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September 22, 2010 11:28 PM UTC

Kathleen Curry: "I Am Not a Spoiler"

  • 4 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

The strange, quixotic story of ex-Democratic Rep. Kathleen Curry, now waging an uphill write-in campaign with limited fundraising resources, goes on–we missed it, but last week a federal judge put an end to hopes of at least partially alleviating her basically hopeless situation. The Durango Herald’s Joe Hanel reports:

La Plata County Commissioner Joelle Riddle is pressing on with her lawsuit against Colorado’s campaign-finance law after a legal defeat last week.

Riddle and her fellow plaintiff, state Rep. Kathleen Curry, wanted a federal judge to block a law that allows Curry to collect only $200 in donations per person for her unaffiliated campaign, compared with $400 for her Democratic and Republican opponents…

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Philip Brimmer denied their request to block the state’s campaign-finance law in time for Curry’s re-election campaign.

Riddle, Curry and their Durango lawyer, Bill Zimsky, decided this week to press on with the case even though it won’t help Curry this year.

To be clear, we’re not making any judgments about the validity of this case, part of a larger challenge to restrictions on unaffiliated candidates in Colorado law by La Plata County Commissioner Joelle Riddle and Rep. Curry. They may well have a point about the law being unfairly slanted against unaffiliated candidates.

What we will say is that both Riddle and Curry certainly knew, or have no excuse for not knowing at the very least, what the laws were when they made their respective decisions to bail on the Democratic Party. In short, they knew what they were getting themselves into. Both Curry and Riddle had broken with their follow Democrats on major policy issues: Riddle had cast unpopular votes on oil and gas regulations, and Curry had basically defected to the GOP–turning against Democrats on the budget, and actually co-sponsoring a bill with Rep. Ellen Roberts to reverse health care legislation passed by other Democrats. Their decisions to disaffiliate were in response to criticism of those votes, but both are clear that it was their own decision.

As we’ve said before, there’s absolutely no way that Curry can win as a write-in candidate. No amount of outreach, to every voter willing to be contacted, will overcome the thousands of voters who will show up at the polling place with no idea that a choice other than the two they see before them even exists. That being the case, the only possible outcome for Curry’s write-in bid is pulling some number of votes from the Democrat in the race, Roger WIlson. For reasons we can’t explain, Curry doesn’t see it this way. From her latest newsletter, here she is, uh, trying to make her case:

Oh, and one more thing – I have been hearing that there are folks canvassing people in the district asking them to register to vote and informing them that a vote for me would hand the race to my republican opponent. Besides the fact that people doing voter registration drives are not legally allowed to advocate for or against individual candidates – the logic doesn’t work here. We all need to earn our votes in this race, and whoever has the most votes will win. So we each have an equal chance at this. I am not a spoiler…

There are only two candidates with an “equal chance,” and they’re on the ballot. Since it is unlikely that Curry would pull many votes away from GOP candidate Luke Korkowski, and enough write-in votes to herself win is by any reasonable measure a totally delusional idea, there’s really only one thing that Curry’s run can accomplish–Rep. Luke Korkowski (R). Making sure that more people in HD-61 get that message than Curry can make enough of an impression on to get them to write her in, which you’d think wouldn’t be difficult, is the top priority in this race if your interest is in keeping the seat in Democratic hands.

But if you’re Dick Wadhams, you’d make maximum use of her…

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