by Jerry Kopel
April 13, 2006
Unique: There is only one.
The present makeup of the executive and legislative leadership is unique in modern history.
Beginning in 1903 and through 2006, the state legislature has consisted of Democrats and Republicans. In 1901, Democrats controlled the House and Senate and there was a Democrat governor, James Orman. But there were, in the Senate, along with Republicans, seven Silver Republicans, six Populists, and one Single-Tax senator. In the House along with Republicans, there were eight Silver Republicans and 13 Populists.
From 1909 through 2006, Democrats have controlled the House and Senate eleven times (22 years). In ten of those terms, the governor was a Democrat.
Only 2005-06 is unique, a Democratic House and Senate and Bill Owens, a Republican governor.
Here are the other 20 years, the Democratic numbers and the Democratic governors.
Year House Senate Governor
1909 53 20 John Shafroth
1911 41 26 John Shafroth
1913 48 24 Elias Ammons
1917 40 18 Julius Gunter
1933 54 26 Ed Johnson
1935 50 29 Ed Johnson
1937 50 29 Teller Ammons
1957 38 21 Steve McNichols
1959 44 22 Steve McNichols
1961 33 19 Steve McNichols
* * *
Attention John Straayer, Tom Noel, Robert D. Loevy, and any others interested in reviewing the recent past. The Western History Section of the Denver Public Library now has in its possession, indexed on its computer 36 large boxes of material dealing with 1964 through 1992, the years I served in the state legislature.
In all the documents, speeches, and evidence of disputes, nothing has been "pulled". You will view both the good and the bad.
The index is equivalent to several hundred sheets of paper. To view the index on-line turn to Denver Public Library Catalogues, Jerry or Gerald Kopel Manuscripts. Information contained about the documents in each of the acid free folders is shown on screen by box and file folder numbers.
The documents referred to can be viewed at the Western History Section of the library with the assistance of a librarian who will obtain the particular file or files from the collection.
Part of the future is for me and the library archivists to persuade other retired legislators to submit their papers, making the library a unique depository of the state's legislative history for the last half century.
For those now reading this column, if you are a retired legislator who has saved, separated or indexed material from your terms of office, and willing to transfer and allow the public to view the material, please contact: Ellen Zazzarino, senior archivist/librarian, 720-865-1905; Ann Brown, archivist, 720-865-1906; or Joan Harms, acquisition specialist, 720- 865-1810.
You can provide great help for future historians doing substantive years of research.
(Jerry Kopel served 22 years in the Colorado House.)
Copyright 2015 Jerry Kopel & David Kopel