NOT BETTER OFF: WashPo Chart Shows Colorado Families Declining Income

Ronald Reagan made famous the question “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”  The Washington Post (we know, we’re shocked too) has delivered yet another piece of evidence suggesting that Americans are not better off than they were four years ago – our incomes have fallen nationally and, specifically, in Colorado.  The chart below outlines swing state income decreases.

From the end of 2008 through the end of 2011,  Coloradans lost $4,333 in yearly income.  The median income  in Colorado is $55,387, as of the end of 2011.  This means that Coloradans lost approximately 8% in income over the last nearly four years.  It could be worse, we could be Nevada.  At the end of 2008, the median income was $58,833, and plummeted to $48,927 by the end of 2011.  (And, that includes the raises Las Vegas mogul Steve Wynn gave his employees.)  That is an incredible 17% loss (or, a nearly $10,000 loss ) in income for Nevadans.

While Colorado’s numbers are poor and Nevada’s numbers are just appalling, the United States as a whole hasn’t fared quite as badly.  At the end of 2008, the median income, nationally, was $54,197.  At the end of 2011, it was just $50,502.  This loss represents a 7% or $3,695 in income.

For Coloradans, that 8% translates to decreased savings.  It’s recommended that one saves at least 10% of income (and maybe more), which means that Coloradans’ personal savings are nearly entirely wiped out.  Good thing social security is solvent for retirement.  Oh….  Right.




The battle for control of the State House is “Fast and Furious” (without, we hope, the gun-running).

It isn’t just the fact that Republicans control the House currently by a one vote margin. It is also that – given the gerrymander they rammed through with the connivance of the Supreme Court – the Democrats probably overestimated the likelihood that 2012 would be identical to 2008.

The collapse of Obama’s numbers after the first presidential debate shows the Dems goofed on that one.

My view is that the 2010 election, below the two top races, is a potentially valid indicator for directional change (shifting political advantage from the Democrats to the Republicans). With that in mind, I did some number crunching. Current 2012 active voter registration and down-ticket 2010 results were my basis. I used recent partisan differences in voter enthusiasm and drop-off as factors. One “geek” point: my results do have a handsome R-squared of 45%. This, to me, suggests that the changes of 2010 have persisted in Colorado.

Control of the State House rests with just a few races. This list includes both districts that have political statistics that are close to even plus names on the Republican Party’s “Trailblazer” list. Omitting the “safe Republican” seats, here’s my list, ranked starting with the most likely Republican victory. (I exclude Trailblazers Jennifer George and Paul Brown as shoo-in winners, based only on the numbers, however.)

  • Pigott, HD 33 (Broomfield)
  • Watson, HD 3 (Littleton)
  • Ramirez, HD 29 (Arvada)
  • McConnell, HD 26 (Eagle/Routt)
  • Attwood, HD 28, (Lakewood)
  • Acree, HD 40 (Aurora)
  • Enstrom, HD 23 (Lakewood)
  • Hilliard, HD 11 (Longmont)
  • Vande Krol, HD 35 (Westminster)
  • Leydendecker, HD 24 (Golden)

Don’t make too much of the exact order. Acree and Attwood are effectively tied, as are Enstrom and Hilliard.

One caution: I have not taken into account the financial status of these candidates nor of their opponents’ fundraising. Before you make a bar bet, look those up.


LOOK-A-LIKE: 8 Colorado Legislators Who Look Like Muppets and Cartoons

With all this talk of Big Bird suddenly becoming the focus of the Obama campaign we thought it was a perfect opportunity to bring out a hilarious series of look-a-like photos from a loyal reader. They are so good we’ll be releasing them in a multi-part series over the next couple of weeks.

As tensions are high and mud is flying at full throttle with only 5 days until ballots drop, we thought it also might be a good time for some bipartisan parody.

Without further ado, we present 8 Colorado legislators who look like Muppets and cartoons:



BREAKING: It’s Official, Romney Grabs Lead in Colorado, Obama-land Spirals to Disarray

Seven short days after a brimming and confident Barack Obama arrived in Denver for the presidential debate there is a stark new reality emerging from the boneyard of the president’s Mile High meltdown…in this decisive swing state that Democrats won going-away in 2008, the president finds himself trailing with just days before voting starts here.

From the Chicago Sun Times:

“Real Clear Politics tracking of the latest polls by non-campaign sources puts Romney ahead in Florida, 0.7; North Carolina, 3; Colorado, 0.5.

…Romney campaign spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom was cautiously gleeful in an MSNBC interview. A week ago, when polls put Romney behind, stories were being written about how the Romney campaign was in disarray.

When “we were being questioned about the state of the race, and our advice was to simply caution everybody to be patient; that there’s going to be a lot of ups and downs in this campaign, but it’s going to be tight right until the end.”

If news of a breakthrough in pivotal states like Colorado is being met cautiously by the Romney camp, the same has got Obama’s base of national activists practically slitting their wrists.

From Politico this beautiful morning (and there’s a lot here, but read it…you’ll enjoy):


REALITY CHECK: Newell Views Self Through Rose-Colored Glasses

UPDATE: Newell’s colleague, Sen. Brophy, weighed in on her ranking, saying, “Senator Newell has such a sweet demeanor, I was surprised to see how unbelievably partisan her voting record is.  She’s clearly too extreme for that swing district.”

Anyone who has gone to one of Democratic State Senator Linda Newell’s town halls knows that she loves to pontificate about how bipartisan she is.  In fact, her alleged bi-partisanship is a key character in a campaign ad that makes The Innocence of Muslims look like a major studio production.  The only problem?  Her rhetoric is simply not true, and likely spouted because she’s one of the most partisan Democrats in the state legislature running in a district that leans Republican in performance, and is fairly evenly divided among the three parties – Republican: 31.8%, Democrats: 33.7%, and Unaffiliateds: 33.6%.

The truth is that Sen. Linda Newell is the most partisan Senator running for re-election in this cycle. No really.  An analysis of partisan voting patters in the Colorado State Senate on 3rd Reading (or Final) Votes in the 2012 Session found Newell to be tied for third as most partisan Democrat Senators, having voted with her Democrats 99.2% of the time. In fact, there was only one time (out of 353 final votes) that she didn’t vote with her party, and that was on an appropriations bill that would have passed with or without her.

The other “hyper-partisan” Democrats listed in this analysis include Senators John Morse and Lois Tochtrop (tied for first place with 99.7% party loyalty), and then the three tied for third with Newell, including Senators Betty Boyd, Bob Bacon, and Brandon Shafted Shaffer (each with 99.2% party loyalty).

Even more surprising (given her insistence that she’s a bipartisan legislator) is that Newell voted with the Democratic Party more consistently than renowned Boulder liberal Rollie Heath, or even Morgan Carroll, the Senate Democrat Caucus Chair.  Newell’s lone “no” vote stands in stark contrast to a typical Republican voting ”no” 66 times, and even the least partisan Republican voted “no” 23 times.

Not only was Newell perfectly willing to carry the water for the Democratic party, but her votes were relied upon by party leadership to kill Republican Senate bills.  Twenty-six Senate Republican bills were killed on straight party line votes, and six of those (or nearly 25%) were killed with Newell’s aid.

Linda Newell is purposely skewing her record so she seems more moderate, but the truth is that Newell is one of the most partisan legislators in the Colorado State Legislature.  Senator Newell, let’s be honest, you’re simply a party loyalist who has found herself in a bind for this election.


PUSH BACK ADS: Coors and Coffman Campaigns Hit Back at Attacks in New TV Spots

The Coors and Coffman Congressional campaigns are out with a new round of ads hitting back at their opponents for misleading and false attack ads. The two ads take different tacks in pushing back, but both play up their strengths.

Coors uses his like-ability to directly counter attacks from Nancy Pelosi’s Super PAC, government worker union AFSCME and even Congressman Edwin Perlmutter himself. (Though it does seem that Perlmutter has become a bit player in his own campaign, with the majority of money and ads hitting Coors coming from out-of-state groups)

Coffman, on the other hand, uses the incompetence of the Miklosi campaign to rehash the brutal truth tests 9News and CBS4 have done on “Not Your Average Joe’s” ads.

Check out the Coors ad here:



BRUTAL: HD28 Candidate Brittany Pettersen’s Skeletons Exposed By The Colorado Observer

Community organizer and HD28 Democratic candidate Brittany Pettersen is in for a rough day. This morning The Colorado Observer published a brutal piece deconstructing the neatly packaged image Pettersen has been pushing to voters — one that seemingly has little or no correlation with reality.

First, The Observer‘s Leslie Jorgensen and Brian Anderson reveal that a sue-happy Pettersen won’t pay her bills, forcing a court to hold a $20,000 lawsuit settlement in escrow.

In September 2007, Pettersen was being treated by J.A.M. Chiropractic Care, also known as Ascent Health Center, and she hired Denver attorney Clifford Beem to negotiate a personal injury settlement.

Now, Pettersen has filed several lawsuits.  Pettersen has refused to honor her agreement to pay 35 percent of the $20,000 settlement to Beem, and pay $9.223.60 to J.A.M. for treatments.

Because of the dispute, the settlement has been held in escrow since it was awarded in March 2010.

Pettersen claims that Beem’s cut is “unconscionable” and J.A.M. failed to inform her of medical care charges.  Beem and J.A.M.  filed individual countersuits in February this year, and both contend that Pettersen understood and was fully apprised of the charges.  The professionals also disputed Pettersen’s claim that they conspired to deceive her.

This year Pettersen also filed lawsuits against three individuals involved in a multi-car crash in February 2009, two cases have been dismissed for lack of merit, and against the driver of a car involved in a September 2010 accident. The latter case will be heard in July 2013 according to documents and the law office of Christopher M. Robbins.

So, let’s see: Pettersen wins a settlement, but won’t pay her lawyer who won the settlement nor the chiropractor who healed her. Then she files another round of lawsuits in another accident and two of those suits have already been dismissed for lack of merit. Do we smell a trend here?

That’s not even the most brutal aspect of the article. This is:



BIG SPENDERS: Which Party Is the Party of the Rich Again?

Despite the left’s insistance that the Republican Party is the party of the rich, a newly released tool by I-News Network (a theoretically nonpartisan organization) shows that’s simply not accurate in Colorado.  In fact, Republican donors did not even break the top five donors according to this list of top donors who have given from 2007 through 2012.  As liberal CU professor Sandra Fish noted in her Daily Camera article:

“Corporations and billionaires — and their extravagant contributions to the presidential campaigns — have drawn the most national attention this year in terms of campaign financing. But in Colorado it is the same handful of wealthy Democrats and the labor unions continuing to play a steady hand.”

In case you were wondering who the top donors in Colorado might be, here are the top five, and few are surprising:

  1. Rep. Jared Polis has given an unbelievable $8,420,886 in 644 donations (533 candidates and 111 committees).
  2. Tim Gill has given $3,683,894 in 358 donations (256 candidates and 102 committees).
  3. Pat Stryker has given $3,016,722 in 266 donations (196 candidates and 70 committees).
  4. Rep. Ed Perlmutter has given $1,065,772 in 202 donations (104 candidates and 98 committees).
  5. Rep. Diana DeGette (dean of our delegation, in case you’ve forgotten) has given $967,062 in 152 donations (71 candidates and 81 committees).

We would have liked to create a chart for this, but it’s fairly pointless since there is not one single Republican donor in the top five.  Here is what the top five donors have spent in Colorado (keep in mind, this all goes to the left): $17,154,336.




(Peak Note: We’re late to posting this. Written on Friday. Sorry, Dave!)

Fact #1: Colorado’s Republicans will have a decent advantage in voting strength this year – unlike in 2008. That’s unless the Democrats register about 7,000 new Democrats a day until registrations close on October 9. (Republicans are up 64,000 in active voters as of October 1.)

Fact #2: Gallup gives Colorado Republicans a slight advantage in party adherence over the Democrats. Gallup includes Independents who lean to one party or the other, and, with them, Republicans are up 0.5%. By contrast, Gallup gave Democrats  a 10.6% advantage in ’08.

Fact #3: Colorado’s Independents are much closer to an even split in “lean” toward the parties than they were in 2008. Of registered “active” status Independents who lean to a party, Republicans earn 44% of the leaners (based on September 2012 data). This close “lean” may be reflected by the recent Denver Post poll that gave Romney a 2% advantage among Independents. In 2008, Republicans got only about 13% of Independent leaners. The October ’08 Denver Post poll gave Obama a 25% advantage among Independents. This shift in Independent thinking since 2008 explains why Obama isn’t ahead by a landslide in our state.

Fact #4: Colorado’s voters have nearly abandoned Election Day voting. Seventy percent of Coloradans will vote a mail-in ballot. In 2008, it was about 38%. Only 20% of Jeffco’s voters will go to the polls on Election Day. Just 10 counties are below 50% mail-in. In 2008, 38% voted mail-in. This shift diminishes the alleged Democratic ground game superiority, since most voters can’t be harassed on Election Day. It’s time for the legislature to save millions and shift us to Oregon’s 100% mail-in system. (And create nation-leading safeguards for this 21st Century style of voting.)


WEAK @SS SPIN: Hickenlooper and Bennet Mocked For Obama Debate Talking Points


10/10 UPDATE: Revealing Politics brings us video of Senator Bennet’s “crack political analysis”:

UPDATE: Politico’s Alex Burns asks if Hick’s post-debate spin was the worst…ever?

Readers seeking more information on Lincoln’s reputation as a debater might consider reading any American history book ever written, or at least seeing the forthcoming Spielberg film.


President Obama’s local Colorado surrogates have become punch lines in national media in their attempt to spin away Obama’s spanking in last week’s debate.

Today, Governor Hickenlooper made news when he tried to claim that Abraham Lincoln — he of the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates — “wasn’t a great debater.”

That earned him derision from a number of respected national reporters, including former Colorado great Adam Schrager and Politico’s Alexander Burns:

Hickenlooper wasn’t the only one with weak @ss spin. Immediately after the debate the Obama campaign sent U.S. Senator Michael Bennet on MSNBC to do a little clean up and even Chris Matthews found Bennet’s talking points pathetic. You know you’re in trouble when the man with the tingle running up his leg won’t buy your left-wing BS.

All throughout the segment Bennet keeps trying to push the narrative that Obama was the more substantive debater with big ideas, comments that produce proverbial eye-rolling from Matthews and Bennet’s fellow panelists.

After Bennet tried to claimed that Obama “is not the flashiest politician in the world” the panel of Chris Matthews, Michael Steele and Howard Fineman all laughed in Bennet’s face at the sheer stupidity of that statement.

Check out the full video after the jump. Needless to say, Colorado Pols’ post today about Obama’s surrogates being great looks about as stupid as their claim that Obama “won” the debate last week.


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