Secretary Wayne Williams shows how easy it is to register to vote in Colorado

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, Denver Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson and Secretary of State Wayne Williams celebrate National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday. (Lynn Bartels)
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, Denver Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson and Secretary of State Wayne Williams celebrate National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday. (Lynn Bartels)

Hats off to Secretary of State Wayne Williams, who spent a chunk of Tuesday talking about why voting matters and how easy it is to register to vote in Colorado, and then topped it off by starring in a voter-video set to  “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae).”

Tuesday was National Voter Registration Day, where the importance of voting was stressed at events throughout the country.

When Williams served as El Paso County clerk and recorder, two school board races in 2013 were decided by a single vote, he said at various events.

Williams left his Colorado Springs house early Tuesday to arrive at CBS Denver at 6:15 a.m. He capped off the day at the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library in historic Five Points where a voter-registration event was hosted by Black Women for Positive Change, an international group. The chairman of the Colorado chapter is Patricia Duncan, whose late sister, Secretary of State Vikki Buckley, died in office in 1999.

“Colorado makes it extraordinarily easy to vote,” Williams said, asking library participants to get out their smart phones.

Read moreSecretary Wayne Williams shows how easy it is to register to vote in Colorado

Denver Press Club Hall of Fame adds five new inductees

It’s one thing to be inducted into the Denver Press Club Hall of Fame. It’s another to be part of a class of amazing individuals, whose résumés are beyond impressive.

Denver Press Club Hall of Fame 2015
Denver Press Club Hall of Fame 2015

The other members of the 2015 Denver Press Club Hall of Fame who were inducted on Friday night were famed Final Four photographer Rich Clarkson; Mary Chandler, the architecture critic for the late, great Rocky Mountain News; Mike Keefe, a Pulitzer-prize winning cartoonist formerly of The Denver Post; and, posthumously, Damon Runyon, an early member of the Denver Press Club who is best known for moving to New York and writing “Guys and Dolls.”

(Click on the links, folks, for great reads on these people.)

Back in February, when the inductees were announced, I asked former state GOP chairman Dick Wadhams and columnist extraordinaire Mike Littwin to do the honors of introducing me during the banquet. Littwin is in Austin with a new grandson so Wadhams handled the job by himself.  It was a trip down memory lane as he mentioned previous Capitol reporters, including John Sanko, Fred Brown and Charlie Roos.

What an honor to be seated next to Dan Haley, former opinion page editor of The Post who introduced Keefe, and looking out at a crowd that included the only and only Andrew Hudson, the spokesman for Denver Mayor Wellington Webb at one point in his own amazing career. Also present at the Press Club: U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, former CU Regent Tom Lucero, former House Speaker Frank McNulty, former House Majority Leader Amy Stephens, former City Attorney Dan Muse, Denver Post folks Joey Bunch and Dan Petty, Eric Bergman with Colorado Counties Inc. and my new boss, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams.

Thanks, Dick, for your remarks:

Read moreDenver Press Club Hall of Fame adds five new inductees

If you’re Chris Hansen, where’s Sen. Cory Gardner?

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, a Yuma Republican, and his chief of staff, Chris Hansen. (Facebook)
U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, a Yuma Republican, and his chief of staff, Chris Hansen. (Facebook)

Meet Chris Hansen, the chief of staff for Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner. Meet Chris Hansen, one of three Democrats running for a Denver state House seat.

The two Chris Hansens have never met but their paths have crossed for more than a year.

When candidate Chris Hansen showed up at the Denver Rustlers lunch on Sept. 1  guests peppered him with questions and comments. “Wait, you’re not the Chris Hansen I know!” and “I thought Cory’s chief of staff would be here when I saw your name on the list.”

It’s happened at other events, too, where both Republicans and Democrats are in the crowd.

Chief of Staff Chris Hansen knows the feeling. He opened up his Facebook page last year to find he had been “tagged” in a post by DA candidate Michael Carrigan as attending an event where Betsy Markey, a Democrat running for state treasurer, “gave great remarks about her race.”

“Wrong Chris Hansen,” Chris Hansen wrote on Facebook. “A very wrong Chris Hansen, since I’m actually Cory’s campaign manager. Looks like a fun event though.”

“It was,” Carrigan replied. “Should have brought Cory!”

Read moreIf you’re Chris Hansen, where’s Sen. Cory Gardner?

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.

Read moreHey, District Attorney George Brauchler, been there, done that