All about U — and Loveland

The decorated wooden U by state Rep. Hugh McKean, a Loveland Republican who loves where he lives.

What do you mean you were “incredibly uncreative” when you decorated your U, Rep. Hugh McKean? It’s so, well, U! And it’s great.

The Loveland Republican is an unabashed homer who created the hashtag #LoveWhereILive. He hands out bookmarks, stickers and other items with the slogan, so it came as no surprise that he plastered his wooden U with them.

Rep. Hugh McKean and his wooden U.

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 could participate in Colorado’s primary election.  The campaign also reminded unaffiliated voters who got both the Republican and Democratic ballot in the mail to only vote one. If they voted both, neither counted.

Clerks continue to process ballots, although the election ended at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Check out the incredible U’s decorated by McKean’s colleagues at the state Capitol. Senate President Kevin Grantham capitalized on his noteworthy mustache, while Sen. Kerry Donovan used her ranch experience — and that’s no bull.

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.

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

All about U — and Grasslands

The U decorated by Ricardo Baca’s team at Grassland.

Ricardo Baca was just a kid when I met him at the Rocky Mountain News, where he worked from the time he was 18 until he was 22.  When I was briefly assigned to the city desk I used to urge him, “Get out of the office. Go and see things in person.”

Boy, did he, which I why I handed him one of the wooden U’s our office handed out as part of the UChooseCO campaign, and asked him to decorate it.

Talk about a career.  Baca, now 41, went on to work at The Denver Post, where he covered the music scene. He made national news in 2013 by becoming the editor of The Post’s publication, The Cannabist, devoted to covering Colorado’s marijuana industry.

He  left the Post — but not the marijuana world — in 2016 and founded Grasslands, described on its website as a “journalism-minded agency, helping clients in a variety of industries with informed public relations, thoughtful content marketing, contextual social media, top-notch thought leadership work, impactful newsletter campaigns and compelling event execution.” Westword described it as a “full-service agency for cannabis businesses.”

Ricardo Baca on April 20, 2017, when he filed his business registration with the Secretary of State’s office. (SOS photo)

I love that Baca filed his business registration with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office on 4-20 in 2017 — and then asked if I were around so he could say hi.

When he posted a picture of his wooden U on social media he wrote:

  • bruvsI’m proud to live in a state that makes voting so accessible—and thank you to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office for asking me to participate in the #UChooseCOcampaign. It’s so great that unaffiliated voters can now participate in Republican or Democratic primary elections in Colorado! Thanks to my Grasslands crew for helping me decorate this U, which seems like it was inspired by my December mg cover, lol. #democracy #grasslandsaf #voteordie

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams handed out the wooden U’s to help inform unaffiliated voters that for the first time they could participate in Colorado’s primary election. The campaign also remind unaffiliated voters who got both the Republican and Democratic ballot in the mail to only vote one. If they voted both, neither counted. Clerks continue to process ballots, although the election ended at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

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 eyes on U — and Montrose County

The various U’s decorated by the Montezuma County Clerk and Recorder’s office as part of the UChooseCO campaign. Top left, Andrea Martinez, top right, Jerri Frizzell, bottom left, Kelly Codner, bottom right, various U’s.(Kim Percell photos)

Montezuma County Clerk Kim Percell and her staff took it upon themselves to decorate some “U’s” in a way that represented Montezuma County and the changes for unaffiliated voters for the primary election.

“This was a great opportunity for all of us to do something FUN!”  Percell said. “I wanted them to display them at their desk so customers would ask about all of the decorated U’s giving the clerk the opportunity to explain the UChoose campaign. The names of those who participated were thrown into a hat and they won a $20 gift card.”

Montezuma County Clerk and Recorder Kim Percell holds her U, which is covered in eyes and questions. (Kim Percell photo)

Percell’s U is decorated with sets of different sized eyes that are all asking if they get to choose.

“My thought with the U was that we all had the blessing to be able to make a choice,” Percell said. “The entire primary election process is up to each of us to decide what candidate we want on our ballots.”

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams handed out Wooden U’s as part of the UChooseCO campaign to help inform unaffiliated voters that for the first time they could participate in Colorado’s primary election. Percell’s staff went and got their own U’s to decorate.

The campaign also reminded unaffiliated voters who got both the Republican and Democratic ballot in the mail to only vote one. If they voted both, neither counted. Clerks continue to process ballots, although the election ended at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

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 Starboard

The Starboard Group with its wooden U. From left to right, Kate Mandel, Kerrianne Savery, founder and president Kristin Strohm, Katlynn Crine,  who is holding the U, and Quinn Evans.

The Starboard Group totally lived up to its name when it decorated its wooden U for the UChooseCO campaign, opting for rope, sand, an  anchor and that beautiful blue.

Starboard is the side of a ship or aircraft that is on the right when one is facing forward. “At the Starboard Group,  we aim to put our clients on the right course,” the firm says on its website.

When your name is The Starboard Group, it’s pretty easy to think of a theme for decorating a wooden U.

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 could participate in Colorado’s primary election.

The campaign also remind unaffiliated voters who got both the Republican and Democratic ballot in the mail to only vote one. If they voted both, neither counted. Clerks continue to process ballots, although the election ended at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

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.