In case you hadn’t noticed, there is a Senate primary in Colorado pitting a Conservadem,Michael Bennet, against a people powered candidate, Andrew Romanoff, who has taken the Obama pledge to take no PAC money. (Conservadem is not my label, Rachel Maddow gave Senator Bennet that name for joining Evan Bayh’s coalition of conservative democrats).
Despite millions of corporate dollars being spent by Michael Bennet, Andrew Romanoff has taken the lead in polls with the Primary on August 10th. Pundits have written that Romanoff’s win will send a message throughout politics that we, the grassroots voters, can reverse the corporate stranglehold on Congress .
First, let me say this, I have been a volunteer for Andrew Romanoff in this campaign, but that’s not all. I worked in Colorado on Democratic Campaigns in 2000, 2004, 2006 and 2008. With the exception of 2000, when Andrew Romanoff was running for his first election (therefore campaigning himself) Andrew Romanoff was with us, the Democratic activists, on every election, knocking on doors, making phone calls, and growing the party. I don’t have anything against Senator Bennet personally, but prior to being appointed, no one in the Colorado Democratic party had ever heard of him or seen him doing anything for Democrats. That being said, let’s get on to the facts.
Here are 10 Reasons to Support Andrew Romanoff:
Some people have said there is no difference between the two candidates. Even if that were true, which it isn’t, letting an incumbent who worked against progressive values go without a primary challenge sends a message to other Senators that we, the democratic base, can be ignored.
What has Senator Bennet’s done that was not progressive?
1. Senator Bennet joined with Republicans to vote against the Sanders amendment which would have closed a 35 billion tax loophole for Big Oil and invested the money in clean energy investments — something President Obama supported.
2. Senator Bennet has written letters in support of tax subsidies for natural gas at a time when people of Colorado have flammable tap water from unsafe natural gas drilling practices.
3. Senator Bennet has sought exemptions for dirty fossil fuels in any Climate Change legislation.
4. Senator Bennet voted to stop Senator Dodd’s legislation to create a regulatory agency to protect consumers from predatory practices on Wall Street.
5. Senator Bennet voted against the bill to Break up the Big Banks that were too big to fail, allowing these banks to continue controlling how home mortgages are valued.
6. Senator Bennet was one of the few Democratic Senators to join with the GOP to oppose Cramdown which would have helped Colorado families renegotiate their mortgages and prevent foreclosures.
Other people have said that Andrew Romanoff, if elected, will be no different in the Senate and is no more Progressive than Senator Bennet.
That’s simply not true.
Andrew Romanoff is more progressive on at least 4 very important issues,
1. Renewable Energy and the Environment: Andrew Romanoff has proposed some of the most progressive proposals on the Environment. On June 10th he announced his proposal for 50% Renewable Energy in the United States by 2030.
“We have focused most of our attention on cleaning up the spill and holding British Petroleum responsible…
To that end, we should also seize the moment to revolutionize our energy policy… Today, I am proposing that we set a national renewable energy standard. I propose a national renewable standard of 50 percent by 2030.”
2. LGBT rights: From the Romanoff Campaign’s LGBT Outreach director:
Andrew Romanoff vs. Michael Bennet on LGBT issues and legislation: Andrew Romanoff Supports full, federal marriage equality. But Michael Bennet Believes it’s a states’ rights issue.
Andrew Romanoff Would co-sponsor Military Readiness Enhancement Act (would effectively repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell”). But Michael Bennet has not co-sponsored the Military Readiness Enhancement Act.
3. Andrew Romanoff fully supports Net Neutrality, even writing on article fighting for it, and will join Senator Franken in introducing legislation. Senator Bennet has not stated a position.
4. Employee Free Choice: Andrew Romanoff has stated support for Employee Free Choice and will vote for it when it is brought to the floor of the Senate. Michael Bennet won’t answer what his position is on it.
From fellow Progressive Darcy Burner on Bennet unwillingness to “make a decision” on Employee Free Choice:
And here was Senator Bennet’s response to the Denver Post’s questionnaire on the Employee Free Choice Act: (yes or no boxes)
Congress should pass the Employee Free Choice Act.
The candidate chose not to mark a box
Maybe that’s why Andrew Romanoff has the support of the 2 largest Unions in the state.
There are clear differences between these two candidates.
Andrew Romanoff has proposed some of the most progressive standards for renewable energy, will support full marriage equality and will support the Employee Free Choice Act.
And, Andrew Romanoff will get elected with individual donations only, without corporate PAC money, just like President Obama did.
Send a message that we the people still have the power to elect people over corporate funded candidates.