Jerry Kopel

KOPEL: I ENTERED AT THE WELTON BUILDING, WAS CARRIED OUT FROM COLFAX

Rocky alums all have stories; here’s mine

Everyone who came out of the Rocky Mountain News family has a story to tell. This is mine.

KOPEL: TRANSPARENCY SHOULD PREVAIL IN FORFEITURE CASES

Victims of crime shouldn’t have to forfeit their rights under HB 1238

We should not go back to a system that makes police and district attorneys look like pirates out for loot, rather than enforcers of the criminal justice system. Yet, that might happen if House Bill 1238 by Rep. Joe Rice, D-Littleton and Sen. Brandon Shaffer, D-Longmont, should pass.

KOPEL: GIFTED FAMILY LEFT ENDOWMENT OF CREATIVITY

Artistic muse also favored poet Ferril’s wife, Helen, and their daughter, Anne

Feb. 25 will mark the 113th birthday (1896) of Colorado’s greatest poet, Thomas Hornsby Ferril. He was with us for 92 years — a man who captured the West in his poems, and whose essays were read throughout the nation.

KOPEL: COLORADO HISTORICAL SOCIETY VICTIM OF 'INSPIRED' DRAFTING

HB 1272 cuts state’s revenue from casinos

House Bill 1272 is an anti-Colorado Historical Society and pro-community college measure, as was its parent, Amendment 50 on the November 2008 ballot. Chief bill sponsors are Rep. Tom Massey, R-Poncha Springs, and Sen. Abel Tapia, D-Pueblo.

KOPEL: DORA SAYS FOX HAS CAPTURED THIS CHICKEN COOP

Legislators do the grunt work for car dealers

There are no “good people” or “bad people” here, just carmakers vs. car sellers. But one group has state legislatures on its side.

KOPEL: SMALLER HIKE IN PRISON POPULATION CAN SAVE MILLIONS

Owens’ bill comes due on Ritter’s watch

On one side are piles of rock for more prison construction. On the other side is a possible Colorado budget shortfall of $600 million-plus for the rest of fiscal year 2008-’09.

Hmm, $600 million. Where have we read that number before?

Oh, yes. The final budget of Gov. Bill Owens’ Department of Corrections.

KOPEL: DORA RESEARCHERS ON CHIROPRACTIC PRACTICES DROP THE BALL

Sunset review fails to note six deaths

The researchers for the Department of Regulatory Agencies usually do a good job of unearthing all the pertinent background information before making their recommendations to the Legislature, but they aren’t perfect. For example, let’s examine their 2008 Sunset review of the Chiropractic Practice Act.

KOPEL: DO YOUR HOMEWORK; DON?T TAKE ANOTHER LEGISLATOR?S CHAIR

Common sense should guide new legislators

New legislators learn a lot about how Colorado’s laws are made by attending lectures by Legislative Council staff. And for each fresh group of legislators over the past 16 years since I retired, I have supplemented the Legislative Council’s efforts by offering some “unwritten rules” to help new lawmakers through the process.

KOPEL: HOW TO AVOID STEPPING ON LEGISLATIVE TOES

New lobbyists should learn rules of the road

You got a promotion? Congratulations! Now your job is to lobby the Legislature on behalf of your department in the executive branch. Here are seven rules of conduct that may prevent some unfortunate episodes and save some favored piece of legislation from defeat.

KOPEL: EARLY DOUBTS TURN INTO APPROVAL

Ritter earns respect by trying to succeed

Nine of the 10 governors who served this state during the 60 years from 1947 to 2006 gained an apprenticeship in holding state office as members of the Colorado Legislature.

In 2006, however, neither major party nominee —Republican Bob Beauprez nor Democrat Bill Ritter — had served in the state Legislature.

So I voted without enthusiasm for Ritter on Election Day 2006.