Anti-illegal immigration warrior and former Colorado GOP Congressman Tom Tancredo ran for governor as an American Constitution Party candidate, but now he’s back in the fold and talking about the future of his Republican party. He sent an email to supporters this morning on the rift between the moderate and conservative wings of the Colorado GOP. Just so readers know where he stands, he linked to a hard-line provocative Jihad Watch article on the threat posed to America by Muslim immigrants.
Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler is no stranger to political controversy. He has represented a long line of conservative advocacy and attack groups and in that role has become the public face of partisan causes. Indeed, his name and the law firm he founded virtually stand for a branch of Colorado politics that seeks to limit government restrictions on and oversight of campaign financing. He has done battle repeatedly with laws the secretary of state is charged to enforce and now he is secretary of state. His election victory put government watchdog groups on high alert. News coming today, a little more than a week since he was sworn into office, that Gessler plans to keep working part-time as an attorney for his former firm even while serving as secretary of state has set conflict-of-interest alarm bells ringing in watchdog offices.
Forty-one women were sworn into the state legislature in Denver this week, strengthening Colorado’s long standing as the women-lawmaker capital of the nation. The state gained five women in the Senate and lost one in the House. There are 17 women in the 35-member Senate. There are 24 women serving in the 65-member House. That’s the largest percentage of women serving at any state capitol across the country and it’s also the largest number of women ever to serve at the Colorado capitol. The Colorado Legislative Women’s Caucus is proud of these facts. It’s also not sure exactly what these facts mean on the ground for constituents.
As the nation’s political class wrestles with the violence in Arizona that killed and injured more than twenty people and landed Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in the hospital with a bullet through the brain, leading national Latino conservative organization Somos Republicans is spotlighting the harsh backlash it drew from members of the Colorado GOP to a campaign it launched last week lauding former state Republican Muhammad Ali Hasan for speaking out about growing bigotry in the party.
Arguably one of the most popular mayors in Denver history, John Hickenlooper is also something of a national curiosity — an out of work geologist turned brewpub millionaire. A Democrat who appeals to Republicans with a non-confrontational approach that emphasizes business savvy and team-building. Sunday, The New York Times ran an upbeat six-page profile of Hickenlooper in the magazine section. The reporter pointed out that he received little scrutiny during the campaign because of Republican dysfunction that kept the media spotlight out of Hickenlooper’s eyes. You could say the same for The Times profile.
An aide to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said on a conservative radio program Sunday that last year’s much-maligned ads by Palin’s PAC showing rifle crosshairs over 20 Democratic congressional districts – including Gabrielle Giffords’s CD8 in Arizona – were actually meant to represent surveyor’s symbols on a map.
Outgoing Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi took to the dais Wednesday and passed the gavel to Republican Speaker John Boehner. The 112th Congress begins. Riveted twitterati guessed at the minute the emotional new Speaker would weep. He did seem to mist up briefly during Pelosi’s introduction. Then he did something noble and brave: He kissed and hugged the former Speaker, like a man unaware that at least one Republican politician in this country lost an election in part because digital evidence betrayed the fact that he once hugged President Obama. No kissing even! Maybe a new era truly has begun.
Nonprofit watchdog group Colorado Ethics Watch on Tuesday brought out a list reviewing five of the most glaring high-profile breaches of public trust in Colorado in 2010. Ethics Watch is often described (or dismissed) as “left-leaning,” and it’s true that its list this year spotlights the actions of four well-known Republican political figures. But it’s also true that the names of three of the four men included on the list– Doug Bruce, Dan Maes and Scott McInnis– now mostly induce chortles and head shaking on the left and right in political circles across the nation.
“We were trying to pick [instances] where there was no redeeming side. These were cases where there was no way to give a positive spin,” Director Luis Toro told the Colorado Independent.
Politics took on surreal tones in Colorado this year, with relative unknowns elected to major offices while other candidates rose from the ranks of the unknown only to fall back to near anonymity. Earlier this week. Today, we roll out out top two, the order of which could easily be switched.