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Eric Sondermann: "Our national mountain of litter did not accumulate in a day. Nor will it disappear anytime soon. But it is time we turned a corner by spotlighting the behavior and again changing public norms."

 

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Ernest Luning: "On the theory that it can help make sense of where you’re going if you have a clear picture of where you’ve been, here are some of the hallmarks of Colorado elections in the modern era — a grab bag of some of the mosts, firsts, and other superlatives, the purely political milestones that have defined the state’s contests for major statewide and congressional offices over the past 50 or so years."

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Eric Sondermann: "At the end of Marjorie Taylor Greene week in Colorado, and in my old hometown of Colorado Springs, it is time to take stock of what has befallen the Colorado Republican Party and the depths to which it has sunk."

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Marianne Goodland: "Daneya Esgar is the among seven Capitol regulars to welcome a new baby this year, along with Gov. Jared Polis' spokesman Conor Cahill, Speaker of the House Alec Garnett, D-Denver, and lobbyist Lisa LaBriola of Axiom Strategies."

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Ernest Luning: "Just as Salazar’s heritage and background mirrors the ever-evolving relationship of the American Southwest and its centuries-old neighbor to the south, Salazar’s political rise from the ranch his family has tended for generations in Los Rincones — one of the first spots in Colorado to be settled by Europeans — set the pace for the Colorado Democratic Party’s climb from obscurity to near-total control of the state."

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Eric Sondermann: "Whatever one’s political orientation, the 2021 session was notable. Despite early promises that it would be narrowly focused on pandemic recovery and relief, it was anything but. Few high-stakes, high-controversy issues went untouched. Participants and observers alike walked away knowing it had been a session of consequence, but also one of ill will and troubling precedent."

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Eric Sondermann: "Through heat, wildfire and blessed rain, and with only the briefest of breaks for baseball’s all-star extravaganza, the political world churns on. With that in mind, this week’s column is devoted to a number of quick takes; a smorgasbord of random observations, if you will."

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Eric Sondermann: "Incremental understanding will go far. What better time to start than on the celebration of America’s Declaration of Independence? New Year’s Day can have its resolutions often centered on personal improvement. For the Fourth, a personal intention can lead to civic healing."

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Eric Sondermann: "Of the many hot-button issues of the moment, none produces for me the same kind of dissonance as this question of denying certain individuals and viewpoints access to social media platforms. My internal dialogue on the subject is rich and active as I am unable to get fully comfortable with either position."

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Eric Sondermann: "Republicans want the bloodiest of red meat and display little appetite for anything less. Democrats, too, prefer their meat rare (when not ordering a meat-substitute) and show little interest in halfway measures."

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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."

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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."

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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. 

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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."

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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."

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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."

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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."

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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.

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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."

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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."

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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."

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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.

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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."

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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."

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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.

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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."