Inside Initiative 75: Right to local self-government -- and to say no to fracking

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An image from the Colorado Community Rights Network Facebook page.
August 4 is the deadline by which citizens-initiatives committees must turn in at least 86,105 valid signatures in order to get measures on the November ballot. There are at least a dozen proposals still in the works, and one of the hottest is Initiative 75, which would add local self-governing as an "inalienable right" to the Colorado Constitution.

What's it all about? Fracking, for one thing.

See also: Fracking linked to birth defects? Colorado study fuels debate

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Colorado contributes a horn dog and a sleazeball to America's Worst Politicians

Categories: Politics

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Sheriff Terry Maketa, out of uniform -- but not out of character.
King George III was "a Tyrant...unfit to be the ruler of a free people," Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence 238 years ago last week. He had it right -- and ever since then, Americans have been calling out their leaders. "Tyrant" was just the start; we've moved on to crook (Nixon), liar (Clinton) and moron (Dubya). Whether or not you agree with the peanut gallery, there's no denying that such written assaults on public honchos are as American as baseball, apple pie and the iPhone.

So for last week's Independence Day, fifty writers and editors of the alternative press from across the land joined together to name 53 of America's Worst Politicians, separating them into five categories: hatemongers, sleazeballs, blowhards, users and boozers, and horn dogs. Leading the pack in that last category? Embattled El Paso County sheriff Terry Maketa, who allegedly had sex with not one, not two, but at least three underlings.

See also: A Guide to the Worst Politicians in America

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Mike Zinna: Appeals court affirms activist's right to legal fees in free-speech battle

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Mike Zinna, target of government reprisals?
A three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit has affirmed that developer-turned-gadfly Mike Zinna is entitled to substantial legal fees in his long-running feud with Jefferson County officials -- who, he claimed, tried to intimidate him, put him under surveillance and violated his constitutional right to free speech. The panel's ruling also takes the unusual step of removing senior district judge Richard Matsch from any further action on the case, saying Matsch ignored the appeals court's directives in awarding Zinna only minimal attorney's fees in the case.

See also: Jefferson County officials show Mike Zinna that what goes around comes around

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Wayne Williams on his run for Secretary of State and the Honey Badger's seat

Categories: Politics

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Photo courtesy of Wayne Williams for Colorado Secretary of State Facebook page
Because Scott Gessler decided to make a run for the Republican gubernatorial nomination (tough luck, Honey Badger), the Colorado Secretary of State's office is up for grabs in November. On the Democratic ticket is Joe Neguse, who represents Colorado's second district for the University of Colorado Board of Regents (read our profile of Neguse here). The Republican candidate is El Paso county clerk Wayne Williams, who's been on the job since 2010 and definitely seen a lot of action during that time. And not the kind of action that El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa seems to have enjoyed.

See also: Scott Gessler is always right. Right?

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A growing concern: Initiative #48 would require labels on genetically modified food

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From Whole Foods Newsroom
Think fracking will make a lot of noise at the ballot box on November 4 -- and on TV and computer screens before that? Of all the initiatives vying for a place on the ballot, Initiative #48 could be the most controversial -- and expensive, with opponents (think Monsanto) prepared to fight, and fight hard. And what's the focus of this hot-topic measure? Requiring that food which has been genetically engineered must be labeled as such. But that's just the condensed version.

See also: Colorado Supreme Court approves Colorado GMO labeling initiative

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Proponents pull Initiative 49, campus gun ban

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Photo by Casey A. Cass/University of Colorado
Students at the University of Colorado.
The general election is November 4, and initiatives on such hot topics as fracking and genetically modified food are vying for a place on the ballot. But a proposal focusing on the hottest topic of all -- gun control -- won't be on the ticket. Late last week Safe Campus Colorado, a nonpartisan grassroots campaign working to end gun violence in schools, pulled its proposed initiative, 49, from consideration.

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Marijuana: Mayor Michael Hancock's treatment of pot industry "beyond insulting," activist says

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Photo by Kate Levy
Michael Hancock on the night he was elected Denver mayor. More photos below.
Press releases don't typically stir passions. But cannabis activist Wanda James was incensed after receiving a missive from Mayor Michael Hancock (see it below) in which he thanked the Denver City Council for passing his $3.35 million marijuana budget proposal but offered no kudos to the pot industry that generated all that extra cash.

James says that's nothing new. In her view, the way Hancock and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper have treated the cannabis industry to date is "beyond insulting."

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Video: Bill Clinton on why states should be able to opt for medical marijuana

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Bill Clinton in Denver. Additional photos and a video below.
The Clinton Global Initiative, which took place in Denver last week, received a showy national platform yesterday via an extended Meet the Press segment featuring former President Bill Clinton. Among the questions posed by host/interviewer David Gregory was one about medical marijuana, and Clinton's expressed support for state's rights strikes one cannabis advocate as another step in the political mainstreaming of pot.

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Photos: Hillary and Bill Clinton hosting Clinton Global Initiative events in Denver

Categories: Photos, Politics

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Photo by Jake Shane
Hillary Clinton. More photos below.
This week, future presidential candidate (we're pretty damn sure) Hillary Clinton and her hubby, Bill, are in Denver hosting discussions and events for the Clinton Global Initiative -- a display of political star power that recalls the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Photographer Jake Shane was on hand at one of yesterday's get-togethers. Check out his shots from the scene below.

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Republican National Convention selection committee to Denver: Thanks but no thanks

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The two cities the GOP convention committee likes better than Denver, as seen in an image from the RNC Facebook page.
Moments ago, the Republican National Committee announced that it had narrowed its list of finalists to host the 2016 GOP convention to two: Dallas and Cleveland. That means Denver's out (along with Kansas City). That's undoubtedly good news to the guy who called the Mile High City a "liberal shithole" on the RNC Facebook page back in April, but city boosters are undoubtedly bummed. Here's how the committee announced/broke the news.

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