Purplish is CPR News' weekly podcast about state politics, state government, Colorado policy, and political identity. This season the show is hosted by public affairs reporters Bente Birkeland and Andrew Kenney. Each week while the legislature is in session, they'll break down the latest developments, look ahead to what's next, and dive into the bigger picture of what it all means for our not-red, not-blue, still pretty purple state.
Friday afternoons

Latest Episodes

  • 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.
    <p>A lone pump jack in a field south of Dacono, April 2, 2019.</p>
<p>A lone pump jack in a field south of Dacono, April 2, 2019.</p>
  • 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.
    <p>A Colorado elector holds a signed vote certificate during the electoral vote at the Capitol in Denver, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. Colorado's nine Democratic electors cast their votes for Hillary Clinton, who won the state.</p>
<p>A Colorado elector holds a signed vote certificate during the electoral vote at the Capitol in Denver, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. Colorado's nine Democratic electors cast their votes for Hillary Clinton, who won the state.</p>
  • 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.
  • 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.
    <p>In this May 30, 2018 file photo Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper speaks at the state Capitol.</p>
<p>In this May 30, 2018 file photo Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper speaks at the state Capitol.</p>
  • Now that ballots have been cast and counted, CPR is trying to figure out what the future holds for Purplish.
    CPR News logo stacked 3x2CPR News logo stacked 3x2
  • 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.
    <p>Governor-elect Jared Polis speaks at the Democratic election night party on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.</p>
<p>Governor-elect Jared Polis speaks at the Democratic election night party on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.</p>
  • 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.
    <p>Lynn Torre completes her ballot at a polling center, on state primary election day, in Boulder, Colo., Tuesday, June 28, 2016.</p><p>Lynn Torre completes her ballot at a polling center, on state primary election day, in Boulder, Colo., Tuesday, June 28, 2016.</p>
  • 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.
    Voided ballots are verified at the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder's office on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018.Voided ballots are verified at the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder's office on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018.

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