Hick Hits Back at Ethics Complaint, Says Other Governors Also Received Free Stuff at Conferences

April 11, 2014
Gov. John Hickenlooper

Gov. John Hickenlooper

DENVER — Gov. John Hickenlooper defended himself Thursday against a complaint alleging that he violated the state’s gift ban by accepting freebies at a Democratic governors’ event, insisting that governors have been doing it for years.

“We’ve all done the same thing. We don’t use any state money, we only go there and focus on trying to get good ideas from each other,” Hickenlooper said in his monthly interview with KOA-AM’s Mike Rosen. “There’s plenty of politics. I’m not saying there’s not politics involved, but the priority is the issues.”

Hickenlooper is fighting an ethics complaint filed by the conservative group Compass Colorado accusing him of acting improperly by allowing the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) to pick up the tab for him and his staff at its August conference in Aspen. Read more »

Udall Absent from Pro-Keystone Dem Letter

April 10, 2014

DENVER — Sen. Mark Udall on Thursday put more distance between himself and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline by refusing to sign a letter from fellow Democrats supporting the project.

The letter, signed by 11 Senate Democrats, including five running for reelection in red states, urges President Barack Obama to make a decision by May 31 on a long-delayed segment of the 1,700-mile pipeline to transport oil from Canada to Texas.

“We cannot miss another construction season, given the long, cold winter this year along the Keystone XL route and the time required for ground thaw, we could be looking at a very short season. We need a definitive timeline laid out,” lawmakers said in the letter.

“The time to act is now, Mr. President. Please use your executive authority to expedite this process to a swift conclusion and a final decision so that we can all move forward on other energy infrastructure needs in this country,” the letter said. Read more »

GOP: Dems Don’t Walk the Talk on Gender Pay Issue

April 10, 2014

WASHINGTON – Senator Mark Udall came under fire from Republicans this week for supporting equal wage legislation even as the Colorado Democrat was shown to have paid female employees in his congressional office less than their male counterparts.

The pushback came amid a heated election-year debate in the U.S. Senate over legislation that would remove limits on punitive damage awards against businesses that discriminate based on gender.

The Paycheck Fairness Act would also prohibit employers from punishing workers who compare paychecks, and require the Labor Department to collect wage information based on gender and provide more workplace training on discrimination.

Udall and Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet both voted in favor of a procedural measure to advance the legislation, but the issue failed because it did not receive the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster. Read more »

Cash is Rolling in for Top Colorado Campaign Battles

April 10, 2014

WASHINGTON – Colorado Republican Rep. Cory Gardner said he raised $1.25 million for his Senate campaign in March and $1.4 million overall in the first quarter of the year.

In an interview on the steps of the Capitol Wednesday night, Gardner volunteered the information to a reporter but did not elaborate on its importance for his bid to unseat Udall in November. Gardner is expected to receive the party’s nod at the Republican State Assembly this weekend.

Gardner confirmed his goal is to raise $8 million to $10 million for the campaign. The higher figure is consistent with the amount victorious Senate candidates raised from 1986 to 2012.

Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) raised just over $2 million in the first quarter of the year.

The fundraising battle in another likely match-up in the 6th Congressional District is tight. GOP incumbent Rep. Mike Coffman and former Democratic State Senate President Andrew Romanoff each raised about $600,000 in the first quarter of the year, according to the Denver Post. Coffman has $1.85 million cash on hand to Romanoff’s $2.1 million. Read more »

Dems Kill their Bill to Punish Cyberbullies

April 10, 2014

DENVER – A bill to punish cyberbullies was killed Wednesday by its sponsors who instead want to authorize the Colorado Commission for Juvenile Justice (CCJJ) to further study social media crimes committed against youngsters.

The bill was supported by victims of cyberbullying and some lawyers including Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler. But it was opposed by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the Colorado District Attorneys’ Council.

“The constitutional arguments for free speech are a red herring on this bill,” said Tom Raynes, executive director of the Colorado District Attorneys’ Council.

Sens. Linda Newell (D-Littleton) and John Kefalas (D-Fort Collins) asked the Senate Judiciary Committee to kill their measure, House Bill 1131, which would have made cyberbullying a misdemeanor offense.

“We don’t want unintended consequences,” Kefalas told the Observer. “We’ll come up with a more receptive bill to prevent the crime of cyberbullying.” Read more »

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