The Colorado Independent,2020
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Budget-beleaguered legislators are getting understandably grouchy considering the bleak times. But a memo issued today by Speaker Terrance Carroll insisting that "'all lobbyists, governor's staff, executive staff, visitors, Capitol staff and press' show some respect by use [sic] representatives' proper titles" isn't exactly garnering the public's respect.
This week’s legislative kick-off, with African-American men leading both the Colorado Senate and House of Representatives, is historic indeed, and many have highlighted the import of the moment. After all, it was less than a century ago that the Ku Klux Klan dominated much of Colorado politics, even claiming then-Gov. Clarence Morley a member. But it would be wrong, as has been suggested in some news reports, to claim that the only targets of the Klan of the early-to-mid 1920s in Colorado were people of color. Rather, as historians have detailed, the primary motivation of the Klan in Colorado was to promote “100 percent Americanism” — and that meant also targeting Jews and Roman Catholic immigrants.
No one said making history -- or covering it -- would be easy. At the top the list for Colorado media types: Learning to tell apart the lawmakers heading the state's upper and lower legislative bodies.
"Daunting." "Somber." "Tough decisions." This is the language of Colorado's 2009 legislative session which opens Wednesday. Even with historical markers —two African-American men leading the Senate and, for the first time the House of Representatives — this year's Democratic-led legislature will be far from a jubilant affair with a state government in the decided throes of hard times.
If Bill Ritter is making a list, he'd better be checking it twice, because the cast of candidates to fill Colorado's U.S. Senate seat keeps shifting. On Tuesday, Politico pegged state Senate President Peter Groff as the "intriguing sleeper candidate getting buzz" to win the governor's nod to finish the term of Sen. Ken Salazar, who is leaving the Senate to be interior secretary.
Newly anointed speaker of the Colorado House Terrance Carroll gets the star treatment from the rabidly centrist Democratic Leadership Council, which this week named the Denver Democrat its New Dem of the Week. With the re-election of state Sen. Peter Groff to head the upper chamber, Carroll's ascension in the House makes Colorado the first state in the nation to have both houses of a legislature led by African-Americans, the DLC profile observes.
And you thought the election was over? Colorado lawmakers are meeting today to pick new leaders charged with keeping the Capitol running smoothly, and, with Democrat Bernie Buescher unexpectedly out of the picture, a couple of surprises are in store for the donkeys. Over on the Republican side, a reported coup may be in the works.
Yes, Colorado has one of the easiest constitutions in the country to change. Yes, a bipartisan bevy of lawmakers want reform, and they want...