Morgan Smith

SMITH: PEOPLE KNEW HIM AND LIKED HIM

Likable ‘Johnny Van’ was focused on Colorado

The Colorado Statesman

John Vanderhoof or “Johnny Van” was Governor of Colorado for only one legislative session — 1974 — but he brought to the table some important new ideas. The problem was that although he was to be his party’s candidate for Governor, he had little support from his Republican colleagues in the House where I served.

SMITH: THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE FACES NEAR THE FENCES

What some see as border security, others see as border hysteria in Mexico

The Colorado Statesman

“Stop with the propaganda, your only making yourself look like a dumbf—k.the whole WORLD has seen multiple videos of drug gangs with machine guns and drugs crossing the border,” writes Karl Snyder on 8-28-13.

In a few days Congress will be back in session and the question of immigration reform will be front and center. The danger is that people who think like this Snyder person will dominate the debate and that the key question once again will be border security and an excessive hysteria about Mexico.

SMITH: FORMER LEGISLATOR LOVED THE CAMARADERIE AND FRIENDSHIP

Don Friedman always told the truth, despite the political consequences

The Colorado Statesman

"Morgan, I want to come out to Adams County and testify for Eldon Cooper,” the man on the phone said. It was someone I’d never met, State Representative Don Friedman, a Republican from Denver. Eldon had moved during the 1972 re-apportionment process, and the Secretary of State had ruled that he no longer met the necessary residency requirements and therefore couldn’t be on the ballot. We had filed suit in Adams County to reverse his ruling.

SMITH: SHARED MEMORIES FROM LAMM’S CABINET

Frank Traylor, truly ahead of his times

The Colorado Statesman

“This is a very amorphous undisciplined mass,” announced Frank Traylor of the Republican Party on August 22, 1982 in a Cabinet meeting of then-Governor Dick Lamm. Frank was a member of the Cabinet then, but as a Republican, he had previously served four years (1974-78) in the Colorado House of Representatives. In fact, he was part of a political dynasty, the likes of which we’ll never see again.

SMITH: THE MANY SIDES OF OUR NEIGHBOR TO THE SOUTH

Colorado involvement is helping Mexico

Contributing Columnist

President Obama’s recent trip to Mexico is good news for Colorado. Exports to Mexico are up. Its manufacturing sector is increasingly strong and will continue to attract U.S. companies that had previously off shored operations to China. Mexico is finally focusing on the corruption in its educational system and the need to make more competitive its telecom and oil sectors. Drug-related violence appears to be down, although it’s hard to have confidence in the Mexican reporting system.

SMITH: ADAMS COUNTY POL WAS A SOFTIE AT HEART

Eldon Cooper was a tough, hard driving legislator

Contributing Columnist

“I just shook hands with a good man,” a patient named George says, pointing to Eldon Cooper. It was May, 2012 and we were at the Colorado State Veteran’s Home in Aurora. Even though Eldon was in a wheelchair then, he would visit once or twice every week, bringing friendship to older veterans, many of whom were totally alone. His second visit that day was to Ed Gatewood, 92 years old. When Eldon said something about how you can die at any minute, Ed responded by saying, “You’re too ornery to go early.”

SMITH: IN THE COMPANY OF TWO GREAT WORLD LEADERS

My memorable evening with Maggie & Ron

Contributing Columnist

“Let’s go talk to Margaret Thatcher,” my brother-in-law, Phelps Anderson said. He was the Republican National Committeeman for New Mexico and we were at the annual Atlantic Richfield (ARCO) dinner in London where both Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were to be the speakers. His father, Robert O. Anderson was the Chairman of ARCO; thus our invitation. It was the early ‘90s, both Reagan and Thatcher were out of office and, therefore, free to talk openly.

SMITH: LITTLE THINGS SOMETIMES MEAN A LOT

Hillary has earned my support in 2016

Contributing Columnist

I was thrilled when Barack Obama defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primary and, like many, skeptical about her promise to campaign for him. That all changed in Española, New Mexico on August 17, 2008.

SMITH: THE VIEW FROM SPAIN

Our presidential election elicits impassioned responses from citizens abroad

Contributing Columnist

“Unemployment brings misery,” says José Luis Galván. He’s a fisherman and we’re at the edge of the Guadalquivir River near the town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda in southern Spain. Columbus sailed from here on his third voyage and in 1519 Magellan left Sanlúcar to circle the globe. Now it’s a small town known for seafood and wines.

SMITH: COLORADANS SHOULD PASS AMENDMENT 64

As long as there’s a market here in the U.S., the drug war cannot be won

Contributing Columnist

What do Hector and Yeira Beltrán, Enrique and Bethsaida Cisneros, and Iván and Claudia Vasquez have in common?

They are victims of our drug war. They live on the Mexican side of the U.S. border in the pathway of the billions of dollars in drugs that come northward to meet the demand in this country. In all the debates about legalization — marijuana and Amendment 64 in Colorado — their story is the one you never hear, the story of those who have to survive in countries that we have destabilized by our desire for drugs.