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April 10, 2010 09:55 PM UTC

Garnett Attorney General Bid Fires Up Democrats

  • by: Colorado Pols

A meaty look at the upcoming fight between Attorney General candidate Stan Garnett and incumbent John Suthers in this week’s Colorado Statesman, definitely worth a bump:

State Democratic Party Chair Pat Waak called Garnett the best attorney general candidate fielded by the Democrats since Ken Salazar.

“He’s worked tirelessly to support consumers and to make sure that sexual crimes have been prosecuted,” Waak said. “I think he understands the importance of Colorado natural resources and protecting (them) at a time when Suthers actually wanted to do away with the environmental division of the Attorney General’s office.”

Suthers welcomed Garnett as a worthy adversary. He regularly works with Garnett as the ad hoc member on the DA’s Council.

“I think Stan’s a good lawyer,” Suthers said. “When I read some of the things that he says are issues, a couple of them seem to me to stem from just not understanding the office.”

Garnett said Suthers’ decision to have Colorado join a multistate lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the health care reform bill, specifically the individual mandate to purchase health insurance, is partly why he decided to run.

“The wandering into factional issues and using the Attorney General’s office and tax payer’s money on behalf of particular political factions would not be tolerated if I’m attorney general,” he said.

Suthers disputes the notion that joining the lawsuit was a political maneuver…

Waak said Colorado Democrats pushed to find a challenger to Suthers after he joined the health care suit.

“Once he signed onto that lawsuit, I was getting hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of emails, and even phone calls, from people who said, ‘find us a candidate,’ or, ‘is there a candidate out there?'” she said. “It’s not just Democrats – there are Democrats, Republicans, Unaffiliateds who want health care and think it’s inappropriate for Suthers to be supporting that lawsuit.”

Garnett said Suthers is basing the lawsuit on a dubious constitutional argument.

He used former Colorado Attorney General Gale Norton as an example of when it’s appropriate for the state to enter a lawsuit in order to benefit citizens as a whole. Norton, a Republican, was one of 46 Attorney Generals to sign on to a lawsuit and win a large settlement to cover health care costs from four major tobacco companies in the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.

We think, as we’ve said, that Suthers bought this race entirely on his own by joining that silly anti-health reform lawsuit, just the latest in a string of wedgy partisan crusades Suthers has committed his office to during his tenure. And he’s also not a strong candidate–in 2006, as an appointed incumbent, Suthers barely fought off a very weak Democratic challenger.

We’ve heard a number of descriptions of Garnett since he announced his candidacy this week, but “weak” isn’t one of them. It’s worth acknowledging Garnett’s entry into this race as a pretty remarkable turn of events, from an unopposed cakewalk to the most competitive race John Suthers has ever faced; and to keep his office, Suthers will need to summon up political skill he has either never seen the need to demonstrate, or doesn’t possess.


29 thoughts on “Garnett Attorney General Bid Fires Up Democrats

    1. that will benefit from the Democratic Primary – Democratic voters for either Senate candidate will be more motivated to vote this fall, and other Dem races, such as Garnett AG bid, will surely benefit from added turnout.

      see ya suthers.

    1. I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve never paid attention to an AG’s race before. But hearing him speak today, he had me cheering by the end of his remarks.

      1. when he let go of Collette Cribari, who did a ton of work to put Alex Midyette away.  IIRC he didn’t terminate her for cause; just wanted some new blood I guess.

        But you aren’t the only one here (and Pols is a tough crowd, for sure) who said he did a great job today.  Apparently Suthers, who makes the dullard look exciting, is in trouble, which makes me happy !

  1. Garnett was greeted like a conquering hero and gave a great short speech.  I predict lots of enthusiastic volunteers for Garnett.   His campaign needs to remind people that we would have been redistricted Rove style if it weren’t for then AG Ken Salazar.  There would have been no chance for the blue revolution that followed that Salazar triumph.  

    With that and rampant R resistance to Dem legislation, such as health care reform, an AG can pick and choose enforcement priorities.   Dems, state and national, need realize that they need every AG they can get and need to strongly support Garnett.   He’certainly sounded ready  for prime time today.  

    1. Yes Romanoff still leads handily in Arapahoe but Bennet gained a point going up to 43%. So when Andrew was dissing the other side for supposedly claiming we grass roots Dems don’t count, he was ignoring 43% of Arapahoe County hard core grass roots Dems. You know . The Obama supporters who actually wanted Obama to have a health care victory instead of a big fat defeat and who realize what an instrumental role the letter (that Andrew also dissed) played by bringing reconciliation back into the world of the living.  

      Bennet, on the other hand, had plenty of positives to talk about without breathing a word that even hinted at noticing, much less criticizing Andrew.  And though he won’t need to petition he’s doing it just the same to get troops on the ground out there talking to people , especially about the benefits of health care reform.  That helps all Dems and it helps Obama.

  2. This piece of the Colorado Pols posting disturbs me: ” silly anti-health reform lawsuit.” While I understand the so-called merits of having citizens forced to purchase a private industry’s product a-la healthcare insurance (and don’t give me the so-called auto/home insurance excuse… it doesn’t hold weight), what my fellow Coloradans are failing to see is the slippery slope of allowing a piece of federal legislation to force them to purchase something… which goes against every grain and fiber of our Constitutional well-being. What happens when Republicans take control of all branches over government down the road? Will you accept a reconciliation-type piece of legislation to force all Americans to purchase a handgun due to defensive needs? Will you accept the complete repeal of social security via reconciliation.. which is primarily budgetary based? The Congress has opened a new chapter by passing this healthcare legislation the way it did. It ultimately has spelled the end of our legislative body in D.C. as we know it. With 12 TRILLION dollars in debt and climbing, and Nancy Pelosi failing the bring bipartisanship to the Congress, I fear disastrous days are ahead for our Republic… or at least, what’s left of it.

    1. If you are a Real American then you pay your taxes because you can’t fight the drug dealers and Islamic terrorists by yourself.  You pay for your protection by paying your income taxes.  I suppose you hate paying your taxes but support the troops or some such tripe.  The bottom line is paying for health insurance isn’t that much different from paying your taxes.  You contribute and you get a benefit.  I know you hate paying your taxes and belonging to the United States of America but tough luck hombre.  It won’t change any time soon so maybe you should be booking a ticket to Somali where you can’t hate the US from the safety of your warlords territory.  Boo hoo America hater.

    2. Your concern is touching, but you must know some of the most sweeping social legislation of the last two decades was passed by Republican Congresses using reconciliation. Only when Republicans did it, no one raised a hue and cry because it was a common legislative practice, not the rape of freedom. You also must know that the individual mandate was originally a Republican proposal and was supported by many of the Republican lawmakers now clutching their pearls and screaming fascism! or socialism! or something!

    3. Hey, have fun reading about the Militia Act of 1792. (thanks to Phoenix Rising for originally posting this)

      I. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia, by the Captain or Commanding Officer of the company, within whose bounds such citizen shall reside, and that within twelve months after the passing of this Act. And it shall at all time hereafter be the duty of every such Captain or Commanding Officer of a company, to enroll every such citizen as aforesaid, and also those who shall, from time to time, arrive at the age of 18 years, or being at the age of 18 years, and under the age of 45 years (except as before excepted) shall come to reside within his bounds; and shall without delay notify such citizen of the said enrollment, by the proper non-commissioned Officer of the company, by whom such notice may be proved. That every citizen, so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch, with a box therein, to contain not less than twenty four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch, and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder; and shall appear so armed, accoutred and provided, when called out to exercise or into service, except, that when called out on company days to exercise only, he may appear without a knapsack. That the commissioned Officers shall severally be armed with a sword or hanger, and espontoon; and that from and after five years from the passing of this Act, all muskets from arming the militia as is herein required, shall be of bores sufficient for balls of the eighteenth part of a pound; and every citizen so enrolled, and providing himself with the arms, ammunition and accoutrements, required as aforesaid, shall hold the same exempted from all suits, distresses, executions or sales, for debt or for the payment of taxes.

      The Founding Fathers were all Nazis and Communists, of course. Good thing we somehow saved the Republic from them.

    4. You managed to work in almost every ditto-head talking point on the list.

      Couple things:

      (and don’t give me the so-called auto/home insurance excuse… it doesn’t hold weight)

      Why not? It does for me. Be specific.

      allowing a piece of federal legislation to force them to purchase something… which goes against every grain and fiber of our Constitutional well-being.

      Oh, please. Have you been a drama queen your whole life, or just since you became a “googlemonkey”? Love that term.

      What happens when Republicans take control of all branches over government down the road?

      Ummm… Armageddon?

      It ultimately has spelled the end of our legislative body in D.C. as we know it.

      Actually, Didn’t that happen in the 2006 general election?

      Anyway, I would like to offer you a piece of advice. Try to avoid attempting to cram all your talking points into one post. I realize you may have a deadline, but you can come back and post again. Thanks for playing.

    5. “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain  and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

      Welfare (Definition as per Constitution)

      welfare n. 1. health, happiness, or prosperity; well-being.

      So as usual just after the word defense, the attention of the average conservative mind fades out until the word “Liberty”…

      so what other than Comrade President Obama’s putting Health care legislation forward makes it “Unconstitutional? HUmmmm?

    6. The repubs vote for activist judges to overturn democratically passed legislation – when they don’t like the legislation, that is.  Hypocrites.

      Also, too, elections have consequences.  Heh.

    7. What happens when Republicans take control of all branches over government down the road?

      How about the biggest attack on the U.S. since Pearl harbor (despite warnings), two land wars in Asia, economic collapse requiring massive bank bailout, and the deepest recession since the Great Depression.  

    8. For God’s sake, no one is being forced to buy insurance.  You can choose not to and pay more in taxes.  

      You are part of a society.  You have moral and legal obligations.  Participate.

      PS, how much of my tax money over the years went to you and your death toys? (per your user name, I’m presuming.) I was FORCED to pay to kill innocent people.  A far worse sin than whatever it is about HCIR that gets you so upset.

      How is it SO many government employees and military types hate the government?  I think Freud gave it a medical term: hypocrisy.  

  3. That phrase suggests the race was close, but was it really?  52.5% to 43.35% doesn’t seem close to me.  One can argue that the margin should’ve been larger, but I think it’s hard to argue that Suthers barely won.

      1. was a lot like Stalin’s victory in the Russo-Finnish war.  Yeah, in the end, Russia won but Finland beat the point spread so much that other challengers, (Including he who must not be named lest we violate Godwin’s Law against using the H-Word,) decided to try their luck against an obviously weak Red Army.

  4. Does Garnett have a website, Act Blue page, or any other mechanism for online contributions yet? Is there a campaign address to which checks can be sent?

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