Sen. Cory Gardner, “our environmentalist,” addresses CACI

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams at a lunch Thursday sponsored by the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry. (Photo courtesy of Evan Semón)
U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams at a lunch Thursday sponsored by the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry. (Photo courtesy of Evan Semón)

Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner was introduced at a business lunch in Denver on Thursday as “our environmentalist on Capitol Hill” and dang if he didn’t get up and recycle a joke from his 2014 campaign.

Gardner noted that the attack ads aimed at him featured “grainy black-and-white pictures” and seemed to air “every 30 seconds.”

“One of the greatest places you can go to as a Republican in a heated campaign is Cabella’s,” he said, referring to the giant fishing-and-hunting outlet.

Per usual, the line elicited laughter. Gardner talked about customers coming up to him at the Cabella’s in Grand Junction and asking how he was doing. Two men in particular were staring at him. One walked off but the other said, “Hey, hey, are you — ?” and Gardner smiled and said, “Yeah, yeah, I am.”

“So he calls his buddy over and says, ‘Look, it’s Bill Owens!'” Gardner said, referring to a former governor.

The crowd at the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry gathering let out a big laugh, and Gardner then finished off with another line: “So now I go to REI.”

Keith Pearson, chair-elect of the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, and Travis Webb, a managing partner at BKD LLP, the new CACI chair, at a lunch Thursday (Photo by Evan Semón)
Keith Pearson, chair-elect of the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, and Travis Webb, a managing partner at BKD LLP and the new CACI chair, at a lunch Thursday in Denver. (Photo by Evan Semón)

The crowd also welcomed CACI’s new chairman, Travis Webb, a managing partner at BKD LLP, one of the nation’s largest accounting and advisory firms. The Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry ‘s motto is “We champion a healthy business climate.”

Gardner last year defeated Democrat Mark Udall, becoming the first candidate in 36 years to knock off an incumbent Colorado U.S. senator. He told the crowd that he and Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and the rest of the Colorado delegation — featuring three Democrats and four Republicans — get along better than some delegations that are all members of the same party.

“The Colorado delegation works together better than any other delegation in the country,” Gardner said, adding that helped the state get the funding to finish the beleaguered Veterans Affairs hospital in Aurora.

The senator touched on a variety of topics, including broadband, deregulation, marijuana and banking, trade agreements and aerospace and technology. He got a big round of applause when he said the Senate passed the first long-term transportation bill in more than a decade, particularly after he spelled out what that money means for Colorado. And he talked about the need to bring the economic boom in certain parts of Colorado, such as the Denver metro area, to the rest of the state.

Gardner also joked on the situation in Washington, saying he is the only senator not running for president, and noted the one thing D.C. can agree on is who will not be speaker. He then pointed to CACI’s executive director, former state House Speaker Chuck Berry, and said a petition was circulating to put Berry in the post.

The line about Gardner being an environmentalist drew this response on Twitter from Conservation Colorado: “Interesting.” His environmental record was criticized during the campaign.

 

 

 

 

 

Gov. John Hickenlooper’s “Sweet Second Term” (Bom, bom, bom)

Gov. John Hickenlooper and the Hick-tones perform at the Denver Press Club's annual Gridiron Show. From left to right, Hickenlooper, Left to right:
Gov. John Hickenlooper and the Hick-tones perform at the Denver Press Club’s annual Gridiron Show. From left to right, Hickenlooper, Sabrina D’Agosta, Sarah Moss, Tom Scharf, Bob Rebholtz and Tom Clark. (Photo courtesy of the Hick-tones.)

Gov. John Hickenlooper admits he doesn’t have much of a voice, but he and the Hick-Tones, the group that backs him up every year at the Denver Press Club’s annual Gridiron Show, once again put together a heck of a performance, this year to the tune of “Sweet Caroline.”

It all began/Back at my little brewpub/Playin’ pool and slingin’ beer

Entrepreneur/Mayor and then the guv’na/I can’t sing but I’m still here

Hands/Shaking hands/Creatin’ jobs … for you and me/

Sweet state of mine (bom, bom, bom)/Colorado you’re so good/

Broncos front line (bom, bom, bom) Just ain’t working like it should/

Read moreGov. John Hickenlooper’s “Sweet Second Term” (Bom, bom, bom)

Denver Press Club’s Gridiron shows zings EPA, Tom Brady and others

Denver City Council members Kevin Flynn, Robin Kniech and Mary Beth Susman perform at the Denver Press Club's annual Gridiron Show Friday night at the University of Denver's Reiman Theater. (Photo courtesy of Brendan McCaw Photography)
Denver City Council members Kevin Flynn, Robin Kniech and Mary Beth Susman perform at the Denver Press Club’s annual Gridiron Show Friday night at the University of Denver’s Reiman Theater. (Photo courtesy of Brendan McCaw Photography)

The Environmental Protection Agency and Gov. Chris Christie’s bridge controversy  provided grist Friday for the Denver Press Club’s annual Gridiron Show, which spoofs politicians and political happenings in song and skit.

The show  featured Gov. John Hickenlooper and the Hicktones, singing “Sweet Second Term” to “Sweet Caroline.”

Former Denver Post reporter, Fred Brown, known for his style and his stanzas, moderated the event, which was held at the Reiman Theater on the University of Denver campus. Brown’s limerick on outgoing Speaker John Boehner got a huge laugh:

For years now it couldn’t be plainer
The Tea Party hated John Boehner
   They wanted, as speaker,
   Someone stronger, not weaker,
Or really, just someone insane-er. 

Read moreDenver Press Club’s Gridiron shows zings EPA, Tom Brady and others

Colorado county clerks: thinking outside the box regarding the box

Logan County has gone to drive-by voting, with Clerk and Recorder Pam Bacon installing a new ballot drop box that allows voters to pull up and drop off their ballots.

Logan County Clerk and Recorder Pam Bacon demonstrates how the new drop box can be closed and locked for times when there are deadlines for official documents, like ballots or tax payments. (Photo courtesy of Sara Waite / Sterling Journal-Advocate)
Logan County Clerk and Recorder Pam Bacon demonstrates how the new drop box can be closed and locked. (Photo courtesy of Sara Waite / Sterling Journal-Advocate)

Bacon also got the OK from Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams’ office to make it a “multi-use box” so that county residents can drop off their motor-vehicle registrations.

Other county clerks also use 24-hour ballot boxes, which under secretary of state rules must be monitored by surveillance cameras with the data being preserved for 25 months.  It is illegal to drop off more than 10 ballots at a time, and the outside of the envelopes must be signed by the voter in order to  be counted, state  elections director Judd Choate said.

According to the Sterling-Journal Advocate, Bacon also reached out to the other county departments, with Treasurer Patty Bartlett believing the box would be useful for receiving tax payments. Bacon said residents can drop off correspondence for any county office, such as a letter to the county commissioners.

“Whatever is in there,'” Bacon told the newspaper, “we’ll make sure it gets to whatever county office it needs to.”

Here’s a look at ballot-box practices in some other counties, per their clerks or election officials:

Read moreColorado county clerks: thinking outside the box regarding the box

Memorial service for Katy Atkinson set for 1 p.m. Tuesday in Denver

Katy Atkinson in 2005 on the Ref C campaign. (Rocky Mountain News)
Katy Atkinson in 2005 on the Ref C campaign. (Rocky Mountain News*)

A media critic once asked me why I interviewed the same small handful of media consultants — including Katy Atkinson and Eric Sondermann — over and over.

I told Jason Salzman that I had the numbers for about 15 consultants taped to my computer, but that I particularly relied on Atkinson and Sondermann because they were smart and “up on everything.”

“Bartels acknowledges that she quotes a relatively small number of political commentators repeatedly, and she says she’d like to expand her list. But it’s not easy to find sources who are willing to be quoted, call back before deadline, are honest and, finally, can articulate a sentence with ‘real words’ and ‘nouns,'” Salzman wrote in the Rocky Mountain News.

“She told me during her interview that I wasn’t using ‘nouns’ myself. She was right; I was muddled, but eventually I got my question out, sort of.”

Sadly, here are some  nouns: cancer, memorial service, cemetery, reception.

Atkinson died Sept. 24 at the age of 59 after a brief battle with brain cancer.  A memorial service honoring her will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Trinity United Methodist Church, 1820 Broadway, with internment at the Crown Hill Cemetery, 7777 W. 29th Ave. in Wheat Ridge. Services are open to the public.

Read moreMemorial service for Katy Atkinson set for 1 p.m. Tuesday in Denver