“The big guy” talks about elections issues with Jon Caldara

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Jon Caldara, president of the Independence Institute. (SOS photo)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Jon Caldara, president of the right-leaning Independence Institute, discussed a range of election topics during a recent appearance together, from the Russians to the impact of a measure that allows unaffiliated voters to participate in primary elections without declaring to be a Republican or a Democrat.

Williams appeared on Caldara’s show, Devil’s Advocate, which was taped last week and airs at 8:30 tonight on Colorado Public Television Channel 12.  (Update: Here’s the link to the show.)

“We’re going to have open primaries, which is crazy to me but the law is the law and now unaffiliated candidates will be able to vote in any primary,” Caldara said, referring to Propositions 107 and 108, which voters passed a year ago. “So if I’m a registered Republican, at this point why bother? You can just be unaffiliated and get both ballots.”

Williams pointed out that more than 90 percent of candidates get on the ballot through the caucus and assembly process. And in some places with lopsided registration — GOP- dominated El Paso County or Democratic-laden Denver — that process can determine who wins in November.

“So there’s still a very good reason to be affiliated and participate,” he said.

Read more

Elway, Webb, Suthers and others help “Raise the Bar”

The Colorado Farm Bueau hand painted campaign signs to promote Amendment 71, which makes it harder to amend the state constitution. (Brophy photo)
The Colorado Farm Bueau hand-painted campaign signs to promote Amendment 71, which makes it harder to amend the state constitution. (Brophy photo)

With the tidal wave of press calls over, I finally have time to digest the election results, and I’m stunned by the map of which counties supported the effort to make it harder to amend the constitution.

In case you weren’t aware, the election results that are posted on the Colorado Secretary of State web site includes maps for each candidate and issue to show how they fared on a county-by-county basis.

Amendment 71, or Raise the Bar as it was called, passed 56 percent to 44 percent. But I never knew until I clicked on the map late Wednesday that it passed in 60 of Colorado’s 64 counties. Only voters in  Boulder, Denver, Gilpin and San Miguel opposed it, and Gilpin’s vote was close.

Former state Sen. Greg Brophy, a Yuma Wray* Republican, teamed up with Summit County Commissioner Dan Gibbs, a Democrat, to put the measure on the ballot. They were joined by high-profile names on both sides of the aisle, including former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb and Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, Gov. John Hickenlooper and his predecessors, and others. The Farm Bureau put up signs in rural Colorado.

“And having John Elway didn’t hurt,” Brophy said, referring to Denver Bronco’ general manager and former Super Bowl quarterback. (For the record, the election was before the Kansas City Chiefs game.)

Read more

Warning: Former journalist doing math on Colorado Day

My pathetic ability to do simple math received even more public scrutiny today when I messed up a text message I sent from my boss’ account:

Colorado is known as the Centennial State because it joined the Union in 1876, which means it celebrated its 140th birthday today. (I did mean to say “You wear well.”)

I wrote the tweet last week and scheduled it to drop today, which happened to be the opening of the Colorado County Clerks Association’s summer conference. I was busy at the event saying hello to clerks I’ve met on the road with Secretary of State Wayne Williams, and live-tweeting District Attorney George Brauchler’s hilarious speech so I took me a while to figure out there was a problem.

So then  I tweeted something else on Williams’ account:

 

Which is true.

Read more

Independence Institute celebrates its 31st annual Founder’s Night

Colorado Secretary of State presents an award to Second Amendment activist Steve Schreiner at the Independence Institute's 31st annual Founder's dinner. (SOS photo)
Colorado Secretary of State presents an award to Second Amendment activist Steve Schreiner at the Independence Institute’s 31st annual Founder’s dinner. (SOS photo)

You know the Independence Institute’s Founder’s dinner Thursday night had to be good when president Jon Caldara said so many tickets were sold it was their most successful fundraiser ever — depending on Tom Tancredo’s bar tab.

Tancredo served as former president of the self-proclaimed free-market think tank before becoming a congressman, presidential candidate and gubernatorial candidate. He didn’t belly up to the bar much but he appeared to appreciate the speeches from the keynote speakers, John Fund with the National Review and Stephen Moore at The Heritage Foundation.

Read more