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State GOP candidates warm-up Fort Collins faithful for 2010

Republican leaders addressing the crowd at Friday night's second-annual Larimer County GOP shrimp-boil fundraiser and straw poll event in Fort Collins steered clear of social issues like abortion and gay marriage that have featured prominently in Larimer County politics of the past. They focused instead on calls to rein in government spending and pass more pro-business legislation. That message, peppered throughout with references to Ronald Reagan and aimed chiefly against the Obama administration, suggested the steep challenge these candidates face in winning office in 2010.

Winger radio host Hewitt brings ‘Boycott GM’ message to Colorado

Radio talker Hugh Hewitt -- fresh off his call for American consumers to boycott General Motors -- arrives in Colorado on Friday for a congressional fund raiser in Denver and the chance to mingle with up-and-coming conservatives in Parker.

Lucero, local Republicans survey Larimer’s shifting political landscape

Conservative Republican and CD 4 hopeful Tom Lucero hosted a campaign breakfast Tuesday in Loveland at a strip-mall cafe and ended up talking to eight likable, earnest people there about the need to affect major cultural change if they were ever going to restore a sense of personal responsibility in the United States and succeed in abolishing income taxes and the Internal Revenue Service. "We have to replicate Obama's Chicago-style politics, Saul Alinsky's 'Rules for Radicals,' if we're going to beat the [Democrats]," he told the small group of almost-all retirees. They nodded in agreement but said nothing. Lucero faces a tough slog between now and Election Day 2010, and he knows it.

Colorado’s recession-minded D.C. reps embrace ethanol

Obama-era economic policy so far has not prominently featured the nation's farm country. That's changing. Policy being weighed now in Washington concerning ethanol will have a major impact in states like Colorado, home to Yuma County, one of the most efficient corn-growing regions in the country and a major producer of the biofuel. As debate over ethanol heats up, the path the Obama Administration is steering looks to be exactly the kind of middle-way, practical political tack that chagrins progressives, in this case energy analysts and environmentalists who want to see the country take bold steps and begin to lead the world in green technology and climate change.

UPDATED: Gardner tossed into CD 4 rumor mill to challenge Markey

From the Worst Kept Secret Department: Roll Call.com reports today that Yuma Republican and House Minority Whip Cory Gardner is set to announce his bid to challenge Fourth District U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey in 2010.

Campaign contributions up, despite economic downturn

As the nation’s economy mires in recession, most Americans are anticipating lower earnings by making do with less — but not those who call Capitol Hill home.

Markey rakes in cash and good press

Freshman U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey raised a record-breaking ton of cash this quarter for her re-election in 2010. And despite announcing his CD 4 candidacy to oppose her mere months after she was elected, University of Colorado Board of Regents Vice Chair Tom Lucero, a Republican, has been relatively invisible -- at least when he wasn't ducking impropriety charges on the stand in the Ward Churchill witch-hunt trial. Lucero's fund raising, like his record of experience, will surely be no match for Markey's.

Gutsy Betsy Markey remarkably ‘just doing my job’

U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey -- the unlikely Democratic newbie from Colorado's 4th Congressional District -- seems still fresh enough in her politics to actually be acting from conviction. This week she made news for unabashed strong stances on two controversial issues: She defied the president and attorney general by publicly opposing the reintroduction of an assault weapons ban. Then she defied the business lobby and co-sponsored the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA).

Markey scores kudos from GOP business group, Dem operatives alike

Republicans looking to challenge freshman Rep. Betsy Markey got a double dose of bad news Monday. The CD 4 congresswoman was named to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Frontline Program to hyper-boost her re-election bid on the same day the Dem got a rare head nod from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the pro-business group joined at the hip to the GOP.

Republicans blast Salazar, Markey with radio ads on stimulus vote

The National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) is finally putting its money where its mouth has been. A round of radio ads targeting 30 Democrats in conservative or swing districts began airing Friday -- among the targets were freshman Rep. Betsy Markey and third-term Rep. John Salazar of Colorado -- who plan to vote in favor of the $790 billion economic stimulus package.