The Home Front: Colorado’s two wealthy candidates for governor ‘refused to tell voters how wealthy’ by not releasing tax returns

Your morning roundup of stories from the front pages of newspapers across Colorado

“Colorado’s top candidates for governor have bet big on their campaigns — and they have the means to do so. But while Democrat Jared Polis and Republican Walker Stapleton clearly are wealthy, thanks to their business successes, they have refused to tell voters how wealthy,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “And government rules don’t make them. Stapleton, currently state treasurer, has put $1.05 million of his personal fortune into his race for governor. That would be impressive in most election years. But Polis, Boulder’s congressman, has astonished the political establishment by contributing $21.8 million to his campaign. They’re both certainly comfortable, but how comfortable isn’t known. State law doesn’t require candidates to release tax returns or other disclosures that would tell voters more about a candidate’s wealth and the potential for conflicts of interest.”

“Greeley-Evans School District 6 officials are looking to privatize the district’s bus services, a move that could come as soon as spring 2019,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “District 6 Superintendent Deirdre Pilch confirmed district officials spoke with transportation employees Friday about the move. The shift, which could come as soon as this spring, would come a year after voters approved a tax increase with some money earmarked to restore cuts to bus routes — one of the biggest reasons Pilch said privatization is on the table.”

“A new elementary school could be on the horizon for Fruita. School District 51 and city leaders wrestled with how to address the area’s already crowded schools and growing population at a joint meeting Tuesday night,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.

“‘It’s all about the alley,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “That line was uttered by multiple Niwot residents and business owners Tuesday at a Boulder County commissioners hearing on a proposal to extend a moratorium on development applications along Second Avenue between Murray Street and Niwot Road.”

“As area children turn into monsters, superheroes and an array of fantastic characters on Halloween, many will get more treats than tricks,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “Coloradan’s favorite Halloween candy is a Twix bar, according to, a bulk candy retailer. The company compiled 11 years of sales data to determine bestsellers by each state. Twix ousted last year’s pick, Milky Way, which was the second best-selling candy in the state this Halloween.”

“The man who spurred a 15-hour police standoff outside of his home near Breckenridge has been identified as 64-year-old James Michael Reed,” reports Summit Daily. “Reed is charged with two counts of menacing, a class-five felony, along with a misdemeanor count of prohibited use of a weapon. At about 10 p.m. on Oct. 17 deputies from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office responded to a welfare check on a man living on the 500 block of Shekel Lane in unincorporated Summit County, just north of Breckenridge. A family member told officers that the man was heavily intoxicated, and threatening to harm himself and neighbors, according to Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons.”

“With just one week left until Election Day, staff at Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder Gilbert “Bo” Ortiz’s office on Tuesday were excited and anxious all at the same time,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “By Tuesday, 21,000 ballots had been turned in and election judges were already counting them and running them through a sorting machine.”

“Loveland voters face five separate tax-increase proposals on their ballots this year, a lineup that could cost a typical taxpayer $446 a year if all of them pass,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “While there is no such thing as an “average” resident, the following calculations try to give a sense of what many middle-of-the-pack homeowners and families would pay in higher taxes. The math gets a little complicated in places, where one property-tax proposal overlaps with another, and these numbers don’t attempt to answer the question of how future revenue and taxes might be affected if certain nontax proposals, such as the oil-and-gas setback measure Proposition 112, pass.”

“President Donald Trump has ramped up his rhetoric on immigration as next week’s elections approach, but Republican standard-bearers in Colorado’s largest battleground races aren’t following suit,” reports The Denver Post. “Outside of several state legislative races, immigration has failed to catch fire in Colorado as a statewide electoral issue this year — at least, not the way Trump would like. While the talk of Washington, D.C., has been about Trump preparing to dispatch troops to the southern border to intercept a caravan of Central American migrants — and, now, a potential presidential order to end birthright citizenship — gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton and U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman have downplayed border security issues in recent months. They also have emphasized immigration stances that differ from Trump’s, and Stapleton has softened the sharp edge he took in the primary, when he called for a state crackdown on so-called ‘sanctuary cities.'”

“The Erie Board of Trustees on Tuesday narrowly rejected an update to the town’s 3-year-old operator agreement with Crestone Peak Resources that would have settled the company’s ‘odor’ lawsuit against the town and allowed the firm to move drilling from Erie’s core to its southern edge,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “That decision — a 4-3 vote, with Trustees Christiaan van Woudenberg, Scott Charles, Dan Woog and Bill Gippe offering the majority rebuff — likely sets several things in motion for the company, namely its plans to pull permits on its Vessels pad site come Thursday.”

“Newly released details from Matthew Shepard’s autopsy further suggest the 12-year-year-old’s murder was a hate crime, not a drug deal gone wrong, as some rumors suggest, according to a report from Wyoming Public Media,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins.

“With fresh snow blanketing Vail on Tuesday, Oct. 30, leaders in the state’s ski industry continued the three-day Colorado Governor’s Tourism Conference at Hotel Talisa,” reports Vail Daily. “A session on Tuesday titled “Trends in Ski” featured a three-person panel, including representatives from Vail Resorts, Alterra Mountain Co. and Powdr — all groups leading the way for Colorado’s ski industry — and the world.”

“About 500 residents in eastern La Plata County have made a commitment to ensure 10 percent of their food comes from local sources,” reports The Durango Herald. “‘It’s a little bit of a challenge, but it’s not intimidating,’ said Kami Larson, a Bayfield resident. Residents from Vallecito to Sambrito, New Mexico, pledged to raise, buy or trade for 10 percent of their food, including meat, dairy, fruits and vegetables, said Pam Willhoite, coordinator of Pine River Shares, a nonprofit.”

The Colorado Independent is a statewide online news source operating in a time when spin is plentiful, but factual, fair and unflinching news in the public interest is all too rare. Our award-winning team of veteran investigative and explanatory reporters and news columnists aims to amplify the voices of Coloradans whose stories are unheard, shine light on the relationships between people, power and policy, and hold public officials to account. We strive to report the news with context, social conscience, and soul, and to give Coloradans the insight they need to promote conversation, understanding and progress in this square, swing state we call home.


  1. “Colorado’s top candidates for governor have bet big on their campaigns….”

    Business successes? HA!
    Both come from family money, and lots of it.

    The WTID wealth inequality index is at its highest level ever, meaning the most wealth concentration this country has ever seen.

    Edward Bernays, father of PR, and Author of the book “Propaganda” (1928) wrote:
    “If you can influence the leaders, either with or without their conscious cooperation, you automatically influence the group which they sway.”

    Millionaires and billionaires are among that group.
    The formerly antiquated notion of the “Divine right of Kings” is making a comeback.
    Those with money are led to believe their wealth is a product of their superiority, thus enabling them the right to rule over others.
    The U.S. is seeing a rise of crony-capitalism, corporatocracy, and plutocracy.
    Democracy is quickly dying.

    Yet, they most often fail to recognize the role of luck in their acquisition of that wealth.

    Coming from a wealthy family is not merited success, it is luck.
    How “successful” would these folk had been had they been born in a place like Yemen, without adequate food, water, clothing, housing, even having their land under constant bombardment & destruction?

    It is those multi-millionaires and billionaires that are using their money to influence politicians and politics to their favor, to gain special-interest legislation to gain more wealth.
    Over $110 BILLION of government-granted subsidy money is being granted to some of the largest corporations in the country.
    Amazon, the first TRILLION dollar company, and largely owned by some of the largest & wealthiest money-management firms (and thus multi-millionaires and billionaires) is also one of the largest recipients of government subsidies.

    In fact, regardless whether “Democrat” or “Republican”, the same ultra-wealthy are gaining ever-more wealth, the same ultra-powerful gaining ever-more power.
    Meanwhile, the rest of us continue to lose to highly under-reported inflation, as we continue to lose ever more rights, freedoms, liberties, and justice.

    Thomas Piketty, in his book “Capital in the 21st Century” outlined how an increasing amount of wealth in the U.S. is originating from inheritance.
    As he states, “When the rate of return on capital exceeds the rate of
    growth of output and income, as it did in the nineteenth century and seems quite likely to do again in
    the twenty-first, capitalism automatically generates arbitrary and unsustainable inequalities that
    radically undermine the meritocratic values on which democratic societies are based.”

    People worship the wealthy because they’re constantly told to worship the wealthy in the media, which is highly concentrated in the hands of the ultra-wealthy.

    This is how propaganda works.
    This is sadly how politics works.

    VOTE N.O.T.A.!

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