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.

The buses are packed together so tight, it's difficult to walk between them without getting hurt.

Standing in a Glenwood Springs maintenance facility, Dan Blankenship, CEO and president of the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, points to a driver slowly backing into a narrow slot.

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.

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."

In addition to electing a new governor this November, Colorado voters will also decide the fate of 13 statewide ballot questions, including two specifically aimed at funding transportation projects.

But beyond that shared goal, propositions 109 and 110 differ greatly.

This year's governor's race is like no other in Colorado history -- at least in terms of money. The $29 million contributed so far to candidates shatters prior records. A large chunk of that money comes from millionaires, spending big in hopes of being elected to a job that pays $90,000 a year.

"There actually are no limits to what an individual can contribute to their own campaign," said Steve Bouey, a manager with the elections division of the Secretary of State's Office.

Now that the primary is over Colorado voters can expect a heated election season heading into November. Bente Birkeland talked to fellow statehouse reporters Joey Bunch of Colorado Politics and Jesse Aaron Paul with The Denver Post about this fall's showdown. The candidates are set, except for the Democratic nominee for Attorney General. 

Ann Perricone sat at her kitchen table in south Denver where she and her husband live with six children. They have two  teenage daughters of their own, and they are also fostering a 19-year-old high school girl and her  children, ages 5 and 1.

“Do you want to go outside? What’s out there? What do you see?” said Perricone to the one-year-old toddler.

More voters participated in Colorado’s June 26 primary election than ever before. Unaffiliated voters were mailed ballots for the first time and both political parties had contested races. As for the top of the ticket, the governor’s race has been narrowed down to two very different candidates.

Thousands of Colorado teachers spent two days rallying at the state Capitol for higher salaries and more money for schools. They highlighted long-standing funding problems and potential changes to the state’s public employee pension program currently being debated by the legislature.

Statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland spoke with Brian Eason of The Associated Press and Ed Sealover with the Denver Business Journal about the rallies.