated by Kevin Lundberg, a Republican who is running for state treasurer. She faces Ralph Trenary in the primary for the chance to meet the winner among GOP candidates Nic Morse and Rob Woodward.

Cranston is out to an impressive fundraising lead in the Democratic primary, with $7,322 in donations to Trenary’s $2,810 as of the last report a month ago, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. In the Republican race, however, Woodward has taken in $36,473 to Morse’s $1,761.

Cranston cited her “fireside chats” throughout the district, as well as her Sept. 1 campaign kickoff event at Big Thompson Brewing in Loveland.


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Joey BunchJoey BunchFebruary 13, 20187min318
No one expects to pass a law destined to have problems, but it’s hardly uncommon for new laws to offer hollow gratification to those who opposed it. When it comes to governing life and death, these stumbles garner a longer look. Jakob Rodgers of the Colorado Springs Gazette just recently reported on the first data […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchJune 30, 20177min8521

Protesters at congressional offices have become old hat, but the disability rights group  Denver ADAPT rewrote the script with a 58-hour sit-in that ended Thursday night as police removed about 10 people, some in wheelchairs, from Colorado U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner’s downtown Denver office.

As Denver officers moved them out of the office lobby, protesters chanted, “Rather go to jail than to die without Medicaid,” according to a video posted on Facebook by protest leader Carrie Ann Lucas. The Denver-based National ADAPT reported on social media that Lucas’ wheelchair was damaged as she was removed.

In a video, officers ask for her help with the wheelchair to remove her from the small lobby at about 7 p.m. She told them it was a $35,000 chair but officers would have to find someone who could push it or operate it, because she would not help them.

“You can Google, you can call someone, I’m not resisting but I’m not cooperating,” she told officers before she was formally arrested. Lucas then resumed chanting, “Rather go to jail than to die without Medicaid.”

Within two hours, the video had nearly 10,000 views.

Lucas called the protest “Camp Gardner.”

Lucas is a lawyer and executive director of nonprofit Disabled Parents Rights.

Like other protests across the country ahead of the Senate vote on the American Health Care Act, the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, Denver ADAPT wants Gardner not to support the plan, and specifically oppose the proposed $834 billion in cuts to future Medicaid appropriations.

The disabled say they will be disproportionately affected by the cuts, especially by caps with fixed amounts per Medicaid recipient. People with expensive dire care have a lot to fear, said Josh Winkler, a 36-year-old quadriplegic from Aurora who participated in the protest on Tuesday but was not one of those removed by police Thursday night.

“We’ve been trying to meet with Sen. Gardner for months on all these health reforms they’re talking about, which is really just health care repeal,” Winkler told Colorado Politics.

Called a “die-in” by supporters, the protest started Tuesday morning.

Gardner’s office said ADAPT leaders have met in-person or by phone with his healthcare policy adviser  16 times — and once with Gardner personally — since January, and as recently as last week.

“The top priority throughout this protest has been allowing these individuals to exercise their First Amendment rights in a safe environment,” according to a statement released Thursday night. “In order to allow this, staff have slept in the office for two nights and assisted and aided these individuals with several matters to ensure they were comfortable and safe. At the request of the building, Denver police were forced to remove them earlier this evening due to several factors, including serious concerns for their health and safety.”

Denver police said a member of Gardner’s staff signed the complaint to have the protesters removed, but Gardner’s office said other tenants were demanding and end to the around-the-clock presence in the 25-story office tower at 17th and Lawrence streets.

Gardner is a member of the working group that drafted the Senate health care legislation. His spokesman told Colorado Politics’ Ernest Luning this week that the delayed vote announced by Majority Mitch McConnell Tuesday offers an opportunity to fine-tune the Obamacare replacement.

“The organization currently in the office has spoken to Senator Gardner several times and are in constant contact with his healthcare policy staff regarding requested reforms to our healthcare system,” Gardner’s office said in a statement released Wednesday, the second day of the protest. “Senator Gardner wants the constituents that are in his office to have quality healthcare. He has concerns that our current system is imploding and won’t be able to provide quality care if nothing is done to fix it.”

Protesters staged a different kind of die-in at Gardner’s Colorado Springs office.