Peter Marcus

New state senator Zenzinger sworn into office

The Colorado Statesman

The latest road to recall was officially cut short on Friday when Sen. Rachel Zenzinger of Arvada took her place as the new senator for District 19. She was sworn-in after Sen. Evie Hudak, a Democrat from Westminster, resigned last month in the face of a growing effort to oust her from office.

A vacancy committee of Jefferson County Democrats elected Zenzinger on Tuesday night when she defeated former Rep. Sara Gagliardi of Arvada.

Zenzinger, 38, will resign from her position on the Arvada City Council in order to serve SD 19.

Young Dems get sage advice from political elders at annual holiday party

Old-man Romanoff addresses younger set at Guv’s Mansion
The Colorado Statesman

Denver Young Democrats were told on Thursday night that they are the future of the party, and that they must mobilize in order to fight off Republican challenges in what is expected to be a divisive 2014 election year.

About 150 young and elder Democrats showed up Dec. 5 at the Denver Young Democrats’ annual holiday party, held at the Governor’s Residence at the Boettcher Mansion. Denver Deputy Mayor and former state treasurer Cary Kennedy and Congressional District 6 candidate and former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff offered remarks.

Rep. Williams says she's being harassed over foreclosure vote from last session

But the court rules that alleged offender is allowed to exercise his right of political speech
The Colorado Statesman

EDITOR'S NOTE: Darren O'Connor clarified after the story published that Cmdr. Mike Calo testified on Nov. 13 that he did not ask O'Connor to back away from Rep. Angela Williams during a town hall meeting on Sept. 23.

Progressive activists next year will once again attempt to pass some semblance of foreclosure reform after a heated battle last legislative session resulted in one lawmaker fearing so much for her safety that she obtained a concealed-carry permit and recently sought a restraining order.

A glum forecast for state government

Hospital provider fee and TABOR could clash; lead to cuts
The Colorado Statesman

A bleak report issued this week by Colorado State University on the long-term fiscal health of state government indicates a “perverse irony” in which the recession actually improved the state’s long-term outlook. But the state is still grappling with a structural deficiency that will only worsen over time.

Perhaps most suggestive of the structural insufficiency is a conflict between a legislative-approved hospital provider fee and the Colorado Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, which requires that surplus tax revenues be returned to taxpayers in the form of a refund.

Hudak resigns Senate seat in face of recall

Democrat Kraft-Tharp endorses Gagliardi for SD 19 seat
The Colorado Statesman

This story has been updated to reflect the fact that Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp has decided to not become a candidate for the vacant SD 19 seat.

On the day before Thanksgiving, Democratic Sen. Evie Hudak resigned her Senate District 19 seat in northern Jefferson County in the face of a large recall effort over her support of gun control. But despite the somewhat surprising announcement, she and her supporters believe they have a lot to be thankful for.

Restoration of Capitol dome is golden opportunity to let Colorado’s resilience shine

The Colorado Statesman

Even though completion of the Capitol dome restoration project isn’t expected until the summer of 2014, architects and state leaders behind the ambitious job are already expressing excitement as the project reached a crucial milestone with the application of new gold leaf.

Since erection of the scaffolding began in fall 2010, crews have been working their way toward applying brand new gold leaf over the copper-clad dome. Contractors are applying approximately 140,000, 3 1⁄8” x 3 1⁄8” gold leaves on top of copper that covers the dome.

DU panel recommends campaign finance reform

Eliminate limits on political contributions?
The Colorado Statesman

A University of Denver panel that analyzed campaign finance laws has made a set of recommendations for reform in Colorado, including eliminating limits on political contributions to candidates and political parties, and requiring nonprofits to reveal donors when contributions are made for political purposes.

‘Stand strong’ is message of gun control advocates

The Colorado Statesman

Gun control advocates are asking Coloradans to “stand strong” in the midst of warning shots fired by gun rights groups that have created a seemingly endless election cycle in Colorado by seeking to recall lawmakers who support new gun laws.

At a rally Monday at the Capitol led by Colorado Ceasefire, gun control lobbyists and victims of gun violence lambasted the latest attempt to recall a state lawmaker for supporting tough gun control.

New oil, gas rules stir up controversy

Hickenlooper’s attempts at dealing with air pollution lauded by enviros
The Colorado Statesman

Gov. John Hickenlooper on Monday stood with energy leaders and one environmental group to push for oil and gas air pollution rules that would include reducing methane emissions.

But the governor — who has experienced an increasingly tense relationship with environmentalists, a core base of his Democratic Party — still has a lot of work ahead of him if he’s to win the trust of the environmental world.

RMGO lobbyist Neville off the hook on alleged ethics violation — for now

But Legislative Council admonishes Neville for not participating in investigative process
The Colorado Statesman

A strategy by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners lobbyist Joe Neville to not fully participate in an ethics investigation against him could be viewed for the time being as a brilliant legal and political chess move.

Neville, who is accused of threatening political retribution on Republican Rep. Cheri Gerou of Evergreen during the last session, will not immediately face punishment because the executive committee of the Legislative Council did not have enough evidence to prove that he actually violated an ethics rule.