How are those NCAA tournament brackets doing today?
Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama was in Denver yesterday. John C. Ensslin of the Rocky Mountain News reports on the festivities:
Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama urged a cheering throng of supporters to make his campaign their campaign and to “take back their country.”
In his first appearance in Denver since declaring his candidacy, the Illinois senator told nearly 2,000 people jammed into the Sherman Street Event Complex that America is a house divided between its people and a government they no longer trust or believe in.
“This is your campaign,” he said in a nearly 50-minute stump speech that covered everything from education and energy policy to health care, the environment and the economy.
But the crowd gave its loudest response when Obama reminded them of his early opposition to the war in Iraq.
“I am proud of the fact that I was against the war in Iraq from the start,” he said, adding he is just as proud of co-sponsoring a bill that calls for a gradual withdrawal of U.S. troops in Iraq by the spring of 2008.
“There are no military solutions to be had in Iraq,” Obama said.
After picking up a seventh congressional seat after the 2000 census, Colorado isn’t likely to gain an eighth seat anytime soon. As Julia Martinez of The Denver Post reports:
Colorado likely won’t gain any seats in Congress through 2030, but it won’t lose any either. That’s according to the University of Virginia Center for Politics, which calculated the number of seats each state will gain or lose based on U.S. Census population projections.
While California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah are on track to gain seats, Colorado is projected to hold steady at seven. Seats in Congress are doled out based on population shifts. Colorado gained its seventh seat in Congress after the 2000 census showed it added 1 million residents in the 1990s. The university’s Crystal Ball website indicates Pennsylvania, Iowa and Rhode Island could lose seats.
There’s no truth to the rumor that Wyoming will be downgraded from one congressional seat to two-thirds of a congressional seat.
Colorado is considering joining a Super Tuesday of Presidential primaries next February. As Karen Crummy of The Denver Post reports:
Colorado’s chances of having a presidential primary appear dead, but lawmakers are edging closer to moving up the caucuses to take part in what’s been dubbed “Super Duper Tuesday.”
Although there were bipartisan talks about having a primary on Feb. 5, the $2 million cost led lawmakers to scrap it. Instead, they are leaning toward moving the caucuses, usually in the third week of March, to Feb. 5. A bill to formalize the move is expected to be introduced in the next two weeks.
“I’m excited about the idea. That day has basically become a Western regional primary,” said House Majority Leader Alice Madden, D-Boulder.
Utah, New Mexico, Idaho and Arizona have either set their contests for Feb. 5 or are considering doing so.
On Thursday, California – the most populous state – moved its primary to Feb. 5, and another 20 states may end up holding their caucuses and primaries on that day.
It’s not uncommon for politicians to steal each other’s ideas, but it’s a good idea to stick to copying stuff from successful candidates. As WFAA in Dallas reports:
It is a common refrain from Dallas mayoral candidate Darrell Jordan.
“I’m the only candidate who has put up on his Web site a plan to reduce crime in this city,” Jordan said at a recent forum of candidates hoping to replace Mayor Laura Miller. With 13 contenders for the City Hall post, Jordan is hoping his crime reduction plan will set him apart on a major issue: Crime.
“The expectation of voters is that this is Darrell Jordan’s best thinking on a key problem confronting the city of Dallas,” said Cal Jillson, SMU political scientist and political analyst for News 8.
But some of that thinking is not Jordan’s…
… Last year, Bob Beauprez was the Republican candidate for Colorado governor. Here is part of his “accountability pledge”:
“It’s time Coloradans received greater value from government and straight talk from those we elect.”
“It’s time the people of Dallas received greater value from government and straight talk from those we elect. ”
“It’s your future, and you have a right to expect more.”
“It’s your future, and you have a right to expect more.”
Replace “mayor” with “governor” and “Dallas for “Colorado,” and it’s almost exactly the same text. Jordan’s Web site offers no attribution for the source.
I wouldn’t offer attribution for this, either. There’s no pride in taking ideas from the man who ran one of the worst statewide campaigns in Colorado history.
h/t to Haley’s Comment for the link.
Officials in Jefferson County have handed out huge bonuses despite looming budget cuts, as Ann Schrader of The Denver Post reports:
Jefferson County officials have handed out more than $544,000 in bonuses to county workers since 2002.
Of that amount, about $353,000 were “true bonuses” – pay for no defined reason – according to a Denver Post review of county documents.
The county’s generous bonuses – unusual among Colorado governments – have become controversial since former county treasurer Mark Paschall was indicted in January for allegedly offering a top aide a $25,000 bonus and then asking her to split the money with him.
The aide refused the bonus, and the incident raised questions about the use of bonuses, because the county faces $12 million to $15 million in budget cuts in 2008.
The amount of bonuses passed out to 361 employees over five years had never been documented before.
The county’s accounting system, officials say, hasn’t been able to track bonuses apart from payouts such as retroactive pay, relocation reimbursement, pay for extra work or lump-sum payments instead of raises.
In the wake of the Paschall scandal, that is changing, with the county fine- tuning the accounting system and considering a policy on bonuses as early as next month.
“I am uncomfortable with bonuses for public employees,” new Commissioner Kathy Hartman said.
Hartman, a Democrat, was elected in November and is the first non-Republican commissioner in decades.
Colorado Attorney General John Suthers wants to run as a Republican for the U.S. Senate in 2008, although the GOP field could be awfully crowded. As The Grand Junction Sentinel reports:
Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said he is being courted to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated in 2008 by Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo.
“I’ve had conversations with people on several levels,” Suthers said. “The (National) Republican Senatorial Committee is obviously very interested in winning this race, making sure that the best possible candidate is in the race.”
Suthers, who has served as Colorado’s attorney general since 2005 and as the state’s U.S. Attorney from 2001 to 2005, said while he is not actively pursuing the seat, he will consider stepping up.
“It’s my impression that no one is gaining a great deal of momentum right now, and I’m keeping my powder dry, as they say in politics,” Suthers said. “So, I haven’t ruled it out, but I haven’t jumped in.”
Asked on Friday if he thought he would make a good candidate, Suthers quickly replied, “Oh, yeah.”
Citing his success in the 2006 election against Democrat Fern O’Brien, Suthers said he knows he could garner support from unaffiliated and Republican voters alike.
“I will tell you this: For us to win, we’ve got to do something Republicans haven’t done very well in Colorado over the last several years, and that’s get a lot of unaffiliated votes,” Suthers said. “And I was one of the few that got a lot of unaffiliated votes this past time.”
And I will tell you this: Bragging about beating Fern O’Brien, who was one of the most inert Democratic statewide candidates in years, is very silly.
Dan Slater, the Vice-Chair of the Colorado Democratic Party, reports in his Dem Notes blog on weekend events in Larimer County:
The Larimer Democrats held their annual President’s Day Dinner last night in Fort Collins (yes, they knew it was St. Pat’s Day last night). The theme was interesting and very appropriate – “Rocky Mountain Blue – Going Green”. Unlike the average county party dinner, which usually features speeches about the Party’s successes and opportunities generally, this dinner focused attention on the issue of environmentalism and energy, and how the Party can be an agent for change in those areas.