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Representatives David Ortiz, D-Centennial, and Marc Catlin, R-Montrose, elbow bump during a recess of a session of the Colorado State House of Representatives on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021. Ortiz is the first person in a wheelchair to serve as a state lawmaker and is a veteran. (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

The lighter side of the state Capitol, usually. 

If you rest, you rust.

Or at least get rusty.

The Capitol Choir is an ad hoc group of senators brave enough to display their ahem, musical talents, usually in the singing of Happy Birthday. (The House has its own version of the Capitol Choir.)

It’s ranged from operatic-like renditions (from then-state Sen. Michael Merrifield of Manitou Springs, a former music teacher who had quite the set of pipes) to what happened on Wednesday this past week.

Granted, it’s been quite a while since the Capitol Choir has been called to do its duty, and the rust kind of showed. Senate President Leroy Garcia seemed to take note, stating that it had been some time since the Choir had been convened.

Four Senators with great courage marched to the well of the Senate to lead the rest of the Senate in a musical (?) tribute to Sen. Dominick Moreno of Commerce City.

Everything was going great until they started to sing. Unfortunately, lacking the leadership of Sen. Paul Lundeen of Monument, who apparently keeps people on key (he was in the back of the room in deep conversation), the senators began the tune in a WIDE variety of keys, none of which matched nor even complimented each other.

No word on Moreno’s reaction, but Garcia, a talented musician himself, characterized it this way: “The majority leader will be announcing choir practice shortly!”

Should that fail, Capitol M proposes asking the governor for a disaster declaration.

Happy birthday, Sen. Moreno, and may the Capitol Choir regain its footing before your next one.

The more things stay the same, the more they change, apparently or something like that

Barely two weeks ago, Capitol M wrote about the two reading clerks in the House and Senate. The one with the longest time in the post between the two is the Senate’s Andrew Carpenter, who is a good guy and a good sport. That’s a reference to the bumper sticker created by Senate GOP spox Sage Naumann during the 2019 session that said, “Read it at length, Mr. Carpenter.” That particular bumper sticker, one of Naumann’s many, adorns Capitol M’s laptop.

So it was a bit of a surprise on Tuesday to find that Carpenter has been promoted away from the reading clerk position to assistant Secretary of the Senate, although he can still read upon request. Congrats on the bump up and good luck to his successor, Dave Pineda, with hopes that he doesn’t get asked too often to read bills at length.

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