Trimpa Group

Progressive consulting, philanthropic and political investment advising, and government relations


In the News

We have been quoted - or our work has been featured - in the following media clips, among others:

colorado Democrats deliver on major changes to health care, education and the environment in dramatic session

Denver Post, May 2019

Democratic lawmakers ended their work reshaping Colorado on Friday, delivering on most of their campaign promises before the giant rubber band ball fell to mark the end of the session. Sweeping changes on education, health care and the environment, coupled with a host of social policy changes such as a ban on gay conversion therapy and new gun control legislation, ensure the 2019 legislative session will be remembered as one of the most transformative in decades.  Read more here. 

colorado democrats announce proposal for big tax increases on tobacco, vape products, April 2019

Colorado lawmakers released a proposal this week to ask voters to raise taxes on tobacco and nicotine products and use the revenue to fund health care and education. House Bill 1333, introduced on Wednesday, would create a tax on nicotine products at 62 percent of wholesale price, increase the tax on tobacco products by 22 percent of wholesale price, and increase the tax on cigarettes to 8.75 cents each cigarette. The proposed new nicotine tax and increased tobacco taxes are aimed at lowering youth consumption, supporters say. Nicotine products include vapes and electronic cigarettes.  Read more here. 

ted trimpa on colorado’s elections 2018

Colorado Public Television, Devil’s Advocate with Jon Caldara, December 2018

Democratic strategist Ted Trimpa joins host Jon Caldara to discuss political strategy in the 21st century, why Democrats swept Colorado, and what Republicans can do to win.  Watch here. 

the democratic primary for colorado governor

Colorado Public Television, Devil’s Advocate with Jon Caldara, July 2017

Democratic political consultant Ted Trimpa sits down with host Jon Caldara to discuss the upcoming race for governor, in particular, the Democratic primary.  Watch here. 

meet the megadonor behind the lgbtq rights movement

Rolling Stone, June 2017

"Now is not the time to go sit on the sidelines," Joe Biden thunders, slamming his fist on a podium branded with the vice presidential seal. "We need to push – and push hard." It's an early evening in May 2016, and 30 of the nation's most prolific LGBTQ donors are gathered in the living room of a penthouse apartment on Park Avenue in Manhattan. Biden thanks the men and women in the audience for their efforts so far. But there is one person he singles out by name, an unassuming and slightly awkward man seated in the last row of chairs, doing his best to avoid attention. "Incredible," Biden calls him. If not for the work of Tim Gill, Biden says, there is no telling where the LGBTQ-rights movement would be.  Read more here. 

PENce visit to focus on the family comes amid time of change for religious right

Denver Post, June 2017

Vice President Mike Pence’s visit Friday to Colorado to celebrate the anniversary of Focus on the Family comes at a time of change for the religious right during the age of President Donald Trump. Focus on the Family was once well-known for its involvement in politics. But under new leadership, it has dialed that back in an effort by younger evangelicals to withdraw from partisan culture wars.  Read more here. 

As Eight More States Legalize Marijuana, Political Consultants Offer Advice

Westword, November 2016

On November 10, the International Association of Political Consultants, which is holding its annual gathering in Denver, offered a panel on The Politics of Marijuana. Four experts from various areas of the cannabis industry addressed an audience of about forty, describing how consultants can help the eight states that just legalized marijuana - four medical and four recreational - cope with the inevitable changing landscape.  Read more here. 


Wall Street Journal, September 2016

Trimpa Group CEO Ted Trimpa explains how Democrats are winning Rocky Mountain voters at the state and local levels.  Watch here. 

inside colorado's "blueprint" with Ted trimpa

Colorado Public Television, Devil's Advocate with Jon Caldara, September 2016

One of the main architects of the Colorado "Blueprint", which helped turn Colorado blue, Ted Trimpa, joins host Jon Caldara to talk about political infrastructure and winning elections in Colorado.  Watch here. 

2016 Ally awards - lifetime achievement video

One Colorado, August 2016

Ted Trimpa, from a tiny farm town in Kansas, eventually came to Colorado and joined forces with activist Tim Gill to change the political landscape across the state and nation. The two leveraged donors - gay and straight - to target legislative candidates who were attempting to ban same-sex marriage in their states.  Watch here. 

one colorado honors ted trimpa as lifetime advocate who "dreams big"

The Denver Post, August 2016

Lobbyist Ted Trimpa was honored for the “fingerprints” he has left on the struggle for gay rights nationwide, but his story marches hand in hand with his upbringing in Kansas. His longtime friend Kathleen Sebelius, the former  Kansas governor who served as secretary of Health and Human Services during President Obama’s first term in the White House, explained Trimpa's long history of struggle and victory as she presented him a lifetime achievement award at One Colorado's sixth Annual Ally Awards.  Read more here. 

depression often follows heart surgery

Colorado Public Radio, August 2016

Ted Trimpa should have been on top of the world last summer: At just 48, the political strategist learned he'd be given a lifetime achievement award for his work to legalize gay marriage. But at the time, Trimpa was sliding into an emotional black hole that he says he's just now emerging from.  Listen here. 

evangelicals: we don't have all the answers

Sojourners, April 2016

In the early 1990s, the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family raised the ire of LGBT groups by backing Colorado's Amendment 2, a measure - ultimately struck down by the Supreme Court - that would have allowed local governments to discriminate against gays. Read more here. 

inside the crazy back-channel negotiations that revolutionized our relationship with cuba

Mother Jones, October 2015

On a rainy day last December, President Barack Obama gathered a small group of senior officials in the Oval Office and placed a telephone call to Raúl Castro. Sitting on a couch to Obama's left were National Security Council aides Benjamin Rhodes and Ricardo Zuniga, personal emissaries whose 18 months of secret negotiations were about to culminate in the first substantive conversation between the presidents of the United States and Cuba in more than half a century. Read more here. 

HOW a colorado strategist helped turn the tide on gay marriage

Colorado Public Radio, October 2015

Ted Trimpa is one of the most influential people in Colorado politics. He doesn't hold elected office, but he's had his hands in all manner of issues including gun control, legalizing marijuana, and fracking policy. And The Atlantic has called him the state's answer to Karl Rove, the man who engineered George W. Bush's second presidential victory. Read more and listen here. 

How one gay activist changed colorado and a nation

The Denver Post, July 2015

Ted Trimpa stewed inside a Denver bar in 1996, lamenting how he had failed miserably in tracking down a wealthy gay philanthropist for a donation to Democrat Tom Strickland's U.S. Senate campaign. The bartender informed Trimpa that the man he was looking for, Tim Gill, happened to be in the courtyard attending a party. Read more here. 

A New Deal with Cuba

The Nation, January 2015

"Pick up the phone, Mr. President! Make the call!" That was Alan Gross's demand when I visited him in a Havana prison a year ago, expressing his desperation  at being seemingly abandoned by the government that had sent him on a secret mission to foster regime change in Cuba. Read more here. 

Health-Care Ad Targeting Same-Sex Couples Debuts in Illinois

Washington Post, January 2015

Advocates of the Affordable Care Act have been working for more than a year to encourage members of the LGBT community  to get insured under the health-care law. But now, the Illinois health insurance marketplace is taking that appeal to the airwaves -- during the Golden Globes, no less. Read more here. 

U.S. Calls on Cuba to Free American Held Since 2009 as Spy

New York Times, December 2014

After five years of behind-the-scenes talks, entreaties from high-profile emissaries and statements from two governments, each blaming the other for intransigence, it still comes down to this: Alan P. Gross, an American government contractor remains imprisoned in Cuba on espionage charges. Read more here. 

Evangelicals Step Back from Gay Marriage Fight

CNN, November 2014

Evangelical leaders are taking a step back from their decades-long fight against gay marriage, softening their tone and recalibrating their goals. In recent interviews with about a half-dozen prominent evangelicals, no one listed opposition to gay marriage as their top priority. The leaders said they're more focused on protecting religious liberties as same-sex marriage becomes legal in a growing number of states. Read more here.

Tracing the Line in Colorado, a State Split Left and Right

New York Times, October 2014

To trace the border between the liberal and conservative corners of the American West, head down East County Line Road, a two-lane asphalt strip parting the plains here in Northern Colorado. To the east lies Weld County, a conservative stronghold where 20,000 oil and gas wells pump day and night, and Republicans are so dominant that they are running unchallenged for county assessor, clerk and a commissioner's seat. Fifteen miles to the west is Boulder, where a Buddhist-inspired university offers classes in yoga and the Tibetan language, and nature activists are working to carve out legal rights for ecosystems and wild species. Read more here.

#Ready4OE2: How Out2Enroll Moved the Needle on LGBT Enrollment in OE1

Enroll America, October 2014

Leading up to OE1, LGBT Americans were disproportionately more likely to be uninsured, less likely to know about the new coverage options, and skeptical that the health insurance marketplaces would meet their needs. The Out2Enroll campaign was created to speak directly to this community through LGBT-specific outreach strategies, and the campaign compiled a report of lessons learned from OE1 to apply to OE2. Read more here.


adults with Autism Locked Out of Health Coverage Due to Age Limits

PBS, September 2014

It's getting easier for parents of young children with autism to get insurers to cover a pricey treatment called applied behavior analysis. Once kids turn 21, however, it's a different ballgame entirely. Many states have mandates that require insurers to cover this therapy, but they typically have age caps ranging from 17 to 21, says Katie Keith, research director at the Trimpa Group, a consulting firm that works with autism advocacy groups. Read more here.

Health Law Tempers States' Insurance Mandates

NPR, September 2014

For decades, states have set rules for health coverage through mandates. These laws require insurers to cover specific types of medical care or services. The Affordable Care Act aims to curb this piecemeal approach to coverage by establishing minimum standards for insurance coverage in individual and small group plans nationwide and requiring states to pay for mandates that go beyond them. States, however, continue to pass new mandates, but with a twist. Read more here.

Let's Make a Deal: How Colorado Came to a Fracking Compromise

Denver Post, August 2014

On the second day of his vacation, surrounded by science fiction and comic book fans at Comic Con, Alan Salazar looked around the San Diego Convention Center for a quiet place so he could take a phone call from his boss. It was July 25, and Gov. John Hickenlooper wanted to talk to his trusted staffer about yet another compromise attempt on fracking measures headed to the November ballot. Other deals had fallen apart, but Hickenlooper wanted to try again to get Congressman Jared Polis, the state's $30 billion oil and gas industry, and other parties on board. Read more here.

Colorado Politics: Ground War

The Economist, August 2014

Every February thousands of American romantics send their Valentine's Day cards via Loveland, a small city north of Denver, where they are stamped with a cheesy poem and sent on. But in recent months, as Loveland has found itself on the front line of Colorado's fracking wars, the mood has been darker. Locals, complaining that energy firms were threatening their children's health and poisoning water supplies, placed a moratorium on the ballot. Read more here.

Some Plans Skew Drug Benefits to Drive Away Patients, Advocates Warn

Washington Post, July 2014

Four Florida insurers allegedly discriminate against people with HIV/AIDS by structuring their prescription drug benefits so that patients are discouraged from enrolling, according to a recent complaint filed with federal officials. The complaint, filed with the Office for Civil rights at the federal Department of Health and Human Services, claims that the insurers...violated the health law and federal civil rights laws by placing all covered HIV/AIDS drugs, including generics, in the highest drug tiers that require significant patient cost sharing. Read more here.

Advocates Worry Conn. Decision Could Undermine Autism Coverage

Kaiser Health News, June 2014

Today, many families with autistic children count on their insurance coverage to help pay for the often expansive, long-term treatment their kids need. But advocates and public policy experts say a recent bulletin issued by the Connecticut Insurance Department may undermine existing coverage protections and they're concerned that other states might follow suit. Read more here.

Gay Donor: Gay Rights Not 'Inevitable'

Politico, May 2014

Tim Gill is the most influential gay donor most people have never heard of. The software entrepreneur has spent the last two decades working to advance LGBT rights, often through alliances with both Republicans and Democrats. He founded "Outgiving," a political donors conference that is the gay rights version of the progressive Democracy Alliance, only with a bipartisan twist. Read more here.

Political Opposites Team to Push Colorado Human Trafficking Law

The Gazette, May 2014

While dining at a Castle Rock restaurant, Jim Daly mentions that he can't abide cauliflower. His colleague, Ted Trimpa, immediately begins reciting a simple cauliflower recipe involving olive oil and a few other ingredients. "This is why my vegetarian wife loves that I'm friends with Ted. So I can cook her these great vegetarian meals," Daly said with a chuckle. Jim Daly and Ted Trimpa are friends - and it would be hard to find a more politically opposite duo than these two in all of Colorado. Read more here. 

How Fracking Could Break Colorado Democrats

Politico Magazine, April 2014

Jared Polis really doesn't care what anyone else thinks. If you saw the Colorado congressman speaking on the House floor last month wearing a clip-on bowtie with a polo shirt under his blazer, you know what I'm talking about. He's been this way since he first emerged on the scene. About 10 years ago, when he was just 28, Polis was one of four wealthy Colorado Democrats who pooled their considerable personal resources to create a state-of-the-art political machine that was ruthlessly effective in turning this once-red heartland state a stunning shade of blue. Read more here.

The Most Powerful People in Denver

5280: The Denver Magazine, April 2014

Influence. Clout. Juice. These synonyms for “power” are all things one can find inside the Capitol and City Hall, in the law firms on 17th Street, and in the boardrooms of international corporations. But that is perhaps a too-narrow definition of power—of what it takes to incite change, to move our city forward in tangible (and intangible) ways, to make our lives as residents of the Mile High City richer. Here, we present the people doing just that, from—yes—the mayor and the governor, to artistic masterminds and restaurateurs, to a guy you may have heard of named Elway. Read more here.


hHS Says Insurers’ Coverage For Same-Sex Spouses Must Match Other Married Couples

Kaiser Health News, March 2014

Insurers can't offer health coverage to a spouse in a traditional marriage if they don't also make the same coverage available to spouses in same-sex marriages, the federal government announced Friday. The change means that same-sex married couples who have been unable to buy family policies will be able to do so. Read more here.

Obamacare Insurers May Not Discriminate Against Gay Families, HHS Announces

Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 2014

Health insurers who sell family coverage to married heterosexual couples under the Affordable Care Act must do the same for married gay couples, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said today. Read more here.

It's Time to Treat Health Care as an LGBT Issue

NBC Philadelphia, March 2014

Among issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, marriage rights and employment non-discrimination have been dominant attention-getters. But since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, it's worth taking a look at health care specifically as an LGBT issue. Read more here.

Some Same-Sex Couples Denied Family Policies on Insurance Marketplaces

Washington Post, February 2014

Carl Bechdel and Dan Miller started looking for a family plan on the Pennsylvania health insurance marketplace last fall. After submitting their application for a bronze-level plan to Highmark Blue Shield in early December, they became concerned when the end of the month approached and they hadn’t heard from the insurer. Bechdel called customer service and finally learned the reason: The company doesn’t offer family coverage to same-sex couples. Read more here.

ill-Defined Coverage Muddles Insurance for Developmentally Disabled

NPR, January 2014

A little remarked upon requirement in the federal health law expands treatments for people with cerebral palsy, autism and other developmental disabilities. But some advocates and policy experts are concerned that insurers may find ways to sidestep the mandate. Read more here

The Fight of Obamacare's 'Navigators' Against Republican Hurdles

National Journal, October 2013

As Republicans in Washington prepare to grill Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Wednesday over problems a broken website is creating for accessing Obamacare, their fellow party members in a dozen-and-a-half states have added complications for people trying to access those benefits through alternate means. Read more here. 

Editor Greg Moore Interviews Attorney and Lobbyist Ted Trimpa

Denver Post, October 2013

Denver Post Editor Gregory L. Moore speaks from his Denver office with attorney and lobbyist Ted Trimpa. Watch the video here. 

States Divided on ABA Coverage in New Health Exchanges

Disability Scoop, October 2013

With state health insurance exchanges now open for business, advocates say they expect plans available in only about half of states to cover autism therapy. An analysis from Autism Speaks suggests that 26 states and Washington, D.C. will include coverage of applied behavior analysis, or ABA, therapy in insurance plans offered through their exchanges for individuals and small businesses. Read more here.

Gay Community 'Coming Out' to Enroll in Obamacare

CNN, October 2013

Jeff Jones started shopping for health insurance as soon as the Obamacare insurance marketplaces opened on October 1. The Kentucky resident is like a lot LGBT citizens who have not had access to affordable health insurance in the past. If Jones, 47, had been able to legally marry, he would have immediately been eligible for coverage under his partner, Nathan Walker's, policy. Walker has domestic partnership benefits at work, but the couple haven't lived together long enough to qualify for them. Read more here.


groups Race to Hire, Train 'Obamacare' Guides

Associated Press, September 2013

With the program known as "Obamacare" only weeks away from its key launch date, hectic preparations are in motion in communities across the country to deal with one of its major practical challenges: hiring and training a small army of instant experts who can explain the intricacies of health insurance to people who've never had it. Read more here.

Ted Trimpa: ‘We were Outsmarted’ in Recalls

Fox Denver, September 2013

In Colorado Democratic politics, Ted Trimpa is the man behind the curtain, the strategist credited with helping build the state’s progressive infrastructure that’s enabled a decade-long left-ward shift. As a board member of Democracy Alliance, Trimpa continues to be a high-level player, a go-between tapping into a national base of liberal donors and helping guide lawmakers at the state level on issues of policy and politics.  Read more here.

feeling Political Heat, Some 'Navigators' are Declining Funds to Help with Health Care Rollout

Center for Public Integrity, September 2013

It wasn’t long ago that virtually no one outside of health care policy circles had heard of the navigator program, an obscure provision of the Obama Administration’s sweeping health care overhaul. But the navigators have suddenly become the latest Obamacare controversy, and the attention may be starting to undermine the program. Read more here.

State Officials Balk at Defending Laws They Deem Unconstitutional

Washington Post, July 2013

Once state legislation is passed, it’s usually up to the governor and attorney general to see that the law is implemented. But in a number of high-profile cases around the country, top state officials are balking at defending laws on gay marriage, immigration and other socially divisive issues — saying the statutes are unconstitutional and should not be enforced.  Read more here.

Rooftop Garden Lets Lobbyist Look Forward - and Back to His Roots

Denver Post, March 2013

Where does a nationally recognized Democratic strategist with offices in Denver and Washington, D.C., go to relax, garden and entertain? To his roof, naturally. From May through October, come rain or shine, Ted Trimpa, principal of Trimpa Group, LLC, devotes a minimum of eight hours each weekend and early weekday mornings when he's in town to his Cheesman Park roof garden.  Read more here.

How the Dems Won Colorado

Denver Post, August 2010

The Colorado Education Association is the state's largest and most powerful teachers union. Sitting across the street from the Capitol, the CEA's gray, two-story headquarters is a powerful presence for the organization that represents 38,500 public-sector jobs. The Columbine Room, near the first-floor entrance to the building, is fairly nondescript as conference rooms go — the exposed concrete decor is dated, the carpet drab, the fluorescent lighting pale. But in 2004, (it) became the ultimate smoke-free backroom of Colorado politics.  Read more here.

The Party's Over: The Colorado Model Goes National 

The Weekly Standard, August 2010

Earlier this decade, Colorado progressives pioneered a political strategy for electing Democratic majorities in what had once been GOP strongholds. Since then, the strategy has been quietly deployed in at least 18 other states in time for the 2010 election cycle. And while nothing may be able to prevent Democrats from losing ground this November, they are hopeful the Colorado Model will act as a levee against the coming storm, minimizing losses in a bad year—and laying the groundwork to maximize future gains. Read more here. 

Colorado Political Operative Trimpa to Launch Lobbying Firm

Denver Post, August 2010

Prominent Colorado political operative Ted Trimpa, who helped quash a contentious ballot measure battle between business and labor unions two years ago, is leaving Hogan Lovells this month to launch a consulting and lobbying firm. The Trimpa Group will specialize in public-policy advocacy and political strategy at the state and federal levels. Read more here.

Colo Clean-Air Act Had Short, Strange Ride Through Legislature, Left Coal in Dust

Denver Post, April 2010

Gov. Bill Ritter is poised today to sign a landmark clean-air bill aimed at upgrading aging Front Range coal-fired power plants to run on natural gas. While sailing through the legislature in 17 days, the measure sparked a fierce fight among Senate Republicans over looming federal air-quality regulations and the impact on the state's 2,300 coal-industry jobs. The bill brought together, in an election year, longtime opponents and sparked what may have been one of the state's most expensive lobbying efforts. Read more here.

Meet the Insider You Should Know: Ted Trimpa 

Denver Post, December 2009

The Atlantic called him "Colorado's answer to Karl Rove." A lawyer, lobbyist and activist, Ted Trimpa is one of the most important players in Colorado politics that you've probably never heard of. Trimpa, a partner at Hogan & Hartson, has worked with activist Tim Gill and was a key architect in the Democrats' takeover of the Colorado statehouse in 2004 and 2006. He has been a strident fighter for gay and lesbian rights, and brokered the labor-business detente last fall that resulted in four divisive measures being pulled from the ballot. Given the interesting political year coming up, Editorial Page Editor Dan Haley sat down with Trimpa for the second installment of our SundaySitdown feature. Read more here.

Ballot Deal Brokered by Adviser

Denver Post, October 2008

About a month ago, software millionaire Tim Gill asked his political adviser, Ted Trimpa, to see what he could do to help quell a looming ballot battle between business and labor. Trimpa arranged a meeting with his union and business connections at his downtown Denver office.  Read more here.

Accord Weeks in the Making

Denver Post, October 2008

An unprecedented, eleventh-hour deal to remove four divisive measures from the November ballot and avert what some predicted would be statewide economic devastation was hammered out over three weeks of early-morning and late-night negotiations. Tense at times but frequently leavened by humor, the talks between labor, business and elected officials were fueled by sugar-free Rock Star energy drinks and a common belief that Colorado's well-being was on the line, participants said. Though the deal ultimately resulted in a rare alliance between labor and business to fight what are considered pro-business ballot measures, signs emerged early that reaching the deal would not be easy. Read more here.

The Colorado Model

The Weekly Standard, July 2008

Last January, a "confidential" memo from a Democratic political consultant outlined an ambitious scheme for spending $11.7 million in Colorado this year to crush Republicans. The money would come from rich liberal donors in the state and would be spent primarily on defeating Senate candidate Bob Schaffer ($5.1 million) and Representative Marilyn Musgrave ($2.6 million), who are loathed by liberals for sponsoring a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. The overarching aim: Lock in Democratic control of Colorado for years to come. Read more here.

They Won't Know What Hit Them 

The Atlantic, March 2007

A tough loss can be hard to swallow, and plenty of defeated politicians have been known to grumble about sinister conspiracies. When they are rising stars like Danny Carroll, the Republican speaker pro tempore of Iowa’s House of Representatives, and the loss is unexpected, the urge to blame unseen forces can be even stronger—and in Carroll’s case, it would have the additional distinction of being justified. Carroll was among the dozens of targets of a group of rich gay philanthropists who quietly joined forces last year, under the leadership of a reclusive Colorado technology mogul, to counter the tide of antigay politics in America that has generated, among other things, a succession of state ballot initiatives banning gay marriage.  Read more here. 

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