Archive for the ‘Colorado News’ Category

Colorado could decide the entire Presidential election.  There are even scenarios where the electoral college results in a tie.  Joe Biden drew just 900 people to a Colorado rally in the last week.  Contrast that with the Romney rally at Red Rocks:

Of course a Vice Presidential rally is not the measure of a campaign.  Democrats are relying on the same play book that defeated Ken Buck in 2010, a historic year for conservatives and Republicans.

Here in Estes Park, both campaigns have offices.  The sheer volume of robocalls into Larimer County has overwhelmed most voters.  I’ve never heard so many expressions of voter fatigue on the eve of an election.

That’s why voter shaming is the newest and most effective tactic.  Both sides study the demographics of potential voters and identify likely supporters.  They then mail a list of voter participation with your name and the names of several of your neighbors.  The letter promises that a second letter will arrive after the election, reporting which of your neighbors voted.

Last-minute personal appeals can still cut through the clutter.  Talking to friends and neighbors to ensure they’ve voted can make a difference.  Try to go easy on the shaming though.

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Tuesday, June 26 is primary Election Day in Estes Park.  Please vote as if your future depended on it.  Larimer County uses vote centers.  You should have received a mail ballot.  Anyone who is registered to vote can vote at a vote center, even if they are “inactive” and failed to request a mail ballot for the primary election.

The Larimer County Elections website maintains a full list of Vote Centers,  which will be open from 7 am to 7 pm to issue ballots, and receive mail ballots.  In Estes Park, there is a vote center in the Municipal Building, Room 202.  There is also a mail ballot drop-off location at the Larimer County office at 1601 Brodie Avenue (the same building as the Park R-3 School Administration).

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The Republican primary race for the Second Congressional District began in earnest this weekend at a meeting of the Estes Park Tea Party Patriots in Larimer County.  State Senator Kevin Lundberg and businessman Eric Weissmann both addressed the monthly meeting of the tea party group in Estes Park.  Senator Lundberg mentioned that it was the first time the two candidates have met on the campaign trail.

The event was specifically not formatted as a debate.  Both candidates largely focused their comments on Representative Jared Polis.

Having served as their legislator since 2003, Kevin Lundberg is well known in Estes Park.  Lundberg opened his remarks by discussing the concept of natural rights–our rights are given to us by a higher power, not by government.  Senator Lundberg responded to a number of questions about the current state legislative session.  Senator Lundberg introduced a bill to set two criteria for licensing of children day care centers.  First, health and safety and second an affordability criteria.

Sen. Lundberg at Estes Park Meeting

Lundberg has been a vocal critic of new state regulations for day care centers that contain numerous specific mandates for regulatory compliance.  For example, the regulations specify the number of crayons provided to each child and that a certain number of displays at each day care must include “realistic” depictions of nature.  “I’m not opposed to any particular displays,” said Lundberg, but he believes the state has no business focusing on such details of how a day care operates.  Lundberg contends that witnesses who testified in favor of the detailed regulations based their appeal on a conflicting idea.  “They say ‘we can’t trust day care center operators to know what’s best for children,” said Lundberg.  At the same time, state witnesses told the panel that the legislature needs to “trust us [the regulators].”

Lundberg also questioned Polis’ opposition to the Pioneer Act amendment, a provision that would require leasing of federal lands for oil shale development.  Altough the technology does not yet exist to extract oil shale for production, Lundberg wants the federal government to recognize its great potential.  Lundberg said that the U.S. has a 1 trillion potential reser

Eric Weissmann recognizes question

Eric Weissmann is a political newcomer.  Weissman contended that Polis “didn’t learn anything” from his private sector experience, based upon his voting record.  “Polis thinks he’s smarter than you, me, or any of us.  We need to be able to make our own decisions,” said Weissmann, instead of Washington making all sorts of decisions for us.  Weissmann provided a lengthy list of harmful Polis votes, including Polis’ votes for the stimulus bill, cap & trade energy, and the Dodd-Frank bill, and his recent opposition to the Kestone pipeline.  “Polis votes 89% of the time with Nancy Pelosi, 2% of the time with the GOP, and 9% of the time he did not show up,”  Weissmann asserted.

Weissmann contended he entered the race in part to provide coattails to state legislative and local races.  “I know how to build and organization with resources,” said Weissmann.  Weissmann doesn’t like talking about process, but “process is important” to success.

During a series of audience questions, Weissmann explained that Jared Polis’ opposition to school reform convinced him he needed to run against Polis.  Weissmann called Polis the night before a vote on school choice for the District of Columbia,  one of America’s worst urban school districts.  Polis opposed the bill.  The Heritage Foundation has multiple posts about teacher union opposition to the SOAR Act.  The bill’s sponsors were House Speaker John Boehner and (drummed out of the Democratic Party for being too) independent Senator Joe Lieberman.  Polis stuck with the unions rather than disadvantaged children in the District of Columbia.

President Obama’s latest budget again eliminated funding for DC School Choice— schools the President won’t allow his own children to attend.   Both Polis and the President are opposing a reform effort that has produced substantially higher graduation rates at a lower cost to taxpayers.   School choice for DC residents began in 2003.  If Polis and the President have their way, it will end this year.

Weissmann has been involved in multiple organizations committed to school reform, including the Alliance for Choice in Education (school choice scholarships to assist low-income parents), Colorado Uplift (a mentoring program to empower urban youth to lead successful lives)  and the Wellness Initiative (wellness program for low income K-12 students).  In other words, Weissmann is working to ensure that all Colorado children, regardless of race, ethnicity or income, have educational opportunity.

Polis contended as recently as Sunday that he is a staunch supporter of education.  Perhaps he meant to say unions that fund Democratic Party candidates.

In the meantime, Rep. Jared Polis claimed to kick off his re-election campaign in Fort Collins on Sunday.  That claim raises more questions about whether Polis violated House ethic rules by conducting official business in Loveland–which is not yet in his district.  Lovelandpolitics.com and this blog have raised the questions.  In responding to a question, State Senator Kevin Lundberg noted that a Polis staffer also attended a Loveland School District meeting and spoke in her official capacity.  Since Loveland is not yet in Polis’ district, that would appear–if true–to be a clear violation of House ethics rules.  The traditional media have thus far declined to investigate these stories, nor has the Denver Post written any follow-up to allegations concerning allegations of Jared Polis’ insider trading based on legislative knowledge.

Polis even called Sunday for a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Polis is thus taking his cuts from another Boulder County resident–U.S. Senator Mark Udall.  As the Republican campaigns get underway, Polis will begin sounding more moderate by the day.  Conservatives face the need to choose a standard bearer who can prevail in November.

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Unlike El Paso County, Larimer  County Republicans have dodged a divisive primary.  State Representative B.J. Nikkel announced that she will not seek reelection in 2012.

“I have decided not to seek reelection in 2012,” Nikkel announced. “While I am disappointed that Democrats on the Reapportionment Commission gerrymandered Brian [DelGrosso] and me into the same district, I am very proud of what we have accomplished in the state House. This year, I look forward to continuing to serve my constituents and the people of Colorado by building a better Colorado for them.” Nikkel has kind words for Rep. Brian DelGrosso of Loveland’s House District 51.  Speaker of the House Frank McNulty and Rep. Brian DelGrosso both thanked Nikkel for her service.

DelGrosso will still face a contested election.  According to his first campaign filing, Democratic Party challenger Mark Shaffer raised $10,209 in contributions and has nearly $10,000 on-hand.  Shaffer has contributors from afar afield as Arlington, Virginia , Upper Marlboro, Maryland and Marrero, Louisiana.  Shaffer also received a contribution from attorney Rich Ball of Loveland, who unsuccessfully challenged state Senator Kevin Lundberg in the 2010 election.

Shaffer’s wife Joan is on the Loveland City Council.  Shaffer’s website features photos of a reception held for Congressman Jared Polis in Loveland.  We wrote previously about how the City of Loveland used official resources  to promote Polis’ candidacy.  (LovelandPolitics.com had more details.)   House ethics rules also severely restrict sitting Congressmen from conducting constituent services outside their districts–even when

According to campaign finance filings,  DelGrosso had over $8,700 on hand on January 25.

Rep. Nikkel is the House Republican Whip, while Delgrosso is a freshman House member.  Democrats redrew House District 51 to include Rep. Nikkel’s residence near Carter Lake into a district dominated by Loveland.

Nikkel had apparently held open the chance of running in Loveland.  On January 17,  Nikkel transferred $7,066 from her House District 49 committee to a new committee for House District 51.  She did not raise any additional monies, however.

Nikkel now has the option of contributing those funds to a party committee, a charity, or refunding monies to her contributors.  She could also retain the funds for a future potential campaign, but in some cases the ability to roll the funds into a new campaign may be limited.  As an elected official, Nikkel has even more options for using the campaign funds.  She can use the funds to defray “reasonable and necessary” expenses of serving in the legislature, or donate the funds for post-secondary scholarships.  She could also choose to spend the money on voter registration drives or issue education.

The Democratic Party’s reapportionment targeted a number of Republican incumbents.  Rep. Amy Stephens, the House Majority Leader, was redrawn into a contested primary with Rep. Marsha Looper.  Looper is already sending direct mail pieces placing a photo of Stephens next to Barack Obama.  Stephens sponsored SB 11-200 in the last session, legislation that is intended to establish a state health care exchange in Colorado.  Stephens has countered by pointing to Looper’s support for SB 08-217, the Centennial Care Choices bill, which contained a health insurance mandate and higher taxes to fund it.

Conservatives in Larimer County will benefit from avoiding another primary forced by legislative reapportionment.  Both DelGrosso and Nikkel have been strong fiscal conservatives, as demonstrated by their Colorado Union of Taxpayers ratings.



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The Loveland Reporter-Herald states that Mitt Romney will visit RV America in Johnstown, just south of Johnson’s Corner Truck stop on the Frontage Road by I-25.  As of Friday evening, this was still described as tentative.

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Due to the overwhelming interest in seeing Rick Santorum, the venue has been changed. He will be at the First National Bank Exhibit Hall at the Ranch (next to the Budweiser Event Center) instead of the American Eagle Distribution Center. The times haven’t changed. Doors will open at 3:15. Please forward this notice

RICK SANTORUM Northern Colorado Rally Saturday, February 4

4:30 pm – 5:30 pm First National Bank Exhibit Hall at the Ranch, Loveland

Rick Santorum will appear Saturday, February 4, in Loveland.  The rally will be at 4:30pm  at American Eagle Distributing, 3800 Clydesdale Parkway, Loveland, CO 80538.  Mitt Romney will appear Saturday in Colorado Springs.

A full list of candidate appearances in Colorado is available at ColoradoPeakPolitics.com.

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Rick Santorum has been campaigning in Colorado this week, trying to re-establish himself as the conservative challenger to Mitt Romney.  Yesterday in Woodland Park, he stressed that Mitt Romney as the author of “RomneyCare” cannot challenge the President for backing “ObamaCare.”  Santorum is also criticizing Gingrich for his prior support of a health insurance mandate.  Santorum recognizes that countries like Canada are free-riders when it comes to drug development costs.  If the United States stops paying for drug development costs, innovation will be curtailed.

James Dobson appeared with Santorum at a rally in Colorado Springs.  At that appearance Santorum acknowledged that his reputation as a staunch social conservative may have cost him votes in Florida, based upon whether he can beat President Obama in November.  Santorum insisted that the stated positions of both Romney and Gingrich do not differ significantly from his own stated positions.

The Tuesday caucuses have a great potential to shape the GOP Presidential primary.  The Nevada caucus on Saturday is expected to produce a Romney win, due in part to the high percentage of Mormans living in Nevada.


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