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

Secretary of State Wayne Williams swings through Las Animas, Huerfano and Custer counties

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams stopped by Trinidad Friday to visit with Clerk Peach Vigil, who took office in January. He's in the storage vault with the chief deputy, Shawn Bazanele, left, and Vigil, right. (Lynn Bartels)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams stopped by Trinidad Friday to visit with Clerk Peach Vigil, who took office in January. He’s in the storage vault with the chief deputy, Shawn Bazanele, left, and Vigil, right. (Lynn Bartels)

Three new county clerks, two homecoming parades and a dazzling array of fall colors — a fun day on the road Friday with Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams.

Williams, who took office in January, is trying to visit with all new county clerks before the Nov. 3 coordinated election.  On Friday he visited Las Animas, Huerfano and Custer counties.

In Trinidad, he met with Las Animas County Clerk Peach Vigil. Asked about her nickname, she said she was a week old before her mother settled on the name “Patricia” but in the meantime she called her baby “Peaches.”

The nickname stuck. When Vigil started working for Las Animas County, the longtime clerk used to say, “Peach.” The shortened nickname stuck and Vigil put it on the ballot when she ran, otherwise she said even some family members wouldn’t have recognized her as “Patricia Vigil.”

Streets in Trinidad are paved with red bricks and it was there that we encountered our first homecoming parade.

Read moreSecretary of State Wayne Williams swings through Las Animas, Huerfano and Custer counties

Pueblo County Clerk Bo Ortiz sets up shop at chile festival

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams on Saturday dropped by the voter registration booth set up at Pueblo's Chili & Frijoles Festival. Manning the booth were staffers Ralph Valdez, Clerk and Recorder Bo Ortiz and Shawna Vigil.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams on Saturday dropped by the voter registration booth set up at Pueblo’s Chili & Frijoles Festival. Manning the booth were staffers Ralph Valdez, Clerk and Recorder Bo Ortiz and Shawna Vigil.

Pueblo County Clerk Bo Ortiz is taking advantage of two events that cross paths in September: National Voter Registration Month and the Pueblo Chili & Frijoles Festival.

Ortiz told The Pueblo Chieftain he hopes to register 500 voters during the festival, which begins Friday and continues through Sunday.

Pueblo has 90,079 active voters, according to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office. Of that, 44 percent are Democrats, 30 percent are unaffiliated, 25 percent are Republican and the rest belong to minor parties.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams participated in a variety of events Tuesday as part of National Voter Registration Day. Coloradans who want to register to vote or make sure their address is correct — ballots are mailed, but not forwarded — can go to GoVoteColorado.com.