Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

The week ahead: Plenty of battles in this battleground state

Hitting the trail á la JibJab.

Looking for proof that Colorado’s a battleground state? Barack Obama will be in the Denver area today, his wife Michelle is coming in Wednesday, and Sarah Palin is slated for an October 4 visit. And more evidence will arrive in your mailbox soon, since ballots for the November election are slated to go out as early as October 3. That doesn’t give much time to the business consortium working to pull a trio of union-backed ballot measures off that list; that effort has an October 2 deadline. And even if those three are pulled off, there will be plenty of contentious proposals on the ballot. Get a fast course in their impact at assorted ballot seminars through October 7. (By the way, the last day to register to vote is October 6.)

There are many more battles in this battleground state, with FasTracks hearings on the project's fiscal challenges continuing in all fifteen RTD districts this week, and the governor’s transportation panel making tracks to hold meetings around the state.

And unless Congress votes to extend the moratorium, September 30 will mark the end of the ban on oil-shale ventures in Colorado, with hundreds of thousands of acres suddenly open to commercial development. And somehow, we think Congress will have its hands full with other oily operations over the next two days. -- Patricia Calhoun