I’m a firm believer in the pen being mightier than the sword, and I wield said pen as often as possible. I’ve found out over the last 10+ years here in Longmont that certain types of people turn to violent imagery and/or threats when they don’t get their way and have a hard time expressing themselves in words rather than violence.
Allow me to give some examples of actual threats and harassment, not paranoid stretches of the imagination. You may have your own, and possibly worse, stories – and I know there’s a contingent of citizens who flat out refuse to get involved in local politics because of this harassment or at least the possibility of it based on experiences they’ve been made aware of. Will I say they are all coming from one political direction? No, because there may be situations no one is talking about or that I’m not aware of. In our (our as in my family) case, it’s all coming from the leftwing of Longmont.
My first experience with this was what got me interested in city politics in the first place. For following established airport rules, it was suggested I not only get my pilots license revoked, but I also should be shot (I have the voicemail audio). This from airport neighbor and detractor Tom Zweck, he of Zweck Farms vegetable stand. Once I found out the city was helping his anti-airport tirade with actual equipment with city funds (and he not being a city resident), Wrongmont was born. What was wrong with Longmont? That for starters.
On a couple of websites I wrote on, (YourHub, East Boulder County Politics, etc) threats and harassment pretty much came with the territory. I wont bother naming a couple of these people as they’ve dropped off the Longmont scene, but I was reminded that I would be punched in the face had we ever met – at the very least. A recurring theme you’ll see is people coming unarmed to a war of wits, and having to resort to violence to make up for it. The closest I can find to anything close to that coming out of my mouth is calling these people the cockroaches that they are and a promise I will crush them politically – never leaving out that it’s meant figuratively. They don’t include such disclaimers.
If someone that’s been belittling and harassing you said the following, how would you take it: “This really wants me to open up a dialog with them…as soon as I can find a good, straight 2×4“. These words were publicly uttered by M. Douglas Wray (What’s In It For Longmont, FreeRangeLongmont), which he later apologized for and offered to remove. These apologies have short shelf lives and more was to come.
Recently, Mr. Wray and a friend had the following exchange about me on Facebook.
That’s a pretty clear cut case of coordination and inciting others to commit violence. Obviously the local police are aware and keeping an eye on it, and at least Mr. Hofferber has seen the light and the error of his ways and won’t be doing this again. Mr. Wray? That’s not so clear according to conversations the police have had with him. While I haven’t heard of any recent threats, when I saw him comment that his political rivals are inciting violence I had to comment, after laughing at the irony of the statement. If someone is inciting violence, it’s wrong, but it sure isn’t me.
Even after these blatant threats, along with the spreading of lies and basically “WANTED” posters of me – I tried to make contact with Mr. Wray to resolve our differences – he showed no interest. The Longmont Police however, did. I’ve come to the conclusion this person is a provocative victim (look it up) and fancies himself a martyr. Whatever, to each his own. Did I mention the repeated stalking/harassing of my wife, my job, my dead dog, any and all of my interests – and the list goes on and on.
Finally there’s the case of Longmont Area Democrat president John Bigger. If you followed my podcasts, that name might sound familiar as I interviewed his band and played their music regularly. But, like with many liberal/progressives in Boulder County, political differences trump all, and politics must get personal with them. The 2009 Longmont election was a bloodbath for liberal/progressives as their candidates were not embraced by Longmont voters. The Left in Longmont has been dealt one defeat after another since the Jan ’08 special election. Needless to say they are not taking it well. Why not take the biggest supporter of the biggest electoral loser (Karen Benker) and make them the president of LAD? Brilliant strategy.
Their frustration was on display at a city council meeting not too long ago. Some fairly uninformed people were giving second-hand opinions of the Longmont Fair Campaign Practices Act lawsuit that I was a part of – the one I had first-hand knowledge of, considering it was me up on the actual stand. One of these people was another former friend, Teresa Lichti, who has added herself to the list of people obsessed with every utterance of me and my wife (Brigette, the Longmont Examiner). I called her out on her comments and Mr. Bigger inserted himself in the situation and offered to make the discussion physical. Mayor Baum had to step in to get Ms. Lichti and the Bigger’s to act more appropriately for the setting in the council chambers. It’s on video, although not all of it is decipherable.
In a nutshell, and I do mean nuts, this is the state of the Longmont Area Democrats and their leadership. I believe Mr. Wray is even their webmaster – they’re all connected. As much as they say Republicans have been hijacked by whoever, local Democrats have been hijacked by this local cabal of hard left ideologues. The longer the association, the worse the fortunes for any candidate with a D next to their name. See, that’s what we call a promise – not a threat. It’s a promise kept over the last 3+ years, and one I promise to continue.
It is refreshing to see other Democrats show their disdain for the actions and words of those above (Lichti, Bigger’s, Wray, etc who come up with websites, anonymous comment and Twitter ID’s just to go after us) and they point out that it isn’t right to judge them all based on the poor decisions of a few. But Longmont Democrats, know this: these are the people speaking the loudest on your behalf whether you know it or not – or like it or not. They set the example for you, even though their relative numbers are small and voters do not agree with them. Squeaky wheel and all that. But when they lose – and they’ve been losing a lot – you lose. Private comments aside, until there are some public condemnations, it can only be assumed these actions are condoned – even cheered on from the sidelines. I suggest caution – free speech doesn’t extend to threats and harassment.