In politics, a touchdown is a touchdown.
Eric Sondermann: "With all that is regained, it is important to remember some of the very different features of this past year through which we lived. Many of the adaptations were not of our choosing. But now, coming out the other side, some are worth retaining in whole or in part."
Ernest Luning: "In conversations with political insiders lately, it's become nearly as common as remarking on the weather to ask if there's news about a Republican running for any number of top-ticket offices, and the answers are usually the same."
Lynn Bartels: "Thirty years ago this month, Wellington Webb won his first election as Denver mayor by beating the favored candidate in every part of the city, kicking off a 12-year stretch of defining the Mile High City for decades to come."
Eric Sondermann: "In Colorado and the vast majority of other states, the top election officials with the solemn responsibility of fairly and impartially administering our democracy’s central feature are themselves partisan actors elected through a partisan process."
Ernest Luning catches up with Weston Imer, known as "the kid of the Trump campaign" in Colorado, who hopes some of that Trump magic can rub off on the long-shot bid of his mom, Laurel Imer, to unseat eight-term Democratic U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter.
Joey Bunch: "As soon as this week we may know everything the government knows about UFOs, after a series of videos showing spacecraft zipping about left respected national leaders, from Hillary Clinton to Marco Rubio, wanting to know more."
Lynn Bartels: "This year, we are grateful that some schools are holding in-person graduations, although all sorts of precautions have been taken. The deaths from COVID-19 were just ramping up when most in-person graduations were canceled last year."
Eric Sondermann: "Refugees are clearly immigrants; but not all immigrants are refugees."
The pride of the Senate Republicans, their entry for this year's rubber band ball drop, has been missing for a week now.
Ernest Luning: "Like an old prizefighter suiting up for an exhibition match to summon his glory days, U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn this week laced up his gloves and dusted off perennial legislation to end federal funding for public broadcasting."
Lynn Bartels: "Thanks to my birthday celebration in mid-May, where I dined at three restaurants in two days, I discovered something extraordinary: Life in Colorado appears to be returning to normal."
Eric Sondermann: "Now, a mature, experienced, occasionally poised me enjoys public speaking and rarely sweats it. But way back then, as an extra-young novice, not so much. I was essentially a field organizer and barely familiar with the candidate’s position papers. You can imagine that a few hours of panicked cramming ensued. This is where George Will enters the frame."
Ernest Luning: "The Colorado Springs Republican, serving his eighth term in Congress, has had more close calls than a long-tailed cat on a porch full of rocking chairs."
Joey Bunch: "Experts in criminal justice say that what happens in the first 72 hours after an inmate is released determines how likely and how fast they might make a U-turn back into incarceration."
Eric Sondermann: "Here we are a full half-year past the election (and after all major news organizations, including Fox News and other conservative outlets, declared a Biden victory), and Trump’s party, led by the impresario himself, are firmly, defiantly, unmovably stuck between the grieving stages of denial and anger."
Lynn Bartels: "Oh, how we wept for the Class of 2020, whose proms and track meets and high school graduations were canceled or delayed because of the coronavirus. But it turns out we should have saved our tears for the Class of 2021."
Columnist Eric Sondermann took a look at the respective benches in both the Republican and Democratic parties and consulted leading consultants and operatives to determine a number of up-and-comers in each party.
The Denver Gazette and 9News are teaming up to try to answer questions as we get closer and closer to a return to normalcy. We’ve assembled a panel of some of the best health experts in the state to provide you with the best information available.
Eric Sondermann: "The indiscriminate, untargeted, one-size-fits-all nature of these (stimulus) payments speaks to a government with more wallet than refined strategy. Even if that wallet is illusory, consisting of trillions after trillions of indebtedness and money borrowed from next generations."
Ernest Luning: "Neguse, of Lafayette, landed in the top 10% of House members on the scale, which measures how often lawmakers' legislation attracts co-sponsors from across the aisle and how often they sign on to bills sponsored by members of the other party."
Joey Bunch: "With Gov. Jared Polis' signature, the legislation would change the age to 80, and all drivers younger than that have to attest they've had an eye exam in the past year. Those older than 80 would still have a doctor's note showing an exam the previous six months."
The news came down like a thunderbolt: an ex-cop police from Minneapolis would see the inside of a prison for killing George Floyd. Colorado leaders, especially those who live behind the bars of prejudice, exhaled.
It was the crinkle heard 'round the world — or across the Twitterverse, at least.
Lynn Bartels: "(Peter) Groff, now a consultant, said he watched about 90% of Chauvin’s trial and thought the evidence against the fired officer was overwhelming and the prosecution did a spectacular job. And yet …"
Eric Sondermann: "When all the hollering is over and the legislative session finally adjourns, much of the post-mortem analysis will center on the major bills passed. ... However, at the moment, it seems that such affirmative steps would be gravy. And that the most important service our elected representatives could render would be to summarily kill a number of ill-considered, unnecessary proposals that have arisen from various quarters."
The lighter side of the Capitol, usually.
Lynn Bartels: "Talk about full circle. I’m going to get my second vaccination today, April 20, at the same South Dakota hospital where I was born almost 64 years ago."
Ernest Luning: "Ten years ago this month, Colorado's political world might not have been any kinder, but the pace and daily pressure seem gentler, if only through the gauze of the years."
Colorado legislators have had much to face this session, and statehouse reporter Marianne Goodland has been there every step of the way, showing the lighter side of the state Capitol ... usually. Find a selection of her columns from this session.
Two of America’s most-loved authors, Beverly Cleary and Larry McMurtry, died on the same day, leaving holes in the hearts of Americans who loved irascible Ramona Quimby and retired Texas Rangers Augustus McCrae and Woodrow Call.
Eric Sondermann: "Twenty-one years ago as we turned the page on a new century, our national indebtedness stood at roughly $5.6 trillion. Today, it exceeds $28 trillion and is headed north at a speedy, unrestrained clip."
Ernest Luning: "Burton Brown, who steps up from the state GOP’s vice chairman position to the top job, inherits the reins of a party on the rocks, reeling from historic setbacks in the last two cycles that left Democrats fully in charge of state government and holding six of Colorado’s nine seats in Washington, along with every statewide office except an at-large seat on the CU board of regents."
Lynn Bartels: "Yes, on the same day that Gov. Jared Polis asked his subjects to participate in a 'MeatOut Day' to 'educate consumers about the benefits of a healthful, plant-based diet,' I joined plenty of other Coloradans in consuming meat."
Ernest Luning: "In Colorado, where Democrats have been in charge across the board for two years longer, Republicans are licking their chops at the chance to stage a comeback after years of diminishing clout at the ballot box and two straight cycles racking up historic losses."
The China of today is a fiery consumer-driven nation, far more entrepreneurial than communist, but with a heavy overlay of authoritarianism.
Ernest Luning sums up the decisions ahead for the most active members of Colorado’s two major political parties to pick party officers and point the Democrats and Republicans toward the next election.
Lynn Bartels asks: Are we too sensitive or are we righting past wrongs?
Ernest Luning sums up the outrage over Dr. Seuss with stanzas of his own.
Millions of fans know Denver author and entrepreneur Ben Higgins as the titular bachelor who told two women he loved them on the 20th season of ABC-TV's popular match-making reality show — but to Denver Republicans, he'll always be the one that got away.
Eric Sondermann: "COVID caught us all in various states of mental and logistical preparation, though mostly less so as opposed to more so."
Eric Sondermann: "In a state that has long placed premium value on governmental sunshine, an overdue pushback is brewing."
The show is now over, and the verdict is in. Donald Trump remains disgraced, but he was acquitted in terms of this process.
Eric Sondermann: "Our nation and its political system require two viable, healthy, constructive, responsible parties. While Democrats, no doubt, face plenty of internal challenges, it is the Republican Party that has lost its moorings and run off the rails. It has fallen prey to a pervasive intellectual and moral rot that can be cured only with a deep disinfectant."
Columnist Eric Sondermann offers a baker’s dozen observations — some with a political angle, others not so much — after spending a month on the road in an RV.
Columnist Lynn Bartels muses on a quiet winter during a pandemic.
Eric Sondermann: "Let’s focus on Colorado and the political questions that will define the year ahead."
Eric Sondermann: "While the focus is appropriately on looking forward with hope, it is important also to look back honestly on the presidential term just ended and what the nation endured. And that from which we escaped with good fortune."
Eric Sondermann: "From the moment [Donald Trump] took the oath four years ago in front of, 'the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period,' anyone imagining him walking away from the Oval Office willingly, gracefully and in keeping with the quintessentially American tradition since Washington of the peaceful transfer of power was likely engaged in a flight of fancy."
Eric Sondermann: "An ever-widening disparity between how much government the country wants and what it is willing to pay for puts ever-darker red numbers on the national balance sheet as far as the eye can see."