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Joey BunchJoey BunchNovember 23, 20172min45
Imagine this, people who have been waiting long enough for some George Jetson innovation: a home or office building that could sense how many people were inside, where they are and generally what they’re doing, then adjust the thermostat and ventilation. In the bargain, energy savings up to about 30 percent. That’s what researchers at […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchNovember 22, 20173min72
The Colorado Farm Bureau, the Big Kahuna of the state’s agriculture interests, recognized Service to Ag winners at its annual meeting in the Denver Tech Center last week. Mel and Maureen Rettig, long-time Mesa County Farm Bureau members, and Phil Seng, CEO of the U.S. Meat Export Federation, were honored at a banquet with 300 […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchNovember 18, 20172min2760

Look who’s back in town. Sen. Cory Gardner, once vilified by liberals for not holding big, rally-style town hall meetings where they could yell at him, is holding his sixth since August Monday in Pueblo.

The gathering with the Republican senator from Yuma, is at the Pueblo Convention Center from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., with the doors opening at 10:30 a.m. The Convention Center is located at 320 Central Main St. in Pueblo, which is just off Interstate 25.

Senate Republicans are working on a highly contentious tax system overhaul that Democrats contend is aimed at gutting social services and programs such as Medicaid to provide tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. Gardner is likely to counter Monday that it’s a simplified tax code that levels the playing field for wage earners and small businesses alike.

Monday’s forum is actually a make-good event after he had to cancel a town hall meeting there in October, when he was called away to be part of a delegation that toured the hurricane devastation in Puerto Rico.

But just in case, Gardner’s office cautioned in a press advisory Friday, “Date and time are subject to change per Senate schedule.”


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Joey BunchJoey BunchNovember 17, 20172min11080

My Insights column in the Colorado Politics magazine this week (online and in the Colorado Springs Gazette next week) examines the unexplained positions and curious start to Cynthia Coffman’s campaign. But Thursday, it got only more curious.

Clinton Soffer had been identified in political circles as her campaign manager suddenly wasn’t.

When Coffman officially announced her candidacy for governor on Nov. 8, the Denver Post reported, “To run her campaign, Coffman hired Clinton Soffer, the former regional political director for the National Republican Senate Committee, where he worked for Colorado U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, whom he helped elect in 2014.”

After I got a well-sourced tip Thursday that Soffer was no longer running the campaign, I reached out to Coffman’s campaign fundraiser Caroline Wren, who also is fielding calls to Coffman from the media this week.

“Clinton Soffer is a part of Team Cynthia, but he is not campaign manager and was never announced by our campaign as such,” said Wren.

I quickly responded and asked what his role is, then, whether the Denver Post had it wrong and whether the campaign had asked for a correction. And especially: Who is running the campaign, then?

Wren didn’t reply.

Earlier Thursday Wren asked me in a text message to submit all future questions to Coffman in writing via e-mail, after Wren said she thought she was speaking “on background” for a story posted Thursday about why Coffman missed the Republican Women of Weld gubernatorial forum Monday night in Fort Lupton. (She was flying back from a Republican Attorneys General Association meeting in Palm Beach, Fla.)

She told Corey Hutchins from the Colorado Independent that she would only take written questions from him, as well.

Soffer did not return a call asking for a comment.


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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirNovember 16, 20173min4380

A lot of the workaday tax credits and deductions that businesses routinely use to trim Uncle Sam’s take are still off-limits to Colorado’s legal marijuana enterprises. That would change under legislation Colorado Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner signed onto this week as a co-sponsor.

As noted in a press release from Gardner’s office, the legislation, introduced by Sens. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, and Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, would “ensure marijuana businesses legally operating in Colorado and other states that have legalized the sale of marijuana are able to utilize common business tax deductions and credits, such as those for normal business expenses or for hiring veterans.”

The legislation underscores the continued rift over legal marijuana between the Trump administration and states like Colorado, and it highlights once again the irony of conservative Republicans like Gardner moving to shore up states’ rights on the matter in the face of opposition from conservative Republican U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Despite the administration push-back, Gardner, quoted in the announcement by his office, comes across as an unflinching champion of free-market marijuana who might as well be saying, “Jeff who?”

“Our current tax code puts thousands of legal marijuana businesses throughout Colorado at a disadvantage by treating them differently than other businesses across the state … Coloradans made their voices heard in 2012 when they legalized marijuana and it’s time for the federal government to allow Colorado businesses to compete. This commonsense, bipartisan bill will allow small businesses in Colorado and other states that have legal marijuana businesses to grow their operations, create jobs, and boost the economy.”

The press release also notes bipartisan accolades for Gardner’s embrace of the legislation:

“I commend Senator Gardner for fighting for Colorado’s small businesses,” said Sal Pace, former Democratic Leader in the Colorado State House and sitting Pueblo County Commissioner. “By sponsoring S.777, Senator Gardner is saying that he wants to put millions of dollars back into Colorado’s economy. This is a watershed moment. We don’t hear of a lot of bipartisanship these days. But, this Democrat wants to publicly thank Senator Gardner for his leadership.”


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Conrad SwansonNovember 15, 20176min125
When Colorado Springs City Councilman Bill Murray heard U.S. Senate nominee Roy Moore of Alabama was accused of pursuing young girls, he wasn’t surprised. Misconduct and complacence in Deep South politics is a significant reason Murray said he left Alabama in the early 1990s, and it’s clear to him nothing has changed. “I expected something […]

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