Yellow Scene makes some surprise endorsements

I occasionally check out the Yellow Scene magazine.  They’ve been somewhat fair to me over the years, and even gave me one of the first write-ups of my first blog, Wrongmont, and it was positive.  I think it’s pretty universally accepted to say they lean to the left politically, so to say some of its recent endorsements for Longmont City Council was a surprise is putting it lightly. Continue reading…

Farewell To Wrongmont

4/1/08 – As of today, I’m ending Wrongmont.

It’s far from an end though, in many ways it’s a beginning, and quite a beginning on the horizon.

As some of you may have seen, I recently started a Voter Registration Drive effort called Vote Longmont. It came from my years of trying to get people to pay more attention to their local community and government. So it was one offshoot of Wrongmont, and I think an important one. It will take up a fair amount of my time and money, but hopefully it will be worth it in higher registrations and turnout.

I’ve also been invited to join a fairly large media operation to write on subjects having to do with Longmont. It pays, not enough to be a second job, but I’m flattered to be considered. Prior to this offer, I had already been working on a much larger project than Wrongmont in scope and reach. The timing of this is total coincidence, but you know what they say about coincidences.

I’m well aware of the perceived connotations to the name “Wrongmont”, and that is partly the reason for the change, but not totally. After people read my stuff or got to know me, both online and personally, they got to see that I was actually a Longmont supporter and booster. Even friends who would agree with what I was saying, still after all these years, didn’t really care for the name. And those that didn’t know me, it maybe left a bad first impression. I thought it was snappy, a little sarcastic and witty (like myself), and easy to remember and type into a browser.

But I also knew there were limitations with the name, and what people thought it meant. I don’t like limitations, especially self inflicted ones.

Without giving too much away, I’m hoping my new project will interest people in wanting to participate. I will cover a wide variety of issues and topics and welcome outside submissions, as long as its Longmont related as much as possible. One example is I will showcase local talent, and I already have at least one band interested in taking part.

Local politics will still remain a large part of what is covered, but will be done in a much more interesting and entertaining way, at least that’s the goal. The rest, you’ll just have to wait. But whatever it is, and to whomever wants to take part, it will reach a larger audience than any other avenue I’ve used prior – combined. A hint: The Yellow Scene once said of me ” By founding Wrongmont.com, Rodriguez became one of EastCounty‘s early independent publishers.” The plan is to eclipse that. I’m not interested in standing still, no matter how comfortable it may be.

What’s ahead is daunting and challenging, mainly because I’m not willing to do things half-a, well you know. And if it just doesn’t work out, well, I guess you could consider this an April Fools joke.

While the name may change, the promise I made to myself and to my friend, the late Jeff Sands, remains.

(Illegal) signs of desperation?

A couple of weeks ago I was going to write a piece about the lack of candidate signs around town. Since then I’ve seen some sprouting up. Anyone else notice these signs in places you don’t normally see these placed? Like in railroad track right-of-ways, landscaped areas not in front of homes, or greenways in front of businesses. In other words, places you wouldn’t or couldn’t ask the property owners permission. You can read the ordinance yourself at http://www.ci.longmont.co.us/code_enf/ord/political_signs.htm. Longmont’s Code Enforcement Division is supposed to enforce this. It appears either they are choosing not to, or they are making a half-hearted attempt to remove some signs, only to have other improperly placed signs replace them.

I can only report what I see with my own eyes, and all of these signs so far are Richard Juday signs. Knowing this statement will elicit cries from his supporters of ” attack” or ” partisanship” (in a non-partisan election), let me educate some of them with a little flash from the past.

Excerpts from the October 2004 edition of The Yellow Scene (used with permission) “…Longmont’s city council are bending rules of their own to sway votes on November’s municipal ballot issue…we agree with Chris Rodriguez, webmaster of www.wrongmont.com who noted that Pirnack’s letter in the September (2004) issue of CityLine crosses the line… CityLine is the city’s monthly newsletter included with residents’ utility bills…However, Mayor Pirnack used it to urge citizens to vote for FastTracks and against Ballot Question 2A, the proposed police and fire collective bargaining agreement. Rodriguez claims this letter breaks the Fair Campaign Practices Act which is part of our state constitution. That law states: No…council of the state or any political subdivision thereof shall…expend any public moneys from any source, or make any contributions, to urge electors to vote in favor of or against any: (A) State-wide ballot issue.. (B) Local ballot issue…The point is that if city council wants to campaign, they can do so on their own time and money. For public officials, spending taxpayer dollars to advocate a political position is against the law – even if they think it shouldn’t be.”

Pretty strong charges against our then Mayor and council, you know, the ones Mr. Juday’s supporters demanded had to go? So allow me to be ” equal opportunity” in calling bullflop on questionable campaign practices: Whoever is placing these Juday signs are knowingly or unknowingly placing them against city ordinance. I’m going with the former, as some are so blatantly displayed in places anyone used to seeing these signs can figure out they’re placed questionably.

Many have been up for over a week, and more keep getting erected. Are we to believe Mr. Juday or his supporters haven’t seen these (we’re talking major streets here) or aren’t aware of them? They are either aware of them, don’t live in Longmont, or are not very observant people. Let this get your attention: Each one is a separate violation for each day it stands. And the results of the election, win or lose, don’t change that.

Others have pointed out questionable financial disclosures in Mr. Juday’s filed campaign reports (not responded to), and his broken pledge not to accept monetary contributions (not responded to). Add these signs to the list. If someone can’t win honestly, not only do they deserve to lose, they don’t deserve to run.