Joey BunchJoey BunchApril 6, 20183min862

Victor Mitchell won’t be asking “Do You Know Me?” on TV as much starting this week. He doesn’t have to anymore after investing more than a million bucks in TV ads across the state to tout his bid for governor.

The Republican entrepreneur and former state legislator from Douglas County is building up his profile in a crowded race.

The campaign launched a new TV ad this week that goes into his ad buy that amounts to more than $180,000 a week statewide, his campaign tells Colorado Politics.

“I’m the underdog, the outsider businessman,” he tells us. “I’m not like the insiders, Bush’s cousin or Romney’s nephew, that have all the establishment money and separate special committees.

“I have to spend my own money to get better known and tell my story. This new ad, and the one before it, are starting to tell my story. But I’m not taking a cent of special interest money to pay for these ads, not one red cent.”

There are more than a dozen GOP hopefuls in the race, but the contenders in Mitchell’s path are thought to be state Treasurer Walker Stapleton (a cousin to the presidential Bush family), businessman Barry Farah, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and businessman Doug Robinson.

Mitchell loaned his campaign $3 million at the outset, while other big-name Republicans in the race have the support of big-name donors and outside groups supporting their candidacies.

In the new 30-second ad, Mitchell plays on Coloradans’ natural disinclination against Californians.

“What happens when you put career politicians?” he asks. “Look at California.”

Mitchell said the Golden State has a bad quality of life, high taxes and “mountains of crushing regulations (and) lawless sanctuary cities.”

Who are the career politicians he’s talking about? Stapleton has been state treasurer for eight years, and Coffman has been attorney general for almost four.

Farah has never held a major elected office, thought his wife is a staff member on leave from Americans for Prosperity in Colorado, a politically powerful arm of the conservative Koch brothers network.

Robinson is a retired investment banker, but he is the nephew of Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and GOP presidential nominee. Mitchell, on the other hand, served two years in the state legislature before deciding to focus on his business instead of seeking re-election.

On the Democratic ticket, there are more politicians: U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne (for about two years), former state Treasurer Carey Kennedy and former state Sen. Mike Johnston.


Joey BunchJoey BunchFebruary 26, 20183min287
The LIBRE Initiative, a partner of the better-known Americans for Prosperity, has a message for Colorado Latinos: You are patriots. The organization is launching an ad blitz in 12 states, including Colorado, around immigration, border security and “certainty” for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, called the Dreamers. “With the March 5th […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchSeptember 2, 20178min366


Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirAugust 28, 20175min265 has reported before on a couple of ballot proposals to curb growth in Lakewood, the old, inner-ring Denver burb that has undergone something of a renaissance in recent years.

The pending Lakewood Strategic Growth Initiative would among other things place a 1 percent annual growth limit on new residential construction. Meanwhile, a proposal by a Lakewood City Council member to ask voters in November to place a moratorium on new building permits has stalled after failing last month to get support from a council majority.

Critics of both efforts say they would undermine the city’s ongoing economic revitalization. Opponents of the ballot proposals include Mayor Adam Paul and most council members.

Such push-back from the status quo is duly noted by the authors of an anonymous blog covering Lakewood politics., which is sympathetic to the growth-control measures, offers some insights into the face-off defining local politics — pitting what the blog refers to as the “establishment” against “reformers.” Under the headline “Establishment Loss in 2017?” the blog sketches out potential scenarios in the November municipal election’s council races:

Five Council seats are up for election in November.  Two seats are open since the incumbents Scott Koop (W2) and David Wiechman (W4) are term-limited.  In Ward 3 Shakti is stepping down to run for the state house thus creating an open seat.   In the other two wards, incumbents will be running for a second term – Ramey Johnson (W1) and Karen Harrison (W5).

Of the five seats contested, two are currently held by reformers – Johnson and Wiechman.  If these two seats are held by independent candidates then the balance remains at 6-5 in favor of the establishment.  If the independents pick up one of the other three seats currently held by the establishment (Koop, Shakti and Harrison) then the balance of power could swing to a 5-6 vote in favor of the independents.

LakewoodPols also blogged last week on what it contends are “strange bedfellows” in the dust-up over growth — an alliance between left and right:

Reformer Ramey Johnson, supported by the Council independents, proposed a six-month moratorium on new building permits for large multi-family residential projects.  The liberals led by Max Tyler, supported by Tom Quinn, Gary Harty, et. al. opposed any slow down in the City’s current high-density growth program claiming even a temporary time-out might decrease the supply of new low-cost housing.

This time, the extreme left was joined by the extreme right, led by the out-of-state Koch Brothers lobbying group (Americans for Prosperity).  The right claimed slowing down growth could affect the property rights of the developers.  This strange alliance is the latest example of the extremes of politics (left and right) having a shared interest in keeping the political environment in constant turmoil.  This is not the first time the extremes have joined together to oppose the moderate middle ground’s efforts to fashion reasonable solutions that actually work.

An interesting take that certainly challenges conventional thinking: Moderates back growth control; growth is supported by the extremsts.

Ernest LuningErnest LuningMay 22, 20176min740

After serving as chief of staff for the Colorado Senate Republicans for five sessions, Jesse Mallory takes over as state director of Americans for Prosperity-Colorado, the influential conservative organization announced Monday. AFP-Colorado’s previous state director, Michael Fields, was named senior director of issue education for the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, a related organization, he announced on Twitter on the last day of the legislative session earlier this month.


John TomasicJohn TomasicFebruary 9, 20176min327

Thursday was Americans for Prosperity lobby day at the Capitol. The anti-tax free-market message this year was much the same as it was last year, but the headlines will be different — mainly because the state Senate president stayed on message. President Kevin Grantham, a Republican from Canon City, thanked AFP activists for their effectiveness in recent years at spreading the small-government gospel in Colorado. “You all do the hard work year-round to get out the message, promoting free markets and fiscal restraint and limiting the government to promote economic opportunity in Colorado,” Grantham said. “You’re the folks that make that happen. You’re the folks that keep us honest over here in getting those things done.”


Clifford D. MayClifford D. MaySeptember 1, 20167min325

Washington is not an easy-going town. You come here to argue policy with the big boys you should expect some rough-and-tumble. But you also should expect clean fights — no biting, no spitting, no hitting below the belt. Whatever else divides us, we all value free speech and edifying debate, right? Not exactly. Leftwing “activists” — often posing as journalists — have a habit of targeting and trolling those who deviate from the “politically correct” line. About five years ago, it became clear that a concerted effort was underway to defame me and the national security policy institute I founded just after the 9/11 attacks, along with other individuals and groups focusing on the toxic ideologies that had been gaining ground in what we now call the Muslim world. The activists’ goal was to brand us as “Islamophobes” — haters, racists and bigots who should be shunned, drummed out of the public square, made to shut the hell up.