( – promoted by Colorado Pols)
Andrew Romanoff is running for the Senate as a progressive candidate. He has positioned himself to the left of his opponent, incumbent Michael Bennet, on many issues. He is able to do this because as the challenger, he does not have to actually cast votes and participate in the legislative process; he can simply take opportunistic shots from the sidelines while representing himself any way he wants.
But this has not always worked. Romanoff has faced criticism from the Latino community for his role as Colorado House Speaker in a special session of the legislature that passed onerous anti-immigrant legislation. Some provisions of this legislation, which Romanoff proudly called “the toughest immigration law in the nation” to the Los Angeles Times, proved so unworkable they were repealed.
What the 2006 immigration session revealed was a disturbing tendency for Andrew Romanoff to work against key progressive allies and values for personal gain. Another excellent example is his misleading and harshly negative Senate campaign against an opponent with whom he has no major ideological or policy differences.
But there is another example, one that makes undeniably clear the shallowness of Romanoff’s progressive values. And that is Romanoff’s sponsorship of Senate Joint Resolution 03-016.
During the 2008 primary, SJR03-016 became an issue in the primary election between Jared Polis and Joan Fitz-Gerald. Fitz-Gerald didn’t deny that she had voted in favor of a resolution “honoring” George W. Bush for “protecting America from Saddam Hussein,” but she basically claimed that everybody was doing these at the time and it was no big deal. Besides, it’s not like she was a sponsor or anything.
Still, former Senate candidate Mike Miles was terribly disappointed.
Mike Miles, a former Diplomat, military officer and Army Ranger, stated, “I understand the horrific nature of war. It is upsetting to me that at a time when Colorado and our nation needed true leadership and vision, Democratic leaders like the State Minority Leader, Joan Fitz-Gerald, were too quick to support the invasion of Iraq. Their lack of foresight and fortitude has cost America gravely.”
In Fitz-Gerald’s case, you had to go way back into the records of the Senate to find her vote in favor of SJR03-016, and yet it cost her significantly in terms of support among progressives, who, if you didn’t know, don’t think the invasion of Iraq was a good idea as it turns out.
But for then-Rep. Andrew Romanoff, proud sponsor only two names to the left to Dave Schultheis himself, it was much, much easier.
Andrew Romanoff is not the devil. Many Democrats voted for the Iraq war. When Romanoff decided to sponsor a resolution praising Bush for invading Iraq, he most likely thought it would help him get other legislation passed in a Republican-controlled legislature. Romanoff went on to gain a reputation for compromise in the legislature. Up until he became the “true progressive” in a cutthroat primary, that is.
For myself, I knew that war was wrong when I was a little kid. Just like I knew that Democrats were making a terrible mistake trying to appease anti-immigrant Republicans in 2006. These are the reasons, combined with incidents like the hiring of right-wing demagogue Pat Caddell earlier this year, that make me fundamentally question Andrew Romanoff’s progressive convictions. And it is absolutely clear to me, with Romanoff’s full record on the table, that Michael Bennet does not deserve what Romanoff is doing to him.