Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 5:33 pm
The political network led by industrialists Charles and David Koch plans to spend $889 million for the 2016 elections. In modern politics, it's more than just a ton of money.
It's about as much as the entire national Republican Party spent in the last presidential election cycle, four years ago. And as Sheila Krumholz — director of the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks politicians and donors — pointed out in an interview, it's double what the Koch brothers and their network spent in 2012.
Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 12:20 pm
Breathtakingly broad as its jurisdiction may be, the U.S. Senate does not usually vote on the validity of scientific theories.
This week, it did. And science won. The Senate voted that climate change is real, and not a hoax. The vote was 98-1.
The vote was about an amendment to the bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline. The near-unanimity of the climate change judgment was notable, because so many senators have cast doubt on ideas of "global warming."
Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 8:52 am
Governor John Hickenlooper has given his annual State of the State Address in front of a joint session of the General Assembly. What were some of the highlights of his annual report on Colorado's prospects? What should we expect in the year ahead?
We asked some of the reporters that work daily in the capitol building for their thoughts.
Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 12:49 pm
Governor John Hickenlooper gave his annual State of the State Address in front of a joint session of the General Assembly Thursday. In the speech the governor spoke of his upcoming policies, initiatives, budget proposals and some looming state challenges.
Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 6:38 pm
Governor John Hickenlooper received a warm reception from lawmakers in both parties during his annual State of the State Address. The Governor talked about policies he wants the legislature to adopt, announced a few new initiatives and urged lawmakers to face facts about the challenges facing Colorado.
During his roughly 45-minute speech Hickenlooper highlighted many of his budget proposals, such as giving more money to higher education and K-12 schools. He also pledged to look at ways to creatively fund roads and bridges, and threw his support behind a felony DUI law. Colorado is one of four states without one.
Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 2:53 pm
While oil and gas development is a hot topic, state legislators are waiting for a report from the Governor's Oil and Gas Task Force, mostly holding off on introducing energy related bills. The task force is charged with crafting recommendations to help mitigate the impacts of drilling to communities, and harmonize local and state regulations.
"I have told some members of the task force, you don't have to send something if there's not a problem," said Senator Jerry Sonnenberg (R-Sterling). "I want to know before you send me a solution, the problem we're trying to fix. And if you can't agree on a problem, don't send me legislation just because you're a task force."
Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 8:20 am
Governor John Hickenlooper was sworn into office Tuesday for his second term, with the ceremony taking place outside the west steps of the state capitol. Several hundred people gathered to watch Hickenlooper along with other statewide elected officials take the oath of office.
"I believe that if we are willing to compromise and collaborate on what may seem like an imperfect solution, it is far better than if we cling to entrenched positions and work against one another in pursuit of different allegedly perfect solutions," said Hickenlooper. "Progress, even if incremental, is better than gridlock."
Originally published on Fri January 9, 2015 10:50 am
One hundred lawmakers from across Colorado converged on the state capitol Wednesday for opening day of the annual 120 day legislative session. Freshman lawmakers from both parties were officially sworn in and both chambers have new leaders.
A policy adopted by the Delta County School Board allows outside parties to distribute religious materials on school grounds. Ali Lightfoot speaks with Kurt Clay, Assistant Superintendent for the Delta County School District who explains the policy and Andrew Seidel, an attorney for the Freedom From Religion Foundation, an organization that believes the distribution of religious materials in schools creates social pressure for students and infringes on the rights of parents to direct the religious or non-religious upbringing of their children.
Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 10:35 am
Administering the oath of office to the U.S. Senate sounds like a mundane job. That task falls to the vice president.
But the current occupant of that office, Joe Biden, turns it into an event that's so joyful, and so lacking the partisan rancor that typically dominates American politics, that it's almost hard to believe that you're watching a scene from Washington.
Every two years, a third of the U.S. Senate is elected — and there's a formal oath-taking on the Senate floor. But then, right afterward, each senator takes his or her turn in a ceremonial swearing in.
Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 7:49 am
When the seventieth session of the Colorado General Assembly convenes Jan. 7, 2015 the balance of power at the capitol will have shifted - slightly. Republicans now have control of the state Senate, but they are still in the minority in the House.
Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 7:47 am
When the seventieth session of the Colorado General Assembly convenes Jan. 7, 2015 there will a new speaker of the house. The previous leader in the Colorado House last session was Democrat Mark Ferrandino of Denver. He was term-limited. Dickey Lee Hullinghorst , a Democrat from Boulder, will be the next speaker of the house.
Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 7:44 am
When the seventieth session of the Colorado General Assembly convenes Jan. 7, 2015 there will be a change of control in order in the state Senate. The previous November election shepherded the Republicans into the majority, while the state House of Representatives remains in the hand of the Democrats.
The new session also means a change for Democratic state Senator Morgan Carroll of Aurora. She's going from senate president to minority leader.
Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 4:20 pm
Updated at 9:30 a.m. ET
Sen. Elizabeth Warren failed to stop a change in bank regulations last weekend, but she raised her profile yet again.
The Massachusetts Democrat tells NPR that her fight over a provision in a spending bill was a "warning shot." She intends to continue her fight against what she describes as the power of Wall Street, even though that fight brought her to oppose leaders of her own party.
Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 7:51 am
Colorado's state capitol is getting a major upgrade. A two-year renovation of the building's signature gold dome is complete and on the inside, work is underway on both the House and Senate chambers. Just like any remodeling project, some interesting surprises have been uncovered along the way.
Originally published on Sat November 8, 2014 10:33 am
Colorado is one of the battleground states where Republicans made big gains this week. Republicans in the state believe they now have momentum going into the 2016 presidential election.
But the GOP has suffered some punishing losses there lately, owing in part to the state's changing demographics. That trend may still be a big factor in 2016.
The last time Republicans won a U.S. Senate seat here was when Wayne Allard was re-elected in 2002. Back then, Congressman and now Senator-elect Cory Gardner was a young staffer working behind the scenes for Allard.
Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 4:13 pm
Colorado incumbent Governor John Hickenlooper has been re-elected to a second term.
By 7:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, some 12 and half hours after the polls closed, multiple media organizations including The Denver Post were projecting the win over Republican challenger Bob Beauprez with votes left to count in Boulder and Denver counties. The win is the largest for Democrats in the state following strong Republican victories, notably in the U.S. Senate with Cory Gardner defeating incumbent Senator Mark Udall.