Peter Marcus

Proposed pot ordinance might not pass smell test

Some wonder what bill sponsor Nevitt is smoking
The Colorado Statesman

As voters consider taxing a new marijuana marketplace, the Denver City Council and Mayor Michael Hancock are at odds over whether the city needs strict enforcement on smelling and seeing the newly legalized drug.

Many on the council feel the bill is an over-reach that violates a constitutional right to privacy.

The ordinance would:

• Make it illegal to possess and use marijuana in city parks and the 16th Street Mall;

• Define “open” marijuana to include sight or smell;

• Define “public” to include observation through sight or smell, including vehicles;

GOP field grows for Senate race

The Colorado Statesman

A Republican primary to challenge Democrat Mark Udall for U.S. Senate in 2014 saw a couple of twists and turns this week as Rep. Amy Stephens joined the race and state Sen. Owen Hill announced a major endorsement from Texas libertarian conservative Ron Paul.

Campaign finance disclosures for the third quarter were also released this week, revealing that Republicans will be competing against a financial machine; chasing Udall’s already estimated $4.1-million war chest.

Kopp announces for guv; refrains from attacking Hick

The Colorado Statesman

Surrounded by his family at Red Rocks Amphitheater early Tuesday morning, former Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp announced he is seeking the Republican Party’s nomination to challenge Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper next year.

Kopp became the fifth Republican to announce a gubernatorial bid, as the GOP clamors to unseat Hickenlooper. He joins state Sen. Greg Brophy of Wray, Secretary of State Scott Gessler from Denver and former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo of Lakewood. Also vying for his party’s nod is underdog Jim Rundberg from Moffat.

Senate Dems elect new leadership

The Colorado Statesman

Senate Democrats on Wednesday chose Morgan Carroll of Aurora to lead them as their next Senate president after a bitter recall election ousted their former chief.

The caucus election was free of political fireworks as Carroll was elected unanimously without other nominations offered. There had been rumors that Sen. Mary Hodge of Brighton would also be nominated, but that never came to fruition.

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.