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Hal BidlackHal BidlackMay 11, 20186min1940

How much would you spend out of your own pocket to get hired to a job that pays $90,000 per year? How much would you borrow? How about asking friends to donate? Well, the eight men and women running to succeed John Hickenlooper as Colorado’s next governor are spending quite a lot, often from their own pockets, for a job that pays south of six figures, and which finds roughly half of the people mad at you at any given moment.


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Tom Cronin and Bob LoevyTom Cronin and Bob LoevyApril 25, 20189min183

Maybe it is time to reform the political party nominating process in Colorado. The double-barreled system currently in use – which involves both a political party state assembly and candidates petitioning on to the ballot – is complicated and confusing for the average voter to understand and favors rich and well-financed candidates over those with less money to spend.


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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirMarch 26, 201818min289

For once, Dick Wadhams had a wound that wasn't inflicted by his adversaries. The legendary Republican political strategist, two-time Colorado GOP state chair, decades-long veteran of campaign combat and, when needed, bare-knuckled brawler was taking his usual walk along a lake near his house the other day when he slipped on some ice. He fell and broke his arm.


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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirMarch 15, 20184min564

 

Colorado Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Johnston introduces himself to a caucus precinct at Denver’s McAuliffe International School during Colorado’s 2018 caucuses on March 8. (Photo by Andy Colwell for the Gazette)

As reported by Chalkbeat Colorado and other media this week, the Colorado Supreme Court on Monday upheld a much-debated 2010 state law that lets school districts place veteran teachers on unpaid leave if they are underperforming. Meaning, tenure won’t shield teachers from dismissal.

The ruling drew accolades from education reformers, including Democratic gubernatorial candidate Michael Johnston, who as a state senator had sponsored the law when it was still a bill in the legislature.

As expected, the state’s largest teachers union, the Colorado Education Association, denounced the ruling — tenure being a cornerstone of collective bargaining agreements. (The union’s attorneys had represented the plaintiffs in the suit that led to the court decision.)

The face-off between those two takes on the subject has riven the Democratic Party for years. Following Monday’s ruling, it spilled over onto the pages of Colorado’s unofficial Democratic barometer, Colorado Pols.

The blog took note of the development — and zeroed in on Johnston’s praise of the court action as well as the fact his position was in sync with that of the conservative Republican education-reform group Ready Colorado. (For the record, the longtime liberal advocacy shop Colorado Children’s Campaign also welcomed the ruling.)

That prompted a flurry of comments posted by readers who heaped scorn on Johnston — and in some cases questioned whether he belonged in the Democratic Party:

“He and Lebsock…”? Ouch.

Johnston — a onetime teacher who has proven to be a champion fund-raiser so far in the governor’s race — did draw some support:

One alert contributor to the comment thread pointed out Johnston isn’t alone on the campaign trail in his support of the state law that was reaffirmed Monday: Rival Democratic gubernatorial contender and 2nd Congressional District U.S. Rep. Jared Polis also embraced the policy. Polis, an education reformer and charter school champion in his own right, reiterated his support for the law in an op-ed he penned for Politico in 2013.

It’s also worth noting that as of 2012, the Colorado School Finance Partnership — which was co-chaired by another of the current Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls, Cary Kennedy — was on record lauding that same law.


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Hal BidlackHal BidlackJanuary 23, 20186min298

Both major parties have what might be called an embarrassment of riches when it comes to candidates running to replace John Hickenlooper as Colorado’s next governor. Some are rich, some are embarrassments (your own partisanship can decide which is which), but there appears to be quality candidates on both sides.