Joe Salazar Archives - Colorado Politics

Joey BunchJoey BunchJanuary 18, 20184min3340

In the week the pot pastor entered politics in Weld County, why not hop in the “Cannabis Car” for sing-along and a ride-along?

An Atlanta-based band people way cooler than me listen to, Aviva and the Flying Penguins, has a song Colorado should hear. It’s one of the most popular tracks on the band’s CD “Painted Truth,” Aviva Vuvuzela tells me.

Besides a catchy tune, it brings attention to hemp, a product of increasing prominence in Colorado.

Aviva is a cannabis activist (though she flirted with campaigning to change Columbus Day to Pocahontas Day in Atlanta . — think about it, Rep. Joe Salazar). She learned Henry Ford — this is actually true — created a prototype by cooking up hemp fibers in 1941, and he envisioned a fuel made of hemp, as well.


Ford’s recipe for the plant-based plastic included wheat straw and sisel, as well, but when World War II broke out, the project lost its momentum.

A couple years ago Aviva contacted by Bruce Dietzen, who built himself a cannabis sports car by following Ford’s lead. Dietzen, president of Renew Sports Cars, lives in Miami.

“I have been gigging in Colorado for a couple of years,” Aviva said in an email exchange.

You might have caught her and the Flying Penguins, “fine young chaps,” she said, at Bushwackers Saloon and High Times in Denver, or in Fort Collins at the Noco Hemp Fest and Avogadro’s Number.

“Now, as you know, hemp is growing all over the USA, but it’s not happening quick enough,” Aviva said.

People in Colorado know that’s no lie.

The legislature has passed a handful of bills to normalize hemp for all kinds uses, as well as incentives to invest in hemp industries. State Sen. Don Coram, R-Montrose, opened a hemp processing plant next on the Western Slope, and state Rep. Kimmi Lewis, R-Kim, told a town hall crowd last summer that her son is grows a patch of the non-intoxicating plant related to marijuana.

In December, the Colorado Department of Agriculture put a stamp of approval on four kinds of hemp seeds for industrial purposes. And last march the legislature also instructed the ag department to study the potential of hemp as livestock feed.

But getting back in tune here, if “Cannabis Car” isn’t your new favorite song, then “Colorado in July” could be. Sing another one for us, Aviva.


Ernest LuningErnest LuningJanuary 8, 201814min25990

The nonprofit formerly known as the Centrist Project, a group working to elect nonpartisans officials nationwide, on Monday unveiled a slate of four unaffiliated Colorado candidates running this year for the Legislature  in the opening salvo of its assault on the two major parties' unbroken rule of the state's government. It also announced it's changing its name to Unite America and will call the state-focused organization Unite Colorado.


Ernest LuningErnest LuningDecember 28, 20174min17741

Tay Anderson, the 19-year-old who lost an election for a Denver Public Schools board seat last month, says in a Facebook video posted Wednesday that he hasn't picked a gubernatorial candidate yet — because none of the Democrats running have enunciated a specific set of progressive positions Anderson says are required to get his endorsement.


Ernest LuningErnest LuningDecember 15, 201710min1201

Hours after releasing a lie detector test he says debunk claims he sexually harassed a fellow lawmaker, state Rep. Steve Lebsock of Thornton made public his detailed response to a formal complaint filed last month by state Rep. Faith Winter, but the Westminster Democrat dismissed the polygraph as a stunt and said Lebsock’s statements don’t prove anything.

Joey BunchJoey BunchDecember 5, 20173min6230

Bernie Sanders campaigner Morgan Watters has been tapped to run state Rep. Joe Salazar’s bid for Colorado attorney general next year, the campaign said Monday.

Salazar is in a crowded Democratic primary with well-financed opponents, including former University of Colorado law school dean Phil Weiser, Denver lawyer Brad Levin, Jefferson County assistant prosecutor Michael Dougherty and federal prosecutor Amy Padden.

Watters was a field Director for the Bernie 2016 campaign in Denver and worked for the Colorado Families for a Fair Wage campaign to raise the state’s minimum wage. Watters also worked on Kevin Flynn’s successful run for the Denver City Council in 2015 and was an advocacy intern for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, according to Watter’s LinkedIn page.

“I have spent the summer and early fall traveling the state, listening to what the People of Colorado were saying and building a grassroots army for the elections next year,” Salazar said in a statement. “Now the campaign is focused on developing the resources we need to win and return the attorney general’s office to the People. I am excited that Morgan has agreed to come on board as we build out our field, political and fundraising operations.”

Rich Pelletier, the deputy campaign manager for Bernie 2016 and a Salazar supporter, said he was thrilled to see Watters join with Salazar, who also supporters Sanders in the Democratic primary in Colorado last year.

“Morgan was one of our campaign nomads on Bernie’s campaign, starting here in Colorado and traveling to Washington state, Oregon and finally California,” he said. “They led the field team in the Oregon primary to a decisive 56 percent to 44 percent win for Bernie, winning every county in the state but one.

“Morgan brings caucus and primary leadership experience to the campaign and I know they will be able to help Joe get over the finish line. I work on races across the country, and Joe’s candidacy is one of the most exciting we have. He is a true progressive problem solver who represents the future of the party.”