Joey BunchJoey BunchOctober 12, 20175min1364
Here’s something I bet you haven’t heard anywhere else: The Colorado House and Senate each could flip next year. OK, maybe you’ve heard half that. The Republicans hold just a one-seat edge in the 35-member Senate, which will see 17 seats on the ballot next year. But the House? Democrats enjoy a nine-seat majority in […]

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Ernest LuningErnest LuningJune 26, 20178min483

A group of liberal advocacy organizations for the first time released combined legislative scorecards this week, conglomerating assessments of the 100 Colorado lawmakers’ votes last session on key legislation the organizations said they plan to present to voters next year. A Republican who received among the lowest overall scores, however, dismissed the endeavor as a “political stunt” and told Colorado Politics he doubts the predictable rankings — Democrats good, Republicans bad — give voters any meaningful information.


Ernest LuningErnest LuningMay 6, 20179min570

State Sen. Mike Merrifield discusses his love for the outdoors and the reason he doesn’t miss “The Big Bang Theory,” a sitcom about nerds, in a new episode of “Behind the Politics,” the weekly podcast produced by Colorado’s Senate Democrats. He also recalls with pride that he had the distinction during his first term in the House as the lawmaker who felt the wrath of the speaker’s gavel most often.

Joey BunchJoey BunchMay 1, 20173min287

We learn two things in the latest Colorado Senate Democrats’ podcast with Sen. Rachel Zenzinger: She’s a great fiancee and a great mom.

The Democrat from Arvada is a sports nut. She has apps on her phone to follow scores and teams, and she can break down a bullpen like Vin Scully.

Her favorite sport of team? “It just depends on what season it is,” she says in the latest “Behind the Scenes” podcast with caucus staffers Jill Mullen and David Pourshoushtari.

She was decked out in purple on the Colorado Rockies’ opening day, and nearly won the Senate Democrats’ March Madness bracket.

“It’s something my fiance and I just really enjoy doing together,” Zenzinger said. “And it’s exciting in Colorado in part because we have such great sports teams.”

Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

“I always keep hope alive,” she said of the Rockies.

She also has a great special interest with her daughters, Sophia, 13. and Olivia, 11: learning about the world on plate at a time.

Zenzinger said kids tend tend to gravitate to comfort foods, mac and cheese and such. One day when the trio was in downtown Denver for a celebration, Zenzinger picked a “fancy” restaurant, Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian steakhouse that doubles or triples as a feast for the eyes and brain with its international flare.

That led to the girls studying about international cultures, then trying out local restaurants.

Sophia has picked the same restaurant to celebrate her last three birthdays at a Peruvian restaurant in the Cebiche Highlands in northeast Denver,

Zenzinger is some kind of hybrid freshman in the Senate. She was appointed to the seat in 2013, when Evie Hudak resigned rather than weather a recall campaign. Two other Democratic senators were ousted that year over their support for gun-control bills.

Zenzinger lost the 2014 election to Republican Laura Woods, then came back to win the seat in November.

Check out the podcast on the Senate Democrats’ YouTube page to hear more, including the girls differing takes on escargot at the famed Le Central French restaurant in Denver just before it closed in 2015. (“She went back to school and told all her friends I tried to make her eat escargot.”)


John TomasicJohn TomasicMarch 13, 201710min419

This week we take up where the thud-like introduction of the transportation-funding <a href="https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb17-1242" target="_blank">House Bill 1242</a> left off. Conservatives remain unimpressed. Sponsors, House Speaker Crisanta Duran, a Denver Democrat, and Senate President Kevin Gratham, Canon City Republican, will work to make their trial balloon seem less like the Hindenburg, to <a href="https://www.coloradostatesman.com/republicans-conservative-groups-rip-proposal-send-transportation-tax-hike-voters/" target="_blank">borrow a phrase</a> from Littleton Republican Sen. Tim Neville. Supporters of the bill have eight weeks to win over the building. Here’s a GOP source hoping for the best but fearing the worst: “Maybe it’s term limits, but they say deals used to be arrived at in this building through the process of moving a bill through the chambers. Now it’s about backroom handshakes that lead to a bill and, basically, the dealmaking is done. People are lined up for or against. It either passes or fails.” Here’s some of what else is happening this week. As always, the schedule is subject to change.