On October 1st, the Times-Callsponsored a Candidate Forum at Longmont High School, it was a fairly interesting night. I assume the televised version won’t quite capture some of the more interesting moments inside and outside of the auditorium, and the sound quality was abysmal throughout.
There’s plenty to talk about when it comes to this event, but the Times-Call has already had some reporting on it, so I’ll shed a different light on it.
Our city’s non-partisan nature when it comes to City Council is a favorite subject of mine, I’ve written about it plenty of times and is a system I agree with. As I was watching and listening to the candidates, I wondered what it would be like to have all politics non-partisan in nature. To take the candidates at face value with no party attached to them and the baggage that includes. If you watch the TV replay of the various debates that occurred that night, think about it how you’d react if either there were no political parties, or if you had no idea which party any of the speakers were members of.
Quite often at these events, the most colorful and entertaining speakers are the third party candidates. This event was no different. Whether I agreed with their platforms or not, I made a point of trying to meet these speakers and tell them good luck and good job on their performance and passion. Names that come to mind from past events like this are Ralph Shnelvar and our own Paul Tiger. This time, speakers of interest were J.A. Calhoun, Bob Kinsey, and Douglas “Dayhorse” Campbell. Their party affiliation? If you need to know, look it up.
I’m no Pollyanna and know parties are probably here to stay, for better or worse. But it was nice to see old time politics, if only in my own mind, probably the way our founding fathers meant it to be, with candidates making their case, sometimes with great emotion and occasionally with humor. In that regard, they were all winners.
So, read up on your candidates and issues, and get out and vote. Like one of the slogans on the back of my old Wrongmont golf shirts said: “A Vote Is a Terrible Thing to Waste.”
Next up, how partisanship shapes our local government.
Historically lowest ratings for Congress, and today further highlighted why. This Democratically controlled excuse for our House of Representatives sent their hapless pack of leaders to the podium today for some of the more pathetic political theater witnessed in quite a while.
Lead by arguably the worst Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who stood up their giving kudos to the very people to blame for this bills failure. I had to laugh when she mentioned the “Whip”, who is supposed to “whip” the vote, and who obviously failed miserably at it. The Democrats have the majority, they don’t need a single Republican vote to do anything except override a veto. No veto was coming.
But this freakshow lead by Pelosi, Emanuel, Hoyer, and Frank (all D-who cares from where) couldn’t restrain themselves attacking those awful Republicans who voted against this. Further proof there never was any deal, and for Pelosi to call the vote was foolhardy at best. This, after ripping into the very Republicans she needed, apparently, to get this passed.
I say apparently because while you listen to these fools rip 133 Republicans who voted NO, they seem to forget the 95 Democrats who also said NO. Colorado Democrats Mark Udall and John Salazar among them, as did Republicans Musgrave and Lamborn. Members of the Colorado delegation voting YES were Degette (D), Perlmutter (D), and Tancredo (R).
Why is this worst rated Congress ever? Does anyone really have to ask that question any more? It all starts at the sad top of the Democratic Party and their inept leadership. Not only can’t they get any consensus from the opposing party, they can’t get it from their own. Representatives from the Democratic Party who voted against this, like Udall and Salazar, need to step forward and not only defend their vote, but give a vote of no confidence (if that matters) in Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Hoyer, and their whip Clyburn and demand a change in leadership ASAP.
This party wanted their chance and got it in 2006. They’ve made a mockery out of one branch of our government and showed that they are lead by a pack of buffoons. While they don’t deserve to be returned to the majority, they probably will, but at the very least can any of them, say senatorial candidate Mark Udall, show a little spine and leadership? If you stand by this NO vote as a way to stand up for your constituents, stand up against your party leadership and lead or get out of the way. They were insulting you, too, Mark.
With the increasing popularity of mail-in and early voting, the prospects of “October surprises”, or at least the effectiveness of them, decreases.George Will wrote about this recently http://www.newsweek.com/id/161202 and his apparent problem with early voting.I disagree.
Everyone should vote, of course the problem of every vote being legitimate is a problem with organizations like ACORN around, and the people who support them, like Barack Obama and the congressmen who put in the recent bailout language a provision to divvy up profits towards groups like, and possibly including, ACORN.Gladly, that language has been removed, but who inserted it?And who demanded it be stripped out?Possible Surprise #1.
But back to the point, no one wants to be standing in a long line for hours on Election Day, watching the magic hour of creeping closer and closer and voters left wondering if they’ll be able to vote at all.With way too many amendments here in Colorado, the wait could be long unless people do some serious studying ahead of time.Or, people will just not even bother to vote on these amendments.What a waste of time and effort for the people who brought these issues to the ballot.
So with incentives galore, many people will probably opt for early voting (info at our Vote! Longmont site), so those October “surprisers” need to get to work early.What could be looming on the very short horizon?A few possibilities, and surprises usually work against the guy people know the least about, in this case Obama.John McCain’s been around a while, a fact his detractors chortle with glee about as they point out his age.But with that comes familiarity, not a whole lot of surprises are possible or probable when it comes to this candidate.
But with Obama, the questions just don’t go away, regardless of his “Fight The Smears” campaign.First, there’s the ACORN and bailout connection above, then the story about his convicted felon buddy Tony Rezko apparently tiring of prison and may want to sing like jailbirds often do to cut a deal.Next up, Obama’s “truth squad” in Missouri being called out for what they are by Governor Matt Blunt.If you missed it, here it is:
“St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch, St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer, and Obama and the leader of his Missouri campaign Senator Claire McCaskill have attached the stench of police state tactics to the Obama-Biden campaign.
“What Senator Obama and his helpers are doing is scandalous beyond words, the party that claims to be the party of Thomas Jefferson is abusing the justice system and offices of public trust to silence political criticism with threats of prosecution and criminal punishment.
“This abuse of the law for intimidation insults the most sacred principles and ideals of Jefferson. I can think of nothing more offensive to Jefferson’s thinking than using the power of the state to deprive Americans of their civil rights. The only conceivable purpose of Messrs. McCulloch, Obama and the others is to frighten people away from expressing themselves, to chill free and open debate, to suppress support and donations to conservative organizations targeted by this anti-civil rights, to strangle criticism of Mr. Obama, to suppress ads about his support of higher taxes, and to choke out criticism on television, radio, the Internet, blogs, e-mail and daily conversation about the election.
“Barack Obama needs to grow up. Leftist blogs and others in the press constantly say false things about me and my family. Usually, we ignore false and scurrilous accusations because the purveyors have no credibility. When necessary, we refute them. Enlisting Missouri law enforcement to intimidate people and kill free debate is reminiscent of the Sedition Acts – not a free society.”
Pretty harsh, and not from a commentator, pundit, or partisan blogger.Next up is a story circulating about the Jopek family asking Obama to no longer wear the bracelet he mentioned at the recent debate.They made this request last March!First he made a smarmy glance towards McCain after saying “I got one, too”, and then couldn’t remember the Sergeants name.
Lastly, I cant believe we’ve heard the last of his ties to unrepentant terrorist William Ayers, and Obama’s connection to the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debacle, you know, the underlying reason we find ourselves in the mess we’re in requiring this bailout?
These are all very serious issues and not likely to go away after the election, regardless of its outcome.By all rights, Obama should be 20+ points ahead of McCain in an election year that should heavily favor the Democrats, especially facing a party that’s been in office for 8 years.It’s fairly normal over our course of elections to have this pendulum swing in such situations.The only recent example when it didn’t happen was 1988, when Bush Sr. took over for Reagan – but it was just delayed 4 years.Then again, look who the Democrats put up against Bush, Dukakis for crying out loud.Even Dan Quayle couldn’t lose that election for Bush.
So why isn’t Obama way ahead when he should be?All of those questions above, and the general questions “Who is this guy?Why should I just take it on faith he’ll do alright while he’s receiving on-the-job training?” Wasn’t that Hillary Clinton who asked that second question?
For Obama to win, he needs to hit it out of the park repeatedly over the next couple of weeks, make no mistakes, and pray not a single one of the above issues get any legs in the press for any amount of time.In other words, hide, lie, and cover up your true self, or else people wont elect you, no matter how many hundreds of millions you raise and spend.What a great campaign strategy!
A year ago (Sep 8, 2007 YourHub & Wrongmont) I wrote a story called ” Udall’s Dirty Money“, describing U.S. Senatorial candidate Mark Udall‘s ties to disgraced Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu, among others. I said then: ” At first glance the $1,000 Udall accepted from Hsu seems fairly small and he’s said he’s going to donate it to the Colorado National Guard Foundation.” Did he?
I added, ” On top of the $1,000 he’s giving back, let’s not forget the $5,000 he got from the Hsu funded “For A Change PAC”, the $10,000 from the Hsu funded “Searchlight Leadership Fund” (Harry Reid’s PAC), and $40,000 from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committees, also recipients of large Hsu donations.”
In the September 19 Rocky Mountain News comes word Mr. Udall accepted campaign donations from New York representative Charles Rangel, the Democratic chair of the House Ways and Means committee. If you you’re not aware of the trouble this disgrace of a congressman is in lately, look it up, but to put it plainly, he’s the taxman caught ” allegedly” (in some cases admittedly) cheating on taxes.
From the RMN: ” Udall, an Eldorado Springs Democrat, received $10,000 of campaign contributions from Rangel’s leadership political action committee this year and $2,000 in 2000. He, like most other members of his party, voted against ordering Rangel to give up his seat.”
Predictably, Udall’s campaign threw out some numbers against his rival candidate Republican Bob Schaffer equaling less than half of the above numbers.
Regardless of the money, once again the judgment comes into question. Last time it was at best a shady character in Hsu, now a convicted felon after being on the run right here in Colorado (well, isn’t that a coincidence?). Now, with a fellow party member who heads the committee with jurisdiction over taxation and a whole lot more in big trouble, not only does he accept and keep his contribution, he votes to keep this dishonorable “member” of congress in his powerful seat.
This Rangel is the same clown who brought forward a bill to re-institute the military draft, then voted against his own bill! In a rare and probably time wasting effort, I actually wrote his office about this, letting him know this is exactly the kind of waste and abuse of office so many people are sick and tired of. But I guess he’s Mark Udall’s kind of guy. Bravo.
When I first heard Councilmember Sarah Levison repeatedly bring up the Brennan Center for Justice as a “non-partisan” organization to help frame the new Campaign finance reform, I, and I assume others, let it go trusting Ms. Levison was just trying to do what was best for Longmont.
In a recent Longmont City Council meeting, Ms. Levison mentioned how some members on the task force were getting tired of hearing about this organization. Now the truly “non-partisan” nature of this group is coming in to question.
In the September 13, 2008 New York Times, the newspaper of “record” (or lining birdcages, and fewer birdcages every day) spun very nicely a story of getting the word out to former convicted felons, often as they are just barely out of prison. Who’s getting this word out and actively pursuing these people? First there’s the Voter Registration Drive (VRD) organization that gives the rest of us VRD‘s a bad name, ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). Just Google them, (add ” Obama” to the search and it gets really interesting) the results will be “voter fraud” across several states.
Next up is the ACLU, NAACP, the Sentencing Project, and…the Brennan Center for Justice. Neither presidential candidate chose to be involved with this operation, but the NY Times noted ” Last month, Obama campaign workers took down a sign at their headquarters in Pottstown, Pa., that said ” Felons can vote,because it might have sent the wrong message.” That can be taken a few ways, you decide for yourself. But the point is ” the company you keep”, etc.
Then there’s the NY Times article entitled ” A Book Club Courts Liberals” about the Progressive Book Club. This is all well and good, as there are all kinds of book clubs, including a Conservative Book Club. But if the Brennan Center was non-partisan, it would advertise for both, or neither. I can’t find any mention of the Conservative Book Club on Brennan’s site, but the NY Times article had this: ” Participating organizations, which will also advertise the Progressive Book Club on their Web sites and help recruit members, include the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law; the Foundation for National Progress, which publishes Mother Jones magazine; and the Wellstone Action Fund” and ” alliance partner” Daily Kos. Again, the company you keep, and the above are far from middle of the road groups like Ms. Levison claims Brennan is.
Just a quick glance at Wikipedia says they’re a ” progressive” institute named after Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan who (according to Wikipedia again) was ” Known for his outspoken liberal views, including opposition to the death penalty and support for abortion rights.” Some of you might recall his claim of the death penalty as being ” cruel and unusual” punishment describing in gruesome detail this process, apparently having more sympathy for hardened criminals than the innocent unborn.
But the center’s naming after him, and the connections above are all just a coincidence, is that what we are lead to believe?
If Ms. Levison wants to use them as a resource that works out for the best interests of Longmont, fine. Even if they are partisan, that’s fine, too (unless they are a non-profit organization). But can we dispense with the charade of this organization (Brennan) being above politics?
Every six weeks or so I like to go back to Intrade (www.intrade.com) and see how people are placing bets on which way the election is heading.The last time I checked it was back in the first week of August, with the Democratic nominee (Intrade just lists DEM and REP in the state-by-state picks) was up 311-227 (Electoral College Votes – need 270 to win).I personally put it closer than that, putting the Democratic candidate up 279-259.Needless to say, a lot has changed since then.
According to the latest numbers, things have tightened up considerably in the race.They have the Democratic nominee winning 273-265, I have the Republican nominee winning 274-264 (for the sake of simplicity, we’ll just say Obama(Dem) and McCain(Rep) from this point on).The difference?One state.Colorado.
Last time around, “Unaffiliated” had the highest amount of registrations in the state.According to a recent AP article, Republicans now hold that edge, which means the majority of those registered in Colorado are either Republicans or Unaffiliated, which could be important swing voters.But on the Democratic side, it shows their Senate candidate (Mark Udall) with a 73-26 advantage over Republican Bob Schaffer.I think it will boil down to how much early voting there is, and the many ballot initiatives and who they bring out to vote.With a glance at some of these (TABOR-killing initiative, definition of a “person”, and ending race preferences) I give the edge to Republicans showing up more, which should amount to more McCain votes.The polls, which had Obama up by as many as 9 points, have gone back and forth on who is leading, amounting an average of an ever shrinking Obama lead that’s less than most margins of error.
Besides Colorado, which is the closest on Intrade (54-45 Obama), there are a couple other states that are close, a couple are surprises and weren’t in this category 6 weeks ago.New Hampshire is the next closest with it now 56-45 Obama.I left this in the Obama category, but there is something for Democrats to be worried about here:the last time I checked registrations, “Unaffiliated” held the lead at 44%, second place was Republicans with 30% and then Democrats with 26%.This was a surprise, and may have changed some since, but these numbers don’t usually jump up or down more than a few percentage points over the span of a few months.
Next is Nevada at 58-45 McCain, where registrations are nearly identical between the two parties, I expect McCain to carry this state.Then New Mexico at 60-45 Obama, which is a 13 point drop in the last 6 weeks, but many more Democratic registrations, so even though this is right in McCain’s backyard, I still give it to Obama.Then Virginia, which shows 61-42 McCain (registration numbers weren’t available), and while this may get close, I still think McCain will carry it.Lastly, Michigan, which I never guessed would make this list, is showing 62-40 Obama.While it may get some attention, the only way I see McCain winning this state is if there’s some unforeseen landslide.The rest of the states have larger spreads than this, including Ohio and Florida (McCain), and Pennsylvania (Obama).
Lastly, Intrade has a Presidential Election Winner betting option.The last contracts were 52.4 McCain to 47.1 Obama.If there truly is a greater than 5% gap in the popular vote like this, there should be an even greater gap in the Electoral College totals.But it’s not all gloom and doom for Democrats: Intrade shows them keeping control of both houses of Congress, and it’s not even all that close.
Knowing that the Longmont YourHub is shared by the Tri-Towns area, and Firestone in particular, I thought I’d share a message to our neighbors to the east.
I’m sure many of you are sick of outside influences, like Longmont, meddling in your business.The obvious business I’m talking about here is Lifebridge/4C and the Union annexation you are about to vote on.You’re right; you should be able, as a stand alone community, to decide your own destiny.
But you should also learn from others mistakes.Like Longmont, Firestone has a group of outside influences trying to disrupt and interfere in city business.In Longmont’s case, we had a group which included non-Longmont residents, and funding from unknown sources.Members of that group are now included in the anti-annexation Firestone group, and have sent out emails and letters to Firestone residents clearly identifying themselves as part of the Longmont group and other politically motivated groups.
They successfully drove a wedge between LifebridgeChurch and city government, and between citizens.From reading comments over at TriTown Online, it appears they’ve done the same to your community.
They spoke at Longmont City Council meetings asking voters of Firestone to vote for the current Firestone board, and spoke glowingly of your new mayor after ripping your old one – yes that’s right, I’m talking about Longmont council meetings.But when the board you elected came to the same conclusion as the board they replaced, that love affair was over.They just couldn’t get over the fact that the old board they loathed, and the one they thought would set the world straight were in agreement on this annexation, meaning both were in disagreement with them!How dare they, the outrage!People thinking independently!I can almost hear them now “but you OWE us!”
Their ploy worked in Longmont.They got an anti-annexation majority (or as former Firestone Mayor Mike Simone put it “anti-religious”, you decide for yourself) on council here. They thought they got it there, too.This is the kind of meddling you should be bothered by and turn away.I’m betting that’s difficult as they put themselves into your business at every turn.Go to a Town Board meeting, you’re bound to see them.
You should also question the ones with the endless questions.Asking questions in and of itself is fine, but if you really pay attention, there are no suitable answers to these types of people.They don’t really want to know, read carefully and you’ll find there’s absolutely nothing that can be said to alter their agenda, the questioning is agame.
We in Longmont can’t vote on this, which is a shame, many of us live closer to this proposed development than most in Firestone.We in Longmont also may suffer financially as this development grows and siphons off tax revenueand building permit fees that should’ve been ours.We in Longmont suffer due to an inept majority on our own city council and the long term damage they and their willing followers have done to this city.
Learn from our mistakes and let our loss be your gain.
Longmont Politics includes political posts from Wrongmont, Longmont Advocate, UNElect McCoy, and news/info posts from Longmont Foreclosures, Vote Longmont, and Longmont Examiner.
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