Politics

Friday, July 1, 2016

New role for Cole with GOP

Posted By on Fri, Jul 1, 2016 at 3:46 PM

Cole: Moving on but sticking around. - COURTESY DANIEL COLE
  • Courtesy Daniel Cole
  • Cole: Moving on but sticking around.
Daniel Cole, formerly executive director of the El Paso County Republican Party, has left that post only to pick up where he left off. Cole served as director since July 2013 and raised the central office's profile by making himself available to local media for interviews and commentary regarding local politics.

The party has decided to, as of today, contract with Cole's new company, Cole Communications, for services similar to those provided by Cole as director.

Cole tells the Independent that the GOP isn't his only client, but demurred when asked to name others.

He posted this on  his Facebook page today:
Yesterday was my last day as Executive Director of the El Paso County Republican Party. I would get sappy and sentimental, but today is the first day of a contract between the El Paso County Republican Party and my new company, Cole Communications, to provide many of the services I provided as an employee. The more things change, the more they stay the same; but they are changing.

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Ted Cruz picks Darryl Glenn in Senate race

Posted By on Fri, Jun 17, 2016 at 3:57 PM

Glenn reels in second high-profile endorsement, from Ted Cruz. The first was Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Glenn reels in second high-profile endorsement, from Ted Cruz. The first was Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska.
Sen. Ted Cruz, failed candidate for the GOP presidential nomination this year who couldn't catch up in delegates to Donald Trump, has endorsed Darryl Glenn in the race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Colorado, the Washington Times reports.

Glenn is an El Paso County commissioner and former Colorado Springs City Council member.

From the Times report: 
Mr. Cruz, who’s slated to speak next month at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, also said he would campaign on Mr. Glenn’s behalf.
The Glenn campaign said in a statement that the candidate was “deeply honored” by Mr. Cruz’s support.
Cruz has to be aware that Glenn swept all other Republicans off the ticket in the race at the State GOP Assembly in Colorado Springs on April 9, capturing 70 percent of the vote. Why? Because Cruz was there, for one thing. Five other Senate candidates who are seeking the nomination petitioned on to the ballot. Some had to go to court to secure a spot after they ran shy of signatures. They include Robert Blaha, a businessman from Colorado Springs.

Democrats didn't wait long to weigh in.
The Colorado Democratic Party today released the following statement from Chris Meagher, senior communications advisor, in response to reports that Sen. Ted Cruz endorsed Darryl Glenn for Senate and will campaign in the state Monday:

"Colorado doesn't need a far right, never-compromise conservative in the Senate, and it’s clear from Ted Cruz’s endorsement of Darryl Glenn - that's exactly who Glenn would be."
ProgressNow Colorado had this to say in a release:
Following today's announcement that failed Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz has endorsed El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn in the GOP U.S. Senate primary, ProgressNow Colorado, the state's largest online progressive advocacy organization, released the following statement:

"Even after losing the Republican presidential nomination to Donald Trump, Ted Cruz still has significant influence in Colorado Republican politics," said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Ian Silverii. "Darryl Glenn's far-right agenda is exactly what Ted Cruz and out-of-state conservative ideologues want, and with the rest of the Republican primary field mired in scandal and infighting, Glenn could benefit greatly from Cruz's support."

"In the general election, assuming Glenn prevails in the primary," said Silverii, "Ted Cruz will be an albatross around the neck of anyone he is linked with—almost as bad as Donald Trump himself. For Glenn, Cruz's 'kiss of death' is a short-term boost with terrible long-term consequences."
The primary is June 28 and is being conducted by mail ballot.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Dobson calls for 'manhood' to deal with transgender bathroom users

Posted By on Tue, May 31, 2016 at 3:43 PM

James Dobson - FILE
  • FILE
  • James Dobson
 James Dobson, the evangelical former leader of Focus on the Family, has drawn the attention of Right Wing Watch, after calling for men to defend their wives and children against transgender people using the restroom, in a piece for WND titled "Protect Your Kids From Tyrant Obama."

Dobson was, of course, angry that President Barack Obama's administration instructed public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their choosing.

"Did it upset you when the president of the United States ordered every public school in America to open all its bathroom facilities including those that are in use by a member of the opposite sex?" Dobson questioned. "The president’s order made me furious, and then sick to my stomach."

He goes on to issue a call to action to husbands and fathers, which sounds a lot like a call to arms:

If you are a married man with any gumption, surely you will defend your wife’s privacy and security in restroom facilities. Would you remain passive after knowing that a strange-looking man, dressed like a woman, has been peering over toilet cubicles to watch your wife in a private moment? What should be done to the pervert who was using mirrors to watch women and girls in their stalls? If you are a dad, I pray you will protect your little girls from men who walk in unannounced, unzip their pants and urinate in front of them. If this had happened 100 years ago, someone might have been shot. Where is today’s manhood? God help us!
Dobson goes on to say that Obama and feminists are trying to uproot God's plan, saying the Bible,  "leaves no doubt that the Creator made not one sex but two, each beautifully crafted to 'fit with' and meet the needs of the other." Ahem.

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Keyser back on the ballot, others still trying

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 5:31 PM

Jon Keyser
  • Jon Keyser
Former state Rep. Jon Keyser is back from the dead.

Earlier this week, it was announced that the U.S. Senate candidate failed to make the Republican primary ballot. Keyser needed 1,500 valid petition signatures from Republican voters in each of Colorado's seven Congressional districts, for a total of 10,500 signatures, to make the primary ballot for the seat, but the Colorado Secretary of State's Office announced that he fell 86 signatures short of the mark. Keyser, however, legally challenged the ruling and won. 

At issue was the signatures collected by a single petition gatherer, who had not updated the address on his voter registration as legally required. The petitioner had recently moved. Thus, any signatures gathered by the petitioner that listed his new address were not counted as valid.

The court, however, ruled that: " Mr. Keyser substantially complied with the Colorado Election Code."

That ruling meant the signatures were counted and Keyser made the ballot. He joins El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn and Jack Graham, a former Colorado State Athletic director.

Two other candidates, Robert Blaha, a Colorado Springs businessman, and former Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier, also failed to make the ballot yesterday due to insufficient valid signatures. Frazier told the Denver Post he would appeal the decision.

Blaha released the following statement:

Late this afternoon we were notified by the Secretary of State that our petition was insufficient, and we are currently evaluating the Secretary of State's report. After we have concluded a thorough evaluation, we will have further comment regarding our next steps in seeking the Republican nomination for U.S Senate. We believe that after our review, the final analysis will validate that we are in substantial compliance.

The winner of the primary will go on to challenge U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat, in November. Unsurprisingly, the Colorado Democratic Party has been delighted by the circus on the Republican side of the race. Chris Meagher, spokesman for the Colorado Democratic Party, released the following statement after Keyser won his legal challenge:

After being handpicked by the national Republican Party and blowing off grassroots Republicans, Jon Keyser had to sue his way onto the Republican primary ballot. Now he's back to limping through the primary with no momentum and practically no money, while Robert Blaha and Ryan Frazier prepare their own lawsuits to get back on the ballot.

Keyser was anointed by the same national Republicans who have spent years creating gridlock in Washington, and like a typical politician Keyser has refused to take positions on issues that matter to Colorado while blowing off the grassroots to jaunt off to locales like Las Vegas in an attempt to raise money from billionaire establishment megadonors. Keyser has pledged to support Donald Trump if he’s the nominee and it’s clear that if elected to the Senate, Jon Keyser would only add to the dysfunction in Washington.


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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Jack Graham gives Darryl Glenn competition in Senate primary

Posted By on Wed, Apr 20, 2016 at 11:13 AM

Jack Graham will appear on the June 28 primary election ballot. - GRAHAM CAMPAIGN
  • Graham campaign
  • Jack Graham will appear on the June 28 primary election ballot.
Jack Graham's campaign announced today that he's become the first candidate who filed petitions to be certified for the June 28 Republican primary election ballot in the U.S. Senate race.

El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn won a spot on the ballot at the April 9 state Republican Assembly by winning about 70 percent of the vote and keeping numerous other candidates off the ballot who had sought a slot through the assembly.

The primary winner will take on Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in the November election.

From Graham's news release:
Fort Collins businessman and former CSU Athletic Director Jack Graham today became the first candidate who filed petitions to be certified for the Republican primary election ballot for the U.S. Senate. Secretary of State Wayne Williams confirmed Graham submitted enough qualified Republican signatures.

"Ginger and I are grateful for all the help and support so many Coloradans volunteered in our successful quest to petition onto the primary ballot," Graham said. "We look forward to the primary election campaign and making our case to be the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate."

Graham was the last candidate to formally enter the Senate race but he was the first candidate to formally submit petitions to the Colorado Secretary of State for approval on Monday, March 28. Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams confirmed today that Graham's petitions qualified. Three other candidates filed after Graham and are still awaiting word from the Secretary of State whether they qualify for the ballot.

Colorado election law requires the signatures of 1,500 registered Republicans from each of Colorado's seven congressional districts in order to petition onto the Tuesday, June 28 Republican primary election ballot. Graham submitted a total of nearly 20,000 signatures to the Secretary of State.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Which presidential candidate is raising the most money in Colorado?

Posted By on Wed, Mar 30, 2016 at 3:56 PM

This just in from DashLocal, a data gathering outfit that did an assessment of campaign finance in the presidential race.
We crunched the data for political donations made in the state of Colorado for the remaining 5 Presidential Candidates and Hilary Clinton has by far the most donations within the State. Of the total $4,418,456 contributed so far to the remaining candidates within Colorado, Hilary Clinton received 58% of that, while Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, and Donald Trump received 24%, 15%, 2% and 1% respectively. We have broken out the data by cities as well for each candidate and made it interactive. For example, Hillary's top cities with the most donations in CO are:
hillary-clinton-colorado-donations-jsb6p.jpg

Seems like that would make Colorado rather blue, not red. But then, there's many more months to go in this race.

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Monday, March 28, 2016

Cruz will attend state assembly in Colorado Springs

Posted By on Mon, Mar 28, 2016 at 12:30 PM

screen_shot_2016-03-28_at_12.01.48_pm.png
The Denver Channel is reporting that Sen. Ted Cruz plans to attend the Colorado GOP state assembly on April 9 and that Ohio Gov. John Kasich and businessman Donald Trump are considering it.

The convention will be held at the Broadmoor World Arena, and will test state and local security efforts.

After reported violence and protests at Trump rallies, it's a good thing the El Paso County Sheriff's office recently supplied their deputies with riot gear, eh?

But Trump might back out, because El Paso County delegates voted overwhelmingly (71 percent) for Cruz in a straw poll on Saturday, and the county holds more than 10 percent of the state's delegates.

So he might want to rethink coming here and just "write off" Colorado, as one political insider said.


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Saturday, March 26, 2016

GOP assembly fills the primary ballot

Posted By on Sat, Mar 26, 2016 at 2:33 PM

More than 1,100 delegates braved a snowy day to attend the El Paso County Republican assembly; several hundred alternate delegates also showed up. - PHOTOS BY PAM ZUBECK
  • Photos by Pam Zubeck
  • More than 1,100 delegates braved a snowy day to attend the El Paso County Republican assembly; several hundred alternate delegates also showed up.
Republican voters in El Paso County will have a choice in three soon-to-be-vacated county commissioner districts in the June 28 primary election, after delegates at the GOP county assembly Saturday placed two candidates each in Districts 2 and 4, while District 3 already has a candidate who has qualified via petition who will face the assembly nominee.

All three positions are seats now held by Amy Lathen, District 2; Sallie Clark, District 3, and Dennis Hisey in District 4. All are barred from seeking a fourth term due to term limits. 
Hisey and Clark were barred from seeking a fourth term. Lathen could have sought a third term under a previous voter-approved measure to allow her a third term but chose not to.

Rodney Gehrett chose purple as his campaign color.
  • Rodney Gehrett chose purple as his campaign color.
District 3, the western district, was the most hotly contested with four candidates at the assembly. Candidates have to get 30 percent to be on the ballot. The assembly outcome: Sheriff's Commander Rodney Gehrett, 18 percent; congressional aide Jarred Rego, 24 percent; Javier Mazzetti, 20 percent, and the winner Stan VanderWerf, 38 percent.

VanderWerf will face Karen Cullen, who petitioned onto the ballot, and possibly former Green Mountain Falls mayor Tyler Stevens, who plans to petition on.

District 4, south: Joan Lucia-Treese, 6 percent; Scott Turner, 37 percent and Longinos Gonzalez, 57 percent.
Rep. Lamborn spoke in support of Jarred Rego.
  • Rep. Lamborn spoke in support of Jarred Rego.

District 2, east: Sherri Gibson, 23 percent; Mark Waller, 32 percent, and Tim Geitner, 45 percent.

Clark, who was on hand at the assembly, later said the dueling candidate rosters show the system works.

"Thanks to the process, Republican voters are going to have the opportunity to get to know the candidates before the June primary," Clark said in a text message. "We have some great choices."

In State House District 15 (being vacated by Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt, Dave Williams kept Joshua Hosler off the ballot, winning 72 percent, and in House District 16, incumbent Rep. Janak Joshi was nominated by acclamation, although Larry Liston has petitioned onto the primary ballot.

Senate District 12 also could have a primary, with Klingenschmitt going through the assembly while former state Rep. Bob Gardner has submitted sufficient signatures to make the ballot by petition.

Nearly 1,200 delegates crowded into the Gallogly Event Center at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to hear a parade of U.S. Senate candidates preach on why they should be chosen to face off with Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat.

Drawing the biggest applause was El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn when, during a revival-type rousing speech, he said, "Hillary Clinton needs to be removed from her pant suit and put into a jump suit."

The results in commissioner District 3 proved it's not who you know, because despite Sheriff  Bill Elder nominating Gehrett and U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn calling for Rego's nomination, neither got enough votes to appear on  the primary ballot.

VanderWerf told the crowd that experience counts and pointed to his long tenure in the military. He vowed not to raise taxes, reduce the homeless population, increase county efficiency and work with other officials to get a federal courthouse in Colorado Springs. He also promised transparency in government and to support the region's military bases.




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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Transgender bill dies in Senate Committee

Posted By on Tue, Mar 22, 2016 at 11:34 AM

click image 800px-transgender_pride_flag.svg.png
A bill that would have granted more rights to transgender people who were born in Colorado has failed in a Senate committee on a party-line vote.

Republicans nixed the 2016 Birth Certificate Modernization Act (House Bill 1185), which would have allowed trans people with a Colorado birth certificate to change the gender on the document without undergoing surgery and without going through lengthy court proceedings. The document would not be marked as amended.

Current law requires that a trans person undergo some sort of sexual reassignment surgery, get a court order for a name change on their birth certificate, get a legal name change, and file forms and documents with the state before receiving a birth certificate that is marked as amended.

HB1185 had already passed the Democrat-controlled House, with five Republicans joining Democrats in supporting it. It died in the State, Veterans, & Military Affairs committee in the Republican-controlled Senate. A similar bill died in a Senate committee in the last session.

The LGBTQ advocacy organization One Colorado released a statement on the bill's failure from Executive Director Dave Montez that read in part:

Today the Republicans on the State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee of the Colorado Senate had the chance to, yet again, do the right thing for transgender Coloradans. Despite the fact there was no testimony in opposition to the Birth Certificate Modernization Act today, the Republican members of the committee chose to play politics with our families.

"It was our hope that at least one Republican senator on the committee would side with the five Republicans in the Colorado House of Representatives who voted in favor of House Bill 1185 because it upholds the Republican ideals of freedom, privacy, and limited government.

"This much-needed legislation would simply have brought Colorado law in line with existing policies at the federal level, and in doing so would have protected the privacy of transgender Coloradans and protected them from discrimination. Not only did dozens of transgender Coloradans and their families ask the committee to pass this bill today, but the Office of the State Registrar — which is the department in charge of issuing birth certificates — came out firmly in support of House Bill 1185 because of the its importance for transgender Coloradans. 

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Friday, March 18, 2016

Does Bernie Sanders' stance on marijuana legalization matter?

Posted By on Fri, Mar 18, 2016 at 10:53 AM

DONKEYHOTEY/FLICKR.
  • DonkeyHotey/Flickr.

Of all the questions lingering over Colorado’s burgeoning pot industry, perhaps none is weightier than who will control federal drug enforcement after  November 2016? How Americans vote on the top of the ticket could be make or break for the future of legal  weed in the Centennial state. And of all the remaining candidates, only one appears a reliable ally to the legalization movement. (Don’t bother sitting down, this will not be a shocker.) It’s the Democratic socialist from Vermont — Bernie Sanders.

Now, the full extent to which the cannabis community will mobilize for Bernie still remains to be seen. Kyle Sherman, CEO of cannabis software startup Flowhub, says the choice this election season is clear for his him and his colleagues. But they’re taking the wait-and-see approach.

"Bernie Sanders seems to have the support of most cannabis enthusiasts, given his pro-drug law reform platform, but it doesn't seem like there'll be all that much activity in support of him as a candidate unless he becomes the Democratic nominee," Sherman says. "Once the candidates for each party have been announced, however, my company will be launching a GOTV campaign centered around cannabis as a primary issue, and I hope others in the space take similar steps."

Others in the industry are wasting no time organizing and empowering the cannabis community to get their interests represented at the highest level of government.

Hillary Clinton, who could very well end up the Democratic nominee, is tentative and vague on the topic. In November, she hinted that she’d be open to liberalizing her stance. At a town hall in South Carolina, the former Secretary of State told the predominantly black audience that she supports medical marijuana. “I want to move from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2 so researchers can research what’s the best way to use it, dosage, how does it work with other medications," Clinton added. (In Schedule 2, marijuana would keep company with cocaine and methamphetamine.) A month prior, she had declined to say whether she supports states’ right to legalize. During her first presidential bid in 2007, Clinton said flat out that "I don't think we should decriminalize [marijuana].”

So her position is “ever-evolving” (pragmatist-speak for: “Let’s see where public opinion goes.”)

Sanders, to be fair, isn’t as gung-ho as he could be.

“When I was mayor of the town of Burlington [Vermont],” the Senator told Katie Couric last year, “which has a large university, and one or two of the kids were smoking marijuana, we suspect, we didn't arrest too many people for marijuana.” But he himself doesn’t partake. In the same interview he joked about being "the only person who didn't get high in the Sixties" before clarifying: "I smoked marijuana twice, and it didn't quite work for me. It's not my thing, but it is the thing of a whole lot of people.”

Warren Gill, regional press secretary for the Sanders campaign, says, “It’s the whole package [that’s] drawing a lot of folks to our side. You know, the U.S. has more people in jail today than any other country, and we are spending about $80 billion a year to lock people up. That's just obscene, and I think our supporters realize how wrong it is that hundreds of thousands of Americans have a criminal record for smoking marijuana, but not one major Wall Street executive has been prosecuted after causing the near collapse of our entire economy.”

The “single-issue voter” may indeed be the unicorn of electoral politics (nonexistent, though subject to frequent speculation).

“It's not my No. 1 issue, but the decriminalization of drugs in general is very important,” says Hazen Garcia, a local businessman in his 30s who’s feeling the Bern. “Addicts and users deserve treatment, not incarceration.”



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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Bill would end gay conversion therapy

Posted By on Tue, Mar 15, 2016 at 8:34 AM

Rep. Paul Rosenthal, D-Denver
  • Rep. Paul Rosenthal, D-Denver
Rep. Paul Rosenthal, D-Denver, is at it again.

Last year, he sponsored a bill to ban gay conversion therapy for minors. It died in the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, where Republicans have the majority. Among those voting to kill the bill was Sen. Owen Hill, R-Colorado Springs. But Rosenthal has once again introduced a bill to ban the archaic practice, and it has passed a voice vote in the Democrat-controlled House.

Gay conversion therapy is exactly what it sounds like — an attempt to convert gay people, especially minors, into heterosexuals. It's been widely discredited, and is widely considered to be damaging.

Of course, that may not stop the Republican-controlled Senate from killing this bill again.

Here is what the Colorado House Democrats have to say about the bill:

House Votes to Ban ‘Conversion Therapy’
Rosenthal Bill Ending Archaic Anti-LGBT Practice Second Reading


(March 14) – The House gave voice approval this morning to a bill by Rep. Paul Rosenthal, D-Denver, to ban so-called “conversion therapy,” and therefore to ensure that no more Colorado teens are subjected to this harmful practice. Over the loud objections of Republican members of the House, the bill proceeds to a third reading.

“Colorado families have a right to know that a therapist will not put their child’s well-being in danger,” said Rep. Rosenthal. “So-called gay conversion therapy is an imposition of a therapist’s own view on the child. We heard in committee from several adults who still bear the scars from a therapist who tried to force them to be someone they are not. Let us protect our children from this harmful practice.”

“This bill is about therapy that provides acceptance, understanding, coping and support—not trying to change someone into someone else,” said Rep. Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City.

“Conversion therapy” is a dangerous and discredited practice aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation or suppressing a person’s gender identity. The practice has been rejected by every mainstream mental health professional association. HB16-1210 prohibits physicians specializing in psychiatry and licensed or registered mental health professionals from engaging in conversion therapy with patients under 18 years of age. Studies have shown that minors being subjected to this practice are at a higher risk of drug and alcohol abuse, depression, and suicide.

During the bill’s hearing before the House Public Health Care &Human Services Committee, several individuals testified about the negative impacts of having survived “conversion therapy.” Republican members of the Committee compared being LGBT to drug use or alcohol addiction multiple times.

The approval sends the bill to the House floor for a third reading. 

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Surprise! Bennet and Gardner are actually pretty bipartisan

Posted By on Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 4:06 PM

Study: Sen. Michael Bennet isn't that partisan.
  • Study: Sen. Michael Bennet isn't that partisan.
According to a "non-partisan ranking of how often each Member of Congress works across party lines," performed by the Lugar Center and Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy, you are right to think that Congress has devolved into partisan bickering.

"We hear often from commentators who claim that we are experiencing an extraordinarily partisan era," it states. "Regrettably, our analysis bears this out to a large extent. You can see by the charts that the last three Congresses have yielded very low scores on the Bipartisan Index. The 112th and 113th Congresses had the two lowest scores among the eleven Congresses that we have analyzed so far."

But there is some good news for those who would like to see politicians be a little less political. According to the study, Sen. Michael Bennet, who is facing more than a dozen Republican challengers in the 2016 election, isn't the unyielding liberal that Republicans make him out to be. Nor is Colorado's other senator, Cory Gardner, unwilling to compromise.

The study found Bennet to be the 23rd most bipartisan Senator.  Gardner was rated slightly below Bennett, as the 27th most bipartisan. Remember, since there are 100 members of the Senate, that means that both Colorado's senators rate as pretty cooperative — at least compared to their peers.

The ratings for the U.S. House of Representatives are perhaps more disappointing for those who believe in cooperation. Rep. Mike Coffman, a Republican, takes the crown for Colorado in this rating, coming in as the 25th most bipartisan representative (out of 435 members). Other Colorado Republicans rate much lower: Rep. Scott Tipton is 140th, Rep. Doug Lamborn is 348th, and Rep. Ken Buck is 397th. Of the Democrats: Rep. Ed Perlmutter is 62nd, Rep. Diana DeGette is 108th, and Rep. Jared Polis is 142nd.

The study used a unique method to rate legislators:

"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."

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Caucus system not popular with local Republicans

Posted By on Wed, Mar 2, 2016 at 5:44 PM

Last night's caucuses weren't popular with citizens. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • Last night's caucuses weren't popular with citizens.

The caucus process isn't popular in El Paso County, where many Democrats found themselves holding the process outside last night due to overcrowding and Republicans weren't able to record a preference for a presidential candidate.

Daniel Cole, executive director of the El Paso County Republican Party, said that the No. 1 resolution from last night may turn out to be a call for the end of the caucus system and a return to a regular primary. As packets are returned from the 242 county precincts, he says he's already noticed 16 separate resolutions calling for an end to the caucuses. Many are marked as having been approved unanimously.

"More than 90% of Colorado Republicans never participate in the caucus process," he stated in a press release. "I would expect them to prefer a primary, but it's remarkable that so many caucus participants would also like to see a change." 

In a later conversation with the Indy, he said the only resolution that may end up getting more votes is one supporting "the sanctity of life." 

Colorado last had a presidenital preference primary in 2000, but abandoned the system because it was deemed too expensive for the state. Parties pay for caucuses, while the state pays for elections. 
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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Dude, where's my caucus?

Posted By on Tue, Mar 1, 2016 at 4:18 PM

news1-1-e7bf6f8067c29f93.jpg
It's Super Tuesday, the day Democrat and Republican party faithful in Colorado Springs head to their caucuses to take part in the political process.

While a little baffling — and on the Republican side, especially, anticlimactic — the caucus is nevertheless a way to show your support for the candidates of your choosing, and take part in selecting the next president. But first, you must find your caucus. And that may be difficult this year. 

As I explained in a recent story, your precinct may have changed, and that, in turn, means your caucus may have changed. Before you head out tonight, you'll really want to check. In order to ensure you show up at the right place, you can go to gazette.com/2016-caucus or call the county clerk's office at 575-8683 (the office will be open until 8 p.m. tonight).
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Littleton heads north for caucus night

Posted By on Tue, Mar 1, 2016 at 2:12 PM

Either Peggy Littleton has given up on El Paso County or she thinks she has it in the bag in her bid for delegates for her run for a U.S. Senate seat.

In a news release just in, her campaign manager Dede Laugesen announces her schedule for caucuses, which will be held tomorrow night. 
(Colorado Springs) - U.S. Senate Candidate Peg Littleton will visit several locations for Tuesday night’s precinct caucuses. She will be at the following locations, and others as she is able:

Cherokee Trail High School 25901 E. Arapahoe Rd., Aurora, CO 80016
Smoky Hill High School 16100 E. Smoky Hill Rd., Aurora, CO 80015
Radisson Hotel 3155 S. Vaughn Way, Aurora, CO 80014
Cherry Creek High School 9300 E. Union Ave, Greenwood Village, CO 80111
Joe Shoemaker School 3333 S. Havana St, Denver, CO 80231
She also continues to use "Peg" rather than Peggy, which is the name she used in her first run for county commissioner, as shown in this photo:

At a GOP candidates picnic in 2010. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • At a GOP candidates picnic in 2010.

Actually, there's been quite a transformation of Littleton over the years. Here's a sampling of photos since she first ran for commissioner and was elected in 2010.

FILE PHOTOS
  • File photos


Through it all, though, Littleton has maintained the same hard right point of view, voting against accepting certain federal grants (while being OK with accepting other ones), urging people to prepare for the apocalypse, and having some pretty strange views on lots of other topics, as the Independent reported some time ago. ("Here's Peggy," July 23, 2014.)


Littleton, right, with Commissioners Amy Lathen, left, and Sallie Clark celebrating guns. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Littleton, right, with Commissioners Amy Lathen, left, and Sallie Clark celebrating guns.

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