Colorado Peak Politics Archives - Colorado Politics
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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirJanuary 4, 20182min2710

…Probably not; Dem-lovin’ Colorado Pols took a shot Wednesday at relentlessly Republican Colorado Peak Politics, but as of late in the day, Peak still wasn’t paying Pols no never mind over the barb and seemed preoccupied with other political fodder. Rats.

At any rate, here’s the better part of Pols’ post by media monitor Jason Salzman:

If you think that liking conservative talk radio and hating U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner are mutually exclusive, you would be wrong.

KNUS 710-AM co-hosts Julie Hayden and Chuck Bonniwell couldn’t have proven the point more clearly than they did last month in a segment titled, “Why We Hate Cory Gardner and Think You Should too.”

And in doing so, Bonniwell said something you don’t often hear from the mouths of righties: ColoradoPols is a much better blog than the conservative Colorado Peak Politics, which describes itself as “Colorado’s Conservative Bully Pulpit.”

Calling Pols “incredibly snarky, unfair, and everything else,” Bonniwell nonetheless said Pols is “kind of fun” and interesting reading, even though it’s a “left-wing” site.

Added Salzman:

Referring to Peak Politics, Bonniwell said, “You might as well read press releases and fall asleep, unfortunately.”

I wouldn’t even go that far, but yes, between Pols and Peak Politics, there’s objectively no contest.

 

 


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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirDecember 12, 20173min4420

Rightward-bound Colorado Peak Politics gets a two-fer in our book this week for alerting us to not only a thought-provoking snapshot of a potential state Supreme Court Justice (see below) but also to gubernatorial hopeful and U.S. Rep. Jared Polis’s problematic voting record as a member of the House Rules Committee.

Not problematic with regard to which way he votes but rather the fact he has missed 47 votes in the committee this year — fully a third. That gives the Boulder Democrat the worst record for missed votes of anyone on the committee.

Peak Politics learned about it via Twitter, from venerable Capitol Hill news source Congressional Quarterly:

CQ’s Shawn Zeller also had tweeted earlier:

CQ hasn’t missed the fact the internet entrepreneur and self-made millionaire is vying to be Colorado’s next chief exec. Peak snarks:

Ouch. Is Polis campaigning? We haven’t heard of a plethora of campaign events. Is he just disengaged? We wouldn’t blame him after being passed over time and time again for a leadership position in Washington, D.C. Where is he if he’s not in committee?


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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirDecember 12, 20172min2770

It’s an interesting question: If a judge really is supposed to read the law dispassionately, does that leave any room on the state’s highest court for a justice whose apparent credo is, “We must take sides; neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim”?

Conservative blog Colorado Peak Politics, none too happy with the tilt of the Colorado Supreme Court to begin with, notes that the quotation, from the late Holocaust survivor and author Elie Wiesel, is featured in the banner on Melissa Hart’s Facebook profile. Hart, a University of Colorado Law School prof who was touted in 2015 as a prospect for an opening on the top court at that time, has made the short list again, this time to replace Allison Eid (who moved up to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in the federal judiciary).

Opines Peak:

We must take sides? Must we? As a judge? Really? If liberals want an activist judge, it would appear that they’ve found one, but it’s so awkward to be so blatant about it.


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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirDecember 1, 20173min3800

…Or, something like that; seemed like a good headline at the moment. Point is, the folks who decked the halls with Christmas cheer this season at the Governor’s Mansion in Denver have raised at least one eyebrow over at conservative blog Colorado Peak Politics:

In the place of honor on a Christmas tree usually reserved for an angel or the Star of Bethlehem, the tree in the Governor’s Mansion is topped with a random character out of the Nutcracker ballet. Don’t get us wrong, we like the Nutcracker ballet as much as anybody (read into that what you will), but damn this thing is kind of creepy.

Creepy!

The blog, no fan of Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, cites a report by the Denver Post’s The Know, which, “explains that the creature is Mother Ginger, who hides eight gingerbread men under her skirt in the ballet.” Peak asks, “Has anyone ever heard of this random character?”

According to that repository of all things cultural and otherwise, Wikipedia, Mother Ginger and her children appear to be part of the tableau in the beloved ballet’s Act II:

In honor of the young heroine, a celebration of sweets from around the world is produced: chocolate from Spain, coffee from Arabia, tea from China, and candy canes from Russia all dance for their amusement; Danish shepherdesses perform on their flutes; Mother Ginger has her children, the Polichinelles, emerge from under her enormous hoop skirt to dance; a string of beautiful flowers perform a waltz. To conclude the night, the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier perform a dance.

Whether that makes her worthy of a Christmas display at the guv’s house isn’t our call.


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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirNovember 13, 20172min11500

Conservative blog Colorado Peak Politics weighed in with a note of skepticism the other day about last week’s vote in Castle Rock to let the public pick the city’s mayors from now. Currently, the mayor of the booming Douglas County hub is just another member of the city council who is chosen by fellow council members (every two years) to wield the gavel.

City voters overwhelmingly approved the charter change by a 2-1 margin. The council is scheduled this week to discuss how to implement the ballot proposal.

A few days after the vote, Peak Politics pushed back at one of the talking points for the charter change — that a directly elected mayor could defuse future attempts at recall elections whenever the council does something that turns out to be unpopular. The argument goes that a popularly elected mayor would have to face voters city-wide in each election, and voters would in turn feel the mayor was answerable to them.

Quips Peak’s inimitable, anonymous blogger:

“Folks in Castle Rock will now get to vote for their own mayor during regular elections, instead of trying to vote them out in recall elections whenever an issue doesn’t go the way of a few individuals.”

…”Now instead of just trying to recall a few council members elected by the people, Castle Rock voters will have the option of recalling the mayor the people elected as well.”

From the frying pan into the fire? Perhaps.


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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirNovember 10, 20174min8200

Conservative blog Colorado Peak Politics buttonholed the state’s largest teachers union this week for a tweet after the election that appeared to confirm what its critics had been saying all along: the unions — rather than grass-roots parent groups — were the real prime mover behind the losses of education reformers in key school board races.

The tweet by the Colorado Education Association on Wednesday was in reply to a Colorado Public Radio tweet pointing out how, despite the high profile gains by union-supported candidates, “…most union-backed school board candidates…” lost in assorted races around the state.

Peak weighed in thusly on the a-HA! moment:

Union-led sweeps? Wait, we thought all of these races were led by “parents” and the “community.” How can that be? Is the CEA saying that parents and the community, in fact, did not lead liberal school board members to victory in Republican strongholds like Douglas and Mesa Counties and that it was a special interest group? Of course it was the union.

In Douglas County alone, the union contributed at least $315,000, and likely more, to an independent expenditure committee to elect liberal school board members, completely out of step with the values of the community they represent.

It’s an interesting point though it’s also worth considering whether the CEA as well as the Douglas County Federation and its national affiliate, the American Federation of Teachers, had dropped their guard even before Election Day — unlike in previous election cycles. Indeed, the AFT’s big cash dump on the Douglas County races had gotten plenty of press leading up to the election, as had union involvement in board races in other school districts this year. It seemed there was less of an effort overall to conceal the unions’ role, in contrast to their backstage approach during 2015’s Jefferson County school board recall election.

A shift in strategy? Might organized labor now reason it has less to lose and more to gain by openly flexing its muscle in the current, backlash-against-the-right political climate?

To Peak’s point about “union-led sweeps”: It almost sounds as if the CEA is bragging.


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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirNovember 1, 20172min6950

… courtesy of reliably right-of-center Colorado Peak Politics, which isn’t about to cut Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper any slack.

As noted here earlier this week, Hick’s office had announced Sue Birch, executive director of the state Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, will leave to take over the Washington State Health Care Authority. The announcement included accolades for Birch from the governor himself, lauding the former public health nurse’s accomplishments.

The next day, Peak countered with this far less flattering view of Birch’s work:

Doctors and hospitals are still waiting on millions of dollars in late Medicaid payments, and they might have to wait a little longer because the person responsible for writing the checks is fleeing her job and the Hickenlooper administration.

… If Washington’s H.R. department had bothered to Google her work as executive director of the Health Care Policy and Financing Department, they would learn that she contained costs by not making the required payments.

Peak is referring to a major snafu in the implementation of a new computer system by Birch’s department last spring that resulted in the widespread, inadvertent denial of Medicaid claims, hampering reimbursement. AdvocacyDenver, which serves citizens with developmental disabilities, offers an in-depth and balanced recap of that issue on its website; read it here.


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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirOctober 11, 20173min27250
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Conservative blog Colorado Peak Politics thinks so, based on some tips and evidence that came its way. The evidence includes photos taken surreptitiously inside Douglas County Federation offices by what Peak says was a disgruntled staffer at the union — showing lists of volunteers who will walk precincts, canvass neighborhoods and “talk to voters.”

(ColoradoPeakPolitics.com)

Peak also reports:

“… a loyal reader has assured us that the Douglas County Federation (the teachers union) is canvassing neighborhoods throughout Douglas County.”

Peak says the evidence belies public statements via social media by the supporters of one of two opposing slates of school board candidates in the Douglas County School District November board race: “The registered political committee, Douglas County Parents, continues to deny that the union is involved in supporting the Douglas County Parents-endorsed candidates, Kevin Leung, Krista Holtzmann, Chris Schor, and Anthony Graziano.”

(ColoradoPeakPolitics.com)

That’s the slate that is second-guessing wide-ranging policies — like an as-yet unimplemented school voucher program and an end to collective bargaining with the union — adopted by a previous board several years ago and supported by the current board majority. While most of that majority isn’t seeking re-election, a slate of new candidates that supports that same reformist bent is on the ballot.

The DougCo union, like teachers unions elsewhere, is no fan of the status quo’s reforms and  doubtless would like to recover its power to collectively bargain a labor contract. So, is the union covertly helping one side in the campaign — despite the campaign’s denial’s?

We have a call in to Douglas County Federation President Kallie Leyba and will let you know what we find out.


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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirJuly 31, 20175min1480

As reported the other day via Colorado Peak Politics, Jared Polis — who amassed a fortune as an internet wunderkind almost before he was old enough to shave — has come out in defense of Amazon’s impending acquisition of Whole Foods. Meaning, the reputedly liberal gubernatorial candidate and 2nd Congressional District Democratic representative discounts the possibility that the recently announced deal flouts federal antitrust laws.

Peak Politics had cited a report by CNBC, quoting Polis as well as conservative Republican U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, of California, essentially in support of the deal. For a fire-breathing free-marketeer like Issa, that’s unsurprising, but here’s Polis:

“Of course I think both Democrats and Republicans believe in antitrust, and they also believe with the development of new technologies we should update what antitrust means in a digital era…”

Republican-leaning Peak saw it as an example of Polis blowing hot and cold on the issue because in the same CNBC report, he also is paraphrased saying any congressional antitrust hearings are moot because his Democratic minority doesn’t run the floor show in the U.S. House. Peak also suggests Polis might be singing a different turn if Amazon weren’t helmed by his fellow Net-repreneur and left-leaner (and relatively new Washington Post owner) Jeff Bezos.

Let’s defer to the Peak-sters on all that — and instead consider a Fortune.com report quoting another Democratic member of Congress who vents some of his party’s more familiar concerns about the Amazon deal:

In a letter to the House Judiciary Committee Chairman, (Rhode Island Democratic U.S. Rep. David) Cicilline called for a hearing looking into the Amazon-Whole Foods deal.

“Amazon’s proposed acquisition of Whole Foods raises important questions concerning competition policy, such as how the transaction will affect the future of retail grocery stores,” Cicilline wrote. “Some have also raised concerns that the transaction will also increase Amazon’s online dominance, enabling it to prioritize its products and services over competitors.”

By all indicators, Cicilline’s request will go nowhere, as Polis pointed out. What’s noteworthy for Coloradans, though, is how far outside the Democratic safe space Polis is willing to go on free-market economics — anathema to a significant wing of his party and hardly the hallmark of populist Benie-nomics..

By the lights of his campaign website, Cicilline seems very much a traditional New England Democrat — vowing to recapture old-economy manufacturing jobs. (You do have to question the political value of Cicilline’s target, though: the quintessential virtual vendor buying the quintessential yup-scale grocer — arguably, a big “who cares?” to the blue-collar crowd he’s playing to.)

Polis, in stark contrast, is all about the economy of tomorrow. Here’s more from the CNBC report:

“By really nurturing and helping capital formation and issues around startup companies, we’re encouraging the creation of tomorrow’s great success stories,” Polis said.

Capital formation? Success stories? He could be Rich Uncle Penny Bags (aka the Monopoly man)! OK, that’s unfair. Point is, the congressman is no foe of the free market. He made so much of his own money there, after all.


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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirJune 27, 20175min1301

Conservative blog Colorado Peak Politics shot some snark at Denver Mayor Michael Hancock over his appearance at, and tweets from, this week’s annual U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Miami.

The confab’s near-consensus on the issue du jour, climate change, was that the nation’s cities should move ahead on their own in tackling the challenge now that the Trump administration has said the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris climate accord. Hancock joined a host of big-city mayors in including New York’s Bill de Blasio in committing to their own local climate-action plans to implement at least some of the Paris accord’s goals.

Peak Politics takes note of Hancock’s tweet:

…and then mockingly recaps some of the objectives of the mayors organization, whose most prominent members tend to be Democrats:

What will Hancock and these mayors do to stop global climate change?

Spend taxpayer money to buy new things, It’s how Democrats solve every problem they encounter!

A whole new fleet of cars that run on electricity fueled by coal will be needed for city employees. And brand new green buildings! They want new construction and development of buildings, which will also provide new jobs for their union buddies. — Bonus.

Last, but not least, they will make plans, plans to save the planet.

It won’t exactly fall in line with the Paris Agreement, but that’s not the point. The point is to criticize President Trump.

If Hancock really wanted to cut down on climate change, he could have just signed that silly letter from his desk in Denver and saved taxpayers, and the planet, from the climate-killing fumes spewed from that First Class trip to Miami.

But tell that to the Pueblo City Council, which voted unanimously Monday to follow suit with the mayors meeting in Miami as well as with some other Colorado cities, including Denver and Fort Collins, in affirming support for the Paris accord.

Reported the Pueblo Chieftain’s Peter Roper:

District 2 Councilman Larry Atencio had asked for the resolution and noted that council voted earlier this year to have the city become 100 percent reliant on renewable energy by 2035.

 “It makes sense that we should acknowledge that climate change is real and we’re doing our part,” he said.
Yup; right in the heart of Colorado’s new Trump Country, Pueblo County — which went for the president last Nov. 8 when the state as a whole turned away.