Sen. Cory Gardner, “our environmentalist,” addresses CACI

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams at a lunch Thursday sponsored by the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry. (Photo courtesy of Evan Semón)
U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams at a lunch Thursday sponsored by the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry. (Photo courtesy of Evan Semón)

Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner was introduced at a business lunch in Denver on Thursday as “our environmentalist on Capitol Hill” and dang if he didn’t get up and recycle a joke from his 2014 campaign.

Gardner noted that the attack ads aimed at him featured “grainy black-and-white pictures” and seemed to air “every 30 seconds.”

“One of the greatest places you can go to as a Republican in a heated campaign is Cabella’s,” he said, referring to the giant fishing-and-hunting outlet.

Per usual, the line elicited laughter. Gardner talked about customers coming up to him at the Cabella’s in Grand Junction and asking how he was doing. Two men in particular were staring at him. One walked off but the other said, “Hey, hey, are you — ?” and Gardner smiled and said, “Yeah, yeah, I am.”

“So he calls his buddy over and says, ‘Look, it’s Bill Owens!'” Gardner said, referring to a former governor.

The crowd at the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry gathering let out a big laugh, and Gardner then finished off with another line: “So now I go to REI.”

Keith Pearson, chair-elect of the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, and Travis Webb, a managing partner at BKD LLP, the new CACI chair, at a lunch Thursday (Photo by Evan Semón)
Keith Pearson, chair-elect of the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, and Travis Webb, a managing partner at BKD LLP and the new CACI chair, at a lunch Thursday in Denver. (Photo by Evan Semón)

The crowd also welcomed CACI’s new chairman, Travis Webb, a managing partner at BKD LLP, one of the nation’s largest accounting and advisory firms. The Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry ‘s motto is “We champion a healthy business climate.”

Gardner last year defeated Democrat Mark Udall, becoming the first candidate in 36 years to knock off an incumbent Colorado U.S. senator. He told the crowd that he and Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and the rest of the Colorado delegation — featuring three Democrats and four Republicans — get along better than some delegations that are all members of the same party.

“The Colorado delegation works together better than any other delegation in the country,” Gardner said, adding that helped the state get the funding to finish the beleaguered Veterans Affairs hospital in Aurora.

The senator touched on a variety of topics, including broadband, deregulation, marijuana and banking, trade agreements and aerospace and technology. He got a big round of applause when he said the Senate passed the first long-term transportation bill in more than a decade, particularly after he spelled out what that money means for Colorado. And he talked about the need to bring the economic boom in certain parts of Colorado, such as the Denver metro area, to the rest of the state.

Gardner also joked on the situation in Washington, saying he is the only senator not running for president, and noted the one thing D.C. can agree on is who will not be speaker. He then pointed to CACI’s executive director, former state House Speaker Chuck Berry, and said a petition was circulating to put Berry in the post.

The line about Gardner being an environmentalist drew this response on Twitter from Conservation Colorado: “Interesting.” His environmental record was criticized during the campaign.

 

 

 

 

 

Voter registration group mails form to a dead poodle in Cortez

voterA voter registration group has sent letters to dead people, dead pets and even non-citizens and children as part of  its voter registration drive,  an effort that has resulted in some angry and unusual letters to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office.

“There is no one by that name at this address and I have lived here since 1981. This must be your mistake.”

“I am David and I am only 14 years old.”

“I apologize for having my daughter-in-law write this letter for me, but unfortunately for me I DIED Feb. 15, 2003 …  I’m flattered that someone still remembers my name, but I would have assumed that someone would have notified your office of my death before now.  Hope this clarifies any confusion because I sure wouldn’t want anyone voting falsely and using my name. I have always been an upstanding citizen and took my voting rights as a privilege.”

The registration drive was organized by the Voter Participation Center, a national group with a Denver office on Larimer Street. But the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office is taking the heat for the faulty names and addresses because the VPC includes in its letter a voter registration form to be filled out and mailed to the SOS office at 1700 Broadway in Denver.

Jennifer Carrier, an attorney for the Voter Participation Project, said her group matches data to the Social Security Administration’s “death master file,” as well as using “groundbreaking direct mail techniques to foster registration and voting by under-represented populations in the American electorate.”

“Overall, every so often, even using these best practices,” she stated, “a mailing is sent to someone that should not receive one.”

“Dear (name),” the letter begins.  “According to our records, you reside in (name) County and are not currently registered to vote.”

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Secretary of State Wayne Williams welcomes new Americans

Members of the Daughters of the American Revolution hand out flags to guests Tuesday at a naturalization ceremony in Centennial. Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams greeted the 38 citizens who immigrated from 24 different countries. (Lynn Bartels, SOS)
Members of the Daughters of the American Revolution hand out flags to guests Tuesday at a naturalization ceremony in Centennial. Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams greeted the 38 citizens who immigrated from 24 different countries. (Lynn Bartels, SOS)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams welcomed 38 new Americans today at a naturalization ceremony in Centennial, where proud friends and families waved American flags as they took the oath of allegiance.

“My office helps Coloradans to achieve the American dream,” Williams told the 38, who immigrated from 24 different countries. “We are here to help you achieve exactly that.”

Samrawit Gebremeskel of Aurora poses with Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Supervisor Scott Koenigsberg with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security after receiving her naturalization certificate. (Lynn Bartels, SOS)
Samrawit Gebremeskel of Aurora poses with Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Supervisor Scott Koenigsberg with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security after receiving her naturalization certificate. (Lynn Bartels, SOS)

After the ceremony, the secretary of state’s office registered new citizens who wanted to immediately sign up to vote.

Colorado’s latest U.S. citizens, hailed from a variety of countries, including Burma, El Salvador, France, Iraq, Israel, Mexico, Nepal, Russian and Vietnam.

“This shows the great diversity of those who want to make the United States their home,” said Scott Koenisberg with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He oversaw the ceremony and administered the oath.

Samrawit Gebremesekel, a 37-year-old who was born in Ethopia beamed throughout the ceremony. Afterward, she was asked what it meant to her. “Just everything,” she said.

Williams, who took office in January as Colorado’s 38th secretary of state, said he enjoys speaking to new U.S. citizens. Again and again he posed with a new American while their family and friends took pictures.

The Mount Rosa chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution handed out flags to the guests. The new citizens were asked to document their  journeys so their descendants will have a record of their experiences.

 

Secretary of Wayne Williams visits two clerks in southwest Colorado

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams visits with election officials in Durango today. From left to right: Crystal Tweet in the Durango municipal clerk's office, Municipal Clerk Amy Phillips, La Plata County elections administrator Erin Hutchins, Williams, La Plata County Clerk Tiffany Parker and Parker's chief deputy, Ashli Stuckman.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams visits with election officials in Durango today. From left to right: Crystal Tweet in the Durango municipal clerk’s office, municipal clerk Amy Phillips, La Plata County elections administrator Erin Hutchins, Williams, La Plata County Clerk Tiffany Parker and Parker’s chief deputy, Ashli Stuckman.
In addition, Montezuma County Clerk and Recorder Kim Percell and Secretary of State Wayne Williams at her office in Cortez on Friday.
In addition, Montezuma County Clerk and Recorder Kim Percell and Secretary of State Wayne Williams at her office in Cortez on Friday.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams on Friday toured La Plata County’s elections warehouse, where materials are stored and where the folks who process mail ballots and verify voter signatures do their work when the busy season hits.

In addition, Williams visited with Montezuma County Clerk and Recorder Kim Percell, who delayed the start of her vacation so she could meet with the secretary in Cortez.

Colorado’s coordinated election is Nov. 3. Mail ballots go out next week.

Williams met with La Plata County Clerk and Recorder Tiffany Parker and her staff at the elections office in Durango and later toured the warehouse. Parker said she and Amy Phillips, the Durango municipal clerk, work very closely together “which is why it was so important for Amy to meet the secretary.”

“Wayne is a good man,” said Parker, who also is president of the Colorado County Clerks Association. “I appreciate his openness to touring our office and our warehouse.”

Williams, who served one term as El Paso County clerk and recorder, took office in January as Colorado’s 38th secretary of state. He was the first sitting county election official elected as secretary of state. Williams has been traveling the state and meeting with clerks to see what assistance his office can provide

 

Steffan Tubbs to host fundraiser Wednesday to support vets film

Journalist and author Steffan Tubbs.
Journalist and author Steffan Tubbs.

Journalist Steffan Tubbs is at it again with another film about veterans, this time on PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder.

“ACRONYM: The Cross-Generational Battle With PTSD” takes a look at veterans from every war since World War II and the common bond they share: the demons of war.

Steffan Tubbs is hosting a fundraiser Wednesday night.
Steffan Tubbs is hosting a fundraiser Wednesday night.

Tubbs, co-host of 850 KOA’s morning show, is hosting a wine, chocolate and art fundraiser from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday in Cherry Creek to help raise money to offset the production costs of ACRONYM.  Tickets for the fundraiser are $40 per person and $75 for couples. The event is being held at Fascination St. Fine Art, 315 Detroit St.

Tubb’s first film, “Life, Liberty & Resilience,” explored how the grandson of a slave overcame extremism racism and joined the segregated U.S.  Navy, shipping out to Iwo Jima in 1945 and eventually ending up in Denver. Tubbs also wrote a book by the same name.

ACRONYM will be comprised of four basic sections, according to Mountain Time Media. Here’s what it says on its website about the film:

1)  We will introduce the viewer to each veteran, hear their background stories and learn about the events that have led to their diagnosis;

2)  We’ll learn from doctors, psychiatrists and other leading experts what happens within the brain that causes PTSD and triggers PTSD symptoms;

3)  The documentary will also present different treatment options, both traditional methods and promising non-traditional techniques; and

4)  Finally, we will bring these warriors together for the first time and hear, in group discussions, their triumphs and struggles, heartbreak and sacrifice.

The film will debut on Veterans Day.