From the Cheap Seats: Where’d the Snow Go?

March 10, 2014

Charlie Rose predicts the end is near, for snow.

One has to go back to 1978 to find a winter in which more of North America was covered with snow.

Just nobody tell the weather wonders at CBS, which has opined that the end is nigh.

The end of snow, of course, and skiing.

Why, the oh-so-knowledgeable Charlie Rose, he of the large wooden (aka formerly living tree) table opined that winter sports could be doomed.

Cheap Seats kids you not.

No more skis, no more sleds.

Ice skaters? Triple duds.

Toboggans? Gone.

Charlie, a Rose by any other name could not be more wrong. Read more »

GOP Bill Would Rein in Ethics Commission Abuses

March 7, 2014
State Rep. Amy Stephens wants to reform the Independent Ethics Commission.

State Rep. Amy Stephens wants to reform the Independent Ethics Commission.

DENVER — A bill to reform the state’s Independent Ethics Commission (IEC) has been assigned to the legislature’s “kill committee,” but supporters of the measure say Democrats should think twice before sending it to its doom.

While Republicans have long criticized the commission as a partisan vehicle for damaging political reputations, Democrats learned last year that the headline-mongering can go both ways after two complaints were filed against Gov. John Hickenlooper.

The Democratic governor was hit by another embarrassing headline last month when the commission voted to keep the latest complaint instead of sending it to an administrative law judge, even though three of the five commissioners have contributed to Hickenlooper’s past campaigns. Read more »

Colo. GOP Rips Clinton Allies on Benghazi

March 7, 2014
Michael Morell, former acting director of the CIA.

Michael Morell, former acting director of the CIA.

WASHINGTON –- Colorado House Republicans stepped up their scrutiny of the Obama administration’s handling of the Benghazi attack and are targeting two key officials with ties to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Rep. Doug Lamborn has asked Michael Morell, former acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency, to appear before the House Committee on Intelligence to explain an apparent contradiction in his testimony two months after the 2012 attack.

Morell told Congress he did not coordinate with the White House about changing the talking points used by then-United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice on several Sunday talk shows just days after the assault, but emails suggest Morell misled members of a joint House and Senate committee.

Rice originally told CBS’s “Face the Nation” the terrorist attack was a spontaneous protest, but changed her story in a Feb. 23 “Meet the Press” interview and acknowledged her comments were not “100 percent accurate.” Read more »

House Bill Would Protect Unions, Open School Boards to Lawsuits

March 7, 2014
Opponents of a union-backed bill say it would have a chilling effect on school boards.

Opponents of a union-backed bill say it would have a chilling effect on school boards.

DENVER – A union-endorsed bill would force school boards to record all private conversations during closed executive sessions including personnel issues, attorney-client protected conversations, and property sales.

School boards would also be required to publish a list of all topics discussed, which opponents say would allow disgruntled individuals and groups to file lawsuits challenging whether the discussions are protected. A judge’s ruling could later make those recordings public.

“There are politics behind this bill,” said Larry Dean Valente, vice president of the Adams County School District 50 Board. “This is a legislative solution to a political battle and that is unfortunate.”

Under current state law, the executive session privilege protects confidential legal consultations and discussions about personnel issues and property sales that are discussed in executive decisions.

Democrats Rep. Cherylin Peniston of Westminster and Sen. Mary Hodge of Brighton say their measure, House Bill 1110, would ensure school boards are transparent in all of their actions. Read more »

Behind the Scenes: Cory Gardner was Cautious yet Ambitious in Deciding Senate Run

March 6, 2014
Rep. Cory Gardner’s poll standings were a significant factor in his decision to run against Sen. Mark Udall.

Rep. Cory Gardner’s poll standings were a significant factor in his decision to run against Sen. Mark Udall.

WASHINGTON — Rep. Cory Gardner stepped into the office of Rep. Mike Coffman to ask for advice: Should he change his mind and run for the U.S. Senate?

The conversation took place last week after a new private poll was conducted with startling results – the Republican from Yuma was slightly ahead of Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup.

Challenging Udall would be no easy task. It would require taking on an incumbent senator with near-universal name recognition, a hint of glamor, and a significantly large war chest for a state such as Colorado.

But Coffman, the former Colorado Secretary of State and Republican from Aurora, told his friend and colleague to go for it.

So did Rep. Doug Lamborn, the Republican from Colorado Springs. “It’s a risk, but it could pay off pay big time,” Lamborn said in an interview Tuesday.

Colorado Republicans have long recognized Gardner’s ambitions and potential to attain higher office. Read more »

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