The best to you, Henry Sobanet

“Nobody has done more for Colorado than Henry Sobanet. There should be streets, buildings, and airports named after him. Henry stands as the antithesis of everything politics has sadly become. Though he stood at the helm of our budget, he cared not for money, but for making Colorado a better place.”

Budget director Henry Sobanet, center, and the two governors he worked for, Democrat John Hickenlooper on the left and Republican Bill Owens on the right, in 2015. Sobanet’s last day at the Capitol is today. (Sobanet picture)

The year was 2005 and I was assigned to cover the complicated ballot measures Ref C & D, dealing with taxes and the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

I called the governor’s budget director, Henry Sobanet, all hours of the day and night. “Is this correct? What if that happens? Does this mean this?”

These days I’m answering phone calls from reporters.

At closing time recently I posted a Tweet about the ballot rejection rates from unaffiliated voters in two counties. Reporters immediately asked if I had more numbers. “I don’t,” I said,  “but I can call around to the clerks and get some.”

“You would do that on a Friday afternoon?” Megan Verlee of Colorado Public Radio asked.

Yes, because that’s my job.

Sobanet always answered his cell phone. I once had a a fairly lengthy budget conversation with him one Friday night before he finally admitted he was at a party and talking to me from inside someone’s bedroom.

Today is Sobanet’s last day at the state Capitol after serving the state and two governors for 20 years.

Read moreThe best to you, Henry Sobanet

Here comes — The Colorado Sun!

The wooden U decorated by the new journalism outlet, The Colorado Sun.

That was quick! I handed out a wooden U to The Colorado Sun’s editor, Larry Ryckman, at The Denver Press Club last week and he posted it today on Twitter!

The Colorado Sun bills itself as a “reader-supported, journalist-owned news outlet focused on investigative, explanatory and narrative journalism.” The initial staff consists of former Denver Post reporters, who talked about their endeavor at the Press Club.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams handed out the wooden U’s as part of the UChooseCO campaign to help inform unaffiliated voters that for the first time they can participate in in a primary election in Colorado, and to remind them they can only vote one ballot. If they vote both, neither will count.

Today is Election Day. Colorado will choose its nominees for governor, attorney general, treasurer and a host of other offices, from county clerk to sheriff to state senator.

The UChooseCO campaign has a web pageFacebook page, a Twitter account and its own hashtag, #UChooseCO. Check out more decorated U’s on Facebook and Twitter and this blog.

Members of The Colorado Sun talk with the public at the Denver Press Club. From left to right, John Ingold, Kevin Simpson, Dana Coffield, Larry Ryckman, Eric Lubbers and Jennifer Brown. (SOS photo)

All about U — and health care

Brian Clark and Deb Goeken from the Colorado Health Institute and their wooden U. (SOS photo)

Did you know that 93.5 percent of Coloradans are insured? Well, they are. It’s right on the wooden U decorated by the Colorado Health Institute.

The health policy think tank sliced-and-diced and glue-sticked an annual report and the result is a wonderfully decorated U filled with data.

The back features columbines, the state flower, and the sides have information, too. That comes as no surprise because the work was done by Brian Clark, the associate director of visual communications for the Colorado Health Institute, and a former designer for the late, great Rocky Mountain News. In on the project was another Rocky alum, Deb Goeken, the vice president of communications for CHI.

The top of the wooden U decorated by the Colorado Health Institute.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams handed out the U’s as part of the UChooseCO campaign to help inform  unaffiliated voters that for the first time they can participate in Tuesday’s primary election, and to remind them they can only vote one ballot. If they vote both, neither will count.

The Colorado Health Access Survey is a biannual survey of 10,000 Colorado households managed by the Colorado Health Institute and primarily funded by The Colorado Trust.

The UChooseCO campaign has a web pageFacebook page, a Twitter account and its own hashtag, #UChooseCO. Check out more decorated U’s on Facebook and Twitter and this blog.

Two other Rocky alums have decorated a U: former Cherry School District spokeswoman Tustin Amole — and me!

All about U — and print journalists

From the Fort Collins Coloradoan, which reminded unaffiliated voters they could only vote one ballot.

A big thank you to all the newspapers statewide that have done a great job telling their voters about Tuesday’s primary election and reminding unaffiliated voters to just return one ballot.

Summit County Clerk Kathleen Neel and The Fort Collins Coloradoan went a step further and decorated a wooden U in newsprint. Neel used articles from the Summit Daily News.

The wooden U from Summit County Clerk Kathleen Neel.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams is handing out the wooden U’s as part of the UChooseCO campaign to help educate unaffiliated voters that for the first time they can participate in Tuesday’s primary election. But he wants to remind them if they vote both the Republican and the Democratic ballots they received neither will count. They can only vote one.

We’ve given a U to the new Colorado Sun, and we hope that the Colorado Springs Gazette, The Denver Post, Colorado Independent and other media outlets that received a wooden U will still decorate theirs.

And thank you to The Durango Herald for writing about the U decorated by the La Plata County Clerk’s Office, which has been dealing with a wildfire. The Steamboat Pilot & Today has done a good job of informing unaffiliated voters, which is the largest voting bloc in Routt county.

The UChooseCO campaign has a web pageFacebook page, a Twitter account and its own hashtag, #UChooseCO. Check out more decorated U’s on Facebook and Twitter and this blog.

All about U — and Colorado’s political status

Blogger Jason Salzman’s wooden U describes Colorado’s political climate.

When you’re in the communications business, you strive for a clear, simple message and man, did Jason Salzman nail that with his wooden U.

Salzman writes The Big Media Blog and he was in the office Thursday to test out the Colorado Secretary of State office’s new system for filing campaign finance complaints. When he stopped by my office for a chat I gave him one of the U’s and asked him to go for it. That he did. Swing state, purple state, Colorado has always had a bit of a political pendulum going.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams is handing out the U’s as part of the UChooseCO campaign to educate unaffiliated voters that for the first time they can participate in Tuesday’s primary election, but they can only vote one ballot. The campaign has a web pageFacebook page, a Twitter account and its own hashtag, #UChooseCO.