Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Three of Colorado’s Congressional Seats to Watch In 2024

Colorado Congressional Districts, 118th CongressTwotwofourtysix, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Colorado will likely not have much of a presidential race and no senate seats are up, but the state’s eight U.S. House seats will provide action. The trials, tribulations and bizarre behavior of Lauren Boebert will be closely followed in the 3rd congressional district. Ken Buck’s retirement creates a far-right super primary in the very conservative 4th CD and Yadira Caraveo can expect a strong challenge in the new 8th CD.

Colorado CDs to Watch

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Trump Can’t Lose

Netanyahu and BerlusconiBenjamin Netanyahu, right, meets with then-Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in Rome on June 13, 2011. (Photo: Amos Ben Gershom / GPO/FLASH90)

Like Silvio Berlusconi in Italy and Bibi Netanyahu in Israel, Donald Trump can’t lose. If he does, he likely goes to prison. The 2024 presidential election, if it follows recent patterns, will be close and decided in a handful of states: Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Arizona, and a few others. Not only will Trump fight to the last vote, but if 2020 is an early indicator, election officials and counting systems, especially in those key states, will be under tremendous pressure to produce him a victory. As Mr. Trump said in 2020 to the Secretary of State in Georgia, “I just want to find 11,700 votes… There is nothing wrong with saying, you know, that you’ve recalculated.”

Voters interested in an honest election, including those in states without a serious presidential contest like Colorado and California, should focus their attention on states where both politics and the integrity of the count will be pushed to the limits.

Monday, November 20, 2023

Third Congressional Race in Reshuffle

Map of Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District

The election landscape in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional district is in a major reshuffle.

Lauren Boebert has begun an apology tour since the “Beetlejuice” incident but the damage simply highlights her already fringe lifestyle and viewpoints. She only hung on in 2020 by 546 votes, the closest race in the nation.

The state’s Republican establishment want her gone and are backing attorney Jeff Hurd of Grand Junction with a plethora of endorsements and $500,000 in early donations. Initially, he was seen as positioning himself as the nominee in 2026 after her likely loss in 2024. But could he beat her in the primary?

However, Democrats are not without internal controversy in the race. Democratic frontrunner Adam Frisch, who almost beat her and has already raised $4 million in donations, including millions online from national donors, now faces a primary opponent also from Grand Junction, the largest and very Republican county in the district. Town mayor Anne Stout announced and has attracted some high-powered consultants and Democratic liberal and women’s donor groups. Stout will likely divert money and attention to a primary and could pull Frisch to the left, making him more vulnerable in the general elections against Boebert or Hurd.

A lot to watch in the 3rd Congressional District.

Third Congressional District Table
RELATED: Boebert in Collapse

Friday, November 17, 2023

KOA RADIO: Tuesday’s Election Revives Conservatives

Colorado legislature at the Colorado CapitolLawmakers in the Senate work during a special session of the Colorado legislature at the Colorado Capitol in Denver on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023. (Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post)

KOA’s Marty Lentz and Jeana Gondek interviewed me on the Colorado Election results.


  1. Governor Polis and the Democratic legislature suffered major damage to their credibility with the massive loss of Prop. HH.

    Taxes will now be a big issue in the next session. A special session is possible (has been called) but will be hard to manage. The issue rallied the Republican Party. Former Governor Owens, pillar of the establishment, helped the opposition and spoke at their victory party.

  2. Crime is on the Colorado agenda. Mayor Coffman won a decisive victory in Aurora campaigning as “tough on crime.”

    The Denver School Board was swept from office, accused of not prioritizing student safety and being dysfunctional. The momentum for change was so strong all 7 members, not just 3, would have been removed if they had been on the ballot.


Republican Debate: KOA Morning Report

Monday, November 13, 2023

Republican Debate: KOA Morning Report

The presidential hopefuls seemed content to aim for second place behind former President Donald J. Trump and deliver digs at President Biden.Credit...Maansi Srivastava/The New York Times

Marty and Jeana interviewed me on Wednesday’s GOP debate in Miami. Observations:

  1. The debate was the best of the three so far. Time is short; it’s only two months to the Iowa caucus. Candidates’ answers were sharper, crisper, a smaller group helped with good moderators.
  2. Lots of foreign policy but just after Israel terrorist attack so issue is top of mind. For a party with isolationist tendency, candidates were for military involvement in host of areas; Israel, Iran, Mexico (border and drug dealers), China, and for some, Ukraine. Vivek Ramaswamy, who said he wanted to be “unhinged;” worried about the Canadian border and would defund Israel.
  3. Tuesday’s election night was bad for the GOP because of abortion and on that question debaters had no new approach. They are all pro-life. Haley advocated realism and tolerance, DeSantis blamed the Evangelicals for the loss, and Ramaswamy, the RNC.
  4. The winner was Nikki Haley. She took the most incoming fire without losing composure and fired back on several occasions, including calling Vivek “scum.” Ron DeSantis improved but it didn’t appear to make a difference. The losers were Chris Christie and Tim Scott. They were left out of the cross conversations and may not make the next debate as the criteria to join gets more difficult.
  5. Polling shows Trump wins about 45 percent of both Iowa and New Hampshire Republican voter, and DeSantis and Haley split about 30 percent. They are competing to become main alternatives to Trump. Both states have a history of shaking up the expectations.
KOA ColoradoThursday's CMN rundown with @MartyLenz_KOA and @KOAJeana

Friday, November 10, 2023

Denver Post: Voters Send Message to DPS - Change

John Youngquist and Marlene de la RosaJohn Youngquist and Marlene de la Rosa (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post)
“It was pretty divisive,”said pollster Floyd Ciruli of the results, adding, “What you could feel was the momentum and the passion was on the side of change.”

Union-backed members will retain their majority on DPS’s board after the election, but the newcomers will have an edge when it comes to establishing board leadership, priorities and potential future policies because Tuesday’s election made it very clear that a significant portion of the electorate supports a shake-up of the status quo, Ciruli said. - Denver Post 11-9-23

Denver voters swept all three union-supported members, two of which were incumbents, and replaced them with a new team focused on student safety and ending board chaos. The newcomers represent a school reform non-union background.

Although the new members do not have a majority, they have momentum from an electorate that wants change.

The teachers union is already very concerned any shift toward reform issues such as merit pay, school closures, and neighborhood vs. charter schools, would threaten union work rules and benefits. The union and their allies appear on the defensive.

People voted for less dysfunction on the board. That may be a challenge to achieve.

See Jessica Seaman’s front page article: Voters Send Resounding Message of Change

RELATED: DPS Election Critical for Denver’s Reputation

Wednesday, November 8, 2023


Mike Coffman, Juan Marcano and Jeff SanfordAurora 2023 Mayor Candidates, clockwise from top left, Mike Coffman, Juan Marcano and Jeff Sanford. Photos by PHILIP B. POSTON

The contest between Mike Coffman and Juan Marcano pits law and order versus prison industrial complex - the two slogans attached to their views on crime.

Coffman is in a tough re-election with an Aurora electorate he barely carried in 2019 that is more than 50 percent minority. If he wins is the "crime denial" wing of the new left in retreat?

Monday, November 6, 2023


Mayor Nick GradisarMayor Nick Gradisar Feb 16, 2023 | Photo: Cheiftain/Josue Perez
Top issue in metro area; crime. Denver (DPS and Union) and Aurora (Mayor Coffman and Marcano).
Statewide; credibility of Democratic legislature and Governor Polis (Prop. HH).
Pueblo; Mayor Gradisar faces 8 person field in tough re-election. Runoff likely.

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Colorado Business Committee for the Arts 2023 Study-Better News

Economic Activity Study of Metro Denver Culture

One of the themes the SCFD since the beginning (1988) has been the positive economic impact of arts and culture in the metro area. The issue is most important with political, business and civic leaders. On November 3rd, the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts will release its most recent report on impact of culture post the pandemic.

Ciruli Associates conducted the first economic impact study in the early 1990’s by examining the annual reports of Tier I and II organizations. There were only 11 at that time. In 1995, CBCA began to sponsor the study working the Deloitte Consulting using a survey of more than 200 organizations.

We produced a brief report for the 2016 campaign (see blog SCFD- An Economic Powerhouse). The 2023 report will hopefully show the level of improvement since the devastating reductions in attendance and income during the pandemic.


Monday, October 30, 2023

DPS Election Critical for Denver’s Reputation

The Denver Public Schools Board of Education meets at DPS headquarters in Denver August 2023. Photo by Andy Cross / The Denver Post

“Many people believe the DPS election is as important as the last mayor’ race for Denver’s reputation and future” said pollster Floyd Ciruli, Denver Post 10-28-23

In the recent Denver mayor’s race, a frequent refrain was “Denver has problems, but DPS is a complete embarrassment.” Denver’s 2023 school board election has become a test between the incumbent union favored board versus parent and reform-minded group.

DPS incumbents are on the defensive because of their dysfunctional meetings and lack of transparency. But the salient event that may end their tenure is the shooting of two East High School administrators by a troubled youth who likely should not have been in school. The deans were performing security service, because no security professionals were on site which reflected the Board’s policies on expulsions and presence of police in schools.

A grass roots “Resign DPS” movement quickly started. Now a full-blown race is on with significant contributions for challengers and both the Denver Post and Denver Gazette endorsing change.

See Jessica Seaman’s Denver Post front page article:

Monday, October 23, 2023

Sabato Lists Proposition HH “on the Defensive”

In a scan of statewide ballot measures, Sabato’s Crystal Ball describes Proposition HH as “on the defensive” despite the state’s “Democratic leanings in recent elections.”

It cites the Colorado Municipal League’s opposition as an important sign of Prop HH trouble.

Proponents’ TV ads feature Governor Polis. Can he sell the complex proposal?


Prop HH in Political Trouble
Water Districts Concerned About Proposition HH

Friday, October 20, 2023

Sales Tax Slowdown


Sales tax revenue in the metro area has been amazingly robust in good economic years and resilient in the recent COVID downturn of 2020. Revenue increases over last year have fallen sharply during the most recent 8 months of reports.

Denver Metro Area Sales Tax Revenue Growth

This may be a short-term economic slowdown reflecting a drop off in migration to the metro area and other local and national factors or the harbinger of a longer-term trend.

Denver Metro Area Tax Revenue Slows Sharply

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Boebert in Collapse

Boebert and FirschBoebert and Firsch | Photos by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post

Lauren Boebert’s brief congressional career is in a serious political crisis. The last election was razor thin in spite of having ample funding and a “lean” Republican district. Her opponent from 2022, Democrat Adam Frisch, is out-raising her by 4 to 1. He just beat her in online fundraising $3.4 million to her $854,000.

But an even bigger problem is a new primary opponent from the largest Republican county in the district, Mesa. Jeff Hurd raised $412,000 in just weeks, mostly from the state’s Republican establishment (Benson, Foster, Suthers, Richie). He is now receiving numerous endorsements from local Republican legislators and county commissioners.

Could she lose the primary? If she survives it, Boebert is even a weaker candidate in 2024 than 2022.

Boebert In Trouble with Independent Voters
Boebert Reelect Becomes Less Likely

Monday, October 9, 2023

Water Districts Concerned About Proposition HH

Jared Polis with Joe Lloyd MedinaGov. Jared Polis May 24, 2023 | Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post

Jerd Smith reported in Fresh Water News that the state’s water districts are concerned about the possible impact of Proposition HH on their property tax revenue base.

The complex proposition is on the November ballot and campaigns for and against are just starting. Polling has indicated it could go either way depending on the persuasive influence of the protagonists.

Smith quoted me, writing "political pollster Floyd Ciruli said it’s not clear how the ballot measure will fare Nov. 7. But he said it likely faces an uphill battle to win approval."

"'It got off to a bad start in the legislature because there wasn’t a clear consensus on what to do,' he said. 'Proponents are going to need a really good campaign. This is complicated.'"

READ ARTICLE: Fresh Water News

Prop HH in Political Trouble
Polis at Political Risk with Proposition HH

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Schiff Jumps Ahead of Porter in PPIC Poll

Lee, Schiff and PorterReps. Barbara Lee, Adam B. Schiff, and Katie Porter | Photo AP/Los Angeles Times

In the latest PPIC statewide survey (July 25-Sept. 5), Adam Schiff moved ahead of Katie Porter in the U.S. Senate primary scheduled next March. Schiff added 4 points since the July poll and Porter lost 4. The PPIC poll also reports he led Porter by 28 percent to 22 percent among Democrats and 21 percent to 16 percent among independent voters. The latest IGS Berkeley poll showed similar results with Schiff at 20 percent and Porter 17 percent.

Voter Preference in March 2024 Senate Primary

The death of Dianne Feinstein roiled the California political waters. The Senate now has a new member added by Governor Newsom. Schiff lost a likely ally, but her passing will reinforce his argument that the state is losing seniority and needs people who can work with leadership and colleagues to get things done. Also, Donald Trump at the California State Republican Convention last week continued to keep Schiff in the headlines with his attacks.

READ: Schiff Moves Up

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Prop HH in Political Trouble

Colorado Gov Jared PolisColorado Gov Jared Polis Photo: Philip B. Poston/Sentinel Colorado/AP

Although the Wall Street Journal editorial page has minimal influence in local elections, it piled on Governor Polis’s tax proposal on the November ballot. Proposition HH has managed to unite the Republican establishment with the MAGA denier activists into a highly vocal and increasingly organized opposition.

Polis, the unions, and Democrats just started campaigning, but the message and money available for communications better be persuasive and plentiful.

READ: Colorado’s Back-Door Tax Hike | Wall Street Journal

Monday, October 2, 2023

Denver Metro Area Tax Revenue Slows Sharply


Although the seven county Denver Metro economy appears robust, sales tax revenue growth has been contracting all year, and in July dropped under 2 percent above last year.

Denver Sales Tax Table

Sales tax is a key element in local government funding (60% of Denver’s tax revenue) and will likely begin to be reflected in more modest tax revenue spending plans although not yet. Denver’s latest budget shows a 4 percent sales tax growth projection in 2024.

Denver Metro Economy Slows
Sales Tax Revenue Growth Stalls

Friday, September 29, 2023

Wildfires are a Threat

image of wildfire
Photo: OC Firewatch @OCFireWatch

Orange County residents are concerned about wildfire, its smoke and pollution and the impact on their personal and economic well-being. In a new survey conducted in August, more than 80 percent said they were concerned about wildfires (81%) and smoke and pollution (85%). Seventy percent felt wildfires were a serious threat to their “personal and economic well-being.”

wildfires are a threat

The heightened concern about the environment in this poll is a reflection of the extreme weather events of the last two years that have shifted the perception of climate change. Its impact was seen in the future, “problems for grandchildren” and far away affecting “polar bears or glaciers”. Now the problems appear immediate and near home. The drought and impact on the Colorado River is here and now. The wildfires of the last two years were brought home by the abandonment of California by property insurers.

The Lahaina devastation in August dramatized human impact. Even last year’s snow and rain providing drought relief was extreme, bringing floods. The survey was conducted with 1,000 adult Orange County residents by Ciruli Associates and YouGov using its panel and online platform. The survey, conducted from July 20–August 27, 2023, had a margin in error of ±4.8 percentage points. The survey was sponsored by COAST, an association of Orange County fire agencies and conservation groups created to assist in the prevention and mitigation of wildfires.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Climate Change Major Factor in Frequency of Fires

Lake MeadLake Mead | Photo: Patrick T. Fallon, AFP via Getty Images

Orange County residents believe drought, the frequency of wildfires and climate change are strongly connected. Extreme weather and events such as the Lahaina fire have increased climate change belief nationally and in California. The problem appears more immediate and localized.

People believe a “major factor” (68%) in the frequency of wildfires is drought. More than seventy percent (71%) believe climate change has contributed to the drought and is a major factor in the frequency of wildfires (62%).

climate change and wildfires survey

The survey was conducted with 1,000 adult Orange County residents by Ciruli Associates and YouGov using its panel and online platform. The data was weighted to reflect OC 2020 census data. The survey, conducted from July 20–August 27, 2023, had a margin in error of ±4.8 percentage points. The survey was sponsored by COAST, an association of Orange County fire agencies and conservation groups created to assist in the prevention and mitigation of wildfires.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Do More to Respond to Wildfires

Firefighters controlling wildfirePhoto:

Orange County residents believe wildfires are a threat to their health and wellbeing. Although they have confidence in local and state fire authorities, they believe not enough is being done by state and local government “to respond to wildfires in California” (52%).

government response poll

The survey was conducted with 1,000 adult Orange County residents by Ciruli Associates and YouGov using its panel and online platform. The data was weighted to reflect OC 2020 census data. The survey, conducted from July 20–August 27, 2023, had a margin in error of ±4.8 percentage points. The survey was sponsored by COAST, an association of Orange County fire agencies and conservation groups created to assist in the prevention and mitigation of wildfires.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Protect Orange County Open Space

Irvine Ranch Open SpaceIrvine Ranch Open Space | Photo:

An August survey conducted in Orange County shows 94 percent of residents rate “protecting conservation areas and open space” important or very important.

open space table

The survey was conducted with 1,000 adult Orange County residents by Ciruli Associates and YouGov using its panel and online platform. The data was weighted to reflect OC 2020 census data. The survey, conducted from July 20–August 27, 2023, had a margin in error of ±4.8 percentage points. The survey was sponsored by COAST, an association of Orange County fire agencies and conservation groups created to assist in the prevention and mitigation of wildfires.

Monday, September 18, 2023

California and Orange County Rate Wildfire, Water and Climate Change Top Environmental Problems

Newport Beach | Photo: D Ramey LoganNewport Beach | Photo: D Ramey Logan

After a year of extreme weather, two new surveys show wildfire, water supply and climate change the top environmental issues in Orange County and statewide. A statewide PPIC survey was conducted in June and the Orange County survey in August. Using different methods, they show similar results.

Both surveys asked respondents to name their top environmental issue. PPIC responses are top of mind and COAST responses are reactions to a randomized list. They both rated water supply, drought and wildfires in the top two positions with climate change and air pollution the next most important environmental issues.

top environmental problems poll

The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) poll with 1724 adults conducted from June 7–29 included several questions comparable to the county-wide COAST survey in Orange County two months later. COAST is an organization of Orange County fire agencies and conservation groups created to assist in prevention and mitigation of wildfires. The PPIC survey was conducted by telephone and the COAST survey, conducted by Ciruli Associates and YouGov from July 20 to August 27 with 1,000 Orange County residents, received responses from an online panel and email.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Schiff Moves Up

Pelosi and Schiff Pelosi and Schiff | Photo: Noah Berger/AP Photo

The latest Berkeley IGS poll has Adam Schiff moving up in the U.S. Senate race. He's gained 6 points since the March poll and is now ahead of Katie Porter.

The summer’s political news has been about the trials and frontrunner status of Donald Trump. It helps Schiff, who is a hero to Democrats for taking on Trump in the first House impeachment and the January 6 Committee. Democrats are concerned about having an experienced team in DC ready to battle Trump. Nancy Pelosi just announced she was returning for another term to help lead the fight.

IFG Polls Voter Preference

Schiff, endorsed by dozens of House colleagues, is helped by his experience and reputation for getting things done in DC. With the retirement of Senator Dianne Feinstein, the state is losing decades of experience and partisan networks.

The largest block of voters (32%) has not focused on the U.S. Senate primary yet, so expect an expensive campaign heating up with the new year.

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Boebert In Trouble with Independent Voters

Boebert and FirschBoebert and Firsch | Photos by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post

Second term congresswoman Lauren Boebert is behind in the latest polling primarily because she is losing the large block of unaffiliated voters in the Third District by 17 points. The trajectory of her political career has been a rocket ride from obscurity in 2019 into Congress and then into national fame with an anti-establishment approach.

But the ride down has been just as quick. Her well-publicized disruptive behavior at the State of the Union (March 2022) and this year’s Speaker of the House election gave her a national constituency of far-right allies but cost her support in Colorado. A Republican primary opponent in 2022 with little money received 34 percent and in November she only won by 546 votes.

The District was designed during redistricting to have an 11 point Republican advantage in registration and performance. Former President Trump won it by 8 points in 2020 and the latest poll claims he’s ahead 5 points. However, she trails Democrat Adam Frisch in fundraising and has just picked up serious primary opponent. Her unfavourability rating is 53 percent. Lauren Boebert, as of today, is losing and Trump won’t help.

Boebert by the numbers Ciruli Associates, Keating Research, Colorado Secretary of State

Boebert Reelect Becomes Less Likely
Boebert Goes Full MAGA
Boebert’s Last Term?

Republican Party after Trump – See Debate

Republican Debate, August 2023Republican Debate, August 2023
Photos (L-R) Win McNamee, Getty Images | Morry Gash, AP Photo

The Republican debate last Wednesday drew 13 million viewers, more than expected given the absence of the frontrunner. The Democrats regularly get about 10 million viewers and Republicans more. The 2015 August 6 debate with Trump got 24 million hosting Trump’s debut performance.

This debate’s intense exchanges and sharp divisions were enhanced by Trump’s absence. It was a first view of what the national party, at least the presidential wing, looks like when not dominated by Trump. Vivek Ramaswamy, Trump’s stand-in, was attacked repeatedly by Nikki Haley, Mike Pence, and Christ Christie. Trump, himself, took considerable incoming criticism from Ron DeSantis on COVID-19, Haley on spending, and Pence on the Constitution. Haley may have summed up Trump’s greatest vulnerability when she declared, “… we have to face the fact that Trump is the most disliked politician in America. We can’t win a general election that way.”

In my recent discussions in Colorado, Republicans who had voted for Trump claimed they were looking for an alternative. They mentioned Ramaswamy, Robert Kennedy Jr., No Labels. It is a sign that beneath the 50 percent plus of Republicans who claim to support Trump, many are concerned about his political toxicity and are receptive to an alternative.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

GOP Debate KOA – Ross Kaminsky

First Republican presidential primary debate on Aug. 23First Republican presidential primary debate Aug 23, 2023
Photo: PEDRO UGARTE/AFP via Getty Images

LISTEN: The Ross Kaminsky Show on KOA

I joined Ross Kaminsky’s morning KOA show for a post-GOP debate analysis.

Although the debate was a lively exchange and illuminated some Republican differences, it was difficult to see how it affected Donald Trump’s 30-point lead. Much of the debate audience and the party treats Trump as the aggrieved incumbent president. They booed at criticism of him and yelled at praise.

It is hard to beat a good arraignment and Trumps’ Georgia booking stole much of the post-debate bounce. But the event did start the nomination process and focus attention on the short timeline until on the Iowa caucus.

Some observations:

  • DeSantis had no breakout and not much attention. He was cautious and sounded boring.
  • Hutchinson and Burgum are not likely to make many more debates. Hutchinson had strong moments.
  • Haley was the best of the crowd, Pence the most lively I’ve seen him, defending the Constitution, taking on Ramaswamy and DeSantis but frequently sounding pious. Scott was not seen much.
  • Ramaswamy was the Trump stand-in. Trump’s absence made him the target of much of the ire that contestants likely would have been reluctant to toss at Trump directly.
    Although he won the audience, Haley, Pence, and Christie hit him on inexperience.
    • Don’t need a rookie, on the job training (Pence)
    • You’re like Obama (Christie)
    • Your foreign policy inexperience shows (Haley)

At 38 years old, the blows were serious but he’s more a future prospect than today. He wants to be the MAGA post-Trump favorite.

The next debate is September 27 at the Reagan Library in California. Trump likely won’t make it. Interest in it will depend on how the race evolves in the next 30 days—intense or a sleeper.

Trump Dominates Republican Party for Eight Years

Fox News’ Primetime Republican Debate Snares 24 Million ViewersFox News’ Primetime Republican Debate Snares 24 Million Viewers
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

It was August 6, 2015, that Donald Trump established his dominance of the Republican party when FOX News provided a platform for him and nine other candidates’ first debate with Bret Bier, Megyn Kelly, and Chris Wallace.

The debate opened with Kelly questioning Trump’s attitude toward women (not being politically correct, as he called it) and he was not seen as the debate winner. But his self-confidence and anti-party attitude (refused to rule out running as an independent) scored points with a base of anti-establishment activists in a party looking for something new.

It’s hard to beat a good arraignment, and the latest arrest in Georgia reinforces his victim claim. His frontrunner status was this year launched by the April New York indictment and arraignment.

Although this August’s debate was lively and it may change the positions of competitors, it doesn’t appear to have damaged Trump, who is considered the incumbent president by many Republicans. After eight years he is still the party frontrunner.

READ: Trump Became Frontrunner After NY Court Case

Monday, August 28, 2023

Japan, South Korea in Historic Summit at Camp David

South Korea's President Yoon Suk Yeol, left, President Joe Biden and Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, meet on Fri, Aug. 18, 2023, at Camp David.South Korea's President Yoon Suk Yeol, left, President Joe Biden and Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, meet on Fri, Aug. 18, 2023, at Camp David.
Photo: Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

President Biden’s first foreign policy conclave at Camp David, scene of a number of historic agreements, saw Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yook Suk Yeol overcome a longtime feud from the last century and develop a united regional partnership to address a rising China and North Korean threat.

DU’s Crossley Center’s program on Japanese Diplomacy identified the strategic pressure that pushed to end the rivalry and develop economic and military agreements to secure a free and open Indo-Pacific. North Korea’s nuclear saber rattling, Russia’s attack of Ukraine, China’s alliance with Russia and its own aggression toward Taiwan have changed the strategic dynamic in the region. Japan has moved away from its post-war pacifism to fully join the western democratic alliance and South Korea is shedding the political gridlock of the post-war colonization of the peninsula.

National security has moved political leaders and public opinion in threatened democracies accordingly.


POLITICO: At Camp David, Biden hails new era of partisanship between U.S., South Korea and Japan. between-us-south-korea-and-japan/ar-AA1fsOnY

NY TIMES: U.S.-Japan-South Korea Security Pact Likely to Deepen China’s Dismay

U.S. and Japan Diplomacy Program: Webinars Posted

The Year of the Indo-Pacific

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Boebert Reelect Becomes Less Likely

Jeff Hurd and Lauren BoebertJeff Hurd and Lauren Boebert | Photo: AP file

Lauren Boebert, the county’s most vulnerable Republican, has just suffered another damaging blow. Jeff Hurd, a Republican attorney from Mesa, the 3rd Congressional District’s largest county, just announced a primary challenge. His campaign is endorsed by Republican icon, former Senator Hank Brown, and Grand Junction’s most respected Republican leader, former President of Mesa University, Tim Foster.

Hurd’s candidacy essential signals the party establishment believes Boebert will lose the race and they are preparing to take the seat back in the 2026 election.

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Another Interest Rate Hike. Depends But Possible.

Jerome Powell
 - Chair of the Federal ReservePowell suggests 'couple' more hikes coming Photo: Jonathan Ernst, Reuters

After the eleventh interest rate increases since early 2022, inflation is down but not out, the economy is up, and unemployment is low. What’s next? The predicted first half recession did not happen and is not foreseen yet. In fact, the U.S. market is in bull territory. As of end of July after a sell-off in 2022, S&P is up 17, the NASDAQ 36 percent, and even the lagging Dow gained 7 percent.

Dow Jones Industrial Average Track Record Since Great Recession

In June, a West Coast bond trader, among others, predicted no further rate hikes. Wrong. In July, the Fed raised rates by a quarter point to 5.25-5.50 percent. And although high compared to recent lows of half a point, 5 percent is more than common, and rates were 20 percent in 1980 and 8 percent in 1990. Will there be another increase in September? Depending on inflation data, another pause may be in order but with core inflation above 4.8 percent, twice the Fed goal, the presumption is another increase is still possible.

Politics is a factor; Inflation is the top economic worry voters tell pollsters. With presidential nominations and the election within sight, expect more concern about inflation this fall.

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Denver Metro Economy Slows


Sales tax in the 7-county Denver metro area has dipped to 2.6 percent above last year, a significant falloff from the post-pandemic period. After a brief 2020 recession, the local economy soared with a flood of federal funding, mostly to consumers, low interest rates, and “revenge” shopping to make up for the COVID-19 shutdown.

The metro area is now dealing with a flat line of population growth and a more constrained economy.

Denver Metro Area Sales Tax Revenue Growth
RELATED: Sales Tax Revenue Growth Stalls

Friday, August 4, 2023

Chamber Scores with Panel of Top Mayors

Denver MayorsFrom left: Denver Mayor Mike Johnston, Boulder Mayor Aaron Brockett, Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman, and Colorado Springs Mayor Yemi Mobolade during the 2023 State of the City luncheon on July 27 in Denver. Photo: Courtesy of Dave Anderson at InSync Photography + Design

Congratulations to J.J. Ament and the Denver Chamber for its panel of mayors of Colorado’s largest cities to discuss top problems and goals and how to collaborate.

Mayors from Boulder Aaron Brockett, Aurora Mike Coffman, Denver Mike Johnston, and Colorado Springs Yemi Mobolade.

READ: Colorado's big-city mayors confront housing, homelessness

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Netanyahu Calls the Vote

Netanyahu at a plenum session in the Knesset in JerusalemNetanyahu at a plenum session in the Knesset in Jerusalem
Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

After more than four months, Israel is no closer to resolving the bitter debate over its future as a secular, democratic state than it was on March 26 when I was ending a visit and demonstrators with unions closed the Ben Gurion Airport.

On that day, Prime Minister Netanyahu decided to pause the demand for judicial reform and see if a compromise was possible. Most observers were skeptical. The massive demonstrations continued and his 64 vote Kensset majority made clear they weren’t giving in on the goal of reducing the independent supreme court’s power. Netanyahu called for the vote on July 24. He described it a “minor correction” to our “activist court” and predicted the conflict would blow over.

If the government falls and a new election is called, there will finally be an issue for the country to decide besides Benjamin Netanyahu’s career and credibility.

RELATED: Israel – Flight Out of Ben Gurion Airport as Netanyahu Loses Control

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Extreme Weather Focuses Attention on Colorado Water

Rueter-Hess ReservoirRueter-Hess Reservoir

Colorado just left a multi-year drought to experience massive winter snow and fierce spring rainstorms. It is now joining much of the country for a scorching summer. The extreme variability in weather is creating a perception of unrelenting natural disasters and reinforcing the need to save and protect Colorado’s water. Conservation and storage are the twin strategies that are dominating the current policy discussions. Fortunately, Colorado water providers have been busy developing a series of major Front Range projects that primarily build off-stream storage, use existing reservoirs or develop water sharing reuse systems.

Colorado Water Projects

Colorado is the source of much of the Colorado River flow. The drought and water shortage has started a contentious period for the seven states, Mexico, and tribes that depend on the River. Presently, water professions with a sense of compromise are dominating the negotiations, but climate and politics make it difficult to satisfy the historic rights and uses in the new conditions.

The attention on water has increased the statewide dialogue and collaboration on water saving and storage. Even the Western Slope, which has been reluctant to support new projects due to concern about the Front Range growth and water diversion, is realizing the real competition is downstream and the challenging variable weather.

RELATED: Protecting Colorado’s Water