Minor problem: The Colorado GOP could lose its official status as a major party

If Dan Maes fails to get 10 percent of the vote and the Republican Party slips to minor-party status in Colorado, it could face a major problem.

No, not the fundraising limitations that have already been reported — although major parties definitely have an advantage there, since donors to major-party candidates can contribute up to the cap for both the primary and general elections, while donors to minor parties can max out just once.

The bigger issue involves how many signatures a minor-party candidate needs to get on the ballot. To run for the Colorado Legislature, for example, a major-party candidate needs 1,000 signatures, or 30 percent of the number of votes cast in the last primary, while a minor-party candidate needs about half that. But the difference is even more stark in the higher offices: A major-party candidate for governor, for example, needs to collect 1,500 signatures from registered Republicans from each of the seven congressional districts — while a minor-party candidate has to collect only 1,000 signatures from registered voters across the state. "Their pool of people is a lot bigger," notes Rich Coolidge, spokesman for the Colorado Secretary of State.

That means that four years from now, a whole bunch of Dan Maeses might decide to jump into the political pool, making the Republican Party primary even more chaotic than it was this year. And consider that even if the Republican Party manages to keep its major-party status in Colorado, it will almost inevitably have company besides the Democratic Party: The American Constitution Party is headed for major-party status, too.

Cubism: Winter is on its way, but there are still signs of new life along the 16th Street Mall, including the skating rink that will open in Skyline Park the day after Thanksgiving, a new dessert cart that promises to debut sometime in the next few weeks, and a second installment of the YesPleaseMore Pop-Up Store, which opened last Friday.

The first round of the pop-up store popped up in April during Create Denver Week, an initiative of the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs. The temporary retail space was filled with affordable works by more than sixty local artists, who realized 70 percent of all sales — and that deal will continue in this second spot, on the second floor of the Denver Pavilions by Nike Town.

Now the city just needs to figure out what to do with the NewsCube, which closed in September, a couple of weeks after it opened. The NewsCube was supposed to be a 21st-century version of a newsstand, but the Downtown Denver Partnership — which had championed the business — ended up getting into a dispute with NewsCube owner Molly Graham.

"We've requested that they take it down because we want the space for future vendors," says DDP spokeswoman Sarah Neumann. But it's also possible the Partnership will take over the shuttered black box. "That conversation is still under way," Neumann acknowledges. "There may be a way to repurpose it."

That's just what we were thinking! Our helpful list of suggestions:

10) Emergency homeless shelter with bunk beds

9) Sheltered B-cycle station

8) Drunk tank

7) Musical instrument storage for panhandlers

6) Bikini barista coffee shop

5) Corral for would-be flier distributors

4) Blank palette for graffiti artists

3) Tiny greenhouse for winter vegetables

2) YesPleaseMore Pop-Up Store annex

1) Newsstand

 
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