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January 16, 2011 10:55 PM UTC

Isenberg out of Mayor's race

  • by: FrontRangeRiffRaff

Isenberg out leaving Chris Romer as only candidate with business experience.

Walter Isenberg sent out an email Friday ending the rumors that he was going to jump into the Mayor’s race. From the email he sent out it seems he really did want to run for Mayor but it sounds like he wasn’t ready to hand his company Sage over to somebody else to run after he’s spent years building it. Now a lot of people are speculating about who the business crowd will support.  Reading between the lines of Isenberg’s email it sounds like he has no plans to stay quiet about what’s needed in the next Mayor.

From Isenberg’s email —

We have a diverse and qualified pool of candidates who are running.  My message to them all will be the following:

We have a world class city, we must have world class schools for our children.  If we continue to fail our children, by not providing them with a world class education our economic future is limited.  While the Mayor has no direct control over DPS, they can influence and lead positive change which is always desperately needed

We must also continue marketing the city to attract people and business.   Attracting human and financial capital will bring jobs, visitors and new taxes, helping to fill our budget deficit

We must continue to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government.  Easier said than done, but Governor Hickenlooper has laid the foundation for many of these changes, and we cannot afford to lose momentum

My passion for Denver and community service are unwavering.  I will remain active civically in helping to make Denver and Colorado the best place to live, work and play.

I know some people are expecting Linda Alvarado to get into the race very soon and argue that she is the natural “business” candidate. She may have some business experience but she has no government or political experience and even though she can self-fund I don’t think she can grab the business and moderate vote as well as Isenberg would have. Isenberg has a lot more connections to the political world and a lot more people know him from his charity work.

So who does Isenberg not getting in help the most? I think the candidate who has the most appeal to Isenberg’s base is Chris Romer.

Hancock’s only experience other than being a politician was the Urban League which was a mess when he went in and complete disaster when he left. Mejia has always been a government guy and has no experience in the private sector and wouldn’t know the first thing about reading a city budget much less balancing it. Hancock may have a lot of support out in HD7 after championing the restructuring of Montbello but I just don’t see that being enough to overcome his lack of any business experience.

Linkhart and Boigon have been on city council with Hancock and had plenty of chances to make the changes they now claim they would as Mayor but never have. Romer has experience creating jobs, he understands municipal finance which is huge with the city budget and debt. Alvarado has business experience with her construction company but she has never had to get tough policy through government.

Who do you think Isenberg getting out of the race helps or hurts the most?


15 thoughts on “Isenberg out of Mayor’s race

  1. The guy sold out his own community on the Montbello reorg to help his buddies at Oakwood homes who are building Green Valley Ranch and wanted more charter schools to attract more gentrification of the area.

    Want to know how practiced Hancock is at the pay to play game? Here’s the take of some people trying to start a new cab business in town:

    Michael Hancock Repays Metro Taxi

    But we know Councilman Michael Hancock in another way: As someone who testified on behalf of Metro Taxi, arguing against Mile High Cab … Councilman Hancock testified, under oath, that there are too many cabs on the street already. His testimony helped Metro Taxi. Funny, because Metro Taxi also helped Councilman Michael Hancock, by donating thousands of dollars to his campaign coffers before Councilman Michael Hancock went to the PUC to testify.

    Did money influence Councilman Michael Hancock?

    You be the judge. Here’s a short film, an animated version of Councilman Michael Hancock’s actual testimony at the PUC. This is all taken from the transcripts …. enjoy!

      1. Notice that first you have a diary praising Romer and spewing delusions about how Walt Isenberg’s supporters will naturally go to Romer while attacking every other candidate as not as good as Romer. Then minutes later a new account created to back up the diary and attack the candidate who must be getting under Romer supporters skin.

        Hey Taximan: Do you really want to get into a discussion about pay for play? Isn’t that exactly what the scandal was that ended Bill Richardson’s aspirations? You know, the whole pay to play scandal that according to the newspapers Romer gave sealed grand jury testimony about after he was involved in their financing? Hancock didn’t sell anybody out on Montbello. He’s out there trying to get quality education for people he represents after the schools have failed them. DPS needs major change and Hancock is the only one who has been bold enough to talk about the Mayor taking control like Bloomberg did to turn around schools in New York.

        Riff Raff your attacks on Hancock’s work for the Urban League might make a good talking point but doesn’t have any truth to it. Care to back up your claim that he left it in worse shape?

        Can either of you point to Romer’s actual business successes or is it just attacks on the others to mask you having nothing to back up the claim that he has business experience and support. As far as I know his business experience was with JP Morgan. Is that what you think Denver needs?

  2. George W. Bush had business experience in spades, and he was a terrible president. So I wonder why I should weigh in someone’s business experience when assessing the mayoral candidates, or anyone seeking any elected office.

    1. a paid Romer uber-shill.  Check out his/her recent first diary praising Chris’s quick action to ameliorate Denver’s devastating cupcake crisis.

      We’ll unfortunately see more of his/her nonsense right up until the day in May when the people of Denver formally hand this duplcitous jerk, . . . er I mean Chris . . . his walking papers.  (After that no more Chris and no more FrontRange RiffRaff.)

  3. It helps Alvarado most and, because that clears a path for a single outsider “business” candidate, hurts Romer the most. Romer’s best chances were when three “business” candidates might have split that vote, giving his superior name recognition the edge. Spin it any way you like, but this is not good news for Romer.

    1. You don’t think this means one less person competing for the business vote? I’m not a fan of Romer but I was thinking this would mean it was mostly Alvarado & Romer competing for business vote so Romer would do better than if Isenberg was also competing for that vote.

      What do you think of Alvarado getting in? I only know her name and not much about her. You think she hurts Romer more because of the business vote or Boigon since she’s no longer the only serious female candidate? Does it take a lot of Hispanic vote from Mejia?  

      1. One or two candidates are going to capture the public imagination, and the likelihood it’ll be Alvarado increase if she’s not constantly being compared with Isenberg, she gets to stake out the outsider common-sense businesswoman position.

        Who knows whether she’ll be a good campaigner, if she does get in? But her chances are better without Isenberg, and if her chances go up, Romer’s go down.

        (You’re right, she takes some wind out of both Boigon’s and Mejia’s sails too; though neither of them have been running explicitly as “the Hispanic” or “the woman” candidate, at least that sets them apart from white guys Romer and Linkhart when it comes to making sense of such a crowded field.)

      2. James Mejia has solid connections in the business community.  He did bring in the city Justice Center project on time and on budget (very important to b-people), and he got the Denver Preschool program off to its successful start. He’s got a strong network of business support.

        On education, he gets points for the preschool thing and his time on DPS board.

        RE: Romer, the business community remembers him as the advocate for Amendment 23, and many of them are still pissed. His business experience is pretty much limited to public finance, with little real executive authority.  Plus the trolley idea did not win him a lot of b-support.

        RE: Carol Boigon, business says, “Who?”

  4. As a member of the Denver business community, I can say the business community has not yet coalesced around a candidate.

    While it is always helpful to have a candidate who has experience in the private sector, especially when it involved interaction with the city bureaucracy, it is by no means necessary.  

    What most business people that I know want is someone who listens to your concerns and has enough background to really understand them.  Also, you want someone who has an understanding of efficiency and project management.  

    Thusfar, I have seen no stampede among my colleagues towards one candidate, although I must admit I am personally warming to Mejia.  (I have not yet made up my mind and this is still, in my opinion, anyone’s ballgame.)  He absolutely knows his way around the city budget and has proven to be able to finish major projects on time and on budget.  Other friends of mine are warming to Hancock, and all are giving Carol a look.  Doug Linkhart, who is a person I get along with very well and I was expecting to support, is almost trying to lost this election based on his campaign.  

    Romer is the wild card.  Most people I know who follow city politics are extremely distrustful of Chris, and he is not popular personally.  However, his handful of supporters are quite passionate.  Still, I would be surprised if he becomes the ‘business candidate’.  

    This is shaping up to be an interesting race.  A couple of candidates I really like.


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