POLITICS

Local politics, elections and issues.

Political consultant Joel Dyar talks with Ali Lightfoot about trends in politics regionally and nationally, and discusses notable Colorado candidates and races in the 2018 election.

Kori Stanton

Candidates from Colorado's 3rd Congressional district talk about where they stand on gun laws as well as school security and mental health funding.   We hear from Diane Mitsch Bush, Karl Hanlon, and Arn Menconi.

KVNF's Felix Belmont speaks with District 2 Commissioner Don Suppes about marijuana laws in the county.

Ali Lightfoot

The Old County Courthouse in Grand Junction was alive with activity and citizens exercising their First Amendment rights as they gathered for the 2nd Annual Western Colorado Women's March.   

Willie Stark

In April 2014, Cliven Bundy, along with hundreds of supporters, faced down federal agents over the removal of his cattle from public lands. They'd been illegally grazing for years and a court had ordered their impoundment. Three years later, Cliven Bundy, along with two of his sons and a handful of supporters, is slated to go on trial. It's been a long and windy road to the courtroom; HCN associate editor Tay Wiles breaks it down.

 

District 2 Commissioner, Don Suppes talks with Felix Belmont about the Delta Urban Renewal Authority (known ss DURA).

Eric Goold

KVNF News looks at two different expressions of the Progressive Movement in Colorado. First we have an interview with filmmaker Jacob Smith, who screened the documentary "Waking the Sleeping Giant" in Paonia. And we'll have interviews with panelists from the D3Indivisible Summit that was held in Ridgway. Both events reflected the influence of Senator Bernie Sanders.

A group of North Fork residents went to Washington DC where they spoke with decision makers regarding the community's vision for the future.  Alex Johnson Executive Director at the Western Slope Conservation Center, Mary Marshall of Solar Energy International and local business owner, Frederick Zimmer talk about their trip.

Brooke Warren

The election of Donald Trump to the presidency came to the surprise of many. In the aftermath, coastal media rushed to understand rural areas better, but failed to do much more than parachute in and make assumptions. In this episode of West Obsessed, the writers and editors of High Country News discuss the political nuances of one Colorado county that flipped from blue to red. 

 

Ali Lightfoot

Organizers and marchers in Grand Junction and Paonia speak with Ali Lightfoot about why they took part in the worldwide movement on January 21, 2017.

Merchant Herald

Host Felix Belmont bids farewell to district 2 commissioner, Bruce Hovde.   They talk about Hovde's accomplishments during the past 8 years and his hopes for the future of Delta County.

Ali Lightfoot

The "Adorable Deplorables" were out in full force  when Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump held a rally at Grand Junction Regional Airport. Supporters lined up around the West Star Aviation hangar several hours before Trump arrived.  An estimated 3,000 very vocal supporters welcomed the candidate to Grand Junction.  KVNF's Eric Goold and Ali Lightfoot attended and spoke with Trump supporters and protestors.

KVNF's Cynthia Hines speaks with the American humanities scholar, author and host of the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Clay Jenkinson.     Jenkinson will be portraying Theodore Roosevelt at the Montrose Pavilion on Saturday October 15th.   The event and fundraiser celebrates 100 years of the National Park Service.

The League of Women Voters hosted the Delta County Candidate Forum on Tuesday October 11th  at Memorial Hall in Hotchkiss.    The forum was conducted  in a Town Hall format taking questions from the audience.   Delta County Commissioner candidates,   and District 61 candidates participated.   District 61 candidates are Bob Schutt, Republican; and Millie Hamner, Democrat. County commissioner candidates are Don Suppes (R), Travis Mills (D) and Mark Eckhart (Independent) in District 2, and Jere Lowe (D) and Mark Roeber (R) in District 3.

High Country News

Donald Trump’s unlikely run for the presidency has upset America's political apple cart. Trump’s ridicule of Republican Party leaders, his calls for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and for a ban on Muslim immigration, and the vitriol and violence evident at his rallies raise major questions about our nation and our democracy. But how are they playing out in the West? In this episode of West Obsessed, the writers and editors of High Country News discuss Trump's run for president and the impact its having in the region.

As part of KVNF’s 2016 election coverage,  we bring to you 5 minute speeches from all the Delta County Commissioner candidates  and District 61 State Representative candidates. In Delta County’s district 2, Republican Don Suppes, Independent Mark Eckhart and Democrat Travis Mills.  In Delta County’s district 3 race,   Republican Incumbent Mark Roeber and Democrat Jere Lowe. We also hear speeches from District 61 House of Representative candidates,  Incumbent Democrat Millie Hamner and Republican Bob Schutt.

Brennan Linsley/AP

West Obsessed is the show where High Country News editors and eriters discuss the region’s most important stories. On this episodehost Brian Calvert explores current movements of so-called 'constitutional sheriffs'.  These are law enforcement officials who believe that the federal government has no jurisdiction over their counties. Brian is joined by writers Jonathan Thompson and Tay Wiles to discuss the movements around the country led by sheriffs who are part of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officer's Association.

In the February 2016 edition of The Delta County Commissioners Report,  Felix Belmont speaks with district 1 commissioner Doug Atchley.

Brooke Warren

West Obsessed is a new audio series, where the journalists of High Country News discuss the stories and issues that make the American West such an interesting, unique place.  In the latest episode, editors Brian Calvert and Tay Wiles discuss the Malheur Wildlife Refuge occupation in Oregon with photographer Brooke Warren, who spent a few days with the occupiers as they set up in the refuge.

Colorado has largely been spared from the political wrangling ahead of the 2016 presidential race. But as Republicans nationally are working to narrow the presidential field, the Republican Party in Colorado wants to widen its field of candidates to run against incumbent Democratic Senator Michael Bennet.

"The numbers tell us Senator Bennet is vulnerable," said Republican state party Chairman Steve House. "It would be great to hold onto the U.S. Senate. Republicans have to defend a number of seats more than the Democrats."

When President Obama spoke to the Democratic National Convention in Colorado seven years ago, he tried to call a truce in one of the nation's long-running social debates.

"We may not agree on abortion. But surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country," he said to applause.

Not long after that, Colorado launched an experiment aimed at doing just that. The results have been dramatic — but efforts to expand the program using taxpayer money have hit a political roadblock.

The Justice Department is trying to make it easier for Native American tribes to gain access to national crime databases. Federal authorities say the program could prevent criminals from buying guns and help keep battered women and foster children safe.

The issue of who can see information in federal criminal databases might sound boring, until one considers a deadly shooting at a high school in Washington state last year.

State by state, the legal marijuana business is slowly gaining ground. The industry is using both an increasingly favorable public opinion toward marijuana and a newly legal cash flow to try to transform itself into a force in national politics.

By last count, the Justice Department estimates about 80,000 U.S. inmates live in some kind of restricted housing.

That means being confined to a cell for about 22 hours a day.

"You are going to eat, sleep and defecate in a small room that's actually smaller than the size of your average parking space," said Amy Fettig, a lawyer who runs the Stop Solitary campaign for the American Civil Liberties Union. "And you're going to do that for months, years and sometimes even decades on end."

Fettig said solitary confinement is brutal and expensive.

As 2016 campaigns heat up, Republicans are working to boost their momentum among Latino voters, and the numbers make it easy to see why.

On the Republican side of the 2016 race, this was the week the courting of the Latino vote seemed to begin.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas spoke Wednesday at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., after the group criticized him for skipping their summit last month. Meanwhile, Jeb Bush went on a Spanish-language tour — first to Puerto Rico and then speaking to the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference in Houston.

The state budget has cleared both legislative chambers but still needs to head to a conference committee to iron out differences. The end of the budget process means lawmakers will shift their attention to other bills before the end of the session. With that May 6 deadline rapidly approaching, what's in store for some of the outstanding legislation?

Go to renew your driver's license in Oregon, and you will now be signed up to vote automatically.

It's the first state in the country with that sort of law, which is designed to make voting easier, and stands in contrast to the trend seen in the past several years in more conservative states.

The divide between Republicans and Democrats on pot politics is narrowing, President Barack Obama said in an interview Monday.

Trying to get more information on the health impact of oil and gas drilling is a topic that lawmakers will soon be taking up at the statehouse. It comes after the Governor's Oil and Gas Task Force finished their work and issued several health related recommendations.

"I get a little bit concerned and annoyed when people try to use health as the basis of what they don't like about oil and gas," said Dr. Larry Wolk the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment.

He said he understands the concern, but worries the state doesn't have enough hard data.

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