Elections

Monday, April 23, 2018

Lamborn does not qualify for the ballot, state supreme court rules

Posted By on Mon, Apr 23, 2018 at 3:43 PM

Six-term U.S. Congressman Doug Lamborn may not be able to run for his seventh term after the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that one of his signature gatherers is not a legal resident of the state and invalidated those petition signatures.

Without those signatures, Lamborn lacks the 1,000 valid signatures needed to make the ballot.

The Denver Post reports:

It’s unclear whether Lamborn will challenge the ruling, or whether he could return to the district court level to seek qualification of other signatures that were initially rejected by the secretary of state’s office. The court is allowed to apply a more lenient standard — known as substantial compliance — than the secretary’s office.

——- POST, April 11, 9:39 a.m. ——-
Walker Stapleton with his family. - STAPLETONFORCOLORADO.COM
  • stapletonforcolorado.com
  • Walker Stapleton with his family.
Various local media are reporting that a judge has allowed Doug Lamborn to stay on the primary ballot despite questions about the signature gatherers for his petitions.

The group of GOP voters that challenged the petitions plan to appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court.

——- ORIGINAL POST, April 10, 4:19 p.m. ——-
The fate of Congressman Doug Lamborn, seeking his seventh term a representative of the Fifth Congressional District, was hanging in the balance at an April 10 evidentiary hearing on a lawsuit. That suit alleged that the signature gatherers responsible for the petitions that qualified Lamborn for the Republican primary ballot were not residents of Colorado — and that therefore many of the signatures weren't valid.

That's a big problem for Lamborn, because he skipped the Fifth Congressional District assembly. If his petition signatures are invalidated he's out of the race.

Lamborn earlier released a statement saying he expected the suit to blow over soon.

9News reported that Walker Stapleton, Colorado treasurer and leading Republican candidate for governor, "filed paperwork in the court case to intervene and have the case against Lamborn dismissed. Why? Because he hired some of the same signature collectors being challenged in the Lamborn case."

So, here's the bombshell: Stapleton has reportedly asked the Colorado Secretary of State to remove his name from the primary ballot, saying that the signature gathering company in question, Colorado Springs-based firm Kennedy Enterprises, lied to him and collected fraudulent signatures. Stapleton now plans to seek a place on the primary ballot through the assembly process.

News Channel 13 reports that Lamborn's hearing is ongoing.

But one would expect that Stapleton's move won't help Lamborn's position.

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Thursday, November 30, 2017

UPDATE: Dobson endorses Roy Moore for Senate

Posted By on Thu, Nov 30, 2017 at 11:36 AM

Dr. James Dobson - WIKIMEDIA
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  • Dr. James Dobson
UPDATE: This blog has been updated to reflect a correction about the timing of Dobson's endorsement ad. It was, in fact, released prior to the allegations of sexual misconduct against the Senate candidate.

—— ORIGINAL POST: 11:36 A.M., THURSDAY, NOV. 30 ——

There's an important election coming up in Alabama. Voters in the predominantly Republican state will choose a successor to U.S. Sen. Luther Strange, who was appointed to fill the seat vacated by former Sen. Jeff Sessions upon his confirmation as Attorney General.

The Republican candidate, endorsed by President Donald Trump, is Roy Moore, the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court who was twice removed from that post for defying court orders. (Once for refusing to remove a monument to the Ten Commandments from the judicial building and once for continuing to enforce the state's ban on same-sex marriage that had been deemed unconstitutional.)

Roy Moore - WIKIMEDIA
  • WikiMedia
  • Roy Moore
Moore is a staunch evangelical who believes Christianity should be enmeshed with public policy. That includes, according to the website of his nonprofit, Foundation for Moral Law, opposition to: women's right to choose abortion, any civil rights or protections for LGBTQ people, and science curricula including evolution in public schools.

That's probably what endears him to Dr. James Dobson, founder of the socially conservative church, Focus on the Family. Dobson is apparently so fond of Moore that he released an ad for television and radio endorsing him for Senate. Dobson told listeners in Alabama that Moore is a "man of proven character and integrity."



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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Election results start pouring in, voters friendly to gov asks

Posted By , and on Tue, Nov 7, 2017 at 7:32 PM

2017electionbug_720.jpg
Election Day has rolled around again, and the results are pouring in. (See all the results here.) Let's look first at turnout. Odd year elections tend to attract a lot fewer voters to the polls, despite the relative ease of voting in Colorado, where all registered voters receive a mail ballot, and voters can register and vote any time they want at a voting center of their choice during the lead up the election. Despite that, in 2015, the last off-year election, turn out in El Paso County was a dismal 41.69 percent of registered voters.

This year was worse, with a 38.7percent turnout. Those that chose to vote were generally friendly to the asks of local government. Voters approved stormwater fees in Colorado Springs, allowed El Paso County to keep money over the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights cap, and finally gave Colorado Springs School District 11 the funding it says it desperately needs. Voters also allowed funding for the I-25 gap to be added to projects list for the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority. Manitou Springs voters, meanwhile, were extremely unfriendly to an ask for tax dollars to fund an emergency operations center and firefighter/police training site. Manitou voters also rejected the reelection bid of their mayor, Nicole Nicoletta, decisively choosing challenger Ken Jaray. Let's take a closer look at some of the big issues, with the vast majority of ballots now counted.

City Council President Richard Skorman announces 2A is winning at an election party at Phantom Canyon, crediting Mayor John Suthers for bringing in the win. Skorman told the crowd, "I can't believe we're here tonight and we're celebrating." - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • City Council President Richard Skorman announces 2A is winning at an election party at Phantom Canyon, crediting Mayor John Suthers for bringing in the win. Skorman told the crowd, "I can't believe we're here tonight and we're celebrating."

Issue 2A - Popular Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers asked voters to approve these fees to fund stormwater infrastructure in Colorado Springs, on the heels of the successful passage of 2015's 2C, a sales tax to fund road work. 2A will raise about $17 million a year for stormwater by charging all households $5 per month and commercial properties $30 per acre per month. Properties larger than 5 acres will be assessed a fee based on impermeable surface. The money coming from fees will free up general fund dollars for pressing needs, such as hiring more police officer, Suthers says. Ignoring stormwater wasn't a possibility, regardless of the outcome of the vote: The city has promised Pueblo that it will spend $23 million a year for 20 years on stormwater and its still battling a lawsuit from the EPA alleging that the city violated the Clean Water Act.
Indy endorsement: YES
Vote breakdown: 53.69 percent YES, 46.31 percent NO

Mayor John Suthers spoke to the crowd at the 2A party, saying: "I can't express how proud I am of the citizens of Colorado Springs. This is really a watershed moment for our city. Colorado Springs is taking its place in the great cities of America. Over the last 25 years, our city dug a pretty big hole for itself: a $1 billion infrastructure deficit. We're now building a city that matches our scenery." - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • Mayor John Suthers spoke to the crowd at the 2A party, saying: "I can't express how proud I am of the citizens of Colorado Springs. This is really a watershed moment for our city. Colorado Springs is taking its place in the great cities of America. Over the last 25 years, our city dug a pretty big hole for itself: a $1 billion infrastructure deficit. We're now building a city that matches our scenery."

Issue 1A - El Paso County asked voters to keep $14.5 million in revenue collected over the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights limit in 2016 and for permission to use that extra money to reset its base, starting with the 2017 budget. In other words, 1A will let the county collect and keep more tax revenue this year and in all future years. (Confused? Trying reading the explanation in our endorsements.)
The county asked property owners to forgo a refund (about $40 for a typical home worth $250,000) this year, and forgo future refunds or reductions in taxes that might have resulted from TABOR's so-called ratchet-down effect on local budgets.
The county promised that if 1A passed it would spend up to $12 million for a local match for the Interstate 25 gap project and other road projects, with the rest of the 2016 money going to disaster recovery projects and parks, trails and open space.
Indy endorsement: YES
Vote breakdown: 67.2 percent YES, 32.8 percent NO

County Commissioners  Stan VanderWerf (left) and Mark Waller celebrate. VanderWerf  said he is very grateful to the citizens of the county for  approving 1A. "I think it demonstrates a growing trust of government," he said. "And I pledge these funds will be consumed in a way expressed on the ballot." VanderWerf said the county can now repair roads and bridges deferred since the recession. He thinks voters' friendliness to taxes and fees this year is due to an improving economy. - Waller said that he thought everyone put good campaigns together, but also that local government has built trust by doing what it says it will and spending money wisely. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • County Commissioners Stan VanderWerf (left) and Mark Waller celebrate. VanderWerf said he is very grateful to the citizens of the county for approving 1A. "I think it demonstrates a growing trust of government," he said. "And I pledge these funds will be consumed in a way expressed on the ballot." VanderWerf said the county can now repair roads and bridges deferred since the recession. He thinks voters' friendliness to taxes and fees this year is due to an improving economy.Waller said that he thought everyone put good campaigns together, but also that local government has built trust by doing what it says it will and spending money wisely.

• Issue 5B -
 In 2004, voters in Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, El Paso County and the town of Green Mountain Falls voted to establish the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority, funded by a 1 cent sales tax. Of the money collected, 44 percent was a permanent tax, with 35 percent going to road maintenance and 10 percent going to the bus system. The other 55 percent of the tax, which cut off at the end of 2014, was to complete a list of road and bridge projects, with the highest-priority projects coming first.
Voters liked the system enough that in 2012, nearly 80 percent chose to renew the capital portion of the tax through 2024, with a new set of projects. That tax has collected more than was projected, leading to a "surplus." Supporters of 5B asked voters to permit the PPRTA to spend up to $10 million of that "surplus," split over the next two years, to chip in the largest share of a local match to the state government for the widening of the 18-mile stretch of Interstate 25 from Monument to Castle Rock, which could cost up to $600 million.
Indy endorsement: YES
Vote breakdown: 66.1 percent YES, 33.9 percent NO

OK, so let's look at a few other biggies:
Shawn Gullixson (center), who was just elected to the D-11 school board, says he's most excited that 3E passed. The step he's most eager to take now: "Take care of our teachers. As a parent, I want to put the best teachers in front of our students."  Gullixson says the campaign for 2E engaged families and voters and started healthy conversations in D-11. - NAT STEIN
  • Nat Stein
  • Shawn Gullixson (center), who was just elected to the D-11 school board, says he's most excited that 3E passed. The step he's most eager to take now: "Take care of our teachers. As a parent, I want to put the best teachers in front of our students." Gullixson says the campaign for 2E engaged families and voters and started healthy conversations in D-11.

Colorado Springs School District 11 Board of Education: Four of seven seats on the board of the city's largest school district were up for grabs. One seat was decided early. Mary Coleman, the manager of government affairs for Centura Health and a mover and shaker in the community, was running to complete the last two years of her predecessor's term. She had no challengers.
There were four candidates for three seats with four-year terms: incumbent Jim Mason, appointed incumbent Shawn Gullixson, community activist Julie Ott, and Morgan Chavez, who works at Progressive Insurance.
Indy endorsement: MASON, GULLIXSON, OTT
Vote brakdown: MASON (28.26 percent), GULLIXSON (23.91 percent), OTT (32.27 percent), CHAVEZ (15.56 percent)
D-11 school board winners (from left to right): Jim Mason, Julie Ott and Mary Coleman. Ott, who is new to the board, said she's been attending school board meetings and is  "ready to hit the ground running." - NAT STEIN
  • Nat Stein
  • D-11 school board winners (from left to right): Jim Mason, Julie Ott and Mary Coleman. Ott, who is new to the board, said she's been attending school board meetings and is "ready to hit the ground running."
Sarah Jack and Lauren Hug. Jack, a Mitchell High grad who worked to pass the last D-11 funding increase in 2000, cried as she said, "Everyone worked together, it was really a team effort." - NAT STEIN
  • Nat Stein
  • Sarah Jack and Lauren Hug. Jack, a Mitchell High grad who worked to pass the last D-11 funding increase in 2000, cried as she said, "Everyone worked together, it was really a team effort."

D-11 3E- D-11 asked voters for a hike in property taxes that will generate $42 million a year, and include no debt. The district says it will pay off existing debt by around 2023, meaning 3E will go from costing the owner of a $200,000 house in D-11 approximately an extra $14 a month in 2018 to around an extra $6 a month in 2023.
D-11 says the money will be used for capital repairs and upgrades to schools, increased teacher pay, and upgraded technology, among other needs.
Indy endorsement: YES
Vote breakdown: 57.31 percent YES, 42.69 percent NO

Manitou Springs Mayor - Incumbent Nicole Nicoletta, who has served two years in office, faced challenger Ken Jaray, an attorney and long-time community activist and volunteer.
Indy endorsement: NICOLETTA
Vote breakdown: NICOLETTA (35.38 percent), JARAY (64.62 percent)

Manitou Springs 2B - 2B asked to increase property taxes by up to $400,000 annually to pay $3.9 million (but with repayment costs up to $7 million) to build an emergency operations center for city government/training center for police and fire departments.
Indy endorsement: YES
Vote breakdown: 24.16 percent YES, 75.84 percent NO

Manitou Springs 2C - 2C asked to give the city the right to provide high-speed internet services or contract with a private provider.
Indy endorsement: YES
Vote breakdown: 84.31 percent YES, 15.69 percent NO


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