Hot Sheet

The Hot Sheet — Athana…what,what,what? wants GOP-Supreme; Pueblo County has an identity crisis, Silver Tsunamis, Palacio buh-byes & MORE …

Author: Colorado Politics - November 30, 2016 - Updated: January 8, 2017

The Colorado Statesman Hot Sheet



The Hudson Firm

DENVER — Never is there an inappropriate moment for some air guitar … Good morning fellow Colorado-critters and welcome to the midweek Hot Sheet extravaganza. For those believers, today’s date means we’ve got just 25 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.

More in political news, as referenced in the lede (yes, that is spelled correctly all you grammar and spelling Nazis out there), the Democratic Party stronghold of Pueblo has apparently been toppled by a Republican presidential candidate for the first time in 45 years, leaving some Democratic folk speechless and renewing the vigor of the southland Republicans as they seek to stake and hold a claim. Good to them … they’ll need it.

Also, lots going on with the chairmen of both major state parties as the election continues to prove its aftershocks will perhaps gyrate for infinity.

The First Shot

“This race is not an individual contest. For us to succeed, it must be part of a larger reform effort.”

— George Athanasopoulos, candidate for Colorado GOP chair


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Anthanasopoulos wants to “Make Colorado Red Again”

Yes, seriously, he ripped off the campaign jingle … Tuesday morning during the Peter Boyles show once-was GOP candidate for the 7th Congressional District, George Anthanasopoulos, announced his bid to try to oust Republican state party Chair Steve House in the upcoming spring party elections (should House actually choose to run again, which has not yet occured). Athanasopoulos lost his race to CD7 Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter on Election Day.

Today Athanasopoulos blitzed social media — where he seems to have a Donald Trump-like ever-presence — in an attempt to rally support for “Making Colorado Red Again” and to reinvigorate Colorado Republicans to coordinate in a large reform effort across the entire state. This story, interestingly enough, comes just on the heels of Colorado Democratic Party Chair Rick Palacio’s announcement that he will not seek re-election after holding his position for 6 years. More on that after the jump.


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Pueblo County is having an identity crisis

Pueblo County, which has reliably voted for the Democratic presidential nominee since Richard “(I a)M. (not a crook)” Nixon decided in Election 2016 to turn tradition on its head, instead voting for the Republican presidential nominee.

But not all is as it seems in Pueblotown. In a curious split-vote, the community decided to send U.S. Sen. Michael Bennett — who some might argue has more in common with the Rockefellers than Bedrocks — back to Washington again.

It would seem Pueblo County is keeping the political parties guessing as they grapple with their political identity.

We could presume that the vote was due in part to Pueblo’s blue-collar history and Donald Trump’s successful stirring of that demographic, but surely there are many more small moving parts at play here.

We guess anomalies such as these are to be expected in a state as diverse as our own; that’s what makes Colorado maverick-purple. We’re trail blazers right down the middle.


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Rick Palacio off to greener pastures … the Jill Stein kind? … Nahhh

Rick Palacio has announced that he is off to greener pastures. The two-term Colorado Democratic Party chair blasted an email saying “with a New Year also comes new beginnings, so I’m reaching out to you to let you know that when our party reorganizes this spring, I will begin a new adventure and won’t be seeking re-election as your party chair.”

State Rep. Beth McCann, D-Denver, talks with Colorado Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio soon after McCann was declared the winner of the election to be Denver's next district attorney on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, at the party's election night watch party at the Westin Denver Downtown. (Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman)
State Rep. Beth McCann (D-Denver) — now Denver district attorney-elect — talks with Colorado Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio soon after McCann was declared the winner of the election to be Denver’s next district attorney on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, at the party’s election night watch party at the Westin Denver Downtown. (Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman)

While it should be noted Palacio has been planning his departure from the post since before the election results, this may also be, in part, one step in the Democratic Party’s reassessment of its overall strategy. Though the state still went blue, lest we not forget in the space of only one paragraph that the Democratic Party lost Pueblo County, which has been in the party’s back pocket since McGovern was sent packing.

What’s more, the Democratic Party is going to be having some very Republican-esque fights coming down the pike. We cannot blame Palacio for wanting to retire his gavel with the prospect of some could-be-epic governor and musical chair legislative seat battles on the horizon.


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It’s off to D.C. for one successful Colorado GOP fundraising guru

Word on the street is that Starboard Group’s Katie Behnke will be leaving the Denver-based firm where she has worked since 2008 and will be moving to D.C., after accepting a high-profile fundraising job with the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Katie Behnke
Katie Behnke

Starboard was instrumental in U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner’s election, and Behnke has continued to be a top-level adviser to the senator and power-player fundraiser for upper-tier Republican candidates and incumbents. In that capacity, her move to D.C. comes as little surprise other than, you know … D.C. and … yuck, who wants to live there?


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Hickenlooper: Borders and documentation yes … Deportation? Now, now, let’s not be hasty here

Answering the fears of some increasingly concerned immigrants residing in Colorado, Gov. John Hickenlooper reassured them that deportation is not something that he will allow the state to participate in on his watch … but he says he does support securing the border and making sure everyone has their proper documentation … straddling the center line like an old pro.

“We should give the president-elect some time to sort through what things he really meant when he was campaigning and what things were maybe hyperbole,” Hickenlooper said.

Full story here


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Could school vouchers come to Colorado? 

Chalkbeat speculates that school vouchers may be a “consequence” of a Trump administration with Betsy DeVos soon to be at the helm of the Department of Education. DeVos, Chalkbeat notes correctly, is a strong supporter of school vouchers and school choice … and yes, she did donate to U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner one time back in the fifth grade … and it was only for a split second when the teacher, er main stream media, wasn’t looking. Seriously, who cares? But yeah, there was that.

The article goes into a lengthy discussion of the “what ifs” and other legal implications on the possibility of school vouchers coming to our little slice of sunshine. Give it a read if your into the education debate and stuff.

Full story here


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Silver Tsunami

Forget the hurricanes, tornados, solar flares, earthquakes and tennis ball sized hail storms … what about the “Silver Tsunami” headed for Colorado? Oh my! The Colorado Springs Gazette reporting that those 65 and older are expected to grow by more than half-a-million people by 2030 in the state. Wow.

Image result for Old person gif

“This trend will affect every facet of daily life for millions of Coloradans – from the economy to transportation systems to the workforce,”a report to the governor and state Legislature by the Strategic Action Planning Group states. “Indeed, Colorado stands at the edge of a demographic shift that will redefine it for generations to come.”

Who’s buying stock in elder-care facilities? Count us in.


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Polly Baca’s Revolution

From the Colorado Independent’s oft-curmudgeonly, but always-has-the-scoop Cory Hutchins, former state Sen. Polly Baca (D) — no not Blaha, stop it auto-correct! — wants to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president by doing something wild … like convincing enough of her fellow Electoral College members to write in the name of another Republican for president.

“He is not the president-elect,” Baca told The Colorado Independent Monday. “He is not president-elect until the Electoral College meets. And as an elector I’m hopeful that we can come up with an alternative.”

Thanks for the civics lesson.

Hutchins reports for The Colorado Independent that four out of nine Colorado electors agreed with Baca and said they would vote for such a Republican alternative if one arose.

Goodness gracious. This is why people want to take a wrecking ball to the Electoral College like a dilapidated K-Mart.

Full story here


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Just for Laughs





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12/1/2016        Reagan Club of Colorado monthly meeting

12/2/2016        Weld County South Republican Breakfast Club

12/2/2016        Denver GOP First Friday Breakfast

12/3/2016        Liberty Toastmasters Denver

12/15/2016      ACDP Executive Board Regular Meeting

12/19/2016      ACDP Executive Board Regular Meeting



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Colorado Politics

Colorado Politics

Colorado Politics, formerly The Colorado Statesman, is the state's premier political news publication, renowned for its award-winning journalism. The publication is also the oldest political news outlet in the state, in continuous publication since 1898. Colorado Politics covers the stories behind the stories in Colorado's state Capitol and across the Centennial State, focusing on politics, public policy and elections with in-depth reporting on the people behind the campaigns — from grassroots supporters to campaign managers and the candidates and issues themselves.