Somebody Trying To Hide Something?

Different people in different ways make my work easier. Some people are outspoken, often offensive and abrasive. Then once in a while they screw up and try to bury it. Then other people, occasionally anonymously, do some of the footwork and get the information to me either directly or indirectly. I’m more than happy to be another outlet to get that information out to a wider audience. Nearly all of this latter group I’ve never met, emailed, or spoken to. And credit is deserved.

The people backing Richard Juday for City Council in this upcoming election are spending much of their time trying to smear opposing candidates. Yet at the same time they’re being very sneaky about hiding certain things their candidate has written in the past. The TakeBackLongmont website has been out in front defending against the smears on Gabe Santos, and has been blistering towards Mr. Juday in some of his comments conveniently removed from his website. You can find a link to a cached version of it at their website.

Another reader sent me a link to Mr. Juday’s Report of Contributions and Expenditures, click on it to read it, it’s public information. You’ll see some familiar names, including most of the often mentioned “bloc of 4” as already reported in the Times-Call. Oddly missing is an “in kind” contribution from the person who’s maintaining his website, or is that service free, or self administered? Only reason I ask is over these pages that were so abruptly pulled down. What was on the Science Vs Creationism page? Some of your potential voters might like to know.

(Pay attention Councilmembers Benker, McCoy, Levison, and Hansen, these questions are for you also, as you either accepted Mr. Judays support in your races, or have donated to his candidacy, or both. You can either respond publicly, or get repeatedly asked and publicly embarrassed. Remember the more open and listening council idea? Here’s to see if you really meant it.)

Mr. Juday wrote of big box stores and his obvious disdain for them, which is his right. But what he removed from his website was his idea, or approval of this: ” write down license numbers and trace them to residence” in reference to finding out who’s shopping where. Or having the customer report his city, if asked. He’s toned that down to its current version of ” recorded zip codes of shoppers.” So we have a choice of ” Big Box” or ” Big Brother” thanks to Mr. Juday and friends. Also, Mr. Juday needs to respond to whether he approved or encouraged the questionable practice of secretly videotaping signers of the Lifebridge anti-annexation petition. He proudly led his group to city hall with those petitions, if he’s the leader, he needs to answer. If I hear ” no big deal” over this, I can’t imagine the people being taped unknowingly would agree.

Here’s what it boils down to. Mr. Juday and his pals in and out of council don’t like places like Walmart, BestBuy, Costco (funny they don’t mention Target, quite a big box) and want to make it hard on them to do business. Not only that, they look down on you for shopping there and want to collect information on those of you that chose to go there, whatever your reason. This is NOT Longmont, at least not the Longmont I chose to move to. This is elitist thuggery and if Mr. Juday and those on council that lean with him don’t answer these important points, they should be held accountable, severely. And no answers equal agreement with these comments and actions.

I’m not asking you to vote for a particular candidate, but I am asking you NOT to vote for this candidate, Mr. Juday. If you have a problem with the new members of council over this, take it up with them, but they were already elected.

600% Can’t Be Wrong

I hate being misquoted, so in the interest of fairness I’ll include every word of councilmember Sean McCoy’s Lifebridge comments on 1/8/08.

“Umm yeah, last lastly I’d like to point out is a uh couple things that were kind of misleading in in the press here as of recently and uh one in particular was uh uh the uh Union vote. Uh myself uh uh Councilmember Hansen, Coucilmember Levinson uh not one of us voted on that to uh uh uh much the chagrin of uh some of those that weren’t keeping track of current affairs. But uh that’s uh a real issue that I feel is uh kinda sad that uh uh people are suggesting that uh by the very fact of uh some of us getting on here in council that that drove them away. I think what drove them away is uh their own uh information that they gathered and the fact that six thousand voters got in and uh signed petitions and uh were going to send them a clear message.
If you do any statistical analysis or data collection you’ll find out if they do a thousand uh polls and they come up with six hundred uh people in support of something that’s about sixty percent on about a hundred thousand people and often times that gives you a pretty decent uh uh idea of where people are at. We technically under our last census have eighty one thousand people here in Longmont and six thousand signed that that’s six hundred percent of the people. That was the reason why they chose to go elsewhere. So I would like that to be perfectly clear and also I’d like that to be pointed out in our uh communication to the uh uh public using our public forums so that people understand that I didn’t vote on that and I don’t believe these other members did either.”

A quick tip: people are bound to remember the very issue that pretty much propelled you and your pals into office. That, and the election party pictures in the Times-Call of all of you and the leaders of the anti-annexation petition. Now, why would ANYONE think you or any new member of council was against the Lifebridge annexation? A quick Google search also brought up:

Meet city council candidate Sean McCoy
YourHub.Com Longmont
Boulder Daily Camera Q&A – Sean McCoy
The SouthwesternWeldCountyUnion, LifeBridge annexation, is another prime example of the current city council’s failure to identify good residential and commercial development that shows an exceptional benefit to the city. A change is need on council and I what to be that change. So as a future city council member I see the overturning of the Union Life Bridge annexation as a good thing and have supported the individuals working on bring transparency to Longmont’s government and their commitment to community based decision making back to council. “

Rocky Mountain News
“In the three City Council races, the three candidates on record opposing the LifeBridge annexation appeared on their way to winning seats. “

Rocky Mountain News
“Also, city council candidates Sean McCoy, Sarah Levison and Brian Richard Hansen have said publicly that they oppose the annexation.”

The Agenda
I stand by my statement that the previous CC showed disregard for the people of Longmont who wanted that land to remain open space.”

Can fool some of the people some of the time.

Hyperventilating Hypocrites

The last Longmont City Council meeting of 2007 was so chock full of nuggets just waiting to be mined. Here’s one of my favorites, an example of “it’s alright for us, but not for you!”

Days leading up to this meeting, Lifebridge Church pulled their plans for annexation into Longmont. The question for the council was whether or not to leave the question on the ballot. Was there really any question? Seemed like a “duhh” moment to me, and I know they have to go through the formality of removing it properly, that’s not the issue. The issue was that some of the people, not all, that circulated the petition against the annexation strongly requested it stay on the ballot. A message needed to be sent, doggone it!

City Attorney Clay Douglas rightly pointed out it was pretty much a moot point, but that simple point was apparently lost on some people. One of the petition supporters rightly said that the end result was the same as if the question passed (as in NO to annexation), so the goal was reached, what was the point? Still missed on some. What some petition signers may not have known or believed (even though some of us have been repeatedly saying it) was that some of the petition backer’s motives were more than simply overturning the YES council vote on annexation.

They were after the punishment and embarrassment of Lifebridge and some members of City Council. Their request to keep this on the ballot is one example. The fact some of them said they’re now moving against Weld County on the Lifebridge issue is another. They also wanted there to be some kind of act of council to make it so Lifebridge couldn’t come back later and try again to annex. There were even some members of council asking the City Attorney about this ridiculous concept – so they bought right into this anti-Lifebridge mentality. Makes them no different than the angry mob that supports them.

Some have been writing lately that the new council had nothing to do with Lifebridge pulling out. The above is yet one example. Here’s another: remember the smiling faces of the people bringing the anti-annexation petition to the city clerk on the front of the Times-Call? I’ll give you one guess ( 4 actually) of who they strongly backed for city council. Who was leading that pictured group? Their current candidate Richard Juday, who was also, I believe, the campaign manager for one of the new council members. It’s all intertwined. If there’s any doubt, just ask one of the new council members or candidates where they stood, and where they stand, on the annexation, and Lifebridge in general.

So the people who wielded their right to petition government don’t want people they disagree with to have the same right to petition, which could include a church submitting plans and permits. They can muddy it up saying that’s not really what they mean, but that’s what it amounts to. City Attorney Douglas mentioned that when an annexation is denied there is a process to reapply and there may be some time restrictions. But this annexation was approved and voluntarily pulled. There is nothing stopping Lifebridge from resubmitting it or starting where they left off. Fat chance they will, so those against it can rest easy. Or can they? More on that in a bit.

I assume some of them are steamed that they spent a bunch of their time and money on something that’s become moot and pointless, but they still got what they wanted. Apparently that’s not good enough, and I’m betting half of you that signed the petition didn’t sign up for a crusade against a church. Feel free to say as much publicly, embarrassed or not.

The rich and fragrant irony of it is this: I’m hearing rumors of other petitions and recalls. Not by corporations or churches, but just ” normal everyday people“, the kind the anti-annexation crowd claimed to be. Suffice it to say those people will not like these petitions, but who said everyone liked their petition? Who knows, maybe one of the petitions is in favor of Lifebridge, plenty of people have been writing in how they feel they were railroaded. What’s good for the goose, and all that.

But I do have one question, what if that question stayed on the ballot and people voted FOR the annexation? What then? It was baseless wishful thinking to assume it was a slam dunk, sort of like saying a ” blue tide” would sweep in Karen Benker as Mayor ( nope) and this supposed mandate from a new majority (actual votes say, again, nope).

Misleading facts & endorsements about election

Sorry if the flurry of numbers and stats put you to sleep, but there were some misleading comments backing up an endorsement that I couldn’t let just slide by. Especially since in a previous blog entry delving into the numbers on the last election I already went through this, and I really hate repeating myself.

A former city councilmember, Tom McCoy, painted a picture of sore losers, a new generation of “Longmonters”, and a supposed mandate from the majority of voters. Now for those pesky facts. Only two races actually won a majority, Mayor Lange and oddly enough McCoy’s son Sean McCoy. The rest were pluralities, where as the winner did not break 50.1%, also known as a majority. Hey, I can’t help it if people don’t know the difference.

You know something else that’s not talked about a lot? 40,051 total votes were cast for Mayor and City Council members, the ” new generation of city councilpeople” McCoy speaks of received 18,453 votes. The other candidates received 21,598 votes. Now there’s a majority, 53.9%46.1%, a majority against Benker, Levison, McCoy, and Hansen. So where’s this so-called mandate? You won’t find it because it doesn’t exist. Nice try though.

So based on that ” fuzzy math” one should throw their full support behind Richard Juday, right? And apparently Longmont is about to become a player in the space industry as Mr. Juday could bring primary jobs here from his “fresh contacts” as a retired NASA employee. This would be funny if it wasn’t so offensive coming from a former councilmember who was no great friend to our aviation community.

Remember how I once wrote how some endorsements help, and others don’t? If you can make those numbers and statements justify your vote, then I guess you have your candidate.

Guitars, firefighters and Christmas

People who read me enough know I’m not the most politically correct guy in the world, and don’t much care whose feet I step on. Probably why I’ll never run for public office. I also don’t like being taken out of context or misquoted, which unfortunately has happened to me, and plenty of others.

I read a story recently that I thought was great – mixing music with Christmas and our local firefighters. A local music store, Guitars Etc., a place we frequent (as always I recommend shopping locally when possible) donated some guitars to some firefighters for their down time entertainment. They weren’t Kwanza guitars, or Fall Harvest guitars, they were CHRISTMAS presents. Just want to make sure that’s clear.

That last part was left a little fuzzy in the story that ran, but was clearly stated by Guitars Etc owner, Todd Skaw. I’ve no doubt that was a last minute editorial decision to leave CHRISTMAS out of the story as to not offend the much too easily offended in the city. So let me offend. I’m assuming ” live and let live” is dead is this PC environment of ours. If it’s not a certain type of people’s way, it’s not THE way, period. To them I say cram it, sideways, left.

Just because these people have been getting their way with complaining about anything and everything they deem inappropriate, doesn’t make them the authority on anything, except complaining. What I find odd and inconsistent and probably hypocritical (they sure don’t mind the holiday pay, or the day off, or using it to sell stuff at their own business) is how CHRISTMAS is singled out more than any of the other “holidays” at this time of year. It’s obviously a slam on the first syllable, which people are free to express, and others are free to tell them to stuff it.

A friend of mine told me he was “respectfully declining” to celebrate Christmas. What was refreshing was that there was no condescension, no judging, and no preaching on how anyone else should do it. But some others just can’t hold back telling you how it should be, can they?

It’s one thing in a government institution, another entirely in a private business such as this. ” You people” was heard being used towards workers at the store who celebrate CHRISTMAS! These are the same people who claim to be soooo tolerant, but continually expose themselves for the most hateful, intolerant, and often bigoted amongst us.

I want to congratulate and thank Todd and his son for thinking of this and following up on that thought. It’s nice to know there are still people out there that put others, especially our great first responders, before themselves. It’s a nice change from the others among us who can’t think of enough ways to get rid of anything CHRISTMAS related, or the self-centered need to get into everyone else’s business uninvited.

Merry Christmas and have a great 2008!

GUEST EDITORIAL: Rich Yale on City Council

From time to time I’ll run a letter submitted to me when the author asks that it be, or approves of it. I try to run things that are fairly unique and not rehashes of other peoples writings locally or nationally. This next letter fits that bill, whether you agree with it or not. I’m also a believer in “if someone has something better to say, and a better way of saying it, why copy or alter it?”

With that in mind…

Amoral opportunity on City Council exploited by 4 Continue reading…

Election Autopsy Pt. 2

This next part about the recent election has to do with who voted, and more importantly, who didn’t.

Roughly, half of the residents of Longmont are registered to vote, and roughly half of those actually did vote. About 17,000 people bothered to vote, that’s pretty sad. With a turnout that low, no one on either side can claim any mandate, message, or claim “the people spoke”. Barely anyone actually won by a majority (50.1% or higher). But, of those that did win in city council, the new majority comprises a different direction. Continue reading…

Having It Both Ways

If you’re like me, you’re probably getting tired of people blowing hot air out of both sides of their mouth. Here’s an extreme example: ” I don’t mean to offend, but you’re a scum sucking pig“. Oh, no, they didn’t mean to offend, right. Or, here’s a good one: ” I really support the troops, don’t question that, but all of their commanders are corrupt and/or clueless, and let’s go see that film that portrays those troops as raping and murdering thugs, but I still support them.” Guess you can fool some of the people some of the time.

Getting closer to home, we have this “Megachurch” situation, as it’s being called now. The rest of us know it as Lifebridge’s Union Annexation. There will be a special election for it in late January ’08, the question is should it or shouldn’t it be annexed as part of Longmont. The anti-annexation crowd (they don’t like being called ” anti-Lifebridge“, a ” cabal“, or who knows what else) is trying a new approach, but repeatedly stating they aren’t condemning church members, nor attacking them. Uh huh.

Usually right before or after these disclaimers they go right on ripping into those they disagree with. Maybe we need a trip down memory lane to see what this anti-Lifebridge cabal (oops) has let slip out from some of their members. Some of which you probably haven’t seen or heard, and wish you never had.

Even though I think I’ve made it pretty clear I’m in no way affiliated with Lifebridge, the assumptions and attacks on my unstated religious affiliation began. When that went nowhere, it was on to my ethnicity. Let’s see, since my ” last name is Rodriguez” I must be either ” running one of those “landscaping” businesses using a bunch of illegals for labor” or my ” brother is in home building” or I need to get a ” job washing dishes“. They also remind me ” Colorado is built on slave labor from Mexico friend – don’t push it“. Wow, they put me in my place.

I got a nice chuckle when one of their leaders (another one, Richard Juday, is running for city council by the way) out of the blue claimed he was ” born again“. Yet there was no shortage of comics and comments fairly derogatory towards people of faith. But the “born again” part gives him “street cred”, I guess, to rip on everyone else. Hypocrite is overused, how about … “wrong end of a horse”?

Speaking of horses, I don’t really have one in this race, so I am not offended if I offended anyone. I’m also not running for anything, or have multiple websites trying to derail something (Lifebridge), or ran a petition drive secretly videotaping those that signed. OOPS, you signers not know that? Ah, but don’t worry, they told you they are just normal, everyday people, JUST LIKE YOU, probably you’re neighbors, remember? If those are your kind of people, you belong together; you should support them and their candidates. Here’s a pat on the head…and a SUCKER.

2007 Election Autopsy Pt. 1


The election numbers are all in, and there’s enough fodder for several stories, so let’s get started with Part 1. 

Let’s get this out of the way first, as I know you’re all dying to know how the great prognosticator (me) did, being I’ve written about predicting elections. The Nintendo Wii has this cool polling feature called the “Everybody Votes Channel”. What I like about it is not only do you vote, but you also get to predict how the vote will go. Quite often my predictions do not correlate to my votes; this local election was no different. In the 11 votes I was able to cast (Mayor, council, school district, and ballot issues) I scored 82%, or 9-2. That doesn’t mean that’s how I voted, just how I predicted. Ever the finger on the pulse…etc.

The two I got wrong? SVVSD District G between Schiers and Bohaning, which I picked the latter, and was the last race to be called, and by a razor thin margin. So I can accept that. The other one was, ironically, my own Ward, the race between Rawlins and Hansen. The Times-Call, and Hansen himself, mentioned what a surprise it was. I had noticed more Hansen signs around this ward, but in the end I think it was a couple things. First, Rawlins youth, which I didn’t see as a disadvantage, could’ve been a factor to some voters. Second, the implication Rawlins was “hand picked” by some “good ol’ boy network“, which I never bought, probably didn’t help. The Times-Call endorsement may have turned voters away as well. Lastly, the gamble of this “gang of four” to run as a block of candidates may have been enough to put Hansen over the top.

Surprises to me? The margin Roger Lange won the mayors seat by. I figured he’d win, but not by the largest margin of any of the council races. Karen Benker, more than any other candidate, ran on the anti-Lifebridge annexation and her sole “no” vote on it. Lange voted for the annexation and I don’t remember seeing him apologize for it. More people voted on this race than any other, and Benker was soundly defeated. Is this an indicator of how the Lifebridge vote will go in January? Hard to say, I think Lange had name recognition and more council experience on his side.


I can’t say for sure, only by what I hear and read, but I never got the impression that people disliked Lange. I can’t say the same for Benker. I think it may, may, have played into peoples minds that no matter who won, the other would still be there on council. The only difference being whose seat would sit vacant for almost 3 months, and from what pool would the next councilmember come from. Turns out it will be Lange’s “at-large” seat, so anyone in the city can run and vote on it. With Gabe Santos getting over 6,000 votes for the at-large race he lost, it makes sense to put him at the top of the list of potential candidates in January.

But I could be all wrong about the above, but a 9-2 chance I’m not.  (Gabe Santos did run in the special election, and won handily)