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September 26, 2009 05:57 PM UTC

Good news for Penry, bad news for Norton

  • by: DavidThi808

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Well the GOP had their bacchanalia and according to the Denver Post

Norton received 119 votes, while second place was a tie between Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck and Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier, who each received 94 votes.

Penry, one of three candidates vying to unseat Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter, won easily with nearly 80 percent of the votes.

For those bad at math (yes SXP, I mean you) – this means a large majority voted not Norton.

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58 thoughts on “Good news for Penry, bad news for Norton

  1. Norton got 34 percent of the vote — so two thirds of “her base” voted for someone else. That’s remarkable, too, that Frazier and Buck are tied — there isn’t a clear alternative to Norton yet. Poor Cleve.

  2. Sean Duffy (channeling his inner Jim Carpenter) had this comment:

    Sean Duffy, McInnis’ spokesman, was dismissive of the results, considering it wasn’t a true three-way race.

    Sean – it wasn’t a “three-way” because your guy refused to participate. You don’t get to complain that your guy didn’t participate.

  3. Great event – very well done – very Pro-TABOR and very little talk of ‘social’ issues – lots of good outreach

    Norton actually spoke very well – I would say it’s her best performance so far – Ryan was excellent and well received – darkhorse wise, Luke Korkowski spoke very intelligently – Buck, Norton, and Ryan all need to reign in their messages – it’s all a little scattered right now – nonetheless, there’s gonna be a Senate primary, no doubt!

    McInnis shouldve been here – he missed an opportunity – nonetheless, Penry spoke well and made the best of the opportunity

    Scott Gessler gave a very intelligent speech – he’ll be very strong as a candidate, IMO

    I would write more but I’m iphoning  

        1. …contingent of aides, friends, and volunteers, plus her husband and sister.  They did seem to be working the room well, but they didn’t bring as much literature/signage as most of the other campaigns did.

          She didn’t perform as well as either Frazier or Buck in the Q&A session as far as I’m concerned, probably because I didn’t feel she was being real.  But it did seem like the things she said struck a chord with a lot of people and likely had some of the better consultants behind the scenes.

          Penry absolutely blew the crowd away.  And for good reason, since McInnis is a cry baby.  He and Dan Maes actually played off each other and were very friendly and agreeable, which might not be the best strategy for an underdog candidate.  But I like Dan a lot, he’s a great guy whatever you think of his politics.

            1. McInnis almost got beat by Dan Maes in the straw poll, and the loudest applause all night was when Penry was announced as the winner.  With 80%+ of the vote, McInnis should be scared.

              It was also pretty funny when Dick Wadhams went into his “thank you” to all the candidates who “had the courage” to show up.  He took a few well aimed shots at McInnis without ever saying his name.

              As for Penry, I’ve met him a few times, and every other time he seemed distant and more focused on himself than anybody else in the room.  Last night it was like he was a whole different person.  Perhaps it was the presence of his family, or the knowledge that there was a lot of support in the room.  Whatever it was, if he keeps doing it, Ritter will have a tough job fending him off.

              1. Is Penry going to actually share some kind of plan with us?

                Or is he just going to throw stones?

                I realize that having a plan is irrelevant to most Republicans, but I ask because, as a voter and a taxpayer, I want to go with whoever has a plan.

                Penry seems to have none.

                Please confirm.

                1. The voters are very open to “the present approach is not working, give us a change.” All he has to do is promise to not do what Ritter did. Throwing stones works very well for that approach.

                  He only needs a plan if the voters think Ritter is on the right track. Then he does have to sell the argument that he has a better plan.

                    1. What you have now, or different. And we’ll all assign our own probability to it being better or worse. But if that is how the election goes then I think Ritter is in a world of hurt.

    1.    And how does that position square with the Tarrence Group’s (that liberal polling operation) latest polling #’s on TABOR?

        Once again, you guys are out of touch with reality.

      1. The question was worded terribly and I’d love to see it re-done – Colorado is a very pro Tabor state and thank God for it

        don’t believe Terrance – believe 2008’s Amendment 59 which was defeated by 54% of the electorate despite Obama’s tsunami


        1. With your continued interest in politics and your previous stated desire to represent the people of the this state, how do you plan to provide state services with TABOR in effect, especially as Ref C expires next year?  Where will you find the funds to provide education, health care, and transportation funding, among other things?  On top of that, where will you find money to support private investment in a Monorail to the mountain communities (as you said you could while running in HD56)?  

          I think that most people in Colorado understand that TABOR is not the boon to Colorado that it was sold to them as.  They now understand that the onerous spending restrictions have seriously impaired the state’s ability to function properly.  

          If you believe that TABOR is a godsend, please tell me how.  How is the state of Colorado in a better position today than we were in 1992?  Are we educating students better, building better roads, or treating more people in our health care systems?  Are we currently in a situation where we are in a sustainable position of long-term growth, where our economy and our people are being prepared adequately for the future?  

          Please provide specifics.

          1. Do you like the rachet-down effect of TABOR, the fact that it requires a vote for a tax increase, and/or the result we have had to date of minimal tax increases?

            Those are three somewhat different impacts of TABOR.

        2. It was defeated because by the time the voters got that far down the ballot, and with the propagandists of the O&G lobby spending their millions, A59 simply got caught up in the undertow.

          If it were introduced on the 2010 ballot, I believe (if you trust today’s polling numbers), it would pass easily.  If only we had a leader in our state to champion it once again.

          1. (I’m on my iPhone so please excuse brevity)

            Jrock –

            my answer is simple

            If politicians feel that a tax increase is needed, then I refer to Section X, Article 4, Part A, of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights which basically says that if more taxes are needed, then let the public vote on it

            Yes – I would love to see monorails on I70 and I25, and if it took a tax increase, then I would be happy to champion the statewide ballot initiative to secure those funds provided that we clearly spelled out how much additional money is needed and exactly what it will be spent on

            I can’t stand legislators who dramaqueen about TABOR – Tabor is not a gate that prevents new taxes – it is simply a system that forces tax inceases to a public vote, where the idea has to be sold to the people – honestly, what is so wrong with that?

            Lastly, Ref C was a terrible bill that shouldve never passed because –

            1. It did not specify exactly how much additional tax revenue would be collected

            2. It did not specify where the money would be spent

            You Dems didn’t win the State House and Senate because of Gil and Stryker – you won we because we, Republicans, spat on our biggest ideals by putting out a bill that called for a tax incease without specifing the amount or area of expenditure

            Ultimately, my biggest contribution to our good State Party will be that I made us more fiscal conservative

            David – I adore and love all three of those TABOR functions – and yes, I would rather have a goverment that is downsizing and held accountable, having to ask the public for permission to expand, rather than one that can expand without asking permission

            HasanDaddy loves you all!!!


              1. And I’m sorry for confusing it

                Nonetheless – I will still make the point that our continued losses in the House and Senate are blamed more on my Party’s introduction of C and D, than Gil and Stryker

                Before C and D, we claimed the Governorship, State House, State Senate, 5 of 7 Congressional Seats, and one US Senate seat

                All of that is gone now, with the exception of claiming 2 of 7 Congressional Seats – these losses have more to do with Republican betrayal than Democratic energy

            1. If politicians feel that a tax increase is needed, then I refer to Section X, Article 4, Part A, of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights which basically says that if more taxes are needed, then let the public vote on it

              That’s. What. Ref. C. Was.  

          2. I’m not buying the “unfortunate luck” argument – excuses, excuses

            2008 was the biggest Democratic year of modern times

            Our GOP stronghold, El Paso County, had what I believe was one of it’s lowest turnouts in recent times

            The Democrats had free reign over 2008 and despite that, you still couldn’t defeat TABOR???

            The Terrance question was worded terribly – the referundum on TABOR has come and gone (amendment 59)


            1. Btw Jrock – to further answer your questions –

              First – you’re not out of line at all, in my eyes, for being concerned over education and healthcare – with that said, put those concerns on a statewide ballot and have the public vote on it – that’s all TABOR is asking you to do

              I will never fault anyone for pursuing a tax incease in that matter

              And note to the Dems – quit dramaqueening about Higher Education – just put it on the ballot and let us vote on it

              And 2nd note to Dems – prison spending sure did sky rocket under Ritter – funny that the Cornell Company out of Texas gives so much PAC money to Dem

              candidates, as the incarcerations of victimless crime-committing criminals rises

              but then again – every new jail means more labor union jobs and more salaries to exploit

              The Dems are purchased by Cornell and Coloradans are suffering for it

              you Dems want money for Higher Education? How’s abouts ya stop adding ‘jobs’ to corrections, quit taking money from Cornell, and divert those funds to higher Ed???

              (note – I know Ritter has made changes to corrections and downsizes and i applaud him for it – however, the sky rocketing corrections budget shouldve never risen in the first place)  

              1. OK, so you think that the people should vote on taxes, so do they.  That’s what TABOR was sold to the people of this state as.  Furthermore, no Dem proposal to roll back TABOR has ever thought about touching this provision.  You have not addressed the more onerous and much more damaging pieces of TABOR – the spending caps and the ratchet down.  How do you expect (specifics please) to build a functioning state government when constitutional provisions mean that, in terms of real dollars, the state has less spending power every year.  This is ultimately a way to shrink state government to nothing.  Is this what you want?  This is what Doug Bruce wants.  

                As a follow-up, do you think that this state is educating its students well?  We currently rank 49th in education funding – do you think that we are adequately preparing the students of our state for a high-tech, fast-paced future.  And if you think we are doing that now (many would say we’re not even doing that now), with the ratchet-down (referenced above), how long is the current system of education funding viable?  What more are you willing to cut to keep educating students?  Roads, healthcare, universities?  Prisons?  

                The piece of TABOR you seem to love is the ability to vote on taxes, yet you have given no reason why the ratchet-down or spending cap is viable or good for state government?  This leads me to wonder why you didn’t support A59?  59 kept the key provisions of TABOR, balancing the state budget and voting on taxes, while removing arbitrary spending caps and allowing the state to save more to become fiscally responsible.  Why was this bad again?  You talk eloquently MAH, but you are not offering real policy proposals or any indication that you are not fully entrenched in the “Party of NO” mentality.

                1. If the people are expected to have the power to vote on tax increases, why do they not have the power to vote on tax decreases?  Permanent tax cuts imposed by Republicans in the General Assembly in the late 90s have placed revenue collection Colorado at dangerously low levels with no chance for return without an expensive statewide campaign.  I am vehemently opposed to any measure that cuts taxes –  I think that they place state services in jeopardy.   Why should my elected officials get to make those decisions?  I think that I should get a say in being able to control all revenue changes.  What do all you Pro-TABOR people think of that?  Or is TABOR only good when it works in in your favor?  Do you want to make sure that decisions to cut taxes can still be made by those few in power, since you think there is a chance you could one day be those group of people?

              2. You’re taking the easy path while those who work in the legislature, the Governor’s office and in managing state agencies are doing the difficult work every day to find more places to cut without hurting the public any more than they already have.  It’s so easy to just cheer for cutting taxes, and to cheer for the people’s right to vote on not only tax increases in general, but to vote program by program.  Really?  It does not work well to have many initiatives and referenda on the ballot every two years – the average voter doesn’t have the time or the interest to read and understand each one to vote on them in a fully informed way.  I have to ask – does the Party of NO hate representative government, or hate it only when they’re not in power?

                Here’s the work that it’s so difficult to engage the Party of NO in: Tell us, program by program, what services to eliminate and what government should no longer be doing.  That is the work that government is spending significant time on every day.  People who want government spending to continue to decrease have no credibility unless they are willing to educate themselves in detail about government services, and are willing to engage in an informed debate about what services to cut.  

                Which roads do you not want maintained?  Which abused or neglected children do you not want protected?  Which school children should have state support of their education reduced?  Which people should not have timely access to the courts to resolve conflicts?  Which communities should no longer have access to driver’s license offices?

                1. Realist and Jrock – I appreciate the good back-and-forth – despite our passions, I also appreciate the respectful dialogue

                  With that said — Hopefully I’m answering all of your questions with the following –

                  RATCHET EFFECT:

                  Honestly, I’m not convinced that a ratchet-effect is taking place. I’m not saying that it is not happening, but I’m not convinced of it either, considering that the Colorado State Budget has continued to grow, yearly… that said, if there is a study that proves the ratchet effect, then please link it, as I’m happy to read it. All I know right now is that the Colorado State Operating Budget was around $11 billion in 1999-2000 and was well over $18 billion in 2008 – feel free to analyze the ratchet…

                  More importantly, if a ratchet-effect is taking place, in which, our government’s budget is, indeed, being shrunk, then I say GOOD!

                  I want a government that pinches its pennies, making its decisions carefully and creatively

                  More importantly – again, if more money is needed, then take it to the statewide ballot

                  I will never stand in the way of anyone who wants to place a ballot initiative with the request for more money, provided that the request contains how much money they want and where that money will be spent – as a Fiscal Conservative, I would sign the petition to put that on a statewide ballot (I probably wouldn’t endorse it, but I’ll sign the petition and right to vote on it), simply because I believe in the foundations of TABOR that call for tax increases to be voted upon – and if the request is worthy in its appeal, I’d even vote for it and endorse it – that’s how I feel about a potential monorail project

                  …but I would never never never support, sign a petition, or vote for any initiative that DID NOT specify the amount of money that is wanted and/or exactly where the funds would be spent – that was the example behind the manipulations of Refs C and D

                  PROGRAMS TO CUT:

                  The cuts I would make to the budget –

                  1. CORRECTIONS – Our prison spending has sky rocketed… in 1988, it was 3% of our budget, whereas now, it is close to 10%… we can cut this by 1/2 to 2/3 by sending victimless-crime criminals home with GPS bracelets and required rehab, etc

                  2. LAWS – we need to consider further legalization of marijuana… this could free a lot of money in the funds we are spending to incarcerate Mary Jane lovers

                  3. HEALTHCARE —- completely privitize MediCaid in Colorado, with HMO vouchers going to every recipient…. second choice would be to put together Co-Op plans… Healthcare, I believe, occupies around 30% of the General Fund spending… privatization or co-op plans could reduce this expenditure from 1/3 to 1/2 in my opinion, with the quality of healthcare actually going up, not declining

                  4. SCHOOLS — put a freeze on hiring public school administrators…. give VOUCHERS to the students at any of the ‘failing’ public schools – I believe we can invest less money in private schools and get better results

                  5. FAITH BASED PROGRAMS — consider shutting-down State-based rehab programs and instead, contract those out to faith based groups – again, our money will go farther with them

                  6. STATE EMPLOYEES — consider the firing of all new State employees hired under Governor Ritter

                  That’s what’s on my mind right now…. I’m sure I’d have more thoughts on it after more analysis

                  Lastly, if money is STILL needed for important projects, even after the cuts above, then put it on a statewide ballot and let a vote take place

                  If people vote against further tax increases… then ya know what? We made our bed and now we lay in it

                  LAST POINT –

                  PUBLIC SCHOOLS:

                  I worked as a public school TYRO-Teacher in Los Angeles, back when I was getting a Masters in Teaching

                  Believe me – money doesn’t solve the education problem

                  To solve the education problem, we need to further educate our public school teachers on the foundations of Howard Gardener’s Multiple Intelligence Learning principals, Spencer Kagan’s Cooperative Learning, and John Dewey’s Project Based Learning — we can prepare our teachers better, readying them to create better lesson plans – that’s the first step in improving public education, not money

                  1. Me, too.

                    Personally, I think if you center your curriculum around the ideas of Gardener, Kagan, and Dewey, you’ll see CSAP scores drop like a rock. Some kids would clearly benefit, but those are the ones that do well already. The less-motivated would fall flat.

                    And then, the 3-Rs crowd would be screaming bloody murder.  

                    1. Lack of engagement is what’s killing us in public schools today – numerous studies show that test scores and performance sky rockets when Cooperative Learning and Multiple Intelligence theory is used strongly within our pedagogy

                      I’ll take care of the 3Rs crowd…

                    2. And btw – the exact degree was a Masters in the Arts of Teaching – MAT – from Occidental College

                      I finished much of my credential work in California as well

                      sadly – I didn’t complete the last semester of work as I got into a terrific Masters in Film Directing program that I couldn’t turn down (and they wouldn’t defer me)

                      eventually, I would love to get back into public school teaching  

                    3. The ideas of multiple intelligences and project-based learning require a lot of teachers. My kids attend great schools, but I just don’t see most teachers being able to implement this. Sure, if they had 15-20 in a  class they probably could, but 30 4th-graders? I don’t think so. (do you recall how squirrelly 4th-grade boys are?).

                      Those systems also hinge on intrinsic rewards as the prime motivator. I don’t think that you’re going to reach some kids that way.

                      But, I could be wrong, of course. I don’t recall seeing studies that show clear superiority in things like standardized tests. The most conclusive results I recall were for med students. Those results said that students did just as well in standardized tests (not better, not worse), but they did much better with ill-defined problems (much like a doctor would expect to confront). But then again, those were med students, a clearly defined group of expert learners.

                  2. 3. HEALTHCARE —- completely privitize MediCaid in Colorado, with HMO vouchers going to every recipient…. second choice would be to put together Co-Op plans… Healthcare, I believe, occupies around 30% of the General Fund spending… privatization or co-op plans could reduce this expenditure from 1/3 to 1/2 in my opinion, …


                    5. FAITH BASED PROGRAMS — consider shutting-down State-based rehab programs and instead, contract those out to faith based groups – again, our money will go farther with them

                    Under what standards?  

                    1. Medicaid is skyrocketing because there are few checks and balances – any test or treatment can be scheduled, and the State will pick up the tab – even worse is that many records are not synchronized, thus, the same tests and Doctor visits are done, with little collaboration

                      Putting all of Colorado’s Medicaid recipients on privitazed care, ran by HMO’s, will increase the synchronization between all doctors with a solid Electronic Healthcare Record, as well as a managed care system that will stop any overdone tests and procedures – this will save an ENORMOUS amount of money

                      Regarding Faith Based Initiatives — first off, contracting with Faith Based and outside groups does not increase the number of State-based employees, which is less labor union negotiation, less pensions, etc

                      In addition, I just believe that outside organizations, especially faith-based ones, can spend money better and more effectively

                      And again – if you don’t like it, then put it on a ballot and have the public vote for it


              3.    In the late ’80s, a REPUBLICAN State Rep by the name of Don Mielke sponsored a bill which basically doubled all criminal sentences in Colorado.

                  Take your complaint to him.

                1. However – the Dems have controlled the State Senate, State House, and Governership for awhile now

                  On top of it, many Dem candidates take PAC money from Cornell, a private company that builds and manages prisons, including one recent one here in Colorado

                  My complaint, as of right now, is more at the Democratic Party than anyone else, because they are the ones making money off of Coloradans who get arrested – and they’ve been in power long enough – they could’ve done something by now

  4. i had high expectations for jane, but she was just so so in my opinion, didnt seem to have the “fire in the belly”

    ken did very well, so did luke korkowski.

    as far as organization i got a post card, an email, an autoblast to my home phone and a personal call from Ken Buck telling me about this event, i got similar from Penry and just got a last minute email from Jane.

    penry, jane, ken and jj aments campaign all did a good job of working the room

  5.    Roughly 62% do not want Charlie Black’s sister in law and the annointed one chosen by the N.R.S.C.

      Or maybe they thought they were voting against GALE Norton.

    1. It was 66 percent voting for someone other than Norton. There were other Republicans on the Senate ballot — not just Buck and Frazier — and even Tom Tancredo got some votes.

  6. The straw poll was conducted among attendees at the Friday night dinner in Keystone on a single, write-in style ballot.  

    Essentially the ballot was simply two blank lines, where voters wrote in their choices for statewide office.

    Colorado Governor:

    Josh Penry – 269 votes – 79.12%

    Scott McInnis – 38 votes – 11.18%

    Dan Maes – 29 votes – 8.53%

    Tom Tancredo – 3 votes – 0.88%

    Cory Gardner – 1 vote – 0.29%

    (347 votes cast, 7 ineligible/blank)

    U.S. Senator:

    Jane Norton – 119 votes – 34.59%

    Ken Buck – 94 votes – 27.33%

    Ryan Frazier – 94 votes – 27.33%

    Tom Tancredo – 12 votes – 3.49%

    Luke Korkowski – 12 votes – 3.49%

    Gary Kennedy – 6 votes – 1.74%

    Cleve Tidwell – 4 votes – 1.16%

    Tom Wiens – 1 vote – 0.29%

    Steven Barton – 1 vote – 0.29%

    Vincent Martinez – 1 vote – 0.29%

    (347 votes cast, 3 ineligible/blank)

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