Peter Marcus

Mesa County’s Ruth Ehlers still involved in politics

Looks forward to GOP unity
The Colorado Statesman

At 75 years old, Mesa County Republican Ruth Ehlers still has a lot of political spark in her.

The former chairwoman of the Mesa County Republican Party recently sought the state party’s nomination for vice chair. But the Western Slope candidate lost on Sept. 21 to Mark Baisley, former chairman of the Douglas County Republican Party, when the state party’s central committee met to fill a vacancy left by outgoing Vice Chairman Don Ytterberg.

Personhood proponents submit 139,650 sigs

Measure for 2014 ballot focuses on fetal homicide
The Colorado Statesman

Motivated by a grassroots uprising this summer that ousted two sitting Democratic state senators, proponents of a ballot initiative that would ask voters in 2014 to define an unborn child as a “person” say they are likely to target Republicans who don’t support their anti-abortion movement.

New GOP senators sworn in

Herpin and Rivera replace Democrats Morse and Giron
The Colorado Statesman

The recall of two Democratic state senators came to an emotional end on Thursday as their Republican successors were sworn into office to thunderous applause by those who had been leading and watching the drive for the past six months.

Sens. Bernie Herpin of Colorado Springs and George Rivera of Pueblo have replaced Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo, respectively.

School finance measure flush in funds, but lawsuit could dampen efforts

The Colorado Statesman

UPDATE: This story has been updated to include a response by Denver Public Schools on Oct. 9 to the "mutual consent" section of the story.

Supporters of a $950 million tax increase to fund education released their first two television ads this week and announced support from Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, while opponents filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the ballot drive.

Legislators plan for telecom reform bill in next session

Departure of Sen. Morse changes dynamic at Capitol
The Colorado Statesman

Telecommunications executives and lawmakers who for years have been trying to update Colorado’s decades-old laws regulating the industry are hopeful that next year will finally be the year to connect.

Much of the optimism rests with a change in the makeup of the legislature after recall elections ousted two Democrats: Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo.

School board candidates defend support of vouchers

Denver candidates also dispute alleged conflicts of interest
The Colorado Statesman

The Denver Public Schools Board of Education race has turned into a discussion on vouchers and conflicts of interest as the reform versus neighborhood-oriented battle continues for control of the seven-member board.

Two factions have emerged in the school board race, which will be decided this November. The two sides include reformers, who support the administration, and neighborhood candidates, who support traditional schools. Most candidates and current school board members are Democrats, though the board is nonpartisan.

Recall proponents still bristling

Claim state GOP dissed them; Chairman Call says otherwise
The Colorado Statesman

The revolutionary spirit held by proponents of two successful Colorado recalls appears to be gaining in strength without political borders. The message is simple: “no one is safe.”

Proponents of the two recalls earlier this month that ousted Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo — both Democrats — have now set their sights on “establishment Republicans,” with the current target being state GOP Chairman Ryan Call.

Baisley elected new vice chair of state GOP

The Colorado Statesman

The Colorado Republican Party central committee on Saturday in Denver elected a new vice chairman who hopes to offer a grassroots balance to Chairman Ryan Call’s agenda.

Douglas County Republican Mark Baisley, who challenged Call earlier this year for the chairmanship, will replace Don Ytterberg of Jefferson County, who is exiting in order to explore a run for congress in the 7th Congressional District.

Gessler officially in governor’s race

The Colorado Statesman

After months of speculation, the fearless conservative secretary of state, Scott Gessler, officially announced his campaign to challenge Gov. John Hickenlooper in 2014. But how the political world analyzes Gessler’s brazen approach to politics differs between parties.

Levy to leave Legislature early for new job

Vacancy committee will choose Boulder Democrat’s replacement
The Colorado Statesman

Four-term Democratic state Rep. Claire Levy of Boulder has resigned to become executive director of the Colorado Center on Law and Policy. She will miss her final year at the legislature to advocate for the progressive organization around economic, health care and fiscal issues for low-income Coloradans.

“I truly love the Colorado General Assembly, and I will miss my colleagues on both sides of the aisle,” said the longtime lawmaker. “But as my time as a legislator grew short, I began to think about ways I could continue to make Colorado a better place for all of its citizens.”