The Western Slope Isn’t Irrelevant–Club 20 Is

Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush (left) and Republican Rep. Scott Tipton debate issues at the 2018 Club 20 forum underneath a gigantic Chevron banner.

As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports on the continuing decline of Club 20–a Western Slope county-based boosterism group whose annual conference was once a regular stop for candidates in election years, but lost relevance as the group’s internal politics skewed right:

The Democrat in the race for the 3rd Congressional District, Diane Mitsch Bush, is the latest to announce that she’s not planning to attend the Sept. 19 candidate debates during the Western Slope advocacy group’s annual fall conference…

Mitsch Bush is the second biggest named candidate to decline attending after former Gov. John Hickenlooper turned down Club 20’s invitation last month, mirroring what now Gov. Jared Polis did in his 2018 gubernatorial bid.

The two aren’t alone. Seth Cagin, the Democratic challenger to Rep. Marc Catlin, R-Montrose, for House District 58, also said he won’t attend, saying there’s nothing to benefit…

Back in 2018, now-Gov. Jared Polis’ decision to skip the Club 20 conference was greeted with ominous handwringing from the local pundit class. But despite the warnings that this “affront to the Western Slope” would hurt Polis in the general election, the results in 2018 only helped demonstrate that Club 20’s influence as an organization is on the wane.

In 2020, it’s just a reality to accept:

“The group has been in a serious decline for some time because of their old politics,” [Pols emphasis] [Mesa County Democratic Party vice-chair Scott] Beilfuss said. “While it’s easy for Front Range candidates to swing by and kiss the ring, there is rarely anything of consequence that comes out of their meetings.”

The one thing we will say in Club 20’s favor this year is that for the first time ever, the political debates that do take place at their annual conference will actually be livestreamed so what happens inside the room might possibly be learned about by those, you know, outside it. That’s a positive development, but with so many other ways candidates have to directly reach voters in every part of the state, there’s just no reason to treat this organization as some kind of regional gatekeeper. There hasn’t been in years.

If candidates want to stump at Club 20, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s fine too.

Either way, it’s just another club.

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  1. davebarnes says:

    "The Western Slope Is Irrelevant"
    There, fixed it for you.

    Population of Western Slope is 200K while the population of Lakewood is 157K.

    • Voyageur says:

      So, you're saying Lakewood is irrelevant?

      • MichaelBowman says:

        …they will be if Casa Bonita ever closes. 

        • Conserv. Head Banger says:

          Hey, I happen to live in Lakewood. Haven’t been to Casa Bonita since my first summer, here in Colorado, in 1981. There are far better places.

          Question of the moment: is davebarnes relevant?

          • MichaelBowman says:

            If you're from Wray Casa Bonita is considered upscale dining! But in all fairness, they just converted the Seventh Day Adventist church into a Mexican restaurant that is reportedly very good.  Next time you're down for a meeting at Stalker Lake you'll see it just ahead and on your right as you turn north off 34.  

          • Voyageur says:

            Barnes is math challenged.,,[PER Wikipedia Western Slope had a population of 563,138 in July 2013, an increase of 0.6% on the previous year, and had a low growth rate over the previous three years compared to the rest of the state.

    • davebarnes says:

      For all you whiners.

      What I am saying is that the Front Range is dominant and can afford—from a political perspective—to completely ignore the Western Slope and the Eastern Plains.

      Screw being inclusive. You vote for Fat Donnie from Queens and you die.

      • JohnInDenver says:

        I don't think things work quite the way you think they do …

        I personally know some people who voted AGAINST DJT in 2016, and they died anyway.

      • Voyageur says:

        What you’re saying is dumb, Dave.

        Only a fool writes off 10 percent of the state. If we lose that 10 percent 55-45, that’s a 10 percent margin, or 1 percent of total vote. Lose it 60-40 and you double the deficit, 20 percent of10 percent or 2 percent statewide.
        In a close race, that could be decisive. All votes matter!

  2. gertie97 says:

    Bad mistake for DMB. The “she doesn't care'' coverage will be brutal and continuing and she's still invisible.

    Polis and Hick, with their rich cache of Democratic voters on the Front Range, can and have kissed off the Western Slope. For a candidate who wishes to represent the region, this is a blunder.

     

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      Becoming more clear that DMB may have hired the same clueless consultants who ran Mark Udall’s Senate campaign in 2014.

      It’s a long way to November. But better get used to hearing CONGRESSWOMAN Lauren Boebert.

      • Meiner49er says:

        Different crew of consultants, but orders still come from DC and, sadly, DC has not yet learned that local experience matters more than the latest data modeling techniques from inside the Beltway. Top it off that it's bad form to show up the Gov, and it's an understandable choice for DMB. I just hope her Front Range fund-raising efforts deliver. Congresswoman Boebert will be bad news for all of CO. Remember the "Hate State?"

  3. JohnInDenver says:

    Not knowing details, it is tough to read the turn-down of the invitation.  If she will be campaigning elsewhere and pointing out she's inviting people to come listen without having to buy into the Club in order to ask questions, seems like it could be an "on brand" move.

    Anyone have enough clout to get someone from Club 20 to ask Boebert and Gardner if they agree or disagree with claims from Q?

    • 2Jung2Die says:

      That's one area in which a DMB appearance might get the question asked out loud with an answer or lack of answer on some type of record. Club 20 folk ain't gonna do it on their own.

       

      • The realist says:

        Part of the Club 20 debate format is that each candidate gets to ask their opponent a question (not seen ahead of time by the opponent). I’m on the progressive side but I believe candidates should participate in the Club 20 debates if they’re running for office statewide or in a western slope district. There is good media coverage, and what’s the alternative?! I can tell you, there are few media-covered opportunities for rural candidates to increase their profile – few candidate debates on the western slope beyond the Club 20 one, and local news media in smaller communities are disappearing or otherwise becoming irrelevant, or are afraid to cover politics. 

        • Duke Cox says:

          Polis and Frackenlooper don't need Club 20s' voters. DMB does. She needs to rethink her decision. With Jared and John out, she will get major props from the western slope homies who really resent being ignored.

          It is hard, though, for even the politically battle-hardened to deal with the open hostility every "liberal" encounters at the event. I attended a couple or three. I would not blame ANY Democrat for shunning the rudeness and condescension that they inevitably meet there.

          But …DMB needs to reconsider.

          • gertie97 says:

            Agreed, Duke. This year would be a good one to attend. No crowd, hence no bullying from the cheap seats. I'd feel better if the question-posers were 3rd CD reporters and editors, as they were for many years, instead of carefully-briefed toadies. But DMB will take more of a beating in bad press for not showing up than she possibly could by showing the district she's far more knowledgeable about the 3rd than the lunatic from Rifle.

  4. kwtree says:

    Diane M Bush has her first TV ad out as of today. It looks good – don't know which channels and markets it's playing on. In Pueblo, they haven't heard much from her, according to friends there.

     

    Meanwhile, Lauren Boebert will fly to Washington for $rump's acceptance of the nomination, (unethically) from the White House lawn.

     

     

    • NOV GOP meltdown says:

      It's frustrating to see someone so smart with such a distinguished career as DMB (Colo state rep, professor, Routt Co. commissioner) squander this opportunity.  Maybe it isn't her but the staff and consultants around her doing the squandering, but this is a race she could squeak out and win given the fact that Boebert is so batshit insane and inexperienced.

      I really hope her campaign gets the shot in the arm it needs before November.

    • I contributed to Lauren. I'm a fan. We need more small business owners in Congress. I'd like to have at least a handful of Congressional members who can explain to the confab there what payroll tax is and why it's killing jobs in America. 

      Met Bush 12 years ago when I was running. Very kind lady – has worked hard – nonetheless – hard for me not to support a small business owner. 

      I hope Lauren spends time in Pueblo. Pueblo will LOVE her. I hope Lauren does what McInnis did in 1988/1990 – stand on street corners and wave. Pueblo loved that he would do that. Lauren has the kind of personality that will make Pueblo think she's one of theirs – if she puts in the legwork, she's going to win. 

      It's a big mistake to debate Lauren. She is well-spoken, articulate and she's actually well-read. People keep making a grave mistake of assuming she's a moron. The girl knows her topics. 

      I'm so proud of CD3. CD3 was drawn to basically be an ongoing fight between Pueblo (Democrat) and Grand Junction (Republican). 

      Salazar – San Luis Valley. Tipton – Montrose. Boebert/Bush – Rifle or Steamboat. 

      CD3 is so critical to the country. It's important to have at least one Congressman who can educate everyone on the issues happening in the rural Rocky Mountains. I'm so impressed with the voters of Pueblo and GJ, who haven't had a tribal attitude towards the district, and truly sit back, and let motivated candidates make their case. It's a special district. No matter the result, I'm proud that it continues to have rural representation. 

      • Conserv. Head Banger says:

        “it’s important to have at least one Congressman who can educate everyone on the issues happening in the rural Rocky Mountains…….” You’re saying, then, that congressionals from ID, MT, WY, UT, AZ, and NM can’t do this?

        From what I’ve seen of Ms. Boebert thus far, she doesn’t have a clue as to what issues are important in the rural West, like needing more emphasis on outdoor recreation and less on O & G. Just because she’s a small business owner doesn’t mean she should be elected.

        Sincerely,

        Conservative Head Banger  (AC/DC rules!)

         

      • kwtree says:

        Boebert is dishonest ( lied about their responsibility for poisoning 80 people at the rodeo), doesn’t take responsibility now for public health measures at their businesses in Rifle (what did Mr. Jayson Boebert’s mother recently and suddenly  die from? ), plus Lauren apparently has the notion that laws about public drunkenness and appearing in court when ordered to are for other people. 
         

        I grant that she has a relatable biography and knows how to work a camera, And you’re saying that she can spout glibberish like Cory Gardner, but yes, she is a freaking moron. No education past high school- the only thing she knows about the Constitution is Amendment 2- and she’s ignorant enough to think that spreading the Q Anon crap about Democrat pedophile baby eaters might be a positive thing for the country. If elected, she would be the only Congress member without any college degree. 

        Why should CD3 voters choose an uneducated, inexperienced, arrogant public health menace over a candidate with years of experience in governance and coalition-building?
         

        Plus Boebert is an anti-immigrant bigot who wants to curtail legal immigration. 
         

        I lived in CD3 (Pueblo) for a couple of years, and appreciated all the feisty, independent thinkers. My hope is that CD 3 voters take the time to really investigate and think about who will represent them. Hopefully, Colorado won’t send Boebert to Congress from CD3. 

        • Conserv. Head Banger says:

          Unfortunately, kwtree, someone in CD-3 has to make the case against Boebert, as you are making.

          • kwtree says:

            Well, I’m going to keep on doing the research for the lazy CD3 reporters. It would be great if someone would ask her little softball questions like:

            What is your real birthday, and why have you put out three different years and two different December dates for it? 
             

            Why do you think your high school education and small business experience prepares you to help craft policy in Congress? Why does everyone else in Congress have at least an associates degree? 

            Do you believe that Democrats are trafficking children to extract adenochrome from their bodies?

            Should a 23 year old man dating a 17 year old high school girl be considered to be a pedophile? 
             

            Do you or have you and Mr. Boebert employed any immigrants in your businesses? 

            What are the responsibilities of small businesses in regard to public health, and how have you met these?

            If any enterprising reporter wants to pay to see Lauren’s actual  birth certificate, try: Lauren Opal Roberts, born to Shawn Elaine Roberts in Altamonte Springs, Florida in December 1985, 1986 or 1987. There may be a birth announcement in the Orlando Sentinel. 

            • James2nd says:

              Per the birth announcements in the Orlando Sentinel of 1-11-87, born on December 19, 1986 to "Shawn E. Roberts, Altamonte Springs, Lauren Opal." Unlike most of the other birth announcements, no father is listed.

              And per the Orlando Sentinel of 5-8-88, a lawsuit for the recovery of child support was filed in the Seminole County  (Fla.) Circuit Court by Shawn Roberts against Wallace Lane.

              No birth certificate establishing U. S. citizenship yet found.

              • kwtree says:

                Nice work, James 2nd. I had run out of free articles from the Orlando Sentinel, and the birth announcement for Lauren Opal Roberts ( Boebert) was behind a paywall. 
                 

                So Lauren Boebert’s real birthday is 12/19/86. So she was 17 when she graduated high school in Rifle, and when she was dating then-23-year-old Jayson Boebert. 
                 

                My guess on the reasons for the different birth dates she’s claimed are: there may have been some underage drinking with a fake ID, consistent with her arrest in 2015, or she was trying to protect Jayson from consequences of dating an underaged girl. 
                 

                Most of that is unimportant now, except as it shows Boebert’s hypocrisy today. If she starts actively promoting the Q Anon “Democrats are pedophiles” theory, it might be appropriate to point out the much more common heterosexual man-on-girl misbehavior in her own past.
                If it turns out that her father was Hispanic or an immigrant ( and I do remember a Spanish surname associated with mom Shawn Roberts’  early life, and Boebert has claimed to be “multiracial”), it might point up some of the hypocrisy inherent in current  anti-immigrant stances, as well as challenge the white supremacy ideas of some of Boebert’s  fans.

                Anyway, thanks for finding that last piece in the Orlando Sentinel. 

              • RepealAndReplace says:

                Someone needs to put Orly Taitz onto this.

      • MichaelBowman says:

        Ali – great to have you back and I appreciate your perspective on CD-3.  That said,

        [w]ho can explain to the confab there what payroll tax is and why it’s killing jobs in America. 

        So what is the solution to eliminating the payroll tax and keeping our covenant with those who have paid into Social Security Insurance for the last 40 years? I, for one, would like to see us eliminate the cap, broadening the base, which would give us an overall lower rate.  

        Can we agree that people not getting SS checks (or even a reduced amount) will be the ultimate job killer?

         

        • Fantastic question.

          I'm not saying it should be abolished – but it needs to be cut by half, similar to the corporate tax cut. 

          Now that I own my own company, I can confirm: American manufacturing is the finest the world – great quality, great efficiency. But we shoot ourselves in the foot by basically requiring around a 10% tax on dollars paid to employees. Manufacturing in China or Mexico doesn't carry such a tax. We already have to compete with cheap labor costs in foreign countries – when we tax our own jobs, we destroy so much of our own economy.

          What I'll point out is that, by cutting the corporate tax, Trump promised it would bring jobs and money back to America – and that's exactly what happened. The IRS actually collected 'more' money after that tax cut was put into affect (and more people had jobs along with it!). The same will happen with a payroll tax cut. Our payroll tax rates have gone to the point where they are regressive and costing us jobs. Reducing them by half will bring back a plethora of jobs, and actually create a rise in revenues. 

          That's my best answer. 

          • ParkHill says:

            Your business would compete even better if you halved wages for all your workers. That gives us a context to see the flaw in your logic.

            Payroll tax is part of workers' compensation. Without a payroll tax, you'd have to pay higher wages to attract employees. Otherwise, how would they save for retirement.

            One thing that will help your labor costs is when all workers have health insurance. Get that off your books, although to be honest, it would probably mean higher payroll taxes. That is fine, as you'd be on a level playing field with other US companies.

            On your supply-side, if minimum wage was doubled to $15/hour, then you'd have more customers who could afford your business offerings. 

            • Right. And your logic is why Detroit has lost 90% of its manufacturing. 

              • Conserv. Head Banger says:

                Meaning no disrespect, dude, but ParkHill's logic makes far more sense than yours. Detroit's loss of manufacturing stems greatly from the lack of manufacturing diversity other than the auto industry.

                • I don't mind your disagreement – but I'll continue to disagree myself. 

                  Detroit became a shell of itself because we couldn't stop increasing payroll tax rates that employers have to pay, along with increasing regulations and minimum wage. When we do that, we destroy manufacturing. Much like the Trump corporate tax cut, cutting payroll tax meaningfully will bring jobs back – and the amount of payroll tax revenue we collect on those new jobs will be far more total than what the government collects now. 

                  • Voyageur says:

                    Ali still believes what George H. W. Bush rightly called"voodoo economics". The only problem is that it has never worked, not once, and our national debt is now gigantic.

                     

                  • Conserv. Head Banger says:

                    People living off social security and medicare benefits, including millions of disabled individuals under 60 years old that are unable to work, might "disagree" with you about the wisdom of cutting the payroll tax that funds their income.

          • Conserv. Head Banger says:

            As ParkHill noted, a “flaw in logic” is present.

            “by cutting the corporate tax, Trump promised it would bring jobs and money back to America–and that’s exactly what happened…..”

            Perhaps in an alternate universe. The big corporations spent most of their tax cuts on share buybacks, not on jobs. Manufacturing in the Midwest has been in recession for several years, further damaged by Trump’s tariffs on aluminum, steel, et al. Farmers lost markets thanks to Trump’s tariffs on China, which in turn reduced their spending on US agricultural products. Followed by Trump’s welfare-handout payments to farmers. Trump’s promise that coal mining jobs would come flowing back hasn’t happened. If anything, more coal jobs are gone. Couple years ago, even conservative Forbes Magazine opined that Trump’s now-former economy was merely an extension of the Obama economy.

            Now we have the biggest recession since the Great Depression thanks to Trump’s bungling of the COVID virus. I agree with ParkHill on getting the different perspective on Boebert. However, if one views her campaign web site, one will find her total buy-in into Trump’s energy dominance and “drill, baby drill.” All this at a time of gluts in the O & G markets; increasing reliance on renewables; and energy companies basically staying away from the Arctic Refuge due to low prices and big banks saying no to financing. But if you still want to believe in Trump, feel free to do so.

            • Not true. Trump was right. The IRS actually collected more tax revenue after the tax. Jobs were also created and collective wealth went up. 

              Regarding the other concerned industries – the economy is now in shape to boom – and that will help most, if not all, industries. 

              • Conserv. Head Banger says:

                "the economy is now in shape to boom…." Really? Unemployment is over 10% nationally. Hard to forecast a return to the old days of "boom" without factoring in changes to business models, like fewer in-person meetings and corporate travel, more virtual meetings, less need for office space in big downtown and suburban office buildings, etc.

                "jobs were also created…." And many of them promptly went away due to the Trump Virus and ensuing Trump Recession 

                • Very much in shape to boom. We were able to fill all entry-level jobs we offered at my company 2 months ago. We can't fill them now. The economy is booming as we speak. 

                  • Conserv. Head Banger says:

                    Yep, a lot of unemployed baristas and former restaurant staff are looking for minimum wage jobs. Walmart and Amazon also have hired at the "entry level."

                    Like I said, unemployment still over 10%. No rational economist will call that even a "boomlet."

      • ParkHill says:

        It is useful to get a different perspective on Boebert, and it reminds us not to assume that our opponent is stupid just because they are hitching their wagon to the Qanon electoral strategy.

        Think of it as marketing to the right-wing, which has nothing to do with truth.

        But, that is what brought us Donald Trump. In fact you need to cut fascism off at the knees before it gets a toehold. 

        Qanon is heavy into racism, anti-semitism, anti-muslim, anti-science, and Trump. 

        Yeah. DON'T go there.

  5. Every time I interacted with Club 20, as a candidate, it bit me in the ass. 

    • gertie97 says:

      It sure did. Because you're an ignorant fool living on daddy's money.

      • Gertie really doesn't keep up with the news because she is painfully wrong. 

        Funny that 8 years ago, I was actually written out of my family's inheritance and cut off from support (some of you may remember the Westword covering that my 'mother' asked all to unfollow me on Facebook).

        (NOTE: my family and I are now great terms)

        So what happened after that? I asked the love of my life to marry me and we became pregnant. I moved Jennie to California with me, and worked on starting my film company. Jennie ended up giving birth to our son Seneca, 7 weeks early. Both almost died in labor. Jennie ended up having undiagnosed multiple scerlosis. Seneca had two brain hemorages due to a blood clot forming in the umbillical cord. I was told they would do their best to save Jennie. Seneca was born with an APGAR score of "0." His prognosis was that he was supposed to die – if he lived, it was about a 70% chance he would spend his life in a wheelchair. 

        I had no family support and my back was against a wall. I had to do my best to support Jennie and Seneca. I put my best foot forward in film, which yielded one feature film that received Oscar attention, but gained little in terms of money (getting my directing notes archived in the Academy Awards library though, was very validating). I needed more income. My wife wanted to treat her MS in a holistic way – which meant there would be no insurance to cover desired treatments. We didn't give our son medications and surgeries – we approached his care in a holistic way as well, paying for as many non-invasive therapies that we could afford. My wife Jennie – she's my hero. She was having lapses of paralysis during these days – but she would drum up all the energy she could to administer therapy on Seneca, help him with movement – and work with the goal that he would someday walk. 

        To make more money (but still give myself the flexibility to take care of Jennie and Seneca), I hired the old polling firm that advised my campaigns – Magellan Data, ran by the incredible David Flaherty. I came up with a business idea, and I outlined it to Flaherty. The two of us then collaborated on a campaign to test the popularity of the idea amongst multiple demographics and cities. Flaherty kindly discounted his rates, knowing the situation I was in. The data poured in – I knew the idea was a winner. Shortly thereafter, Helix MWR was born. I opened as many credit cards as I could, and I went all-in, opening our first location in San Francisco – this was in 2016. 

        Fast forward four years later – Helix is growing nationwide, now in 10 markets. We have created over 70 full and part-time jobs. My two lead executives at the company, both single women in their mid-20's (one with a college degree, one without) bought their first homes this year. Jennie is now getting all the care in the world. Seneca is not just walking – he is damn athletic – we surf almost about every day together. He's a sharp young man, but such a kind kid. I have lucked out beyond belief.

        I will never forget that there was a time that my wife was so weak, she couldn't pick up a frying pan and cook dinner. I've spent most of our marriage cooking dinner, due to her being too tired, after spending a full day helping our wonderful son with his therapy. I'll never forget living in a tiny apartment in LA, overtturning couch cushions to scramble together enough change to buy groceries. In being holistic, my wife only eats organic. I remember crying one night at the bill of buying organic meat with an organic veggie, while comparing it to a Ralph's bucket of fried chicken, that was 3 pounds of chicken, but for $4 (compared to my basket of organics, that was $25). It was like a cruel joke. I still cry sometimes when I see fried chicken – it makes me forget that times are good right now (and I'm grateful).

        I've had some major political shifts lately. If this Covid lockdown hit while we were building our business, my wife and son would have both likely died. 70 jobs definitely wouldn't have been created. I'm worried about rising taxes. And American cities are turning into a mess by not giving police better immunity protections – which ultimately hurts the working class and many minorities looking for an opportunity. 

        Gertie's comment doesn't bother me. Perhaps I was born with a silver spoon. But don't underestimate my resolve. When my back was pushed against a wall, the world saw my best. And within our changing dynamics, I hope liberty sustains so my wife and I can continue doing what I'm actually best at –

        Creating jobs. 

        • Duke Cox says:

          Hola, Miguel.

          Good to hear from you. Your story is inspiring. You have weathered severe challenges and have pushed through them. You should be proud of your accomplishments. I am delighted to hear your family is thriving. I love your sons' name.

          You should look into Mrs. Boeberts' thoughts about QAnon. If she hopes it is true, then she hopes there really is a cabal of baby eating Democrats in the world. What I have discovered about people like her is their beliefs are often contradictory.

          Lauren Boebert is a mile wide, but only an inch deep. At least, that is my perspective. She has received a lot of attention for being a "pistol packing mama"…but she will have to fill in around that image. If she limits herself to hearing only the perspectives of her Tea Party family and friends, she will only get so far.

          Lauren Boebert is an oddity, but she is a scofflaw…who wants to be a law maker. What could go wrong?

          • Duke – my wonderful friend! How are you and your family?

            Please reach out and contact me if your travels ever bring you to Southern California. Would love to cook you steak!

            Regarding Qanon – I'm not bothered by it. I've read Qanon topics extensively and found nothing that is racist, bigoted, anti-ethnics etc. My biggest concern with the GOP is when they beat the drum of bigotry. If Qanon is the GOP's biggest problem right now, that's a huge improvement from what the problems use to be. 

            I don't think she'll limit her perspectives. She had to reach out to many different people to beat Tipton. It speaks well of her. 

    • NOV GOP meltdown says:

      Me too, but not as a candidate. They have overplayed their hand in terms of their relevance and breadth, and nobody from Polis, Hick or Mitsch Bush is taking the bait anymore.

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