Hot Sheet

The Hot Sheet – Trump story gets YUUUGGGE, a mixed baggie of weed data, the cost of being ‘faithless,’ Oh, golly – another candidate for guv and … MORE!

Author: Colorado Politics - December 22, 2016 - Updated: January 8, 2017

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VOL. 01 NO. 211 | DECEMBER 22, 2016 | COLORADOSTATESMAN.COM/THE-HOT-SHEET | © 2016


The Hudson Firm


DENVER — Same story, different year. With the start of the Colorado legislative session just 20 days off, media speculation and a tad bit of media bias is beginning to sprout through the freshly fallen snow; media bias in the sense of which bills, which lawmakers and which in-fighting will be the biggest news. Despite those rumors, reporters just like telling a kick-butt story and media companies like the corresponding revenue to keep afloat. Remember that you heard it here first.

As long as we’re looking at the calendar, we are only two days away from the beginning of Hanukkah, three days from Christmas and 10 days from 2017. So, do yourself a favor … spend some time with those you love and those that (there must be a few) love you in return. Heck maybe even spend a little time helping those in need. There’s a thought! It’s been a long year for those in political circles! Time for a small respite.

 

The First Shot

“It’s hard to be enthusiastic about data that shows that Colorado is essentially tied with Alaska for the highest youth marijuana use rate in the nation.”

– Executive director of Smart Colorado Henny Lasley

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Twenty days and counting …

With the beginning of the 2017 Colorado legislative session now only 20 days away (good times acommin’), both sides of the aisle are rallying the troops and heading to their corners. Media is spending their speculation points and — in some cases — taking positions.

The Denver Post Editorial Board taking a middle-of-the-road noncommittal approach to recent 2017 budget projections. Their lead “…both sides exaggerate,” does little to clarify, but does split the blame down the middle for Republicans AND Democrats …

According to the Post, House Republican Leader Patrick Neville is right that the state’s general fund budget is projected to grow by 4.6 percent, or almost $500 million. But Democratic chair of the state’s budget committee, Rep. Millie Hamner is also right that when the economy is doing well, the state doesn’t reap all of the benefits.

Speaking of editorials … The extremely anti-Trump Aurora Sentinel has a warning for state lawmakers in the “Trump Era:”

More alarming than trying to solve issues about transportation, standardized school tests and whether Colorado needs yet another official song, legislators are anxious about what a Trump administration and tea-party GOP Congress will bring. Our expectation is that it bodes ill for Colorado, and the General Assembly will be the state’s first line of defense.

Still unclear? (Daaaa!) There’re several legislative forums coming up, when legislators and interest groups discuss the issues—including at the Capitol at 2 p.m. on Jan. 4, organized by ColoradoPolitics.com and other members of the Capitol press corps.

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Smoke ’em if you got ’em

New numbers concerning Colorado teen use of pot since legalization is a mixed bag — something for both its supporters and detractors. Yes, potheads, the number of teens who used pot in the past month dropped (a tad) from 12.5 percent to 11.1 percent. No large win by any standard.  And by the way, the number is higher — despite a population increase — than pre-legalization numbers.

Wow man, that was harsh!

Nationwide, the rate of past-month marijuana use among teens dropped 0.02 percent and the rate of past year’s use dropped 0.42 percent.

Pot certainly isn’t leaving Colorado anytime soon … It’s BIG business, dontchyaknow! According to the reporting from the Denver Business Journal, adult use sales are expected to be $739 million in 2016 and $1.34 billion by 2020, and Colorado’s medical cannabis sales are expected to be $438 million in 2016 and $663 million by 2020. (Gazette  ColoradoPolitics.com  9News)

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Time to pay the fiddler … How much?

In what most probably will be more of a gesture than criminal prosecution, Secretary of State Wayne Williams has referred the ‘faithless’ Colorado elector to the attorney general for “investigation.” What that will look like exactly, no one knows for sure. According to the Denver Post, the AG’s office didn’t return their calls.

In a letter to the attorney general, Deputy Secretary of State Suzanne Staiert stressed that Micheal Baca (not Michael, SOS office!) took an oath saying he would vote for the presidential candidate who won Colorado and then he “cast a ballot contrary to the oath.”

The young man has now fallen into the sights of the mic-grabbing (“this isn’t your program,” counselor) Williams. Baca was among three “Hamilton Electors” from Colorado trying to flip electors across the country to not vote for Donald Trump. This was not to pass …

Baca faces possible misdemeanor charges should the #CoAG decide to pursue them (doubtful.)  Thus, almost concludes what has been a good piece (by Colorado standards) of political theater.

 

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“Trump won the election, I don’t have to help you”

It seems like an outrage on the surface, right? A store (Hobby Lobby) refusing to assist a customer because of her race (Mexican-American) … The clerk allegedly throwing out some pro-Trump anti-immigrant hate speech for good measure. Good story if you want to believe the narrative, right?

But put down your social media and read beyond the Tweet. This story seems more urban legend than fact.

So, the media story began (apparently) with a recent letter to the editor of the Daily Camera where the writer claimed her (unnamed) friend was rudely refused service because of her race.

Could it have happened in this highly-charged political (post-election) atmosphere? Sadly, yes … Is it probable? You be the judge. Read both the letter at Timescall.com or the story at the Denver Post.

 

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Throwing another hat into the ring

And yet another possible maybe-could-be-candidate for the 2018 Colorado governor’s race (reportedly) raises his hand. Nothing official … only rumor or as it is known in political circles — floating the idea.

Successful businessman, Harvard grad, and donor to Democratic causes and campaigns Noel Ginsbur’s name is showing up as a possible candidate in left-leaning blogs. We’ll see if the rumor has any merit as the field gets more and more dense …

 

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Just for Laughs

 

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Today in History

2010 – The repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” a 17-year-old policy banning homosexuals serving openly in the United States military, is signed into law by President Barack Obama.

2001 – Richard Reid attempts to destroy a passenger airliner by igniting explosives hidden in his shoes aboard American Airlines Flight 63.

1984 – Bernhard Goetz shoots four would-be muggers on an express train in Manhattan section of New York, New York.

1937 – The Lincoln Tunnel opens to traffic in New York City.

1808 – Ludwig van Beethoven conducts and performs in concert at the Theater an der Wien, Vienna, with the premiere of his Fifth Symphony, Sixth Symphony, Fourth Piano Concerto (performed by Beethoven himself) and Choral Fantasy (with Beethoven at the piano).


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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.