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FOUNDED IN 1898 H VOL. 114, NO. 10 H DENVER, CO H MARCH 8, 2013 ©



Gun bills trigger explosive testimony Five of seven controversial gun bills get initial approval in state Senate BY PETER MARCUS Former Speaker Bev Bledsoe honored at Capitol — Page 3

Hudson: A little queasy from health care reform — Page 4

Mid-legislative session perfect for Spring fashions — Page 27


Teegarden spews forth on the Washington volcano, page 5... plus check out all the photos of Dems & GOPers in this week’s issue.


The most emotionally explosive week yet at the state legislature concerning gun control ended with only five of seven bills in a Democratic legislative package receiving initial approval by the Senate late Friday night. Senate President John Morse, DColorado Springs, stunned observers when he decided to kill his own measure, Senate Bill 196, which would have held manufacturers and sellers of

assault weapons liable for violent incidents that take place with those weapons. And Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder, also

surprised observers when it was reported Friday that he would ask to kill House Bill 1226, which would have prohibited concealed carry on college campuses. He co-sponsored the bill with Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder. Heath officially asked the Senate to kill the measure just after 10 p.m. Legislation that was given preliminary approval by the Senate after the more than 13-hour debate included: • House Bill 1224, sponsored by Sen. Mary Hodge, D-Brighton, and Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, which Mark Kelly, the husband of former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, listens to Sen. Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora, sponsor of the bill for universal background checks for firearms purchases, during a committee hearing Monday at the Capitol. Kelly also testified in support of the bill. PHOTO COURTESY

House approves ASSET after six prior attempts



Winners Hank Brown and Ryan Call

Tuition bill for undocumented students heads to Governor’s desk BY PETER MARCUS THE COLORADO STATESMAN

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Undocumented students and their supporters embraced in warm hugs with tears of joy streaming down their eyes Friday morning as the House took a historic final vote on providing in-state tuition to the paperless residents. The recorded vote saw three Republicans join with Democrats in supporting the controversial measure by a vote of 40-21, with four lawmakers excused. Republican Reps. Cheri Gerou of Evergreen, Clarice Navarro of Pueblo and Kevin Priola of Henderson supported the Advancing Students for a Strong Economy Tomorrow, or ASSET bill, which over the course of a decade has been rejected on six previous occasions, never before making it to the House for a full vote. Its passage signals a change in direction over immigration, as both Republicans and Democrats have called for comprehensive Continued on Page 2

Continued on Page 18 Colorado GOP Party chair Ryan Call presents former U.S. Sen. Hank Brown with the party’s Lincoln award at the annual Centennial Dinner on March 1 in Greenwood Village. Call, who was reelected to a second term the following day, noted that Brown shares a birthday with the first Republican president. — Story and additional photos on Page 12. PHOTO BY ERNEST LUNING/THE COLORADO STATESMAN

State GOP Chairman Call reelected to second term BY ERNEST LUNING THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Colorado Republican Party Chairman Ryan Call easily fended off a spirited challenge from former Douglas County GOP chairman Mark Baisley in a bid to win reelection as head of the state GOP on Saturday at the party’s

biennial reorganizational meeting at Cherry Creek High School. “We have some significant challenges ahead, tough lessons learned in the course of the last campaign,” said Call as he accepted the nomination for a second, two-year term running the state party. “That kind of hands-on Continued on Page 11

Colorado Dems happy to be blue at JJ Dinner BY ERNEST LUNING

Richard Fitzpatrick, founder and president of firearms manufacturer Magpul Industries, attends the Colorado Democrats’ Jefferson Jackson dinner with lobbyist Josh Hanfling on March 2 at the Denver Marriott. Asked whether Fitzpatrick had gone to the Republicans’ annual fundraiser the night before, Hanfling responded, “The Republicans can’t help him.”

Speaker after speaker at the Colorado Democrats’ annual Jefferson Jackson dinner remarked that the program didn’t last much more than a half hour or so back in the late 1990s, when there was a distinct paucity of elected Democrats in the state. But Saturday’s event kept going and going, eventually lasting close to three hours, as speakers nearly ran out of breath thanking everyone who helped keep Colorado


Continued on Page 16


PAGE 2 ★ THE COLORADO STATESMAN ★ MARCH 8, 2013 “A brave man acknowledges the strength of others.” — Veronica Roth

...Republicans concerned over cost of ASSET Continued from Page 1

reform efforts. President Barack Obama over the summer signed an executive order for “deferred action,” offering a path to education and citizenship for millions of undocumented youth. And a growing number of conservatives and faith-based groups have joined the call for Congress to take action. Political observers have blamed the Republicans’ trouncing at the polls last November partly on disconnect with Latino voters. In the meantime, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators, emboldened by calls from Obama, are working on a proposal that would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Despite progress, the issue remains polarized. State Senate Bill 33, sponsored by Sens. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo, and Mike Johnston, D-Denver, and Reps. Crisanta Duran, D-Denver, and Angela Williams, D-Denver, passed with Democrats in control of both chambers of the legislature. The Senate backed the measure last month. It will almost surely be signed into law, as Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper has repeatedly expressed his support. Perhaps highlighting the power struggle with Democrats controlling the legislature, Republicans found themselves on the defensive, especially during the bill’s initial passage on Tuesday. The GOP was fueled by an eyebrow-raising comment from Duran. “We also have so much support from faith-based organizations… that believe God loves all people, even the undocumented,” she said. Later in the debate, as Republicans voiced concerns over fiscal impacts to the state, Duran responded, “I’m frustrated. There is just this air of arrogance that is being brought forward.” The Republican side of the aisle immediately hissed the Latino lawmaker, shouting, “Out of line.” House Minority Leader Mark Waller, R-Colorado Springs, took to the well, where he expressed his astonishment at Duran’s remarks. “That doesn’t mean that we don’t love all of God’s children; that doesn’t mean that we’re arrogant, Rep. Duran,” Waller addressed her. “It simply means we have a concern related to this.” The primary concern raised by Republicans came over the bill’s fiscal

impact. Fiscal analysts estimate that supported the measure because of its the measure would raise $2 million in overall intent. Joining her from the additional tuition revenue in 2013-14 Republican caucus was Priola. and $3 million in 2014-15. The fiscal “I still see the underlying wisdom in note projects that the legislation would the bill,” he addressed colleagues. “We help 500 students in the next school in the State of Colorado are now year, with up to 250 more joining the dealing with the problem that all of us program each year until 2016-17. have created over the previous Students would need to attend a decades… But there are children with Colorado high school for three years futures and bright minds at stake that prior to graduation, or have finished a are in limbo. That if it were for the fact GED, be admitted to a state hat doesn’t mean that we don’t love college or all of god’s children; that doesn’t mean university and provide that we’re arrogant, Rep. Duran. It simply an affidavit means we have a concern related to this.” stating that — House Minority Leader Mark Waller they applied for lawful residency in the U.S., or will apply for that they could afford to become lawful residency when eligible. doctors and engineers, and yes, even Republicans do not believe that the lawyers, they would. true cost over the life of the program “I believe the GOP stands for Grand has been accurately appropriated. Opportunity Party,” Priola added. Gerou, a member of the Joint Budget But the majority of Republicans Committee who considers herself a opposed the bill, offering a string of stickler for numbers, supported the failed amendments in an attempt to measure. But in doing so, she raised spotlight their concerns, including: serious concerns over the appropriation. • Stating the potential cost to the She believes a version of Colorado state; ASSET last year was a better proposal • Referring it to a vote of the people; because it did not include language that • Opening the program up to resiwould make undocumented students dents of any state; eligible for the discount from the • Stating that it would conflict with College Opportunity Fund, a taxpayer 2006 state immigration legislation; and funded state program that aims to • Asserting that undocumented assist disadvantaged and minority students would still be in danger of students. unemployment because of their illegal “I’m voting for this bill. But you status. know what I don’t like? I don’t like Rep. Brian DelGrosso, R-Loveland, what the sponsors have done with believes the measure is so out-of-line the… ‘We’re not going to talk about the with state laws that lawmakers might fact that this is how much the bill as well offer the discount to students in really costs,’” declared Gerou. any state. “You know what I have a problem “What this bill is saying is if you are with? This appropriation is no appronot a legal resident of Colorado, we’re priation. It tells those undocumented going to give you in-state tuition. So, if students that we don’t want to be we’re already setting that into law… honest about how much it’s going to why not open it up for kids from cost to implement the bill. We don’t Wyoming?” he asked. want to be honest with these students Rep. Amy Stephens, R-Monument, about how much they actually mean to pointed out that since public dollars us. We don’t want to be honest. We’re would be affected, it should go to a vote going to say we’re going to treat them of the people. the same, but we’re not even willing to “Taxpayers need to know what it’s appropriate dollars in the bill,” she going to cost for higher education, just continued. as they sit around the kitchen table In the end, however, Gerou Continued on Page 5


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PAGE 5 ★ THE COLORADO STATESMAN ★ MARCH 8, 2013 “The awareness of our own strength makes us modest.” — Paul Cezanne


Washington, D.C. — ‘The Great Volcano’ I

nstead of a column this week, I wanted to share a quote I recently came across, penned by our greatest President at a relatively young age (30). Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, right-wing, left-wing, or somewhere in between, you PATRICK TEEGARDEN have no doubt CONTRIBUTING COLUMNIST heard an example of overly provocative political speech or writing which not only was in opposition to your own point of view, but was

also overblown and dramatic. I made note of this Lincoln quote to use it as a “key” to keeping my temper under control when I believe an opponent is overstating his or her case — I will simply ask, is this statement I’m listening to more “over-the-top” than Abraham Lincoln might have stated it? Consider the following alarming peroration from Lincoln’s speech on the Sub-Treasury, delivered in Springfield, IL, and dated December 26, 1839: “I know that the great volcano at Washington, aroused and directed by the evil spirit that reigns there, is belching forth the lava of political corruption, in a current broad and deep, which is sweeping with frightful

Fair coverage on “imperfection” of our candidates Hi Ernest, Great to see you at the Centennial Dinner and at the Republican State Central Committee elections on Saturday. Just wanted to let you know that you did a great job reporting on this story

velocity over the whole length and breadth of the land, bidding fair to leave unscathed no green spot or living thing, while on its bosom are riding like demons on the waves of Hell, the imps of that evil spirit, and fiendishly taunting all those who dare resist its destroying course, with the hopelessness of their effort; and knowing this, I cannot deny that all may be swept away.” OK, so I guess that “blaming Washington” has been a preferred political rhetorical device since long before the construction of I-495 gave us our “Inside the Beltway” metaphor. Next time you want to “dis” the politicians and lobbyists in Washington, D.C., try to do better than “riding like demons

on the waves of Hell…” That the man who coined so many immortal phrases and images of who we are as a nation could have also crafted and uttered these words, and about the freaking “Sub-Treasury” and President Martin Van Buren no less, makes me smile — particularly in 2013, the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation (January 1) and the Gettysburg Address (November 19). Patrick Teegarden is a legislative liaison to a state governmental agency and a Civil War buff who shares his knowledge with Statesman readers. He can be reached at:

regarding Ryan Call and Mark Baisley and their “imperfections.” From the results of the election on Saturday, seems the R’s were sold on Call’s ability to generate funds for the state party over Baisley’s ability to bring in the vote in a very R friendly county regardless of Call’s speeding ticket/arrest transgression. Hopefully the members of my party will eventually realize that attacking each other over personal minutia only weakens our foundation and results in voter discontent. Maybe one day… Keep up the great reporting! Sincerely, John Kidd Former Candidate State House District 1, Littleton

...Students and parents see ASSET bill as huge victory Continued from Page 2

talking about how they’re going to send their kids to school,” she said. Waller said it would be unfair to suggest that the measure would result in more undocumented students finding jobs. “I believe that is inappropriate hope to put on these children,” he said.

Democrats point to hope and opportunity But Democrats said hope would come in the form of offering a legitimate opportunity to attend college at an affordable rate. They pointed out that the students came to the United States as young children because their families made the decision to violate the law. “Their future must begin now,” said Williams. “We cannot continue to tell these students to get an education, better your lot in life, and then take it away from them with tuition very few can afford… “The person who will discover a cure for cancer may be sitting in this very audience,” she concluded, as undocumented students watched from the House gallery. Duran attempted to debunk claims over unfair taxpayer spending by pointing out that studies have shown that undocumented immigrants pay $115 million to state and local taxes, and $22 million in property taxes, which is used for school funding. But the most emotional testimony came from freshman Rep. Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City, who enjoys telling personal stories when explaining his votes on legislation. He told the story of a girl who he once knew when she was a student on the Commerce City Youth and Teen Advisory Committee. Moreno recalled how last week he suffered a flat tire, forcing him to take the bus to the Capitol. It was on this bus that he reunited with the student. “She was brought to the United States, she was brought to Colorado when she was 1-year-old, and English is

college, so I’m hoping that now they can go to college so that they can have a better future,” she said. “I’m glad that I finally can get them some good news.” Cheers erupted throughout the halls of the Capitol as students and hen I talk about this bill, I don’t their supporters gathered in a speak about it in abstract terms. large group to These are people I know, these are people celebrate. I went to high school with.” “When education was under — House Minority Leader Mark Waller attack what did we do?” they enough money so she might be able to chanted. “Stand up, fight back,” the attend college,” he said. “She dreams of group responded. being a history teacher, and every day “Up, up with education,” came she reminds her brothers and sisters of another chant. “Down, down with who they are, of how lucky that they were born in this country, and to not take their education for granted. “When I talk about this bill, I don’t speak about it in abstract terms. These are people I know, these are people I went to high school with,” Moreno continued. “Members, I’m tired of the No. 1 student in my advanced calculus class now being a waitress at a restaurant because she didn’t have enough money to go to college.” her first language,” Moreno explained, as tears welled in his eyes and his voice choked. The House chamber calmed to only a murmur as he told his story. “She rides the bus two hours each way to get to work so she can save up


Students react with joy Cesiah Guadarrama, whose parents brought her to the United States from Mexico when she was 6 years old, said she finally has a chance to attend college next year when she graduates from Westminster High School. She was in attendance as the House sent the measure to the governor. “This is a huge victory for us. We haven’t been fighting for this for two years, or five years — I was 8 when this started, so this is definitely a big victory for us. It’s opened so many doors,” explained Guadarrama. Gloria Mendoza, a mother whose children may benefit from the program, had tears in her eyes as she stood in the House lobby with bill sponsors and supporters. “I have kids that want to go to

deportation.” Johnston, an educator who has been working with undocumented students for the majority of his career, walked the lobby hugging students, supporters and fellow sponsors with a wide smile stretched across his face. “I’m just thinking of all the kids around the state right now who are sitting in class who now have a real chance to go to college,” remarked Johnston, as House sponsor Williams walked up to him to offer a hug of congratulations. “I’m thinking of all the kids I’ve given diplomas to and put a cap and gown on them before who have been waiting for this moment who now have a real chance.” —

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