Polly Baca, the legendary Latina

Sitting on the side of the Colorado House before it convened Wednesday morning are former lawmaker Polly Baca and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, who are involved in a lawsuit over the electoral process. With them are former House Speaker Ruben Valdez and Teresa Duran, mother of the current speaker, Crisanta Duran of Denver. The speaker said her mother is “as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.” (SOS photo)

Former lawmaker Polly Baca, a legend in state and national Democratic politics, delivered the prayer in the Colorado House on opening day Wednesday, 40 years after she began her fourth and final year in the House.

Baca took a break from writing her memoirs to stop by the House chambers. Some of what will be in her book:

She served as the national director for Viva Kennedy in 1968, and was at the California hotel with Bobby Kennedy when the presidential candidate was assassinated.

While serving as the special assistant to the DNC chair she often worked really late. One night in May 1972 she thought she heard something but  didn’t see anyone in the hallway when she checked. She left about 3:30 a.m. and learned later that morning someone had broken into the Watergate.

Read morePolly Baca, the legendary Latina

Snap judgment all wrong: He’s no leftie

Steve Barlock has been called many things in his life but he has never been labeled left wing — until now.

The 44-year-old Denver resident was part of a large crowd that gathered at the Colorado Capitol Monday amid widespread speculation that some of the nine Democratic electors would try to revolt. Instead of voting for Democrat Hillary Clinton as required because she won Colorado, they wanted to throw their vote so that someone besides Donald Trump would win the presidency.

As a former reporter, I worked out of the Capitol off and on since 2000 and I was stunned at the size of the crowd in the rotunda. I posted a picture it on Twitter, saying, “This is an unbelievable scene. At the Capitol waiting for the elector vote.”

“Angry Left Wing Extremists,” one person wrote on Twitter.

Except that Barlock, the guy with the flag scarf in the picture, is no leftie. Barlock served as co-chairman of Denver County’s Donald Trump campaign and he also was a Republican elector — meaning if Trump had won Colorado instead of Clinton, Barlock would have been a participant instead of a spectator Monday.

He appeared in numerous TV shots of the event.

As it turned out, only one elector refused to vote for Clinton and he was replaced by a Democrat waiting in the wings.

“I was hoping with this crazy stuff that they’d run out of people and I’d say, ‘I’m willing to vote for Hillary Clinton,’ because I wanted to make sure Donald Trump became president,” Barlock said.

He took grief from some people in the mostly pro-Clinton, anti-Trump crowd because the part of the scarf behind his neck said “Trump.” Two people called him “bigot.” He said he wasn’t fazed because “I was happy to watch the shock and awe as the crowd realized nothing was going to happen.”

The other Republican electors not called up for duty were: GOP chairman Steve House; former U.S. Senate candidate Pete Coors; former U.S. Senate candidate Robert Blaha, who was a Colorado co-chair for Trump; Jim O’Dell of Brighton; Laurel Imer of Wheat Ridge; Charlie McNeil of Greenwood Village; Bill Cagle of Greenwood Village; and Eileen Milzcik of Littleton.

Secretary Wayne Williams doesn’t hold back on elector lawsuit

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams has ripped two electors who are suing the state over a law that says they must support Colorado's presidential winner, who was Hillary Clinton. (Carol Lawrence, The Gazette/Special to the SOS)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams. (Carol Lawrence, The Gazette/Special to the SOS)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams has a reputation for being pretty unflappable and low key, which is why his blistering response to two Colorado electors suing the state has attracted such attention.

Evil. Odious. Faithless. Arrogant.

Those were some of the words Williams used in response to the lawsuit challenging a state law that requires the  electors to vote for the presidential winner in Colorado, which in this case was Hillary Clinton.

The lawsuit is part of a longshot effort try to block Republican Donald Trump from officially winning the presidency when the Electoral College votes on Dec. 19.

Williams was the El Paso County clerk and recorder when flames came down the mountain toward his Colorado Springs office the night of the 2012 primary.

Williams is fired up that four of the nine Colorado electors have indicated they want to team up with other electors nationwide to vote for another candidate for president.

“Instead of honoring the will of the Coloradans who voted for them,” Williams responded, “these two faithless electors seek to conspire with electors from other states to elect a president who did not receive a single vote in November.”

Williams took heat on social media for his stance.

Here is Williams’ full statement:

Read moreSecretary Wayne Williams doesn’t hold back on elector lawsuit

Clinton beats Trump — in Colorado

William Jennings Bryan in Denver, where he accepted the Democratic nomination for president in 1908. (Courtesy of the Denver Public Library Western History Collection)
William Jennings Bryan in Denver, where he accepted the Democratic nomination for president in 1908. (Courtesy of the Denver Public Library Western History Collection)

Colorado’s political historian, Dick Wadhams, did some digging when a former state representative asked: “When was the last time a Democratic candidate for president carried Colorado while a Republican was winning the presidency?”

The question from former Rep. Rob Witwer came after Democrat Hillary Clinton won Colorado on Nov. 8,  but Republican Donald Trump took the presidency.

Wadhams told former state Rep. Rob Witwer that “unless my research is wrong” the last time was in 1908 when  Democrat William Jennings Bryan carried Colorado but Republican William Howard Taft won the presidency.  Bryan won the Democratic nomination for president in 1908 in Denver.

Wadhams also noted that Republicans have carried Colorado during Democratic presidential victories:  1940, Roosevelt-Willkie; 1944, Roosevelt-Dewey; 1960, Kennedy-Nixon; and 1996, Bill Clinton-Dole.

Hillary Clinton will receive Colorado’s nine electoral votes during a ceremony in the governor’s office on Dec. 19.  Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams will participate in the ceremony.

*If your research shows something different, please let me know: Lynn.Bartels@SOS.state.co.us.

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