Colorado shares ideas with Wyoming

Hilary Rudy, deputy elections director for the Colorado secretary of state's office, Renea Vitto, president of the Wyoming County Clerks Association and the clerk of Natrona County, and Larimer County Clerk Angela Myers.
Hilary Rudy, deputy elections director for the Colorado secretary of state’s office, Renea Vitto, president of the Wyoming County Clerks Association and the clerk of Natrona County, and Larimer County Clerk Angela Myers.

There aren’t any border wars when it comes to elections, just ask Colorado and Wyoming.

This week, Colorado’s deputy elections director, Hilary Rudy, and Larimer County Clerk Angela Myers met with Renea Vitto,  president of the Wyoming County Clerks Association and the clerk of Natrona County, in Cheyenne.

Wyoming asked to talk with Colorado about how the the state implemented mail ballots and Colorado was glad to oblige.

“It was fun presenting with Angela,” Rudy said. “We loved it when one of the clerks commented on how well we worked together.”

Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Murray and his wife, Caren.
Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Murray and his wife, Caren.

Meanwhile, Wyoming’s secretary of state, Ed Murray, is learning new ideas at the National Association of Secretaries of State conference in Washington, D.C. Also in attendance is Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams.

The workshops have included a variety of topics, from elections to notaries to civil technology — where Pennsylvania Secretary of State Pedro Cortez gave a shout out to Colorado’s awarding-winning app and business challenge, GoCodeColorado.

Murray said he hopes to learn new ideas for communicating with Wyoming voters.

My first tip? “Set up a Twitter account.”

My second tip? Remember whose account you are tweeting from. Yesterday, I retweeted something about a Bernie Sanders rally — from the Colorado Secretary of State’s account, not mine. Crikey!

 

Secretary of State Wayne Williams unloads 674 pounds of food as part of Super Bowl bet

Rick Enstrom of Enstrom Candies and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams at the Food Bank of the Rockies this morning with the 674 pounds of food donated by the candy company. It's part of a Super Bowl wager between Williams and North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall.
Rick Enstrom of Enstrom Candies and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams at the Food Bank of the Rockies this morning with the 674 pounds of food donated by the candy company. It’s part of a Super Bowl wager between Williams and North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams’ bet that the Denver Broncos will beat the Carolina Panthers in Sunday’s Super Bowl netted in 674 pounds of groceries being dropped off this morning at Food Bank of the Rockies.

And more food is coming.

Today’s food was donated by by Enstrom Candies, who got in on the secretary’s bet. In addition to tuna, peanut butter and cans of sweet corn, the company contributed some of its famous toffee — 2,000 individual candy bars to be exact.

“Take that, Carolina Panthers!” Rick Enstrom said, as he and Williams helped unload food from the back of his truck.

Williams and North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall are helping out the hungry with their Super Bowl bet. Each office will collect food to be donated to their respective food banks, Food Bank of the Rockies and Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. The donations will be made in the name of the winning team, which Williams predicts will be the Denver Broncos.

In addition to the secretary of state’s office, Denver Clerk Debra Johnson and Arapahoe Clerk Matt Crane and their staffs also are collecting food items and will add them to the Colorado Secretary of State’s haul.  The donations will be delivered to Food Bank of the Rockies next week.

Members of the Colorado Secretary of State's Human Resources Committee, along with businessman Rick Enstrom and Secretary of Wayne Williams. The committee is helping organize the office's food drive as part of a Super Bowl bet. From left to right: Kristine Reynolds, Cheryl Hodges, Enstrom, Lynn Waring, Secretary Williams, Janet Perry and Abbas Montoya.
Members of the Colorado Secretary of State’s Employee Relations Committee, along with businessman Rick Enstrom and Secretary of Wayne Williams. The committee is helping organize the office’s food drive as part of a Super Bowl bet. From left to right: Kristine Reynolds, Cheryl Hodges, Enstrom, Lynn Waring, Secretary Williams, Janet Perry and Abbas Montoya.

Secretary Williams touts one-time rival, Joe Neguse, for cabinet post

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams presents his one-time campaign rival, Joe Neguse, for confirmation as head of the Department of Regulatory Agencies before a Senate committee Wednesday.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams presents his one-time campaign rival, Joe Neguse, for confirmation as head of the Department of Regulatory Agencies before a Senate committee Wednesday.

They campaigned against each other for secretary of state, but on Wednesday Republican Wayne Williams and Democrat Joe Neguse sat side by side in a Senate confirmation hearing, praising each other.

Williams, who beat Neguse by 2.2 percentage points, took office in January 2015. Gov. John Hickenlooper last spring appointed Neguse to head the Department of Regulatory Agencies, better known as DORA. The post requires Senate confirmation, which is why Neguse appeared before the state Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee.

Neguse sailed through the hearing after Williams and members of the Republican-controlled committee praised his performance. Neguse’s confirmation now goes before the full Senate where it has been deemed such a sure thing it was put on what is called the consent calendar, where all 35 senators are expected to be “yes” votes.

“Politics often sounds nasty,” Williams said, referring to the recent Iowa caucus.

“And that’s a different level of dialogue than Americans and Coloradans really want and I am here as kind  of a testament that you can run a campaign without wallowing in the mud or engaging in rancor.  Joe and I had the opportunity to both run for secretary of state for more than a year and as we went across the state and showed up at different forums. There were some things we disagreed on but there were also a lot of things we agreed on. And we did throughout the campaign keep it civil.”

Read moreSecretary Williams touts one-time rival, Joe Neguse, for cabinet post

Secretary Wayne Williams: making inroads on transportation

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, third from left, at Gov. John Hickenlooper's State of the State address on the House floor Thursday. To Williams' left is Robin Pringle, the governor's fiancé and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. On his right is state Treasurer Walker Stapleton and Attorney General Cynthia Coffman. Williams stood and applauded when the governor said the state needs new money for transportation. (Photo by Evan Semón/Special to Secretary of State)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, third from left, at Gov. John Hickenlooper’s State of the State address on the House floor Thursday. To Williams’ left is Robin Pringle, the governor’s fiancé and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. On his right is state Treasurer Walker Stapleton and Attorney General Cynthia Coffman. Williams stood and applauded when the governor said the state needs new money for transportation. (Photo by Evan Semón/Special to Secretary of State)

By Lynn Bartels and Keara Brosnan

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams’ name is linked with elections but the Colorado Springs Republican’s expertise also includes transportation, which is obvious when he’s out and about.

At the Colorado Restaurant Association’s Blue Ribbon Reception Wednesday night, Williams reminisced with Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, a Steamboat Springs Democrat. They were county commissioners when they served together on the Colorado State Transportation Advisory Committee. The same happened at a recent breakfast meeting with county clerks when Williams ran into  Tim Harris, the former chief engineer for the Colorado Department of Transportation.

“A fun thing about being SOS,” Williams said, “is I get to drive on a lot of the roads that I helped to get funding for.”

His knowledge on transportation came in handy Thursday when Gov. John Hickenlooper addressed the issue during his State of the State speech.

Read moreSecretary Wayne Williams: making inroads on transportation

Here’s to you, Bill Artist

Senate President Bill Cadman, House Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst and lobbyist Bill Artist at the Colorado Restaurant Association's Blue Ribbon Reception on Wednesday.
Senate President Bill Cadman, House Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst and lobbyist Bill Artist at the Colorado Restaurant Association’s Blue Ribbon Reception on Wednesday.

Lawmakers lauded and lampooned lobbyist Bill Artist Wednesday night at the Colorado Restaurant Association’s annual Blue Ribbon Reception.

Artist is the longtime lobbyist for the group, which hosts a party on opening day of the Colorado General Assembly.

“The association was formed in 1933. They hired Bill Artist to get rid of Prohibition and it worked. You’ve been lobbying us ever since,” joked Senate President Bill Cadman.

Cadman, a Colorado Springs Republican, said lawmakers appreciate Artist, his team and the Colorado Restaurant Association. As someone whose job keeps him from going home on a regular basis, Cadman said he has yet to cook at his place in Denver. That, he said, means he is continually supporting the restaurant industry, which has supported him during his nearly 16 years in office.

Cadman singled out Artist during his remarks welcoming those to the event. House Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, a Boulder Democrat, joined in.

“I don’t want to do a one up on the president — so early in the session,” she said.

But the speaker noted she has known Artist  since she was a lobbyist trying to get her bills passed and Artist was a Republican lawmaker.  Artist served three terms in the state House and then founded J. William Artists & Associates in 1986. His daughter Lacee now lobbies with him.

“Now it’s nice to have him as the lobbyist and I’m the lawmaker,” she said.