Statetap: The Colorado GOP took to the field, for real

Statetap: The Colorado GOP took to the field, for real

Ballyhooed state Democratic campaign field efforts were strength-tested last Tuesday. Democrats lost two high profile winnable contests — Mark Udall’s U.S. Senate race and Andrew Romanoff’s 6th District congressional seat race. But historic dedication to and spending on targeted door-knocking staved off midterm disaster: As the GOP wave rolled Democratic candidates around the country, Democrats here held on to the governor’s seat and retained control of the lower chamber of the legislature. Still, Republicans did something major here: They changed a main political narrative. Long derided for stumbling in the trenches (door knocking) and relying instead on the “air war” (TV ads) to sell their candidates, this election year GOP campaigns leaned on smart, targeted ground game efforts in Adams and Pueblo counties to make crucial gains, demonstrating they’re still in the game in swing-state Colorado. Via Lynn Bartels at the Denver Post.

statetap The Sunlight Foundation did a post-mortem analysis of outside spending in this year’s midterm elections. Who got the greatest return-on-investment? The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Crossroads GPS and the National Republican Senatorial Committee. More deets via

Along similar lines, last week the folks at the Daily Show declared victory for Money in the single most high-stakes contest this election season: Money vs. Ideas. Ideas, as they point out, hardly even showed its face in any campaign this cycle.

25 years ago, Colorado College political science professor John Gould witnessed firsthand the jubilation of recently liberated East Germans as they arrived by train in Prague. This Sunday, he recounted the experience to Carol McGraw at the Gazette.

What recalls? Democrats regained control of both seats that were lost to Republicans last year in midst of the big hoopla over new gun-control legislation. Michael Merrifield, who just picked up John Morse’s old seat in Colorado Springs, used to work for a national gun-control advocacy group. “It’s as if the recalls never happened,” he told the Durango Herald after his victory last Tuesday.

To boost the good kind of community engagement, the Pueblo Police Department is holding a “selfie contest” in which citizens are encouraged to snap a cell phone photo with officers they run into on the streets. “We’re just trying to do a positive thing,” Sgt. Eric Gonzales told the Pueblo Chieftain.

Boulder city council members say it’s high time to reconsider the city’s ban on selling merchandise that displays the logos of local recreational pot shops. It’s a provision unique to Boulder that puts businesses at a disadvantage, they say. On the other hand, some are wary that increased advertising will lead to increased use among teens. Via the Daily Camera.

Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C. joined Washington and Colorado on the growing list of states that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. And though the substance is still illegal at the federal level, an Oklahoma-based electronic cigarette retailer wants to patent a system for producing a type of cannabis oil compatible with the common e-cig and set up franchises in all these pot-friendly states. Commercialization of the marijuana industry: you can bet it’s well underway. Via the Denver Post.

The Denver Post’s Jesse Paul captured good video of around two dozen Jefferson County high school students getting kicked out of a school board meeting last Thursday for being “disruptive.” JeffCo students are still fighting their school board’s recent creation of a curriculum review committee tasked with whitewashing the version of American history taught in the district schools.

Did all the recent stirrings in JeffCo have an effect on the midterm elections? Chalkbeat Colorado asked people how public education issues factored into how they voted last Tuesday.

With reporting by John Tomasic.

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About the Author

Nat Stein

Nat Stein is a Denver-based reporter. Check out her other work at Cipher magazine, KRCC public radio, Jacobin magazine and In These Times.

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