The title of this post is actually a title of a book by the recently deceased Longmont resident D. Ernie Greenly. Back when I got started (with Wrongmont) we had some interesting back-and-forth conversations, but we never got together for that beer he wanted to buy me. When I use that term, I’m not leaving Longmont, yet, but Longmont is leaving many of us.
In my previous post about the recent election, I eluded to some of the things that go on behind the scenes politically around here. I’m not as privy to them since I quit the Republican Party, partly because of the state of the Republican Party in Longmont, Boulder County, Colorado, and the United States. At almost the same time I quit the GOP I also quit my union – so minus one rightward thing and one leftward thing. In the latter’s case I had had enough giving too much money to candidates I have nothing in common with. I believe strongly in voting with your checkbook.
While I was very active in the ’09 local election, I pulled back quite a bit in the ’11 election, and plan no activity in the upcoming ’13 election. Some people want to run, and win, elections with the least amount of effort and interaction with those they want to elect them.
I’m a firm believer in running on your record, if you have one, or if you’re new, getting out and meeting as many of your future constituents as possible. There’s much in the way of “inside baseball” I could divulge on this topic, but lets just say some people think they know better – but results and trends say otherwise. Like I said in the previous post, you shouldn’t run your campaign – or have your campaign manager – keep an arms length approach to your current and future constituents. That doesn’t mean you have to kiss their ass and over-pander, but just be yourself – unless yourself is so loathsome it’s better to hide all campaign long.
Most politicians have fairly large ego’s, and the ones I’ve dealt with know I will be brutally honest when they’re making mistakes, and they always make mistakes, some larger than others. Those that can’t take constructive criticism are doomed to make whoppers of mistakes or missteps. And since nobody’s perfect, they all will have those stumbles sooner or later. My job was usually to minimize them and accentuate the positives – AND MEET YOUR VOTERS. I can’t stress that enough.
So if some people want to be masochistic and suicidal when it comes to local politics – and I’m not just talking about candidates, but also volunteers, managers, issue committee managers, etc – count me out. I don’t do what I do for idle chatter or just to be heard occasionally. I do what I do to make a difference, to affect change, and to sway opinion – in citizens and decision makers. And I know who my audience is.
And the audience is changing.
I expect that people who normally agree with me made the moronic mistake to vote for the fracking ban, Ballot Question 300. This tells me they really don’t know what the issue is, the damage it will do to Longmont, that they are against energy independence, and/or have the dopey notion that wind and solar will “bridge the gap” to our future energy needs, or that they bought the emotional claptrap from the backers of the ban. Utter hogwash.
And now those who endlessly marched to the podium before the election have returned to the podium (at City Council Chambers) crowing about it, which is their right. What isn’t their right is the veiled threats against elected officials who were against the ban. So, those of you who voted for this, that’s who you got into bed with. An angry mob who will endlessly remind you how the “voters spoke”. Just wait for them to go full-on nuts (not a long trip) when the courts and property owners throw down the gauntlet.
To show their utter arrogance and hubris, they now want Longmont to annex land around city limits to expand the ban area. Maybe “locusts” isn’t appropriate, perhaps “virus” is. And for those who moved right next to an existing well/drill pad, and/or a planned one, who cries about their property rights compared to an existing mineral rights owner there long before and their property rights – it’s hard to take that seriously. Or the housing tract next to an existing well that had been there long before the neighborhood and school – these are the ludicrous examples voters were emotionally sucked into.
If that’s the state of the current Longmont voter, enviro-totalitarianism based mostly on emotion and not personal responsibility for decisions made – then we are one sad lot and deserve the lawsuits coming our way. But every property owner will pay the bill, not just those misguided activists. They didn’t protect themselves or their family from anything, except the label of town crier and court jester.
Finally, a speaker at council reminded who brought this to these enviro’s attention, no less than the failed one-termer Sean McCoy. Congratulations, you were steered by the worst city councilman in Longmont’s history and about the stupidest person in town (consult his enlightening Twitter account for proof). But don’t forget Mayor Dennis Coombs, who’s become quite the activist mayor, and his late night, not on the agenda motion having to do with this issue. We fired some councilmembers in 2009 for bringing multiple lawsuits to Longmont’s doors (and taxpayers) – but the lawsuits in progress and coming from the State of Colorado will dwarf those earlier ones. Something to keep in mind during the upcoming local 2013 elections – and yes, Dennis Coombs is up for reelection.
…or we can just let the decline continue.