(We’re going to start posting the best and worst of the decade starting next week, so you’ve got another chance to give us your thoughts. – promoted by Colorado Pols)
With the inaugural decade of this new millennium coming to a close in a few weeks, it’s time to take a look back at the decade that was.
We’ll reveal our Winners, Losers and Otherwise later in the month, but first we want to read your nominations. We’ll accept nominations for both awards and categories, with one main criteria: It had to have happened in the Oughts (or 2000s). For example, any nominated politician needs to have campaigned for election or re-election in at least the year 2000.
Click below for a list of some potential categories, and then make your own suggestions.
What the Oughts Brought: Winners, Losers and Otherwise
Other categories? Potential award winners (or losers?) Make your nominations below.
Some niminees that pop into my head:
Jackass of the Decade: Dave Schultheis, close runner up Dick Wadhams
Worst campaign: Bob Schaffer 2008 US Senate or Bob Beauprez 2006 Governor
(so many of these categories have venn diagram overlaps)
Jon Caldera for Jackass of the Decade or Worst Republican.
Tom Tancredo for Governor 2010
Ryan Frazier across the street from Arby’s.
Unless the backdrop of semis roaring by was what you had in mind all along…
but it was “real”.
to think of them all.
Worst Republican–too many to name. I give up (I kid. I kid,) but if we are allowed to name somebody outside of Colorado, I vote for Tom Delay and his scumbag cronies and that includes Bob Schaffer.
Worst Democrat–Jared Polis, for jerking around constituents on health care reform, for regurgitating right wing talking points to the WSJ, for trying to backtrack from his comments regarding Internet access, for generally behaving like a “maverick” ass in a district he seems to take for granted will always send him back to Congress. Self funding only gets you so far, Jared.
Morgan Carroll. I’m sure many of her detractors would put her in the Worst Democrat category too, but I think she’s one of the few people in Colorado politics who has integrity and sticks to her guns on virtually every issue.
I’m a proud Republican, but count me as a Morgan Carroll fan – as one would say about W Bush: I know where she stands
Morgan Carroll has my vote for Best Dem. She’s smart, she tackles important issues that affect everyday citizens, and she has an incredible work ethic. And did I mention that she’s smart?
Worst Republican would be her arch nemesis Shawn Mitchell. No explanation needed.
Schultheis takes the title when it comes to the worst Republican for his comment about denying antiviral meds to HIV+ women to a send a message about promiscuity to their fetuses.
While Mitchell has my vote for worst Republican, Schultheis is in a different category – Worst Person in Colorado
I would put Schultheis into the “Worst Creature in Colorado.”
Although his body shape resembles that of a human, I’m not convinced that I share any ancestry with him. Has he ever offered any proof that he has human DNA?
Remember, this is a family blog…..no talk of bestiality here.
Does that disqualify Janet Rowland?
He may be an alien. Anyone seen his? Didn’t think so.
Mitchell’s clear though, we’ve all seen his.
Don Marostica, for being a voice of reason in a caucus of insanity.
Andrew Romanoff. He may not be my choice of candidate, and his US Senate campaign may or may not end up being a wash, but few doubt AR’s political skills. He was key in helping to establish the Democratic majority in this state as we know it.
Boy Wonder Josh Penry from the 2010 governor’s race. Bumrushed and backpedaling still!
CO4 2010 GOP House candidate Tom Lucero’s hand-scrawled error-ridden campaign finance statements.
Beauprez standing next to a horse’s ass. (And I’m not talking about his running mate)
Good one – we forgot that.
The one of a Japanese battle flag with a voice over something like “America was the victim of a sneak attack once before and we defeated our enemy” now a picture of Stan Matsunaka comes up (cue foreboding music)”Stan Matsunaka wants to surrender to the people who attacked us on 9-11.”
I can’t remember it well, but it was the most despicable piece of racist shit I’ve ever seen live on air. There have been more racist ads, but I mostly remember seeing those when people discuss how racist they are.
Maybe it isn’t the worst since Muskrat won. I guess it depends on the definition of “worst”.
The anti-Musty commercial that showed her in a pink Chanel suit picking the pockets of soldiers was disgusting. Not as bad as the attack ad she ran against Matsunaka, but it was pretty bad too.
Lots of fodder for this list in CD-4.
Definitely need a worst campaign ad category. As runner up, I recall those silly ads Conti ran in CD6, looking under the bed for illegals.
But not for a good reason.
Conti: “I’ll treasure your vote.”
and must have used her old Colorado campaign list to send out e-mails soliciting funds, like we care about whatever she’s trying to do in some other state. Quickly deleted e-mail so may be misremembering state. Then, who cares? I forgot about the “treasure”. Isn’t that special?
Hickenlooper skydiving was the best commercial on behalf on Referendum C. Amazingly, it passed.
If you’ll permit me to go allll the way back to the dark ages of 2003, you no doubt remember Hick’s, IMO, quality commercials.
Flash forward a couple years and another good round of ads were the ones featuring him jumping out of a plane for Refs C and D.
Hick could also easily be considered in the Best Politician and Best Democrat categories.
On choosing Sarah Palin:
“She’s not from these parts, and she’s not from Washington, but when you get to know her, you’re going to be as impressed as I am,” Mr. McCain told a midday rally of 15,000 people in a basketball arena here shortly before Ms. Palin, with her husband and four of her children, strode out onto the stage.
Winner for stopping the state being shut down completely. Loser for ending in a bad, bad year.
Best Politician: Ken Salazar. When a Dem majority was just a twinkle in Al Yates’ eye, Salazar was the only Democrat to win statewide and then proved it was no fluke when he beat Pete Coors for the Senate. He’d be a lock for re-election if he hadn’t been elevated to the cabinet — the firmest vote of confidence in Salazar’s role turning Colorado for Obama. In 2014 he can start his two terms as governor.
Worst Politician: Bob Beauprez. He threw away a congressional seat he could have kept forever, ran an embarrassing campaign for governor, and helped solidify the notion Colorado Republicans are inept when the rubber hits the road.
BestCampaign: Hickenlooper 2003. No one was more of an underdog at the start and no one ran a more flawless campaign. He was lucky a snowstorm kept everyone glued to their TVs when his clever campaign ads ran unopposed, but when the streets cleared he followed up and charmed voters and left them energized.
Worst Campaign: Beauprez 2006. This goes down in hstory as one bungled opportunity after another. From the horse’s ass to Janet Rowland (but I repeat myself) to the Voorhis nonsense, Beauprez’ foot was his own campaign’s consistent target.
Best Republican: John Suthers. He’s the only one standing after three straight elections when Colorado’s ruling Republicans were handed their hats. Even die-hard Democrats will grudgingly pull the lever for Suthers next year, a real feat since — unlike Marostica and White — he’s an uncompromising Republican.
Worst Republican: Marilyn Musgrave. She poisoned the brand and year after year reminded Colorado moderates why they were throwing the bums out.
Best Democrat: Andrew Romanoff. The very picture of moderate competence when he helped lead Democrats to retake the statehouse, a fresh, young politician whose future seemed restrained only by his ambition.
Worst Democrat: Andrew Romanoff. After eight months of dithering and thwarted skullduggery, Romanoff’s late entrance into the Senate primary smacks of sour grapes and nudges a reasonably safe Senate seat into play. All the competence that marked Romanoff’s reign as speaker seems to have vanished. Sometimes personal ambition isn’t the best guide to the future.
BestConsultant or Manager: Anne Caprara. Unseating an incumbent member of Congress — for the first time in Colorado in two decades — is no mean feat. Caprara set the standard for a consistent campaign that never lost sight of its goal.
Worst Consultant or Manager: Dick Wadhams. Trying — and failing — to serve two masters, the Schaffer manager drastically misread the tone of 2008, spewing invective and expletives and, in the end, shortchanged both his candidate and his party.
The Jackass of the Decade: Is there any doubt? Doug Bruce retires the jersey. This decade, TABOR’s Trojan horses came home to roost, Bruce made a mockery of Capitol decorum, and he got trounced by voters to boot.
Best Ballot Measure: Amendment 20, medical marijuana. Still immensely popular, Colorado lived up to its shaky reputation as a live-and-let-live state when it became the only state to put medicinal pot into its constitution.
Runner up: Ref C, the rarest of moments when all the adults decide to set ideological blinders aside and tackle a problem.
Worst Ballot Measure: Amendment 48, personhood. With its teenybopper spokesgirl and jaw-dropping consequences, this return to the 19th Century divided the base instead of rallying it on the way to a devastating failure at the ballot box.
Runner up: Amendment 41, ethics. This mess of good intentions was so poorly written it’s tied state government in knots — albeit tiny knots — for years and has yet to result in a single meaningful fix to an ethical problem in Colorado.
Top Unintended Consequence: The 2003 Pledge of Allegiance law. This was the over-reach that set the ball rolling.
The Top Trend: There’s no question, the story of the Oughts is the story of Colorado voters replacing Republicans with Democrats at virtually every level. Fueled by breathtaking incompetence at the national level, Colorado Republicans swore blind fealty to TABOR and trotted out their pet Religious Right issues while the state’s finances and bridges crumbled. Culminating in the Obama victory — perhaps the peak of this trend as voters grow frustrated with Democrats’ attempts to fix a near-Depression — the Colorado of 2009 would be unrecognizable to political observers of 2000, and it’s all because of this trend.
Great post, agree with most of it.
And you, sir, (RG) are a steely eyed missile man. Well done.
Ok- a steely eyed CoPolster
If we could have a separate category for “out of Colorado’
I’d add for best candidate, campaign, Democrat, elected official and most painful loss: Senator Paul Wellstone. 1944-2002
ad & campaign
“Top Unintended Consequence: The 2003 Pledge of Allegiance law. This was the over-reach that set the ball rolling.”
2003 is way before my time, so I don’t know what the political climate was like. But just how big a deal was this?
Was kind of the straw the broke the GOPs back in Colorado. They had been pushing social issue after social issue in the legislature, rather than trying to solve any actual problems. This one made them look particularly ridiculous and almost scary. The bill would have forced all students to recite the pledge of allegiance, but it was ultimately shot down by the courts; you can’t force people to say the Pledge of Allegiance.
Awesome post. Any reason why you wouldn’t want to be FP editor? Because you’d be awesome. How many times can I say you’re awesome? You’re awesome.
I had planned to be the first to break the news that Ken Salazar was the best politician of the Aughts.
Very well stated.
And many of these may show up on our awards post.
Amazing how elected officials occasionally “lose” important documents.
And don’t forget that it was Ken Salazar who defeated Texas style GOP redistricting here in Colorado when he was AG, leading to the creation of the evenly split CD7 that before too long gave us Dem Ed Perlmutter and helped pave the way to our present wopping congressional delegation Dem majority.
Really on target. Good job.
But some great award for Bill Owens when he kissed his political future goodbye to campaign for C & D because he realized the state needed them.
And an honorable mention to JFG who along with Romanoff made an awful lot happen in the legislature as well as finding a way to get everyone on-board with C & D.
Though I’m not sure Owens earns that simply for facing reality a little more than his fellow Republicans. If that’s the criteria, Jane Norton should win the award too, and that would just be wrong.
It’s pretty rare, especially recently, when a politician does something major like that. We need to encourage it all we can.
Ken Salazar, for voting for Gonzales and torture.
Not sure on the Repub side. Someone campaigning for Ref. C probably.
John Salazar voted for the Bankruptcy Bill and the Stupak Amendment.
He’s been very good on local environmental issues (except the DeGette Oil & Gas bill) but seems to always manage an appalling vote every session.
But Front Range progressives aren’t exactly their “base.”