Capitol Coverage

KUNC is a member of Capitol Coverage, a collaborative public policy reporting project, providing news and analysis to communities across Colorado for more than a decade. Fifteen public radio stations participate in Capitol Coverage from throughout Colorado.

Capitol Coverage stories are edited at KUNC. 

Click here for our coverage of sexual harassment allegations out of Colorado's Capitol. 

Ashley Jefcoat / KUNC

In 2002, voters in Colorado supported sweeping changes to state campaign finance laws. The goal was to rein in the influence of money in elections. The law contained a strong preamble about how large campaign contributions could corrupt politics and give special interests, corporations and the rich disproportionate influence.

Then along came the millionaires running for governor, spending millions of their own dollars on their own campaigns.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper takes questions from reporters Friday, Oct. 12, at the State Capitol.
Scott Franz / Capitol Coverage

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper weighed in Friday on the future of an embattled Democratic lawmaker, along with some other hot topics at an impromptu press conference at the State Capitol.

Ashley Jefcoat / KUNC

A printing error is keeping some Colorado voters from studying up on statewide ballot items this election season.

The error caused some of the state's voting guides, known as blue books, to be printed without some of the pages.

Walker Stapleton and Jared Polis are on their final push in the battle to become Colorado's next governor. They're in the middle of a series of debates around the state, just in time for ballots to start arriving in mailboxes next week. Many Republicans and Democrats may have already made up their minds, but there are wild cards still in play, including the impact of unaffiliated voters and fallout over the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Scott Franz / Capitol Coverage

Colorado once turned to comedy to warn residents about the dangerous mixture of drugs and driving. Early advertisements featured actors who got so high, they were trying to start grills without propane. The ads warned that although grilling while high is not illegal, driving while high is.

But as more drivers under the influence of drugs get into fatal car crashes in Colorado, state officials are hoping a new, more simple advertising campaign will help reduce impaired driving.

Scott Franz / Capitol Coverage

Colorado's gubernatorial candidates didn't need to say a single word Friday night on the downtown Denver debate stage to start drawing a contrast with one another.

Democratic candidate Jared Polis walked onto the stage wearing blue tennis shoes, while Republican Walker Stapleton wore shiny black dress shoes.

The two men also clashed at the microphone when the cameras started rolling.

Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

Cathy Kipp was at a recent back-to-school night at Kruse Elementary School in Fort Collins. She was handing out flyers and printed information about Amendment 73.

"This is game changing," said Kipp, a member of the Poudre School District Board of Education. "This would be the best increase in public school funding that we've been able to get in decades in Colorado."

Esther Honig / KUNC

A computer science major in college, 25-year-old Garrett Hause would fit in at a Silicon Valley startup. But he said he prefers to stay busy and work with his hands, so he decided to do something different.

Last year he took over his grandparents’ farm in Lafayette, Colorado and replaced the fields of alfalfa with five acres of hemp.

Ashley Jefcoat / KUNC

Cliff Redish is a political exile. He lives in a world that's colored Republican red and Democrat blue. He used to be a Democrat, but now he's unaffiliated. Perched on a barstool in a pub in Carbondale on Colorado's Western Slope, he's hesitant to even talk about it.

"We're so divided," Redish said. "It's just unbelievable. It's hard to even bring this up in a bar right now."

Polis for Colorado

When Club 20 holds its gubernatorial debate on Sept. 8, just one of the major candidates will be there: Republican Walker Stapleton. That's triggered a different debate: How much does it matter to Colorado's Western Slope voters that Democrat Jared Polis won't be there? One local Democratic leader says it matters a great deal.

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