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July 23, 2010 06:41 PM UTC

A DREAM REBORN: Thank-you, Andrea Merida.

  • by: peacemonger


Two years ago, we had a tight group of political friends in town. We all worked our asses off to get Barack Obama elected. During the campaign, we worked ridiculously long hours, ate pizza (only) until it made us sick, hassled every friend we ever knew to have house parties and put up lawn signs, neglected our children (temporarily), napped on cold dirty floors in campaign offices when necessary, turned our houses over to be campaign satellites, and spent every penny we had on our own gas and food and other expenses to keep doing the work, and for some of us, that meant not paying our rent. Our spouses, our kids, our friends — everyone sacrificed what we couldn’t give them because we were giving it all up for Barack and The Dream.

Some of my friends quit their paid jobs to get the work done (working people who couldn’t afford to do that). Nothing was more important than saving the world, we thought. One of my friends still can’t get a job paying half of what he made paid pre-Obama. Did we get cushy jobs in the White House after? No. Did we get Christmas cards from the White House like the big donors got? No. Did we get to go to any fancy inaugural balls? No. We celebrated in our own living rooms eating Safeway Select cheese balls.

But we won. And it was GLORIOUS.

When Barack Obama won, it was a victory for the little guy — every little guy, of every gender, gender preference, race, religion, political affiliation, citizenship status, born and yet-to-be born — everyone. And when it was over, we were bonded. Family. Thicker than family. Soulmates. People who would have never have given each other the time of the day in grocery stores — we were linked forever.

We stayed connected on the blogs. On facebook. Using twitter. On my We connected with other “Obama family members” from other neighborhoods, and adopted them as our own. Blood brothers. Blood sisters. Forever.

After Andrew Romanoff jumped in the Senate race ten months ago, the honeymoon was over. Eighty percent of my well-connected-in-state-politics personal friends supported Romanoff — that was okay with me. It was a tough pill to swallow, for sure, not being on the same team and all, but we’re grown-ups, right?

We were a little surprised how viciously a few of those former friends attacked Bennet supporters, and in one case, it was my friends’ husband. (How do I know? He shouted the same words at me at the state convention that he had written anonymously on the blogs.)

We couldn’t figure out why some of them were so militant. I had been an Andrew supporter previously, for example, but I couldn’t imagine being so passionate about any candidate that I would turn on friends — especially friends who take great pains to say both candidates are  strong candidates, and that Democrats need to stick together (see my archived diaries). It made no sense. It’s politics, not personal, right? We all believe in both candidates and will support the winner, no matter what, right?

Heck, if Joe Lieberman and John Kerry can be friends, school board members and house district chairs, and senate district chairs and county officers, and community leaders and union leaders should all be able to get along at the state level, right? Vote against each other’s stuff and then go have a beer, right?

Fortunately, a solid core of my true friends are still my friends, and I hope always will be — we just don’t talk about this race. They were the ones who didn’t buy the attacks by the shills on the blogs.

Imagine my surprise to wake up this morning and read the Denver Post’s article, “DPS board member Merida on Romanoff campaign’s payroll”.…

To be clear — I’m not talking about people like Polly Baca, and State House and Senate legislators in Arapahoe County (many of whom received Romanoff Leadership PAC money and truly deserved his support and contributions), who remain professional, gracious and statesmen-like. Polly Baca has never denied being a staff member of the Romanoff campaign. She is proud of it. She’s been honest every step of the way. Cool! Awesome! Good for her!

I am not talking about the amazing Young Dems who passionately believe in their candidate and support him with honest convictions. I’m definitely not talking about the County Chairs I know who  believe in Andrew and have been long-time personal friends of his.

I’m also not talking about the hundreds of good, selfless, decent people who showed up to dozens (hundreds?) of health care rallies and meetings around the state last year demanding Single Payer health care. True, Bennet and Udall didn’t support Single Payer. I hope to G-d someday they will. But they did get us a good bill — not a perfect bill — but a solid step in the right direction.

My beef is with the paid hit-men and women  who savagely attack Michael Bennet and his supporters, and have since January of ’09, on Square State, Kos and FireDogLake, pretending to merely be supporters, who pretend they are not paid. That is unethical.(Some of those earlier blogs were deleted from Square State, by the way, when the last person in charge left before the new ownership — the new owners do have some standards).

I’m also talking about the people who actually boohed Michael Bennet and Brandon Schaffer and Wellington Webb at county assemblies — yaah, them. Let’s have some class, people. Seriously.

My beef is also with the radio talk-show hosts in town who are only interested in their own ratings — translation — their own pockets.

I’m talking about the people who decided to politically frame Bennet (who votes almost identically to Udall, and the other members of the Colorado Democratic Congressional delegation, by the way) as a corporate sell-out without actually taking five minutes to get to know him.  Wouldn’t ethics require that you at least get to know the guy and talk to him before spreading that viscious accusation? Ask him why he votes the way he does?

And while we’re on the subject — how about prominent Bennet supporters who won’t come out of the closet and defend him? Hundreds of them. I know they’re out there. They’ve told me. If they want to ride on his coat-tails later, shouldn’t they “watch his back” now? Seriously, I’m asking.


Some of Romanoff’s paid bloggers have stated countless times on Pols and elsewhere that we must be paid by Bennet to blog so much for him. No matter how many times I’ve told them I am not on Bennet’s payroll, the rumour persists. I get it everywhere I go.  

Well — here’s the truth, folks. I’ve never received a dime, and I don’t think any of my Bennet-supporting friends have either. Nothing. Zilch. Nada. Goose egg. Letter “O”. No bribes, no payments, no special tour of the capitol, no future promises of campaign support, nothing. Heck, my spouse and kids couldn’t even get into the Filmore to see the President, even after standing in line in the cold for hours. “Rules are rules. Everyone’s the same in Michael Bennet’s world. The Fire Marshall said, ‘Too many inside'”. Sorry.

My friends and I support Michael Bennet because he is the underdog in this race, despite his Washington support and his ability to fundraise, in a town where Andrew Romanoff is thought to be a cross between John Elway and well… I won’t go there.

We support our candidate because he’s been accessible in office, and has a damn-good voting record. We support him

– because he worked to get health care for our family members who’ve never had any;

– because he voted for a bill to ensure that people who don’t pay women the same amount as men won’t get away with it for long;

– because he voted for bills that protect the environment, that set aside public lands for my kids and grandkids to enjoy, that ensure equal treatment for my buddies who are gay, that treat my veteran friends with the respect they deserve, and so much more;

– because he doesn’t vote for bills just to score political points among Democrats… or among Republicans either. He votes for things because he listens to EVERYONE, then decides what’s best for the greatest number of people. How do I know? Because we followed him around and asked him. Called him. Pestered him. Wrote to him. Bugged the crap out of the guy to vote for the things we cared about — for a year. And he talked to us. A lot.

– Because Michael Bennet doesn’t believe in buying off community leaders to support him.

– And mostly because, my friends and I worked our asses off to get Barack Obama elected, WITHOUT PAYMENT OR COMPENSATION OF ANY KIND (In fact, at great financial and personal costs, at times), because we believed in Barack Obama. We believed in hope. In change. In the promise that we could re-build a country that was worth passing down to our children someday.

Now, Michael Bennet is Barack’s partner in the Change agenda — correction — Michael Bennet is OUR partner in the Change agenda.

Note to self: “Self — next time, ask for the paid supporter option”.

One of my former Romanoff staffer friends always tells me, “If you want a friend in politics, get a dog.” I always thought that was cynical, but to this day, despite lots of political fighting with her and making up again, I kind-of, sort-of, think she’s still my friend. At least she cared enough about me to warn me there’s no such things as political friends.

Unfortunately, I can’t afford to feed another dog right now, and neither can my friends. We’ve spent the last two years working tirelessly as campaign volunteers for a dream we still believe in.

Supporting Michael Bennet wasn’t the politically expedient thing to do, or the financially lucrative thing to do. It hurt to see community leaders, people we used to call friends, attack our character, and the character of Michael Bennet. The Romanoff campaign has been successful in demonizing a good man on the blogs,  but I and my friends remain undaunted. They’ve lied and told people he can be bought.

He can’t.

Standing on the side of Michael Bennet is the right thing to do. I’m proud to do it. I stand with my Obama family, arm in arm, and say, “YES WE CAN.” We can win this primary, we can win this general election, and we can win our country back from those who don’t believe in our Dream.  A dream of hope, a dream of promise, and a dream of change.

Together with our President, we will continue to re-build this country and its institutions for every person — no matter their race, their color, their religion, their sexual preference, their land of birth, their political persuasion, their level of education, or the amount of money they have in the bank. We will accomplish what we set out to do when we elected our President, Barack Obama.

Nay-sayers, shills, and whiners out of the way.



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27 thoughts on “A DREAM REBORN: Thank-you, Andrea Merida.

  1. Not even close.

    Seriously dude, I’ve yet to come across a “bad” dog that wasn’t a whole lot better to spend time with than the majority of “good” people.

  2. .

    maybe I missed the blogs with the personal attacks, but I don’t remember folks hating on you, just disagreeing with your emotion-based choice.  

    I get it.  Michael, a US Senator, has sat and chatted with you for 40 minutes at a time.  That can be extremely heady and gratifying.  And he’s apparently done that more than once.  

    But he hasn’t sat with most of us for 40 minutes, so we have to decide based on qualifications.


  3. A lot of it was deleted from the old Square state. Still, I needed to say it. This isn’t about Bennet or Romanoff (I still say they are both good guys who would serve us well.)

    This is about ethics.

      1. This piece was pretty emotional for me. I was pretty upset to know some of the personal attacks this past year have been because people on the Romanoff team have been paid to go after Bennet and his supporters.  I don’t know why I am surprised by dirty politics, but I always am.  

        Better get that dog.

        1. Most of them aren’t paid, and most of them are doing their preferred candidate more harm than good. To the extent that those who are undecided read things like this (start with my comment, and read “Fake Michael Bennet’s” replies, then my comment at the bottom of the diary), they can’t help but see something that most Dems don’t want to be identified with.

          Belligerence and irrationality are what we’re fighting against (within ourselves as well as without), and reason and goodwill are what we’re fighting for. Accept that the former is not going to just go away, but also have faith that the latter thrives when we, those of us who are so inclined, remember to remain committed to it.

          MLK Jr (among others) said that “the arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice,” and John Maynard Keynes said that “[people] will do the rational thing, but only after exploring all other alternatives.” Let’s leave it to others, of whatever party, of whatever religion, of whatever set of beliefs, to try to bend that arc further away from justice, and to insist on exploring those other alternatives that are not the reasonable thing. You and I and all other reasonable people of goodwill, of whatever party, of whatever religion, of whatever set of beliefs, will keep doing all we can to bend it toward justice, and finally, to the best of our ability, “do the reasonable thing”.

  4. I feel farily much the same.  I have probably mentioned it before but I was shocked when Webb introduced Bennet at the Denver Convention and was booed. And then in true class form they also booed Michael.  The woman behind literally booed him through his entrie speech (every f—ing thing he said).

    The quick story is that they booed Webb when he stood up for Michael having the courage to close Manual High School when he was Super.  You know what is funny I doubt most the people who booed even know where the hell Manual High School is.  You know who thought it was a good idea to close Manual because none of us would send our kids there?

    Mayor Webb – Manual Grad – Supporting Bennet

    Michael Hancock – Manual Grad – Supporting Bennet

    Me – Manual Grad – Supporting Bennet

    etc. etc. etc. –

    You know who went back and volunteered our time to paint, clean, etc. when Manual was to reopen. The same people.

    1. by Romanoff supporters at State Assembly was the extra large Romanoff sign that someone kept pushing in front of the camera that was covering the stage when Bennet and his supporters were up there.

      BTW, an older gentleman from my county stepped forward and told a woman who was booing Bennet to stop.  Said it was the first time in his life he’d ever had to do something like that.

  5. Thanks for saying your “Peace”. Be proud of Suppporting Bennet, I know I am!! Not only have Romanoff’s coffers been completely shallow, it’s clear by today’s big story with Andrea Merida, so are his ethics. Anything to win right, Andrew!  

  6. Nancy, if you don’t want a dog, I might be able to hook you up with a friendly, loving Little Cat that LIKES dogs. 🙂

    There’s another saying that fits here, which goes something like, “No matter what side of something you’re on, you’re going to have people with you that you wish to God were on the OTHER side.”

    Some folks just seem to think that using the lowest common denominator as the guideline for their behavior is A-OK. So if someone, somewhere, already did something low class, that means being low class right back is the way to go.

    It IS tempting to respond to some of these sleazy little pissants in kind. I believe I have slipped over that line myself a time or two. But a. it doesn’t accomplish anything and b. doesn’t help one to become a better person in the long run.  (If one cares about that sort of thing.)

    I was just thinking the other night that I am now going to have to make an actual effort to feel sorry for Andrew when he loses the primary, because a few of his junkyard Romweilers have pissed me off that much.

    Perhaps, after the results are announced, you will join me in my imaginary lawn chairs under the Schadenfreude tree, where we can sip refreshing adult beverages in celebration.

  7. .

    “Romanoff schedules press conference for 9 AM tomorrow to explain that he is not quitting the race.”

    It wasn’t very funny the first time, but maybe folks have lightened up since then.


  8. You sacrificed so much to “save the world” and in the end you just got played like pawns. You gave up so much just to screw up America.

    1. You’re still shouting “Yes we can” after everything that Obama has done? Translation: please, “friends”, stay with me on the sinking ship out of loyalty to our dear leader Obama. Nope, they’re getting out now.

          1. We don’t “worship” Obama. We admire him. The Teabaggers take everything Palin the Dipshit says on faith, requiring no proof or facts of her which is great since she seems to be fatally allergic to them. Inconsistencies? No problem as you guys will just gloss right over them. She pretends to give a shit about the Constitution and you baggers eat that shit up and never question how she just ignores the parts of that great document she doesn’t like.

            Idolatry – excessive or blind adoration, reverence, devotion, etc.

            We question the President and the decisions he makes and doesn’t make. We challenge the President. We call bullshit on the President when necessary. But at the end of the day, when we look at everything he was faced with on the day he took the Oath we admire him. Some (not all) of us are impressed that he has managed to take the complete clusterfuck Bush left him and in less that 2 years he has made great strides in turning it around. He has also tried to keep to his campaign promises more than any other President I have ever seen. And while some say he isn’t moving fast enough, I like to remind them that he isn’t even at the half-way mark.

            @BJ – This is admiration. I can understand if you don’t recognize what it looks like.

        1. BJ is the new village idiot. When he tries to defend a point, he not only proves that he can’t, but does so more spectacularly, combusting more gas in the process, than when the Hindenburg blew. The rest of the time, he just makes random, meaningless, mindless ideological and partisan assertions. Unless you enjoy making maggots squirm, it’s best to ignore him.

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