BY FREDA MIKLINGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER Casper Stockham wants to go to Congress to represent CD6, which includes...
Kathleen Conti and Jeff Baker are both Arapahoe County Commissioners up for re-election in 2020. Conti represe...
BY FREDA MIKLINGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER The Business Leaders for Responsible Government section of the South Metr...
“Today the Senate passed the USMCA, which is great news for Colorado’s workers, our agriculture industry, and...
Cherry Creek Republican Women will meet Tuesday, Jan. 14 at 11:30 a.m. at Glenmoor Country Club. Arapahoe Coun...
Following diagnosis of rare immune-related condition On December 31, 2019 Senator Lois Court was hospit...
“Our statewide University system clearly needs bold leadership to address issues such as exploding student loa...
BY DORIS B. TRUHLARGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER Centennial residents returned Candace Moon to her council seat in Dis...
BY FREDA MIKLINGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER Positions for city council and mayor in Colorado are non-partisan. While...
BY DORIS B. TRUHLARGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER Don Sheehan was the winner in District 4, the eastern-most dist...
BY FREDA MIKLINGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER
Casper Stockham wants to go to Congress to represent CD6, which includes all of Aurora, portions of Centennial and Littleton, and Brighton and Henderson. He is running against former GOP state chair Steve House and potentially two other candidates (John Szemler and Ryan Gonzalez have expressed their intention to run) to be the Republican standard bearer to challenge first-term Democrat U.S. Rep. Jason Crow in Colorado’s CD6 in November.
Stockham believes Congress should have term limits. He also thinks all federal judges, including Supreme Court judges, should serve no more than 20 years.
The candidate would change all regulatory agencies to advisory only, so that only the Congress could approve federal regulations. Said Stockham, “Passing regulations without congressional approval is not constitutional.” He wants to see the national debt reduced and would not vote for a budget that was not balanced.
On Planned Parenthood, Stockham told us, “I think Planned Parenthood should be immediately defunded. I don’t support funding death. I support funding life, along with women’s health, adoption, and foster care.” He does not feel that Planned Parenthood provides general health services for women.
On foreign policy, Stockham, a Navy veteran, “would like to see a reduction in U.S. troops in the middle east.” He says, “We should be done in Afghanistan and Syria.” He went on, “The past administration gave Iran $1.5 billion and they used it to fund terrorism.”
Turning to the Democratic incumbent, Stockham said, “(U.S. Rep.) Crow is very progressive and he is going after our second amendment rights.”
Stockham addressed current events, saying, “The impeachment is a sham. The charges in the two articles are not impeachable offenses. They are policy differences Trump did not abuse his power. He was just doing his job.”
The candidate’s goals as a congressman are “to fight against the swamp—power elites that are not there for the people.” He also wants to change incentives in budgeting to discourage federal agencies’ “overspending just to use up their available budget.”
Stockham is a consultant who provides training for budding entrepreneurs and youth in underprivileged communities. He told Villager Publisher Bob Sweeney and me that he is “connected to people,” while his main primary opponent, House, “is more connected to money than people.” He went on, “I’m the largest Trump supporter in this race. (Steve) House is a fake Trump supporter.” Stockham’s strategy includes a plan to reach out to immigrant communities in CD6, including people from Ethiopia and Ghana, who mostly live in Aurora.
Colorado’s sixth congressional district was represented by Republicans from its formation in 1983 until Jason Crow beat 10-year incumbent Mike Coffman, who was recently elected mayor of Aurora, in Nov. 2018. Crow was one of two freshmen appointed as one of the seven impeachment managers by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on January 15.
Stockham ran for Colorado CD1 in 2016 and 2018. Both times he was defeated by incumbent Diana DeGette,
garnering 32 percent of the vote on his first try and 26 percent on his second.
The Republican and Democratic primary elections for CD6 will be held on June 30. The general election is Nov. 3.
Kathleen Conti and Jeff Baker are both Arapahoe County Commissioners up for re-election in 2020. Conti represents the western part of the county while Baker represents the eastern portion.
Both were sworn into office on January 9, 2017. At a recent meeting of Cherry Creek Republican Women (CCRW), they addressed the issues of elections, the census, Tax Use Renewal, the master plan, the Metroplex Project and safety in jail. “We have been doing more with less for a long time,” said Conti. Suffering from a cold, Baker wanted to give his colleague the bulk of the time to speak. “We are doing our best to make elections run fairly,” he said.
The Business Leaders for Responsible Government section of the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce held an early morning meeting at the Englewood Civic Center at 1000 Englewood Parkway on Jan. 15 to hear from area state legislators about the issues they expect the legislature to tackle during the 120-day 2020 session that opened on Jan. 4. Kathy Turley, Centennial city council member and Chamber board member, introduced the panel.
District 27 Republican Sen. Jack Tate, who chose not to run for re-election when his term ends in November, told the 40 in attendance that he hopes to lead a repeal of the 1982 Gallagher Amendment that “arbitrarily sets the ratio of how much property tax revenue comes from residential property and how much comes from non-residential property.” He explained that, because of the Gallagher amendment, in those parts of the state that 1) have less commercial property than the state average, and 2) whose residential property has appreciated less than the state average, while population has increased, there are more citizens who must be served while funding for emergency and other local government services has decreased.
He also said that the school finance formula went from a uniform system to an idiosyncratic system where the state subsidy for schools in Aspen exceeds that of Pueblo, so it must be addressed but doing so is complex and must be approached carefully.
Although it didn’t come up at the meeting, Tate is a prime sponsor of SB20-100, introduced Jan. 14, to repeal the death penalty in Colorado for “offenses charged on or after July 1, 2020.”
Sen. Jeff Bridges, a Democrat who represents district 26, said, “This coming session will look a lot like last session where most bills that passed had bi-partisan support because they were amended during the process to a reasonable place where folks could agree.”
On paid family leave, an issue left over from 2019 and certain to be on this year’s agenda, Bridges said, “the number one question is whether it should be a government program or a government mandate that employers must pay for?” On the subject of health care, he pointed out that, “Passing a reinsurance bill last year had a positive impact on health care costs.”
District four Republican Sen. Jim Smallwood agreed with Bridges that most bills passed are bipartisan “except for paid family leave and a government takeover of health care.” He explained, “You’re going to see a lot more government involvement in health care this session.” He had a different view of the 2019 reinsurance bill, saying, “I was against the reinsurance bill. It was funded by taking $30 million out of affordable housing last year that was already funded and we will do so again this year.” He agreed that health insurance premiums went down and noted that it was “a huge win for Coloradans on the western and eastern plains.”
Rep. Kim Ransom, a Republican who represents district 44, is one of six legislators on the all-important Joint Budget Committee (JBC) that writes the state’s annual budget. She said, “A lot of bills passed last year had costs attached that we at the JBC have to figure out how to pay for. Reinsurance did lower health insurance costs for some but the overall health care cost to the state is higher and now the governor wants to add free pre-school after adding free full-day kindergarten last year.”
“Today the Senate passed the USMCA, which is great news for Colorado’s workers, our agriculture industry, and our economy,” said Senator Gardner. “A great portion of our economy in Colorado is dependent on trade with Canada and Mexico. Colorado’s workforce stands to benefit from the USMCA, as roughly a quarter million jobs exist in the Centennial State because of our trade relationships with our North American neighbors. After months of unnecessary delay by the House of Representatives, I’m glad Congress has finally passed this critical agreement for more jobs, economic growth, and opportunity in Colorado.”
Colorado exported $2.7 billion in goods to Canada and Mexico in 2018, making them Colorado’s largest trading partners. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Colorado exported more than $165 million of electronic machinery, $74 million worth of beverages, $47 million of dairy products, $33 million of cereals, and $28 million of sugar and confectionary exports to Canada and Mexico in 2018. Colorado’s biggest export, beef, accounts for more than $880 million worth of goods shipped to Mexico and Canada.
Cherry Creek Republican Women will meet Tuesday, Jan. 14 at 11:30 a.m. at Glenmoor Country Club. Arapahoe County Commissioners Jeff Baker and Kathleen Conti will be the speakers. Both are candidates for reelection in 2020. District 3 Commission Jeff Baker represents the far eastern portion of Arapahoe County which includes portions of the cities of Aurora and Centennial, the Town of Foxfield, the towns of Bennett and Deer Trail and unincorporated eastern Arapahoe County. Kathleen Conti is serving her first term as Commissioner representing District 1 which includes the communities of Bow Mar, Cherry Hills Village, Columbine Valley, Englewood, Littleton, Sheridan, portions of Centennial and unincorporated north Arapahoe County. Reservations must be made by Sat. noon, Jan. 10 to June Robinson at 303-752-2013 or email June at junerobinson2018@com
Following diagnosis of rare immune-related condition
On December 31, 2019 Senator Lois Court was hospitalized after experiencing muscle weakness and partial paralysis. Shortly thereafter, she was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome–– a rare autoimmune disorder that affects the peripheral nerves of the body.
Due to the severity of the illness, Senator Court has decided to step down, effective Jan. 16, 2020. Although it is a serious diagnosis, 99% of people who are diagnosed recover, with 98% returning to full functionality within several weeks or months.
Senator Court has served the people of Colorado faithfully for over 12 years, first as an aide to State Representative Andy Kerr, then as a State Representative herself for House District 6, and finally as a State Senator for District 31. Sen. Court has led the Senate chamber most recently as their elected President Pro-Tempore, has championed gun safety legislation, and been a stalwart voice for fiscal reform.
Living in the 7th Avenue Parkway Neighborhood for over 35 years, Sen. Court has been an active community member and dedicated civil servant over the decades–– teaching American government at Red Rocks Community College and working as an aide to former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb.
“It has been the honor of my life to serve the people of Colorado and I am deeply saddened that this chapter of my life is at a close. But I am excited by the work my colleagues are undertaking and will continue to cheer them on and be an active citizen of Senate District 31,” said Senator Lois Court (D-Denver). “I would also like to thank all of my wonderful supporters and constituents––I could have never achieved what I did without your unfailing passion and guidance.”
With Senator Court’s departure, the Senate District 31 Committee will convene and begin their process to appoint her replacement.
“Our statewide University system clearly needs bold leadership to address issues such as exploding student loan debt, lack of transparency in decision-making, and a bloated administrative bureaucracy,” said Harber announcing his candidacy for the position of CU Regent.
Harber cited his experience serving on the governing Board of Trustees at Princeton University as well as his media acumen hosting The Aaron Harber Show, a non-partisan public affairs program promoting civil and mutually-respectful discourse as singular assets he will bring to the Regents.
“I already am intimately familiar with the problems which exist and solutions available to us to make CU an even greater institution than it is today as well as how to best make the case for CU and all our institutions of Higher Education in Colorado.”
In addition, Harber pointed to a need to have data-driven analyses of the value of degrees by field and to provide that information to applicants, students, and parents. He proposed using that data to help create higher values for college degrees, and particularly emphasized the significant need to create greater diversity by providing vastly improved outreach efforts and greater financial support for students.
“Thanks to my daughter, who currently attends CU Boulder, I have gained additional ‘on the ground’ insight and yet another invaluable perspective — that of a parent — and am seeing firsthand the considerable need for innovative and intrepid leadership.”
Harber emphasized, “As a current CU parent trying to pay the bills like many other families, my priority always will be to find efficiency and create value for every degree from the University.”
“CU is a great university but it can be much better. It immediately needs expert, experienced leadership to direct this $4.8 billion annual enterprise with almost 70,000 students and over 37,000 employees on four campuses across our State. My goals include de-politicizing and unifying the Board while also being the most effective advocate for CU and other colleges and universities in Colorado.”
Harber has two opponents in the Democratic primary, both of whom are employees of the University. Most boards in the private or public sector seek outside directors who are strictly independent and do not have substantial financial interests in their employer or other conflicts of interest.
BY DORIS B. TRUHLARGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER
Centennial residents returned Candace Moon to her council seat in District 1, while electing three new and somewhat inexperienced council members, to fill the other three seats in Districts 2, 3 and 4.
The other winners in addition to Moon, whose husband also served on council for two and one-half terms, were Christine Sweetland in District 2, Richard Holt in District 3 and Don Sheehan in District 4.
There are some in Centennial who look to the Moons, or at least one of them, to possibly run for mayor of the city, which has about 120,000 residents and is the second biggest city in Arapahoe County, the largest being Aurora, which is partially in Adams County (the dividing line is the boundary between Arapahoe and Adams counties.
Losers in the four races were Ron Phelps, who works for the Denver Water Board, District 1; Rhonda Livingston, a homemaker, District 3; and Anna Burr, an attorney, District 4.
Ending their service to Centennial at the end of this year are Carrie Penaloza, District 2; Ken Lucas, District 3; and Ron Weidmann, District 4, who was appointed to fill the term of the current mayor when she was elected two years ago.
The race in District 1 was particularly hard-fought. Phelps campaigned on a platform that was critical not only of the councilwoman but also of Moon’s husband, Vorry Moon, who served two and one-half terms on the City Council. He appeared to be implying that the couple is taking more than their share of the seats on the City Council and that they have too much power.
Phelps was elected to the council previously, then quit after only six months of service.
Moon is a retired federal worker who devotes her working time to the city. The Moons both served in the United States Air Force. She is particularly knowledgeable about issues related to the Centennial Airport, and serves on a roundtable in regard to that facility. Some of the issues related to the airport are particularly complex.
Rhonda Livingston, a homemaker, served on Centennial’s Home Rule Charter Commission some years ago and has been attending council meetings for several months. She appeared to be knowledgeable about local government. She was active in relation to an issue involving car dealers on East Arapahoe Road about two to three years ago. Livingston is a former City of Centennial employee.
In District 4, the eastern-most district, Don Sheehan was the winner. That district has the most land that constitutes “holes in the city,” that is, areas that have not been annexed to become part of Centennial. Sheehan said he was grateful to the voters for giving him the nod to serve.
Additionally, Sheehan said the votes in favor of him, fairly lopsided (with a 388-vote margin) for a Centennial council election, were “exciting” and that he looks forward to serving. He said he knows there is a “steep learning curve,” including getting up-to-date on the status of the Streets at SouthGlenn. His opponent, Anna Burr, is an attorney.
Sheehan noted that there are numerous committees, including several that are not Centennial committees, such as the Centennial Airport Roundtable, to which Moon is the representative. He said he believes it is important to learn about the business of those committees, as well as the committees that are part of the city government.
The results by district were:
District 1, the far western district in the city – about 53 percent for Moon, a six-point victory, with Phelps garnering about 47 percent. This is a fairly impressive victory. Moon had 3,445 votes; Phelps had 3,109. District 1 had more voters than the other three districts.
District 2, in the center of the city, Christine Sweetland with about 49 percent, and her opponent Brian Beatty, a member of the Centennial Planning and Zoning Commission with 51 percent. This was a closer race than the District 1 contest. Sweetland had 2,831 votes, while Beatty, an airplane expert, had 2,702.
District 3, in the central eastern part of the city, Richard Holt, a business analyst for a digital media company, defeated Livingston. Holt, about 62 percent, 3,596 votes; Livingston 38.1 percent, 2,214 votes. This was the biggest margin of difference in the four districts.
District 4, in the far eastern edge of the city, Don Sheehan, 56 percent, 2,385 votes; Anna Burr, a personal injury attorney, 44 percent, 1,875 votes. Burr did not do much campaigning. Sheehan serves on the city’s Senior Commission.
Generally, in council elections, the winners tend to be individuals who have knocked on more doors.
Sweetland said that she knocked on 4,500 doors, and that members of her book club helped her campaign by writing notes to voters. She also said she sent out 1,000 postcards, with written notes on each of them. She said her campaign was “very grassroots.”
Holt said he is “still digesting” the victory and that he found it to be “surreal.” He also said he is looking forward to serving.
Additionally, it appears that voter registrations in Centennial are becoming more Democrat, although council candidates do not run on a party ticket. Often, however, when candidates go door-to-door, they are asked only one question, “What party are you?”
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