Bill Ritter

  • Blogs

    March 11, 2013

    Lance Armstrong's host for anti-doping meeting before fall from grace? Bill Ritter

    In August 2010, then-Governor Bill Ritter joined Lance Armstrong to kick off a glamorous new event in Colorado: a bike race originally dubbed the Quiznos Pro Challenge. But as the race revved up for a second round (now under the name USA Pro Challenge), Armstrong took a back-seat role -- and then di ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 25, 2011

    Michael Hancock's former headquarters is available -- lease a winner!

    ​Want to run for political office? Have we got a deal for you! The luckiest address in Denver, 1100 Bannock Street, has a "for lease" sign on the door, and this golden spot in the Golden Triangle doesn't rent to losers.

  • Blogs

    January 10, 2011

    Bill Ritter's commutations draw praise, bitter rebukes

    Mitchell.​Only days after I posted a few remarks about Bill Ritter's play-it-safe approach to pardons and his reluctance to commute excessive sentences, the departing governor delivered a slew of bolder pardons and even a few commutations, stunning some grateful convicts and raising hackles el ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 6, 2011

    Bill Ritter takes his last ride in the National Western Stock Show Parade (PHOTO)

    ​Outgoing Governor Bill Ritter mounted up for a ride through the streets of downtown Denver Thursday as part of the National Western Stock Show Parade, an annual tradition that kicked off at Union Station at noon. See him in action below.

  • Blogs

    December 27, 2010

    Bill Ritter plays it safe on pardons

    Governor Bill Ritter​In their last days in office, some governors have been known to make bold moves in the criminal justice arena, denouncing ruinous policies and commuting long sentences as a way of highlighting unfair biases in the system. As demonstrated by the modest set of pardons he d ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 25, 2010

    Medical marijuana: Does using $9 million in fees for budget shortfall screw MMJ patients?

    ​Although Governor Bill Ritter signed medical marijuana bills earlier this year, he's never been a big fan of the stuff. Still, he hopes to use $9 million in MMJ fees to help fill a $60 million budget hole -- a decision that angers advocates upset by the tremendous backlog of unprocessed licen ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 19, 2010

    Bill Ritter and plagiarism: Did governor pull a Scott McInnis in 2008 remarks?

    Did Ritter pull a McInnis?​Is Bill Ritter guilty of plagiarizing? That's what investigative website Face the State seems to be suggesting, having dug up a 2008 Veterans Day commentary bylined by Ritter in 2008 that has more than a passing resemblance to a Veterans Day speech given by Oregon G ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 8, 2010

    Medical marijuana signings: Bill Ritter holds no pot party

    ​The announcements kept coming from the governor's office yesterday: Bill Ritter would be signing this bill in front of this group, that bill in front of that group, with his eye on hitting constituencies across the state -- and also hitting the June 11 deadline for action on all bills coming ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 26, 2010

    Bill Ritter's baby steps toward prison reform

    The pen is mightier than the pen: Governor Bill Ritter signs a drug sentencing reform bill. ​After the embarrasing political scrum over the sex offender bill that prompted Governor Bill Ritter to veto the mess last week, it's easy to overlook the fact that something was actually accomplished o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 24, 2010

    Bill Ritter did the right thing by vetoing sex offender bill

    ​Governor Bill Ritter will sign a slew of bills this week -- the deadline for action on all legislation coming out of this past session is June 11 -- but he put HB 1364 on a fast track, Vetoing the bill Friday afternoon. He did the right thing. As the longtime Denver District Attorney, Ritter ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 11, 2010

    Governor Bill Ritter in Colorado political tarot deck: Kenny Be's Hip Tip

    #22 of the 22 Major Arcana: Bill Ritter, the World... Kenny Be​

  • Blogs

    May 7, 2010

    Syringe exchange bill passes Senate, House

    ​ A bill to legalize syringe exchange programs in Colorado has passed the state legislature and is now headed to Governor Bill Ritter's desk. Ritter was a vocal supporter of needle exchanges when he was Denver's district attorney in the 1990s, and we've asked his spokesman if the governor plan ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 19, 2010

    Bill Ritter won't get any more ribbing about his bicycle riding

    Bill Ritter celebrates not going to the hospital.​We bring you three blogs about Denver things. Click on them for proof. At 5280, Michael de Yoanna describes Bill Ritter's first major bicycle ride since his rib-fracturing accident in March as "no sweat." And no trip to the emergency room, eit ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 2, 2010

    Bill Ritter in hospital for bicycle injury: Terrorism not suspected

    "What else can happen to me?"​So... I'm writing up a blog about a bill requiring children to wear helmets while riding bikes -- and Representative Larry Liston's amendment to make boys also wear crush resistant athletic cups -- when word surfaces about Governor Bill Ritter injuring himself in ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 18, 2010

    Bill Ritter, Denver leaders invoke Martin Luther King on Martin Luther King Day: No, seriously

    ​In a seemingly off-the-cuff jolt of enthusiasm for the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Governor Bill Ritter this morning tossed aside the standard "we still have work to do" speech clichés and delivered something different: a gubernatorial sermon. At the kickoff for Denver's 25th MLK ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 7, 2010

    Wake-Up Call: Democratic Déjà vu all over again

    ​In December 2008, would-be candidates -- a dozen of them, by casual count -- were all counting on Governor Bill Ritter appointing Denver mayor John Hickenlooper to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Ken Salazar, a move that would opened up the top job in City Hall. Ritter went with Michael Benn ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 7, 2010

    Are you sitting down? Good -- because Colorado Democrats have a deep bench

    ​By now, the rest of the country knows that Colorado Democrats are either very tired or have fat butts. They must, because they keep talking about benches -- deep ones. "The Colorado Democratic Party has a deep bench, there are a lot of people who are able to step in and do this job," Governo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 6, 2010

    Bill Ritter's pull-out: Which Democrat will want to try to clean up this mess?

    Bill Ritter, looking a bit baffled about how to respond. Today, his fellow Dems know the feeling.​At this time yesterday, did you think the big news in Colorado would be Governor Bill Ritter's impending announcement that he won't run for reelection in November? If your answer is "yes," you're ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 6, 2010

    Scott McInnis's spokesman: We're ready for the b-team

    The grin you see here is pasted on Scott McInnis's face at this very moment.​Sean Duffy, spokesman for Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis, wants to make sure his guy gets a good share of the credit for Bill Ritter's impending announcement that he's going to pull out of the govern ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 6, 2010

    Dick Wadhams thinks Bill Ritter was done in by sucky poll numbers, a bad environment for Dems -- and the Stephanie Villafuerte nomination?

    Dick Wadhams is already consigning Bill Ritter to history's dustbin.​Colorado Republican Party chieftain Dick Wadhams plans to attend the 11 a.m. press conference today at which Bill Ritter is expected to announce that he won't be a candidate for governor in November, in part to bid farewell. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 6, 2010

    Bill Ritter, Scott McInnis and Ken Salazar's statements: Spin-a-go-go!

    "I'm gonna talk -- but I'm not really gonna say anything."​Update, 2:26 p.m.: Republican Senate candidate Jane Norton has jumped into the commenting-on-Bill Ritter fun. Look below for her take. Update, 2:13 p.m.: New statements just in about Ritter's withdrawal from Senator Mark Udall and Rep ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 15, 2009

    Wake-Up Call: Governor Bill Ritter exhales... and talks about pot

    ​"I was thinking I've got five minutes to go and no one has asked me about medical marijuana... that's a good thing," Governor Bill Ritter said. And then, just five minutes before the governor had to leave Monday's legislative briefing, it came: the inevitable question about medical marijuana. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 9, 2009

    How can child abuse best be prevented in Colorado? Officials disagree...

    Chandler Grafner, seven, died of starvation at the hands of his caregivers in 2007.​The debate over how to serve the state's neediest citizens, including abused children, has come to a head in the weeks since a governor-appointed committee recommended that the state should take over county res ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 10, 2009

    Live blog: Bill Ritter's budget meets the Joint Budget Committee

    Bill Ritter is budgeting his time -- and timing his budget.​Editor's note: Westword is live blogging Governor Bill Ritter's presentation to the state's Joint Budget Committee about his proposed 2010-11 budget. The state is facing a $1.02 billion shortfall. The most recent posts are at the top. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 6, 2009

    Fast-track this: Five untapped Colorado energy sources

    Thar she blows: The Penry-Huttner Geothermal Project.​The Department of the Interior just designated six renewable energy projects, including a 400-megawatt solar tower, as "fast-track" developments deserving of the highest priority. All six of the projects happen to be in California. Hard t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 3, 2009

    Will new blood breathe life into Ritter's clemency board?

    New clemency board appointee Allison Ailer.​Last month's feature, "The Forgotten," focused on clemency -- an executive power that prosecutor-turned-governor Bill Ritter has been reluctant to use. We showed how modifying the sentences of even a handful of state inmates who've received draconian ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 19, 2009

    Scott "Fear Factor" McInnis is very, very concerned about your safety

    ​Governor Bill Ritter's modest proposal to parole hundreds of inmates a few weeks or months before their mandatory release date, thereby cutting millions from the state budget, has become the political whipping boy for his most opportunistic critics, from GOP legislators to Weld County Distric ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 3, 2009

    Turn off the heat? Was Bill Ritter drunk?

    Bill Ritter.​When reports surfaced that Governor Bill Ritter was considering diverting $1.3 million earmarked for extra drunk-driving patrols to help close the budget gap, I started a mental stopwatch to time how long it would be before he'd have to eat shit regarding this misbegotten plan. An ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 27, 2009

    Odd couples show off their fun bags for Denver Mag

    John Hickenlooper and Bill Ritter let their hair down (click to enlarge).​In today's Denver Post, media writer Joanne Ostrow takes on the September cover of Denver Magazine, in which Channel 31 stars Libby Weaver and Natalie Tysdal are transformed from anchors to shank-ers. After spotlighting ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 24, 2009

    Wake-Up Call: The DNC's island of misfit toys

    ​I'm looking across the highway at the Pepsi Center and Invesco Field at Mile High, the settings for so many memorable sights during the Democratic National Convention, which kicked off exactly a year ago today. And between them -- at least from this vantage point -- is Elitch Gardens, where, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 19, 2009

    Bill Ritter's campaign-style defense of new budget

    Bill Ritter puts on a happy face.​Yesterday, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter presented a new budget that includes nearly 300 state job cuts and the early release of some prisoners, among other politically toxic proposals. In an effort to sell it, Ritter penned (or at least authorized) an op-ed f ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 17, 2009

    Bill Ritter carries Barack Obama's water on Meet the Press

    Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy In the wake of President Barack Obama's town hall in Grand Junction on Saturday, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter got some spotlight time on the next day's edition of Meet the Press, claiming that Obama's mediocre poll numbers r ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 7, 2009

    Beers and Brewhahas: Bill Ritter vs. Labor Unions and his own party

    chug-a-lug​If the president can do it, so can everyone else. What Colorado needs now are more sudsy sit-downs. Here's an example (see our previous pairings here, here and here): Dispute: Bill Ritter vs. Labor Unions and his own party Beer: Steamworks Brewing Company's Colorado Kolsch ​ ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 3, 2009

    Happy Birthday to Colorado and its canny State Capitol

    State of ColoradoYummy!​ Happy Birthday Colorado. You are 133, and frankly, you are looking a little worse for wear. But that's okay because we're celebrating you anyway on Colorado Day. Although Colorado officially became a state on August 1, 1876, it technically honors that day on the firs ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 17, 2009

    Wake-up call: Return to sender

    Yesterday, a reader sent me this note: The other day I got a letter in my mail box from Governor Bill Ritter about Long Term Care. It is great to see him helping out Coloradans with a very important life experience issue. I applaud his efforts. However, it pained me to see the postage permit on ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 15, 2009

    Denver Blogs: Promises, promises

    Our daily tour of the local blogoshpere. Send tips. Is Bill Ritter passing the buck on health care? (5280) More Ritter: He really, really likes his bike. (Face the State) The ethanol industry descends on Denver to try to save itself. (Colorado Independent)

  • Blogs

    June 11, 2009

    Bill Ritter gets defensive on Channel 9

    Bill Ritter as he appeared on Channel 9 last night. It's not a lot of fun to be Bill Ritter these days. The governor swept into office with high marks from a broad coalition of voters, but of late, he's managed to piss off plenty of longtime supporters -- including grocery store workers and firefig ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 10, 2009

    John Hickenlooper's savvy response to the Dump Ritter movement

    John Hickenlooper. Governor Bill Ritter's continued success at turning friends into foes has caused even some supporters to doubt his political aptitude -- but no one questions Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper's talents in this area. Today's front-page story in the Denver Post, about his disinterest ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 8, 2009

    Wake-Up Call: All over but the shouting

    The last bill of the legislative session has been signed, and it's all over but the shouting -- particularly in front-page stories over the governor's vetoes of union-friendly bills (and likely when the governor is on Mike Rosen's show at 9:15 a.m.). But Bill Ritter also managed to please at least ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 5, 2009

    The Bill Ritter friends-into-foes transformation continues

    Bill Ritter keeps his pen busy in a photo from the Colorado AFL-CIO's Employee-Free Choice page. Earlier this week, Governor Bill Ritter got an earful from grocery workers while signing a bill they saw as a full-frontal attack on them at a time when they're involved in a contract drama with three ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 3, 2009

    Bill Ritter turning friends into enemies

    A Flickr photoBill Ritter. As of this writing, shockingly enough, no one's uploaded a video to YouTube of angry grocery workers confronting Governor Bill Ritter at a bill-signing ceremony yesterday -- but expect it to pop up soon enough, adding one more smudge to the good-guy image that helped get ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 21, 2009

    Wake-Up Call: The show must go on

    "Denver Stories" is a genius marketing move: Every May, Curious Theatre Company picks four local celebs (or what passes for a celeb in this town), has a local playwright create a short play about them, and then produces all four on one evening that turns into a giant fundraising event. The result ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 11, 2009

    Wake-Up Call: Hit the road

    Governor Bill Ritter is heading down to Colorado Springs today, where he'll host a town-hall meeting and sign a number of bills. And along the way, he'll no doubt pass a handful of unauthorized signs along I-25, all asking, "Why does Ritter hate El Paso County?" Why indeed? I asked Evan Dreyer, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 1, 2009

    Denver Blogs: Ritter, and the power of his pen

    Our daily tour of the Colorogosphere. Send tips. Did Bill Ritter promise to sign the death-penalty-repeal bill? He says no. The always-reliable Society of Nameless Internet Commenters say yes. (Colorado Pols) No nameless commenters necessary: Ritter will sign a bill extending health benefits to sa ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 29, 2009

    Wake-Up Call: Mall in the family

    At Monday's tourism rally, Governor Bill Ritter urged us to "Rediscover Colorado" this summer. I started by walking the length of the 16th Street Mall at lunch yesterday, and found that this seventeen-block stretch -- touted as the most successful pedestrian mall in the country and one of this tow ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 8, 2009

    Did Governor Ritter flip-flop on needle exchange?

    Listen to Ritter's testimony on a 1998 bill seeking to legalize syringe exchange in Colorado. Colorado lawmakers last tackled the legalities of syringe exchange -- the topic of this week's feature "Ahead of the Needle" -- eleven years ago, when they tried to change the state law prohibiting it. The ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 12, 2009

    Denver Blogs: When in Florence, it's kind of hard to be governor

    When he's not hanging with Willie Nelson, Bill Ritter is... hanging in Italy? Here some links to things about things we hope may interest you. If not, come back tomorrow and we'll give it another go. Feel free to try to influence us. What might help Bill Ritter fix Colorado is being in Colorado. ( ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 27, 2009

    Wake-Up Call: After a hundred years, the News goes fast

    When the official news came down at noon yesterday that today would be the last day for the Rocky Mountain News, I was at a Colorado Press Association luncheon -- in a painful bit of timing, the state's newspapers are holding their annual convention in Denver this week -- at the governor's mansion. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 9, 2009

    Wake-Up Call: Stimulate This

    The last time this state's economy went bust, Colorado fought its way back by constructing Denver International Airport. That's not going to be an option this time, Governor Bill Ritter said as he walked along DIA's Concourse B Thursday, off on a fast (less than 24-hour) trip to the East Coast to br ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 26, 2009

    Wake-Up Call: The week ahead, from calf-ropin' to budget-bustin'

    Governor Bill Ritter was at the last day of the National Western Stock Show, taking in the rodeo with his family (Ritter was one of twelve kids, all raised on a farm in eastern Aurora) -- and enjoying a few light moments before the hard work of the week ahead. When a steer broke free of his handlers ... More >>

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