Jerry Kopel

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.)

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