An unfair and off-balanced look at Colorado politics.

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Wiens to petition onto primary ballot

By Charles Ashby
Monday, March 29, 2010

Tom Wiens, Republican candidate in the race for U.S. Senate, announced today that he plans to petition onto the August primary ballot, his campaign said.

His campaign manager, Brandon Moody, said the decision isn't intended to be a snub of the party or the state assembly process. He said the campaign was dismayed at the relatively poor amount of support Wiens received during caucus preference polling earlier this month.

Fellow Republicans Ken Buck and Jane Norton tied with 37 percent of the vote while Wiens only polled 16.46 percent.

“There’s a disconnect somewhere,” Moody said in a statement. “On the one hand we’re seeing unprecedented enthusiasm amongst conservatives statewide, yet one (sic) the other we see disappointing overall turnout at caucuses this year. Voters are excited but not involved.”

Moody said as a result, the campaign has decided to enage all Republicans in the process and "not just 3,500 select party elites."

“It’s clear that in this debate, we are going to have to speak directly to rank-and-file members of the GOP," Wiens said in a statement. "For too many election cycles, the same tired leadership has led us to the same disappointing results by trotting out the next Republican insider standing in line. This year we need to nominate a conservative, not an insider if we want to win. ”


Health care reform debate not yet over

By Charles Ashby
Thursday, March 25, 2010

Just because the health care reform bill has been passed doesn't mean the debate is over.

The talks are likely to continue state by state, including in Colorado. That's party because the state's attorney general, John Suthers, has decided to join a multi-state lawsuit claiming the bill was unconstitutional.

While conservative people will continue to criticize it, others are trying to defend it however they can.

On Monday, Suthers said the measure, particularly the individual mandates to carry health insurance or face a special tax, violates the concept of federalism.

“The individual mandate to purchase insurance or suffer economic sanction violates constitutional principles and lacks constitutional authority,” Suthers said. “The Constitution gives Congress the enumerated powers to regulate those engaged in interstate commerce. It does not give the Congress the power to compel a citizen, who would otherwise choose to be inactive in the marketplace, to purchase a product or service and thereby become subject to congressional regulation. Such an expansion of the current understanding of the Commerce Clause would leave no private sphere of individual commercial decision making beyond the reach of the federal government. It would render the 10th Amendment meaningless.

On Wednesday, Colorado Democratic Party Chairwoman Pat Waak the court system has given wide latitude to Congress to tax and regulate interstate commerce. It is widely agreed upon that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is constitutional, she said.

 “It’s obvious that this is a partisan reelection stunt by John Suthers who is joining only Republican attorney generals in this lawsuit,” Waak said in a statement. “It’s a frivolous lawsuit wasting Colorado’s taxpayer money. He is playing politics with the lives and well-being of Colorado families. Coloradans can’t afford more delays or obstruction—they want reform implemented now.”

Waak is even calling for Suther's to be recalled.

Former Colorado Supreme Court Justice Jean Dubofsky said today the case, filed in federal district court in Florida, stands little chance of success.

"First, there is a significant question whether state attorneys general have standing to challenge the new law, especially when many of its provisions have not yet gone into effect," she said. "Second, Congress has the power -- under both the Commerce Clause and the power to tax -- to impose and enforce a requirement that citizens have health insurance."

Meanwhile, the Washington, D.C.-based Democratic National Committee said today it would being airing television and radio ads in Colorado and elsewhere in the nation praising those lawmakers who voted for the bill, including Eastern Plains congresswoman U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey, D-4th.

The ads, however, won't be heard on this side of the Continental Divide even though the Western Slope's congressman, Rep. John Salazar, D-3rd, also voted for the bill. DNC spokesman Derrick Plummer said he couldn't explain why Salazar was not included on the list, but denied it was because the party feared it might hurt his re-election more than help him.


Post: ‘Tea party’ protesters accused of spitting, using slurs

By Charles Ashby
Sunday, March 21, 2010

In a March 20 story in the Washington Post, "tea party" members protesting a pending vote in Washington, D.C., on President Barack Obama's health care legislation were accused of spitting on one lawmaker and uttering racial and sexual orientation slurs at others.

The story, found here, said angry protesters heckled U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., with anti-gay chants. Frank is Congress' most well-known gay lawmaker.

The story also said U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., was spit on, while others openly used the n-word against U.S. Reps. John Lewis, D-Ga., and Andre Carson, D-Ind. Lewis and Carson are black.




Romanoff campaign dissing Mesa County Dems?

By Charles Ashby
Thursday, March 18, 2010

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet's campaign is accusing the Andrew Romanoff campaign of not caring about the Western Slope, Mesa County in particular.

In an interview on the political news Web site,, Romanoff spokesman Dean Toda is quoted as saying of Mesa and El Paso counties:

"These locations are not going to help anyone very much in a Democratic primary," Toda said in the article, available at

While former Colorado House speaker Romanoff won more than 50 percent of the preference polls during Tuesday's caucuses, Bennet won in Mesa county by nearly 3 to 1.

Bennet campaign manager Craig Hughes said El Paso County as more than 80,000 Democrats and Mesa, 20,000, so "writing them off" isn't something they plan to do.

“It is baffling to me why Speaker Romanoff’s campaign would go out of their way to insult the over 100,000 Democrats in El Paso and Mesa County,” Hughes said.  “Clearly, he lost those counties Tuesday night, but that’s no reason to write them off.  Our campaign plans to place a high priority on winning votes across the State, including Mesa and El Paso counties, in order to win both the primary and general election campaigns,” continued Hughes.  "In fact, the growth of the Democratic vote in these formerly deep red areas represents a big part of any winning statewide strategy."


Buescher to visit Montrose

By Charles Ashby
Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Colorado Secretary of State and former Grand Junction legislator Bernie Buescher will be in Montrose County on Wednesday to speak to county officials about its procedures and the new on-line voter registration system his office has created after many years of trying.

The Montrose trip is part of a series of visits he's having with clerk and recorder offices statewide throughout this month.

He also will hold a press conference to talk about those issues and others centering around his office. Anyone can attend at 10 a.m. in the Montrose County board room, 161 S. Townsend Ave.

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