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Mike FooteMike FooteNovember 2, 20174min2090

Tax policy can be a mind-numbing discussion, but it need not be.  Through all of the terms and legalities, the main question to keep in mind is who wins and who loses.  The currently available details of the latest Republican Congressional plan paint a clear portrait of the winners:  billionaires, millionaires and big corporations. The losers are everyone else.


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Joey BunchJoey BunchSeptember 13, 20173min5590

State Rep. Mike Foote, a prosecutor himself, is providing a notable early endorsement for Colorado attorney general candidate Michael Dougherty.

Foote is a well-regarded Democrat, a universally well-respected legislator and a deputy to Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett. There was an avalanche of high-level talk in the springtime about Foote’s viability as a candidate for AG. He played it down whenever Colorado Politics asked about it. Political ascendancy is still in Foote’s future, however.

“Michael Dougherty is a shining example of a leader within our criminal justice community and he will make an excellent Attorney General,” Foote said. “It is my pleasure to endorse him for the primary and general election.

“In addition to serving as a State Representative, I work as a prosecutor on behalf of the people of Boulder County and the state of Colorado. What I have learned from being a prosecutor helps guide me to be a more thoughtful and effective public servant. Our next attorney general likewise must be a champion for environmental protection and criminal justice reform. Michael Dougherty is the absolute right person for the job. I look forward to working alongside Michael when he is our next AG.”

Dougherty was grateful and equally complimentary.

“It is an honor to have the support of elected leaders in our state. Mike Foote is one of our great state representatives,” he stated. “Mike is an important leader for the Boulder community. I appreciate his fighting on behalf of our environment. I look forward to working with him during this campaign and as attorney general — to advocate for stronger environmental protections, criminal justice reform, and common-sense solutions to some of our most challenging issues in Colorado.”

Dougherty faces a crowded field on the Democratic side, and possibly on the Republican side in the general election, if incumbent AG Cynthia Coffman jumps into a crowded GOP primary for governor.

So far, the well-known Democratic adversaries include state Rep. Joe Salazar, former University of Colorado law school dean Phil Weiser, Denver attorney Brad Levin and federal prosecutor Amy Padden.


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Joey BunchJoey BunchJuly 24, 20174min800

Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy CommitteeLiberal journalist extraordinaire David Sirota did what he told Colorado Politics he would do back in May. He got his eyeballs on Colorado Senate Republicans’ e-mails from a period when a bill to move oil and gas wells farther from schools was pending in the legislature.

You can bet Dave would raise a left-slanted eyeball. He published his findings Friday in the International Business Times.

But he didn’t find any bombshells. Just both sides pleading their case.

From the article:

While the emails, which were obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests filed by IBT, show no sign of illegal activity or quid pro quo dealings between lobbyists and lawmakers, they do reveal the asymmetrical war fought between the fossil fuel lobby and ordinary citizens who work and live near their facilities, many of whom wrote their representatives to assert that they weren’t anti-fracking, but simply worried about their own or their children’s health. Some pleaded with their representatives for help, only to receive a form letter, or nothing at all.

He cites an example letter from a Greeley school teacher to Sen. John Cooke, a Republican from Greeley who is a member of the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee. The committee killed Democratic Rep. Mike Foote’s House Bill 1256 on a party-line vote on April 12. The teacher wrote she was begging for Cooke’s support.

“We should not be risking the health and safety of children without an attempt to at least provide the minimum of support of a 1000 foot setback from where they are playing and breathing. Protecting the health and safety of children should not be a partisan issue — we all care about protecting the most vulnerable, and as a former Weld County Sheriff, I’m sure you understand.”

Sirota also found an e-mail to Cooke from Brent Backes, an executive with DCP Midstream, a petroleum services company based in Denver, as well as an executive board member of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association.

“DCP has a lot of new development activity in Weld County that I would like to make sure you are aware of as well as having a general discussion of the issues facing our industry,” Backes wrote. “I would be happy to come to the Capitol as our headquarters are located just a few blocks away.”

Sirota found that Cooke RSVP’d to a COGA seminar later, but it’s hard to say if Cooke responded to the e-mails, Sirota wrote.

In the scheme of things, that’s not unusual. Legislators from both parties attend all kinds of events put on by special-interests groups, from industry to philanthropy. Associations associate with policymakers because that’s how the public sausage is ground. Legislators say they learn about the issues from the “stakeholders,” even if you prefer to call that influence.

Editor’s note: This story corrected that Sen. John Cooke is a member of the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee, not the chairman. The chair is Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg of Sterling.


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Ernest LuningErnest LuningJuly 20, 20175min3240

Democratic Party luminary Jason Kander gave Eagle County prosecutor Dylan Roberts some advice a few months back, and this week he took it. Kander, a former Missouri secretary of state and 2016 U.S. Senate nominee, delivered the keynote address at the Colorado Democratic Party's annual dinner in March, the same night Roberts presented a pair of awards from the state party named for his brother Murphy Roberts, who died last summer at age 22.


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Ernest LuningErnest LuningJune 19, 20178min2574

Colorado has some of the nation’s toughest non-discrimination laws but still has work to do, Republican Attorney General Cynthia Coffman said at a Denver rally for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered equality Sunday. Coffman, the lone Republican on a stage filled with Democratic elected officials and candidates, told the crowd she could also be the only Republican attorney general in the country taking part in an LGBT pride event.


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Ernest LuningErnest LuningMay 25, 201727min1331

By one measure, state Rep. Justin Everett, a House Republican serving his third term in the Colorado General Assembly, and state Reps. Chris Hansen and Chris Kennedy, a pair of Democrats in their first terms, stand as far apart as any lawmakers at the Capitol, based on the votes they cast in the just-completed 2017 regular session. Considering all the bills that made it to final, third-reading votes in the session — 490 in the House and 459 in the Senate — between them, these three legislators cast the most ‘no’ votes and the most ‘yes’ votes, respectively, according to an analysis prepared by bill-tracking service Colorado Capitol Watch.