Rachael WrightRachael WrightApril 13, 201711min320

Twenty Years Ago This Week in the Colorado Statesman … When she was elected in 1994, Secretary of State Vikki Buckley became the first African-American woman to be elected in statewide office in Colorado. She spent 22 years working her way up through the ranks of the secretary of state’s office, and eventually became second in command of the elections division.


Ernest LuningErnest LuningFebruary 17, 201710min810

Three of the four candidates for chair of the Colorado Democratic Party sounded the alarm and raised the roof campaigning for the post at Denver County’s reorganization meeting on Saturday. Former Senate President Morgan Carroll, Colorado Democratic Party 2nd vice chair Barbara Jones and Clear Creek County Commissioner Tim Mauck made their pitches to the hundreds of Denver Democrats assembled at South High School, invoking Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and rural Democrats who want practical solutions to real-world problems.

Colorado PoliticsColorado PoliticsDecember 2, 201615min456

DENVER —Since we are certain few of you are old enough to have seen the movie or understand the reference … We won’t say T.G.I.F! (says a curmudgeonly old person). Interesting week in political circles. Outside of eaaaarly speculation concerning the 2018 Colorado governor’s race, state lawmakers are drawing lines in how the state should tackle transportation, health care, education and, of course, how it will handle your hard-earned cash (you know the money it takes from you in taxes) with an upcoming projected budget shortfall (apparently your not sending them enough). Additionally, hanging over the Capitol dome are several possible legal challenges to recently passed propositions 107 and 108. And there's (always) more. So ... let’s get started!

Jared WrightJared WrightFebruary 16, 201632min332

The Colorado Statesman Hot Sheet

By TCS Publisher and Editor in Chief Jared Wright @_JaredWright_

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

DENVER – Good morning, and happy Tuesday! Hoping your President’s Day hangover will be lifted by Noon.

Now your substrata feed straight from the politics pipeline:

A Colorado Latin@ name surfaces as a possible Obama SCOTUS nominee, but not the one you might think — No, it’s not former Secretary of the Interior and Colorado political powerhouse Ken Salazar. The Washington Post 202 surmises that if President Obama opts for a nominee in the face of growing insurmountable odds that person will ever be confirmed by the Senate, it will be one made for purely political reasons to bolster election year energy. Sort of a “what the heck” approach, if you will. That person could be Monica Márquez, the first Latina and first openly gay justice on the Colorado Supreme Court, a state that will undoubtedly be a crucial swing for the presidential race. Márquez was sworn in as a Colorado Supreme Court Justice on December 10, 2010, after being appointed by Gov. Bill Ritter, perhaps Colorado’s most progressive governor. This name drop has surfaced from an increasingly deep speculation pool, so taken with a grain of salt, but still — very interesting.

Read a full Colorado Statesman story about Márquez’s 2010 swearing in and her background here.

While Obama announced via spokesperson Eric Schultz that he will not appoint a Scalia successor while the Senate is out on recess this week, the U.S. Capitol buzz is that Obama will name a young sitting U.S. Senator as his best chance at having a nominee confirmed.  Only Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), or Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.) fit that bill (someone who would be able to hold their seat on the bench for a while due to their age.)

Read the Minneapolis Star Tribune report about Klobuchar’s name being mentioned for SCOTUS here.

Have you noticed a disturbance in the force? — The Hillary Clinton campaign has staffed up — big time — in Colorado, now having poured an estimated one third of its Iowa staffing into the state. The campaign opened offices in Denver and Colorado Springs last week and is scheduled to open more in Aurora, Boulder, Fort Collins, Longmont, Pueblo, Sheridan, Westminster and Wheat Ridge this week and next leading into Super Tuesday. Clearly, Clinton’s strategy is to make a dent in a state she and her husband have each lost in the past, and one of the Western states that Bernie Sanders is counting on to win to put his overall strategic puzzle together.

Hillary Clinton barks like a dog in Reno, but was it the equivalent of the Howard Dean scream? — You run the comparison:


Meanwhile, Clinton also posted an “epic Twitter rant” calling on Senate Republicans to do their jobs by confirming Obama’s SCOTUS nominee, citing the significant implications of having a Supreme Court deadlock — Read more here

ICYMI, a CBS4 News report on the Democratic dinner and rallies Feb. 14 with video — Watch it here.

Jeb Bush and Ben Carson are now tied for 4th place in SC — This, following George W. Bush’s attempts to inject some energy into his brother’s campaign in the Palmetto State. This is exactly where Jeb does not want to be — fourth place. Third … ok, but fourth, absolutely a destructive result for his campaign. A Public Policy Polling survey released Monday  shows the following breakdown:

Donald (very seriously considering suing Ted CruzTrump — 35%
Ted Cruz — 18%
Marco Rubio — 18%
John Kasich — 10 %
Jeb Bush — 7%
Ben Carson — 7%

Another survey This one from NBC News and SurveyMonkey on who will win the Republican nomination, polling 3,411 registered Republican voters between Feb. 8 and Feb. 14 and touted by Trump:

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget’s Fiscal Fact Check finds Donald Trump’s campaign proposals fall flat — The group says the five sets of initiatives Trump has put forward in the areas of U.S.-China trade relations reform, protecting second amendment rights, immigration reform, Veterans Administration reform, and tax reform, would, by their “very rough and initial estimates … add between $11.7 and $15.1 trillion to the debt over the next 10 years, including interest.”

Lyng still struggling with out-of-district mentality — Senate District 4 candidate Ben Lyng, who we have formerly explained has created some perception issues with his carpetbagging from Denver down to Castle Rock just months prior of filing his intent to run for the office, will be hosting his first big campaign event Feb. 25 … in Greenwood Village. His host committee? Well, not a single one of them listed on his event invitation even resides in Senate District 4. Perception Problem Fire … meet Fuel. Fuel, Perception Problem Fire. We continue to hear of wars and rumors of wars from down south from amongst the Republican ranks. It will be an interesting race to follow through the assembly and perhaps even after for certain.

How is the House District 29 race coming along? A very real 2016 election challenge? — HD 29 incumbent Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp is facing a challenge from Republican Susan Kochevar again this election year. Kochevar faced off against Kraft-Tharp in 2014, being selected by vacancy committee after Robert Ramirezdropped from the race unexpectedly. In the 2014 election, Kraft-Tharp won with 14,908 votes to Kochevar’s 13,329 votes. A Libertarian candidate, Hans Romer, took 2,040 votes in that race.

This cycle, at least to date, there is no Libertarian candidate filed in the race. With potentially 2,040 more votes going to Kochevar, she is a very real contender in the district. While the voter registration numbers are not as positive for the Republicans as they were in 2014, the district is still highly competitive with 14,537 active registered Democrats, 12,667 active Republicans and 16,873 active Unaffiliated voters (this according to January data from the Colorado Secretary of State.

Above, Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp and Susan Kochevar

HD-29 Finance report: Kraft-Tharp has raised $30,760 through a January 15 campaign finance report filed. She had a beginning balance of $143.35. She now has $27,027.94 cash on hand. Kochevar has raised $2,317.68 through the Jan. 15 filing date. She filed her candidate affidavit to run in March 2015. She has $1,687.88 cash on hand. Clearly, much ground to be made up in the finance arena for her to put up a real fight, but still, a very competitive district. As with most races this year, the viability of candidates in state level races will come down to the national environment and the top ticket candidates on the general election ballot — namely Trump/Cruz-type vs. Rubio/Bush-type.


Colorado Agricultural Leadership Program, Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture Reception — Wednesday, Feb. 17 at the Governor’s Mansion from 5:30 – 7:30 pm.

Colorado Beverage Association, Legislative Reception — Wednesday, Feb. 17, at the University Club, 17th and Sherman, 5:30 – 7:30 pm.

Colorado Nonprofit Association, Annual Meeting and 30th Birthday Reception — Thurs. Feb. 18, Kevin Taylor at the Opera House, 1345 Champa St. Denver, 5:30 pm

Adams State University Reception — Thurs. Feb. 18, Warwick Hotel, 5:30 – 7:30 pm

South Carolina Primaries — Democrats: Saturday, Feb. 20; Republicans, Tuesday, Feb. 23.

Nevada Caucuses — Saturday, February 20

Washington Republican Caucuses — Saturday, February 20

Secretary Ken Salazar for Jeff Bridges Endorsement Event — Home of Rutt and Annie Bridges, 9694 E Progress Place, Greenwood Village, Wed. Feb. 24, 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Super Tuesday, including Colorado caucuses — March 1

Agriculture Day at the Capitol — Set for Tuesdays, March 16 — get ready for awesome food and great folks to descend upon the Capitol.

Want your event listed? Just let me know.


Rep. Dan Nordberg is celebrating his 25th birthday today — he’s finally legal to serve in the House, how he got away with it all this time, we’ve no idea. Congrats, Rep. Nordberg!

From the wires:

The Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition wrote an interesting article about Reps. Diane Mitch Busch and Jim Wilson’s HB 1259, giving district community colleges the ability to make Sunshine Law regulated decisions via email.

The Denver Post’s Mark Matthews wrote a report on Sen. Cory Gardner’s siding with Sen. Mitch McConnell, calling on President Obama to allow a Supreme Court nominee to be chosen by the next president after the 2016 election.

The Denver Post’s Katy Canada and Tom McGhee reported on how a decision might have been made by a coroner in Colorado as compared to a justice of the peace in Texas in regards to Scalia’s death.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports that he is trapped on the wrong side of a Glenwood Canyon rockslide and cannot get to work today.

The Aurora Sentinel reports on more Senate candidate reactions, and Sen. Bennet’s reaction, to Scalia’s death. Bennet’s statement: “This is an important responsibility. The Senate should fulfill its Constitutional obligation without letting partisan politics intervene. When the president nominates someone, that person should get a full and fair review.”

The Denver Post published an opinion column by state Rep. Joann Ginal on transparency in prescription drug pricing. Read it here.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported on the funeral yesterday and huge outpouring of law enforcement support for slain Mesa County Sheriff Deputy Derek Geer.

Roll Call’s Melinda Henneberger in a somewhat long-shot analysis, explains how Scalia’s death may succeed in blocking Donald Trump as the GOP Nominee

The Boulder Daily Camera’s Sarah Kuta reports that Edward Snowden will be appearing via video chat at the CU Boulder Campus tonight, hosted by the Colorado Distinguished Speaker’s Board. Tonight, 7:00 pm, Macky Auditorium, University of Colorado, Boulder — sold out

Colorado Public Radio reports on Denver attorney Jameson Jones, who is a former law clerk of Antonin Scalia

The Hill’s Mark Hensch reports on Hillary Clinton’s maintenance of a double digit lead over Bernie Sanders in South Carolina

Colorado Capitol Watch —From our bill tracking partners:

30 New Bills: P, L

25 New Bipartisan Bills: P, L

40 Bills Passed 3rd Reading: P, L

80 Bills Being Heard: P, L

All Bills: 390 as of 2/12

All Bipartisan Bills: 175 as of 2/12

– Calendars –

2/16 Bills in order of appearance

2/16 Bills sortable by time, number, etc.

All Upcoming Bills From Today Forward

House and Senate Calendars:

HOUSE – Your Feb. 16 Calendar here 

SENATE – Your Feb. 16 Calendar here 

You’re up to date. Have a great Tuesday! Until tomorrow …

Tell us what you know! — To submit a tip, event, happening, gossuping, chattering or other interesting tidbit to The Hot Sheet, click here to submit via our contact form … yes, even anonymously if you’re feeling all cloak and dagger.