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Purplish is CPR News' podcast about state politics, state government, elections, and political identity. Hosted by public affairs reporters Bente Birkeland and Andrew Kenney.

Episode Date
Is Colorado a blue state now?
Yes, we know what happened Tuesday, but we're still not changing the name of the podcast.
Nov 11, 2022
What we’re watching for on Election Day
The big day is almost here and our team looks at where the campaigns, the polling and the voters stand, as things come down to the wire.
Nov 04, 2022
What keeps our elections safe?
Colorado's election system has all sorts of checks built in to prevent fraud and subversion, but much of it happens out of public view. We go through some of the biggest security measures -- and some of the biggest conspiracy theories still circulating.
Oct 28, 2022
All your 2022 ballot measures explained (plus a few weird ones from history)
There are 11 statewide measures on the ballot this year, and we're here to give you the key points on each of them. Oh, and Andy plays stump-the-hosts with 140 years of initiative history.
Oct 22, 2022
Housing on your ballot
Coloradans are increasingly naming housing as a top issue, and it's one that will appear on ballots this fall in a couple of ways.
Oct 14, 2022
Colorado’s Latino voters and the 2022 races
One in six Colorado voters is Latino, a fact the campaigns are very, very aware of. But are candidates and parties forging meaningful connections, or just falling back on transactional habits?
Sep 29, 2022
Moderates in the Midterm
Senate candidate Joe O'Dea is getting national attention for his views on abortion, Trump and other issues that set him apart from many in his party. But will his positions be enough to win over the moderate voters so crucial to winning Colorado's elections?
Sep 15, 2022
What did we learn from the primary?
Colorado's Republican establishment is celebrating a night of victories that they believe will give them a leg up on the general election, and could even be a turning point for their party.
Jun 30, 2022
Unaffiliated Voters — the big question mark
the primary approaches, one big question is what influence an influx of unaffiliated voters might have on the GOP selection contests.
Jun 25, 2022
The GOP Divide
The party is torn between its grassroots, with their concerns about the 2020 election and their hunger for a more combative tone from lawmakers, and its more traditional voters, who believe a purely economic message is the key to victory in November. The upcoming party could decide which wing has the upper hand.
Jun 17, 2022
What lawmakers did with their time
Over the past 120 days, lawmakers have argued over justice reform, housing, behavioral health and so much more -- we'll wrap up everything they did -- and didn't -- get done.
May 14, 2022
With mental health, can Colorado achieve ‘transformative’ change?
Colorado ranks last in the nation, when it comes to mental health care available, compared to the number of people who need it. This year state lawmakers are hoping to make a big difference in the problem.
May 05, 2022
The fight to ban Menthols and flavored vapes
Lawmakers are debating whether to ban menthol cigarettes, flavored vapes and similar products. It's an issue that's pulled in tons of lobbying money and is causing some deep divisions between usual political allies.
Apr 22, 2022
Who’s on the primary ballot?
And what do the choices made at the GOP state assembly say about the state of that party?
Apr 14, 2022
Colorado at the eye of an election conspiracy storm
The story of how one county clerk came to believe in false claims about her own voting equipment, what it reveals about the many ways in which our election system is under pressure — from the outside, and the inside — and how policymakers are trying to fix it.
Apr 07, 2022
The past, and future, of abortion in Colorado
Colorado has been a landmark state for both sides of the abortion debate: home to one of the earliest laws to liberalize access to the procedure, as well as the birthplace of the personhood movement. Now, with Roe v Wade in doubt at the federal level, state lawmakers are writing a new chapter Colorado's convoluted history on the issue.
Mar 24, 2022
Crime is rising in Colorado – is justice reform to blame?
For more than a decade, Colorado lawmakers have pursued a range of criminal justice reforms.
Mar 11, 2022
Lawmakers’ brewing labor battle
Some legislative leaders want to give all local public worker unions the power to collectively bargain, but they're up against a lot of powerful opponents.
Feb 25, 2022
Serving in the statehouse while running for Congress
Seven percent of the state legislature is currently running for Congress — that’s the largest number in recent years and it speaks to the many ways in which this is shaping up to a highly unusual year. Have comments for Purplish? email us at purplish@cpr.org.
Feb 10, 2022
The housing crisis comes home to the Capitol
With home values and rents rising at a dizzying rate, state lawmakers are rushing to try to address Colorado's housing crisis. They do have one ace up their sleeve: a whole lot of federal money.
Jan 27, 2022
Back to work at the Capitol
The legislature has gaveled in its session. The governor has laid out his agenda. The cost of living and rising crime are high on the list of priorities on both sides of the aisle. What lies ahead for this year's policymaking?
Jan 17, 2022
Remembering the January 6th Capitol Riot
When rioters broke into the U.S. Capitol a year ago, most members of the Colorado delegation were in the House and Senate chambers. A year later, the memories still haunt them.
Jan 06, 2022
What’s ahead when the legislature returns?
It's beginning to look at lot like politics, at least for our public affairs team; everywhere they go they seem to be hearing about what's ahead at the legislature...
Dec 09, 2021
Hey, did you hear there was an election?
And it gave us a lot to talk about.
Nov 05, 2021
Colorado Has A Map — If The Court Approves
With minutes left on the clock, the congressional redistricting commission approved a new map. We give you the lowdown on what it looks like, what it means, and how commissioners got there.
Sep 30, 2021
Redistricting Deadline Looms
Marathon Zoom sessions. Painstaking geographic descriptions. And the slow struggle toward something like consensus. We head inside the final days of the Congressional redistricting commission's work to see how they're trying to get it done.
Sep 24, 2021
Competition Vs Commonalities — A Conundrum For Redistricting
Colorado is one of the few states where the rules for redistricting encourage competitive districts. But is competition really all it's cracked up to be?
Sep 10, 2021
Colorado’s Got A Brand New Map (But It’s Not The Final Map – Yet)
Redistricting commission staff have released a new proposal that -- if adopted -- would make some dramatic changes to Colorado's congressional districts.
Sep 08, 2021
Communities Urge Redistricting Commission To Consider The Ties That Bind
Two stories in this episode about different communities that are hoping to persuade the commissions to take their concerns into account as they draw their maps.
Sep 03, 2021
A Road Trip Through Colorado’s (Maybe) 8th District
The first draft of the Congressional map puts the state's newest district north and east of Denver. We hit the road to hear what residents think of that idea.
Sep 01, 2021
Redistricting Highlights Challenges To Latino Representation
Denver's Northside, historic home of the Chicano movement, has been getting whiter over the last decade. At the same time, some suburbs, like Commerce City, have seen their Latino populations increase. How Colorado's new political maps reflect these changes could have a big impact on the state's Latino representation.
Aug 27, 2021
Colorado ‘Nonpartisan’ Redistricting Process Is Still Plenty Political
Republican relief, a bit of Democratic chagrin, and a whole lot of thumbs hoping to sneak onto all sorts of scales -- we look at the political side of Colorado's new approach to redistricting.
Aug 25, 2021
Redistricting: What You Need To Know To Learn The Things You Need To Learn
Colorado's redistricting is in the hands of new independent commissions -- we explain what led up to the change and how the process is works.
Aug 20, 2021
Get ready for Purplish: The Great Redraw
Redistricting: that once-in-a-decade process with huge implications for representation and the balance of power, in Colorado and nationwide. In a special season of Purplish, we look deep into how the state's new process is working and what may come of it.
Aug 19, 2021
That’s All, Folks!
Everything you need to know about the end of session, from 11th hour bill failures to last minute filibusters to post-session caucus infighting, all brought to you by two hosts who really, really need to get some sleep.
Jun 10, 2021
The Chopping Block
Several mysteries unfold at the Capitol as the final days of the legislative session approach.
Jun 04, 2021
Into The Whirlwind
We're down to the last two weeks of session and that means two things: rush, rush rush, and stall, stall, stall.
May 28, 2021
The Big Money Episode
Through new fees and tweaks to the tax code, Democrats are moving forward with policies that could bring in a lot of new money to state coffers, all without having to ask voters' permission.
May 21, 2021
Race, Politics and Racial Politics
Issues of race and systemic racism have boiled over repeatedly during this legislative session, in policy discussions and public comments, exposing deep divisions in lawmakers' views, and their lived experiences.
May 14, 2021
Where Are They Now?
Transportation. Guns. The public option. Climate change. We check back in on how four of the biggest policy areas of the session are shaping up.
May 07, 2021
Justice Reform, A Year After George Floyd
Some state lawmakers want to make even more changes to how police do their jobs, but their ideas face stiff opposition amid rising crime and changing politics.
Apr 30, 2021
Hot At The Legislature: Housing And Immigration
Renters and undocumented immigrants are two groups that could see their situations change significantly, under a slate of progressive policies at the statehouse.
Apr 23, 2021
What The Heck Is The Public Option?
Look, we know it's complicated. It could also be the biggest thing the state does on health care since the Affordable Care Act.
Apr 16, 2021
Maps, Data And Drama, Drama, Drama
Congressional redistricting is a one-in-a-decade political dogfight like no other, and this go-round in Colorado is starting off with some extra challenges.
Apr 09, 2021
Big Changes, Little Attention
You've heard a lot about health care, guns and transportation. But lawmakers are working on a ton of other ideas that will affect your life in ways you might not expect.
Apr 02, 2021
Gun Laws After Boulder
The mass shooting at a Boulder grocery store has Colorado Democrats rethinking how far they might be willing to push for more restrictive gun laws.
Mar 26, 2021
BONUS: Meet The Jared Polis And Anthony Fauci Of 1918
How did the Jared Polis of 1918 handle *his* deadly pandemic? After a year of living through COVID we decided it would be interesting to look back and tell the tale of Colorado politics during the Spanish flu. One big difference? A lot more moustaches.
Mar 23, 2021
Capitol Warming
Statehouse Democrats want to go big on climate change this year. Is Gov. Jared Polis ready to go along with them?
Mar 19, 2021
1.9 Trillion Is An Awfully Big Number
Congress signed off on spending an out-of-this-world number of Benjamins this week. The Purplish crew looks at what all that money means for Colorado.
Mar 12, 2021
Polis’s Pandemic Year
This episode of Purplish is brought to you by the letter P: For Polis, pandemic, policies, persuasion, piñata, and proposal.
Mar 05, 2021
Everything You Need To Know About Transportation Reform
It could be THE big issue at the state legislature this year, and we have all the details.
Feb 26, 2021
The State of the State is…
How would YOU finish that sentence, after the year we've all had?
Feb 19, 2021
On With The Show
This week, two Coloradans took center stage at the second impeachment trial of former president Trump, while back at the state capitol, state lawmakers are warming up for the restart of the legislative session, with plenty of big policies and political drama waiting in the wings.
Feb 12, 2021
Two Capitols, One Wild Week
Caitlyn Kim gives us the scene from DC, recording from the same room she had to hide from rioters in just over a week ago. Bente Birkeland has been back in the Colorado Capitol for the start of a legislative session unlike any other. And Andy Kenney, stuck at home with a baby, has a lot of questions for both of them.
Jan 15, 2021
BONUS BONUS EPISODE: An Extraordinary Session
Yes, that's actually what it's called.
Dec 04, 2020
BONUS EPISODE: Digesting Colorado’s Election Outcomes With Two Colorado Politics Insiders
Every election is a time of reckoning -- a chance for the state to look at its choices and divisions and consider where things go from here. To begin that conversation, this final episode of the season turns to two guests with a deep understanding of the state's politics and voters.
Nov 13, 2020
What The Heck Just Happened?
You know Colorado voted for Joe Biden, and chose John Hickenlooper over Cory Gardner. But what about all those ballot measures voters said yes to -- what will that mean for your life here? And hey, spare a thought for your state legislature; the balance of power came out basically static, and that's actually rather interesting. Intrigued? Good.
Nov 06, 2020
What We’re Watching For
Obviously the big headlines on election night will be who wins and who loses, which ballot measures pass and which fail. But elections also tell a story -- about where the state is now, and where it might be headed. And that's what our Purplish team looks ahead to in this, our last episode before the election!
Oct 30, 2020
On Voter Turnout, And Attempted Voter Turn-Offs
More than a million people have already cast ballots in Colorado. The Purplish team digs into who they are and what's motivating them to get it done so early. At the same time that lots of people are voting, there are also a lot of rumors flying about alleged attempts to prevent that from happening. A special guest joins to help separate fact from fiction.
Oct 23, 2020
Election Grab Bag
You know we’re getting close — the whole Purplish team is finally together in the studio for the first time. Hosts Caitlyn Kim, Andrew Kenney, and Bente Birkeland break down the U.S. Senate debates, dish about which presidential surrogates have been through to stump (the Veep’s nephew!
Oct 16, 2020
So Many Ballot Measures. Like, SO MANY
Eleven, to be precise. Do we manage to talk about all of them in a half hour? Heck no. But our team does dive deep on a few, while also talking about the larger dynamics at play on the ballot.
Oct 09, 2020
The One About Debates
What happens when two candidates who are both running as the "nice guy" in the race meet on stage? This week we look ahead to the upcoming run of Senate debates. What's at stake for Cory Gardner and John Hickenlooper? And what about that presidential debate, huh?
Oct 02, 2020
Ground Game, Grounded?
It's political gospel that to win a campaign, you've got to reach individual voters, the more directly the better. So how are campaigns adapting their techniques to meet the challenges of the pandemic? Plus, there's about to be a giant Supreme Court nomination fight in Washington. Do Colorado voters care?
Sep 25, 2020
Mail Ballot Blues
Some people worry the rapid move to mail ballots nationally is inviting massive fraud. Others fear postal slowdowns could sabotage the whole system. The Purplish team takes a local look at the reality behind the fears here in Colorado, a state with a long-running tradition of universal mail ballots.
Sep 18, 2020
Purplish Returns: The Election Season
CPR's Public Affairs team is back with your weekly dive into the upcoming election: the big races and the big issues, what we're hearing from candidates — and voters, and the moments that make us go wait... what? It's all here in the new season of Purplish.
Sep 11, 2020
BONUS: The Democrats Competing To Take On Cory Gardner
In this bonus episode, we talk to voters about the primary race for Colorado's U.S. Senate seat, between John Hickenlooper and Andrew Romanoff, and review the candidates' records.
Jun 19, 2020
The End Is Near
The legislature is on its final sprint to adjournment and we'll catch you up on everything they've done, and are still trying to do.
Jun 12, 2020
Protests, Policing, And Education Cuts
Last week lawmakers were laying aside even the most popular bills to make room to focus on the pandemic. But the past week of protests have pushed a new issue to the top of the agenda: police reform.
Jun 05, 2020
The Legislature Strikes Back
Lawmakers returned to work Tuesday in a changed world. The first order of business was to start laying aside most of their bills from the first half of session. The second order of business was to argue passionately about how they'll work from here on out. And the third was to set a new, pandemic-driven agenda. We discuss it all on this week's Purplish.
May 29, 2020
You Can’t Kiss Babies Over Zoom
…But that doesn’t mean candidates won’t try it in this, the most unusual of election seasons. This week on Purplish, hosts Andrew Kenney and Bente Birkeland dive into the weird world of virtual campaigning with CPR’s DC correspondent, Caitlyn Kim.
May 22, 2020
Budget Cuts and Building Rules
Lawmakers have a lot of decisions to make before they return to work at the end of May. Those are as big as cutting three billion dollars from the budget, and as small as where people will sit to achieve social distancing.
May 14, 2020
W(h)ither The Big Bills?
Remember the start of the legislative session, when all talk was about paid family leave, the public option, and how Jared Polis might use his power as governor in the months ahead? Yeah, it feels like a lifetime ago to us too.
Apr 16, 2020
Justice — And Many Other Things — Delayed
What happens to the right to a speedy trial when the court system is shut down during a pandemic? Can testing every last person in a small Western Colorado county yield new insights into the spread of coronavirus? What will life in Colorado look like the day after the "stay home" order lifts? And how much, really, will lawmakers actually try to push through once they're allowed back in the state capitol? Hosts Bente Birkeland and Andrew Kenney tackle those questions and more with CPR's Justice reporter, Allison Sherry.
Apr 10, 2020
Partisan Politics vs. Pandemic Politics
Times of crisis generally bring people together, but even in the depths of the coronavirus pandemic, politicians can only sing kumbaya for so long.
Apr 03, 2020
The ‘Stay At Home’ Order, Discussed By Three People Staying In Their Homes
Our hosts locked themselves in their bedrooms, or hid under blankets in their closets, to record this week's episode, which is all about the politics and practicalities of Gov. Jared Polis' statewide "stay at home" order.
Mar 27, 2020
Politics, Policy, and the Pandemic
The legislative session is on hiatus, but politics, governing, and Purplish all definitely go on. In fact, policy-making is going on at warp speed, as Gov. Jared Polis tries to lock down the state to slow the spread of the virus and Congress acts to blunt the economic pain from those moves.
Mar 21, 2020
Legislation In The Time Of Coronavirus
Lawmakers aren't getting ready for 100 years of solitude. Just two weeks or so.
Mar 14, 2020
Super Tuesday Might Not Mean What You Think In Colorado…
When is an election like a bad night of speed dating? When you’ve gone through five candidates and still aren’t so sure about the one you’re finally matched with. That was just one pithy observation our reporters brought back from covering Super Tuesday.
Mar 06, 2020
Sausage In The Making
Democrats in the state legislature say they’re ready to step into two big areas where they don’t think Coloradans are being well served: with the cost of their health insurance, and their access to paid family leave.
Feb 29, 2020
Out Of The Statehouse, Into The National Spotlight
With presidential candidates -- and the president himself -- flocking to Colorado, we take a look at the state of the race here, and its implication for Cory Gardner's hotly contested Senate seat.
Feb 22, 2020
Family Matters
It's one of the most passionate fault-lines in state politics: how to balance the authority of parents with the need to protect children and advance society's interests. And people at the Capitol have a LOT to say about it.
Feb 15, 2020
Big Ideas Incoming
We're a month into session, and Capitol newbie Andrew Kenney is starting to realize it's not all pithy quotes and snappy debates. Lawmakers are getting to wrestle with some of the session's most contested proposals.
Feb 08, 2020
The Matter Of Life And Death
Should Colorado keep the death penalty? As lawmakers once again debate abolition, it's a question that divides parties, and friends, at the state capitol.
Feb 01, 2020
The Political Is Personal
This week we're talking about some of the ways things can get personal -- very personal -- at the state capitol.
Jan 25, 2020
Things Democrats Disagree About
Colorado’s capitol is current firmly in the hands of the Democrats, so that means smooth sailing for all their policies right? Yeah, not so much.
Jan 18, 2020
Trailer: Purplish Reborn
A lot has happened, dear podcast listener, since Sam, Bente, and Megan chatted in our final episode last year. Sam decided he needs a break from the grind of politics and moved to the eminently more cheery beat of climate change.
Jan 11, 2020
Colorado’s 2019 legislative session is over. The last four months of frantic lawmaking were a test for Democrats, who took complete control of the state Capitol last November. This episode, we look back at everything they were able to achieve — and why arguments over process at times got in the way of their biggest goals. And how Republicans, who lacked the votes to block legislation, found other ways to make their voices heard. The result was a session that showed passing bills isn’t as simple as just having a majority.
May 09, 2019
The First Fractivist
Ken Crumb’s story likely sounds familiar. A Front Range resident sees oil and gas drilling in his community. He doesn’t like it and organizes his neighbors to pass a local drilling ban. The thing is, in Ken’s case, this all happened more than 30 years ago. And that community he rallied was Greeley -- not exactly a hotbed of anti-fracking sentiment today. This episode, we look back at perhaps Colorado’s first fractivist. What Ken did ended up limiting local control of oil and gas development. Now, Democratic lawmakers have passed a bill to tilt the scales back in the other direction.
Apr 06, 2019
Electoral College Dropouts
Colorado is on the verge of becoming the 12th state to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. The plan could someday commit all of Colorado’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who gets the most votes nationwide -- no matter who wins the state.
Mar 02, 2019
Could Colorado Fix Congress?
The last couple months have shown the depths of congressional dysfunction. Many think the problem isn’t so much the people who serve there. It’s a process that funnels all power to party leaders, stifling debate among the ranks. In 1988, Colorado voters recognized a similar issue in their state legislature. The remedy was something called the GAVEL Amendment -- an acronym for Give A Vote To Every Legislator.
Feb 02, 2019
BONUS: Hick At High Noon
After eight years as Colorado’s governor, John Hickenlooper appears to be gearing up for a presidential run. On the campaign trail, he’s almost certain to emphasize gun control laws he signed in 2013. He led a purple state as it beat back the gun lobby to pass two controversial measures. But what did he do -- or not do -- to make that happen? And what does the story of those laws say about how Hickenlooper leads? CPR Public Affairs Reporter Bente Birkeland breaks it down. And keep an eye on this podcast feed! It’s where we’ll tell you more about the return of Purplish for the imminent legislative session.
Jan 04, 2019
BONUS: What’s Next for Pur-plish?
Now that ballots have been cast and counted, CPR is trying to figure out what the future holds for Purplish.
Dec 06, 2018
Blue Avalanche
The midterm election has come and gone. In Colorado, what occurred wasn't a blue wave, it was a blue avalanche. It was a signal so strong that you could wonder if this is even a purple state anymore.
Nov 10, 2018
The Holdouts
Colorado boasts some of the highest voter turnout in the country. Seventy percent of eligible adults submitted a ballot in the 2016 election, putting the state fourth in the country for voter turnout. But that still means 30 percent of eligible adults sat it out. Why? Many of the common barriers to voting don’t exist in Colorado. The process is easy. The elections are competitive. So we’re turning to one group that can help with some answers: nonvoters themselves.
Nov 02, 2018
You Can’t Hack Paper
Security experts say Colorado is one of the most reliable places to cast a ballot. That’s largely because of an old technology: good, old-fashioned wood pulp.
Oct 27, 2018
The Prisoner Voting Dilemma
Unlike in other states, convicted felons in Colorado who have completed parole are allowed to vote. New laws require people leaving the criminal justice system to learn about their voting rights and give parolees the chance to pre-register. A bipartisan coalition is behind those changes, but how far is it willing to go toward re-enfranchising people within the criminal justice system?
Oct 19, 2018
Purple State Blues
Democratic presidential candidates are on a winning streak in Colorado. The state voted for Barack Obama twice and for Hillary Clinton in 2016. It’s been even longer since Colorado elected a Republican governor. Those results have led some to wonder if the state shouldn’t be considered purple anymore. On the electoral map, it might now be more of a light blue. One expert says not so fast.
Oct 12, 2018
Gerrymandering is on the Colorado ballot this November. Amendments Y and Z promise to take the politics out of the drawing of congressional and legislative boundaries. To do it, they would hand the responsibility to a pair of commissions made up of heavily screened citizens -- not politicians or their hand-picked representatives. This week on Purplish, we look back at the troubled 2011 redistricting process and how it led to the current calls for reform. And we discover the amendments aren’t just about putting politicians in line. They also try to balance voters' dueling desires for electoral power and community.
Oct 06, 2018
The Forgotten State Of Southern Colorado
Neglect can be a powerful political force. Southern Colorado spent a century mostly voting for Democrats, but in 2016 many countries in the region voted for President Trump. It was the first time some had supported a Republican in decades. The reason many voters cited was a sense of feeling forgotten by state and national politicians too focused on urban and suburban corridors. Reporters Nathaniel Minor and Allison Sherry recently visited Southern Colorado as a part of CPR’s election road trip series. They talked to voters about whether they feel like politicians are listening now--and what that could mean for November and beyond.
Sep 28, 2018
Walker Stapleton’s Family
A name can be a tricky thing for a politician. For Walker Stapleton, the Republican nominee for governor, his name does double duty, tying him to both a controversial Denver mayor and the Bush dynasty. Stapleton trumpeted both those ties at the beginning of his political career. Today, he’s running more as his own man. CPR’s Ann Marie Awad dives into both the legacies embodied in Walker Stapleton’s name--and examines whether either might matter on Election Day.
Sep 21, 2018
Jared Polis’ Money
Congressman Jared Polis has spent an unprecedented amount money on his campaign for governor. By the latest count, he’s donated $18.3 million of his own money. That’s more than the total candidate spending in the 2014 gubernatorial race. The Democratic nominee says self-financing buys him political independence. Unlike his opponent, he refuses donations from corporations and special interests, which he argues frees him to push bold proposals. Meanwhile, Republican nominee Walker Stapleton accuses Polis of trying to buy the election. These opposing talking points raise bigger questions. What does it mean for democracy when someone is ready, and able, to spend whatever it takes on a campaign? How does that change the dynamics of a race? And where does it leave voters? This episode looks back at the origin of the candidate’s fortune and how it’s long been a potent force in Colorado politics. And we’ll explore why he’s likely to be far from the last wealthy candidate in the state or the country.
Sep 14, 2018
The Signature Wars
In Colorado, voters have incredible power to pass laws at the ballot. The initiative process was born out of the Progressive Era. Reformers hoped that by giving people a say in state government, they could check special interests and their influence over lawmakers. Things haven't gone exactly as planned. Today, the initiative process is often Colorado's highest-stakes political poker game, attracting a wide range of corporations and wealthy donors. So has direct democracy made Colorado voters into scientists in the laboratory of democracy? Or the test subjects?
Sep 07, 2018
Introducing ‘Purplish’: A Podcast About Colorado Politics And The Forces That Shape It
“Purplish” is a show about Colorado's democracy ahead of the 2018 election. The podcast, hosted by Colorado Public Radio reporter Sam Brasch, goes behind the headlines to ask big questions about state government. Each episode hones in on a puzzling piece of news around the election. Explanations come from CPR reporters, experts and voters. The goal is to provide the context that’s often left out of election coverage. Rather than cover the horse race, it tells stories about how democracy works in Colorado and where it might be headed next.
Aug 30, 2018