These days it seems like every news publication around is running stories about their top fill in the blank most powerful people around, and we thought we'd get in on the action. So, starting this week we'll look at the people who were the movers and shakers in Colorado, based on how many searches were done online that led Web surfers to ColoradoPols.com. These are the people that online visitors are looking for when they end up at ColoradoPols.com.
Here's this week's Colorado Pols Power Line (numbers in parenthesis reflect the number of online searches done this week with any variation of that name)
1. Marc Holtzman (154) 2. Michael Bennet (100) 3. Rutt Bridges (73) 4. Bob Beauprez (58) 5. Ed Perlmutter (53) 6. Herb Rubenstein (44) 7. Rick O'Donnell (38) 8. Bill Ritter (23) 9. Cory Gardner (19) 10. Peggy Lamm (19)
We are pleased to present a Q&A with Senator Ken Salazar. Senator Salazar has answered your questions on a variety of subjects, and the entire text of the Q&A appears below.
Senator Ken Salazar was elected to his first term in November 2004, defeating Republican Pete Coors to succeed Ben "Nighthorse" Campbell.
Prior to being elected to the U.S. Senate, Mr. Salazar served six years as Colorado Attorney General, He is a former executive director of the Department of Natural Resources and chief legal counsel to former Governor Roy Romer.
Senator Salazar addressed a number of topics in the Q&A below, including the question of whether he would leave the Senate in order to run for governor of Colorado in 2006. Click below for the full text of the Q&A...
He said he was referring to smugglers who abandon or enslave illegal immigrants and are involved in drug and crime rings. He said he never mentioned ethnicity and, in fact, based his remarks on media accounts of the plight of women and children from around the world.
The Tribune disagreed:
Tribune Editor Chris Cobler said the reporter denies misrepresenting what Allard said. He said he had no reason to doubt that Allard was denouncing people who traffick in illegal immigrants. "But I strongly believe our reporter when he says that's not what (Allard) said," Cobler added. He said Allard's office didn't complain after the story was published.
Allard's response came after Democratic Party Chair Pat Waak criticized him for comments in The Greeley Sentinel on May 27 in which he said that illegal immigrants are "all the same bad characters." Waak told the AP that she "became aware of Allard's remarks Monday after hearing from the head of the state Democratic Party's Latino Initiative."
Congressman John Salazar cast a somewhat surprising vote in favor of an amendment sponsored by Congressman Bob Beauprez that would block $66 million in U.S. aid to Mexico if suspected cop killers are not extradited according to U.S. wishes. From The Rocky Mountain News:
The vote included an unusual split in Colorado's congressional delegation after Rep. John Salazar, a Manassa Democrat, initially voted "no" but switched at the last minute to join Republican Reps. Beauprez, Joel Hefley, Marilyn Musgrave and Tom Tancredo in the "yes" column. The delegation's other two Democrats, Reps. Diana DeGette, D-Denver, and Mark Udall, D-Eldorado Springs, were opposed.
"He made a procedural mistake and voted 'no,' and he wanted to make sure people know how he stands on the issue and voted 'yes,' " Salazar spokeswoman Nayyera Haq said. Salazar, who represents a Republican-leaning district, was attacked on immigration-related issues during his 2002 election campaign. He has often voted with the GOP majority during his first six months in office.
It looks like we were wrong on this one. Earlier this week we had heard that Congressman Joel Hefley was leaning towards endorsing Marc Holtzman for governor, but he must not have been leaning that far. Congressman Bob Beauprez announced today that Hefley has endorsed his candidacy for governor. From the press release:
"I'm disappointed to see Bob leave Congress because he has done a fine job and I enjoy serving with him," said Congressman Hefley."However, he has the background, experience and ability to win the election and to be a first-rate governor."
"It's incredibly encouraging to see the Party coming together," said Beauprez."I'm humbled by the confidence of Congressman Hefley and I'm working day and night to make sure I earn the Republican nomination.I'm in this race for the long haul and not taking anything for granted."
This is a good pickup for Beauprez, more because it prevents Holtzman from getting the endorsement than anything else. If Holtzman had picked up Hefley, it would have been a big help amongst the party faithful in El Paso County.
This also comes as something of a surprise, because by most accounts Beauprez didn't do much to help Hefley earlier this year when the latter was removed from his post in the House Ethics Committee. Hefley's endorsement speaks more about how he feels about Holtzman than how he feels about Beauprez.
Senator Wayne Allard has made it known to colleagues, including Congressman Bob Beauprez, that he plans to run for re-election in 2008. We asked Senator Allard about his plans in last week's Q&A, to which he replied, "I will not make any announcement about my future plans until 2007." The announcement may not be coming until then, but the word is out.
This is a fitting story in advance of today's Q&A with Congressman Mark Udall (see below), who has announced his plans to run for Allard's seat in 2008.