Joey BunchJoey BunchMarch 17, 20183min737

Peg Perl will officially kickoff her campaign for Denver city clerk next Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Paramount Cafe in Denver, she tells Colorado Politics. "I am excited to talk with community members about the importance of the Denver clerk position and how I will continue my longstanding fight for government transparency, ethics, money in politics reform and voting rights as clerk," she said.


Joey BunchJoey BunchJuly 28, 20173min508

Marianne Goodland of the Colorado Independent was the first to report Thursday that Peg Perl will run for Denver County clerk and recorder.

Perl hinted at such a move in a chat with Colorado Politics in June, and our Ernest Luning outright predicted she would jump in, if Debra Johnson chose not to seek a third term.

That’s what happened Thursday, so Perl pulled the campaign trigger. She’ll be a formidable candidate with a background in the law, good government advocacy and good political relationships, even with most opponents.

She’s rated as one of the top lawyers in the state, and from 2012 until June, she was the senior counsel for Colorado Ethics Watch, the tenacious government watchdog nonprofit in Denver that many on the right argue is biased for the left.

Perl left to start her own firm and lay the groundwork for a jump into politics, she told us last month.

“I plan to continue to work for modernized campaign spending disclosure and elections, and transparent ethical government responsive to all residents at the state and local level in my new consulting venture,” she said.

Running elections is the office’s highest profile duty, but it also handles marriage licenses, foreclosures and a big mess of records.

Perl has plenty of time to build a campaign. The election isn’t until 2019.

Johnson, 61, said she’s retiring. She was elected in 2011, after serving as city clerk in Aurora.


Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirJuly 27, 20172min310

Denver Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson, who among other career milestones, played a prominent role in the court battle over same-sex marriage, announced today she won’t seek a third term when her post comes up for election in two years. From a press release just issued by her office:

“It is my privilege and honor to serve the citizens of Denver since being elected in 2011,” Clerk Johnson said. “With two more years left in office, I still have much to accomplish. However, I plan to retire from public service after 25 years.”

The announcement recounts how Johnson — an advocate of marriage equality who believed clerks should be able to issue licenses to same-sex couples — turned down one same-sex couple in 2014 so they could take her to court. Her aim was for the couple to challenge the state’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. The couple did so, and as the  clerk’s press statement notes, “the courts sided with Johnson and the City and County of Denver to usher in marriage equality.”

Some of Johnson’s other accomplishments touted in the new release:

  • She wrote and championed legislation closing the loopholes in Colorado’s proxy marriage laws to ensure marriage can’t be used for sex trafficking or bringing people into the country illegally.
  • Johnson was instrumental in the passage of historic recording legislation which ensures that all Colorado counties have up-to-date electronic recording equipment. This legislation had little benefit for Denver but was key to maintain the efficiency and integrity of recording in Colorado.

Johnson is only Denver’s second elected clerk and recorder.


Adam McCoyAdam McCoyJuly 14, 20173min767

Who’s ever heard of an innovative bureaucracy?

Denver’s Clerk and Recorder Office was recognized this week for just that, receiving a pair of awards from an international government association.

Clerk Debra Johnson received the innovator award for unique achievements and best practices from the International Association of Government Officials.

“We continue to look for ways to serve our customers quicker and better. We’ve worked hard to change the stodgy, bureaucratic perception of local government,” Clerk Johnson said in a statement Wednesday. “And we think we’re succeeding.”

The office said it has cut customer wait times significantly — from 48 minutes to less than 30 seconds — streamlined its website and digitized millions of records for public access, making more services available online.

Deputy Denver Clerk and Recorder Juan Guzman also received the excellence in county government award — recognizing leadership, ingenuity, excellence and integrity.

“Every day, Juan looks for ways to better serve Denverites and all Colorado residents,” said Johnson. “Juan has led the way in technological innovations — when they make sense for our staff and our customers. The focus on our customers means we want to serve our residents and allow business to thrive in Denver.”

The office said Johnson and Guzman were also at the forefront of the fight for marriage equality in Colorado in 2014.

Furthermore, they helped pass recording legislation which ensured all Colorado counties have up-to-date electronic recording equipment. The office noted the legislation had little benefit for the city, but helped maintain efficiency and integrity of recording in the state.

They also authored legislation closing loopholes in Colorado’s proxy marriage laws, ensuring marriage can’t be used for sex trafficking or to bring people into the country illegally.

Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirFebruary 9, 20172min277

If you happen to stop by the Denver Clerk and Recorder’s Office this Valentine’s Day, it won’t be just love that’s in the air but also marriage — marriages, to be precise. (They do go together like…well, just like the song says.) Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson is hosting her 10th annual “Valentine’s Day Event,” at which the office provides one-stop shopping for the marriage-minded.

It’s particularly helpful for those soon-to-be-blissful couples that are in a hurry and want to get it all done at one location. Here’s the announcement from Johnson’s office:

Judges and clergy will be on hand to perform free marriage ceremonies for couples. Food and beverages will be available for the couples. Drawings will be held for gifts from local businesses, elected officials and other city agencies.

Probably also a good option for couples on a budget. And who isn’t by the time they arrive at the doorstep of matrimony?

Here are the rest of the details, courtesy of the Denver Clerk and Recorder:

WHAT: Picture Perfect – Denver Clerk & Recorder’s 10th Annual Valentine’s Celebration

WHEN: Tuesday, February 14, 2017, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

WHERE: Webb Building, 201 W. Colfax, Dept. 101

The media are invited to attend.

Marriage licenses are $30. Ceremonies are free.
Couples are strongly encouraged to apply online before coming to the office.


Ernest LuningErnest LuningJanuary 26, 20174min1060

Joining the ranks of Jimmy Carter, Madeleine Albright and Nelson Mandela, the Denver Elections Division has been honored by the International Centre for Parliamentary Studies for developing an application that allows voters to register and on electronic tablets instead of paper. Denver’s award was for its eSign app and its Voter Registration Drive module and the category was Outstanding Achievement in International Institutional Engagement and Electoral Ergonomy.


Mike McKibbinMike McKibbinNovember 18, 20167min600

Monthly lobbyist financial reports required by the City and County of Denver, designed to help the public know who is lobbying City Council members on what issues, are commonly submitted with no reported expenditures, a review of the documents by the The Colorado Statesman has found. While no wrongdoing or rules violations is thought to have occurred, the city ordinance that regulates lobbyists by requiring registration and the reports does not identify specific oversight. Like many other areas of municipal and state regulations, it is basically a self-reporting arrangement that is only investigated upon complaint, according to Assistant City Attorney David Broadwell.


Mike McKibbinMike McKibbinOctober 11, 201610min359

Annual and monthly disclosure reports by elected officials, city employees and lobbyists registered with the City and County of Denver would see several changes under proposed regulations from the city clerk and recorder. The city council's Finance and Governance committee took a first look at the proposed changes from Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson at its Oct. 4 meeting and asked for several revisions Johnson will present in November.