Polly Baca Archives - Colorado Politics

Marianne GoodlandMarianne GoodlandJanuary 15, 20187min439
Here’s some of the notables and quotables from the first week of the 2018 Colorado General Assembly. ICYMI: Last October, Gov. John Hickenlooper called lawmakers back to the state Capitol for what was eventually a two-day session intended to fix a drafting error in Senate Bill 17-267. You do remember that, right? Apparently, memories are […]

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Ernest LuningErnest LuningSeptember 21, 20175min6320

Colorado Democrat Michael Baca, one of the so-called "Hamilton electors" who tried to derail Donald Trump's presidential win in the Electoral College, has signed on to a federal lawsuit charging Secretary of State Wayne Williams with voter intimidation because he wouldn't allow Baca to vote for someone other than the winner of Colorado's popular vote.


Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirAugust 16, 20175min1300

…But our working assumption is they won’t get even 15 minutes of notoriety this time around. You do remember Democrats Polly Baca and Robert Nemanich; they were Colorado’s dissident delegates to the Electoral College who hatched a plot with a handful of like-minded electors in other states to derail Donald Trump’s ascent to the presidency. They dubbed themselves the “Hamilton Electors.” Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams just called them “faithless.”

That was last December, after the November election in which Trump’s victory had blindsided the press and political establishment.

Though Colorado’s electorate awarded the state’s electoral votes to Hillary Clinton, Baca and Nemanich planned to band together with electors of other parties in other states to cast their votes for another Republican than Trump on the assumption that any other Republican would be better, even to Democrats such as they. It was a bold if futile notion.

After a series of stunts including some legal rope-a-dope by their lawyers — suing to release the duo from their pledge to vote for the winner of Colorado’s popular vote — Baca and Nemanich and the rest of Colorado’s electors met at the Capitol Dec. 19 as scheduled and voted as they were supposed to (though another holdout refused and was replaced). And Donald Trump became president.

The whole affair couldn’t have unfolded at a better time for its instigators, during the holiday lull when the media have little else of urgency to write about in the political world. All the same, we’d thought they were history after that.

Not quite, as it turns out. The Secretary of State’s Office informed us via press release this week:

Two Colorado presidential electors announced today they are suing Secretary of State Wayne Williams, saying his refusal to allow them to vote for someone other than the presidential winner in Colorado violated their constitutional rights.

The lawsuit comes just 12 days after the same two electors, Polly Baca of Denver and Robert Nemanich of Colorado Springs, dismissed a similar claim that they had filed in U.S. District Court in Denver. The pair lost their preliminary hearing in that court case.

And though the office itself is being sued, its press shop was nice enough to include some verbiage from Baca and Nemanch’s lawyer:

“Polly Baca and Robert Nemanich believed the special circumstances of the last election required that they vote their conscience, contrary to a pre-election pledge,” attorney Lawrence Lessing announced in a news release from the group Equal Citizens. “Secretary Williams took the egregious step of threatening them with removal, as well as criminal prosecution, if they did so.”

Williams’s comeback also was in the statement from his office:

“The question of removal was directly raised in the state court and the judge ordered that an elector who does not vote as Coloradans voted can be removed. That binding decision was appealed by these same two electors, and their appeal was denied by the Colorado Supreme Court…”

“According to the binding court decisions faithless electors can be removed, which preserves the votes of the nearly three million Coloradans who cast their ballots in the November election. The only thing I asked the electors to do was follow the law.”

Nevertheless, their quest sputters on for now.


John TomasicJohn TomasicFebruary 16, 20178min1571

Colorado Senate Republicans on Wednesday voted down a <a href="http://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb17-099" target="_blank">proposal</a> to join the <a href="http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/status" target="_blank">National Popular Vote Agreement</a>, which would require Colorado to deliver all of its electoral college votes to the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote tallied from all 50 states. Ten states and the District of Columbia have already signed on to the agreement, representing a total of 165 electoral college votes. The agreement would take effect only once states party to the agreement can deliver a majority of electoral college votes — the magic number 270. Depending on your perspective, 2017 is a year ripe for signing onto the proposal.


Mike McKibbinMike McKibbinDecember 19, 20169min3470

A Colorado elector who refused to cast his Electoral College vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton on Monday, Nov. 19, may face criminal charges. Micheal Baca of Denver was one of the nine electors from Colorado, which voted for Clinton in the Nov. 8 general election for president. The 24-year-old Democrat wore a t-shirt saying "Enough Is Enough," and refused to cast his ballot for Clinton. Moments before, Baca took an oath pledging to support the winner of Colorado's popular vote, Clinton.

Colorado PoliticsColorado PoliticsDecember 12, 201619min1480

DENVER — A state representative going to jail during the holidays? For the first time in decades ... Oh my! Wasn't there something about this in the Book of Revelations? Goodness. Good morning, and happy Monday. We guess it's happy. But it's sort of just a cold Monday. Stop it, stop it. Positive thoughts! HAPPY MONDAY! And positive vibes sent to all of you out there fighting through traffic or through your massive inbox pile stacked to the roof from inside your dreadful little cubicles. Only 29 days until the first day of school ... we mean legislative session, class! Good grief, there we go with the negative vibes again. Sorry.

Colorado PoliticsColorado PoliticsNovember 30, 201618min1320

DENVER — Good morning fellow Colorado-critters and welcome to the midweek Hot Sheet extravaganza. For those believers, today's date means we've got just 24 full days of shopping madness left before Santa's sleigh leaves its skid marks atop your roof. Speaking of marks, it looks like the 2016 presidential election has left its mark — an odd one — in Southern Colorado. More on that below. And for those wonks who are counting ... just 707 days left until Decision 2018, when Colorado will choose a new woman or man (please a woman ... please some sanity) to reign supreme atop the Gold Dome throne as governor.

Jared WrightJared WrightAugust 26, 201630min1480

DENVER — Happy Friday and Women's Equality Day to you! And congratulations, you have now made it through 65 percent of 2016 — an unmatched election year on America's timeline. You've entered Day # 238, and there are now just 74 days left until Decision 2016. Keep your chins up as you enter the weekend, and make sure those voter canvassing apps are fired up on your tablets and properly connected to the network. Good luck!