B******t, response in triplicate, investigations, and policy wonks go to war

The last few days have been interesting to say the least in the Democratic senate race.  Starting with the New York Times Financial writer Gretchen Morgenson’s article, it only got more heated.

Bennet campaign spokesman Trevor Kincaid showed his Rahm Emmanuel ties by launching into a rather blunt response.

Fox News spoke with Bennet’s press person, Trevor Kincaid. When asked if Bennet was going to issue a statement or hold a presser about the Times article, Kincaid said, “First of all the New York Times article is b******t.” Kincaid went on to say the NYT reporter (Gretchen Morgenson) had obviously never attended a Denver Public Schools board meeting. As of this writing, the Bennet campaign has not issued an official response on the information contained in the article.

Somehow I’m guessing Mr. Kincaid has never been to a DPS school board meeting either, but it made for a headline grabbing fact-free response.

The Bennet campaign did eventually respond, along with new DPS superintendent Tom Boasberg.  They give a slighly more tactful response than Kincaid.  The problem?  As Michael Booth points out:

Bennet’s campaign Friday released talking points that mirrored Boasberg’s.

Even odder, a former DPS board members jumps into the fray, echoing the same talking point, but claiming them as her own.  Thumbs up to the Bennet folks for keeping everyone on message, but epic #FAIL for what is obviously planting language for Boasberg and the board to use.

Trying to grab whatever earned media he can, Bennet launched into a round-the-clock tour of the state — by plane, train, and automobile (well maybe not train, but his campaign did put out a picture of him talking to a greyhound bus driver).

This briefly exits the campaign realm and enters public policy, as a member of the Colorado Legislature calls for investigations into what happened at DPS.  Win or lose for Bennet Tuesday, it seems like a lot of people are going to be asking some very uncomfortable questions about what exactly Bennet, Boasberg, and the Board did and what the long term effects entail.

Back in the campaign corner, apparently the Romanoff folks got tired of the Bennet campaign calling b******t on everything without backing up their claims, so the launched what looks like one of the most citation filled sites in the history of politics: Thebennetway.com.

Romanoff has been categorized as a policy wonk who “lives and breathes this stuff” — the guy who stayed up late actually reading every bill on his desk.  It shouldn’t be a surprise then that the Romanoff camp’s response to attacks on their ads reads like the supporting documents of a bill.  Presented in a “WWBD” (What would Bennet do) style, it outlines “the Bennet way” at Anschutz, DPS, and in Washington.  Presumably the site helps keep many of Romanoff’s attacks in the news this final weekend, and it pops up in google for the increasingly small amount people who haven’t actually voted yet.

So that sums up about 72 hours of the closing days.  Is there anything interesting left to happen on Monday?

50 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. StrykerK2 says:

    Stay klassy Trevor.

  2. dfarrah says:

    link to Thebennetway.com.

    IMO, AR communicates complicated issues in a clear, accessible manner–so I don’t find his responses at all like reading a regulation.

    For the Regal issue, he describes exactly who won, who lost, and when and how they won and lost.

    Too many people on this site somehow think the Regal transactions resulted in fairy dust in the form of millions of $$$ for Bennet while no one else got hurt in the deal, and that’s just not the case.

    • MADCO says:

      And some got hurt.

      But Bennet did not cause anyone to lose.  

      • dfarrah says:

        ignorance of the substance and impact of the transaction, as well as your continued defense of it with mere platitudes, do not change the facts surrounding the transaction.

        And the facts surrounding the transaction would lead a reasonable person–like me  🙂  to  conclude that many debtholders and shareholders–both the old ones and the new ones who bot into the ipo–got screwed while Anschutz and Bennet drained the company [ies] of cash.  

        • Ralphie says:

          There is one sound one.

          Shareholders all got dividends.  Stock was doing good until Bush tanked the market, but it has come back.  2000 new employees were hired.

          Those are BAD things?  I don’t see your point.

          • dfarrah says:

            the new Regal got dividends–and Anschutz was a major shareholder.  Shareholders and creditors of the old companies got squat.

            2000 new employees gained against 4-5000 lost is a net loss.

            • Ralphie says:

              They had overbuilt, and the invention of the DVD (and poor product from Hollywood) was killing theaters.

              They were mismanaged.

              Consolidation saved them.  Or part of them.

              • JeffcoTrueBlue says:

                If Regal was so mismanaged as you and Bennet keep saying, why put the same guy in charge of the new company? Maybe that was the price of getting him to go along with Bennet’s prepackaged bankruptcy? Maybe he saw the whole thing as a way to screw his vendors & creditors and walk into a new cushy job, make millions going along with Bennet & Anschutz’ plan?

                If Regal was so poorly run and mismanaged then what does it say about Bennet & Anschutz putting the same CEO in charge of an even bigger company? Guess it explains why that guy is a major donor to Bennet – gotta thank the guy that overlooked your incompetence and compensated your mismanagement with millions

                • MADCO says:

                  And IDK to whom you are referring – the CEO at Regal is a woman.

                  • JeffcoTrueBlue says:

                    The CEO of Regal Cinema for years was Michael Campbell. I believe his family were the founders too. He was still the CEO when it was packaged into bankruptcy by Bennet. According to the SEC documents, when they went public he was the Co-CEO of Regal Entertainment and the CEO of the Regal Cinemas division. He was in that position every day that Bennet was involved in the deal and at Anschutz and each time they approved paying out millions.

                    • MADCO says:

                      But it wasn’t the management of the day to day operations that led to the BK.

                      The movie theater business in the 90’s was a race to see who could get biggest.  The local chains trying to become regional, the regional chains trying to go national.  Partly because of the oppty to negotiate with vendors and suppliers- mostly to negotiate with the film distributors.

                      Who do you think gets more attention from the movie makers- the guy with 4 locations and 16 screens, or the guy with hundreds of locations and thousands of screens?

                      In their rush to get big- most got over extended.  It’s not so crazy- if one of them could have got bigger, or biggest, ahead of the others, they’d win. (Several enter- only one comes out.)

                      In Michael Campbell’s case, and Kurt Hall’s- they knew what they were doing.  And FWIW, in the BK’s it was the landlords who got screwed the hardest.

                      And so when AI takes over UA, Edwards and Regal – it was a smart move to keep the senior operations management and make them operate – while corporate (Anshutz Inc) made the big picture decisions on the financing and subsequent expansion/reduction plans.

                      From what I can tell – here’s a pretty good write up.


                      Until Anshutz opens the books, we’re not going to know more of what went on in between the BK’s and the IPO.  Which appears to be unlikely.

            • MADCO says:

              No where near 4-5000 lost jobs.

              Biggest number anyone cites is “2400” and even that fails to account for the fact that most were part time.

              So even that  was aprox 850 FTE – and that does not account for jobs regained when the closed location was acquired by another operator. It also counts the FTE who would have been have been hired if location x was ever completed and opened.

              But most relevant- the owners of the old companies drove themselves into bankrupcy – which had nothing to do with Bennet no Anshutz Inc.

              Wait- The exoon Valdeez spill cost thousands their jobs. And we all know Anshutz inc invested in oil. See- everything bad is Bennet’s fault.

  3. Voyageur says:

    for wasting your time shilling for Romo on a site where everybody voted weeks ago–for Bennet.  It kept you from working on the GOTV effort that will decide this race–for Bennet.

    If you’re the MikeD I think you are,  you’re the latest example of a political professional losing sight of the tools of victory.   Still, you and JPS were the class of Team Romo here.  baser shills like JO and Stryker and Wade Porous were our secret weapons all along!

  4. JO says:

    We now learn, via David Sirota, that Mark Farrandino (D), chairman of the state House Budget Committee, plans to launch a formal audit of the DPS deal. Whatever else this means, it means the issue will continue to generate news during the general election.

    I fully realize that some Bennetistas are entirely convinced that if they could show via a spreadsheet that even if the deal envisioned by their Golden Boy went South from the way in which it was sold, none of it matters if the “bottom line” is the same.

    That viewpoint ignores — willfully, not because Bennetistas don’t know this — the fact the political campaigns are much more like a branch of  Entertainment than a branch of Accounting or even Law. Campaign managers are hired to paint a picture of the candidate that people will vote for. See Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger for two good examples. I mention these two because they actually came from the entertainment business.

    What was the image of Michael Bennet that his campaign tried to paint? Family Man. Savvy Businessman. Wears Integrity(r).

    At least two of those three legs are now largely in tatters. If the DPS deal wasn’t corrupt, at least it seems inept. If the Regal Theater deal wasn’t backhanded, at least it appears that Bennet got rich by means of manipulating the bankruptcy law, to the detriment of the original debtors and shareholders, without creating anything new–clever, perhaps, but hardly admirable.

    As for being a man of the people, a fighter for Colorado, well, I suggest that being able to write a check for $300,000 just like that might serve to put Michael Bennet in a class different than the one familiar to most people.

    I won’t go into other issues that make Bennet unelectable in November: Obama’s active endorsement in a race where the president should have no horse; Bennet’s resume as a former investment banker post Goldman Sachs; Bennet’s status as an incumbent (a status he tries to deny); and, of course, Bennet’s undeniable receipt of millions$ from lobbyi$ts. In a year of widespread disgust with incumbents, influence of lobbyists, influence of Big Money — is Michael Bennet the man to nominate?  

    Last point. Let us assume that Bennetistas do their best — the best they can — to defend their man and refute arguments against nominating him. Their first and only line of defense, today and every other day: roll out what they imagine to be insults to individuals delivering a different message. Don’t bother addressing the substance of the message (possibly because it can’t be addressed?); just call on a tired list of names (“shill” being their favorite) that they think, somehow, is going to distract attention from the underlying issues. Surely it’s fair to judge an argument by the strength of…well, the argument!

    • AreWeNotMen says:

      You Romanuts make it hard for a poop-throwing, pox-on-all-of-you moron like me to NOT sound like a Bennet shill (trust me, I’m not).

      But you do know that Farrandino is a Romanoff endorser, right?  I mean, yeah, Bennet is a Wall Streeter who doesn’t give a shit about anyone but himself.  

      But neither does Romanoff, nor does any other politician who manages to make to the level of serious contender in a Senate race.  It’s simply impossible for a human being to believe that they deserve that much power without being a complete narcissist.  And yeah, I include <insert your favorite example of a “good” Senator here> in that sweeping generalization.

      • JO says:

        What’s more compelling, the ammunition, or who fires it?

        “You do know that the rocket launcher that fired the rocket that sank the ship was manufactured by a relative of the Generalissimo, si?”

        But I guess you are making my point: that Senate races, among others, are about perception. Destroy the perception, destroy the candidate. Mega-termination fees, PACman, dividends to new shareholders financed by new debt instead of earnings …  

        • AreWeNotMen says:


          As in a weapon, meant to destroy.  This is about destruction, not trying to help DPS, education, children, kittens, or unicorns.

          Thanks for making my point.

  5. catpuzzle says:

    What an interesting website. I took a look around so I could learn more about the votes that Romanoff would have differed from Bennet on it.

    They have a comprehensive – and fascinating – list on there.

    Apparently, Romanoff thinks Michael’s vote against vouchers was a “bad vote”. He thinks Michael’s vote against the Collins Amendment during health care that would have excluded new hires from health insurance was a bad vote. Apparently he thinks the vote against giving more earmarks to disgraced lobbying firm PMA was a bad vote. Apparently voting against Lautenberg’s pharma reimportation trojan horse was a “bad vote.”

    Honestly, this sounds like a bunch of votes Republicans would highlight, and makes me wonder whether Romanoff has been coordinating with them. His whole campaign has been about losing this seat for Democrats.

    Does Romanoff just think that these are bad votes, or is he trying to dump all the research he has at the last minute in a desperate attempt to smear Bennet?

    Also, for the record, it strikes me that his so-called ‘bad votes’ are pretty tame. And relatively few. So much for clear policy differences.  

    • MADCO says:

      nothing last minute about it- it’s been getting added to (along with one or two other crazy anti-Bennet sites) for awhile.

      IT’s the same strategy as the DPS finance hooey: Shout FIRE! as loud as you can to create a panic, and after the room has been jolted form their seats, acknowledge it was ll nothing.

      Do you honestly think 1 voter in 100 could explain the Collins AMendment?  Do you think Andrew could?

      Andrew spent the whole health care debate whining about some false choice – instead of explaining why there are states with single payer, just not Colorado.

    • denverco says:

      This win at any cost type of campaign is neither good for him or the Democratic Party. He will be the one blamed if the seat goes Repug this fall.

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