Joey BunchJoey BunchJanuary 20, 20182min471
As the Community College of Denver honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. last week, they also lauded Colorado House Speaker Crisanta Duran as a community leader. “She’s been an inspiration for our students when they see her on our campus,” said Dr. Everette J. Freeman, CCD’s president, in a video that accompanied the presentation at […]

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Ernest LuningErnest LuningApril 27, 201731min612

Arapahoe County Democrats say they’re working to resolve racial tensions within the party after a years-old remark about “too many blacks” running for office in the county resurfaced recently on social media and in a newspaper article, reigniting a long-simmering controversy. The conflict stems from a candidate training session conducted by party officials in Aurora nearly three years ago when comments — there’s sharp disagreement whether the handful of words were overly blunt, too clumsy, poorly chosen, insensitive or downright racist — left some uncomfortable and others offended, while still others contend the words were misinterpreted beyond recognition. But it’s what happened next that stoked rancor that persists years later, and that’s what party officials say they are determined to mend.

Colorado PoliticsColorado PoliticsJanuary 16, 201723min469

DENVER — Good morning and Happy Monday! Blah, we know. But, today isn't just any Monday. We have a mountain of a human being to celebrate today. Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Let us not forget all this man accomplished for our nation, for civil rights and for true equality. Here's to hoping we see you downtown at the Marade — 17th Ave. and Colorado Blvd., 9 a.m. If you were one of those trapped in the rush to or from the mountain ski areas on I-70 this week, we feel your pain. All state legislators should be forced to travel the route each weekend as a grim reminder of the state of transportation in Colorado. CDOT served up a single tweet encapsulating what will surely be the weekend norm for the next few months:


Lynn BartelsLynn BartelsFebruary 18, 20164min411

An Alabama attorney whose clients included Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. received a prestigious honor recently, and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams couldn’t be happier. Williams voted for attorney Fred Gray of Alabama to receive the National Association of Secretaries of States’ Margaret Chase Smith American Democracy Award for political courage. Gray was recognized at NASS’ winter conference in Washington D.C. last week for his lifelong service to civil rights. “I proudly accept this award on behalf of all the clients who, during the last 61 years, trusted me to handle their legal cases. Many resulted in breaking down the walls of segregation and changing the landscape of America — with an impact around the world,” Gray said, according to a NASS news release. “I am pleased to continue to fight for equal justice, until all of God’s children are truly free.”

Jared WrightJared WrightFebruary 5, 201625min467
 The Colorado Statesman Hot Sheet

By TCS Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Jared Wright @_JaredWright_

Friday, February 5, 2016

DENVER – Happy Friday, and THANK YOU for your support and — if you were able to make it last night — for contributing to a phenomenal turnout at our Relaunch 118th Anniversary Celebration at the Governor’s Mansion!

For those of you who may have missed it, watch our incredibly well-produced promotional film (below) that was premiered at last night’s event to mark the occasion. Thanks to the team at Hidden Woods Media for their outstanding production work.

Long Live The Colorado Statesman
Long Live The Colorado Statesman
If you aren’t already, please consider supporting the excellent political journalism we bring to you on a daily basis here at The Colorado Statesman by becoming a Member Subscriber. Our award-winning publication relies largely on the support of readers like you who appreciate accurate, in-depth reporting of political and public policy news. We hope you will continue to help us champion this publication for another 118 years!
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“It is no use saying, ‘We are doing our best.’ You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.” — Winston Churchill

Now, your substrata feed straight from the politics pipeline:
ICYMI, Mayor Michael “Super Bowl L, I mean 50” Hancock picks Carrigan — CU Regent Michael Carrigan snagged another big endorsement — in his run for Denver district attorney, this time from Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.

Carrigan is in a three-way Democratic primary against state Rep. Beth McCann and senior deputy district attorney Kenneth Boyd. Unaffiliated candidate Helen Morgan, Denver’s chief deputy district attorney, is also running for the chance to take over for term-limited Denver DA Mitch Morrissey.

“Michael Carrigan is hands down Denver’s best choice for our next district attorney,” Hancock said in a statement. “He is a skilled lawyer, active community member and strong leader with the legal experience needed to ensure justice for Denver’s residents. I am confident Michael will bring a balanced perspective to the DA’s office to help make Denver a safer, better place.”

Carrigan and Boyd have begun the process of circulating petitions to get on the primary ballot. It might be a wise move. A dozen years ago, three Democrats were running for Denver DA, at that time to replace term-limited DA Bill Ritter, and one of them was McCann. She won big at the Denver assembly with 45 percent of the delegates, followed by John Walsh (he is Colorado’s U.S. attorney these days). Morrissey, who was endorsed by Ritter, came up short at assembly but made the ballot by petitioning and went on to win the primary and then win the general election three times. (Ritter, who went on to serve a term as governor, is Boyd’s uncle.)


Mayor Michael (Super Bowl L, I mean 50) Hancock and Michael Carrigan.

Right-to-die lives again in the House — Reps. Lois Court and Joann Ginal passed their right-to-die bill in House Judiciary Committee yesterday on a 6-5 party line vote after 10 hours of emotional testimony on both sides of the issue. This only one day after the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee killed the bill on a 3-2 vote — also party line.


Meet Rep. Cole Wist — you know, the new kid on the block (one of them) — Rep. Cole Wist introduces himself to you and, well, to the world — including people watching in their underwear from their mom’s dingy basements at 2:00 am and who knows where else (creepy) — in a special video report by Statesman staffer Ramsey Scott and intern Roxann Elliott.

Rep. Cole Wist introducing himself to the world wide webs.

In case you were wondering where Sen. Pat Steadman was last night  —Meanwhile, Sen. Pat Steadman went and saw the play, “All the Way” at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts last night. A play by Robert Schenkkan, it is a political drama awarded the Best Play Tony in 2014. It’s about President Lyndon B. Johnson and Martin Luther King Jr. and their work to pass the Civil Rights Act. Good taste, Senator.


Conservation Colorado moves climate change bill forward — Reps. Jeni Arndt and Faith Winter’s bill, HB 16-1004, which would require Colorado’s climate action plan to include specific measurable goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or “increase Colorado’s adaptive capability to respond to climate change” and an annual report made to the legislature on progress made, was passed out of House, Health, Insurance and Environment Committee yesterday to the praise of Conservation Colorado and excitement of the two first-term legislators.

Smirking Martin Shkreli Pleads the Fifth — Former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli appeared all smirk but no talk yesterday in front of the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The 32 year old pharmaceuticals entrepreneur has come under federal scrutiny for dramatically raising the price of a life-saving drug, Daraprim, from $13.50 to $750 a pill.

Shkreli tweeted the following not long after the hearing:

Members of the Congressional committee were not amused and neither was Colorado state Sen. Linda Newell, stating on her own Twitter account:

While I agree with the good Senator from Littleton, it is important we hold the Fifth Amendment harmless in these cases and remain thankful for the right we enjoy — even when it is invoked in such seemingly petty, juvenile form. … Ok, off the soap box.

Bernie Sanders Campaign Hosting rally Saturday — No, he won’t be there … he’s kinda busy in New Hampshire right now. Colorado Educators for Bernie are hosting the rally to include campaign staff and local education activists and students.
GOP SD-4 primary getting more crowded — The GOP face-off in heavily Republican Senate District 4 — a seat opening next year after Senate Majority Leader Mark Scheffel, R-Parker, is term-limited — is getting more crowded. Someone named James Smallwood got the OK from the secretary of state’s office to start circulating petitions to make the June 28 primary ballot. Other Republicans already in the running for the Douglas County seat are businessman Benjamin Lyng; Jess Loban, a former candidate for Congress on the Libertarian ticket; and Douglas County School Board member Meghann Silverthorn.

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. — Confucius


A happy belated birthday to Jim Nicholson of Brownstein Hyatt Farber and Schrek. Nicholson was the Chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1997-2001 and Secretary of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs from 2005-2007.

Also, Happy Birthday wishes to Joe Coors, former Sen. Michael Bennet aide Trevor Kincaid, now working in the White House, and Kevin Bronski, former aide to state Rep. Kathleen Conti.


Happy Anniversary (yesterday) to Rep. Joe Salazar (who made two “pivotal announcements” — see below — on the House floor yesterday) and his wife Jessica Chavez Salazar!

More from the wires:

The Colorado Springs Gazette’s Tom Roeder reports on U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn calling out a Veterans Affairs clinic for lying. “Heads need to roll,” he said.

The Statesman’s Ramsey Scott reports on Sen. President Bill Cadman’s giving a shout out to AFP and the corresponding outrage from Democrat lawmakers. He also got video.

CBS4 Denver jumped in with another report on Michael Hancock’s taking a taxpayer funded flight and hotel to the Super Bowl where he and his family have complimentary tickets from the Broncos.

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders debated again last night, watch the report on CNN.

According to a NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll released yesterday, Bernie Sanders has a 20 point lead over Hillary Clinton currently in New Hampshire.

According to The Washington Post’s Philip Bump, Bernie Sanders won last night’s debate’s Google fight statistically speaking.

Roll Call’s Simone Pathé reports on how Obamacare repeal votes are motivating Democratic donors.

Tweet’s from last night’s Colorado Statesman Relaunch Party:

Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 7.26.24 AM

Your Colorado Capitol Watch feed — From our bill tracking partner at Colorado Capitol Watch: As of 2/4 – 351 bills introduced, with 33 new bills and 138 bi-partisan. For bills on the calendar today, click here.

House and Senate Calendars:

HOUSE – Your Feb. 5 Calendar here 

SENATE – Your Feb. 5 Calendar here 

You are up to date. Stay safe out there and have a great weekend! Until Monday …

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.

Special thanks today to Statesman Opinion, Politics and Elections Editor Ernest Luning for contributing to The Hot Sheet.


Jared WrightJared WrightFebruary 4, 201618min351

The Colorado Statesman Hot Sheet

DENVER – Happy Thursday everybody — time for a throwback. Read the Statesman’s Ernest Luning’s Yesteryear column and reminisce the olden political days with us: Denver Mayor Wellington Webb stands up for the old Mile High Stadium name, tension mounts between members under the Capitol dome over Amendment 23 and prayer, and more. #TBT

The old Mile High Stadium being demolished in 2002.

“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” — Martin Luther King Jr.
Now, your substrata feed straight from the politics pipeline:

Neguse all official at DORA — ICYMI, yesterday Democratic Party rising star Joe Neguse was officially confirmed unanimously as executive director of the Department of Regulatory Affairs by the Senate at the Business, Labor and Technology Committee hearing, after being nominated by his old political foe, Secretary of State Wayne Williams.

“Glad to talk about how one-time rival @JoeNeguse will be a great DORA director,” Williams said in a tweet.

Neguse was named to the position by Gov. Hickenlooper in May 2015, starting in the role effective June 1 the same year. Man it takes you guys a long time to get these confirmations done. Interim committee anyone?

Neguse is sure to not stick around DORA for long, a man with universally identifiable talent and certain political ambition, we will likely see him on the campaign trail again in the very near future.

Missing Person’s Day — Today is Missing Person’s day at the Capitol. Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg has the east steps of the Capitol reserved for 75 people between 11:30 am and 12:30 pm for a prayer vigil and balloon release to recognize the roughly 300 missing people in Colorado.

Laura Saxton, from Yuma Colorado, testified in committee yesterday in support of Sonnenberg’s SB-34, and on behalf of her daughter, Kelsie Schelling, who tragically went missing on Feb. 4, 2013. Saxton has been involved with the organizing the Missing Person’s Day event.

Laura Saxton testifies yesterday for Sen. Sonnenberg’s SB-34 in front of the
Senate Judiciary Committee. It passed 3-2 out of committee.

A flyer for the Missing Persons Day events at the Capitol today.

Electronic participation in committee hearings on the horizon? — My illustrious HD-54 successor, Rep. Yeulin Willett‘s and Rep. Jeni Arndt’s bill to advance the possibility of participation — but not voting — electronically by members on interim committees (HB 1139) passed 10-1 out of House Local Government yesterday. The bill gives Legislative Council the power to consider and establish policies for said new fangled, high-tech electronic voting. The bill will also keep in place per diem for those members choosing to participate electronically in meetings (but no travel reimbursements … duh … the point right?)

The one no vote — Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt — I’m sure he has his reasons.

Former state Rep. Bob Gardner hot on the campaign trail — Last week at El Paso County’s Central Committee meeting in an animated and near-fiery speech, Gardner reminded the audience that he was “so vocal” in committee against the conservative-coined “Dirty Dozen”  tax bills passed in 2010, that the “Democrats tried to have [him] removed from committee.”
Watch the Gardner El Paso County Central Committee speech here

Right-to-die legislation voted no right to live in Senate — Last night, after over four hours of emotionally moving public testimony, the State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee voted 3-2 on party lines to postpone indefinitely SB-25, Sen. Mike Merrifield’s bill — driven by his own personal story — to offer critically ill patients the right to end their own lives. Read the full story in The Statesman here.

Voter registration numbers not looking so hot for Republicans  —Significant declines in the number of R registered voters across the state — specifically in key target House and Senate races — has been noted from December to January, and will likely be prompting a panic in the ranks. If the GOP, however, turns that panic into action, it is statistically possible for them to register the number of voters needed to make up the difference. Meanwhile, state Democrats continue to benefit from a growing transplant D population and successful Blue-Print-driven registration efforts.

Statesman Re-launch party tonight — We’ve just begun, 118 years young! — 5:30 pm at the Governor’s Mansion Carriage House. If you’ve been under a rock for the last month and still want tickets, contact me.

Rand Paul drops out — Libertarians across the country weep. 

Santorum ejects and backs Rubio — Significance of the story … Rubio.

Tancredo breaks champaign bottle across new Douglas County Tea party, they’re still banding together down south apparently — From The Statesman’s very own Ernest Luning — not “Earnest”,  Andrew Zucker — who attended the inaugural meeting of the Douglas County Tea party in Castle Rock last night, former “House Crazy” Tom Tancredo spoke to the group on one of his favorite topics, the Founding Fathers. Ernest will have a story in the works, Ibetchya.


Jimmy Carter says, I’d take Trump over Cruz — Carter nutshells the sentiments of many a Democrat — and indeed even some Republicans — inThe Atlanta Constitution Journal

Hillary and Bernie continue locking horns, New Hampshire edition — In a state where Hillary herself admits she has an uphill battle to Sander’s intense, neighborhood state following, Clinton and Sanders sparred in a New Hampshire town hall debate last night, ICYMI. Sanders attacked, “I do not know any progressive who has a super PAC and takes $15 million from Wall Street.”

What about me!? exclaims Jon Caldara — In reference to a CBS story on Mayor Hancock and his family receiving free tickets from the Broncos to the Super Bowl (he is the Mayor guys, common), but wait … AND a taxpayer funded flight!? No, you don’t say says Caldara’s … eyebrows most certainly raised to the ceiling (I can see them now.)

“Throw back Thursday? Go throw yourself back inside your mother. — Grumpy Cat

A very Happy Birthday to former U.S. Senate candidate and businessman Cleve Tidwell who once joked, “I’m making a decision to run for office or play a little more golf.” We hope you have been out there playing golf very happily somewhere, Cleve.

More from the wires:

From The Denver Post’s John Frank, Gov. Hickenlooper is not surprised by Bernie Sander’s Iowa finish. Hillary! Hillary? Hillary! Ugh, Hillary.

On KOA Radio yesterday, GOP state party chairman Steve House discusses the caucus process — confusing to so many, but so important to our fragile little political ecosphere.

The Statesman’s own Kara Mason — reports on  some of those weird bills y’all are running.

That I-70 tire tread bill? — We have our own story about that.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel’s Charles Ashby writes about HB1002, the Parental Leave Act, passed yesterday on Second reading and perhaps up for Thirds today. which is dearly beloved by the Democratic caucus and pretty much loathed by GOP members.

The Pueblo Commissioners don’t like your Columbus Day renaming bill, Joe.This, according to a report in the Pueblo Chieftain. 

The Hill’s Bradford Richardson reports that Marco Rubio has surged into second place in the most recent New Hampshire poll. This one conducted by WHDH/UMass Lowell. However … however: I still have a “YUUUUUGGGEEE” lead says Tump.


It’s official, legitimate prophecy now, a 700 pound grizzly bear named Ozzy has chosen the Denver Broncos over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl L … I mean 50. Don’t argue with him or he will eat you.


Colorado Capitol Watch — continually upping their game technologically — has this update – From our bill tracking partner at Colorado Capitol Watch: As of 2/3 – 318 bills introduced, with 13 new bills and 127 bi-partisan. For bills on the calendar today, click here.

House and Senate Calendars:

HOUSE – Your Feb. 4 Calendar here 

SENATE – Your Feb. 4 Calendar here 

You’re up to date. Continue to stay warm in there under the Gold Dome. 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.