Verde Colorado pairs enviros and Hispanics

Editor’s note: This is the Cortez Journal’s weekly roundup of campaign news.

DENVER – Hispanics and environmentalists are two of the most potent groups in the Democratic Party’s coalition, but they usually don’t work together much. That changed this week, when Mi Familia Vota Education Fund and Colorado Conservation Voters teamed to deliver more than 14,000 petitions to Gov. John Hickenlooper in support of clean energy and raising concerns about hydraulic fracturing. They are working under the banner of a new campaign, Verde Colorado.

Hispanic voters in Pueblo and Denver’s north suburbs often brought up environmental issues to Mi Familia Vota campaign workers, said Grace López Ramirez, director of the group.

“These petitions signify real people. Real people sign these,” Lopez said.

She said the groups are hoping to build on their effort and cooperate more in the future.

Debate countdown: The eyes of the nation will be fixed on Colorado next Wednesday night for the first debate between President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney. Denver University plays host to the event.

Conservatives gather: Some of the leading lights on the right will be in Denver next Thursday for a one-day version of the Conservative Political Action Conference, which holds a popular annual gathering in Washington, D.C. Speakers include Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio; and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Romney returns: The Republican will be back in Denver on Monday night, and between him and Paul Ryan, it will be the campaign’s fourth Colorado rally in eight days.

Poll position: Colorado polls are being released frequently now, and the last three show positive news for Obama. He was winning by three, four and six points in polls by Purple Strategies, Gravis Marketing and Public Policy Polling, respectively. Still, Colorado remains one of the closest swing states, with slimmer leads for Obama in an average of all polls than most other states.

Countdown: 38 days until the November election; 16 days until mail voting begins. 10 days left to register to vote.