Read This or Sleep With the Fishes

Colorado Confidential’s own Wendy Norris got a response yesterday on her earlier story about Colorado Media Matters questioning the decision by 9News to ignore a partner poll showing Sen. Wayne Allard to have the lowest approval ratings of any senator in the country. KUSA News Director Patti Dennis tells Wendy that the story “wasn’t newsworthy,” while claiming that 9News does not partner with SurveyUSA (even though SurveyUSA lists 9News as a partner on its Web site).

House Republicans agreed yesterday to seek a vote on raising the national minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $7.25, but it was unclear at the end of the day whether a vote might get done before the House recesses tonight for a five-week recess.

Republicans are concerned that Democrats could use the low minimum wage as a campaign issue in the fall, something that Colorado Democrats have already been doing. A November ballot initiative here would raise the state minimum wage from its current $5.15 per hour rate.

Good thing Political Gravy is free.Two weeks ago it was revealed that Republican Rick O’Donnell, who awaits the Democratic primary winner in congressional district seven, had once advocated for an end to Social Security. O’Donnell has since tried to change his position, and today The Denver Post takes him to task:

Talk of eliminating Social Security is verboten nowadays. O’Donnell owes voters a straightforward real position on the issue. We hope he keeps that earlier glib talk of slaying Social Security in a lockbox. Workers pay into the system, and in return it provides a safety net for retirement. That’s as American as apple pie.

David Migoya of The Denver Post reports that Gov. Bill Owens is delaying his signature on three immigration reform bills to give state agencies more time to prepare for them. By state law, Owens has until Aug. 9 to sign the bills but will probably do it by Tuesday.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill Ritter announced a string of new endorsements yesterday from the law enforcement community. The former Denver District Attorney announced that Denver Police Chief Gerry Whitman was joining two Republican district attorneys from the Western Slope in backing Ritter.

“For more than 40 years, I have been a proud Republican and I have never felt strongly enough to stand up for a Democrat all during those years, but I feel that strongly now,” said Bonnie Roesink, the district attorney for the Grand, Moffat and Routt counties.

The endorsements help counter Republican attacks that Ritter was a weak prosecutor who plea-bargained too many cases, though the Ritter campaign counters that he had a 95 percent conviction rate and imprisoned 12,006 felons during his 12 years as Denver’s DA.

Colorado Confidential’s Cara DeGette reports that Bill Maier, Focus on the Family’s resident psychologist, doesn’t actually have a license to practice psychology in Colorado. That should make for an uncomfortable session on the ol’ leather couch.

Colorado Media Matters is taking on The Denver Post for repeating the assertion that Denver is a “sanctuary city” when it comes to dealing with illegal immigrants. Once again, class, let’s repeat: Illegal immigration enforcement is, a) a federal jurisdiction matter, or b) not a local jurisdiction matter.

The most recent campaign finance reports are out for Colorado congressional candidates. In the contentious CD-7 primary (Jefferson County, Adams County, Aurora), Democrat Ed Perlmutter reported $252,000 cash on hand compared to $231,388 for Peggy Lamm. Herb Rubenstein reported $2,506 cash on hand.

In Colorado Springs, the money is still flowing freely in the six-way Republican primary for CD-5. State Sen. Doug Lamborn reported $69,754 cash on hand, while Jeff Crank ($23,202), Lionel Rivera ($93,180), Duncan Bremer ($65,248) and Bentley Rayburn ($88,722) also have cash to burn. Democrat Jay Fawcett, who does not have a primary opponent, reported $65,331 cash on hand.

These figures probably aren’t that accurate, however, since a good deal of that money has probably already been spent on TV advertising in the last 10 days leading up to the Aug. 8 primary.

The race for a county commissioner spot in Arapahoe County is getting a little strange. Greg McKnight, who is one of three Republicans running for the seat, says that he has been the victim of several politically-motivated crimes lately. On Wednesday, McKnight says he found a severed bird head on his porch.

Apparently there is a cat in his neighborhood that really doesn’t want McKnight to win. Either that, or somebody couldn’t find a horse head at the last minute.

One time gubernatorial candidate Marc Holtzman is back in the news. As Chris Frates of The Denver Post reports, Holtzman is appealing a ruling that he broke campaign finance law by working with an anti-Referendum C campaign last fall in a possible effort to boost his own candidacy (such coordination is illegal under current campaign finance laws). By appealing the case, Holtzman risks an even bigger fine (as high as $3.5 million) than the $4,404 imposed by an administrative law judge in May, but the Republican says he’s appealing in order to protect his reputation. This could be a sign that Holtzman isn’t done running for political office. Or that he likes spending money.

The “legendary Mollie-Oke Karaoke Extravaganza” is tonight at 6:00 in Denver, benefiting HD-39 candidate Mollie Cullom.

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Jason Bane

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