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Ernest LuningErnest LuningMarch 11, 20184min1097

Larimer County Republican Nic Morse is withdrawing from the race for the Senate District 15 seat held by term-limited state Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, who is seeking the GOP nomination for state treasurer, Colorado Politics has learned. Morse, a marketing executive and the 2016 Republican nominee for the congressional seat held by U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, said his decision was due to poor fundraising and tepid support within the party. His move leaves fast-food restaurant owner Rob Woodward as the only GOP candidate running for the heavily Republican seat.


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Joey BunchJoey BunchFebruary 14, 20183min1274

Chance Hill, the hardest working unopposed candidate in politics, picked up another big endorsement in his bid to represent Congressional District 5 on the University of Colorado Board of Regents.

Heidi Ganahl, the state’s at-large member of the university system governing board, was elected statewide in 2016. She’s viewed as a rising GOP star in the state, as well.

District 5 is El Paso County.

As Colorado Politics has been telling you for months, Hill, a newcomer, is the lone candidate for CU regent spot being vacated by Kyle Hybl, who is term-limited. Hybl was one of the first to endorse Hill, and a long list of other local and state Republicans have as well, so many that our website had to declare a moratorium on his announcements.

Ganahl released a statement about her endorsement:

Dear Friends,

I offer my full support for Chance Hill be to the next CU Regent from Colorado’s 5th Congressional District.

Chance is a Constitutional Conservative, a military veteran, and a recent law school graduate–which will enable him to offer a fresh perspective regarding the challenges that current students face.

Chance is on a mission to help instill a campus culture that truly values intellectual diversity and the spirit of free speech. I am certain that he will seek to appoint administrators who also recognize the importance of producing CU graduates who have been exposed to a variety of perspectives before becoming productive citizens in this Constitutional Republic in which we are so fortunate to live.

Moreover, during his recent experience in the college environment, he witnessed first-hand the impact that rising tuition can have on students. Chance will be a strong advocate for finding ways to eliminate wasteful bureaucracy and minimize costs to the maximum extent possible.

Chance also has a passion for wanting to continue the upward trajectory of UCCS, and I am certain that he will work hard to represent the best interests of the voters in the 5th Congressional District.

Chance has my endorsement, my confidence, and my backing to become your next CU Regent.

I encourage you to vote for him and to support him in any way you can at www.chanceforcuregent.com

Sincerely,

Heidi Ganahl
CU Regent, Colorado At-Large State Representative



Joey BunchJoey BunchAugust 25, 20176min1086

Diverse data in, the best policies out. That’s the view Chris Brown is bringing to Colorado from Washington, D.C., next month.

Brown was in Denver this week looking for a house before he officially becomes the director of policy and research for the Common Sense Policy Roundtable, the right-leaning “free market” think tank.

While CSPR isn’t overtly political, it provides data that furthers politics. The think tank was created by The Starboard Group and EIS Solutions, two firms with a political a Republican history. and ties to the oil and gas industry.

The think tank’s board includes Republican politicians Heidi Ganahl, who was elected to the University of Colorado Board of Regents last Novenber, and Jack Graham, who ran for U.S. Senate last year and is considering a run for governor next year.

One of its most prominent supporters is Mike Kopp, the Republican former state Senate minority leader and gubernatorial candidate who leads the bipartisan business coalition Colorado Concern.

Brown has worked for Regional Economic Modeling Inc. for nine years, starting as an assistant economist in the firm’s Amherst, Mass., office then opening its Washington office six years ago. REMI manages research projects with a diversity of partners on the right and left. That’s key to credibility in research projects, Brown told Colorado Politics.

“My role in working with REMI is supporting REMI’s diverse client base and the independent work each client is doing,” he said. “I hope to, through this role, assist CSPR build on the expertise by working with diverse organizations across the county on a range of policy issues, to apply what I’ve learned in assessing critical policy issue here in Colorado.”

Analysis, such as that provided by REMI, helps policymakers better understand the macroeconomic cost of their decisions.

Brown said he intends to facilitate dynamic economic modeling on a range of policy issues to provide information in a nonpartisan way.

“CSPR and its leadership will continue to be a resource, but there’s also a diverse group of study partners, and I hope to reach out to other local subject-area experts. Really, this is an effort, the way I see it, to educate and inform on critical, critical policy issues that we have here in Colorado.”

CSPR doesn’t tell lawmakers what to think, but they provide data to think about.

In March, for example, lawmakers were considering legislation to make it harder to sue builders, which partisan said was driving up home prices, CSPR released a report on the high cost of housing and the barriers it creates for first-time or lower-income homebuyers.

In 2016, REMI provided economic analysis with the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado to CSPR on the effect of 2,000-foot setbacks on the oil and gas industry, which predicted such a rule would cost the state $11 billion a year in gross domestic product and 62,000 jobs.

CSPR also provided a dim view of a raising the minimum wage hike, noting in a last year report, “This increase would likely harm the Coloradans who need the most help with employment and income opportunities.”

Brown’s work for REMI has included modeling the fiscal and economic impacts of the Medicaid expansion in eight states, as well as providing an economic model to the state of California about a regulation program. He’s analyzed a federal tax proposal for the U.S. Senate and forecast the economic effects of budget sequestration for the centrist think tank Third Way.

“Over the last six years, CSPR has established a sterling reputation in the public policy arena by providing dynamic modeling and fact based research impacting the Colorado economy,” Kristin Strohm, CSPR’s executive director, said. “Adding Chris to our team will immediately expand our capacity to engage in issues and offer policy makers additional models and studies.”

Editor’s note: This story was updated to include a comment from Kristin Strohm.


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Ernest LuningErnest LuningApril 7, 20178min622

Colorado’s state budget has jumped by more than 19 percent over the last decade, measured in constant dollars, a free-market think tank says in a report delivered at the Capitol this week as lawmakers weigh next year’s budget. And nearly all of that increased spending has gone to health care,the study by the Common Sense Policy Roundtable found.


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Ernest LuningErnest LuningApril 6, 201723min655

Dick Wadhams, who chaired the state Republican Party for two terms and had a hand in electing the statewide officials who set the tone for the Colorado GOP across three decades, has a message for the party: Republicans have never had it easy in Colorado. “This has always been a competitive state; this has never been a Republican bastion,” he told the monthly meeting of the Highlands Ranch Republicans early last Friday morning.


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Valerie RichardsonValerie RichardsonJanuary 15, 201714min684

The fossil fuel divestment movement may be losing steam in Colorado, but activists are hoping to reverse the slide by convincing the University of Denver to sell off its investments in coal, oil and natural gas. The University of Denver Board of Trustees is scheduled to consider at its Jan. 20 meeting a report from the board’s Divestment Task Force, which has met seven times since it was formed in response to an April request from the student organization Divest DU. So far divestment has failed to catch on in Colorado despite the best efforts of climate-change groups such as New York-based 350.org, which has championed the strategy as a way to tar the oil-and-gas industry's public image and bottom line.