It’s Cinco de Mayo Eve!
Today may be the end of the 2007 legislative session as legislators try to wrap up everything in a neat little bow. They may have to extend things into Monday, however, although that would still end the session a few days ahead of schedule.
The Senate Majority is holding its end of session wrap-up news conference today at Noon.
The first major debate among Republican Presidential candidates was held last night, and Colorado’s own Rep. Tom Tancredo apparently didn’t perform very well. As M.E. Sprengelmeyer of the Rocky Mountain News explains in his blog:
Some candidates seemed lost in the shuffle. Tom Tancredo, who has led the national debate against illegal immigration, was the shrinking violet and never really got a good chance to argue the issue.”
So said Des Moines Register political columnist David Yepsen today, telling his statewide readership how Colorado’s presidential entrant, Rep. Tom Tancredo, seemed to get lost in the shuffle during Thursday night’s Republican debate.
Tancredo has been called many things. But a “shrinking violet?” That’s a new one.
Meanwhile, Tancredo supporters were not very pleased with the debate, either. Once again, from M.E. Sprengelmeyer:
There were huge cheers Thursday night each time Rep. Tom Tancredo’s face was projected onto the wall of a quaint, downtown office here.
There he was, big as life, up there with all the other big Republican faces who spoke during a rapid-fire presidential debate streaming over the Internet.
Tancredo fans came from miles around – from all across this conservative, western edge of Iowa, and even from across the river in Omaha – to cheer on their man.
But by the time the debate had ended, most Tancredo backers were dejected, thinking Tancredo got short shrift – and less time to make his case nationally – in a scattered, fast-moving format.
“Every time he starts to talk, if he starts bringing up a good point, they cut him off,” complained Tancredo volunteer Craig Halverson, 55, of Griswold, Iowa. “When he had a chance to get in there, he hit good,” Halverson figures.
But he said it didn’t happen enough.
Did former Republican Rep. Bob Schaffer announce his candidacy for the U.S. Senate last week or not? Jason Kosena of The Fort Collins Coloradoan has the conflicting information:
Former Congressman Bob Schaffer made his long-expected Senate announcement during the weekend in tiny Teller County. Or maybe he didn’t.
“He was invited as our speaker (at a Republican dinner) and said he had decided to run and that a formal announcement would follow but that he wanted us to be the first ones to know,” said Mark Sievers, the chairman of the Teller Republican Central Committee who was among the 100 people who attended.
“I think Bob has been thinking about a run for a long time and maybe he decided on his way down that this was the right time and place to do it.”
Schaffer said he hasn’t announced whether he’ll be a candidate to replace Sen. Wayne Allard, in Teller County or elsewhere.
“I have not announced a candidacy or campaign and if and when there is one, I will announce it at the appropriate time,” the Fort Collins resident said Thursday.
Or as John Kerry might say: “I announced I was running for Senate before I announced that I was not running for Senate.”
The folks at Square State point to a story from ePluribus Media alleging that an official with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, under Republican SOS Mike Coffman, has been selling voter data:
An IT manager for Colorado’s state-wide voter database has been selling “targeted voter data” through a “GOP Campaign help” web site at PoliticalLiveWires.com. According to his online resume, Dan Kopelman is currently “Elections Technology Manager” with “oversight and guidance of the State Wide Voter Database” in the office of Colorado’s newly elected Republican Secretary of State Mike Coffman.
Returning ePluribus Media’s request for information, a spokesperson for Colo. Secretary of State Mike Coffman confirmed Kopelman’s employment, but said the office was unaware of his “side business” selling voter lists and other web-based campaign tools.
Furthermore, after learning about the IT manager’s “conflict of interest,” Deputy Secretary of State William A. Hobbs met with the Kopelman and directed him to take down his campaign web site immediately.
House Speaker Andrew Romanoff may testify as part of an ethics complaint against a homebuilder lobbyist. As The Denver Post reports:
The special legislative committee investigating an ethics complaint against homebuilders lobbyist William Mutch has asked House Speaker Andrew Romanoff to testify today.
Panel co-chairwoman Sen. Stephanie Takis, D-Aurora, said that today’s meeting may be the last for witnesses but that the committee probably will have to have another meeting or two before it can recommend whether legislative leaders should take action against Mutch.
Mutch, a lobbyist for Colorado Concern, is accused of orchestrating robo-calls that falsely claimed lawmakers were considering a tax hike on homes.
It is legal for groups to run ads about legislation and lawmakers, but a legislative rule prohibits lobbyists from attempting to influence lawmakers “by means of deceit” or threats.
On Thursday, Mutch’s counterpart from the Colorado Association of Homebuilders testified before the committee, presenting e-mails and other communication that he said showed he disapproved of the calls and consequently quit working with Mutch on the effort.
It’s hard for Mutch to continue to claim that he didn’t do anything wrong when even his own friends throw his ass under the bus.
Elsewhere in the same story from The Denver Post is a rundown of bills sent to Gov. Bill Ritter on Thursday:
Among the bills sent to the governor Thursday were those that would:
Make it illegal for employers to fire workers based on their sexual orientation or religion.
Give voters the option of having permanent absentee-ballot status.
Allow victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking to withhold their real addresses from public records.
Make it easier for people to seal their criminal records.
Direct that School Accountability Reports be easier for parents to interpret.
Require disciplinary action for prison guards who fail to report sexual assaults by inmates.
Increase the daily expense allowance for rural lawmakers from $99 a day to about $150.
Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey is opening up police shooting records. As Felisa Cardona of The Denver Post reports:
Denver’s district attorney has decided to allow the public to view files on recent shootings by police, departing from an agreement to keep them sealed until administrative reviews of those cases are completed by the city’s manager of safety.
District Attorney Mitch Morrissey announced this week that he won’t wait for Manager of Safety Al LaCabe, who oversees the Police Department, to complete detailed reports on several officer-involved shootings in 2005 and 2006.
LaCabe has said he is trying to deal with the backlog of unfinished reports while overhauling the review system and has shifted personnel to do it.
“We respect the fact that Al is trying to resolve it,” said Chuck Lepley, first assistant district attorney, “but it’s in the best interest of the community to get these things open.”
When someone is shot by a police officer, Morrissey’s office determines whether there was any criminal wrongdoing. LaCabe’s office investigates whether proper police tactics were used and whether department policy was followed. A series of controversial shootings by police led to a 2005 city ordinance mandating that the manager of safety make his findings public.
Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper said Thursday that he expects LaCabe’s office to catch up with the two-year backlog in the next six months.
“We never intended to have the delay,” Hickenlooper said. “We were not sufficiently staffed for the ambition.”
LaCabe’s office has completed only one administrative-review report out of seven officer-involved shooting incidents since May 2005.
That’s it for this week’s Gravy. Have a swell weekend!