Secretary Williams updates county clerks on NFIB lawsuit

Secretary of State Wayne Williams, back and center, with county clerks from the state's southern regional at their fall meeting Tuesday in Alamosa. (Clerk photo)
Secretary of State Wayne Williams, back and center, with county clerks from the state’s southern region at their fall meeting Tuesday in Alamosa. (Clerk photo)

Secretary of State Wayne Williams gave county clerks in southern Colorado an update Tuesday on a lawsuit the state’s leading small-business group filed against his office, saying money collected through business filing fees shouldn’t be used to pay for election costs.

The clerks asked Williams to draw up a summary they can present to their commissioners on the fiscal impact  of the lawsuit filed by the National Federation of Independent Business. A Denver judge, who heard arguments in the case last week, is expected to make a ruling within two months.

Clerks present at the conference were, left to right, Melanie Woodward of Alamosa County, Lawrence Gallegos of Conejos,  Tiffany Parker of La Plata, Debbi Green of Park, Krystal Brown of Teller, Secretary Williams,  Lori Mitchell of Chaffee,  Kelley Camper of Custer, Cindy Hill of Rio Grande, Patti Nickell of Bent,  Carla Gomez of Saguache, Nancy Cruz of Huerfano,  Peach Vigil of Las Animas and Kathy Simillion of Gunnison.

Pueblo County Clerk Bo Ortiz wasn’t in the shot — he had stepped out to take a call when it was snapped.

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Hey, District Attorney George Brauchler, been there, done that

Westword;s hilarious photo illustration after Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler accidentally tweeted from the courtroom, in violation of the judge's order. (Courtesy of Westword/Jay Vollmar/art director)
Westword’s hilarious photo illustration after Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler accidentally tweeted from the courtroom, in violation of the judge’s order. (Courtesy of Westword/Jay Vollmar/art director)

Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler feels my pain.

I  checked my phone one night and discovered I had a message from a reporter asking if he could get a copy of the letter the secretary of state had sent to the Jefferson County clerk regarding its recall election.

“Yes,” I responded, and then I sent another message, “Let me know if you get it.”

Pretty soon I started seeing tweets making fun of my seemingly random messages. But I texted the reporter, I thought. Only I hadn’t. I was responding to a direct message. And when I explained that on Twitter, the hilarious @MissingPundit posted this gem:

“The old George Brauchler defense. Likely story.”

Snap!

“I thought that was brilliant,” Brauchler said.

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Colorado secretary of state visits Mesa County

Secretary of State Wayne Williams on Monday visited Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Sheila Rainer and elections director Amanda Polson. Mesa is one of eight counties involved in a pilot program testing voting equipment in the Nov. 3 election.
Secretary of State Wayne Williams on Monday visited Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Sheila Reiner and elections director Amanda Polson. Mesa is one of eight counties involved in a pilot program testing voting equipment in the Nov. 3 election.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams dropped by the Mesa County clerk and recorder’s office on Monday to visit with clerk Sheila Reiner and discuss voting equipment the county will be using on Nov. 3.

Mesa County is one of eight volunteer counties that is testing equipment from four different voting-machine companies. Each of the four vendors is operating in one large county and a smaller county. Dominion is providing the equipment used in Denver and Mesa counties.

The system must be able to process mail ballots and allow for in-person voting for those who still mark their ballots in person at county polling centers, Williams said.

The other companies and the counties they are partnered with are: Clear Ballot, Adams and Gilpin; ES&S in Jefferson and Teller; and Hart Intercivic in Douglas and Garfield.

The state is looking to eventually adopt a uniform voting system.

Reiner praised the secretary of state.

“Wayne’s accessible. He’s been a good partner,” she said.

Williams will be in Alamosa Tuesday for the fall conference for the southern county clerks.  He was in Limon last week for the fall conference for the eastern county clerks.

On the road again: Secretary Wayne Williams swings through Colorado

Board of Education member Joyce Rankin from the 3rd Congressional District and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams have some fun Friday night posing in front of Lockheed Martin's photo screen at Club 20's steak fry in Grand Junction. (Joe Rice, Lockheed Martin)
Board of Education member Joyce Rankin from the 3rd Congressional District and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams have some fun Friday night posing in front of Lockheed Martin’s photo screen at Club 20’s steak fry in Grand Junction. (Joe Rice, Lockheed Martin)

Friday was a long day for Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, who attended a court hearing in  Denver in the morning, met with two county clerks on the Western Slope in the afternoon and then attended Club 20’s steak fry at its fall meeting in Grand Junction that night.

Next week Williams heads to the San Luis Valley for the southern region’s county clerks fall conference in Alamosa. On Thursday he was in Limon for the fall conference of the eastern region’s county clerks.

Williams, who took office in January, has been traveling the state meeting with clerks, including some who were elected last year and who will be conducting their first election on Nov. 3. He said it’s one of the best parts of his job.

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Former House colleagues praise Bill Berens; funeral services set for Saturday

Broomfield Mayor Bill Berens poses for a photo in the city council chambers. (The Denver Post)
Broomfield Mayor Bill Berens poses for a photo in the city council chambers. (The Denver Post)

The men and women who served with Republican Bill Berens in the state House on Friday praised the lawmaker for his devotion to the city of Broomfield and daring to speak his mind to make Colorado a better place.

“Bill Berens was a dapper, friendly soul,” said Sen. Mary Hodge, D-Brighton, who was chairwoman of the House Local Government Committee when Berens was a member.

“I recall that many of his contributions to our discussions began with ‘When I was mayor of Broomfield, we … ,’  or ‘In Broomfield, we ….’ He was very proud of his city and the role he had played in its progress,” she said.  “I’ll miss him at United Power legislative lunches where we would reminisce about ‘the good old days.’ May he rest in peace.”

Berens died Monday at the age of 66 after battling cancer for seven months. His funeral service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at the Nativity of  Our Lord Catholic Church in Broomfield.

The Broomfield Enterprise and The Denver Post chronicled the life of Berens, a civil engineer who served four terms as Broomfield mayor and one term in the House before being swept out of office in the Democratic tidal wave of 2006.

“Rep. Berens and I opposed one another in two House races,” said Rep. Dianne Primavera, a Democrat. “He defeated me in 2004. I defeated him in 2006. Despite being competitors, he and I respected one another and had a cordial relationship.  He even offered several times to teach me to play golf! Ironically, my story has been one of a cancer survivor. Sadly, he had a different outcome with his illness. I’m still in shock at his passing.”