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: https://www.denverpost.com/2023/10/30/kwame-spearman-school-board-election-mailer/

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