Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirJune 13, 20174min840

Just in case you didn’t get enough of the immigration debate during Colorado’s 2017 legislative session, New American Economy thought you’d like some fodder for starting your own discussion on the subject in the off season.

The business-backed, pro-immigration advocacy group started in 2010 by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and major CEOs — love ’em or not — has become a repository of facts and figures about the role immigrants play in the U.S. economy. (Whether the immigrants are documented or otherwise.)

The group sends the media regular updates. The latest arrived over the transom this week, announcing, “We’ve now mapped the impact of immigration in over 100 of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States,” and it invites you to click on a button and get relevant economic data for immigrants in a selected city or state.

How does Colorado stack up?

Colorado is home to some of the nation’s fastest-growing cities. From 2013 to 2014, Greeley and Fort Collins ranked among the top 20 fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the country. Foreign-born residents moving to the state have been a critical driver of that population growth. By 2014, more than half a million immigrants were living in the state. These new Americans serve as everything from technology entrepreneurs to farm laborers, making them critical contributors to Colorado’s economic success overall.

Some specifics:

  • Colorado has 532,903 foreign-born residents, or 10 percent of the state’s population.
  • These immigrants paid $3.3 billion in total taxes in 2014, the latest year for which data is available. $1.1 billion of that was state and local taxes.
  • Immigrants pumped $10.8 billion into the economy that year.
  • There were 32,115 immigrant entrepreneurs who owned businesses.

There’s also a section on undocumented immigrants, who, according to New American Economy, comprise 189,130 of Colorado’s immigrants and paid $313.7 million in total taxes. The section includes this commentary:

The United States is currently home to an estimated 11.4 million undocumented immigrants, the vast majority of whom have lived in the country for more than five years. The presence of so many undocumented immigrants for such a long time presents many legal and political challenges. But while politicians continue to debate what to do about illegal immigration without any resolution, millions of undocumented immigrants are actively working across the country, and collectively, these immigrants have a large impact on the U.S. economy. This is true in Colorado, where undocumented immigrants contribute hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes each year.

There’s more data, too, including a breakdown of Colorado’s immigrant population by economic sector — from agriculture to science, technology, engineering and math.

However you choose to interpret the data — and wherever you come down on immigration policy — there’s plenty of information here to serve as a conversation starter. Maybe even enough to keep you busy until the official face-off begins again in the General Assembly next January.

Joey BunchJoey BunchApril 13, 20175min373
A whole bunch of smart Coloradans signed a letter to President Trump saying immigration is good for the American economy. The 18 Colorado economists added their voices to a national campaign started in February by the New American Economy and the American Action Forum, two organizations hard to portray as liberal gunslingers. “The undersigned economists represent […]

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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirFebruary 23, 20176min277

Greg Brophy has racked up plenty of political mileage in his 50 years. The Republican served two sessions in the state House starting in January 2003 before moving up to the Senate, where for nearly 10 years he represented an immense swath of Colorado’s eastern plains. He also made a brief run for governor in 2014. Then, it was off to the nation’s capital for a stint as U.S. Rep. Ken Buck’s chief of staff. Now, Brophy’s back in Colorado, where he resides in the Denver area with wife Angela and works in public affairs. Always a farmer (he holds an ag science degree from CSU in Fort Collins), he still helps run the family farm back in his hometown, Wray. The prep wrestler-turned-avid bicyclist won friends across the aisle for his two-wheel obsession and may well have been one of the most physically fit Coloradans ever to take a seat in the legislature. And though his grappling days are long past, Brophy is known for being as scrappy off the mat as he was on it back in high school.

Catch us up on your family, and tell us about your new gig.

The most important family news is that Angela and I are grandparents!  Our youngest is a freshman in high school, so we will be empty nesters before too long.

I took a position with Michael Best Strategies as the V.P. of Western States.  MIchael Best is a public affairs company with offices in D.C., Wisconsin, Colorado, Illinois, Texas and Utah.  The firm has excellent relationships with the Trump Administration, Congress and the Senate, with a powerhouse in Colorado including Jeff Thormodsgaard, myself, Katie Wolf, Jenise May, and Alex Hayes. 

You won a seat in the state House of Representatives in 2002 as easily one of the most conservative members of the General Assembly. Have you evolved in any way philosophically? 

I’m slightly more libertarian now than I was, a lot more cynical, and much, much, much more cognizant of the need to maintain the majority (something we all took for granted in 2004 to our detriment).

What did you learn as a senior congressional staffer during your time in D.C.? Any eye-openers?

It’s dysfunctional, and it’s truly a swamp.  Under (former House Speaker John) Boehner, PAC contributions were used to enforce party discipline. (Current House Speaker Paul) Ryan is changing that, thank goodness.  I became a much bigger fan and advocate for returning power to the states; it’s the only way to really “drain the swamp.”

It seems the state’s transportation grid is always in crisis, yet the legislature never comes up with a lasting solution. Everybody says this year is different — but will it be?

Probably not.

It is true we need more money.  It is also true that we waste entirely too much money on studies and environmental mitigation.  My county commissioner friends swear they can build roads for way less than half. That’s directly related to red tape and regulation. A grand bargain would address both and make both sides uncomfortable. In my opinion, that takes the kind of leadership that Gov. Owens brought. We haven’t had that kind of leadership since he left. 

What was your proudest achievement — and what was your biggest disappointment — during your dozen years in the General Assembly?

Proudest: Winning the argument on gun control even though we lost the vote. Plus, I led the way to modernizing trucking laws in Colorado even though the bill was taken away by the majority party. Biggest disappointment: never being a chairman.

You used to host an annual shooting event out at your farm and invited a wide swath of Colorado’s political firmament. Who was the most unlikely participant ever to show up?

Well, this is easy, (former New York City Mayor Michael) Bloomberg’s lobbyist for gun control came and shot a lot of watermelons. It’s interesting to note that during the 2012 Pedal the Plains, Gov. Hickenlooper was in my house in Wray practically begging for an invitation to shoot the following year — a mere three months before introducing the (Democrats’) gun-control legislation. 

How much mileage do you put in on your bike these days? 

Last weekend was spectacular — 70 miles!  My ideal ride is four hours and close to 50 miles in the summer.

Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirFebruary 3, 20173min425

Of interest today as the state Senate heats up with floor debate over two GOP gun bills: Complete Colorado reports that billionaire investor and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s gun-control advocacy organization has hired Colorado lobbyists to oppose one of the pending proposals. Here’s Complete’s Sherrie Peif:

From August through December, the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund — former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s organization — has paid the Denver-based lobbying firm of Headwaters Strategies $37,500 to oppose at least one bill that has already cleared the State Veterans and Military Affairs Committee.

That bill is Senate Bill 5, scheduled for discussion — probably lengthy and heated — and a vote this morning in the Senate. SB 5, sponsored in the upper chamber by Republican Senate Majority Leader Chris Holbert, R-Parker, would let school employees carry a concealed handgun on school premises if, among other conditions, they have a valid concealed-carry permit and have completed a school-employee handgun-safety course that is provided by their county sheriff and approved by the school board.

While the bill is likely to pass the Republican-run Senate, it is just as likely to be shot down in the Democratic-controlled House.

The other gun bill up for debate this morning is Senate Bill 7, which would repeal a 2013 ban on ammunition magazines carrying more than 15 rounds.

Bloomberg, the world’s eighth-richest person, with an estimated net worth of over $40 billion, has bellied up to the bar in Colorado politics before. As the Complete report reminds us, “in 2013, his organizations donated $350,000 to two southern Colorado senators who were eventually recalled.” Then-Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo, both Democrats, were recalled after they voted to pass several gun control bills.


Valerie RichardsonValerie RichardsonOctober 10, 201613min465

If progressive mega-donors George Soros and Tom Steyer really wanted to help Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, they might consider funneling a few bucks to legislative Republicans. Instead, the big-spending liberals are sinking hundreds of thousands of dollars into flipping control of the state Legislature to Democrats, targeting the three most competitive state Senate races in an attempt to erase the GOP’s one-seat majority in November.


Jennifer KernsJennifer KernsApril 27, 20167min380

While attention has been focused on Colorado's battle over beer and wine, advocates of a soda tax in Boulder have been making their move to place a measure on the November ballot. Healthy Boulder Kids has filed ballot language which proposes a two-cent-per-ounce excise tax on sugary drinks including sodas and other beverages made with sugar, sweeteners, powders and syrups. For perspective, a 20-ounce soda would be subject to a 40 cent tax. Beverages on Boulder's target list include drinks that contain at least 5 grams of sugar, high fructose corn syrup or other added sweeteners per 12 fluid ounces. How popular the measure would be is uncertain.

Jared WrightJared WrightMarch 30, 20162min413

By TCS Publisher and Editor in Chief Jared Wright @_JaredWright_ DENVER — Good morning and happy budget caucus Wednesday for those representing the people in the state House today. Good luck to you and to us as you huddle in your parties' chambers to decide the eventual fated use of our tax dollars. With just 42 days left in Colorado's legislative session, it's bound to be a wild ride as contentious bills continue to stack up — been this way as long as I can remember, saving the "good stuff" for last. Meanwhile, Colorado's congressional delegation continues to enjoy their recess, out on the playground to campaign, town hall or otherwise maintain their political careers, a task relegated to the weekends for state legislators. "I was convinced that eventually I would die of heart disease, that we'd run out of time and out of treatment, the technology wouldn't keep ahead of my disease. And now all of the sudden, when you get the new heart, your life opens up before you again." — Dick Cheney Now, your substrata feed straight from the politics pipeline ...

Jared WrightJared WrightMarch 8, 201640min395

By TCS Publisher and Editor in Chief Jared Wright _@JaredWright_ Tuesday, March 8, 2016 DENVER — In case you didn't turn on any device yesterday, Michael Bloomberg will not be seeking a third party (or any) run for the presidency in 2016. Oh yes, and all the five of the Republican's gun bills were smothered in House State Affairs committee yesterday. Tack on Peyton Manning's retirement speech and that is probably all you were able to see yesterday in the news since it drowned out pretty much any other topic. That said, Bloomberg's decision is a significant one. The gun bill reruns? Meh ... "There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution." — John Adams Now, your substrata feed straight from the politics pipeline:


David O. WilliamsDavid O. WilliamsMarch 2, 20167min361

Colorado’s Western Slope has been bone dry of late, but on Super Tuesday the state’s mountain counties were really feeling the Bern as big crowds of Democrats turned out for Bernie Sanders. From the ski towns in Summit and Eagle counties west to the mining and drilling towns of Mesa and Garfield counties, the Vermont senator gobbled up delegates in the state’s rural west on his way to easily carrying the entire state by a margin of 58 to 40 percent.

Jared WrightJared WrightFebruary 24, 201627min494

DENVER - Happy Wednesday from all of us here at The Colorado Statesman. Here's to a smooth initial approach into the weekend. May your landing have very little turbulence. "Winning, winning, winning!" — Donald Trump (and I think also, Charlie Sheen) Now your substrata feed straight from the politics pipeline: Trump wins small in Vegas — NEVADA — In the fourth delegate selection contest, and after a painfully drawn out caucus — the most disorganized to date (we can do so much better, Colorado — let's please do) — Donald Trump was called the victor in the Silver State just after 10:00 pm MST. With a proportionate allocation of delegates to any candidate scoring over 3.33%, this was not a huge sweep for Trump. CNN: "big win." Not so much, CNN, but a win nonetheless. This morning with 100 percent of the caucus locations reporting, here's the breakdown: