Sandra Fish

Sandra Fish is a Colorado data journalist specializing in politics and government. She’s worked for newspapers in Iowa, Florida and Colorado. And she’s written about politics for Politics Daily, the Washington Post, Al Jazeera America and Roll Call. 

Sandra Fish for KUNC

Crowded fields -- especially in the race for governor -- narrowed considerably after Colorado's Democratic and Republican state assemblies on Saturday, April 14.

Sandra Fish for KUNC

The race for governor is shaping up to be a Wild West affair with record spending. Through the end of 2017, 11 candidates raised more than $10.5 million.

U.S. Congress

He may be out of the race for governor, but Tom Tancredo isn't leaving politics behind. He says he aims to get a measure on the November ballot that would ban so-called "sanctuary cities" across Colorado.

Coloradans for Victor Mitchell

Only one candidate for governor is officially on the June 26 primary ballot, but at least five are in campaign commercials -- or planning to be soon.

Through March 23, the candidates booked or aired more than $570,000 in radio and television ads to boost their campaigns to replace term-limited Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Sandra Fish for KUNC

Colorado’s precinct caucuses on March 6 may not pack quite the punch as in past years.

With many candidates in contested races choosing to petition onto the primary ballot, caucus goers will see fewer choices in the county, legislative, congressional and assembly processes.

That shift has leaders of both the Republican and Democratic parties questioning the role of what are basically neighborhood get togethers in the nominations process.

Bill Badzo / Flickr

Lobbying government is often considered the purview of big business.

But governments — cities, counties, school districts, even state entities — spent more than $4 million on lobbying in fiscal year 2017. Those governments — including the city of Denver and RTD — accounted for 13 percent of the $30 million spent on lobbying in Colorado last year.

The Colorado Senate Chamber as seen from the balcony, where the public watches proceedings.
Greg O'Beirne / Wikimedia Commons

Update, Dec. 27, 2017: The Secretary of State now notes that Kennedy is barred from registering as a lobbyist. This story has been updated to reflect this development.

A Colorado lobbyist is facing steep fines for failing to register — and is now barred from registering at all. The Secretary of State’s Office notified Collon Kennedy on Thursday that he owes nearly $74,000 in late fees.

The matter came to the attention of the office after state Sen. Irene Aguilar filed a complaint against Kennedy. The Denver Democrat observed Kennedy lobbying for Walmart on a liquor sales bill she opposed. When she looked him up in the Secretary of State’s lobbyist database, she couldn’t find him listed.

“I know that he’s been there lobbying a long time, and I had not realized that he wasn’t registered,” Aguilar said.

Vote No on 301 screenshot

Opponents of stricter oil and gas regulations in Broomfield spent 10 times more money campaigning than supporters did.

Colorado Senate Republicans

Five women lobbyists who voiced support for Sen. Jack Tate after sexual harassment allegations against him also did business before the committee he chairs earlier this year.

Last month, KUNC reported on formal complaints against Tate, R-Centennial, Sen. Randy Baumgardner, R-Hot Sulphur Springs, and Lebsock, D-Thornton.

Three are chairmen of legislative committees. But only Lebsock has been removed from his committee chairmanship.

Sandra Fish / KUNC

Colorado lobbyists representing the Denver Broncos, Peabody Energy, Dow Chemical, United Airlines and a host of other companies didn’t report income from their clients in 2017. 

Because several of the lobbyists work for law firms, the lobbyists are paid by the firm, not from specific clients. According to the Secretary of State's office, that means they don't necessarily have to report income from specific clients.