<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - government]]> http://gazette.com/rss/government Tue, 30 May 2017 06:55:45 -0600 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[White House communications director Michael Dubke resigns]]> http://gazette.com/white-house-communications-director-michael-dubke-resigns/article/1604127?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/white-house-communications-director-michael-dubke-resigns/article/1604127?custom_click=rss

White House communications director Michael Dubke has resigned.

Kellyanne Conway, White House counselor, has told The Associated Press that Dubke handed in his resignation before President Donald Trump left for his international trip earlier this month.

In an interview on Fox News on Tuesday, Conway said Dubke "made very clear that he would see through the president's international trip, and come to work every day and work hard even through that trip because there was much to do here back at the White House.

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Tue, 30 May 2017 06:33:06 -0600
<![CDATA[Blame pie to go around, including big slice for governor, in Colorado transportation failure]]> http://gazette.com/blame-pie-to-go-around-including-big-slice-for-governor-in-colorado-transportation-failure/article/1604105?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/blame-pie-to-go-around-including-big-slice-for-governor-in-colorado-transportation-failure/article/1604105?custom_click=rss

The Colorado General Assembly just ended a reasonably good 120-day legislative session, but the legislators and the governor "kicked the can" down the highway on one major challenge. A major state highway financing bill failed to pass.

At the start of the session in January, there was considerable agreement that something had to be done about the crumbling roadways and clogged interstates that are the Colorado highway system. And several senior Democratic and Republican legislators came together to offer a compromise approach. Here's what went wrong.

Governor Hickenlooper said action on jammed and disintegrating highways needed to be taken, and he gave some nice speeches around the state pointing out that Utah was doing a

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Tue, 30 May 2017 06:01:52 -0600
<![CDATA[Insights: Trump's deal on transportation is a 'no deal' for Colorado]]> http://gazette.com/insights-trumps-deal-on-transportation-is-a-no-deal-for-colorado/article/1604044?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/insights-trumps-deal-on-transportation-is-a-no-deal-for-colorado/article/1604044?custom_click=rss

When it comes to transportation, Donald Trump is much like a casino for a desperate state willing to bet the utility bill money to try to win the rent.

While the president was out of the country last week, his advisers rolled out the latest package of ideas for the $1 trillion investment in America's infrastructure Trump promised.

Colorado was listening.

Spin doctors here have conditioned us to believe our growing highway needs are like a herd of zombies coming this way. Before they eat us, we might have to take the light rail or ride a bike, because the traffic's too bad.

Any help from Uncle Sam should feel like a godsend. A jackpot from Washington would be a political bailout for Colorado legislators. And when

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Sun, 28 May 2017 14:44:34 -0600
<![CDATA[Trump eyes White House overhaul, outside lawyers and PR team]]> http://gazette.com/trump-eyes-white-house-overhaul-outside-lawyers-and-pr-team/article/1604041?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/trump-eyes-white-house-overhaul-outside-lawyers-and-pr-team/article/1604041?custom_click=rss

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is considering overhauling his White House staff and bringing back top campaign strategists, frustrated by what he views as his team's inability to contain the burgeoning crisis involving alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Expanding teams of lawyers and experienced public relations hands are being recruited to deal with the drumbeat of new revelations about Moscow's interference and possible improper dealings with the Trump campaign and associates. The disclosures dogged the president during his first trip abroad since taking office and threaten to overwhelm and stall the agenda for his young administration.

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Sun, 28 May 2017 09:03:00 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado Springs road repair tax revenues surging in booming economy]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-road-repair-tax-revenues-surging-in-booming-economy/article/1604014?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-road-repair-tax-revenues-surging-in-booming-economy/article/1604014?custom_click=rss

Tax revenues dedicated to helping fix the city's dilapidated roads and curbs are far out-pacing last year's.

Collections from Measure 2C were nearly $1 million greater in January and February than during the same time in 2016, according to a 2C Advisory Committee report. In all, the city brought in about $7.2 million in those months, a 14 percent increase from last year.

Should that continue, city road crews would have an extra $7 million to spend in future years.

"That would be more roads that we would plan on getting done in the future under 2C," said Travis Easton, the city's public works director.

Measure 2C, which voters approved in November 2015, raised the sales tax by .62 percent to fund road repairs

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Sat, 27 May 2017 21:42:12 -0600
<![CDATA[Lamborn: EPA may reconsider Colorado Springs stormwater suit]]> http://gazette.com/lamborn-epa-may-reconsider-colorado-springs-stormwater-suit/article/1604007?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/lamborn-epa-may-reconsider-colorado-springs-stormwater-suit/article/1604007?custom_click=rss

DENVER — U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn has asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to drop a lawsuit against Colorado Springs over contaminated runoff that affects Pueblo County and downstream agriculture.

The Denver Post reports that Lamborn has spoken twice with EPA chief Scott Pruitt about the suit, which was filed in 2016 by the EPA and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Pueblo County joined the suit this year.

Colorado Springs insists it is investing $460 million with other municipalities over the next two decades to address the problem.

Lamborn, a Colorado Springs Republican, says he waited until President Donald Trump's administration took office before approaching the EPA.

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Sat, 27 May 2017 20:46:04 -0600
<![CDATA[Immigrant arrests and deportations up in Colorado, Wyoming]]> http://gazette.com/immigrant-arrests-and-deportations-up-in-colorado-wyoming/article/1604012?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/immigrant-arrests-and-deportations-up-in-colorado-wyoming/article/1604012?custom_click=rss

DENVER — Significantly more immigrants were arrested and deported from Colorado and Wyoming in the first few months of Donald Trump's presidency than during the same period in 2016.

The biggest surge was in arrests of immigrants suspected of residing illegally in the country without a criminal record.

One hundred thirty-four individuals were detained between President Trump's inauguration on Jan. 20 and the end of his first 100 days in office, April 29.

That figure is more than four times the number a year ago, when 28 non-criminal immigrants were arrested.

Arrests of immigrants suspected of residing illegally in the country with criminal histories were up just slightly, from 678 in 2017

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Sat, 27 May 2017 20:05:49 -0600
<![CDATA[Trump considers major changes amid escalating Russia crisis]]> http://gazette.com/trump-considers-major-changes-amid-escalating-russia-crisis/article/1604019?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/trump-considers-major-changes-amid-escalating-russia-crisis/article/1604019?custom_click=rss

President Trump and his advisers, seeking to contain the escalating Russia crisis that threatens to consume his presidency, are considering a retooling of his senior staff and the creation of a “war room” within the White House, according to several aides and outside Trump allies.

Following Trump’s return to Washington on Saturday night from a nine-day foreign trip that provided a bit of a respite from the controversy back home, the White House plans to far more aggressively combat the cascading revelations about contacts between Trump associates, including Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, and Russia.

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Sat, 27 May 2017 20:05:09 -0600
<![CDATA[New 'Blue Lives Matter' laws raise concerns among activists]]> http://gazette.com/new-blue-lives-matter-laws-raise-concerns-among-activists/article/1603937?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/new-blue-lives-matter-laws-raise-concerns-among-activists/article/1603937?custom_click=rss

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Following a spike in deadly attacks on police, more than a dozen states have responded this year with "Blue Lives Matter" laws that come down even harder on crimes against law enforcement officers, raising concern among some civil rights activists of a potential setback in police-community relations.

The new measures build upon existing statutes allowing harsher sentences for people who kill or assault police. They impose even tougher penalties, extend them to more offenses, including certain nonviolent ones such as trespassing in Missouri, and broaden the list of victims covered to include off-duty officers, police relatives and some civilians at law enforcement agencies.

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Sat, 27 May 2017 07:04:57 -0600
<![CDATA[If FBI wants to talk to Kushner, lawyer says he's ready]]> http://gazette.com/if-fbi-wants-to-talk-to-kushner-lawyer-says-hes-ready/article/1603979?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/if-fbi-wants-to-talk-to-kushner-lawyer-says-hes-ready/article/1603979?custom_click=rss

Jared Kushner and Russia’s ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Trump’s transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, according to U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports.

Ambassador Sergey Kislyak reported to his superiors in Moscow that Kushner, son-in-law and confidant to then-President-elect Trump, made the proposal during a meeting on Dec. 1 or 2 at Trump Tower, according to intercepts of Russian communications that were reviewed by U.S. officials. Kislyak said Kushner suggested using Russian diplomatic facilities in the

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Fri, 26 May 2017 22:52:34 -0600
<![CDATA[Boehner: Trump's term 'disaster,' aside from foreign affairs]]> http://gazette.com/boehner-trumps-term-disaster-aside-from-foreign-affairs/article/1603953?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/boehner-trumps-term-disaster-aside-from-foreign-affairs/article/1603953?custom_click=rss

WASHINGTON — Former House Speaker John Boehner says that aside from international affairs and foreign policy, President Donald Trump's time in office has so far been a "complete disaster."

Speaking at an energy conference Thursday in Houston, Boehner praised Trump for his approach abroad and his aggressiveness in fighting Islamic State militants, according to the energy publication Rigzone.

"Everything else he's done (in office) has been a complete disaster," the Ohio Republican said, according to the publication. "He's still learning how to be president."

Boehner said he's been friends with Trump for 15 years, but still has a hard time envisioning him as president. He also said Trump shouldn't be allowed to

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Fri, 26 May 2017 16:07:12 -0600
<![CDATA[GOP holds onto Montana seat, yet both parties optimistic]]> http://gazette.com/gop-holds-onto-montana-seat-yet-both-parties-optimistic/article/1603936?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/gop-holds-onto-montana-seat-yet-both-parties-optimistic/article/1603936?custom_click=rss

WASHINGTON — Both political parties are finding cause for optimism in a House race in Montana won by a Republican who faced last-minute assault charges.

Looking ahead to next year's midterm elections, Democratic strategists said Friday that forcing Republicans to spend millions for a narrow win in a conservative state amounted to a victory itself.

The final unofficial tally in Thursday's election showed wealthy Republican businessman Greg Gianforte with 50.2 percent of the vote, compared to Democratic musician Rob Quist with 44.1 percent.

Republicans say they employed a successful strategy in defining the Democratic candidate early and following through until Election Day.

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Fri, 26 May 2017 12:35:05 -0600
<![CDATA[Jared Kushner now a focus in Russia investigation]]> http://gazette.com/jared-kushner-now-a-focus-in-russia-investigation/article/1603893?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/jared-kushner-now-a-focus-in-russia-investigation/article/1603893?custom_click=rss

Investigators are focusing on a series of meetings held by Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and an influential White House adviser, as part of their probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and related matters, according to people familiar with the investigation.

Kushner, who held meetings in December with the Russian ambassador and a banker from Moscow , is being investigated because of the extent and nature of his interactions with the Russians, the people said.

The Washington Post reported last week that a senior White House official close to the president was a significant focus of the high-stakes investigation, though it did not name Kushner.

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Fri, 26 May 2017 10:39:35 -0600
<![CDATA[State tax chief Barbara Brohl stepping down, awaits 'what the universe will involve me in next!']]> http://gazette.com/state-tax-chief-barbara-brohl-stepping-down-awaits-what-the-universe-will-involve-me-in-next/article/1603931?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/state-tax-chief-barbara-brohl-stepping-down-awaits-what-the-universe-will-involve-me-in-next/article/1603931?custom_click=rss

Colorado's top tax collector is moving on, but it's not clear where. The governor's office announced this week that Barbara Brohl is stepping down in August as executive director for the Colorado Department of Revenue.

During six years on the job, Brohl oversaw the Department of Revenue's taxation division, the Division of Motor Vehicles, the state lottery, horse racing enforcement, automobile Dealers, gaming, liquor and tobacco, as well as the recreational and medical marijuana.

"Barb has provided strong leadership to the Department of Revenue," Gov. John Hickenlooper said in a statement. "We will miss her steadfast and guiding hand, but wish her much success in the future.

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Fri, 26 May 2017 08:37:54 -0600
<![CDATA[Congress to consider naming southwest Colorado peaks after legendary local climbers Fowler and Boskoff]]> http://gazette.com/congress-to-consider-naming-southwest-colorado-peaks-after-legendary-local-climbers-fowler-and-boskoff/article/1603930?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/congress-to-consider-naming-southwest-colorado-peaks-after-legendary-local-climbers-fowler-and-boskoff/article/1603930?custom_click=rss

Congress is considering naming two peaks in southwest Colorado after two famous local climbers killed in an avalanche in Tibet in 2006, Charlie Fowler and Christine Boskoff.

Colorado Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner with U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton of Cortez have introduced a bill to designate two unnamed 13,000-foot peaks about 10 miles southwest of Telluride, bordering San Miguel and Dolores counties, as Fowler Peak and Boskoff Peak.

Both, fittingly, are great for climbing, as well as hiking.

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Fri, 26 May 2017 08:34:42 -0600