SIPA: helping government go digital

Marybeth Van Horn accepted a $1,000 micro grant on behalf of the town of Moffat at an event Tuesday in Denver. With her are, left, Irv Halter, the director of the Department of Local Affairs, and to her right, Secretary of State Wayne Wiliams and state Sen. Dom Coram, R-Montrose. (SOS photo)
Jill Jolton, enterprise content management coordinator for the city of Arvada, and Rep. Bob Rankin, R-Carbondale. (SOS photo)

Government agencies big — the University of Colorado — and small — the town of Moffat, pop. 116 — rejoiced Tuesday night when accepting grants designed to help them put more information and services online.

CU received $3,000 to scan historic maps of the state published between 1880 and 1907 and put them online, and another $6,500 to digitize the state House and Senate journals back to the 1800s and make them available to the public.

The town of Moffat, located in Saguache County, received $1,000 to help update and maintain the town’s website.

“We are excited to use this SIPA grant to help increase communications, educate our citizens and create accessibility in our small rural community,” said Marybeth Van Horn of Moffat.

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Secretary Williams talks to clerks about voter fraud

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams on Wednesday address county clerks on the state’s eastern edge, who were meeting in Sterling for training. (SOS photo)

Check out staffer Julia Sunny’s video on the visit with county clerks from the eastern regional. As Kiowa County Clerk Delisa Weeks says, “We’re small, but we’re fun.” YouTube video.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams addressed the issue of voter fraud when he spoke to county clerks on the Eastern Plains Wednesday, warning them that in the coming months his office could be asking about certain constituents suspected of voting twice in the 2016 election.

“Some of you are aware there were accusations that there was rampant fraud in the elections. Some said there was no fraud,” Williams said. “The answer is somewhere in between.”

Colorado is part of a national months-long check of voter histories that flags the names of voters who appeared to have voted more than once.

“I anticipate there will be some people in Colorado who voted in multiple states. There are not tens of thousands of them. It did not change the result of the election,” Williams said.

“But there are elections that decided by a single vote. I presided over those elections as a county clerk. So we care about that issue. The message from us isn’t that vote fraud never occurs, but we make it difficult to occur and we help prosecute people when we find out about it.”

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Club 20 unexpectedly welcomes Wayne Williams

Garfield County Commissioner John Martin and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams at Club 20 on Friday in Grand Junction. (SOS photo)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams wasn’t scheduled to appear at Club 20’s meeting this weekend, but he apparently crashed the executive board’s session at just the right time.

The influential Western Slope organization on Friday debated the rules to follow when it hosts next year’s September debate for governor, the 3rd Congressional District and other candidates in the region. In the past, third-party candidates have been upset at being shut out; others have been unhappy that third-partiers have been included.

Williams, who had just popped in to say “Hi,” was invited to sit down and answer some questions. He said he believes there are better factors to use for determining debate participation than voter registration, including polling results.

Williams served two terms as an El Paso County commissioner so has a county commissioner so he knows plenty of Club 20 members. One of the first ones he ran into at the Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction was Garfield County Commissioner John Martin, who is serving his sixth term. Club 20 in 2013 presented the prestigious Dan Noble Award to Martin for his “outstanding service to western Colorado.”

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Secretary Wayne Williams finds future and past in Little Rock

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams in front of the iconic Little Rock Central High School.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams often tells the story of how the high school he attended once shut done rather than integrate, and during a technology conference in Arkansas this week he got to see where the public showdown first began.

At the conference, Williams also got to ride in a self-driving vehicle and heard from the “Elliot Ness of cyber crime.”

As for the school, a 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling ordering the integration of public schools was met with hostility. In Little Rock, nine black students were denied entrance to all-white Central High School, forcing a very public conflict between President Eisenhower and the Arkansas governor.

Wayne Williams in high school.

At Warren High School in Virginia, where Williams graduated in 1981, the school board decided to close the school rather than allow blacks to attend, which is why there was no graduating Class of 1959.

Williams said the area was still mired in backward thinking when he first attended school, which created an economic decline in the town, which is why he first got involved in politics.

“When I was 17 years old I gathered a group of friends together and we passed out literature to everyone walking into a polling place,” Williams often tells young leaders. “And through that we were able to change the power in my area from one party to my party. So I understand the importance of youth involvement.”

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Cherry Creek Mall: Didn’t you watch Hickenlooper’s 2003 campaign ad?


John Hickenlooper’s 2003 mayoral ad “Change.”

The headline today on a ColoradoPolitics blog read, “Hyper-local politics in Denver: It’s all about parking,” referring to an “uproar” in Cherry Creek.

“Hel-lo!” Businessman John Hickenlooper taught us that lesson in 2003, when he was one of pack of candidates running in the first open Denver mayor’s race in a dozen years. An early poll showed him tied — for fifth place.

Then came Hickenlooper’s folksy, funny ad featuring his showdown with a parking meter attendant. Hickenlooper used an actual change belt tied to his waist, handed out coins to drivers and even fed money into an expired meter in LoDo.

How good was that ad? Did the spot tap in to the frustration of drivers wanting to hang out in downtown Denver? Well, now we call him Gov. Hickenlooper.

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