Claire Levy

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Claire Levy
Colorado-Rep-Claire-Levy.jpg
Member of the Colorado House of Representatives
from the 13th district
In office
January 10, 2007 – October 31, 2013
Preceded by Tom Plant
Succeeded by KC Becker
Personal details
Born (1956-07-03) July 3, 1956 (age 58)
Bloomington, Indiana
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) David Driscoll
Children Mara
Ellie
Residence Boulder, Colorado
Alma mater Case Western Reserve University
Carleton College
Profession Attorney
Religion Jewish

Claire Levy (born July 3, 1956[1]) is a former legislator in the U.S. state of Colorado. Elected to the Colorado House of Representatives as a Democrat in 2006, Levy represented House District 13, which encompasses Clear Creek, Gilpin, and eastern Boulder counties.[2] Levy was named the Executive Director of the Colorado Center on Law and Policy on November 1, 2013.[3] The Colorado Center on Law and Policy is a Denver-based nonprofit organization working to advance the health, economic security and well-being of low-income Coloradans through research, education, advocacy and litigation.

Early career[edit]

Raised in Indiana,[4] Levy earned a bachelor's degree from Carleton College in Minnesota in 1978, and then a J.D. from Case Western Reserve University, 1982.[1]

Moving to Denver in 1982,[4] Levy worked as a deputy public defender in the Colorado State Public Defender's Office from 1983 to 1986,[1] representing indigents accused of felonies. After moving to Boulder in 1986, Levy briefly worked in private practice[4] with Buchan, Gray, Purvis, and Scheutze. In 1989,[1] she took a job in the Jefferson County Attorney's office focusing on land use and planning issues. Since 1999, Levy has worked in private practice in Boulder.[4]

Levy has served as a precinct captain for the Boulder County Democratic Party, on the boards of PLAN Boulder County (where she has also been vice-chair and chair), the Boulder Arts Academy, and the Boulder Ballet, and as a member of the Boulder County Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee (including three years as its chair), the Boulder County Housing Authority, and the City of Boulder Planning Board.[4][5] Levy has two daughters, Mara and Ellie.[1]

Legislative career[edit]

2006 campaign[edit]

Claire Levy faced Jim Rettew, an instructor at the University of Colorado in the Democratic Party primary for House District 13 to succeed term limited Rep. Tom Plant.[6] In the reliably Democratic district, the two candidates differed primarily on emphasis, rather than the substance of issues, with Levy placing her focus on global warming, schools and health care.[7] Levy also accumulated an extensive list of endorsements from local organizations and Democratic Party leaders.[8][9]

Levy won 71% of the vote at the party assembly for the house district, forcing Rettew to petition onto the primary ballot. She again prevailed in the primary election, earning over 60% of the popular vote and the Democratic Party's nomination for the legislature.[10] Having won her party primary and facing only a Libertarian opponent, Levy dedicated her political efforts during the remainder of the election season to promoting Referendum I, a statewide domestic partnerships initiative.[11] In the general election, Levy defeated Libertarian Rand Fanshier with over 80% of the vote.[12]

2007 legislative session[edit]

In the 2007 session of the Colorado General Assembly, Levy sat on the House Judiciary Committee, the House Transportation and Energy Committee, the Legal Services Committee, and was vice-chair of the Joint Rule 36 Complaint Committee.[13] The Rule 36 complaint committee reviews allegations of misconduct by lobbyists, and, during the 2007 session, heard a case involving robocalls made by a lobbyist for business leaders;[14] Levy voted with the majority of the committee, which found that the calls, although deceptive, were protected political speech.[15]

During the 2007 session, Levy was a prominent proponent of legislation related to energy efficiency standards.[16] Successful legislation introduced by Levy included measures to require local governments to include updated energy-efficiency standards in building codes,[17][18] to require utility companies to provide rebates to customers who use energy-efficient products, [19] and to add a 50-cent fee to natural gas bills to pay for energy-efficiency programs.[20] She was also the House sponsor of a Senate bill to impose new energy-efficiency standards on state buildings.[21]

Following the legislative session, Levy sat on the interim Transportation Legislation Review Committee.[22]

She received a total score of 4.0 out of a possible 100 for her votes that related to taxation from the Colorado Union of Taxpayers during the 2007 session.[23]

2008 legislative session[edit]

In the 2008 session of the Colorado General Assembly, Levy sat on the House Judiciary Committee, the House Transportation and Energy Committee, and the Joint Legal Services Committee; she also sat on a special committee that recommended the censure of Rep. Douglas Bruce for kicking a photographer, [24] and a special ethics panel investigating possible conflicts of interest for Colorado State Fair engineering contracts received by Sen. Abel Tapia.[25] She was also named assistant chair of the house majority caucus for the 2008 session of the Colorado General Assembly.[26]

In the 2008 legislative session, Levy introduced bills to prioritize transportation funds for communities that engage in smart growth planning,[27][28] to impose new fees on vehicles with low fuel economies to fund the state's Office of Smart Growth,[29] and a bill to extend state tax credits for historic preservation.[30] A bill to require electric utilities to devote 2 percent of sales revenue to energy efficiency programs[31] passed the house over objections that it would prove costly to municipal electric authorities.[32]

Another of Levy's bills would have given judges, rather than prosecutors, discretion over whether minors can be charged as adults in criminal court.[33] Although the legislation passed the state house,[34] and was weakened in the Senate before final passage, it was vetoed by Gov. Bill Ritter, a former prosecutor.[35][36]

Levy's campaign treasurer, Edith Stevens, was the target of vocal public criticism in late 2007 after she and her husband, a former district judge, won control of a parcel of a neighbor's property through adverse possession. Levy stood behind Stevens and her husband under pressure to disassociate them from her campaign,[37] but Stevens ultimately resigned from her position as Levy's campaign treasurer.[38] Following the controversy, Levy signed on during the 2008 session as a co-sponsor on legislation to modify Colorado's adverse possession law,[39] and introduced legislation that would prevent county and district court judges from presiding over cases involving another current or former judge from the same jurisdiction.[40] Both measures were passed by the General Assembly[41] and were signed into law by Gov. Ritter.[42]

In response to recommendations issued by a state commission on health care, Levy has expressed a desire to introduce legislation to create a single-payer health care system in Colorado,[43] and has indicated that she may sponsor such a bill late in the 2008 session.[44]

Levy was also a prominent voice of opposition to increased spending on security measures for the state capitol following a 2007 shooting in the building, arguing that existing security was sufficient and that the capitol was not a high-profile target.[45][46]

Late in the 2008 legislative session, Levy announced that she would sponsor legislation to require disclosure by corporations of self-owned, or "captive" real estate investment trusts, a practice she denounced as a "a tax-evasion scheme" used by companies including Wal-Mart.[47] Although the measure passed the state legislature, it was vetoed by Gov. Bill Ritter, who cited problematic "technical aspects of the bill."[48]

2008 election[edit]

Levy sought seeking a second term in the Colorado House of Representatives in 2008. She faced businessman Robert Houdeshell,[49] who entered the race in June 2008.[50] During the campaign, Levy cited energy efficiency, health care, and education as her top priorities for a second term.[51] Levy's re-election bid was endorsed by the Denver Post,[52] the Boulder Daily Camera,[53] and the Boulder Weekly.[54] She won re-election with 74 percent of the popular vote.[55]

During the 2008 election cycle, Levy moderated a Sierra Club-sponsored debate between Democratic Colorado State Senate candidates Cindy Carlisle and Rollie Heath,[56] and backed Joan Fitz-Gerald in the contested Democratic primary for Colorado's 2nd Congressional district.[57]

In this legislative session, she received a score of 11.11 out of a possible 100 from the Colorado Union of Taxpayers.[58] She introduced HB-1033 Tax Credit for Historic Preservation, which extended income tax credits for ten years for qualified costs in preservation of historic properties. This shifted renovation costs of private property to the taxpayers, which resulted in less money in the Highway Users Tax Fund.[58] The full cost of HB-1033 to the taxpayer was $565,000 in fiscal year 2009/10, and is estimated at $1,130,000 annually from 2010/11 through 2018/19.[58]

2009 legislative session[edit]

For the 2009 legislative session, Levy was named to a seat on the Legislative Legal Services Committee and tapped to chair the House Judiciary Committee[59] her selection was criticized by some House Republicans, who alleged that she was "soft on crime."[14] After winning a second term, Levy was also elected Majority Whip by state house Democrats.[60][61] Shortly before the beginning of the session, Levy was also named to a five-member ethics panel charged with investigating allegations of vote-buying on the part of Rep. David Balmer in a house leadership election;[62] the case against Balmer was dropped due to lack of evidence.[63][64]

In response to incidents of distracted driving in Colorado news, Levy first planned on sponsoring legislation to restrict text messaging while driving;[65] however, after a fatal Colorado accident in November 2008, Levy expanded the bill's scope to ban both texting and cell phone headset use while driving.[66][67][68] However, the final version that passed the legislature was significantly weakened, banning cell phone use only by drivers under 18, but still banning texting while driving for adult drivers.[69] Although criticized by some law enforcement personnel as difficult to enforce, the ban went into effect in December 2009.[70][71]

She introduced SB-051 Concerning measures to facilitate the financing of energy-efficient structures. This Bill significantly increased the role of the state in forcing citizens to use solar energy. The program administrators, who are unelected, will award the contracts worth tens of millions of dollars.[72] In 2009, she received a score of 9.68 out of a possible 100 from the Colorado Union of Taxpayers based on her voting record in relation to government spending.[72]

Levy again sponsored legislation to close a tax loophole for captive real estate investment trusts,[73] and a bill to allow voters to drop off mail ballots at polling places.[74] Two environmental measures sponsored by Levy failed — bills to create a corridor capacity strategic plan for the state transportation system[75] and a bill to allow rural electric cooperatives to implement energy efficiency programs.[75][76]

Near the end of the legislative session, Levy was the house sponsor of a failed sentencing reform measure which would reduce penalties for non-violent criminal offenders.[77][78] Following the legislative session, Levy, a member of the Colorado Commission on Criminal & Juvenile Justice,[79] was a member of a commission task force charged with studying possible sentencing reforms.[80][81]

2010 legislative session[edit]

During the 2010 Colorado General Assembly, Levy plans on sponsoring legislation to require jail time for repeat DUI offenders,[82][83][84] and legislation to require additional disclosure surrounding board elections for rural electric cooperatives.[85] In 2010, she received a score of 8.33 out of a possible 100 from the Colorado Union of Taxpayers for her voting record in relation to government spending.[86]

2010 election[edit]

2011 legislative session[edit]

2012 legislative session[edit]

2012 election[edit]

In the 2012 General Election, Representative Levy faced Republican challenger Adam Ochs. Levy was reelected by a wide margin of 67% to 27% with an additional 5% of the vote going to libertarian candidate Howard P. Lambert.[87][88]

Resignation from Colorado House of Representatives[edit]

Levy resigned her position in the Colorado House of Representatives on October 31, 2013 to become the Executive Director of the Colorado Center on Law and Policy on November 1, 2013.[89]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Representative Levy". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved December 14, 2007. 
  2. ^ "State House District 13". COMaps. Retrieved December 23, 2007. 
  3. ^ Colorado Center on Law and Policy (2013) www.cclponline.org
  4. ^ a b c d e "About Claire Levy". Claire Levy for House District 13. Archived from the original on December 28, 2007. Retrieved December 18, 2007. 
  5. ^ "Claire Levy - Colorado - State House District 13 candidate". RockyMountainNews.com. Retrieved December 18, 2007. 
  6. ^ Bounds, Amy (July 29, 2006). "Levy pushes local roots, land-use experience". Boulder Daily Camera. Retrieved December 18, 2007. [dead link]
  7. ^ Uhls, Anna (July 28, 2006). "District 13 hopefuls debate state issues". Boulder Daily Camera. Retrieved December 18, 2007. [dead link]
  8. ^ peterco (June 1, 2006). "Democratic Primaries". SquareState.net. Retrieved December 18, 2007. 
  9. ^ "Endorsements". Claire Levy for House District 13. Archived from the original on December 27, 2007. Retrieved December 18, 2007. 
  10. ^ Bounds, Amy (August 8, 2006). "Levy gets Dems' nod for House District 13". Boulder Daily Camera. Retrieved December 18, 2007. [dead link]
  11. ^ Schmidt, Eric (August 9, 2006). "Campaigns shifting gears". Boulder Daily Camera. Retrieved December 18, 2007. [dead link]
  12. ^ Rebresh, Kerri (December 6, 2006). "Know Your Legislator: Claire Levy". Colorado Confidential. Retrieved December 18, 2007. 
  13. ^ "House Committees of Reference". Colorado General Assembly. Retrieved December 11, 2007. 
  14. ^ a b Bartels, Lynn (April 11, 2007). "Legislative panel forming to hear ethics case". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved December 18, 2007. [dead link]
  15. ^ Gathright, Alan (May 11, 2007). "Lobbyist not subject to ethics rule". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved December 18, 2007. 
  16. ^ Raabe, Steve (December 7, 2006). "Ritter vows to develop "clean-energy coalition"". Denver Post. Retrieved December 18, 2007. 
  17. ^ Brown, Jennifer (February 15, 2007). "Green means go for bills". Denver Post. Retrieved December 18, 2007. 
  18. ^ Chakrabarty, Greg (February 17, 2007). "No place like (a green) home". Rocky Mountain News. Archived from the original on August 21, 2007. Retrieved December 18, 2007. 
  19. ^ Staff Report (May 23, 2007). "Burned boy reaches hospital; mom held". Denver Post. Retrieved December 18, 2007. 
  20. ^ Staff Report (February 6, 2007). "Under the dome, 2/7". Denver Post. Retrieved December 18, 2007. 
  21. ^ Staff Report (April 4, 2007). "On the side". Denver Post. Retrieved December 18, 2007. 
  22. ^ "Transportation Legislation Review Committee 2007". Colorado Legislative Council. Retrieved April 27, 2008. [dead link]
  23. ^ http://www.coloradotaxpayer.org/New/CUT-Brochure-2007.pdf
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  26. ^ "Rep. Morgan Carroll Introduces HOA Due Process & ADR Bill". Colorado Capitol Journal. January 19, 2008. Retrieved January 20, 2008. 
  27. ^ Sealover, Ed (December 16, 2007). "Lawmakers say policies must help cut driving". Colorado Springs Gazette. Retrieved December 18, 2007. 
  28. ^ Washington, April M (September 21, 2007). "Colorado driving up emissions". Rocky Mountain News. Archived from the original on November 6, 2007. Retrieved December 18, 2007. 
  29. ^ Ingold, John (December 5, 2007). "Hogs girdled for funds?". Denver Post. Retrieved December 18, 2007. 
  30. ^ Fryar, John (May 10, 2007). "From sports ticket sales to solar energy, 170 bills were locally generated proposals". Longmont Times-Call. Retrieved May 11, 2008. 
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  32. ^ Staff Reports (February 28, 2008). "Under the Dome". Denver Post. Retrieved March 2, 2008. 
  33. ^ "Rep. Levy, Sen. Shaffer Introduce Juvenile Justice Reform Bill". Colorado Capitol Journal. Retrieved January 29, 2008. 
  34. ^ Fender, Jessica (March 12, 2008). "Ritter may veto shift on young criminals". Denver Post. Retrieved March 15, 2008. 
  35. ^ Saccone, Mike (May 5, 2007). "House narrowly passes juvenile prosecution bill". Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. Retrieved May 6, 2008. [dead link]
  36. ^ Sealover, Ed (May 23, 2008). "Teen crime measure vetoed". Colorado Springs Gazette. Retrieved June 13, 2008. 
  37. ^ Urie, Heath (November 17, 2007). "Stevens: Loser in property case 'disgruntled'". Boulder Daily Camera. Archived from the original on December 4, 2007. Retrieved December 18, 2007. 
  38. ^ Urie, Heath (November 25, 2007). "Paths never crossed in south Boulder 'land grab' case". Boulder Daily Camera. Archived from the original on November 27, 2007. Retrieved December 18, 2007. 
  39. ^ Urie, Heath (January 12, 2008). "Levy to co-sponsor 'adverse possession' overhaul". Boulder Daily Camera. Archived from the original on January 13, 2008. Retrieved January 12, 2008. 
  40. ^ Urie, Heath (January 24, 2008). "Levy's bill would curb judges". Boulder Daily Camera. Archived from the original on January 25, 2008. Retrieved January 28, 2008. 
  41. ^ Urie, Heath (April 3, 2008). "Ritter receives 'adverse-possession' bill for approval". Boulder Daily Camera. Archived from the original on April 7, 2008. Retrieved April 10, 2008. 
  42. ^ Urie, Heath (April 26, 2008). "Ritter approves 'land grab' bill". Boulder Daily Camera. Archived from the original on May 10, 2008. Retrieved April 26, 2008. 
  43. ^ Hanel, Joe (February 1, 2008). "Group presents long-awaited health-care plan". Durango Herald. Archived from the original on March 19, 2008. Retrieved February 4, 2008. 
  44. ^ Human, Katy (February 13, 2008). "Pre-existing woes bode ill for buyers". Denver Post. Retrieved February 23, 2008. 
  45. ^ Hoover, Tim (February 27, 2008). "House OKs Capitol-security money". Denver Post. Retrieved March 2, 2008. 
  46. ^ Ashby, Charles (February 28, 2008). "House passes bill to beef up security in state Capitol". Pueblo Chieftain. Archived from the original on March 3, 2008. Retrieved March 2, 2008. 
  47. ^ Mook, Bob (April 22, 2008). "Legislation targets Wal-Mart tax shelter". Denver Business Journal. Retrieved April 22, 2008. 
  48. ^ Moore, Paula (June 4, 2008). "Ritter vetoes REIT tax measure". Denver Business Journal. Retrieved June 14, 2008. 
  49. ^ Fryar, John (June 5, 2008). "GOP candidates emerge for commissioner seats, Colo. House". Longmont Times-Call. Retrieved June 14, 2008. 
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  51. ^ Valenti, Jim (October 6, 2008). "Levy faces Republican challenger in state House". Daily Camera. Retrieved November 1, 2008. [dead link]
  52. ^ Editorial Board (October 17, 2008). "Post's picks in Colorado's House of Representatives". Denver Post. Retrieved November 1, 2008. 
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  56. ^ Anas, Brittany (July 8, 2008). "Statehouse candidates Carlisle, Heath to debate next week". Boulder Daily Camera. Archived from the original on July 12, 2008. Retrieved August 6, 2008. 
  57. ^ Aguilar, John (July 12, 2007). "Joan Fitz-Gerald: The next step up". Boulder Daily Camera. Retrieved August 7, 2008. [dead link]
  58. ^ a b c http://coloradotaxpayer.org/new/2008CUTratings1.pdf
  59. ^ "House Democrats Unveil 2009 Committee Chairs & Assignments" (Press release). Colorado House Democrats. November 18, 2008. 
  60. ^ "Democratic Majority Elects New Leadership for 2009-2010 Session" (Press release). Colorado House Democrats. November 6, 2008. 
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  62. ^ Sealover, Ed (December 31, 2008). "Ethics panel named to probe vote-buying allegations". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved January 9, 2009. 
  63. ^ Bartels, Lynn (January 28, 2009). "Ethics panel clears Colorado Rep. David Balmer". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved March 22, 2009. 
  64. ^ Jorgensen, Leslie (January 30, 2009). "Legislative panel clears Balmer of ethics violation". Colorado Statesman. Retrieved July 3, 2009. 
  65. ^ Hernandez, Lance (November 29, 2008). "Lawmaker Seeks To Restrict Cell Phone Use While Driving". TheDenverChannel.com. Retrieved November 29, 2008. 
  66. ^ Taylor, Nate (January 14, 2009). "Lawmakers want drivers to hang up". Fort Collins Coloradoan. Retrieved February 5, 2009. [dead link]
  67. ^ Ingold, John (January 14, 2009). "Colorado bill targets drivers and cellphone usage". Denver Post. Retrieved February 5, 2009. 
  68. ^ Sealover, Ed (January 13, 2009). "Bill would curb use of phones by drivers". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved February 5, 2009. 
  69. ^ Sealover, Ed (May 4, 2009). "Colorado Senate dials back driver cell-phone ban". Denver Business Journal. Retrieved January 7, 2010. 
  70. ^ Roberts, Michael (December 1, 2009). "Texting while driving: a passionate defense of the new ban". Westword. Retrieved January 9, 2010. 
  71. ^ Ingold, John; Jason Blevins (November 29, 2009). "Starting Tuesday, it will be illegal to text and drive". Denver Post. Retrieved January 9, 2010. 
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  73. ^ Hoover, Tim (February 6, 2009). "House calls for closure of tax loophole". Denver Post. Retrieved January 7, 2010. 
  74. ^ a b Stortroen, Elizabeth (May 8, 2009). "'Green' activists see bright side of '09 session". Colorado Statesman. Retrieved January 7, 2010. 
  75. ^ Staff Report (May 1, 2009). "Report: Climate plan will drive jobs". Northern Colorado Business Report. Retrieved January 7, 2010. 
  76. ^ Staff Report (April 15, 2009). "Colo. lawmakers: Shorter prison terms, save money". KJCT. Retrieved January 7, 2010. [dead link]
  77. ^ Staff Editorial (November 17, 2009). "Sentencing laws and prison costs". Denver Post. Retrieved January 7, 2010. 
  78. ^ "Members". Colorado Commission on Criminal & Juvenile Justice. Retrieved January 9, 2010. 
  79. ^ "Sentencing Task Force - August 26, 2009 Minutes". Colorado Commission on Criminal & Juvenile Justice. Retrieved January 9, 2010. 
  80. ^ Fryar, John (January 5, 2010). "Crowd gives DA, state lawmakers an earful on sentencing reform". Longmont Times-Call. Retrieved January 9, 2010. 
  81. ^ Shields, Pierette J. (January 3, 2010). "New year brings new focus on impaired drivers". Longmont Times-Call. Retrieved January 9, 2010. 
  82. ^ Gandy, Sara (December 31, 2009). "Bills target chronic drunk drivers for jail time". 9News.com. Retrieved January 9, 2010. 
  83. ^ David, Gene (December 30, 2009). "Drunk driving crackdown". Denver Daily News. Retrieved January 9, 2010. 
  84. ^ Williams, David O. (December 17, 2009). "State Rep. Levy plans bill to clean up electric co-op elections". Colorado Independent. Retrieved January 9, 2010. 
  85. ^ http://coloradotaxpayer.org/new/cut%20newsletter2010LR.pdf
  86. ^ "CO - Election Results - Colorado Secretary of State". 
  87. ^ "State House 2012 Election Results - Denver Post". 
  88. ^ "Rep. Claire Levy to leave Colorado House to head Denver-based advocacy group". denverpost.com. Retrieved September 12, 2013. 

External links[edit]