The Home Front: Colorado lawmakers accidentally passed a broad transparent money-in-politics law

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The Home Front: Colorado lawmakers accidentally passed a broad transparent money-in-politics law

“A new campaign finance law for Colorado school board races is causing headaches for candidates in the state’s top-line elections in 2018 — from governor to attorney general and beyond — by requiring them to effectively file daily donation reports more than eight months before their primary contests,” reports The Denver Post. “State lawmakers last year passed legislation meant to make public last-minute contributions flowing into the state’s off-year school board races by requiring candidates to disclose contributions of $1,000 or more within 24 hours starting a month from the election. But, according to the Colorado secretary of state’s office, House Bill 1282 accidentally applied the requirements to statewide races. That means the candidates for the state’s highest offices in 2018 — including more than a dozen people who have filed to run for governor — must report donations of more than $1,000 from now until the Nov. 7 school board elections.”

“A missing hiker who spent three days and two nights in the San Juan Mountains was able to locate a maintenance car with the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad on Tuesday afternoon, surviving the perilous ordeal with some scratches and a sunburn,” reports The Durango Herald. “According to Dan Bender, spokesman for the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office, authorities were alerted just before 3 p.m. that 23-year-old Melikai Hesse flagged down a maintenance car near the Tacoma Power Plant – a stop on the train’s route along the Animas River in a remote part of the canyon with no road access.”

“Greeley Assistant City Manager Becky Safarik on Tuesday provided a veritable buffet of development incentive options for Greeley City Council members to chew on,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “Council members seemed to like the flavor during their Tuesday work session, with Greeley Mayor Tom Norton urging city staff to go “full steam ahead.” The incentives, many of which are already in use in one form or another, are intended to encourage redevelopment and improvements in the downtown development district, a 55-block area roughly along the 8th Avenue corridor in downtown Greeley.”

“Regional transportation officials are hoping to put together more than $80 million in state and federal funding to make safety upgrades on Colorado Highway 13, which besides being an important north-south corridor also serves as part of a detour route during Interstate 70 closures,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “The Colorado Department of Transportation plans to apply for $21 million from the federal Department of Transportation’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) discretionary grant program, and the state Transportation Commission has committed to spend up to $60 million in matching funding if the federal money is received.”

“In a split 4-3 vote, Longmont’s City Council members voted Tuesday night to give final approval to an ordinance that will eventually allow up to four retail businesses to sell marijuana and marijuana products within the city limits,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “The council majority’s approval of the measure lifting Longmont’s years-old prohibitions against medical-marijuana dispensaries and shops selling marijuana for recreational use came over the objections of several people who spoke at a Tuesday night public hearing on the ordinance. “I can’t imagine it boosts the city’s image,” said Tuscany Court resident Lon Stevens.”

“A range of concerns prevented an 86-unit development proposal next to Casey’s Pond from getting the green light Tuesday night from the Steamboat Springs City Council,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “Council members who voted to table the Urban Street at the Mountain project until Nov. 21 collectively had concerns about the phasing of the project, the project’s compliance with base area design standards and the lack of sidewalks in the proposed neighborhood.”

“Echoing an incident more than two years ago, a CenturyLink fiber-optic link was cut Tuesday near Carbondale, knocking out much of the cellphone and internet service from Carbondale to Aspen for several hours,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “Service was restored at about 11 p.m. A Pitkin County alert early Tuesday afternoon said that some cellular services and land lines at Aspen Valley Hospital were down. The Pitkin County sheriff advised that if the public couldn’t reach 911 during the outage they should go to their local fire station to report emergencies. Garfield County authorities issued no guidance to residents, but told the Post Independent that 911 service was operational if people’s phones are working. “I do not know. Sorry,” Garfield County sheriff’s spokesman Walt Stowe said by email in response to Post Independent inquiries about whether 911 services were affected and what county residents should do if they can’t reach 911.”

“L3 Doss Aviation will be adding 60 additional employees to its Initial Flight Training program at Pueblo Memorial Airport as part of a $2.9 million contribution from the city of Pueblo,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “The expansion agreement was announced Tuesday and follows the Air Force’s decision last January to give L3 Doss a 10-year extension on its military flight training program. Paul Walker, flight training program manager, said the city’s support, through the Pueblo Economic Development Corp., was a key part of L3 Doss’s proposal to win the contract renewal last year.”

“The Loveland City Council voted during a special meeting Tuesday on several items deferred from last week’s regular meeting due to a lengthy discussion on the 2018 city budget,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “The special meeting replaced the council’s regularly scheduled study session. At the start of the meeting, the council voted to move up the agenda item for a resolution expressing council support of city ballot issue 5C to the start of the meeting.”

“Some records last a long time — Roger Maris’ 61 home runs in 1961 was a record that stood for 37 years. Some records fall more quickly,” reports Vail Daily. “In January, the $23 million sale of a home on Vail’s Rockledge Road was touted as a new residential record sale for the town. In August, a home on Mill Creek Circle sold for $28.7 million. That’s believed to be a new record for the town, but the record may not stand for long. A handful of homes in Vail’s ultra-exclusive slopeside areas — Forest Road, Rockledge Road, Beaver Dam Road and a few others — are listed for $30 million or more.”

“A state grant could double the number of mental health specialists working with law enforcement in Larimer County,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “County commissioners approved the application for $362,000 from the Colorado Department of Human Services on Tuesday. Officials hope to know the result mid-November. If approved, it could lead to six mental health specialists working with first responders throughout Larimer County to de-escalate mental health crises and, officials hope, keep people going through those crises out of the criminal justice system altogether, instead funneling them to behavioral health services. That could help free up law enforcement and firefighters to focus on other needs.”

“More than a week has passed and Fremont County Clerk and Recorder Katie Barr has yet to be seen or heard from at the Fremont County Administration Building,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “Last week, it was released that Barr is under investigation after financial discrepancies recently were discovered. According to news releases from the Fremont County Commissioners and the Cañon City Police Department, the commissioners reached out to the CPPD on Sept. 29 to investigate what appeared to be “irregular financial activity” stemming from Barr’s office. According to the county’s press release, Barr “has voluntarily removed herself from the operations of the Office of the Clerk and Recorder,” and in accordance with Colorado law, Chief Deputy Clerk Dotty Gardunio will step in to fulfill the duties of the elected office. During a preliminary investigation by the CCPD, financial discrepancies were discovered, and local authorities requested assistance from the FBI because of the skills required in financial investigations.”

“When it comes to a helping hand on housing, Boulder County’s well-to-do are getting a bigger boost from the feds than less well-off residents, according to a new report from online rental marketplace Apartment List,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “High-income households received triple the federal dollars that low-income households did in 2015, according to the study, and nine times more funds than those of middle incomes. Assistance for the wealthy came in the form of mortgage interest deductions (MID), a tax break that homeowners can take for the interest paid on their home loans. Help for the poor came from, in small part, the MID as well as the Housing and Urban Development’s Section 8 program, which pays a portion of monthly rent for qualifying households.”

“Two 13-year-old Sabin Middle School students suspected of creating a ‘kill list’ of classmates and staff they planned to ‘punish’ were good kids, according to defense information shared in court Tuesday,” reports The Gazette. “The first teen was said to have “no criminal history, no drug issues. No issues at all.” The second, was described as “very smart;” a teen with “great ambitions” who “didn’t give anyone any trouble.” The Gazette is not naming the students because they are juveniles. The defenses were used to argue that the teens be released from the Spring Creek Youth Services Center, where the boys appeared through video.”

 

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About the Author

Corey Hutchins

is a journalist in Colorado, and Columbia Journalism Review's Rocky Mountain correspondent for the United States Project. Follow him on Twitter @CoreyHutchins and email him at CoreyHutchins [at] gmail [dot] com.

1 Comment

  1. Will Morrison on said:

    “In a split 4-3 vote, Longmont’s City Council members voted Tuesday night to give final approval to an ordinance that will eventually allow up to four retail businesses to sell marijuana and marijuana products within the city limits,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “The council majority’s approval of the measure lifting Longmont’s years-old prohibitions against medical-marijuana dispensaries and shops selling marijuana for recreational use came over the objections of several people who spoke at a Tuesday night public hearing on the ordinance. “I can’t imagine it boosts the city’s image,” said Tuscany Court resident Lon Stevens.”

    It’s about freaking time. There is $500 BILLION in tax money floating around in this state, and Longmont is getting NONE of it. Doesn’t sound like a smart move to me. Not to mention, making medical people drive all over the county isn’t a smart thing, either. What NOT allowing this is to make Longmont look like a foolish bunch of little old ladies who are terrified of everything and everybody. And how many LIQUOR stores are there in town? Liquor doens’t have a whole lot of medicinal benefits, so how does THAT make the town look?

    It’s about time Longmont grew up a little bit and realized that they AREN’T keeping weed out of town, they are just making people go to BOULDER to get it. And so BOULDER gets the tax money we here should be getting.

    All keeping cannabis “illegal” in Longmont doesn’t make ANYONE look smart. It makes us look foolish and for NO reason at all.

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