Mount Evans

The summit at Mount Evans in Colorado.

Today is March 10, 2023 and here is what you need to know:

The renaming of Colorado’s Mount Evans was abruptly halted Thursday just as the controversial issue appeared to be on a steady uphill climb.

The U.S. Board on Geographic Names scheduled the final vote Thursday to change the name of Colorado’s 12th highest peak, Mount Evans, to Mount Blue Sky. But a “request from a tribal government for a government-to-government consultation” regarding the renaming abruptly halted the meeting.

The Denver Gazette confirmed that the unhappy tribal government is the Northern Cheyenne, who defended what seemed like an abrupt turnaround as a slap in the face.

Tribal Administrator William Walks Along told The Denver Gazette from his home in Lame Deer, Montana, that he notified the state board about the renaming Dec. 10 and that the Northern Cheyenne would never approve of the name Mount Blue Sky.

"We sent a letter and said we hadn’t been formally consulted with the state of Colorado," he said.

Walks Along added no one ever responded to him.

“We felt ignored," he said, "just like we were ignored at Sand Creek.”

Democratic lawmakers moved closer toward making Colorado a sanctuary state for abortion access on Thursday, announcing the introduction of three bills that seek to bolster abortion-right laws. 

If passed, the bills would shield abortion patients and providers from interstate investigations, expand insurance coverage for abortion care, and prohibit what supporters claim to be deceptive advertising from crisis pregnancy centers. Critics of the latter have labeled them “anti-abortion clinics.”

These bills come after Colorado lawmakers enshrined abortion as a fundamental right with the Reproductive Health Equity Act last year, shortly before the Supreme Court decision overturning abortion rights was released. Among the most permissive abortion laws in the country, it prohibits state and local public entities from restricting a person's right to continue a pregnancy, have an abortion or use or refuse contraception, and declares that fertilized eggs, embryos and fetuses do not have independent rights.

Lawmakers in the Colorado state House are spent their Thursday afternoon, evening and early Friday morning debating over a proposal to establish a three-day waiting period for purchasing firearms.

But most of the talking was being done by Republicans, who are engaged in a lengthy filibuster as an attempt to persuade Democrats to either water down the legislation or get rid of it entirely.

The filibuster is also turned into an elaborate game of chicken.

Here's why: The debate continued past midnight, meaning a final vote on the bill is not allowed under state law until Friday. That means its first chance for final passage would be on Saturday.

Here's the complication: Saturday also happens to be the day that Republicans will gather in Loveland to elect a new party chair. All of the Republican lawmakers are part of the state party central committee that would elect that new leader.

Should Democrats decide to call a Saturday session to vote on HB 1219 — or tackle any other business they decide to put on the calendar — under the rules, Republicans would have to be granted approval to be excused to attend the meeting in Loveland, a highly unlikely prospect, and would be required to be at the Capitol for the Saturday session.

The Colorado Springs city clerk is investigating a complaint that mayoral candidate Wayne Williams may have violated a city campaign code.

A nonpartisan resident group called Integrity Matters filed a complaint with the City Attorney's Office on Wednesday, asking it to investigate whether Williams, a city councilman, violated city code by partially depicting Colorado Springs Fire Department firefighters at a training facility and a fire truck at a firehouse in 6-second, 15-second and 30-second versions of a campaign ad he is airing on Facebook.

City Clerk's Office spokeswoman Jennifer Schreuder said Thursday the city attorney forwarded the complaint to the clerk.

The complaint alleges Williams' ad "unethically ties his campaign to city resources, and gives the appearance (the Colorado Springs Fire Department), which is a city department, is in support of his campaign."

The group said it believed Williams violated a section of city code prohibiting the use of "city resources to support or oppose, directly or indirectly, a person running for office, the retention of a person who is the subject of a recall election, or an election issue."

Twenty years ago, Colorado's political landscape was nearly an exact mirror image of where things stand today.

Where last year's election saw Democrats run the table — winning every statewide race and Colorado's new congressional seat on top of gaining seats in both chambers of the legislature — in the wake of the 2002 election Republicans were celebrating their dominance after achieving almost the same feats.

That year, Republicans made it look easy by notching impressive wins for the third general election in a row, just like Democrats did in Colorado last year.

Before they knew it, though, the Republicans who ruled the roost in a state that seemed solidly in their corner would see their power erode. Within a couple of cycles, the GOP had lost its firm hold on the state, though the Democrats would take another decade to cement the position they now enjoy.

In retrospect, 2002 was the Colorado GOP's high point, even though, by all appearances, the state's political scene had settled into a comfortable equilibrium — perhaps a reminder that there's nothing so constant in politics as change.

As both parties set about choosing new leadership for the next two years — Colorado Republicans pick new party officers on March 11, and Democrats are doing the same on April 1 — it's illuminating to remember a time very like our own, only its opposite. It's like trying to make out familiar features in a photograph's negative, if anyone remembers those.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.