Hot Sheet

The Hot Sheet, August 25, 2016

Author: Jared Wright - August 25, 2016 - Updated: August 25, 2016

The Colorado Statesman Hot Sheet

By TCS Editor and Publisher Jared Wright

DENVER — Good day and welcome to the Hot Sheet revolution — the idea that you can get all your insider Colorado political news in one place without having to scour the Internet and wade through the political catacombs yourself, a process that would take you hours a day and leave you filthy and exhausted at best. Trust me, I know. So here it is, The Hot Sheet, cooked up just for you … you’re welcome.

Today is the National Park Service’s 100th Anniversary! For those of us growing up or living in the American West, it’s a day that shares a special place in all our hearts. What a privilege to share the incredible beauty of our public lands!

On August 25, 1916 President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill into law to create the National Park Service to oversee the already-established national parks and “such other national parks and reservations of like character as may be hereafter created by Congress.”

To the National Park Service, “Let the Eagle Soar


Read on for your daily dose of Colorado politics …

“The permeating and all-pervasive virtue of the freedom which challenges us in America to make the most of every gift and power we possess, every page of our history serves to emphasize and illustrate.”

— President Woodrow Wilson


STILL not a Statesman subscriber? Sheesh! Really? Seriously? What kind of Colorado politico are you anyway? Well, you should subscribe. This week’s front page (and much more online) is what you are missing out on. Click the front page below to subscribe today.

Now, your substrata feed straight from Colorado’s politics pipeline:

CONTESTED: ‘WE DID PAY AT LEAST $12 AN HOUR TO OUR SIGNATURE GATHERERS’ SAY COLORADO FAMILIES FOR A FAIR WAGE ORGANIZERS — Yesterday, I told you about a claim from Compass Colorado that petition circulators working for Colorado Families for a Fair Wage — this year’s minimum wage increase ballot initiative — were not paid the same $12 an hour wage that their initiative is proposing Colorado workers be paid by the year 2020. It was a charge of hypocrisy from Compass driven by documents filed with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office that had been unearthed. But Patty Kupfer, campaign manager for Colorado Families for a Fair Wage, quickly responded, saying the allegations are simply false. Kupfer said the firm they contracted with to circulate petitions had filed an initial report with the SOS that contained “clerical errors.”

“Paying workers a decent wage is the core value of our campaign,” wrote Kupfer in a statement, “So when Colorado Families for a Fair Wage chose our petition gathering firm, we inserted into our contract pay policy language to ensure that every worker would earn at least $12 an hour. That firm submitted an initial report with clerical errors in calculating pay for workers who were working on multiple projects and will be turning in an amended report today with the Secretary of State’s office.

“Every person working on the minimum wage “$12 by 2020” ballot initiative has earned a minimum of $12 an hour and more because it’s crucial that the paychecks of Colorado working families can cover housing, food and other basics.

“While our corporate-funded opposition is trying to gin up controversy where there is none, our grassroots supporters are focused on making contact with real life Colorado voters who understand that making ends meet on less than $300 a week is impossible and needs to change this November.”

In her statement, Kupfer provided key excerpts from the campaign contract with fieldworkers:

For shifts collecting petition signatures, the pay scale is as follows. Canvasser pay is $13.00 per hour for meeting the standard of an average of 61 signatures per shift, or partial shift, in a pay period. If you do not meet the minimum standard for the pay period, your hourly pay is $12.00 for the hours worked that pay period.

Drivers will receive a $10 gas card per shift plus $10 a day that goes on your paycheck each day that you drive for us.

Our best canvassers are eligible to be promoted to Team Leaders. Being a Team Leader is more responsibility in the office, though the hours are the same.

For shifts collecting petition signatures, the pay for Team Leaders is $15.00 per hour for meeting the standard of an average of 61 signatures per shift, or partial shift, in a pay period. If you do not meet the minimum standard for the pay period, your hourly pay is $13.50 for the hours worked that pay period. On days that a Team Leader trains a Day 1, the minimum standard will be reduced to 48 signatures per shift, or partial shift, worked.

TRUMP COLORADO CAMPAIGN UNVEILS STATE COALITIONS AND CO-CHAIRS — Today, the Trump-Pence Colorado campaign announced 19 new state co-chairs and the coalitions they will be leading.

“These leaders are contributing valuable time and energy in order to advance Mr. Trump’s conservative message to a range of important groups and organizations throughout the state,” said Colorado Trump Campaign Director Patrick Davis. “With their help, Coloradans will reject the third Obama term that Hillary Clinton represents and will vote for change in November.”

Some names you will surely recognize …

Bob Balink, political analyst, and Barb Neville will be the Trump Coalition Recruiters. Neville, who has assisted in multiple political races — including her husband Sen. Tim Neville‘s and son Rep. Patrick Neville‘s campaigns, will also oversee the Trump “ground troop movement” throughout Colorado, according to campaign spokeswoman Lydia Blaha.

Hispanics for Trump will be led by entrepreneur and one of this years unsuccessful GOP candidates for U.S. Senate Jerry Natividad and Conquest Energy businessman Floyd Trujillo.

African-Americans for Trump will be led by Derrick Wilburn. Wilburn is the founder and chairman of the Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives and American Conservatives of Color

Women for Trump will be led by former State Representative B.J. Nikkel and former Colorado National Committeewoman Lilly Nunez.

Millennials for Trump will be led by Robert Blaha‘s oldest daugther, political blogger Rachel Blaha Keane and former Colorado AFP Director and conservative radio host Jeff Crank‘s son, CSU student Joel Crank.

The Economic coalition will be led by professor of economics Paul Prentice, author George Mentz and energy industry executive Tim Wigley.

The Energy coalition will be led by energy industry executive James J. Volker, along with professor Paul Prentice.

The Military coalition will be led by retired Air Force officer, General Bentley Rayburn.

The Education/School choice coalition will be led by Dr. Jim Geddes, Colorado’s 6th Congressional District on the CU Board of Regents and former JeffCo School Board member and businessman Ken Witt.

The Sportsmen coalition will be led by regional director of Big Game Forever, Denny Behrens

The Agricultural coalition will be led by former state Sen. Greg Brophy, a fourth generation family farmer

The Faith coalition will be led by former state Sen. John Andrews, a prior director of the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University.

BERNIE SANDERS ENDORSES COLORADOCARE — Backers of ColoradoCare, the ambitious universal health care initiative slated to appear on your ballot this November, have been dreaming about what some close to the campaign have called the “ultimate endorsement” for months.

Yesterday, they got it.

Bernie Sanders threw his still significant — while perhaps waning (among hard-core progressives) — weight behind Amendment 69, with the launch of his new organization, Our Revolution.

“There is an important ballot initiative in Colorado which calls for a [Medicare-for-All] health care system,” Sanders said to rousing applause from a crowd gathered in Vermont with the senator and from the hundreds of thousands of supporters gathered at thousands of viewing parties across the country. “It is absurd, it is beyond belief, that here in America we remain the only major country on earth not to guarantee health care to all people. If that proposal can win in Colorado, I believe that idea will spread around the country, and Our Revolution is supporting [Amendment 69].”

Sanders’s new group has been met with some internal strife consisting of essentially a revolt by key staff members following the hiring of Sanders’s former campaign manager, Jeff Weaver. The New York Times reported that eight core staff members left the organization, including Our Revolution’s entire organizing department along with people working in digital and data positions.

But regardless of the internal organizational problems, ColoradoCare is latching on to the endorsement, and a significant one at that, given that Sanders was by far the popular candidate in the state among the grassroots voters, winning the Colorado Democratic Party caucuses and at state convention.

“Our Revolution supports a YES [vote] on ColoradoCare,” the new group’s website reads. “Amendment 69 will ensure quality, accessible, lifetime health care for every Colorado resident. Premiums will be collected based on income, securing health care regardless of financial circumstance. This efficient, universal system would operate in the interests of Coloradans. By eliminating layers of bureaucracy and reducing administrative and other non-medical costs, ColoradoCare would cover all residents, cost less than the current system, and eliminate deductibles and co-pays for primary and preventative care.”

“It’s hard to imagine a figure whose support of ColoradoCare is more meaningful than Senator Sanders’,” said Owen Perkins, Director of Communications for ColoradoCareYES. “No one has done more to elevate the idea of Medicare for All in the United States in recent years, and by bringing the notion of universal health care into stadiums, auditoriums, town halls, and living rooms throughout the country, Senator Sanders has helped create the ideal environment for passing ColoradoCare. He mobilized hundreds of thousands of Coloradans to become politically active, and we look forward to working with Senator Sanders and his supporters to make history together by enacting a central plank in his presidential platform and a founding feature in the ongoing revolution he has inspired.”

A STORY TO TELL THE GRANDKIDS: OVER 20 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES HAVE FIGURED OUT HOW EASY IT IS TO GET ON COLORADO BALLOT — From Fox 31’s Joe St. George: “We have all heard of the main presidential candidates — Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein — but did you know over 20 candidates are on the November ballot?

Frank Atwood of Littleton is one of over 2,000 people nationwide running for president — and he doesn’t even want your vote.

“‘I have no chance of winning and I don’t want any of the voters to vote for me,’ Atwood told political reporter Joe St. George. …”

Full story here

A GREAT STORY AND PHOTOS FROM TIM KAINE’S COLORADO VISIT TUESDAY FROM STATESMAN POLITICAL REPORTER ERNEST LUNING — HE WAS THERE — “If you want there to be more jobs, if you want there to be higher wages, if you want there to be innovation and entrepreneurship, it’s the small businesses and startups that are going to make that happen,” said Democratic Party VP nominee Tim Kaine, kicking off an hour-long discussion at Primus Aerospace in a Lakewood business park. Check out the full story and photos here

MICHAEL BENNET PICKS UP ENDORSEMENTS FROM GABBY GIFFORDS AND HUSBAND, NASA CAPTAIN MARK KELLY, FOR ‘GUN VIOLENCE’ POSITIONS — Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC — the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly (whose identical twin brother astronaut Scott Kelly returned to Earth after one year in space this year) — today announced its endorsement of Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet for reelection to the U.S. Senate. Citing his support for a broad set of responsible gun violence prevention policies and record of voting for laws that help keep guns out of the wrong hands and protect the rights of law-abiding Americans, ARS PAC declared Bennet its “Colorado Champion for the Vocal Majority.”

“Senator Bennet is the best person to fight for the safety and rights of Coloradans in the United States Senate,” said ARS PAC Co-Founders Giffords and Kelly in a statement. “Senator Bennet will continue to be a strong voice in the Senate for preventing gun tragedies and closing the dangerous loopholes in our laws that put our communities at risk. We need more commonsense leaders like Senator Bennet – leaders who will protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners like us, but who also have the courage to stand up to the gun lobby. We are looking forward to ensuring Senator Bennet remains a steady, bipartisan, and pragmatic voice for responsibility in Congress.”

“I’m proud to have the support of Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly, both dedicated public servants who continue to work to make our country safer,” said Bennet. “There’s no reason why we can’t come together as Republicans and Democrats to pass background checks and prevent suspected terrorists from being able to buy firearms — commonsense measures that don’t infringe on the rights of Colorado’s hunters, sportsmen and law-abiding gun owners.”

PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY, OPEN PRIMARY ISSUES ON BALLOT — From the Colorado Statesman’s Mike McKibbin: Presidential primary elections would return to Colorado, and independent voters could take part in primary elections, under two more measures placed on the state general election ballot Wednesday. Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams announced that backers of the separate ballot measures submitted the signatures of more than the required number of registered voters to place the issues before voters.

DENVER PUBLIC SCHOOLS DEDICATES REGIS GROFF CAMPUS IN GREEN VALLEY RANCH — A Denver Public Schools building project in Green Valley Ranch long in the making and awaited with bated breath by KIPP Public Charter School waiting to move into the new facility this year was completed in January on schedule to great fanfare, and yesterday the campus was officially dedicated to Regis F. Groff, the second African-American elected to the Colorado state Senate, serving for 20 years from 1974-1994, and former Senate minority leader.

“It’s not uncommon for construction projects to run over, especially with the tight timeframe they were already under. But they knew what was at stake with us not being able to move on time and they made it happen and worked with us to move schools and be ready to go with kids on January 4th,” said Grant Erwin, founding principal of KIPP Montebello Collegiate High School.

Yesterday, Regis Groff’s surviving wife, Callie Brownlee-Groff, dean of Instruction and Culture at Denver Public Schools and former elementary teacher, spoke at the dedication in what state Rep. Angela Williams, D-Denver, said was an “emotional and joyous moment.”

Callie Brownlee-Groff speaks at the Denver Public Schools Regis F. Groff Campus dedication in Green Valley Ranch Wednesday. (Photo by Angela Williams)
Callie Brownlee-Groff speaks at the Denver Public Schools Regis F. Groff Campus dedication in Green Valley Ranch Wednesday. (Photo by Angela Williams)
The Regis F. Groff Campus in Green Valley Ranch. (Photo by Angela Williams)
The Regis F. Groff Campus in Green Valley Ranch. (Photo by Angela Williams)

STATE REP. CLARICE NAVARRO HAS TRUMP-TRAIN GUEST OPINION COLUMN PUBLISHED IN USA TODAY In a guest column titled, “Take a hard look at the message” state Sen. Clarice Navarro-Ratzlaff penned an “opposing view” for USA Today in which she wrote that she found Donald Trump to be “consultative and compassionate” after meeting personally with the Republican presidential nominee. Reflecting her Latino heritage, Navarro wrote, “Latino voters are American voters. They want the laws followed, a safe America and a future of hope. While we may not have loved the delivery of some of Mr. Trump’s comments, his vision for ‘making America great again’ is what matters. Read the full column here

WHO’S ‘PRO-SMALL BUSINESS’? … NFIB RELEASES STATE LEGISLATOR VOTING SCORECARD — “Out of 100 state senators and state representatives an even half had 70 percent or better pro-small-business voting records on the 10 votes they were measured by,” said Tony Gagliardi, Colorado state director for the National Federation of Independent Business. “Every lawmaker claims to be a supporter of the Main Street enterprises that are the engine of Colorado’s economy, but our biennial report helps our members and other small-business owners distinguish between friends in deeds and friends in words only.”

General Assembly members running for re-election who have a 70 percent or better voting record earned NFIB’s immediate endorsement, according to Gagliardi, who thanked the 25 representatives and 18 senators for going the extra mile in earning a 100-percent, pro-small-business voting record. One senator had a 70-percent voting record, and in the House, four representatives had 90-percent records and two had 80-percent records.

To see the scorecard, click here

“Want ‘everyone’ to vote? I don’t.”


Happy birthday to:

Ron Tupa (D), former state senator from Boulder


Steamboat Institute 8th Annual Freedom Conference and Festival — Friday, August 26 – Saturday, August 27. Full conference registration includes scenic gondola ride to Thunderhead Summit of Steamboat Ski Area for keynote dinner, featuring Carly Fiorina. Other speakers include Sen. Ben Sasse, Steve Moore, Amity Shlaes, Mary Kissel and James Taranto (Wall Street Journal editorial board), Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, Michael Ledeen, Charlie Kirk, Jillian Melchior, Yaron Brook, Kelly Maher and more! Freedom Festival registration starts at just $50!  Lodging from $99 per night. Register Online:

Independence Institute Annual Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Party — Saturday, August 27, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Kiowa Creek Sporting Club. Come Embrace Your Personal Freedoms. Rumor has it that the nannyists are looking to make “fun” illegal. The Independence Institute is working to protect ­— and even extend — your personal adult rights! PETA-friendly clay pigeons; Lunch with an entertaining speaker; Libations and cigars with II favorites such as Jon Caldara and hero to the Second Amendment David Kopel; 12 shotguns are available to rent, call Kiowa Creek Sporting Club at 303.644.4627 to reserve one for the day of the event. RSVP here.

Adams County 50th Anniversary JFK Dinner — Saturday, August 27, 6:00 p.m., Double Tree by Hilton, Castle Event Center, I-25 and 120th Ave. Master of Ceremonies state Sen. Morgan Carroll. The keynote speaker will be Benjamin Jealous, former NAACP president and current MSNBC commentator. Sen. Morgan Carroll and Arizona U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego will also be featured in the program.

Town Hall Meeting in Boulder With Rep. KC Becker, Sen. Rollie Heath — Monday, August 29, 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Boulder Chamber of Commerce, 2440 Pearl St, Boulder. Rep. KC Becker and Sen. Rollie Heath will host a town hall meeting focusing on the Colorado Department of Transportation’s activities in Boulder County and the US 36 corridor. The meeting will feature guest speaker CDOT Executive Director Shailen Bhatt

Last day for U.S. Senate and U.S. House candidates to submit a voluntary term limits declaration form — Monday, August 29

Clean Energy Fair and Celebration hosted by Sierra Club and Google Project Sunroof — Wednesday, August 31, 11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Denver Skyline Park (off 16th St Mall). RSVP here

House Republican Joint Republican Candidate Reception and Fundraiser — Wednesday, August 31, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., 1410 Grant St., Denver, CO 80203. Join the House Republican Caucus to support these candidates: Richard Bowman * Rep. J Paul Brown * Katy Brown  Chris Hadsall * Kimmi Lewis * Jessica Sandgren Host Committee: Assistant Minority Leader Polly Lawrence * Caucus Chair Lois Landgraf * Minority Whip Perry Buck * Representatives Jon Becker * Paul Lundeen * Dan Nordberg * Lang Sias * Kit Roupe * Cole Wist. $200 suggested contribution. Please RSVP to

Young and Active Conservatives of Denver — Wednesday, August 31, 7:00 pm. Highland Tavern, 3400 Navajo Street, Denver, CO. HAPPY HOUR! We are conservative young adults in our 20s – 40s who enjoy talking politics and doing social activities. More information here.

Denver GOP First Friday Breakfast featuring special guest, former Sen. John Andrews — Friday, September 2, 7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m., Pete’s Greek Town Cafe, 2910 E. Colfax Ave. Andrews will be speaking on what to look forward to in the upcoming election. The title of his talk is “What Would Churchill Do?” Breakfast sponsor is Viano Construction.

Colorado Remembers 9/11, 15th Anniversary 9/11 Ceremony — Sunday, September 11, 1:00 p.m., Civic Center Park. Hosted by Gov. John Hickenlooper and Mayor Michael Hancock. Free Tribute Concert.

Centennial Institute Issue Monday: Who wins the 2016 presidential election? — Monday, September 12, 7:00 p.m. Colorado Christian University. With the presidential election quickly upon us, who do the latest polls indicate will win? How does the electoral college factor into this year’s race? Join Centennial Institute for a special election day preview with pollster David Flaherty and a discussion on the role and history of the electoral college in choosing presidents with Dr. Vincent McGuire. RSVP here.

Evening Conversation to Re-elect state Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush — Saturday, September 17th, 4:00 pm – 6:00pm. 171 Chaparral Road, Singletree in Edwards. Families are welcome!

General Election mail ballots drop – Monday, October 17

General Election polling locations open — Monday, October 24

General Election — Tuesday, November 8

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Tell us what you know! — To submit a tip, event, happening, gossuping, chattering or other interesting tidbit to The Hot Sheet, click here to submit via our contact form … yes, even anonymously if you’re feeling all cloak and dagger.

Jared Wright

Jared Wright

Jared Wright runs the business side of Colorado Politics, including circulation, advertising and marketing. He started as CEO and Publisher of the Statesman in 2015 and served as editor-in-chief for the journal during part of that time. He has worked in politics at both the state and federal levels, serving on a U.S. Congressman’s staff and working in government affairs in the private sector. Wright was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 2012 and served as member of Colorado’s 69th General Assembly from 2013-2014. He is also a writer, photographer and cartoonist.