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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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