FIRST TARGET, NEXT COLORADO? How Secure Is Our Data with the State?

Yesterday, Republican Rep. Libby Szabo sent a letter to Gov. John Hickenlooper demanding that he assure Coloradans that their data is safe on an incomplete new state government computer system, which launched on July 1.

Szabo also asked for an audit of the new system, dubbed the Colorado Operations and Resource Engine (CORE) project.  In a press release, Szabo called Hick’s actions careless:

“Governor Hickenlooper had access to CORE progress reports and was warned by Secretary of State Gessler that CORE was behind schedule and its premature implementation could compromise taxpayers’ personal information – yet he carelessly chose to implement it.  Since he decided to go forward with the July 1st rollout that could put confidential data at risk, I am asking Governor Hickenlooper to assure state employees, government vendors and Colorado citizens that their confidential and sensitive information will be secure.”

But, Szabo is not the only one calling for accountability with the new computer system. Fox31 also reviewed system and found it lacking:

“However, internal documents obtained by FOX31 Denver show the system isn’t even close to ready and won’t work as planned.”

Internal records from the Governor’s OIT division show CORE’s status as of May’s report was coded “red.” Red is the worst rating possible, defined as “behind schedule, with no approved recovery plan(s).”

The status report shows CORE was only 65 percent completed.

In May, Secretary of State Scott Gessler also took issue with the new system and sent a letter expressing his concern about its implementation, noting “this current path to failure is a train wreck about to happen.”

Further in the report from Fox31, developers agreed with Gessler:

“We spoke with a number of IT managers, private contractors and government employees familiar with the CORE project. As a group, they agreed with Gessler, saying it would be best to delay the launch.”

Data security is no joke.  Last winter, Target’s data systems were breached.  While the company has not yet finished tallying the cost, in the fourth quarter the breach cost the company at least $17 million – $61 million in total expenses, which were offset by a $44 million insurance payment.  Perhaps more importantly, the breach compromised the credit card data of millions of shoppers.  That’s just credit cards – an inconvenience for sure – but what happens if identity thieves are able to snag social security numbers (see: state tax returns)?

Well, Governor, we’re waiting for a response from you.  Is our data secure or not?  Does our state have a data security insurance policy like Target?  Who pays if our data is compromised?


PeakFeed: GOP Gubernatorial Candidates Show Us Around Their Houses

reGENERATION Colorado, a Colorado non-profit looking to engage 20 and 30 year-olds recently stopped by the houses of three of the four GOP gubernatorial candidates and received personal tours from the candidates themselves.  The result is the video below.  After seeing (or not seeing in Tom Tancredo’s case) the candidates so often in a debate setting, it is refreshing to see them in a different setting; a chance to see more of each of their personalities.

Despite Gov. John Hickenlooper’s facade of being a hip governor, he wanted no part of showing us average Coloradans around the Governor’s mansion. Then again, that would have probably just taken away from his beer drinking time.


CASH DASH: Republican Donors Help Four Republican Candidates Out-Raise Hick

The latest Colorado state finance reports are out and it looks like Republican donors are stepping up.  The four Republican candidates combined outraised Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper this time around. Republicans raised approximately $125,000 to Hickenlooper’s $115,000.

Leading the pack in fundraising, again, is the Honey Money Badger himself, Scott Gessler, who raised $39,955.  Tom Tancredo was nipping at his heels with $38,897.  It should be noted that Bob Beauprez, with his $100,000 loan, technically had the greatest infusion of cash with $121,860. He also ended with the most cash on hand.  Gessler came in second with $69,143.

The bottom line: this ain’t Hickenlooper’s 2010 race.

Here are the stats:

Raised: $21,860
Spent: $69,900
Loan: $100,000
COH: $115,995

Raised: $39,955
Spent: $12,609
COH: $69,143

Raised: $24,365
Spent: $26,737
COH: $30,034

Raised: $38,897
Spent: $73,700
COH: $63,412


UNITED IN CAUSE: GOP Gov Candidates Out To Get Hick, Not Each Other

Last night as primaries were taking place all across the country, a common theme was popping up among Republicans: despite whoever won a GOP primary, every conservative was getting behind them and creating a united front to take control back from liberal Democrats.  The same sentiment could be found at the latest GOP gubernatorial debate (as Secretary of State Scott Gessler said himself, “I think we got great candidates in this race”).  Once again, former state Sen. Mike Kopp, former Rep. Bob Beauprez, and Gessler refused to attack each other and instead focused on Governor John Hickenlooper.  Here were some of their many highlights:


Mike Kopp on Hickenlooper:

“He’s a nice guy, he’s somebody you’d like to hang out with; often you leave the room after having met with John Hickenlooper and you have no idea what decision he’s going to make, or if he’s going to make a decision.  Mastering the art of motion without consequence is no way to lead this state.”

Beauprez on Hickenlooper his fellow Democrats:

“They don’t trust you.  They think you created problems that it’s government’s role to control and to constrict and regulate you.  Where I grew up…we believe that you’re the solution, that people solve problems.”

Gessler showing he already has a strong record to run on as he talked about what he’d have done if he was governor these past four years:

“Instead of driving businesses out of this state of Colorado… I would have put a “Welcome to Colorado” sign on the door.  I would have cut regulations, like I’ve done as Secretary of State.  And, I’d have cut fees and pushed back taxes, like I’ve done as Secretary of State.  Those are the basics

But each candidate wasn’t just focused on making a strong case against Hickenlooper, they also infused a positive theme Coloradans can rally behind:

Kopp: Empower the individual and not the government.

Beauprez: Let’s be great again.

Gessler: We have an inheritance, an inheritance of people being able to achieve things with freedom and opportunity… are we going to pass it on to our children?


Needless to say, all these strong debate performances have us dreaming when it will be Hickenlooper’s turn out on the stage with the GOP nominee.



CASH DASH: Gessler Tops Fundraising, Tancredo Has Most Cash on Hand

It’s that time again, PeakNation™, in which we break down the funds raised by Colorado gubernatorial candidates.  Campaign finance reports were due last night.  And, there were some surprises.  Secretary of State Scott Gessler raised $28,278, which topped both Beauprez and Tancredo, who led last report.  Tancredo raised the second most at $25,294.  He also had the most cash on hand (COH) at $98,540. Beauprez was second in COH with $64,035.

While candidates had a decent fundraising quarter, it still would appear that Republican donors are waiting for the field to narrow before jumping in.

Here’s how it breaks down (in alphabetical order):

Bob Beauprez

Raised: $18,683

Spent: $72,966

Cash on Hand (COH): $64,035

Scott Gessler (Most Raised)

Raised: $28,278

Spent: $40,363

COH: $43,978

Mike Kopp

Raised: $9,971

Spent: $11,797

COH: $32,406

Tom Tancredo

Raised: $25,294

Spent: $37,324

COH: $98,540


GUBERNATORIAL FUNDRAISING: Donors Waiting for the Field to Narrow

Last night was the deadline for state level candidates to file their first quarter campaign finance reports. Here is where the four Republican gubernatorial candidates stack up:

The biggest takeaway from these results: it looks like Republican donors are waiting until the field narrows to really invest.  Without Beauprez’s loan, Republicans raised a total of about$730,000 to Hickenlooper’s million.  With Beauprez’s loan, it’s a closer match.

A few interesting tidbits:

  • While Tancredo raised the most (not counting Beauprez’s loan to his campaign), Beauprez has slightly more cash on hand.
  • While some were surprised by Kopp’s number, it should be noted that 37% of his donations came in after he grabbed the top line at the state assembly on April 12.  In effect, Kopp had less than three weeks to capitalize on his success.
  • The Beauprez camp should be commended for raising over $200,000 in 58 days.  That’s basically $3,500 per day in a state that has some pretty low campaign fundraising ceilings.
  • While it may seem like Tancredo and Beauprez blew through a huge wad of cash, remember that these two petitioned on.  Signature gathering is expensive.

RED ALERT: Voters Like Red Light Cameras More Than Hick and Udall

It’s pretty well understood that people just don’t like red light cameras.  Well, what if we told you that people like red light cameras better than some Democratic politicians?  It’s true and it comes from the left-leaning Public Policy Polling.  Delicious.

Today, PPP published a poll that showing Hickenlooper unable to break 50% against every Republican candidate, but Tom Tancredo.  Against Tom, he gets just 50%.  The news is worse for U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, who leads U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner by just two points – 47% to 45%, respectively, which is probably within the margin of error.

Nonetheless, you know what’s at a solid 50% approval rating?  Red light cameras.  That’s right folks.  Again, Coloradans like red light cameras better than the Democrats’ top of the ticket.  Here are the results of the poll:

Sorry, we’re still giggling.  Of course, it’s worth noting that the R/D/U for the poll leans a little left at 36% D, 32% R, and 32% U.  As we mentioned before, a more appropriate weighting would look something like this:

Local pollsters have been weighting their polling for this year at 38 or 39% Republican, 34 or 35% Democrat and 27 or 28% Unaffiliated.  Historically speaking, U’s have never come close to 36% and likely won’t in this environment.

The poll, a survey of 618 Coloradans, was conducted April 17-20, 2014. The margin of error, oddly, was not disclosed.  Also odd – top of the Republican ballot gubernatorial candidate Mike Kopp, either wasn’t included in the survey or the results weren’t released.  Care to disclose either of these items, PPP? We know you have problems disclosing information that doesn’t benefit the left.

Nonetheless, maybe this is why Hick isn’t committing to legislation that would forbid red light cameras – the concept is actually more popular than he is.


SQUEAKED ON: Bob Beauprez Makes the Ballot

The Republican primary ballot is now set.  Former Congressman Bob Beauprez has made the ballot, according to a press release by the Secretary of State’s office.  While some outlets are noting that he barely made the ballot, the campaign is pointing out that making the ballot is a feather in the cap of Beauprez’s campaign:

“Despite every political expert who said it couldn’t be done, we got it done – 22,500 signatures in 20 days. We are happy to be on the ballot and confident moving forward. This historic support for Bob proves that Colorado is hungry for strong effective leadership.”

Perhaps it is.  The campaign said that it only really started gathering signatures on March 12th and had to turn signatures in by March 31st.  While there has been speculation that the campaign spent somewhere in the ballpark of $350,000 to get on the ballot, sources close to the campaign said the true number is much lower.

As the primary stands, Bob Beauprez and Tom Tancredo made the ballot via petition and Scott Gessler and Mike Kopp are on the ballot via the assembly process.  The primary will be June 24.


SEARCHING FOR AN EXIT?: Tancredo Departure from the Governor’s Race Not True

A KDVR report this morning outlined the lay of land in Colorado’s Republican gubernatorial primary.  Here’s who’s left: Bob Beauprez, Scott Gessler, Mike Kopp, and Tom Tancredo.  Relax, it’s in alphabetical order.  While we’re waiting to see if Beauprez makes the ballot and Kopp can transform the wind at his back into cash, a most interesting rumor popped up – KDVR is reporting that Tom Tancredo is considering a position as the Superintendent of Jeffco Schools.

This might be wishful thinking for some, but is Tancredo actually considering it?  PeakNation™, you may not know this, but Tancredo actually was a high school civics teacher for some time before launching his political career, so it’s not as random as one might think.  Here’s what unidentified Republicans that KDVR interviewed for the story think about the possibility:

“This would be a controversial hire, and I don’t know that it helps them accomplish what they want out there,” another Republican said. “Douglas County is the model for reforming schools and that board did it by picking its fights wisely and not courting unnecessary controversy.

“The Douglas County reformers never really gave their opponents anything extraneous to latch onto. For better or worse, ‘the Tanc’ has made a career of extraneous controversy….”

“…Tancredo is looking for a way out,” one said. “It isn’t just the party that would like him to get out; I have heard he needs a job and doesn’t relish going through a four-way primary.”

We’ve asked Tancredo to comment on the rumors.  Here’s what he said:

“Absolutely false. Joked that running the state of CO would be easier than running Jeffco schools. My guess this is someone (party insiders) wants to slow my momentum.”

So, there you have it PeakNation™, from the horse’s mouth.  Rumor is false.


OFFICIAL SCOREBOARD: Results from the Weekend of Assemblies

With all the buzz around the GOP State Assembly this weekend, we’ll be posting the results for key races here as they happen, so stay tuned.

CD4 (Final): State Senator Scott Renfroe wins CD4 with 54% compared to Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, who received 46%. Both men will be on the Republican primary ballot.

Colorado Governor: Former Congressman Tom Tancredo has already made the ballot by being the first candidate to have his signatures validated.  Former Congressman Bob Beauprez also submitted 21,000 signatures for consideration on the ballot, but no word yet on validation.  Those going through the assembly process include Greg Brophy, Scott Gessler, Mike Kopp, Steve House, and Roni Bell. 

UPDATE: Kopp and Gessler have advanced to the ballot.  In perhaps the surprise of the convention, Kopp narrowly beat out Gessler for the top spot on the ballot with 33.6% of the vote, compared to Gessler’s 33.1%.  Unfortunately, Brophy, House, and Roni Bell didn’t secure the necessary 30% to make the ballot.  We’ll miss Brophy’s creative ads and spirited campaign. Still no word on the Beauprez campaign’s signature validation.

Colorado Attorney General: Mark Waller will square off against Cynthia Coffman. 

UPDATE: Cynthia Coffman secured 69.3% and Waller eeked out a spot on the ballot with 30.7% of the vote.

Our unofficial correspondent (meaning, we’re reading her twitter feed), to the Republican assemblies, Lynn Bartels, tweeted this out earlier today:

Keep it up PeakNation™, we have a long slog ahead.

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