Current News

Term-limited Gallagher spends final days fighting DIA, city hall

The Colorado Statesman

Dennis J. Gallagher is leaving his post as Denver city auditor after 12 years, and he’s going out with a bang. Which for Gallagher is entirely appropriate.

In one of his last acts of office, Gallagher dealt a broadside to the Denver International Airport Hotel and Transit Center in the form of a “white paper,” in which he said that the project is 44 percent over budget at $721 million.

Chatter

Waller may take on Lamborn in primary challenge

Primary challengers are circling and sniffing in the 5th Congressional District, we hear. U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, who has only sidestepped a primary once on the way to five terms representing the heavily Republican district, could be facing a bid by former House Minority Leader Mark Waller, R-Colorado Springs, though that might not be the extent of it.

Wayposts

Patterson tapped as interim CEO for state exchange

Connect for Health Colorado this week named Kevin Patterson as interim chief executive officer of Colorado’s Health Insurance Marketplace, better known as the state exchange. Patterson is currently chief administrative officer for Gov. John Hickenlooper and has served as interim executive director for the Governor’s Office of Information Technology, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and the Governor’s Energy Office. He starts at the new position on May 8.

Yesteryear

Mayoral runoff, paper’s IRS troubles and more

The Colorado Statesman

Twenty Years Ago this week in The Colorado Statesman … Denver voters sent Wellington Webb, the city’s first African-American mayor, a “somber message” on Election Day, handing a win to City Councilwoman Mary DeGroot in the first round of balloting. DeGroot edged the incumbent by a whisker, just 0.1 percent of the vote, though she had been running far behind Webb in polls, with less than 30 percent in surveys.

Uncertainty swirls around red-light camera legislation

The Colorado Statesman

There is a traffic jam of bills related to red-light camera technology inside the Capitol these days as a third bill has been introduced on the controversial issue.

That bill would create a study to measure the public safety impact of the use of red-light and speed photo enforcement cameras. The study also would look into claims that cities using the technology are motivated by the revenue collected from tickets.

“We want to make evidence-based decisions when making public policy decisions of this magnitude,” said Rep. Dan Pabon, D-Denver, who is sponsoring the study bill.

Build The Damn Thing

Senate Veterans Affairs Committee holds hearing in Aurora
The Colorado Statesman

“Build the damn thing,” was the message delivered by members of a Senate Committee and Colorado’s congressional delegation at a field hearing held on Friday in Aurora to examine the beleaguered Veterans’ Administration hospital, long under construction and way over budget.

The phrase was lifted from pins that read “B-T-D-T” handed out by Steve Rylant, president of the United Veterans Committee of Colorado, and it expressed a nearly universal sentiment.

Homeless Bill of Rights measure fails in committee

The Colorado Statesman

A wild ending to an April 27 House panel vote on increased public rights for the homeless capped a hearing that resulted in the bill’s failure.

A handful of unruly audience members voiced their displeasure over committee members’ no votes on a bill that would have allowed the homeless to eat, sleep and panhandle in public without harassment.

Some had to be removed from the hearing room for shouting down members of the State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee after the panel rejected the measure on an 8-3 vote.

American Indian mascot bill dies in committee

The Colorado Statesman

The use of American Indian mascots by Colorado public schools can continue unfettered after a bill requiring tribal approval of their use died on a party-line vote during an April 29 Senate committee hearing.

House Bill 1165 would have created an approval committee made up of representatives from American Indian tribes for schools seeking to use Indian-themed mascots.

Condo construction defects discussion at an end

The Colorado Statesman

The 2014 legislative session ended with a whimper, not a bang, on the condo construction defects issue. This year’s session on the same issue will end the same way.

But supporters of the efforts vow they will be back next year.

Last week, Speaker of the House Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, D-Boulder, assigned the Senate’s major construction defects bill, Senate Bill 15-177, to the House’s “kill” committee, the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee. They voted along 6-5 party lines to kill the bill after a five-hour hearing Monday.

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,
 
Please identify the organization Americans for Prosperity. It is the voice of the Koch Brothers. It is not a grassroots organization. It has no roots in Colorado. It should not be able to present its agenda in a public forum without disclosing its ownership. 

Every columnist should be identified by his employment as a starting point. 

Good luck on your new venture.
 
Dolores Kopel

Dear Editor,