RealPolitik

An unfair and off-balanced look at Colorado politics.

Page 24 of 25


Penry endorses Rankin for state senate

By Charles Ashby
Wednesday, March 3, 2010

No surprise, but Colorado Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry has thrown his support behind Republican Bob Rankin for Senate District 5, a seat currently held by Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass Village.

“Bob Rankin is not a career politician," Penry says. "He has been very successful in the private sector, growing jobs and creating economic opportunity."

Rankin is a former executive in the aerospace industry and has owned two small businesses in Aspen.

The race is expected to be one of the most highly watched statewide. That and the matchup between appointed Sen. Bruce Whitehead, D-Hesperus, and state Rep. Ellen Roberts, R-Durango. Whitehead was appointed to the seat last year when former state Sen. Jim Isgar, D-Hesperus, resigned to work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Senate District 5 includes Alamosa, Chaffee, Conejos, Costilla, Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Mineral, Pitkin, Rio Grande and Saguache counties.

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Ritter crashes while bike riding

By Charles Ashby
Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Gov. Bill Ritter injured several ribs in a bicycle accident early this morning.

The Democrat, who rides with some friends several times a week, crashed into another rider in a neighborhood east of downtown Denver just after 6 a.m. this morning.

His spokesman, Evan Dreyer, reports that the governor is being treated at Denver Health Medical Center, but is in good spirits.

He was laughing and joking with his wife, Jeannie, and hospital staff.

Five O'Clock update:

Dreyer reports that the governor will remain overnight at the hospital because his injuries are more serious than first thought.

He's injured five ribs that are either fractured or broken, Dreyer said.

Apparently, the accident occurred when he was riding with four other friends when he "rubbed tires" with one of them, causing Ritter to lose control and another biker to crash into him.

Dreyer said the 53-year-old governor "probably is feeling his age right now."

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Lincoln Day dinner caribbean style

By Charles Ashby
Monday, March 1, 2010

The Mesa County Republican Party is holding its annual Lincoln Day dinner this week, but not in the usual way.

This year, members of the normally conservative party are going Jamaica, mon! They're holding Friday's dinner at Banana's Fun Park, 2469 Riverside Pkwy.

County GOP chairman Chuck Pabst says he expects all the top candidates to show, including Scott McInnis, Jane Norton, Walker Stapleton and Ken Buck. Several candidates for legislative races also should be there, Pabst says.

The party tells diners not to show in suits and ties, but their "finest caribbean attire." It's a sure bet none of them will dress rastafarian style, but at least we should see some cool Hawaiian shirts (even though that's in the wrong ocean).

The keynote speaker is Michael Zak, author of "Back to Basics for the Republican Party." Wonder what he'll wear.

 

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Referendum C, Part Deux

By Charles Ashby
Thursday, February 25, 2010


Two GOP candidates for U.S. Senate are going at each other on Colorado airwaves and on Washington, D.C., news sites.

It started on Wednesday when former state Sen. Tom Wiens, R-Castle Rock, aired his first ads of the campaign, saying one of the other GOP candidates, Jane Norton, was a hypocrite.

In a 60-second ad Wiens says:

"You know Democrats aren't the only hypocrites," he says in the aid. "Too many Republicans have forgotten what our party stands for. Right here in Colorado, some Republican leaders backed Referendum C, the biggest tax increase in our state's history."

Though he doesn't name her, the only GOP candidate in the race that supported the 2005 referendum was Norton, who at the time was lieutenant governor under Gov. Bill Owens, a major proponent of the measure that called for a five-year time-out of the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights.

Norton's campaign was quick with its comeback, telling Politico.com that Wiens voted in favor of various incarnations of the referendum when they were being debated in the Colorado Legislature.

Who's having the most fun with this?

Not the other two candidates on the ticket -- Ken Buck and Cleve Tidwell, neither of whom have served in the Legislature. No, the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, which is sending out the Politico story to everyone it can think of.

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Crimes against the unborn

By Charles Ashby
Monday, February 22, 2010

It took hours before the House Judiciary Committee got to Rep. Laura Bradford's bill late Monday night, but when it came down to time to vote on it, committee chairwoman Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, unexpectedly took it off the table.

Though the Collbran Republican's House Bill 1261 dealt with crimes against an unborn fetus, one that was 16 weeks or older, many on the committee said the measure conjured issues related to when someone becomes a person. Several on the 11-member panel questioned whether the measure was a back-door attempt to declaring a fetus a person. Currently, the law recognized that only at birth.

Bradford said the issue wasn't about abortion issues, and said she planned to offer amendments to make sure it was clear the bill was directed not at abortion, but murder against an unborn child that the mother clearly had already excercised her right to choose, in this case, life.

The committee is expected to vote on the bill Friday. Levy said that while she was under no obligation to delay a vote on the bill, she did so because one member -- Rep. Mark Waller, R-Colorado Springs -- had to leave early. He is expected to support the measure.

It is unknown if Bradford has the votes needed to get it out of the committee. Several Democrats on the panel indicated they were uncomfortable with the personhood aspect, saying the law already addresses crimes against pregnant mothers.

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