In his pending contest versus Colorado Congressman Cory Gardner for the senate seat he already holds, Mark Udall had finally picked his side. Despite canceling more insurance policies than it created, taking health care decisions away from patients and doctors and giving them to insurance companies directed by government bureaucrats, and throwing an industry representing one-sixth of the national economy into turmoil, Senator Mark Udall believes standing up for "Colorado values" means defending his deciding vote to implement the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act."
Udall: "We had to fix a broken system. We now have a system that's far from perfect but my focus is on making it work for Coloradans, and that's the Colorado spirit. We can't go back to a time when if you were a woman the insurance companies could drop your coverage. Too many families went into bankruptcy because of health care costs. So in the end we did the right thing, the law is far from perfect, my focus is on making it work for Colorado."
Tubbs: "So you'd do it again?"
Udall: "I would do it again, yes. I would, I think, look, if I were there I would say here are some things we should have done differently. Here are some things that would make more sense. But we're on track. You're going to see some important numbers, new enrollees, you have many more people on Medicaid, and by the way the law allows you to cover your adult children until the age of 26, which is a big deal because a lot of young adults can't afford coverage."
But you were there, senator. Why didn't you point out what made more sense instead of voting for this? It's "the right thing" to have this law that, so far at least, doesn't work for Colorado because, what, it was broken to begin with? Ask the roughly 335,000 Coloradans whose insurance was cancelled by your law if they believe this was "the right thing." Your best defense of the law is "more people are on Medicaid" and "a lot of young adults can't afford coverage?" Yeah, you really made things better didn't you?
Full audio here, courtesy of 850 KOA's interview by Steffan Tubbs. O'care discussion starts around 5 minute mark of the 7 minute interview.
In November jk commented, "The Democrats cannot back too far off -- repeat after me -- "the President's Signature initiative." Yet, they cannot get too close and be elected in any state less blue than Illinois."
"Pass the popcorn" indeed.
UPDATE: Colorado Peak Politics' coverage of this includes a partial enumeration of how the PPACA law doesn't work for Colorado.
To its discredit, Colorado's Republican Party chose to NOT conduct a statewide straw poll on any of the primary races in 2014. What are they afraid of, I wonder? To their credit, however, many counties chose to conduct straw polls independently. My county of Weld was one of them as was Douglas County, whose website has conveniently aggregated all of the county by county straw polls from:
Douglas, Broomfield, Pueblo (partial), Yuma, Larimer (partial), Adams (partial) Montrose, Weld, Teller (governor only), and Boulder.
Cory Gardner ran away with the US Senate preference poll with 83.6 percent to Hill and Baumgardner's 8.4 and 5.2, respectively.
The Governor's contest was, a contest:
Gessler - 30.3%
Beauprez - 22.5%
Tancredo - 15.7%
Kopp - 14.0%
Brophy - 11.9%
House - 3.6%
Others - 2%
My county seems to prefer Beauprez with 23.2%, followed by Gessler at 20.3%, Tancredo at 19.9%, Kopp at 15.7% and Brophy with 13.6%. House fared very poorly in Weld coming in behind Roni Bell Sylvester, who's 77 multi-county votes included 42 in Weld County.
Someday, over a few very good beers, brothers jg, br, and jk (O NED, he's talking about himself in the third person again...) will do a Colorado counterfactual and discuss whether we made the wrong pick in 2010.
I have no remorse for Delawareans (-ites? -goobers?) dying on the Christine O'Donnell hill. Besides the rallying cry of "yeah, but she's our witch -- cut her the hell down!" there was nothing lost by keeping Mike Castle (RINO - DE) out of the US Senate. That loss was a win-win.
But Colorado had the chance to send a pretty good Republican in 2010. We, too, chose to lose with an inexperienced candidate. I supported Weld County DA Ken Buck in the primary and will take my lumps. But the liberty differential was far less pronounced in the 38th State as it was in the first. Lt. Gov. Norton's sin was her expected malleability, but even were that the case, the Tea-Party infused 112th would have aligned her with the forces of goodness and light.
But I am prepared to move on. And from an email, it appears Ms. Norton is too:
Denver, CO. -- Phoenix Multisport, Inc., is pleased to announce the appointment of Jane Norton as Director of Development. Ms. Norton brings over two decades of experience working in public health roles as Regional Director of the US Department of Health and Human Services (1988-1993), Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (1999-2002), and as Colorado's 46th Lieutenant Governor (2003-2007) where she acted as point person for health insurance reform.
"I'm excited to be part of a team committed to breaking the cycle of addiction and helping people rediscover their potential. Phoenix is an extraordinarily successful model for people struggling with addiction, and I'm thrilled to be involved as Phoenix expands into Colorado Springs where more of our returning servicemen and women will benefit from its great programs. The new downtown Denver location also creates a strong hub of sobriety in the heart of the city," Norton said.
Phoenix Multisport is an innovative Colorado-based non-profit that fosters a supportive, physically active community for thousands of individuals who are recovering from alcohol and substance abuse and those that choose to live a sober life. Through such pursuits as climbing, hiking, running, road and mountain biking, yoga and multiple other activities, Phoenix helps its members develop and maintain the emotional strength they need to stay sober.
Best of luck, Ms. Lt. Gov.
(And, Madame Lieutenant Governor, when I said "over a few beers," I pictured one for each of us. Just to be clear.)
Those pu**y Wisconsin Democrats might run from a fight, but Centennial State residents know that their Senior Senator is on the job. Senator Udall's newsletter just arrived.
I, of course, wondered what he was doing to reign in spending and address the protests in the Middle East.
Today, I reintroduced the bipartisan Ski Area Recreation Opportunity Enhancement Act. Behind this somewhat lengthy title is a very simple idea that will help create jobs and boost the economy in our mountain communities.
Every winter, over 10 million skiers and snowboarders flock to Colorado to enjoy the ski areas that have made Colorado an international icon for winter recreation. Ski areas are a critical part of our state's recreational and tourist economy -- but many struggle to provide jobs during the summer months.
Those of us who live in Colorado year-round know that opportunity to enjoy the outdoors does not end when the last snowflake falls. My bill would make a small change to the rules governing the permitting of ski areas on National Forests, making it clear that biking, concerts and other recreational activities are welcome where the Forest Service finds them appropriate. With additional summertime activities we can help bolster these local economies with year-round jobs and help to provide some seasonal stability for our mountain communities.
As always, your input is greatly appreciated. Please follow me on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and don't hesitate to contact me through my website if you have questions, comments or concerns.
I'll sleep easier tonight knowing the brave Udall brothers are in the Senate, keeping the West properly promoted for summer biking.
Ken Buck's anti-abortion stance cost him the U.S. Senate seat in Colorado.
True, Buck had other problems. He made a few gaffes, as when he jokingly said he should win because he doesn't wear high heels (a response to his primary opponent's many references to gender), and when he likened homosexuality to alcoholism. The left unfairly attacked Buck for his prosecutorial work on a gun case and a rape case. Moreover, the Democrats did a good job getting out the vote for Michael Bennet.
But Buck's anti-abortion position made more difference than any of those other things, alienating many women and independent voters. And it was only in the context of Buck's perceived antagonism toward women's right to control their own bodies that the "high heels" comment and the claims about a mishandled rape case gained traction.
Hard to make a forceful argument against. "Rape and Incest" is not a compelling part of the abortion question 'round these parts, but it is indicative of an "extreme" position. Match that with a call to repeal the 17th Amendment, and a principled or quirky suggestion starts to appear darker.
Without the gaffes, I still think he had a run. It took the biggest expenditure of Demagogue I mean Democrat cash in the country to beat him narrowly.
My blog brother jg suggested in a comment that LtGov Jane Norton would not have fared better than Weld County AG Ken Buck. Norton's staunch pro-life views would "still have been vulnerable to the well funded 'I just can't vote for that' ad campaign."
I'm not trying to be argumentative but it is important to ask whether the Tea Partiers cost the GOP a seat. I think the answer is clearly yes. Our buddies at The Denver Post suggest a turning point:
Buck appears to have lost his lead for good in a single week in late October, when he equated homosexuality with alcoholism on "Meet the Press," polls tightened up and key newspaper endorsements went to Bennet, said independent Colorado pollster Floyd Ciruli.
My Facebook friends went nuts over that. Not that they were likely to vote Republican, but that was talked about more than anything else. I winced on these pages at the "I don't wear high heels" gaffe, that made it into a few ads. For better or worse, Conservatives will be portrayed as Neanderthals and need to be cautious about supplying ammo.
No, I think Norton wins in a walk. That does not mean I have regrets -- the establishment clearly deserved thumpin'. But I think we need to be honest. I'm not gonna miss Mike Castle in Delaware and I would as soon have the write in winner in Alaska be "Satan" as Ms. Murkowski. But we may have made a mistake in Colorado.
Interesting that the DSCC has been using a lot of blog ads. But am I the only one who gives a double-take to this ad on Reason.com?
No doubt yer basic Reason reader would scoff at some "Buckisms." But the extreme views that cause such Strum and Drang in an anti-Buck ad are pretty mainstream in the lofty salons of Reason. "Tearing up the Constitution and taking away your right to vote for your Senator!" (Umm, we call it repealing the 17th Amendment and Article V [and the 21st] provides a good map.) "Putting Social Security in the Stock Market!" (Umm, that's called private accounts and your only chance to frighten a Reason reader is to make it too small.)
Just seems odd -- I mean clearly, they should have been advertising on ThreeSources!
I found it difficult to differentiate the too subtle differences between Weld County AG Ken Buck and former Lt. Gov Jane Norton in the CO GOP Senatorial primary.
But now that Buck has won, I find the DNSC and Bennet attack ads completely convincing.
Buck said in some speech in 2009 that we should consider repealing the 17th Amendment (pretty popular idea on these pages). The DNSC says "BUCK WANTS TO REWRITE THE CONSTITUTION! TAKE AWAY YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE!" And the tag: "Too Extreme for Colorado."
Bennet's ad says that Buck wants to eliminate the Department of Education! Privatize Social Security! Calls Social Security "Unconstitutional."
Huh? Why didn't you say so, Ken? Jeebers, my checkbook is your checkbook now.
Shoulda had that Bennet guy run your primary campaign though...
(My Google Fu Skills are way off today, if somebody has links to video, send 'em along.)
Around the time the Tea Party was first upsetting all right-minded people, Colorado's Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet told a friendly audience that these hooligans were peddling ideas that were "ludicrous," "appalling" and even "nihilistic."
"Nihilism" is a chilling word. It has many definitions, but generally it is agreed that it means a failure to believe in change and/or hope.
But polls look a lot different today. And, consequently, Bennet is probably about two speeches away from asking Washington to stop treading on him and putting on an American flag T-shirt.
The "nihilism" line is QOTD-worthy, as is "(After some insufficient research, I can say with journalistic certainty that no other unelected government official in the history of the nation has spent as much taxpayer money.)"
Welcome home, Dave! Give Mister Maes a closer look sometime.
As a constituent of the Honorable Senator Michael F. Bennet, The Refugee just received an e-mail from The Good Senator about his accomplishments in that august body. However, The Refugee, using some little-known HTML commands was able to reveal hidden text in the message. It turns out that this hidden text helps to understand what the senator really meant. Read for yourself; hidden text in italics.
I’ve only been in the Senate a short while, but I’ve made it a priority to change the way Washington does business. [That's why I voted down-the-line for the Obama agenda.]
All too often, partisan wrangling leads to gridlock and inaction [It's those damn Republicans! Dissent is the greatest form of patriotism only when George Bush is in the White House]. Instead of actually doing their jobs, members of Congress have become ensnared in bickering and gamesmanship [Debate is such an outdated concept, don't you think?]. That’s why I offered my Plan for Washington Reform in March, which included my resolution to reform the filibuster and end secret holds [Never mind what the Founders intended. I'm smarter than Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and James Madison combined].
To end the revolving door between Congress and special interests, I introduced a lobbying reform proposal that would ban Members of Congress from ever becoming lobbyists once they leave office [With the unbelievable retirement package for Members of Congress, who needs jobs? We can suck off the taxpayer tit until we die]. I also put forward a bill that would reform the earmark process by banning earmarks for private companies and improving transparency through the creation of earmarks.gov, an online database that would be searchable by each Member of Congress [Notice I said private companies only, not labor unions. Brilliant! We can still launder money through our supporters and cut off anyone who supports those bastard Republicans!].
I also led efforts to put a freeze on Congressional pay for fiscal year 2011. Blocking next year's automatic pay raise is just one small step; my plan would prevent Congress from considering increasing its pay or office budgets until our economy gets fully back on track [Big deal! Most of us are multimillionaires so a few thousand one way or the other doesn't matter. Besides, didn't you hear? This is the "Summer of Recovery". We'll just declare everything fixed and give ourselves that raise - with interest and back pay!].
With the likely damaging effects of the recent Citizens United Supreme Court decision on campaign financing, I cosponsored the DISCLOSE Act . The bill would require more transparency in political ads, and force CEOs to stand behind their corporate spending on campaigns [Notice here again that I exclude unions. Damn, we gotta take care of the SEUI or we're sunk!]. Although it fell victim in the Senate to a partisan filibuster [Damn Republicans saw through the ruse to cut off their funding], I remain committed to fighting for campaign finance reform and cleaner elections [My definition of a "clean election" is one where I can outspend my opponent 5:1. Go ahead - cut off our funding! I'm rich enough to self-finance! The real name of this is the "Assure Re-election of Rich White Guys Act of 2010"].
Working to ensure that Congress works for the American people has never been easy, but we have begun to see some momentum. I recently testified before Congress on my proposal to reform the filibuster [It's kinda like having the fox testify about security in the hen house]. With so much work to be done on behalf of Colorado’s families, if a small minority of Senators wants to hold up legislation, they should be required to stand on principle and filibuster in person [Unless the Democrats lose control of the Senate, in which case the filibuster becomes //begin sanctimonious voice/ "The only effective means to halt the tyranny of the majority as clearly intended by our Founding Fathers" //end sanctimonious voice/]. And any filibuster must have bipartisan support if it goes on for more than a few days [Don't ask me how the hell that would work. It sounds great in a stump speech and it has as much chance of flying as a dead cat. I'll never have to back up the words with action].
You can read more in The Denver Post, which profiled our fight to change the broken system in Washington [...and are totally in the tank for us. Thank Ned the Fairness Doctrine was repealed!].
The road ahead will be tough [That damn Republican Buck has some pretty good ideas - I've got to get The Denver Post to demonize him as a tea bagger or I'm in deep weeds. We can't allow citizens to hear his message]. It’s never easy to combat inertia and entrenched interests [Kinda ironic, huh, since we Democrats are the ones with the inertia and entrenched interests?]. But Colorado’s families and small businesses deserve accountability from their elected officials, and a Senate that works for them. That’s why I’ll continue to fight for reform until Washington begins to do the hard work that Coloradans expect [...and I will continue to vote down-the-line with Obama and Harry Reid. I know which side my bread is buttered on!].
Michael F. Bennet
See, doesn't transparency in government work?
UPDATE: Yahoo News reports that liberal groups are organizing a boycott of Target for their support of a conservative Republican for Minnesota governor. (Target is based in MN.)
"Target is receiving criticism and frustration from their customers because they are doing something wrong, and that should serve absolutely as an example for other companies," said Ilyse Hogue, director of political advocacy for the liberal group MoveOn.org, which is pressing Target to formally renounce involvement in election campaigns.
This is the chilling effect that Bennet's "reform" is intended to have: intimidate corporations from donating to campaigns. Note, unions are never subject to public pressure because there's no real way to get to them financially.
Bennet's proposal has nothing to do with fairness - it's all about intimidating right-leaning contributions and cutting off funding to Republicans.
With Colorado's primary election day tomorrow the left-leaning pollster Public Policy Polling today released a new poll on the senate and governor's races. Bennet's 6-point lead over Romanoff is slightly more than the 4.6% margin of error for the Democratic poll, but the GOP races are both closer than the 3.5% theoretical uncertainty.
Among 767 "likely Republican primary voters" Norton leads Buck 45-43 (12 percent undecided) ((still?)) and McInnis leads Maes 41-40. The only poll that's going to settle these races is the one that starts to be tallied tomorrow at 7pm.
But here's something else I found interesting in the questions asked only of Republicans.
"Do you support or oppose the goals of the 'Tea Party' movement?"
Support - 78%
Oppose - 9%
"Do you personally identify as a member of the 'Tea Party' movement?"
Yes - 35%
No - 47%
So while one-third of us are active anti-tax and spenders, three-quarters of Republicans support our cause. Bully!
(Also curious why they didn't poll those questions of the Dems.)
I must admit it is fun to have two serious primary battles underway. We have read a Junk's worth of Tea Leaves in the Buck - Norton contretemps, but The Bennet-Romanov race for the Democratic nomination is worth a gaze as well.
I have seen one commercial many many times. President Obama talks up Michael Bennet, who appears just to say he approves the message. It is all Obama after that. I figured it might help in the primary, but that I'd give $500 to run it a week before the General. Well, John Fund suggests that it's not even helping in the primary:
But Mr. Romanoff has now surged to a 48% to 45% lead over Mr. Bennet in a new Denver Post poll, with his strongest gains being made among liberal and younger voters. That's the profile of many Obama supporters -- and a key part of Mr. Bennet's strategy has been to emphasize his White House ties.
"The fact that Bennet has Barack Obama ads on everyone's television screens multiple times a day right now shows that he's scrambling to win this primary," Eric Sondermann, a Denver political consultant, told the Post. "That is not an ad you'd run in the general election."
If Mr. Obama's endorsement winds up failing to pull Senator Bennet to victory, many Democrats will begin to wonder just when, where and against what kind of opponent the president can still be a political asset.
Pretty stunning decline of political capital. The President should do well with Centennial State Democrats -- or at least as well as you'd expect with any demographic.
Dear blog brother JK just cautioned, vis-a-vis the Colorado candidacies of Ken Buck and Dan Maes-
But My Pragmatic Heart (spleen at least) is becoming more concerned that our rush to put forward non-professional candidates might have us nominating a lot of wolf-fodder to wolf-like, professional, Democratic candidates in the fall.
I replied that "Voters are tired of status-quo Republicans. There needs to be a difference between them and the Dems." But someone else long ago said this with greater power and eloquence.
"Just get up off the ground, that's all I ask. Get up there with that lady that's up on top of this Capitol dome, that lady that stands for liberty. Take a look at this country through her eyes if you really want to see something. And you won't just see scenery; you'll see the whole parade of what Man's carved out for himself, after centuries of fighting. Fighting for something better than just jungle law, fighting so's he can stand on his own two feet, free and decent, like he was created, no matter what his race, color, or creed. That's what you'd see. There's no place out there for graft, or greed, or lies, or compromise with human liberties. And, uh, if that's what the grownups have done with this world that was given to them, then we'd better get those boys' camps started fast and see what the kids can do. And it's not too late, because this country is bigger than the Taylors, or you, or me, or anything else. Great principles don't get lost once they come to light. They're right here; you just have to see them again!" - Jefferson Smith in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
As Smith also said, "EITHER I'M DEAD RIGHT OR I'M CRAZY."
State Senator Nancy Spense emails to solicit funds for she-who-must-not-be named (but her old job rhymes with "Blue Tenant Governor").
Have you heard Ken Buck’s latest attack on Jane Norton?
I was appalled to hear Ken’s latest and most ridiculous comment. When he was asked about why voters should support him, Mr. Buck replied “because I don’t wear high heels.”
Now Jane Norton is fighting back, just like she’ll fight Barack Obama and the liberals in Washington, D.C. Check out her latest ad that is airing across Colorado.
I am honored to support Jane Norton and her candidacy for the United States Senate.
Jane is a conservative.
Jane is a leader.
Jane is strong.
And yes, she does it all in high heels!
I didn't hear the original remark and will accept any context anybody wants to provide.
But My Pragmatic Heart (spleen at least) is becoming more concerned that our rush to put forward non-professional candidates might have us nominating a lot of wolf-fodder to wolf-like, professional, Democratic candidates in the fall.
For the time and interest challenged I'll excerpt from the quoted words of Independence Institute's David Kopel, who pretty much sums up my own reaction:
Now Ken Buck violated the protocol by talking about it outside the office. And I agree that was a violation of the U.S. Attorney’s protocol.
But when you say, when is a guy going to make a mistake, I like a guy who makes a mistake on behalf of someone who was being unfairly, unjustly, and politically persecuted.
And then for Jane Norton to turn around and say this is some terrible issue against Ken Buck — well, it just reminds me that Jane Norton’s husband was the guy who before Strickland came into office, probably had the worst record in Colorado history of being an abusive, out-of-control, way over the line, United States Attorney, Mike Norton.
Like Kopel, I think Ken should wear this "ethical violation" as a badge of courage.
This one is tactical. Incumbent politicians are rarely challenged in subsequent primaries. If a senator or representative from your own party disappoints you the most realistic chance to replace him (or her) is after losing to the nominee from the other party (and enduring 6 or 2 years of "worse still.") Even in this time of historic activism and interest says AP's David Espo...
Little noted in all the upheaval is that with an exception or two, the loudest tea party uprisings have come in Republican primaries without incumbents on the ballot. Angle's come-from-behind senatorial success in Nevada; Marco Rubio's rise in Florida, and Linda McMahon's surge in Connecticut are among them.
And Colorado Republicans will have a chance to add Ken Buck to that list. Espo's article is titled 'Incumbents Fine, Establishment Hurting.' The Democrat establishment is easy to recognize - labor unions. For the GOP it's a collection of lobbyists and senior legislators with cozy relationships they'd like to keep in place. So when John McCain's PAC and the NRSC back a candidate facing a primary challenge by another who calls himself "the grassroots choice" it might just be the kiss of death.
Espo also has words for those who worry about national support in a general election should the "outsider" candidate become the party nominee...
Republican establishment officials react to each defeat with a rhetorical pivot, insisting that the candidates they didn't initially favor will lead the GOP to victory in the fall.
"Well, realistically, I don't think you can repeal it, with the makeup we're seeing right now, and even if we were able to put in place conservatives in all the seats, you wouldn't be able to repeal it because of the President's veto power. There's two ways that you can approach it. One is not funding those 16,000 new IRS employees that it's going to take to implement and then police this. And then, also, insuring that each component of that 2,700 page bill is indeed constitutional."
But to be fair, she was for repeal before she dismissed it and then started campaigning on it again.
Shortly after the May 22 Colorado GOP Assembly JK commented that he didn't "see one position where Buck is clearly favorable." But Colorado voters in general seem to be more impressed with Ken's landslide victory at the state convention (where Norton chose not to participate.) In a recent Magellan Strategies poll via RealClearPolitics Buck now leads Norton by 10 points. Looking at where he's come from it is even more impressive.
As I suggested in my May 25 post, as more people get to know Ken they seem to like his message. Interestingly, the Buck and Norton lines cross almost exactly at the Assembly date.
Today's Denver Post published the responses from the state's US Senate candidates regarding what should be done about traffic congestion on I-70 in the mountains. For those outside Colorado, Jane Norton and Ken Buck are in a primary for the Republican nomination.
Jane Norton responded, "We should seek more federal money but the final decision should be left up to state and local officials." Ken Buck said, "We should not seek more federal dollars. The state should solve its own transporation problems."
Interestingly, Norton's position is in line with the Democratic candidates, Michael Bennet and Andrew Romanoff. All three think we need to get more federal cheese.
Don Johnson at People's Press Collective writes that Tom Wiens decision to withdraw from the CO race for US Senate and endorse Ken Buck may be seen as a "third strike" against Norton.
On Saturday, Buck gained a lot of publicity and momentum at the GOP state assembly.
Satuday night, Sarah Palin failed to endorse Norton as widely expected ...
And today, Wiens drops out, forcing Norton to figure out how to stop Buck.
But he didn't mention Jane's fourth strike, namely that her chief campaign argument has now been dismantled by the latest PPP poll. Jane has been claiming that she is the best, or only, candidate to beat Michael Bennet in the general election. Trouble is, that's no longer the case. Either Bennet or Romanoff now lead either Norton or Buck by a few percentage points. (Summary courtesy of RealClearPolitics.com's May 19 page)
A look at the internals shows that Norton's personal favorability has been slipping, from 25/35 to 20/32 (favorable/unfavorable) but so has Buck's, from 21/17 to 19/24, and Romanoff's, from 45/15 to 31/26 and Bennet's, from 57/21 to 34/44. The biggest differences appear to be in the undecideds:
As the only candidate with less than 50% name recognition (nearly 6 in 10 have no opinion of him!) Buck seems to have the greatest ability to make a move past the others (or, of course, fall further behind.) And then there's the factor of PPP being a Democrat polling firm.
"Republicans put TEA Party Activist Dan Maes on Top of Their Primary Ballot
That's the way Fox News reported Colorado's GOP Convention vote today. I have the vote totals below and yes, Lynn Bartels did beat me to press with this one, but she only gives the share of the vote for each candidate, not the total votes. In my defense, I conserved my battery until the convention ended and powered up to look for wireless but it was pay to play and that is ten bucks that could be better spent on a Dan Maes campaign contribution.
The GOP state treasurer nomination goes to JJ Ament, with 2,788 votes to 690 for Ali Hasan. Hasan's 20% showing was below the 30% threshold to get him on the primary ballot.
The senate race was a little closer with Ken Buck's 2,701 votes surpassing Tidwell's 522, Greenheck's 56 and Barton's 35. Only Buck was voted onto the primary.
And then there was the governor's race. This one came down to the wire and the close finish was, I suspect, the reason it took nearly 2 hours to count and recount and verify and reverify the vote totals (after state party chair Dick Wadhams estimated 30 minutes.) Dan Maes drew 1,741 votes and party insider and long-time front runner Scott McInnis tallied 1,725. (YJ Mager received 21.) By a 16 vote margin the upstart "people's choice" candidate took the top position on the primary ballot. With 49% and 48% respectively, Maes and McInnis will face off in the primary election in August.
There is no picture of Scott McInnis because he and his family left before the voting ended to attend the wedding of Scott's eldest daughter in Estes Park. A campaign staffer made some cursory remarks to that effect.
In acknowledging his first-place finish Maes told the few of us remaining in the hall, "This is not about me. This is about you, the people, standing up and making yourselves heard. (...) We're just getting warmed up! (...) And to all of you Republicans in elective office out there, don't block me. This train is leaving the station and it's time to get on board. (...) The next step is to start sending in those contributions. It's time to start raising the money necessary to take this campaign to the next level." (Or something along those lines.)
UPDATE: Here's an interesting list of winners and losers from the Republican State Assembly
2. Dan Maes: Edging out the party establishment’s favorite Scott McInnis, even by the narrowest of margins, gives an added boost to his campaign. Having given a great speech and recorded a strong showing today, Maes knows he has a lot of ground to make up in fundraising. But he’s in the game at least until August.
3. Ken Buck: Once Jane Norton decided to skip the assembly and petition on, a Buck victory was a slam dunk. But the Weld County D.A. put on an impressive showing of 77 percent despite the undervotes and protest votes. Primary race? Game on.
4. Cory Gardner: Clearing the 4th CD Republican field with 60 percent is a big relief for Gardner, as the GOP unites strong in its best chance to take back a Colorado Congressional seat from the Democrats.
5. Tea Party / 9-12 Project: The growing influence and focused energy of these groups was on display in Loveland. Besides the medium-sized sea of red shirts for Dan Maes, how else do you explain Bob McConnell winning 45 percent to make the ballot in CD3 and Dean Madere finishing a respectable second in CD4? Fiscal conservatism is alive and well and ready to rear its head in Colorado.
6. Republican Party unity: I think this point may be lost on some, especially on the other side, who are wishing for the opposite to happen. But despite (or maybe because of) heated primary competition, there was less dissension and infighting evident than at any of the past three state assemblies.
1. Negative campaign tactics: Ali Hasan banked a lot of his success on attacks suggesting fellow treasurer candidate J.J. Ament is a “fiscal liberal.” The delegates — whom no one could describe as anything but right of center — weren’t buying. Meanwhile, non-participating gubernatorial candidate Joe Gschwendtner bombarded delegates with robo-calls before the Assembly urging them to vote against Dan Maes saying he can’t win, a strategy that appears to have backfired. (See #2)
2. Joe G: Gschwendtner’s campaign spokesman told Lynn Bartels earlier in the day: “After Dan doesn’t get his 30 percent, it will be McInnis and Gschwendtner.” Whoops. The late-entry campaign would have a steep enough hill to climb in a two-way race, but McInnis’ party establishment backing and Maes’ outstanding grassroots showing leave very little political oxygen.
4. Establishment backing: Many delegates this year seemed to be looking for candidates of integrity who have fire in the belly, candidates who send signals of running on principle rather than being handpicked by the powers that be. It’s certainly a reason Scott McInnis missed top line on the ballot, and it helps to explain why SD 16 candidate Tim Leonard was able to garner 70 percent support and avoid a primary with Mark Hurlbert.
Maes has won despite dismal fundraising and a few stumbles along the way. Putting some 70,000 miles on your car in less than 12 months while attending hundreds of political events can pay off. I think he comes off as being a bit smarter and more honest than McInnis, and he's willing to talk to both supporters and critics while McInnis is a glad hander who tries to avoid talking issues with supporters or, especially, the media and critics.
At 4:15 pm MDT the speeches are over and the voting has begun. While waiting my turn I pulled out the laptop to write a few notes. Tom Lucero walked by and asked "are you just on the computer, playing around?" "I'm bloggin' man!" said I. So, ThreeSourcers, Tom Lucero says "Hi."
McInnis and Maes both received strong applause during their speeches but many more people rose from their seats for Dan than for Scott. Dan talked about his three point plan to take back Colorado: Reduce the size of government, cut taxes, and make real progress to stem illegal immigration. The details on immigration were to enforce existing Colorado law that is "much like the Arizona law," require all employers to use E-verify, and require unalterable photo-ID when appearing for social service aid.
Gotta runand vote!@
UPDATE- Just finished voting for Gardner for congress and Sue Sharkey for CU Regent. Now back to the report.
In case you were wondering, the gubernatorial and senate votes are tomorrow but those candidates spoke to our, and the other, congressional district assembly here at the Embassy Suites in Loveland.
Scott McInnis tried to sound tough. Tough on immigration. Tough in taking on Hickenlooper. Tough man, tough. His best line was his last: I can't wait to get to Denver and start the fight against Hickenlooper. Hey Hickenlooper, little buddy, I can't wait!
Low battery so I'm saving, just in case....
Jane Norton, who isn't even on the Convention ballot tomorrow (she's petitioning instead, hmm) and Ken Buck both spoke. Jane told us she is a pro-life, pro-business, pro-freedom, pro-2nd amendment, pro-10th amendment conservative. Polite applause. She said she's running for the senate because "Washington is broken" and she wants to go take it back. Polite applause. She even said she wants to repeal Obamacare. This is a flip-flop if memory serves, since she's said before that complete repeal is a bridge too far.
Here are the election results, as they're announced:
590 total votes (177 threshold to get on the primary ballot)
I think I may have scooped Lynn Bartels with the speed of my reporting! :)
I wasn't terribly surprised that Lucero didn't make the 30% threshold to get on the primary ballot, but I don't think anyone expected Dean Madere to out poll Tom Lucero.
More later. Off to the barbeque.
UPDATE- I've renamed this post Midway/Final because the election results mark the end of the 4th CD Assembly. The next event we're attending is Dan Maes ice cream social this evening, then the State Convention tomorrow morning. I'm going to see if I can get Dan's thoughts on the recent PPP (Democratic) poll showing Hickenlooper and Ritter tied at 44% each. The poll didn't ask about Maes. After tomorrow, I predict they'll have to start.
Anyone remember my mention of the Senate Conservatives Fund? It was just before our little foray into drug legalization so I'll understand if you missed it. Here's part of Jim DeMint's endorsement of Weld County (CO) DA and GOP candidate for the US Senate Ken Buck:
"There are certainly other good Republicans in this race," said Senator DeMint, "but I believe Ken Buck is a conservative standout who will fight the establishment in both parties when he gets to Washington."
Music to my TEA Party ears.
"The purpose of the Senate Conservatives Fund is to help elect strong candidates who are overlooked by the Washington establishment," said Senator DeMint. "Ken Buck is one of those candidates, and I'm confident he will win if he gets his message out. My goal with this race is to partner with freedom-loving Americans in Colorado and across the country to help level playing field and give Ken Buck the support he needs to win the primary in August and defeat the Democrat in November. I am not trying to tell the people of Colorado how to vote; I am asking for their help because we need Ken Buck to save our country."
Heard a radio report today that Jane Norton now intends to petition onto the primary ballot instead of counting on 30% minimum support at the state GOP convention next month. ColoradoPols covers it here. She joins Tom Wiens as one of the candidates who doesn't energize the grassroots activists enough to waste a few weekend mornings supporting her (or him.) Apparently John McCain's PAC money can buy petition signatures more reliably than it can buy energetic supporters.
Related: Heard Dick Morris tell KOA Denver's Mike Rosen yesterday that "Jane Norton has to beat Bennet or Romanoff in November. It's imperative. Hopefully not very many Republicans will flake off and support a weaker candidate." Come on Dick. You'll just have to start helping Buck raise campaign cash after he's OUR nominee.
Whenever your caucus is, wherever you live ... GO. Find the grassroots candidates. Support them. Tell the McCain PAC money boys (and in Colorado's case, girls) to go home. The GOP primary is the only place you can make a real difference. By the time the general election rolls around it's just lesser-of-evils time. In Colorado, tonight's the night. 7 pm.
Caucus Report - There were 13 participants from our precinct who chose 4 delegates from 5 nominees. Yours truly was one of those selected (and the only one to be chosen unanimously, with 13 of 13 votes.) This is even more remarkable when you consider that one of the couples in attendance had expressed their strong preference for Jane Norton, since they know her personally. Even though I was unabashedly for her chief rival, Ken Buck, the both of them voted for me. I had chatted them up about the other races and the general condition of the country. I also volunteered to be precinct secretary and one of two precinct chairmen for the next go 'round. When given my chance at a mini campaign speech I said I'm not a member of any TEA Party or 9.12 groups but I attend the Tea Parties when they happen and that best describes my priorities. I said that I consider over taxation and regulation at the federal level to be the chief reason for the sad state of the economy these days. Charity should start at home and that sort of thing. In closing I joked that everyone should "vote for me because I WON'T buy your vote."
Our precinct/district results were:
Buck - 9/49
Norton - 4/20
McInnis - 7/42
Maes - 6/38
Gardner - 11/49
Lucero - 2/16
Brown - 0/9
Statewide results for Senate and Governor are here.
As of (Good Lord!) 1:15am MDT (last updated 11:25pm with 94% reporting) the numbers are:
- If the rankings hold through the final count this is a major coup for the grassroots candidate Ken Buck over the much better funded Norton. I think he was just hoping for a good showing to get some credibility. An outright win is a bonus.
- Wiens spent a lot of ad money too, mostly hammering Norton for supporting the tax grab Referendum C. If he drops out none of his support will go to her.
- Buck's current margin of victory is 29 votes, of which two were my dad and me. It sure feels good to make a difference like that.
Good night. And, goodnight!
As of 10:30 AM 3/18, 99.69% reporting -
Young energetically anti-big government PPC blogger Ari Armstrong, like many Coloradans, wanted to get straight what Norton meant this week when she said the Obama administration jobs bill was "too small," a response that suggested longtime government employee Norton was advancing a government solution to the jobs crisis. Armstrong didn't get hold of Norton; he got hold of her spokesman Nate Strauch. Suffice it to say, Armstrong got the better of Strauch in the exchange which, given what he has had to deal with week to week as Norton drops bombs at small gatherings across the state, is to say nothing against Strauch.
What Norton meant to say, explained Strauch, was that she would cut taxes to small businesses!
Those of you with small children understand that it only takes twice as long to get things done when they're around. I've finally managed to complete the process of selecting, capturing, uploading and linking my April 15th Denver TEA Party video. Here are the two best selections from the limited amount of video I taped.
First, a short Reagan quote.
And here is a rumored GOP candidate to challenge appointed Colorado Democrat Michael Bennet in 2010: Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck. In my opinion he'd be the front runner. Here he lambastes the idea that the solution to problems caused by big government is, more government. (Brother JK won't like his opening remark about "illegals" but try to get past that before forming an opinion.)