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July 23, 2019 11:22 AM UTC

Sorry Lakewood, But She's Your Mayoral Candidate

  • by: Colorado Pols
Tyler Durden, fictional tough guy who doesn’t know a thing about climate change.

Our friend Jason Salzman has done a great job over the years holding politicians accountable for spreading fake news stories to their followers on social media–a practice that has become intensely controversial in the era of “post-truth” Donald Trump politics.

This time, though, 9NEWS’ Steve Staeger does the honors, lighting up Republican perennial candidate now running for Mayor of Lakewood Ramey Johnson after she shared fake climate change denier “news” with fellow Lakewood City Council members while debating the city’s new sustainability plan:

Ramey Johnson, a candidate for Lakewood mayor and current city councilwoman, is facing some criticism for sharing an article about climate change from a blog authored by someone posing as a fictional character from the movie “Fight Club.”

The article, from the blog Zero Hedge, was authored by someone posing as Tyler Durden, Brad Pitt’s character in the movie. It claims that a “bombshell” scientific study from Finland shows evidence that climate change is not necessarily man-made.

The study referenced was published on a website called arXiv, where scientists post unpublished manuscripts. The fact-checking website Climate Feedback rated the study as “incorrect”, pointing the Finland study was never published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Johnson, a Republican who has run for office relentlessly and generally not successfully in steadily bluing suburban Jefferson County for most of the 21st Century so far, has come under fire before for questioning the overwhelming scientific consensus that human caused climate change is real. She claims in this latest story that she doesn’t necessarily agree that climate change is a hoax, but:

Johnson said years ago she tried to convene a study session of the city council to look at all perspectives on climate change and “got crucified”. [Pols emphasis]

“The reality is we should be looking at everything, Steve, and we can make up our own mind on whether its accurate or not,” Johnson told Next reporter Steve Staeger.

To be clear, and in the era of Trumpian fake news it’s necessary to be restate again and again, critical thinking is not about “looking at everything.” We have peer review, and credibility standards for information sources, for good reasons. If this is not obvious to you, do the world a favor and don’t share anything on social media. You’re just making it worse.

Johnson’s most recent act of “sustainability” was her support for the recently-passed and hotly controversial housing cap in the city of Lakewood, which saw bipartisan opposition and is now forecast to severely hamper economic growth in one of the Denver metro area’s anchor suburbs while worsening the state’s already historic shortage of affordable housing. If there was anybody still imagining that such draconian remedies are the result of a scientific approach to Lakewood’s problems…here’s solid evidence to the contrary.


31 thoughts on “Sorry Lakewood, But She’s Your Mayoral Candidate

  1. Ramey Johnson is, by repute, very ambitious, but not very bright. She does dumb or unethical things and is shocked when called on it.  She doesn't think things through, as she demonstrated with this bogus climate change article stunt.

    The other candidate for Mayor isn't much better – Adam Paul, the incumbent, is also ambitious, but pro-development without thinking where the water and infrastructure is going to come from. He interfered in a water board election.

    He's following Madco's motto" "The rain follows the plough", which is losing proposition in the era of catastrophic climate change.

    So from my new Lakewood perspective, it looks like we're kind of screwed on the mayoral options, at least for now. I was hoping for good news about my Ward 3 councilmember, but no luck – it's ex-Judge Mike Bieda, one of the few  rejects from a judgeship (he was rude, and dismissive of women in his courtroom), who apparently went in for local politics instead of retiring. So we'll have to see if Bieda has developed any tolerance for uppity women since being ejected from the judgeship.

    The only bright spot is that Lakewood voters did vote for the Strategic Growth Initiative. Pols, there are definitely other perspectives on whether the SGI will "severely hamper growth" and "worsen the affordable housing shortage."

    In my piece on the housing growth cap, there was extensive comment and discussion on the actual content of the SGI ordinance.

    I haven’t seen any actual statements or endorsements from Johnson on the SGI; she isn’t listed on their site as an endorser. I question how deep her support for the SGI really was; but in any event, she got that one right, in my opinion.

    1. I am lazy with citations and such (and still cannot post pictures, gifs or video) but

      "Rain follows the plough" ~ Charles Dana Wilber, 1870 +/- 5 years.

  2. lol, I knew MJ would scold you for that, Alva. Twenty minutes after she moved to Lakewood, she joined the crusade to stop any more of those damn newcomers from moving to Lakewood.

    1. I'm with mama on this one Voyeur.  I grew up in unincorporated Jefferson County in the  50's and am in full support of managing growth for that area.  The land doesn't belong to the builders, bankers and realtors.  It belongs to all of us and if people want to take a time out from becoming the next China, they can vote for growth control measures.  The bankers, builders and realtors only care about the  almighty dollar in their bank account and don't really give  a shit if there will be clean water available in a hundred years.  I'm also opposed to the Gross Reservoir expansion because it is meant for growth and not conservation.

      This twit who pushes false narratives about the climate crisis is ironically promoting a drastic reaction to it's inevitability.  Something about a stopped  clock.

      1. I assume you're okay with the fact that limits in Lakewood will cause growth to spill over into unincorporated Jeffco?  Unless we find a way to make sex unpopular, the growth has to go somewhere!

      2. GG wrote: "the land doesn't belong to the builders, bankers, and realtors…."

        You're opposed, then, to private property rights and people being able to sell their land to whomever they want to sell to?

        "it belongs to all of us…." I suspect private property owners in JeffCo's undeveloped areas will disagree with you.

    2. I lived in Lakewood from 2005 to 2011, worked w Jeffco Dems, knocked doors w Max Tyler, Chris Kennedy, Gwyn Greene. So not a Lakewood political newbie.

      The growth cap pauses the permitting process to allow consideration of demands on infrastructure. What will it do to parking? To the view? To water.? There are permit exceptions for student and senior housing, affordable housing, existing homes, commercial and industrial development. Read the ordinance. (Start p 9)

      yes, growth caps are coming to other cities  near you, so it would be smart to read the ordinance closely and become informed. 

      Btw, “scold” is sexist language. Uppity outspoken women in the Middle Ages, even Puritan America, were made to wear a torture device called a “scold’s bridle” for the crime of disagreeing verbally or complaining to their menfolk. 

      Try using the same verbs you’d use to describe a male doing the same thing; argue, discuss, make a case, respond, claim, disagree, counter, etc.

      Was this a mistake to break my “don’t engage” rule and try to deal with you like human beings do? I guess we’ll find out.

      Edit: yes , it was a mistake. Back to non engagement we go.


        1. Too bad MJ doesn't mention the other "benefits" of 100; as in, skyrocketing property values and skyrocketing property taxes.

          I place 200 and TABOR in the same category: bad government. If you don't like your legislators, vote them out in the next election. If one thinks the Lakewood Mayor and City Council are too beholden to developers, vote them out in the next election.

          Unfortunately for average citizens, left wing and right wing activists are one and the same when viewed in this light. Circumvent the legislative process to get their agenda imposed on us.

          1. Representative and accountable government???

            What a crazy idea! Why do that when we can put together a hodge-podge of conflicting public policy pronouncements (i.e., Gallagher Amendment, TABOR, Amendment 23), and then pay lawyers lots of money to find ways to reconcile that which cannot be reconciled?


          2. It’s Question 200, CHB. Can you cite a source for the taxes and property values going up?

            The ballot initiative process is quintessentially democratic .  Individual voters are asked a question and either choose to sign on – or they don’t. This particular initiative also went through the courts and city council processes for years, so it was examined and tested all kinds of ways. Then voters voted on it. 

            Circumvent the legislative process? No. It was firmly within the legislative process of the city of Lakewood. You may not care for the voter’s decision, but they definitely had their say, 53-47%.

            1. As a source, how about the most basic law of economics — supply and demand?  To see the results of NIMBYism in action, just try to buy a home in Boulder, which initiated slow growth laws in the 70s.

              But what's reality?  If 53 percent of voters think global climate change ain't a problem, doesn't that outweigh the science?

              1. Like Boulder, Golden also has growth limitations in place, with resulting high property values. And, yes, I'm aware it is 200. I don't always catch all the typos coming from having psoriatic arthritis in my hands.

                Golden has “great, affordable” housing after putting their growth limits in place. There’s a trailer park along West Colfax near Heritage; and another just to the SW from 6th Ave. and C-470.

        2. Isn't it odd that the folks who oppose builders and development are the same folks who scream the loudest about the problem of homelessness?

            1. Hence an honest determination of pricing cannot rely on supply and demand alone, and must include at least one extra factor along the lines of what MJ said.

              1. 2Jung2Die: I'll offer that the sole determinants for housing pricing IS supply and demand. Who makes the decision that there should be "other factors?"

                People, including me, have lobbied for those "other factors" in the past, like working against the Two Forks Dam proposal and Homestake II proposal 30+ years ago. No major group has ever tried to use water as a means to slow down growth.

                1. To answer your question, it's apartment investors and rental property owners, and they've already made the decision. At the bare minimum apartment pricing equals supply and demand plus ROI. (I'm admitting supply and demand here and trying to see if you might meet me part-way on ROI.) Try this link to see an oldish list of top 50 apartment managers, but you can Google the topic of apartment investment all day long and you'll even find some pretty large complex purchases in Lakewood. The firm holds the price gun and sets the dials intentionally, even if the invisible hand sets sort of a base level.

                  1. In the vast majority of cases, apartment owners do not have monopoly pricing power.  The notion that apartment owners can set prices to satisfy a targeted ROI is silly.  ROI is used to determine if a project should be initiated, but doesn't really come into play after the property is built.  Once a property is available for rent, the market dictates the rates that can be charged.  If an owner were to set prices based on a targeted ROI they would likely set prices either too high or too low.  Demand at specific price points determine how much an apartment owner can charge.

                    To avoid this issue, an apartment owner would need to own a fairly high percentage of available rental properties to enjoy monopoly pricing. Even with this pricing power, ROI would not be a component when determining prices.  Monopolist and non-monopolists operate on the same profit maximization principle.  They will both charge the rental rate that results in the greatest profit.

                    1. From Forbes "How to Increase Your ROI on a Multifamily Asset": "If you own a complex and have long-term renters, now would be a good time to increase their rents. Just because they have been living there for a while does not entitle them to a discount. A strategic way to increase a tenant's rent is to also update and schedule maintenance for that building/unit. Show them why their unit will be brought up to market rent and give them a reason to stay. It is a delicate approach, but when done correctly, it can be very effective."

            2. I could offer that the groups advocating for the homeless aren't all that concerned either. Why hasn't the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless worked itself out of a job by now; I first met its director around 1983. But I won't offer that.

                  1. You said, "I could offer that the groups advocating for the homeless aren't all that concerned either. Why hasn't the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless worked itself out of a job by now; I first met its director around 1983. But I won't offer that."  

                    Did you not?    

                    As for anyone else, that's not relevant. 

                    If you’re hoping for a flame war to distract from what you said, I’m going to have to disappoint you.

                    1. Are you guys really that repressed, that the terms alone are that titillating?  

            3. Ahh, the perennial problem of the yuppie scum…..

              So the fact that those yuppies pay taxes – which allows the government to provide section 8 housing and underwrite mortgages for those who otherwise cannot afford their own homes – does not factor into your equation?

              P.S. Voyageur econo-splained the law of supply and demand to you elsewhere so I will not repeat the fact that the more homes built, the bigger an eventual glut on the supply end which drives down the prices of rentals and sales.

              1. Was that for me? If so, I'd welcome all kinds of factors into an equation. Taxes funding low-AMI housing programs help the low-AMI earners to be sure. Prices set by national/international investors also create some very wealthy people and/or firms, and leave market-rate rent payers with some pretty hefty monthly payments for which they retain zero value for upon leaving. And I acknowledged supply and demand as a factor in my first response to CHB, just not the only one.

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