No special session, so expect a ballot measure with some sort of tax

Gov. John Hickenlooper said he will not call lawmakers back for a special session to try to put together a transportation funding package.

After a week of will-he, won’t-he, Gov. John Hickenlooper landed on the latter. He will not call lawmakers back for a special session to try to put together a transportation funding package.

“These last nine days, we’ve talked to a lot of stakeholders,” Hickenlooper said Friday. “We wanted to reassess whether it would be worth the effort to bring everyone back. Our conclusion is that it really isn’t worth calling a special session. The political landscape has not shifted.”

Should Denver taxpayers help candidates for local office pay for their campaigns?

A group of Denver campaign finance reform advocates are trying to place an ordinance on the November ballot that would allow for public financing of municipal elections, reduce the amount of money candidates can take from individual donors and ban corporate and union donations.

Right now this effort is going by the motherhood-and-apple-pie title “Democracy for the People,” and proponents hope to start circulating petitions in a few weeks. Opponents say there are better uses for public dollars, but the backers of this measure point to evidence from other cities that public financing increases participation in politics by regular people. 

This appointment of a special counsel is great, according to Colorado’s reps and senators

Colorado’s congresspeople, Republican and Democrat, are mostly praising the appointment of a special prosecutor to look into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Colorado Democrats and Republicans agree — at least the ones who are talking. Appointing former FBI director Robert Mueller to get to the bottom of whatever is going on between the Trump administration, its associates and the Russian government is a good move. Democrats, though, are taking a “it’s about time!” stance, while Republicans are a bit more cautious.

Mueller was named “special counsel” on Wednesday. If you’re wondering what the difference is between a special prosecutor and a special counsel, CBS has a good breakdown here (it’s largely semantic), as well as a caveat about the limitations of this position. Mueller will answer to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who answers to the president, but he’ll have more independence than a U.S. attorney. As a prosecutor, he’ll be looking for evidence of criminal wrong-doing, but he won’t necessarily have to disclose misconduct that falls short of that.