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Joey BunchJoey BunchNovember 16, 20174min6580

Well, here’s a new idea courtesy of Colorado gubernatorial candidate Victor Mitchell: If you’re elected official and you’re running for higher office, get off the government payroll.

“You have to show up to your job to get paid, shouldn’t your elected officials have to do the same before asking for a promotion?” asks the 55-second ad called “Resign to Run”

Let’s see who the entrepreneur from Castle Rock might be talking about in the governor’s race: state Treasurer Walker Stapleton, state Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, Democratic Congressman Jared Polis, Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne, possibly Larimer County Commissioner Lew Gaiter, and the ex gubernatorial candidate turned attorney general hopeful George Brauchler … but not Cary Kennedy; she stepped down from her job as Denver’s chief financial officer last year, presumably to ready for the race. Mike Johnston was term-limited out of the state Senate last year, so he caught a break, and Greg Lopez hasn’t been the mayor of Parker since the early 1990s.

Of course, the flaw in this, unless Victor gets in other changes, would be that the governor, usually a Democrat, would be able to appoint the replacement attorney general and treasurer, offices usually won by Republicans in Colorado. That’s how Democrat Bernie Buescher became secretary of state in 2009, when Republican Mike Coffman was elected to Congress; Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter appointed him.

The bill is a work in progress, Mitchell’s campaign indicated Thursday.

“We are exploring details, but (as with term limits) we don’t think congressional candidates or federal officeholders could be under this, legally. But we’re exploring,” said David Hill, an adviser to Mitchell’s campaign who is a former Texas A&M professor who was director of the Public Policy Resources Laboratory and founding director of The Texas Poll.

“… There are a lot of moving parts here and we are exploring judiciously. But we believe the policy is sound. Several other states already have this, so the policy is not without precedent.”

He added, “This is how good policy is made. We advance a broad outline of a proposal and then get feedback, both from legal and political sources. Then we move to finalizing the proposal, based on the input received. That is how Victor Mitchell operates.”

Mitchell served one term in the state House before leaving to focus on the business for a few years.

He’s proposing a law to force those who have been elected to full-time state or local offices to resign before seeking a higher office.

“Taxpayers should not be forced to continue to pay the salaries of officeholders who are seeking promotion to a higher office,” Mitchell said in a statement. “Campaigning is almost a full-time job these days and we can’t expect an officeholder to run for a different office without neglecting their current office responsibilities.

“This law would not prevent anyone from seeking any office they choose. It would merely prevent neglect of duty and taxpayer subsidies of campaigners. I don’t like corporate welfare, and I don’t like welfare for politicians, either.”

Mitchell linked his proposal to term Limits, which he said cuts down career politicians, and the Colorado Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights “promoted financial accountability.

“Resign-To-Run will help keep the political insiders accountable to the people that elect them,” contends Mitchell. “Don’t expect the establishment to embrace this new idea, but I am already seeing that the people of Colorado believe it’s a welcome check on political ambition.”


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Joey BunchJoey BunchNovember 12, 20173min4650

If you’ve got healthcare issues, Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne wants to hear about them. The state’s chief operating officer and a candidate succeed John Hickenlooper as governor is planning a series of “health care town halls” Thursday through Saturday with stops in nine locations across the state.

The first is Thursday evening in Denver, and on Friday Lynne plans to hold town halls in Lamar, Pueblo and Colorado Springs. On Saturday she is in Steamboat Springs, Glenwood Springs and Silverthorne. She wraps up in Fort Collins and Greeley next Sunday.

Besides access to healthcare, Lynne, a Democrat, will talk and listen about affordability of insurance, the state’s health exchange and Medicaid. Lynne was a Denver-based healthcare executive with Kaiser Permanente when Hickenlooper picked her to be his second-in-command last year, where Joe Garcia stepped down to work for a higher-education organization.

“Together, Gov, Hickenlooper and I have fought to save the Affordable Care Act,” Lynne said in a statement. “It’s not perfect, but we shouldn’t ignore its substantial successes: especially in Colorado. The ACA has allowed the number of uninsured Coloradans to be cut in half and more than half a million Coloradans received coverage through the Affordable Care Act.”

Her campaign noted that the deadline to enroll and obtain financial help for insurance from Colorado’s health exchange is Dec. 15.

“I know that people have a lot of questions and concerns about their health care regardless of how it’s provided, and I want to listen to them, direct them to the right sources for information, and let them know what our plans are for reducing costs and improving care,” Lynne stated.

Space is limited, so those who plan to attend should RSVP by clicking here.

Here is the scheduled:

Thursday

  • Denver, 6 p.m.
    Clinica Tepeyac, 5075 Lincoln St.

Friday

  • Lamar, 10 a.m.
    Lamar City Library, 102 E. Parmenter St.
  • Pueblo, 1 p.m.
    Pueblo Library, Rawlings Branch: 100 E. Abriendo Ave., Bret Kelly Room
  • Colorado Springs, 3:30 p.m.
    Old Colorado City Library, 2418 W. Pikes Peak Ave.

Saturday

  • Steamboat Springs, 10 a.m.
    522 Lincoln Ave, 3rd Floor, Routt County Commissioners’ Hearing Room
  • Glenwood Springs, 1 p.m.
    Mountain Family Health Center, 1905 Blake Ave.
  • Silverthorne, 3:15 p.m.
    Summit County Library, North Branch, 651 Center Circle, Blue River Room

Sunday

  • Fort Collins, 12:30 p.m.
    Harmony Library, 4616 S. Shields St., Community Room
  • Greeley, 2 p.m.
    University of Northern Colorado, 2045 10th Ave., Room Spruce A

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Ernest LuningErnest LuningNovember 5, 20176min5210

Former Colorado State Treasurer Cary Kennedy on Saturday called on her fellow Democratic gubernatorial candidates to limit their primary election spending to $3 million, in addition to running positive campaigns and rejecting contributions from corporate interests. While all the leading Democrats in the race say they’re committed to running positive campaigns, none said they were willing to limit their spending in what could be one of Colorado’s most expensive statewide primaries in memory.


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Joey BunchJoey BunchNovember 4, 20171min281
A handful of left-leaning organizations will quiz a handful of candidates for governor on energy, immigration and elections Nov. 12 at the Auraria Campus in Denver. The forum is from noon to 3 p.m. at the St. Cajetans building at 1200 Ninth St. in Denver. As of Saturday the candidates committed to attend were: unaffiliated […]

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