Michael Hancock is a mayor on a mission. It’s the Friday before the election, and Hancock is promoting a once-in-a-decade, $937 million bond package filled with hundreds of projects to maintain and improve Denver’s transportation, public safety and cultural infrastructure. After a stop at a Spanish-language radio station to pitch the ballot questions, he tours a 100-year-old library that’s due for some repairs if the bond measures pass, and then he ambles up Santa Fe Drive for the monthly Art Walk.
A coalition of civil rights groups and left-leaning organizations on Friday demanded an apology from the Colorado Republican Party for "viciously attacking" the Southern Poverty Law Center on Twitter, but the state GOP's chairman called the request ridiculous and doubled down on the party's criticism of the watchdog group.
A Golden-based political action committee began circulating a petition Tuesday urging Tom Tancredo to run in next year’s GOP primary for governor of Colorado, but the former five-term congressman told Colorado Politics he’s so angry at Republicans that “it won’t take much” to persuade him to run.
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet is among two dozen Democrats pressing the Trump administration over its response to domestic terrorism, including what the lawmakers called an apparent de-emphasis on "far-right extremism."
National news, from white nationalists to Trump to town halls, ran deep through Colorado politics this past week.
Here are the stories that the staff of Colorado Politics, home to the state’s deepest coverage of the topics, thinks you should keep in mind as the issues play out.
5. Armstrong’s company under fire
A lesbian couple in California say the Greenwood Village-based mortgage company started by former U.S. Sen. Bill Armstrong of Colorado espouses family values that aren’t their family’s values. LGBTQ activists in Colorado applauded the lawsuit against Cherry Creek Mortgage Co. this week after the couple’s spousal insurance was revoked and the insurer began trying to collect more than $50,000 in previously covered medical bills.
Colorado’s congressional delegation did some rare in highly partisan politics this week: They agreed. After President Trump equivocated on who was to blame for the deadly protest in Charlottesville, Va., Republicans and Democrats said there were no ifs, ands or buts. “Statements that provide even indirect comfort to these merchants of evil are unacceptable and wrong,” said usual Trump backer Doug Lamborn, the Republican representative from Colorado Springs.
The will-they or won’t-they question is getting a bit silly for state Treasurer Walker Stapleton and, perhaps a little less certain, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, for next year’s governor’s race. Both showed up at the Republican Governors Association meeting, our Ernest Luning reported (as usual for Colorado Politics, ahead of everyone else). Maybe they just wanted to see what a Republican governor looks like. It’s been awhile since Colorado had one. Peter Marcus all but pinned down a slippery Democratic Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne this week, as well.
2. Cheyenne Mountain reconsidered after Charlottesville
A convention at Cheyenne Mountain Resort next spring of the alt-right group VDARE, which has direct connections to the organizer of the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., drew a strong backlash in El Paso County. Ultimately Cheyenne Mountain took sides, too, cancelling the conference without condemning the group or even saying why VDARE wasn’t welcome. In the immediate aftermath, former Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo said VDARE was unfairly maligned, though VDARE’s leader ultimately stood with Jason Kessler, the white supremacist rally organizer.
For months liberal activists have demanded Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner hold a town hall meeting to “face” his constituents. Gardner appeased them on Tuesday in Colorado Springs, Greeley and Lakewood. So what did the people who so desperately wanted to hear from him do? They refused to listen, instead booing and shouting such political discourse as, “You suck.” The protest spectacle that left Gardner looking like the reasonable and cooperative side of the discussion. “I’m trying to answer,” he said to the frequently disruptive crowd in Colorado Springs. “But I don’t get the chance.” Liberals overplayed their hand and crowned Gardner the political winner.
Colorado Democrats on Friday celebrated news President Trump had fired chief strategist Steve Bannon but questioned whether the ouster resolves complaints the president sympathizes with white nationalists and other extremist groups.
U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, a Denver Democrat, is co-sponsoring a House resolution introduced Wednesday to censure President Donald Trump for his response to the weekend's violence surrounding a rally by white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Members of Colorado's congressional delegation from both sides of the aisle came down hard on President Donald Trump's latest comments defiantly blaming “both sides” for the weekend violence between white supremacists and counter-demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia.
U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs tweeted a scathing criticism Wednesday of the president’s remarks about the weekend's racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia — the Republican congressman’s strongest statement yet on the topic.
A day after hundreds took to Denver City Park to decry white supremacy in the wake of violent protests in Charlottesville, Va., the City Council sent its own message of solidarity, opening its weekly meeting Monday with a statement and moment of silence. Many council members wore Black Lives Matter t-shirts.
Reading from a statement, Council President Albus Brooks said the board vehemently denounces white supremacy and bigotry.
“We stand in solidarity with the people of Charlottesville,” Brooks, who represent District 9 which includes Five Points, Elyria Swansea and lower downtown among other neighborhoods, said. “We also stand with black, brown, women, Jewish and LGBTQ folks in our city of Denver. We believe in inclusivity and equal opportunity for all people. We will fight racism at all costs. And we stand today with the city of Charlottesville.”
Violence erupted Saturday in Charlottesville leaving one woman dead and dozens injured after a car plowed into a crowd gathered in opposition to white nationalists, neo-nazis and members of the Ku Klux Klan protesting the removal of a Confederate statue.
In a series of Tweets Sunday evening, Councilman Paul Lopez, District 3, observed:
Hatred is a dark cloud on horizon intimidating us from our path forward; & it must be confronted not w/ more hate, but by great light & love
Councilwoman Stacie Gilmore, who represents District 11 encompassing Montbello, Parkfield, Green Valley Ranch, High Point and Denver International Airport, said hate will not be tolerated in a Tweet Sunday.