Rio Blanco: remote and Republican

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Rio Blanco County Clerk Boots Campbell at the county offices in Meeker. (SOS photo)

You can’t blame Rio Blanco County Clerk and Recorder Boots Campbell and her staff for being excited about their digs in the newly remodeled courthouse. No longer does brown water seep down the walls or ceilings because the prisoners in the jail above decide to flood their toilets.

“It was pretty disgusting,” she said.

The old courthouse, which originally was completed in 1936, was gutted and refinished. The clerk’s office began moving back in around April. Meanwhile, the jail and the courtrooms moved into the new Rio Blanco County Justice Center.

Campbell — whose name is “Boots” on her voter registration record and driver’s license — gave Secretary of State Wayne Williams a tour of the courthouse when he visited her office Friday in Meeker. The county’s stunning logo, featuring an oil derrick and an elk, adorns the walls and the county commissioner’s room.

In Campbell’s office, she still has some of the wooden antique juror chairs from the olden days in the courthouse, as well as a wooden desk she refused to part with.

Read moreRio Blanco: remote and Republican

A treasure: newspaper clips and more at the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office

A small sampling of the newspaper clips regarding former Secretary of State Mary Estill Buchanan's "furniture caper." (SOS photo)
A sampling of newspaper articles regarding former Secretary of State Mary Estill Buchanan’s “furniture caper” after she left office. (SOS photo)

News clippings from former Secretary of State Mary Estill Buchanan’s “furniture caper.” Scrapbooks from her successor, Natalie Meyer. And an unforgettable feature on Colorado tax zealot Douglas Bruce.

My new intern, Colorado State University student Julia Sunny, and I discovered a treasure trove of items Tuesday when cleaning out my office for a painting-carpeting project this weekend at the Colorado Secretary of State’s office. I was told that my predecessor, Rich Coolidge, took two days cleaning out the office when he left last year, but there was still plenty of stuff in the drawers for me to sort through and admire.

Douglas Bruce in 1993 hugs his big ball of string. The photograph accompanied a story on the crotchety architect of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

As someone who spent 35 years working for  newspapers before becoming the spokeswoman for Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams last August, I love newspaper clips. Yes, they take up space, but they’re so much fun to pore over.

The 1993 feature on Bruce was written after voters the year before passed his Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. I’ve posted the piece several times in later years after Bruce made news, kicking a photographer on the floor of the Colorado House and a conviction on tax evasion.

But to see the story in print was something else. In the article, Bruce called the then secretary of state a “crook,” the executive branch of state government “pimps,” the state legislature “prostitutes” and anybody else opposed to TABOR as “drones.”

Read moreA treasure: newspaper clips and more at the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office

Back by popular demand! Sarah Moss’ State of the Union bingo!

The State of the Union bingo card.
The State of the Union bingo card.

You have to hand it to Sarah Moss,  a Denver politico who for six years has come up with a bingo game tied to the president’s State of the Union speech.

“Climate change.” “Executive order.” “Yes we can.” Those are just some of the phrases Moss has on her playing card. “Cuba.” “Police.” “Great Recession.” These are some of the other phases.

Her 2012 card featured “Osama bin Laden.” The 2011 card included this gem: “That’s simply not true.”

(BTW, the Colorado legislature loves to play this game, too, but with phrases such as “slippery slope” and “TABOR.”

Sarah Moss.
Sarah Moss.

Moss, who at one time worked for John Hickenlooper when he was mayor of Denver (but not after he became governor of Colorado), currently works for the Denver Fire Department’s administrative section.

President (under the B) Barack (Under the O) Obama will deliver his final State of the Union speech at 7 tonight, Colorado time.