Another Club 20 conference, another great Western Slope experience

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams with Irv Halter, director of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, and former Colorado attorney general and U.S. interior secretary Gale Norton, at Club 20’s awards dinner Friday night in Grand Junction. (SOS photo)

I first visited Club 20, an influential Western Slope group, in 2002 to cover the U.S. Senate debate between Republican Wayne Allard and Democrat Tom Strickland.

That was my introduction to the Western Slope’s complex issues.

During most of my Club 20 visits to Grand Junction, first for the Rocky Mountain News and then for The Denver Post, I covered candidate debates at the fall conferences in even-covered years. Every visit, I met more and more folks, from county commissioners to water experts, and the experience made me appreciate the uniqueness of our state.

Now when I attend Club 20 I go with my boss, Secretary of State Wayne Williams, as was the case Friday and Saturday.

Williams Friday morning kicked off the UChooseCO campaign in Grand Junction, which is designed to inform unaffiliated voters about the June 26 primary. For the first time they’ll automatically be able to participate. That night he attended Club 20’s awards dinner and on Saturday the secretary addressed the group about ballot measures.

At the two-day event, I realized that in a way I had come full circle.

Read moreAnother Club 20 conference, another great Western Slope experience

Secretary Wayne Williams: “We make it easy to do business in Colorado”

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, center, and two Trinidad City Council members, Carlos Lopez and Rusty Goodall, at the Capitol Thursday. (SOS photo)

Secretary of State Wayne Williams shared the story of a couple in rural Pueblo County trying to get a loan when he talked with movers-and-shakers outside the metro area at the state Capitol on Thursday.

“They had just received a call from their bank indicating that the records of the business they were purchasing were not in order and based on that the loan they needed was in jeopardy,” Williams said.

Not knowing what to do, the couple called the Colorado Secretary of State’s office.

“The agent in the Service Center reviewed the record and provided instructions on how to fix the record issue through our website and online filing options. Using the wife’s phone while the agent listened in, they were able to update the record and relay that information to the bank. Once the bank received that information, they were told that the loan would be approved,” Williams said.

“The couple told the agent that the business they were purchasing was part of their lifelong dream, and that they could not believe all their issues could be fixed online and real-time from a truck in the middle of a field.”

Read moreSecretary Wayne Williams: “We make it easy to do business in Colorado”

Secretary Williams speaks to Colorado Mesa U students

Secretary of State Wayne Williams addresses Colorado Mesa University’s political science club on Oct. 20, 2017 in Grand Junction. (SOS photo)

Secretary of State Williams urged college students to get involved when he addressed Colorado Mesa University’s political science club a week ago.

He told them a college student served as campaign manager when he ran for secretary of state in 2014.

“The hour-long presentation and question and answer session covered a variety of subjects ranging from the responsibilities of Williams’ office to his personal decisions as a college graduate,’ the student newspaper, The Criterion, reported.

Williams’ visit also was covered by KKCO and KJCT television stations in Grand Junction.

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Secretary Williams talks about primary elections, voter fraud and more

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams mingles with members of the League of Women Voters Denver before speaking to the group Monday night. (SOS photo)

Most Colorado counties are holding elections this November, but to Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams’ dismay the turnout won’t be anything like last year’s presidential election, when 2.9 million Coloradans participated.

“Off-year elections” usually involve school board races and tax issues for local districts. Some cities are holding council elections.

“These are issues that can directly affect your property values,” Williams said. “Given how much is at stake, I think it’s absurd that people aren’t going to vote in the upcoming election.”

Williams also disputed claims of massive voter fraud.

“I’ve seen no evidence of millions of people voting illegally,” he told the League of Women Voters. “We have found instances of people voting in Colorado and other states at the same time, and we are investigating that.”

It was the secretary’s third talk on election issues in 10 days.

Read moreSecretary Williams talks about primary elections, voter fraud and more

Club 20 unexpectedly welcomes Wayne Williams

Garfield County Commissioner John Martin and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams at Club 20 on Friday in Grand Junction. (SOS photo)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams wasn’t scheduled to appear at Club 20’s meeting this weekend, but he apparently crashed the executive board’s session at just the right time.

The influential Western Slope organization on Friday debated the rules to follow when it hosts next year’s September debate for governor, the 3rd Congressional District and other candidates in the region. In the past, third-party candidates have been upset at being shut out; others have been unhappy that third-partiers have been included.

Williams, who had just popped in to say “Hi,” was invited to sit down and answer some questions. He said he believes there are better factors to use for determining debate participation than voter registration, including polling results.

Williams served two terms as an El Paso County commissioner so has a county commissioner so he knows plenty of Club 20 members. One of the first ones he ran into at the Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction was Garfield County Commissioner John Martin, who is serving his sixth term. Club 20 in 2013 presented the prestigious Dan Noble Award to Martin for his “outstanding service to western Colorado.”

Read moreClub 20 unexpectedly welcomes Wayne Williams