All about U — and me!

My wooden U, painted my favorite color and adorned with some of my favorite things.

The only thing I knew when I started decorating my wooden U is that I would paint it turquoise and put my “I want my Rocky” pin on it.

Then I scoured through my dresser drawers and visited craft and hobby shops. On a road trip to Jackson and Grand counties with Secretary of State Wayne Williams I bought a “I ♥ Colorado” key chain to glue to the side of the U. “I think I’m up to $60,” I told the boss.

The secretary is handing out the U’s as part of the @UChooseCO campaign to educate unaffiliated voters that they can participate in the June 26 primary election, but they can only vote one ballot. The campaign has a web pageFacebook page, a Twitter account and its own hashtag, #UChooseCO.

See that “L” on top of my U next to the miniature telephone? I was thinking of spelling “Lynn” out on one of the U legs but the block letters were too big. I liked the L next to the phone because I am always on one. The sack of letters cost around $7 and I’ve got a whole bag of them.

I particularly like the dogs. Those were plastic buttons from Michaels and I cut the backs off with a wire cutter I borrowed from our IT department. I also bought a tiny dog food and water bowl, but decided not to use it.

Read moreAll about U — and me!

All about U: Wellington Webb

Former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb and his decorated U. In 1991, he was elected Denver’s first black mayor and went on to serve three terms.

Here’s to former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb and his staff at Webb Group International for their iconic U.

Colorado Secretary of State Williams is handing out the wooden U’s as part of the office’s UChooseCO campaign, which stresses to unaffiliated voters that they can’t vote both the Democratic and Republican ballots they will receive for the June 26 primary. They have to pick just one ballot. If they vote two, neither will count.

The Webb group’s Josh Miller went all out. He ignored the colored markers in the UChoose box and bought paint. The result is a U with Denver’s logo, a tennis shoe and a shoelace.

After all, the story of Webb and his size-12 sneakers is a part of Colorado’s political history.

The Rocky Mountain News, which endorsed underdog Wellington Webb in Denver’s 1991 mayor race, focused on his sneakers in an ad congratulating him after his victory.

Out of money in his first race for mayor, Webb announced he would campaign on foot, spending the night in supporters’ houses as he traversed the city, traveling only by bus. The press corps, robust in those days, followed to see if Webb was keeping his word.

At the time, Webb was third in polls that gave him only 7 percent of the vote.

Webb went on to serve three terms as Denver mayor, and was succeeded in 2003 by brewmeister John Hickenlooper, who now is governor of Colorado — and who has yet to decorate his wooden U!

Miller suggested that Secretary Williams donate the U’s to the History Colorado Center. This is the first time in state history that unaffiliated voters, now the largest voting block in Colorado, can automatically participate in primary elections. Voters approved the change in 2016 when they supported Proposition 108.

The UChooseCO campaign has a web pageFacebook page, a Twitter account and its own hashtag, #UChooseCO.

At least every week day between now and the June 26 primary the Secretary of State’s office will highlight a wooden U or two. Check out more decorated U’s on Facebook and Twitter.

All about U: 2 former journalists

The U from Dan Haley, formerly of the Denver Post and now president of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association.
Former Rocky cartoonist Ed Stein’s U.

Argh. I blew it. This was to publish on Saturday. So pretend it’s Saturday when you read it.

One of the cool things about Colorado Secretary of State’s UChooseCO campaign is seeing how the wooden U’s that have been handed out are decorated.  I thought former Rocky Mountain News cartoonist Ed Stein would, well, draw cartoons. I figured former Denver Post editorial page editor Dan Haley might go with a pop culture reference.

I guessed wrong.

The U’s are part of a campaign to inform unaffiliated voters that they can now automatically participate in primary elections without having to affiliate with one party or another.

Unaffiliated voters also are being told DON’T SPOIL IT. They will get two ballots, one for Republican candidates and the other for Democratic candidates, but they can only vote one. If they return both, neither ballot will count.

Ed Stein.
Dan Haley.

We asked those who received the wooden U’s to show off their work on Twitter and other social media venues.

“Luddite that I am I don’t get hashtags (I know, so 20th Century),” Stein wrote.

That’s OK, we promoted it for him.

Haley is known to quote “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and drool over Angie Dickinson in “Police Woman.” He’s such a Broncos fan that Colorado Public Radio featured him in a story about the anniversary of the team’s first trip to the Super Bowl. But Haley, now the president of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, instead went with a work theme.

Every day between now and the June 26 primary we will highlight a wooden U or two. Recipients were asked to consider their values when decorating or to just have fun. Some clerks highlighted their counties.

Check out more decorated U’s on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Knoedler & Witwer: The next generation

Aida Knoedler and Kit Witwer ran for president of their fifth grade class at Dennison Elementary School in Jefferson County.

Facebook is filled these days with posts about people’s kids running for school offices, but the one that warmed my heart belonged to former state Rep. Matt Knoedler of Lakewood and featured a picture of his daughter.

“Wouldn’t you vote for her? Meet Dennison Elementary’s newly elected 5th grade President!”

Knoedler’s Facebook post inspired several fun comments, including one from Jon Caldara, the political court jester at the right leaning Independence Institute.

“Does that mean she has the power to pardon me?” Caldara asked. “She does but she wouldn’t,” Knoedler replied.

Dennison was one of five Colorado schools recognized Thursday as National Blue Ribbon Schools, cited for high performance on state and national tests, The Denver Post reported.

Aida Knoedler beat more than 10 other candidates, including the son of former state Rep. Rob Witwer, which inspired this gracious tweet:

Knoedler jokingly responded to the Tweet by saying it was “fake news” that his daughter colluded with sixth graders.

Read moreKnoedler & Witwer: The next generation

Happy trails to Tustin Amole

“Tustin and I are proof that you can be on different sides of the political spectrum and remain close friends. However, I still remember the shock in her voice when she said, ‘You voted for Bill Owens?'”

Five former staffers for the Rocky Mountain News gathered this week to pay tribute to Tustin Amole. After she left the Rocky, Tustin became spokeswoman for the Cherry Creek School District, a job she is retiring from this month. Left to right: Kim Young, Deb Goeken, Amole, Tonia Twichell and Lynn Bartels.

My very good friend Tustin Amole retires at the end of this month as the spokeswoman for the Cherry Creek School District.

Gene Amole.

I was touched that the district asked me to speak at her going-away party Wednesday night, where the three superintendents she has worked for gushed about Tustin — and deservedly so.

As I said in a Facebook item I posted after the party, her late father, the famed columnist Gene Amole, must be busting his buttons in heaven.

Read moreHappy trails to Tustin Amole