A Few Words on that Child Abuser/DPS Board Appointee

standholmes

MiDian Holmes.

MiDian Holmes.

We wanted to make sure the recent controversy on the Denver Public Schools board, in which a newly-appointed school board member connected to the corporate-backed education “reform” group Stand for Children was exposed in the media as having been convicted of child abuse, didn’t get too far in the rear-view mirror without a mention. Eric Gorski and Melanie Asmar at Chalkbeat Colorado reported last Thursday:

MiDian Holmes announced on her Facebook page Thursday night that she would not accept her appointment to the Denver school board, saying she did not want to be a distraction after details of a misdemeanor child abuse conviction became public…

In 2005, she was charged with “wrongs to minors” in violation of the Denver municipal code. Documents explaining what led to the charge were not immediately available. Holmes was sentenced to a year of probation, after which the case was dismissed.

In 2006, she was charged with child abuse in violation of state law. Documents reveal that Holmes left her three young children — age 7, 6 and 2 — home alone for more than eight hours while she was at work. She pleaded guilty to misdemeanor child abuse and again was sentenced to probation.

FOX 31 reported more details from MiDian Holmes’ second child abuse case, which Holmes was reportedly not completely honest about with the DPS board that appointed her:

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Update on Petitions from Denver Candidates

FRIDAY UPDATE: Kudos to Fry for her classy response on failing to make the ballot. From an email sent today:

1000 valid signatures were needed,
5,000 doors were knocked,
926 signatures qualified;

I am proud to say, not one signature collected, or door knocked, was done by paid staff or paid canvassers.

My campaign was grassroots through and through. Powered by me, my family and many, many volunteers.  My gratitude runs deep and I continue to be greatly humbled by the support I received over this last year.

I will not dwell on what could have been, but instead thank each and every one of you for the trust and confidence you placed in my candidacy.

Speak up, speak out loud, speak often

—–

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office announced today that two candidates seeking to make the Primary ballot in Denver ended up with different results.

Erin Bennett had her petition signatures certified today, which means she will be on the June 28th Primary ballot in SD-31 (State Sen. Pat Steadman is term-limited). Bennett joins Steve Sherick and Lois Court on the SD-31 ballot (Sherick and Court made the ballot via the caucus process).

Things did not work out as well for Michele Fry, a Democrat seeking to fill the HD-6 seat of Rep. Lois Court (who is term-limited, which is why she’s running for SD-31). Fry submitted 1,013 signatures — just a tad more than the 1,000 required for ballot access — but 87 of her signatures were rejected, thus keeping her off the June ballot. Democrat Mark McIntosh is also attempting to onto the ballot but has not yet had his signatures verified by the Secretary of State’s office. Democrats Jeff Hart and Chris Hansen made the HD-6 ballot through the caucus process.

Carrigan Claims Top Ballot Spot for Denver DA

Michael Carrigan speaks at Denver Democrats' County Convention on Saturday, March 26.

Michael Carrigan speaks at Denver Democrats’ County Convention on Saturday, March 26.

Campaigns for district attorney have been providing plenty of surprises this caucus season. Two weeks ago, Caryn Datz pulled a surprise upset at the Judicial District 17 Assembly, scooping up 74% of the vote from delegates and keeping (for now, at least) incumbent District Attorney Dave Young from even appearing on the June 28 ballot.

On Saturday in Denver, the crowded race for District Attorney provided another surprising result: Michael Carrigan emerged from the Denver Democrats’ Assembly with topline on the Primary ballot, beating out Democratic Rep. Beth McCann with more than 50% of the vote.

We’ve long written in this space that Carrigan is a strong favorite to win the Democratic nomination for District Attorney (the winner of the Democratic Primary in Denver will almost assuredly go on to win the General Election) because he is a dogged campaigner — he’s been campaigning for essentially two years now — who leads all challengers in fundraising and endorsements by a wide margin. The one place where McCann should have had a natural advantage was within the caucus process itself, where she entered Saturday’s assembly with somewhere in the neighborhood of 33% of Democratic caucus attendees.

Are you SURE one of these roads will eventually take me through the Primary?

Are you SURE one of these roads will eventually take me through the Primary?

Losing at the caucus doesn’t necessarily portend bad things in the Primary. In the 2004 race for Denver DA, McCann bested Mitch Morrissey at the Democratic convention and went on to get pummeled in the Primary by…yes, Morrissey himself. But Carrigan’s big caucus victory is important because it essentially blocks off the last clear path for anyone else to win the Democratic Primary (Kenneth Boyd of the Denver DA’s office is also in the race, but is petitioning onto the ballot). McCann isn’t going to catch Carrigan in fundraising or endorsements, and based on the effectiveness of Carrigan’s ground game over the last few weeks, she won’t have an advantage there, either.

The last full fundraising quarter for this race wraps up in a few weeks, so there aren’t a lot of opportunities left for McCann or Boyd to really outshine Carrigan (it doesn’t help that neither McCann nor Boyd are operating with campaign managers for the time being). There’s still time for something interesting to happen that might change the dynamic of this race, but as it looks today, Carrigan seems to have blocked off every conceivable path to victory for anyone not named Michael Carrigan.

Hancock Backs Carrigan in Race for Denver District Attorney

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock poses with Michael Carrigan.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock poses with Denver DA candidate Michael Carrigan.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock on Wednesday endorsed Michael Carrigan for Denver District Attorney. Carrigan is one of three Democrats running for the seat being vacated by the term-limited Mitch Morrissey.

From a press release:

Mayor Michael Hancock today announced that he is endorsing the only candidate in the Denver District Attorneys’ race who has experience as a prosecutor, defense attorney and private sector attorney – Michael Carrigan.

“Michael Carrigan is hands down Denver’s best choice for our next District Attorney,” said Mayor Hancock. “He is a skilled lawyer, active community member and strong leader with the legal experience needed to ensure justice for Denver’s residents. I am confident Michael will bring a balanced perspective to the DA’s office to help make Denver a safer, better place.”

The press release does not mention an interesting factual tidbit about Hancock’s endorsement: This is the first time that a sitting Mayor of Denver has endorsed a candidate for Denver District Attorney in at least 20 years. Some of this has to do with weird timing for both the Mayoral and DA races; Denver’s Mayor is chosen in a municipal election, but District Attorney is technically a “state race,” which puts it on the ballot in a General Election year.

As is normally the case here, Democrats will all but decide who becomes Denver’s next DA in the June Primary. There is an Independent candidate seeking the office, but running against a Democrat in Denver is kind of like being a Raiders fan on Sundays.

Emily’s List Endorses Meg Froelich for Colorado House

MEDIA RELEASE

Date 1/20/15

Contact: Meg Froelich, (720)570-6337 meg@froeforco.com

Kulsoom Jafri, (202)419-1056, kjafri@emilyslist.org

 

 

EMILY’s List Endorses Meg Froelich for Colorado House District 3

Three million member group to lend communications and financial support

 

 

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, COLO. – Longtime Arapahoe County leader Meg Froelich was endorsed today by EMILY’s List in her campaign for Colorado House District 3 including Cherry Hills, Englewood, Greenwood Village and Sheridan. EMILY’s List is the nation’s largest resource for women in politics.

 

Meg Froelich has proven that she will be a strong advocate and strategic leader for the district through her work as Greenwood City councilwoman and NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado board member and interim executive director,” said Lucinda Guinn, EMILY’s List Vice President of Campaigns. “The EMILY’s List community is delighted to devote our resources to elect Meg, a strong supporter of gender equality, women’s reproductive rights, and health care for all.”

 

EMILY’s List works to elect pro-choice Democratic women to national, state and local office so families in Colorado and across the nation can benefit from the open-minded, productive contributions that women have consistently made in office. EMILY’s List began in 1985 and elected Barbara Mikulski in 1986 as the first woman US Senator in her own right. With three million members, the organization has helped elect more than 800 women to elected office.

 

“I’ve lived, worked, and raised kids in Arapahoe County for many years, and I’ve seen the struggles and needs of the families here, especially working women. As a longtime advocate for equal pay for equal work, paid sick leave and reproductive rights, I’m honored to have the support of EMILY’s List in my race for House District 3,” said candidate Meg Froelich. “These are woman’s issues and family issues – core values of fairness and opportunity we share as Coloradans. We need an economy that works for everyone, including a diverse district like this one. And as the representative for the families in HD3, I will fight to make that happen.”

 

 

# # #

Squishy Federico Peña Hamstrings GOP Debate Protest

Federico Peña.

Federico Peña.

The Boulder Daily Camera’s Charlie Brennan and Sarah Kuta recap the action outside yesterday’s Republican presidential debate at the University of Colorado at Boulder–in particular, one detail that didn’t come together quite the way the coverage leading up to yesterday’s events had us all expecting:

Boulder played an improbable starring role at the center of the Republican universe Wednesday as a constellation of protests and related sideshows threatened to steal the spotlight from the GOP’s third presidential debate – but ultimately made little impact…

While the debate unfolded within the events center, roughly 300 people gathered at Farrand Field as part of a protest against some of the comments made over the course of the campaign by the GOP candidates.

…The My Country, My Vote gathering encouraged Latinos and others to register to vote and speak out against “anti-immigrant campaign rhetoric.”

When it was announced earlier this month, “Our Future, Our Choice” organizers expressed hopes it would draw 10,000 people to the streets to present a vision of the future they hope to see.

It only attracted 250…

Although the protests in the “Free Speech Zone” outside the Coors Events Center were by all accounts lively, the failure to produce the very large numbers of protesters originally forecast is being universally blamed on a pitiful turnout to the My Country, My Vote rally at Farrand Field yesterday evening. The story that we’ve heard from multiple sources is that preparations for this rally broke down after the “headliner” of the event, former Denver Mayor Federico Peña, demanded major changes to the rally’s message.

Originally intended as a much more aggressive rally demanding that Republican presidential candidates on the CU campus back away from their offensive rhetoric and show respect for an Hispanic electorate increasingly playing a decisive role in American elections, Peña and/or his “people” reportedly demanded a neutering of that message into a much more generic call for immigration reform–in the words of one disgruntled organizer, a meek appeal to “whichever white person becomes President.” It has even been suggested to us that Pena made a deal with CU’s Republican President Bruce Benson to ensure this much-feared protest action would not “antagonize” Republicans gathering on Benson’s campus for the debate.

If that is anything close to what actually occurred, obviously, it’s a huge blow to former mayor Peña’s credibility. Especially after organizers made such sweeping boasts about the expected crowd the protest would turn out, this story of ole-boy-network meddling–with the net effect of severely curtailing the success of the event–makes it hard to imagine that he’ll be ever asked to do something like this again.

Unless Benson asks him to, we guess.

Mayor Hancock Releases 2016 Budget

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock unveiled his 2016 Budget proposal today. Jon Murray of the Denver Post breaks it down for the rest of us:

The cost of reforming the troubled Denver sheriff’s department again is a dominant theme in the proposed city budget, with $24 million set aside next year for more deputies, training, technology upgrades and other needs.

Mayor Michael Hancock unveiled his 2016 budget proposal Monday morning. The operating budget calls for the city to spend $1.8 billion, a 5.2 percent increase over this year. The largest part, the $1.3 billion general fund that covers basic city operations, would increase 3.5 percent.

Hancock called the plan a balanced budget that addresses key needs such as jail reform measures and $8 million for affordable housing subsidies — more than double this year’s funding — while keeping reserves flush for a rainy day.

 

Click here for the complete budget proposal from the Mayor’s office.

Ken Salazar Backs Jeff Bridges in HD-3

Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is endorsing Jeff Bridges in HD-3.

Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is endorsing Jeff Bridges in HD-3.

Former U.S. Senator and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar certainly isn’t shying away from getting involved in Colorado political races. Long-rumored to be preparing for a run for Governor in 2018, Salazar has nevertheless taken sides in a handful of high-profile Democratic Primary races in 2016.

The latest Democrat to earn Salazar’s support is Jeff Bridges, one of two candidates running for the open seat in HD-3 (South Denver).

Here’s what Salazar had to say about Bridges in a press release from the campaign:

I am proud today to endorse my good friend Jeff Bridges for the Colorado State House of Representatives. In his work for me in the United States Senate, he showed time and again his ability to work across party lines for the benefit of all Coloradans. Jeff is like family to me, and I know he will bring his deep Colorado values with him into the state legislature.

While Jeff was working for me in the U.S. Senate, I received a letter from an Army Specialist from Colorado serving in Iraq. The letter read:

“Two days ago a good friend of mine was killed in action when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detonated next to his Humvee. He was sitting in the gunner seat and pulling rear security. I have seen automated guns that can go on the top of these same Humvees. These guns are controlled from inside the vehicle. Why are these guns not on every Humvee?… If the answer is money, then I would really like to know how much my friend’s life was worth.”

Since Jeff worked as my aide on military issues, I gave the letter to Jeff and on my behalf he looked into the situation. The commanders Jeff spoke with in Iraq raved about the program. Congress, however, was in the process of eliminating it. Jeff organized a successful, bipartisan effort to save the program that included the top Democrat and Republican on the Defense Subcommittee on Appropriations and members of the Senate Armed Services Committee from both sides of the aisle.

When we first received that letter from a Coloradan serving in Iraq, only a few of these systems were operational. Jeff’s work secured full funding for 1,000 more, and today there are thousands of these systems saving the lives of our soldiers overseas.

This is just one of many stories I could tell about the great work Jeff did on my behalf in the U.S. Senate. I know he will make the best representative for the community he grew up in, and will work for our shared Colorado values in the State House.

Colorado Republicans cancel 2016 presidential caucus vote

Move makes Colorado only state to date to opt out of early nomination process

Colorado will not pick a Republican candidate for president in its 2016 caucus after party leaders approved a little-noticed shift that is likely to diminish the swing state’s clout in the most open nomination contest in the modern era.

The GOP executive committee voted Friday to cancel the traditional presidential preference poll at the caucus after the national party changed its rules to require a state’s delegates to support the candidate that wins.

The move makes Colorado the only state so far to forfeit a role in the early nomination process, according to experts, but other states are still considering what to do.

“It takes Colorado completely off the map” in the nomination process, said Ryan Call, a former state GOP chairman.

More at http://www.denverpost.com/politics/ci_28700919/

Wonder why… Are they 1) broke? 2) Afraid of Trump or 3) or still infighting in the Colorado Republican Party to care about their own caucus?

10,000 Rounds Ain’t Enough, Says RMGO’s Dudley Brown

Dudley Brown of RMGO.

Dudley Brown of RMGO.

A shrilly-worded action alert from the hard right pro-gun group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners warns of yet another sneaky plot by ex-New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his crafty cabal of leftist gun-grabbers to cheat honest law-abiding Americans out of their sacred right to spray unlimited quantities of lead at whatever they like:

It’s no secret that billionaire playboy Michael Bloomberg is anti-gun.

But his latest attempt to restrict your gun rights is coming from somewhere you’d never expect.

Bloomberg and his crony Colorado mayors have turned to government bureaucrats to push their gun-grabbing agenda.

That’s why I need your help!

RMGO has obtained documents showing the Denver Fire Department is planning to ban the storage of more than 10,000 rounds of ammunition in any residential occupancy. [Pols emphasis]

I know it sounds outrageous, but the gun-grabbers will stop at nothing to limit your ability to protect yourself and your family…

ammo_CutAwayNow first of all, we don’t know anything about this proposal one way or the other–we’ve seen no news reports about it, and there’s nothing we can find even in media outlets in other cities discussing the possibility of limiting storage of ammunition in a residential structure to 10,000 rounds.

But just for argument’s sake, let’s ask the question: how many rounds of ammunition does someone need to defend themselves? A study of National Rifle Association reports on self-defense situations says most defenders fire only two shots, and almost never have to (or are usually unable to) reload. We don’t want to be presumptuous about what would obviously be a stressful situation, but that’s about 9,998 shots fewer than Brown seems to think you’ll need to “protect yourself and your family.”

Setting that argument aside for a moment, there’s just no question that storing huge amounts of live ammunition in a residential building is kind of a sketchy practice. We get that there are gun-lovers who for whatever reason don’t think so, but we guarantee that their non gun-loving neighbors would be uncomfortable to know that enough ammunition to blow up/burn down a building was being stored next door. A building, or maybe the whole block?

Seriously, what other types of high explosives are you allowed to stockpile in your home?

On second thought, maybe some kind of reasonable limit, say 10,000 rounds or so, is okay after all–especially in residences in an urban environment like Denver. We’re thinking if you put that to a vote in Denver, it would pass handily. And if you don’t like it, maybe find a house in the country to convert into your own private ammo dump?

Again, this could simply be a fundraising scare tactic to keep RMGO’s war chest filled. But if it’s not…well, that’s fine too.

Not Well Played, Sean Bradley

Do not take campaign advice from this man.

This is Sean Bradley. Do not take campaign advice from this man.

Sean Bradley is one of two candidates in the District 11 runoff for Denver City Council, which concludes next Tuesday (June 2). Should Bradley defeat Stacie Gilmore in the runoff, he will treat the City Council Seat like a full-time job. This is notable, because the Denver City Council is a full-time job, and until recently, Bradley was refusing to say whether he would quit his current job if elected.

As Jon Murray reports for the Denver Post, Bradley finally tried to stick a band-aid on that gaping campaign wound that he caused for himself:

Denver City Council candidate Sean Bradley said Friday that if he wins a June 2 runoff, he will leave his job as president and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan Denver.

Bradley’s comments to The Denver Post, after declining to answer the question definitively earlier this week, put to rest speculation that he might try to work both jobs.

He started at the Urban League in January. He said Friday that he would not step down immediately, instead making arrangements to help the organization transition to a new leader. He likely would leave the Urban League by the time new council members take the oath in mid-July, Bradley said.

“The reality of it all is, if and when we win this race, there was no way I was going to be able to do two of these jobs,” he said. [Pols emphasis]

Uh, you think?

Thus ends one of the more inexplicable self-inflicted political wounds we’ve seen in quite awhile. By refusing to say if he would quit his current job if elected to the Denver City Council, Bradley gave his opponents plenty of time to question his commitment to the job he is seeking, and he made himself look ridiculous in the process.

Did Bradley not know that City Council is a full-time job? Did his bosses at the Urban League not know he was running? Both questions seem absurd, but why else would he refuse to even acknowledge that he would need to quit his current job if elected?

City Council Candidate Still Not Explaining GOP Support

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

City Council candidate Wayne New, who changed his voter registration from Republican to unaffiliated in March, acknowledged in a Denver Post interview last week that he’s spotlighting progressive ideas to try to prove to voters that he’s not as conservative as you might think from his record of donations to Republican candidates like Cory Gardner and others.

But Wayne New still hasn’t said why he donated to Gardner, just last August.

Wayne New told The Post he supports progressive ideas, like a plastic-bag fee, and he doesn’t want to get into partisan scrapping. Fair enough. But it’s not a partisan attack to want to know why Wayne New donated to Cory Gardner. It’s a substantive question. What issues did he agree with Gardner on? (Somehow, I don’t see Gardner supporting the bag fee.) What did he like about Gardner? About Mitt Romney? About John McCain? About the Republican National Committee?

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Conservative Running for Denver City Council Has Some Explaining To Do

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Denver City Council races are supposed to be all sweet and nonpartisany, and part of me really wishes they could be that way. But if you want to get a full pictures of a candidate, you’d be stupid to ignore their partisan history. Here’s a case in point.

District 10 candidate Wayne New, who changed his voter registration from Republican to unaffiliated in March, is distributing an ad spotlighting a “woman’s right to choose” among his top priorities. The mailer reads (See below.):

 The City Council Campaign has focused on the critical issues of over-development, traffic, parking, and the voice of the people in key City decisions. Just as important is sharing with you what I believe. I believe in:

…A woman’s right to choose, ensuring that women have access to all reproductive healthcare services.

The advertisement doesn’t tell you that New contributed $250 to Colorado Senate candidate Cory Gardner in August of last year.

Of course New’s mailer is silent about this. Anyone who’s politically conscious knows that 1) donating money to Cory Gardner and 2) having a woman’s right to choose as one of your top priorities are 3) mutually exclusive.

Cory Gardner, now our U.S. Senator, made anti-choice legislation a centerpiece of his rise to political power, earning high praise for years from hard-line anti-choice groups, which helped him win over Republicans.

Once Gardner won his Republican primary, and began courting moderate voters across the state, he promptly abandoned his longstanding support for  Colorado’s personhood amendment, which would have banned all abortion, even for rape and incest, as well as some forms of birth control.

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Michael Carrigan Breaks Fundraising Record in Bid for Denver DA

Michael Carrigan, candidate for Denver District AttorneyDenver’s 2015 Municipal elections are just a few weeks away, but because District Attorney is technically considered a “state” election, it won’t be on the ballot until 2016. That doesn’t mean that candidates are biding their time until the June 2016 Democratic Primary, however.

Democrat Michael Carrigan announced today that his campaign for Denver District Attorney set a new statewide fundraising record in the first quarter of 2015. To many Denver Democrats, it may seem like Carrigan has been running for D.A. for years, as the Denver Post’s Lynn Bartels jokes in “The Spot” blog, but the first quarter of 2015 is Carrigan’s first official fundraising period as a registered candidate (Q1 was also the first fundraising period for Democratic Rep. Beth McCann, who is seeking the DA post again after an unsuccessful campaign in 2004; McCann has not yet announced her Q1 fundraising numbers).

In the first three months of 2015, Carrigan raised more than $120,000 from 430 different donors, which appears to mark a new statewide record for campaigns subject to $400 contribution limits. According to a press release (full release after the jump):

Carrigan’s first fundraising quarter is more than double the previous record for a first quarter candidate subject to $400 contribution limits; Gail Schwartz raised $53,000 in her first fundraising quarter as a candidate for State Senate in 2006. Coincidentally, Sen. Schwartz has endorsed Carrigan’s campaign for District Attorney.

Carrigan’s first fundraising quarter is particularly impressive given that he is trying to raise money at the same time as 50 other Denver candidates running in May’s Municipal election. Carrigan will publicly kick-off his 2016 campaign on Thursday evening at La Casita in Denver.

The office of Denver District Attorney is the Halley’s Comet of Colorado politics: The seat doesn’t open up very often, but when it does, everybody seems to pay it close attention. Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey is term-limited in 2016, and he is only the second District Attorney elected in Denver this century (former Gov. Bill Ritter completed his final term as D.A. in 2004). Because Denver is such a Democratic stronghold, the race for D.A. will almost certainly be decided in the June 2016 Primary Election.

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