"We sought to develop an objective measure of how well members of opposite parties work with one another using bill sponsorship and co-sponsorship data. We gravitated toward bill sponsorships and co-sponsorships for two reasons. First, they allowed us to construct a highly objective measure of partisan and bipartisan behavior. Second, sponsorship and co-sponsorship behavior is especially revealing of partisan tendencies. Members’ voting decisions are often contextual and can be influenced by parliamentary circumstances. Sponsorships and co-sponsorships, in contrast, exist as very carefully considered declarations of where a legislator stands on an issue.
The Bipartisan Index measures the frequency with which a Member co-sponsors a bill introduced by the opposite party and the frequency with which a Member’s own bills attract co-sponsors from the opposite party.
It is essential to understand that one cannot get a clear and fair picture simply by tallying up bipartisan sponsorships and co-sponsorships in a single Congress. The main problem is that behavior related to sponsoring and co-sponsoring bills differs greatly depending on whether a member is in the majority or minority. To overcome this problem and give our index greater historical value, we constructed a 20-year baseline of data to which majority and minority members could be compared. One also must make decisions about how to compare members who co-sponsor a lot of bills with those who co-sponsor only a few; whether and how to give credit for an increasing number of bipartisan co-sponsors on a bill; whether to include commemorative legislation and resolutions; and how to handle members who introduce a very small number of bills or none at all. We tested solutions to each of these questions and others before settling on what we believe is an effective formula for measuring bipartisanship."
Michael Seraphin Announces Run for County Commission
FALCON, Colo. - Former Colorado Division of Wildlife Public Information Officer Michael Seraphin announced today that he is a candidate for the El Paso County Commission in District 2.
"I hope voters make history for the first time in nearly 50-years by electing a county commissioner who doesn't have an "R" behind their name," said Seraphin. "It's time for a change from one-party politics."
Seraphin has never run for office before.
He said the reason he entered the 2016 race is because it is time to elect someone who will make hard decisions to fix local problems, instead of grandstanding about national politics in an effort to boost their own ambitions," he said.
District 2 is the fastest growing area in the county. Infrastructure, school funding, public safety, and water use planning are not getting the attention they deserve.
"Every day I hear people complain about how government has let them down," he said.
Seraphin believes residents in Falcon, Peyton, Calhan, and the rest of District 2 want someone who will listen to their needs; make decisions that will protect their property rights and values; and not cave-in to pressure from big-money politics.
Seraphin describes himself as a fiscal conservative who is socially responsible and strives for more efficient government. "I'm sort of a cross between a Democrat, Independent, and conservative all rolled into one. I own guns and believe in gun rights, but on the other hand, I am an environmentalist who understands the dangers of fracking and wants to protect our clean air and clean water. I don't see those issues as mutually exclusive along party lines."
Smaller government is not just about taxes, he added. It's about less regulation, too. "One of the first things I will do is cut red tape by repealing dozens of unnecessary, outdated regulations."
"I am not a lawyer or a professional politician. I don't have any desire to be a State Senator, a Congressman, Attorney General, or run for national office. I am just an ordinary citizen who thinks it's time we focus on the local issues we have right here in El Paso County."
Seraphin is a resident of Falcon who has lived in Colorado for the better part of 35 years. He was a spokesman for the Colorado Division of Wildlife from 1998 until his retirement in 2013.
My fellow Republicans,
At El Paso County Republican Headquarters, we are doing everything possible to ensure our constituents’ safety. We are also calling out the hypocritical left.
There have been two serious threats against local Republicans within the last week. First, a Fountain woman was arrested after threatening to “shoot up the Republican Party.” Then, the chairman of the Colorado Springs ACLU was forced to resign after saying, “I will have to shoot you [Trump supporters] before election day.”
To read about the El Paso County Republican Party’s central role in bringing the ACLU comments to light, see these stories in The Gazette, The Washington Post, The New York Post, and The Daily Mail, to list only a few publications that ran articles exposing the left’s hypocrisy.
As a professional risk analyst, I have always insisted on security precautions at our meetings and events. We are bolstering them now. Rest assured there will be robust security at our debate watch party tomorrow, Tuesday, December 15, at Stargazers Theatre, 10 S. Parkside Dr., Colorado Springs CO, 80910. Doors open at 6:00 PM and the debate begins at 7:00. The event is free and open to the public.
The El Paso County Republican Party remains vigilant, but we need your help. We are a volunteer organization, and we receive no funding from the Republican National Committee. To join with us in advancing the cause of freedom, please sign up for a sustaining, monthly contribution of $20 here.
Chairman, El Paso County Republican Party
P.S. We are proud to support Toys for Tots every winter. Run by the US Marine Corps, Toys for Tots distributes toys, books, and other meaningful gifts to children who may not otherwise receive anything for Christmas. Our drive ends Wednesday, December 16. We will be accepting new items in their original packaging at Tuesday's debate watch party.
2015 Coordinated Election Official Canvass Complete
No Automatic Recount Triggered in Manitou Springs
[Colorado Springs, Colo. – November 16, 2015] The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office has completed the official canvass of the 2015 Coordinated Election and has posted final official results online. The canvass – completed four days ahead of the November 20 deadline – marks the official end of the 2015 Coordinated Election. In addition to the canvass, the Clerk’s Office also completed a post-election audit. El Paso County’s election equipment passed the audit with 100% accuracy.
With the final results tabulated, no ballot issue or candidate race met the threshold set in Colorado law to trigger an automatic recount.
“We are very proud to have completed another successful election here in El Paso County,” Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman said. “With our emphasis on better processes and efficiency, we tabulated and released results faster than ever before all while maintaining accuracy and security. The voters that participated in the 2015 Coordinated Election can be confident that their voice was heard in our democratic process. I’d like to thank all of our elections staff and judges who worked hard to make this year’s election a resounding success.”
Final official results include additional ballots from military and overseas voters, and ballots that were counted after ID, signature, or other issues were properly resolved. Final official results are approved by a bipartisan canvass board.
For results, please visit www.EPCVotes.com.
[S]ome counties are making it prohibitively expensive for at least one election watchdog to obtain the records he says are needed to independently audit the accuracy of voting systems.That made us wonder if there's a similar story in El Paso County. Clerk and Recorder spokesman Ryan Parsell says the office hasn't received such requests for many years, but as a general rule, the Clerk and Recorder's Office doesn't charge for CORA requests. He also says the county's system differs from others in that there's no need to remove anything from the ballot. That's because there are no markings that enable a ballot to be traced back to the individual who voted it.
Election integrity activist Harvie Branscomb made Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) requests of eight counties for ballot records from the Nov. 3 election. As indicated by email threads posted on his blog, Douglas County wanted an upfront deposit of $4,000 to examine about 88,000 ballot scans for marks that could identify individual voters and then redact any such marks from the copies.
Mesa County quoted Branscomb $1,500 to similarly process about 29,000 ballot scans before releasing them, and Garfield County wanted $990 for about 11,000 scans. Jefferson County asked for advance payment of $12,475 to review and redact about 185,000 ballot scans.
Clerk’s Office Releases Final Unofficial Count, Outlines Recount Procedures
[Colorado Springs, Colo. – November 3, 2015] The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office has counted all ballots returned by 7:00 p.m. today. The results now posted to www.EPCVotes.com represent the final unofficial results. Those results will stand until any ballots from military and overseas voters or voters with signature or ID issues—who have an additional eight days to return or cure their ballot—and the official canvass is complete.
Due to the closeness of the race for Manitou Springs Mayor, the Clerk’s Office would like to explain the process for any potential automatic recount.
First, the official determination for a recount cannot be made until the deadline for military and overseas voters or ballot curing has passed and the Clerk’s Office completes the official canvass. Under Colorado law, the deadline for military and overseas ballots to be returned to the Clerk’s Office is November 12 (eight days plus one day for the observance of Veteran’s Day). The deadline for the Clerk’s Office to complete the official canvass is November 20.
Under Colorado law, an automatic recount is only triggered when “the difference between the highest number of votes cast in that election contest and the next highest number of votes cast in that election contest is less than or equal to one-half of one percent of the highest vote cast in that election contest.”(C.R.S 1-10.5-101) This is not the same as candidates or a question being separated by a 0.5% difference of the percentages reported. The Clerk’s Office is aware that there will be some confusion over this difference and will readily help any members of the media understand under what circumstances a race could go to an automatic recount.
The following example may help. If candidate 1 receives 500 votes for 50.20% and candidate 2 receives 496 votes for 49.79%, the casual observer would infer that an automatic recount is imminent. However, the 0.5% threshold is calculated off of the 500 votes earned by candidate 1. In this example, 0.5% of the votes earned by candidate 1 is three votes, so candidate 2 would need to have three votes separating the two, not 4. In this example, the results would not trigger an automatic recount.
If an automatic recount is triggered, the jurisdiction affected is responsible for paying for the recount. A candidate may request a recount, but a candidate may not request a non-automatic recount before the official canvass. Also, under that circumstance the person requesting the recount is responsible to pay for the recount.
Clerk Opens Three Additional Voter Service and Polling Centers
Colorado Springs, Colo. – November 2, 2015
Voters who need to get a replacement ballot, update their registration, register to vote, or vote in person will have three more locations from which to choose starting today, November 2. The three additional Voter Service and Polling Centers (VSPCs) open today in Monument, Manitou Springs, and Fountain, giving voters outside of Colorado Springs a more convenient option.
“We felt it was important to give voters throughout the county greater accessibility to the VSPCs,” said Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman. “We also want to thank the people who offered these facilities for use in the election. They help us to ensure voters’ democratic right to vote is not encumbered.”
All VSPCs also have ballot drop-off boxes with 24/7 access. An interactive map where voters may search for the nearest VSPC or ballot drop-off location is available at www.EPCVotes.com under the tab Return My Ballot. The locations of drop boxes were strategically determined so they are located within a 15-minute drive time of 98% of all El Paso County voters.
The three additional VSPCs and operating hours are:
Monday, November 2, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m
The Clerk’s Office strongly encourages voters to return their ballot early at any of the ballot drop-off boxes. Voters are urged NOT to return their ballot by the U.S. Postal Service due to delays in delivery. All ballots must be received by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day, November 3, in order to be counted. Postmarked ballots received after the deadline cannot be counted.
Voters can check the status of their ballot to know when the Clerk’s Office has received it by signing up for BallotTrax. This is a free service offered by the Clerk’s Office to El Paso County voters this year. It also gives voters an option to receive notifications by email, text or phone call. Voters can enroll in BallotTrax by going to www.EPCVotes.com.
Voter Service and Polling Centers currently open:
Saturday, October 31, 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Monday, November 2, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Election Day, Tuesday November 3, 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Secretary of State Wayne Williams recommends voters personally drop off their ballots
DENVER, Oct. 27, 2015 – Secretary of State Wayne Williams recommends voters who have not yet returned their ballots for the Nov. 3 election either drop off their ballots with their county clerks or use a designated county drop-off location.
Several county clerks have expressed concern that the U.S. Postal Service did not deliver their ballots in a timely manner. Those ballots that are filled out and mailed are, for the most part, sent to the USPS’s sorting center in Denver, and then returned to the county clerks. That’s why the secretary of state’s office is recommending ballots be hand-delivered rather than mailed to ensure they are received by Election Day. The Department of State wants to ensure that every voter’s voice heard in this election.
In 2014, a Colorado District Court judge ruled that county clerks may not count ballots that arrive after 7 p.m. on Election Day.
Information on locations for county clerks’ offices, voter service and polling centers and 24-hour drop-off locations can be found here.
Secretary Williams is committed to working with the postal service, Colorado county clerks and the members of the state legislature in order to improve future options for voting.
Marsha Brewer, Candidate
El Paso County Commissioner District 4
Exits the Race
Colorado Springs – Today Marsha Brewer, a Candidate for County Commissioner announced that she would not seek the Republican Party nomination for El Paso County Commissioner District 4.
“To be an effective Candidate requires a great deal of time and attention. Due to a change in my personal circumstances, I will not be able to devote the time and attention I believe is necessary to be an effective Candidate and Commissioner. I wish the other Candidates and the citizens of Commissioner District 4 the very best,” stated Brewer “there are some excellent Candidates in this race and I look forward to supporting the Party’s nominee in June.”
Manitou Springs voters, candidates invited to 2015 Election Forum
Pikes Peak Bulletin newspaper presents free Oct. 19 discussion
MANITOU SPRINGS, Colorado – Oct. 12, 2015 – The Pikes Peak Bulletin, Manitou Springs’ weekly newspaper, will host a candidates forum leading up to the city’s mayoral and City Council races.
All candidates will be present. They are: Nicole Nicoletta and Coreen Toll for mayor; Paotie Dawson, Becky Elder, Donna Ford, Randy Hodges, Daniel Prem, Jay Rohrer, Gary Smith and David Walker for City Council. Hodges is unopposed, running for the Ward 1 seat, and the remaining candidates are running for three at-large seats.
The free forum will be the evening of Monday, Oct. 19, at the Briarhurst Manor Estate, 404 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs. Social time, 6-6:30 p.m., includes complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. The forum will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m. and end approximately 8:30 p.m. Candidates and voters may remain until 10 p.m. for informal discussions.
The League of Women Voters and Citizens Project will assist with gathering and compiling voter questions, which will then be read to the candidates by moderator Ralph Routon. A sign-language interpreter will be available 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Information sheets with each candidate’s responses to the Bulletin’s questionnaire will be available, as will candidates’ literature.
The 2015 Manitou Springs Election Forum is co-sponsored by the Briarhurst Manor Estate, the city of Manitou Springs, the League of Women Voters, Citizens Project, the Pikes Peak Library District, the Colorado Springs Independent and the Colorado Springs Business Journal.
Issue 2C is a $250 MILLION tax hike. It is NOT for ROADS. It is for the DOWNTOWN ARENA, to be built WITHOUT VOTER APPROVAL.The downtown stadium is a part of the City for Champions project. There is no evidence to support Collins' claims that 2C money would be diverted to the proposed stadium.
How do I know? I am Councilwoman Helen Collins. I cast the ONLY vote against issue 2C. Their bait-and-switch would wreck our economy and cripple family budgets. Vote NO on 2C.
They now admit it is for ANY capital improvements. And WHERE has that $680 million in road taxes GONE since 2005?
They tried to recall me. Now they waste over $50,000 for a phony “ethics” witch hunt. Anything to shut me up! Don't be fooled. If I don't trust City Hall, why should you? Visit RaiseTaxesAgain.com....RaiseTaxesAgain.com
I bought this ad personally—to SAVE our city. Tell your friends. Vote NO on 2C.
Paid by Helen Collins