The Great Attempt to DeFEND the Morally Indefensible

(The details are a little Denver- centric, but isn’t Greeley School Board having similar problems? .   Seems like just the start and the story is going to more contentious before it gets less.  Good questions  –  I am hoping we see some good answers.  –   – promoted by MADCO)

The recall of DPS School Board President Nate Easley is officially underway. Yes, you read that right–here we go again. Another recall attempt of yet another Denver Public School Board member. The back story surrounding who is behind this one is enough to make you pull your kids out of DPS and find a school that actually cares more about your children’s education than they do political payback.

John McBride, who ran and lost his bid for the DPS school board in 2007, filed a petition with the Denver Elections Division last week to begin the initiation of a recall. After being rejected due to multiple errors, McBride resubmitted the petition on Monday. The petition was formally approved Wednesday, January 26, 2011. The petitioners need to collect 5,363 signatures from District 4 within 60 days to get the measure on the ballot in May.

So why Nate Easley? An organization named DeFENSE (Democrats for Excellent Neighborhood School Education) provides some interesting clues.  

Let’s look at what constitutes a mission statement from their website.

About DeFENSE

DeFENSE stands for Democrats for Excellent Neighborhood School Education. We defend the original intent of public education in the United States: ensuring equity and excellence for ALL. We defend the rights of school communities to use collaborative, non-corporate reforms to transform themselves into sustainable learning communities. There is ample proof that this approach works. Join us!

If DeFENSE suddenly seems to be everywhere these days, it’s not a coincidence. They created a new account on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Colorado Pols to weigh in on an education diary by Michael Bennet. Also on Tuesday, at 4:40 p.m., they created a new account at Square State and by 6:45p.m., had their first diary posted and promoted by the owner of the blog to the front page, with their real agenda front and center.

If you are inclined to give DeFENSE the benefit of coincidental doubt, think again. Their coordinated plan to push back against editorials that have come out against recalling Nate Easley is posted on their website. In an email sent out by DeFENSE in response to a scathing editorial by the Denver Post, DeFENSE lays out its strategy.

HERE’S HOW TO PUSH BACK EVEN MORE

We need your help in responding to the mythology that the Denver Post is hawking. Choose one or all of the following actions:

• Please go to the online version of the article and post a comment in rebuttal

* Please send a letter to the editor

* Write an article on your favorite education, community-centered or political blog

Now, according to blogger DefenseDenver who commented on Pols Tuesday evening, their organization is fighting for the little guy in the interest of preventing the “hostile takeover of our public education.” According to DefenseDenver, their goal is to prevent the “corporatized takeover” of our public schools in Denver.

Vague platitudes aside, their primary motive seems to be focused on an entirely different agenda. DeFENSE has aligned themselves with three DPS school board members–Andrea Merida, Arturo Jimenez, and Jeannie Kaplan–to remove the current board minority’s number one target, President Nate Easley.

You remember Andrea Merida, don’t you? She was the school board member that was facing a recall effort against her last fall. I wrote about the failed attempted spearheaded by Jose Silva in October and I stand by my defense of her. Recalling Merida was based on revenge and payback. She never engaged in an action that rose to the level of being forcibly removed from her elected position.

Interestingly enough, many of the same folks including Andrea’s own family that banded together to fight her recall and decry the outrageous expense this would cost the Denver School District, are now working overtime to do the exact same thing to Nate Easley.

So what is the ultimate goal of DeFENSE? To ensure that the current four person majority on the board that includes Nate Easley is permanently broken. There’s only one way to make that happen and that is to forcibly remove one of the four. If Easley is successfully recalled and a DeFENSE backed candidate wins election, the current minority will now be running the show.  

DeFENSE asserts multiple claims to support their reason for recalling Easley, including having the audacity to vote against campaign contributors and failure to vote with Merida, Jimenez and Kaplan the way it was assumed he would vote when he was elected to the Board.  

But what Easley really did is commit the unpardonable sin–he voted against the wishes of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA), an organization that he readily acknowledges spent quite a bit of DCTA time and dime to get him elected. DCTA also donated to Andrea Merida and endorsed her over her opponent Ismael Garcia, a founding member of the West Denver Prep Charter School, and a public supporter of turnaround plans. (The DCTA, if you will recall, was at the center of the controversy surrounding their opposition to the reform of Bruce Randolph School, the Denver school that Obama mentioned on Tuesday night in his State of the Union speech.)  

So what motivated him to vote his conscience? Easley knows from firsthand experience how high the odds are stacked against a minority student attending high school in Denver. Nate Easley was a kid who grew up poor, one of five children, raised by a single mother, and a graduate of Montbello High School. When he enrolled at CSU, he got an ugly wakeup call about the quality of his education to date. His math skills were so poor, he was required to take a remedial algebra class. Currently, only six out of 100 students that graduate from Montbello go to college without being required to take remedial courses.

For Easley, the vote for the controversial Montbello turnaround plan was as personal as it gets. And it was filled with controversy from the get go. The plan included the possibility of hiring entirely new staffs of teachers, including a provision that required current staff to reapply for their jobs with no guarantee of being rehired.

The second part of the turnaround plan was the replacement of the six schools with charter schools. After seven hours of hearing from the public and local teachers, in packed rooms where emotions ran high, the board voted 4-3 in favor of the plan. Theresa Pena, Nate Easley, Bruce Hoyt and Mary Seawell voted yes. Andrea Merida, Arturo Jimenez and Jeannie Kaplan voted against the plan.

The writing of Easley’s demise was officially on the wall.

Easley had fair warning that some powerful organizations were targeting him if he voted the wrong way. None other than Andrea Merida’s own father threatened Easley that he’d be on his way out if he didn’t vote against the Montbello plan.

Easley told me this morning in a phone interview that Jorge Merida, John McBride and Chuck Crowley asked to meet with Easley for lunch, prior to the upcoming vote in November for the turnaround plan. Easley invited along the Superintendent’s Chief of Staff to the meeting. What Easley thought they were going to talk about turned instead into a discussion over Jorge Merida and friends “disappointment” in the way Easley had been voting and basically turned into a meeting to threaten him.

They told him, “We don’t like the way you’ve been voting. And if you vote for the Montbello turnaround plan, we’re gonna recall you.”

Easley told them, “Well, you do what you need to do and I’ll vote the way I need to vote.”

The Chief of Staff who was also at the lunch confirmed the conversation.

Nate shared some sobering and disturbing statistics regarding high school drop outs–they are eight times more likely to end up in prison and they face a 40% unemployment rate if they go into the workforce without a high school diploma.

Nate said, “No matter what happens here, I will continue to be focused on student achievement and please know–there is hope. There are schools in our district including Beach Court and West Denver Prep School that are doing great, an outstanding job and having some incredible results. My concern is with the schools that aren’t because every parent has the same dream–that their child will do better in life than they did. Every parent has a common goal–they want what is best for their kids.”

Let’s take another look at the organization behind the recall effort. Who is involved in DeFENSE? Good question. And good luck finding an answer on their website. After searching through their website as well as the Secretary of State’s for what type of an organization they are (527, PAC, corporation, political or issue committee, 501(c)(4), etc.) or if they had registered with the State, I came up empty handed. Do they even need to register? Simple questions that the organization has yet to provide simple answers to.

They offer a vague reference to their fundraising in a brief paragraph that links you to a Zazzle sales page that retails teachers and union related buttons and t-shirts. There are no contact numbers listed, no basic information which a reputable organization normally provides. They solicit for donations but donations for what exactly? What efforts would my money be funding? A recall effort? Educational research? And who is the money going to?

Because DeFENSE is not propped up by private foundation funding, we depend on donations from regular people like you and on the sale of items on this page.  Know that proceeds from your purchase go to furthering the DeFENSE mission, which is to equalize the discussion of what neighborhood schools need to be successful.

Who’s authoring all of the articles on the website? Currently, I see no attribution. I think these are reasonable questions that most concerned parents and citizens would like answers to before donating their hard earned dollars to an unknown.

Welcome to Pols, DeFENSE. I look forward to your organization providing answers to some basic questions about who you are, how you are funded, whether or not you have a board for oversight of the organization, who your treasurer is, what type of an organization you are and who your contributing members are.

Philosophical differences and opposing votes on a school board do not rise to the level of recall. Why was a recall of Andrea Merida four months ago a horrible, malicious, vengeful idea that would do nothing more than take the focus off the children of DPS? Why is the same vengeful tactic okay when it comes to her fellow school board member Nate Easley? There is an agenda here and it isn’t just about Nate Easley.

Frankly, I’m not sure what I find more revolting about this–Andrea Merida’s sudden and uncustomary silence about the fervent support of the same sort of recall action that she was decrying 4 months ago or the sheer hypocrisy of her cronies so blatantly trying to maneuver and remove, by hook or by crook, an ideological opponent whose greatest sin appears to be disagreeing with his campaign contributors and three fellow board members who hold conflicting views on how to promote education in Denver schools.  

A power grab is not democratic; it’s a coup d’état.

319 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Frankly, anyone using the recall process in situations where there isn’t a clear violation of the public trust should be called out for their abuse of the system.

    Hope there are some good answer forthcoming, ’cause this sure looks petty.

  2. DavidThi808 says:

    Thank you for an excellent article. Here’s hoping they don’t get the signatures – DPS needs the money to feed the kids. And recall was not designed for wah – you didn’t vote the way I wanted.

    Props to Easley for voting what’s best for the kids rather than what’s best politically. Every time one more Montbello child goes on to college – and then graduates. Well that is your payoff Mr. Easley and at the end of the day it trumps anything else.

    • wade norris says:

      “DeFENSE has aligned themselves with three DPS school board members–Andrea Merida, Arturo Jimenez, and Jeannie Kaplan”

      Remember those three? During the Senate Primary, every time that these three tried to find out about the DPS derivative swap’s losses of millions of DPS money, which was brokered by Bennet/Boasberg, they were labeled as being ‘politically motivated’

      Perhaps you could say that about Merida after she worked for Mr. Romanoff – but not the other two, who were voicing questions about the swap long before.

      As I proved in this diary,

      http://www.squarestate.net/dia

      the email trail between Bennet/Boasberg and her were asking questions about the losses of the swap before Barack Obama was even elected, and way before Bennet was even a Senator, much less involved in a primary.

      You can see shortly after Obama’s victory, the real focus on this shaky investment was again being pursued by Kaplan, with the usual (as you will see in that diary) brush off from the administration.

         From: (Jeanne Kaplan)

         Sent: Wednesday, December 03, 2008 11:11 AM

         To: Boasberg, Tom; Pena, Theresa’s External;

         Cc: Bennet, Michael

         Subject: Re: DPSRS-PERA merger memo

         Tom – I can’t open the attachment, but is it still relevant? What is happening with the merger, since the papers indicates it is off?  Also, can we get an update on our bond situation, please?  Have we lost a lot of money?  If so, how much?  Are there ways to stop the bleeding?  When will programs/salaries/ etc. be affected?

         Thanks.

         Jeannie

      #6

         —–Original Message—–

         From: Boasberg, Tom

         To: Jeannie Kaplan-

         Cc: Pena, Theresa’s  Bennet, Michael

         Sent: Thu, 4 Dec 2008 12:04 pm

         Subject: RE: DPSRS-PERA merger memo

         Thanks. think the attachment is of limited relevance at this point. I think that we are going to try to spend some time at our board meeting this month talking about all these topics so we will have a chance to discuss in some detail .

         Thanks.

         Best,

         Tom

      We now know that no discussion of this swap was permitted by Bennet and Boasberg for a full year and a half, well into the primary – with Boasberg calling the three dissenting board members ‘disgruntled’ and ‘politically motivated’ as a mean of self preservation and preservation of his friend Bennet.

      Leaving behind the Senate race – which some will say here I am beating a dead horse –  

      the basic questions of oversight and transparency on the DPS board have never been rectified. Furthermore, the Boasberg led ‘reforms’ of DPS are happening with little input from the minority board members.

      What’s worse, despite Bruce Randolph’s impressive numbers, there are numerous ‘reform’ efforts that are occurring without promising returns, making Randolph an anomaly, not the norm for these new ‘reforms’.

      In fact the generous grants given by foundations like the Gates foundation led to reform efforts that were short sighted and supported by politicos in many cases for the chance to get in on the money train.

      This diary explains the problem with these new reforms:

      How the Billionaire boys Club is running – and ruining – education

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/

      ….There is one truly telling paragraph in Barkan’s piece, about when Gates decided to move away from the emphasis on small schools to what we are seeing now not only in foundation funding but also national educational policy.   Consider this:  

         

      “In November 2008, Bill and Melinda gathered about one hundred prominent figures in education at their home outside Seattle to announce that the small schools project hadn’t produced strong results. They didn’t mention that, instead, it had produced many gut-wrenching sagas of school disruption, conflict, students and teachers jumping ship en masse, and plummeting attendance, test scores, and graduation rates. No matter, the power couple had a new plan: performance-based teacher pay, data collection, national standards and tests, and school “turnaround” (the term of art for firing the staff of a low-performing school and hiring a new one, replacing the school with a charter, or shutting down the school and sending the kids elsewhere).”

      Having spent billions of his own money on an initiative lacking research demonstrating its effectiveness, Gates – and his fellow members of the Billionaire Boys Club – have pivoted to another set of initiatives also lacking research demonstrating their effectiveness.  Only this times the billions that will be spent are ours, yours and mine and everyone else’s.  It is tax dollars, federal, state and local, being committed to a course of educational action that has no evidence it will work and in several cases – the turnaround model implementation in Chicago under Duncan, for example – clearly been shown NOT to work.

      After a multi million dollar approach fails, what do you do? Admit a mistake – NOPE – shift focus to testing (which is still making Convicted Felon Neil Bush a rich man

      http://www.businessweek.com/ma… and teacher evaluation – and avoid funding things like smaller Teacher to student ratio, which ARE proven to work.

      DeFENSE Denver, in my opinion, is the result of months/years long ignoring of the minority board members on budget requests, and now the grassroots revolt by the local community stakeholders – the parents of the students.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

      This is not an isolated incident of unhappy parents and teachers, but it is the first one that is making a political statement in terms of shifting the power of the school board. It also is a push back against the idea that the business methods Arne Duncan, Bennet and Boasberg and others “reform” superintendents are using  for the non-business public education system.

      We will see who wins, business reformers who are not educators or the educators and their students.

  3. redstateblues says:

    and their voting bloc on the DPS board when it comes to public school policy, but this recall attempt seems to have the same validity as the one against Merida. Only this one is arguably not as bad as it is based on policy, rather than the ego of one man (Silva.) McBride was at least someone with a vested interest as a former candidate, unlike Silva’s bizarre logic of running the recall because of a desire to keep Merida from running for the State House.

    I do have a question for MotR, though. Maybe it’s a reading comprehension fail on my part, but where is the direct link from McBride to DeFENSE, or vice versa? Other than policy similarities, I’m not seeing the smoking gun between DeFENSE and the recall.

    • Laughing Boy says:

      There is no accountability for this shady group.  There is nothing on these guys, and one would think that if their effort was so valid, that they’d trumpet their involvement.

      I’d love to hear some sort of defense of this from Alan, or Tallport, or any of the more nutso Union folks that hang out here.  Please.  Give me some sort of valid reason that this recall effort is anything other than what it looks like.

      • redstateblues says:

        Oh wait…

        • Laughing Boy says:

          And I certainly don’t speak for Motr, but this has me absolutely livid.

          On Tuesday, the President somehow tried to claim credit for BR School improving, though the main reason they were able to do so was getting out from under the DCTA.  They had to chaw beef to do so.

          At the same time claiming credit for a move he probably would have squashed, the President and the Dems are responsible for submarining a successful and popular voucher program in D.C.

          Enough is enough.  The largest and most powerful union in the country bears most of the responsibility for the utter collapse of our educational system because it’s now evolved into a fundraising arm of the Democratic party, rather than an organization committed to teaching children.

          The fact that this ridiculous, creepy recall effort is proceeding without people (Dems) hitting the fucking roof is a horrible omen for the future of our kids.

          • redstateblues says:

            Your blind hatred of unions has you blind to the fact that you and the President (and Michael Bennet and Nate Easley) are much closer to agreement on the subject of teachers unions and public education than they are with me.

            • Laughing Boy says:

              As he demonstrated by allowing the unions to run Michelle Rhee out of DC and crush the voucher program there.

              Sorry, I’ll go with actions, not words from the President.

              • softie says:

                just casually reading comments until I saw how inaccurate this comment was.  How exactly did Obama allow unions to run Rhee out of DC?  He can’t even vote there.

                • Diogenesdemar says:

                  You are traveling through another dimension; a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind.  A journey into a wondrous land of imagination.  Next stop, the Twilight Zone . . .  

          • Diogenesdemar says:

            How in the heck do you get this:

            On Tuesday, the President somehow tried to claim credit for BR School improving . . .

            from this:

            You see, we know what’s possible from our children when reform isn’t just a top-down mandate, but the work of local teachers and principals, school boards and communities. Take a school like Bruce Randolph in Denver. Three years ago, it was rated one of the worst schools in Colorado — located on turf between two rival gangs. But last May, 97 percent of the seniors received their diploma. Most will be the first in their families to go to college. And after the first year of the school’s transformation, the principal who made it possible wiped away tears when a student said, “Thank you, Ms. Waters, for showing that we are smart and we can make it.”  That’s what good schools can do, and we want good schools all across the country.

            Let’s also remember that after parents, the biggest impact on a child’s success comes from the man or woman at the front of the classroom. In South Korea, teachers are known as “nation builders.” Here in America, it’s time we treated the people who educate our children with the same level of respect.  We want to reward good teachers and stop making excuses for bad ones.  And over the next 10 years, with so many baby boomers retiring from our classrooms, we want to prepare 100,000 new teachers in the fields of science and technology and engineering and math.

            In fact, to every young person listening tonight who’s contemplating their career choice: If you want to make a difference in the life of our nation; if you want to make a difference in the life of a child — become a teacher. Your country needs you.

            (my emphasis)

            ?????

            This reminds of Redstateblues’ sig line homage to Bluecat — “It’s tough that words, you know, mean stuff.”  

      • sufimarie says:

        where the hell do you get the connection to Alan or Tallport?

        Sorry LB, that comment of yours is crazy! I don’t know what kind of logic you’re using that because DeFENSE isn’t trumpeting their involvement, therefore they’re shady??? Step away from the Glenn Beck.  

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        I guess we had to agree on something someday, . . . but, I didn’t know that it would be “someday,” today.

        Great diary MotR.

    • Middle of the Road says:

      between McBride and DeFENSE. I was reporting who filed the petition and who was also at the meeting where Easley was threatened with a recall.  

      • redstateblues says:

        I’m not on anyone’s side on this, as I don’t really have a dog in the fight over DPS, but I’m interested in the truth.

      • Raphael says:

        Your whole diary here is also making the argument that it is wrong to recall Easley over his support of Montebello plan. If that isn’t the case then you need to do some serious re-writing (and I say that as someone who agrees with that argument and who generally likes your writing here).

        So I wouldn’t say that framing your diary here as “just reporting” is very accurate. That said, I also think that Sufi is missing that point as well and is trying to discredit your argument by making it seem like you are proposing some kind of conspiracy theory in which DeFENSE, McBride, et al. are trying to take down the “low-life pussy”, Easley. I think that his/her insinuations about that are off-base as is the general argument that Easley is some kind of awful person worthy of recall.

        And, sufi, if you are going to continue to make those claims (that MotR is supporting some kind of conspiracy theory and/or that Easley’s support of this proposal merits recall) you should probably focus on substantiating those arguments before you move onto child-ish name calling. Just sayin’.

  4. Laughing Boy says:

    Since when do special interests get to remove elected officials in the middle of their terms because they didn’t toe the company line?

    Yet again, a teacher’s union is proving to the world that their primary purpose has much less to do with educating children than in preserving their own power.  

    Particularly after Merida has just gone through an asinine recall effort aimed at her.  Maybe she felt as though she just needed to out-ass the idiots that were trying to recall her.

    No wonder DPS is such a total failure.

  5. Half Glass Full says:

    This is a total abuse of the recall process. Shame on these petty would-be tyrants and their shady tactics.

  6. coloradowahine says:

    The linked article says that Nate Easley is the dep. director of the Denver Scholarship Fund. Tom Boasberg and Theresa Pena serve as Board members of said Fund.  Tom and Theresa are Nate’s boss’s boss.  Nate did not recuse himself from voting on Tom’s compensation.  He should have, since Tom is his boss’s boss. Forgot everything else, how is this not a conflict?  Am I missing something there?

    AND – I am more than mildly annoyed that there are 40+ comments, and no one has mentioned the conflict of interest. Time for another no-feeding LB day.  

    • even though it’s the central issue.

      Basically, this diary is a steaming pile of bullshit. Its primary objective is to set up strawmen and divert attention from the real issues.

      MOTR’s false equation of the Easley recall attempt with the Merida recall attempt is so intellectually dishonest as to be fucking ludicrous.

      Typical CorporatePols bullshit.

    • Middle of the Road says:

      Let’s go through your points one by one:

      Theresa Pena serves as a Board member of DSF.

      True.

      Tom Boasberg serves as a Board member of DSF.

      False. He is invited to attend meetings. He does not have the right to vote, he has no voting or decision making power at DSF. Both he and John Elosson are ex officios. So Tom is not Nate’s boss’s boss.

      Thus, there is no conflict of interest.

      The DSF has one employee–Executive Director of the Foundation, Cindy Abramson. She reports directly to the board and Nate is her employee. She has the right to fire him, reprimand him, you name it. The board does not.

      Just like any other board I have served on and just like any public school board, you have one employee–your executive director or your superintendent, who is charged with overseeing all other employees. The board is directed to remain hands off. Period. The primary reason is to give protection to employees, particularly teachers with whom a board may have a grudge with and in the worst case scenario, could summarily fire without cause. This prevents the Board from that action.

      Both Theresa Pena and Nate Easley met with Chief Legal Counsel for DPS, John Kechriotis, in separate meetings right after they were elected to ensure that their participation between DPS and DSF did not violate state statues or board policy. Kechriotis concluded that there was no conflict of interest for either Pena or Easley.

      This is not the first major error I have found on DeFENSE. It’s the only way that I am inclined to respond to because it is so egregiously spun to convolute the real issue–which is recalling Easley because he is the only member of the majority four that can be easily recalled.

      Why him? Because both Pena and Hoyt are term limited and their seats are open for election in November. Mary Seawell is an at large board member which means DeFENSE would have to collect 40% of signatures from all of Denver.

      By going after Nate, they only have to collect 40% of District 4. This isn’t about Nate. This is about a power grab with the final goal of removing Boasberg.  

      • Ex officio board members are by definition board members, so you are simply wrong when you claim they are not. The term ex officio doesn’t mean non-voting as you imply, and it certainly doesn’t mean non-member as you explicitly claim.

        You say:

        Tom Boasberg serves as a Board member of DSF.

        False. He is invited to attend meetings. He does not have the right to vote, he has no voting or decision making power at DSF. Both he and John Elosson are ex officios. So Tom is not Nate’s boss’s boss.

        Thus, there is no conflict of interest.

        However, your implication is at odds with the usual meaning of ex officio.  As explained at Wikipedia, citing Roberts Rules of Order:

        An ex officio member is a member of a body (a board, committee, council, etc.) who is part of it by virtue of holding another office. The term is Latin, meaning literally “from the office”, and the sense intended is “by right of office”; its use dates back to the Roman Republic.

        A common misconception is that the participatory rights of ex officio members are limited by their status. This is incorrect, although their rights may be indeed limited by the by-laws of a particular body. Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised (10th ed.), clarifies that the term denotes only how one becomes a member of a group, not what one’s rights are. It is a method of sitting on a committee, not a class of membership (466-67).[1] Frequently, ex officio members will abstain from voting, but unless by-laws constrain their rights, they are afforded the same rights as other members, including debate, making formal motions, and voting (466-67; 480).[2]

        For instance, the vice president of the U.S. is an ex officio member of the Senate. That doesn’t mean he’s casually “invited” to the Senate, to use your terminology. It means he has specific statutory authority and responsibility as an actual member of the Senate, and when he does exercise that authority, it constitutes a great deal of political power.

        Are you saying that the DSF bylaws do indeed constrain ex officio members from exercising the full powers often afforded ex officio members of governing bodies? That may well be the case, but you need to provide that evidence. Do you have a link to the DSF bylaws?

        But in any event, surely it’s obvious to all that even a non-voting ex officio member has influence in board decisions, such that this situation is a clear conflict of interest even if Boasberg lacks explicit voting power as you assert.

      • Raphael says:

        thank you for that clarification

  7. EmeraldKnight76 says:

    And let’s be honest, DPS has become filled with nothing but politicians.

    MoTR – I thought the diary did a great job laying out what little facts are available about DeFENCE, with a little editorializing.

    I wonder when this school board is able to find the time to take care of our kids between all the backstabbing and character assassinating?

    • dukeco1 says:

      It’s nice to know that if a politician votes in a way we don’t like we can just initiate a recall…

      at least it’s better than “Second Amendment remedies”.   🙂

      Seriously though, The Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce ousted long-standing, dues paying member, Western Colorado Congress for “philosophical differences”.

      These folks are probably pissed that they have to go to the trouble of getting people to vote. Politics…Ick.

      BTW to MOtR…VWD.

    • ohwilleke says:

      Elected boards are, by definition, filled with politicans.

  8. ohwilleke says:

    push an agenda for the school board and quickly stepping up to make a point on blogs and elsewhere.  

    Denver is unusual in having two defacto political parties (unaligned with the state and national parties) vying for control, but intense two sided political debate isn’t a terrible thing, it can even be healthy, even if it can also be ugly.  This kind of thing certainly isn’t unprecedented in local government (witness, for example, the Glendale Tea Party, no relation to the current Republican faction of the same name).

    I also have a hard time seeing an attempt to hold a recall election as a “coup d’Г©tat.”

    Usually recall efforts that are spurred by a disagreement over policies, “vote of confidence style,” that were raised in a recent election, rather than over some sort of specific hot button scandal event fail.  But, our system is designed to permit mid-term removals of officials even in the absence of impeachment style proof of a specific act of wrongdoing.

  9. DefenseDenver says:

    Read here: http://www.squarestate.net/dia

    As an aside, if the petition is successful, it really does not cost any money to the district or to the Denver Elections Division, who is the administrator of the election.  If the drive is successful, the question will appear on the May ballot, alongside the mayoral and city council races.  

    Realizing that many of you here have been involved in politics for a while, it’s apparent that the concept of a true grassroots movement is not part of your paradigm.

    You can see what the parents, teachers and community in New York City are doing about these same types of issues.  If a school board member, because of his/her conflict of interest, ignores promises made to community and votes for “reforms” that have not worked, then he needs to go.  This is especially true because he’s regularly a no-show at meetings with his constituents but is seen hob-nobbing with corporate reform types and legislators instead.

    The conflict of interest is the central issue here.

    • wade norris says:

      and still be in favor of these so called

      “reforms”.

    • MADCO says:

      You have not made it yet.

    • Middle of the Road says:

      Let me try and guide you towards the questions many of us DO have. And then let’s see you post another link to yet another dodge of the question, that is when you aren’t busy updating your talking points after realizing one of them was incorrect last night.

      So here we go. Regarding your organization:

      Have you registered with the Secretary of State’s as a 527, PAC, corporation, political or issue committee, 501(c)(4), etc.)? Are you even required to file?

      Do you have a board of directors to provide transparent oversight for your fundraising and recall efforts?

      If yes, who are they?

      Andrea Merida has stated that she supports your efforts and was scheduled on an agenda to speak on behalf of DeFENSE recently at a public meeting. How involved is she in DeFENSE?

      Have you filed with Denver City Clerks? You solicit for donations but donations for what exactly?

      What efforts would my money be funding? A recall effort? Educational research? And who is the money going to?

      Where can I view your documentation of your fundraising efforts, since you are clearly fundraising?

      Until you answer these fairly simple questions that any reputable organization with nothing to hide would willingly reply to, you can keep posting here, SquareState and Huffington Post until the end of time but please understand that your credibility will also be questioned every time you post, everywhere you post.

      • DefenseDenver says:

        Have you even contacted Director Merida on this issue?  Supposedly you stand by your defense of her, but when the agenda of a community group doesn’t jibe with yours, all of a sudden she’s “revolting” because she doesn’t speak out on a recall in a sub-district that has nothing to do with hers?

        Here’s what EdNews Colorado reports:

        DPS board member Andrea Merida, a DeFENSE supporter who has publicly clashed with Easley on reform proposals, said she “will not be participating in any way with the recall effort.”

        “This is between Nate and his constituents, and it presents an opportunity for him to reconnect with them,” Merida, who represents Southwest Denver, wrote in an email.

        They had the professionalism to hear all supposed sides (though she’s obviously not entered a dog in Easley’s fight).  And this piece?  Seems like it’s a hit job.  

        And to top it off, you ignore the central issue here, which is the considerable conflict of interest.  It’s sort of like Gessler working as an elections attorney, don’t you think?

        We’ll be the ones taking corrective measures for the kids of northeast Denver, not the ones worrying about credibility on this hit site.

        • Middle of the Road says:

          the rest of my questions in my comment.

          But thanks for defending Merida. I’m sure she appreciates your coordinated support.  

        • Laughing Boy says:

          Merida has no ties with your website in any way?

        • Middle of the Road says:

          …she doesn’t speak out on a recall in a sub-district that has nothing to do with hers?

          Here’s what EdNews Colorado reports:

             DPS board member Andrea Merida, a DeFENSE supporter who has publicly clashed with Easley on reform proposals, said she “will not be participating in any way with the recall effort.”

             “This is between Nate and his constituents, and it presents an opportunity for him to reconnect with them,” Merida, who represents Southwest Denver, wrote in an email.

          You really want to stick with that line of reasoning–that this recall has no effect on her and she has no interest in it since it isn’t in her district?

          If Nate is recalled, it will change the minority 3 board to a majority, something Andrea Merida, Jeannie Kaplan, Arturo Jimenez, DCTA, John McBride, the members of the NCCE and DeFENSE have a very vested interest in. You’ve openly stated what your goals regarding education are. This is the quickest way to get what you want.

          Let’s break this down–you can’t go after two term limited Board members whose seats are open up for election in November this year–that wouldn’t have been wise since the public would have quickly figured out how disingenuous you efforts really are. So that leaves both Hoyt and Pena out of your scheme since they are both off the Board in November.

          No point going after Mary Seawell when you would have the almost impossible task of getting 40% of signatures from all of Denver, since she’s an at-large member.

          So let’s see, who does that leave from the majority four? Oh my, lookie there. It leaves Nate Easley. You went for the easiest target because you want a power grab now, in May, when you would still have time to repeal the Montbello reforms (as Wade Norris details in his own diatribe on DPS). If you have to wait until November to do the democratic thing, your little plan for overtaking the Board would, in part, fail.

          Do you really think the public is incapable of putting 2 and 2 together? Did you really think fellow Democrats would sit by quietly while you pulled this stunt? We’re Democrats. We don’t automatically rubberstamp power grabs just because the name “Democrats” is in the title of your organization and we aren’t intimidated into keeping our mouths shut just because we don’t live in Denver. We speak out against the Tom DeLay’s in our own party because your subversive actions affect all of us.  

    • Ralphie says:

      You answered none of them.

  10. I don’t have much to say right now, as I’m still trying to make sense of all this – nonetheless – great great diary!!!

    DPS is just as important as the State Legislature – great to see some dialogue on this – thank you MOTR and CPols (for promoting!)

    • MADCO says:

      I see it- and not.  

      I see it because I know I would have liked to continue living in my former home in Denver- but I couldn’t stomach the DPS.  I.e., schools are everything for the community.  Chicken v. egg?  Jobs v. education?

      But the legislature … well it’s in a different league.

      PS

      (The deatails are a little Denver- centric, but isn’t Greeley School Board having similar problems? .   Seems like just the start and the story is going to more contentious before it gets less.  Good questions  –  I am hoping we see some good answers.  –   – promoted by MADCO)

  11. cscottrun4it says:

    According to the petition being circulated by the community, the reason for the recall is this:


    We the qualified voters of Denver Public School District 4 demand the recall of current elected Denver Public Schools Board of Education member Dr. Nate Easley and the election of a successor to his office.  Our demand is based on Mr. Easley’s activities related to conflicts of interest and allowing these to affect his representation of his District 4 constituency. Specifically, Dr. Easley’s roles as DPS Board of Education president and his job as Deputy Director of the Denver Scholarship Foundation make him subject to undue influence related to his votes as our representative.  As a board member, Dr. Easley supervises the DPS superintendent, who is also a member of the foundation’s leadership team, thereby having direct influence over Dr. Easley’s employment status.  As Deputy Director of DSF, Dr. Easley receives a substantial salary, the threat to which compromises his ability to independently represent District 4.  As a result of this conflict of interest, Dr. Easley has consistently voted for policies that are not reflective of his constituents’ interests, closing schools, supporting an atmosphere of distrust among District employees, and failing to provide sound fiscal oversight of DPS monies.

    It never ceases to amuse me that the charter proliferation professionals are so terrified of something called DeFENSE.  I posted an article about the recall of Easley on HuffPo yesterday, and within an hour, I had two questions about DeFENSE, who they are, where they have incorporated, etc.  Why does it matter?  Where are the cooperative agreements between the Piton Foundation, A+ Denver, the Denver Post, and DPS found?  No where.  These organizations just do do what they do based on ideology.  There is no agreement and there are even fewer facts to support that the agenda they are pushing has had any positive effect on our schools.

    Given that, is it really so hard to understand that, after years of being ignored, the community has said, enough is enough?  Like I said in a comment to my post, the last meeting I attended related to the recall was not a DeFENSE meeting, it was a training session put on by an organization called NCCE.  I believe DeFENSE is in support of the recall.  None of that matters, however.  What matters is if 5,000+ voters in NE Denver are in support of it.  If that is the case, it will happen.  If not, it won’t.  

    For all the people out there who think politics are just an issue of money, they may be right.  But a recall effort is not an issue of money.  The effort can’t be bought.  It is unlikely to be spun.  I know that is hard for the author of this post to understand.  He/she sounds like someone who is comfortable buying and spinning almost everything.  All that matters is, can 100 community members in NE Denver get 60 signatures of registered voters in DPS Distrct 4 apiece?  It really is that simple.  

    The reform community standing behind Easley can blame DeFENSE, or Merida, or God himself.  The real reason this is happening is that Easley did not listen to his constituents.  Now, the voters want their pound of flesh.  The recall effort will just be parents who’ve had enough of DPS and its B.S, and Easley is the easy target for their anger and frustration.  Its pretty simple, really.

    • Ralphie says:

      Now, the voters want their pound of flesh.  The recall effort will just be parents who’ve had enough of DPS and its B.S, and Easley is the easy target for their anger and frustration.  Its pretty simple, really.

      I disagree with your statement, “But a recall effort is not an issue of money.”  That’s not what the state statutes say.  Specifically,

      1-12-122. Recalls subject to “Fair Campaign Practices Act”.

      Recall elections are subject to the appropriate sections of article 45 of this title.

      You’re not going to do a recall for free.  And I question once again why your organization refuses to disclose its finances, but deflects every time the question is asked.

      Are you hiding something?

    • Laughing Boy says:

      Except the DCTA has had free reign of the schools for many, many years, and DPS is a disaster.

      Why put so much effort forth to stop reforms that might actually, you know, help kids even though it might be at the expense of the union’s power?

      Since you’ve seen the petition, can you tell me whose name is on it as the registered agent?

    • Middle of the Road says:

      The real reason this is happening to Easley is that he’s the only board member of the majority four that you all have a chance of picking off. At least be honest enough to admit that. If you could have taken out one of the other three, you would have. You can’t so Nate drew the short straw.

      And you “believe DeFENSE is in support of” the recall. What? You don’t know that for a fact but you post their contact email on your diary on Huffington Post? Hmmm. Does anyone else find that a tad hard to believe, that you are totally unaware of DeFENSE’s stance and current involvement in organizing for the recall? Maybe you ought to take a look at the website of the group you whore contact information for.  

    • Aristotle says:

      What disingenuous bullshit. Hell yes, it CAN so be bought. All you need are gatherers who are PAID by the signature. It can’t be done with volunteers if there’s a legitimate outcry.

      This reeks of astroturf, and your concluding paragraphs are as shameless a spinjob as I’ve ever read. And attacking MoTR, whose non-residency of Denver makes her objectivity on the topic reliable, in the fashion you chose is as Rovian as it comes.

      • Middle of the Road says:

        and didn’t care where I lived when I stuck up for Merida and went public about how wrong I thought the attempt to recall her was.  

        If anybody gets to legitimately claim they have an objective viewpoint on this topic, I think it’s me.

        • Aristotle says:

          BTW, the nonsense over this has been a great reminder of why I don’t go over to square state very much. I don’t know how Fong feels about this, but the commenters over there are just nuts.

          • Middle of the Road says:

            about how she feels about this–between losing her mind in this thread, screaming Nate Easley is a “pussy” and front paging every diary from DeFENSE, I think she’s been pretty forthright about how little transparency from Democrats appeals to her when they are a group she agrees with.

            • Will MOTR be banned from CorporatePols for this flagrant violation as stipulated in Pols’ own supposed rules? Of course not, because CorporatePols is full of shit.

              • Either kick MOTR out, or let Harvey back in!

                N’yuk, n’yuk, n’yuk.  

                • droll says:

                  you outed her more than MotR did. By CoPols standards anyway.

                  Anyway, it requires a complainant. So unless you’re prepared to admit being a sockpuppet (also a violation), you should mind your own business.

                  • wade norris says:

                    I think Fong’s been pretty clear

                    about how she feels about this-between losing her mind in this thread, screaming Nate Easley is a “pussy” and front paging every diary from DeFENSE , I think she’s been pretty forthright about how little transparency from Democrats appeals to her when they are a group she agrees with.

                    by: Middle of the Road @ Sat Jan 29, 2011 at 12:55:46 PM MST

                    [ Parent | Reply ]

                    refers directly to the identity of the author of this post

                    How?

                    There’s no proof of anything?

                    MotR called Easley, who’s a pussy, and he cried about being picked on, all of which in this diary is hearsay.

                    The point of this diary is this: because Andrea Merida had a recall attempt against her by a sociopathic freak of nature, therefore all recalls in DPS are of the same.

                    by: sufimarie @ Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 13:03:47 PM MST

                    [ Parent | Reply ]

                    and is a clear violation of the outing policy here on CoPols.

                    Nice job MOTR.

                    • droll says:

                      vague discussion pointing to other vague discussions an “out.” Pulling it all together, similar to how you might do it using teh Google is a blatant violation.

                      So bjwilson83 isn’t outing himself everyday even though all the information is there. Posting a Google search using the information is. In other words, taking something not-so-obvious and broadcasting it is, technically, the greater evil.

                      Precedent; it sucks.

                    • Unless you’re prepared to admit you’re a sockpuppet for MOTR.

                    • droll says:

                      making it your business.

                      Or that you’ve created a little distraction so you wouldn’t have to debate your points.

                      I get it. Everyone gets it. YAWN, nothing to see.

                    • Ralphie says:

                      And outed your friend all by yourself?

                      Nice going, genius.

                    • Middle of the Road says:

                      After three years of it, I should be used to it by now.

                      SquareState Announces New Ownership

                      by sufimarie

                      Hello, I’m Sarah Fong. Now that that is taken care of, here is my press release. Please come by, set up an acct, and let’s get to work.

            • sufimarie says:

              Who was it who came crying to you to post this crap you know is woefully inadequate? Which easley lackey was it? Besides, the last time I saw you You didn’t want to know which Democratic organization is behind the Coloradopols curtain. Take your accusations about accountability and shove them in your starfucking hypocritical ass.

              • Ralphie says:

                Please limit unnecessary vulgarity or unnecessary and childish name-calling. Some is okay, but please don’t let it get excessive. This is a hard thing to quantify, but we think the old saying about pornography is a good example: You may not know how to explain it, but you know it when you see it.

              • … which Democratic organization is behind the Coloradopols curtain.

                Oh, oh! I know! I know! Anybody need a clue?

                … OK, think 501(c)(4) … got it yet?

                  • I did. And I put some money in the collection plate. And when it was all collected, nobody stood up on a pew and demanded identification papers from everybody who had contributed. Same thing has happened hundreds of times at other groups and events that I’ve been a part of.

                    “Crickets” refers to when a question has not been answered. This question, conversely, has been answered very clearly over, and over, and over again. If you are incapable of comprehending the simple concept involved, that’s you’re problem.

                    I’ll tell you what this is like. It’s like if you demanded to know whether someone has cable TV service or satellite, and their answer was: “We don’t watch television at all. Sometimes we listen to public radio a little bit, but we don’t even own a TV.” And you keep demanding “Answer the question! Answer the question!” “Crickets” “Crickets” “What are you trying  you hide about your television service?” “Crickets!” “Crickets!”  

                    • Ralphie says:

                      Another deflection?

                      Man, you guys can come up with more reasons to not tell the rest of us where your money comes from.

                      You and Doug Bruce, you know?

                      Just tell us where your money comes from, or tell us you aren’t going to tell us.

                    • But shhhh! It’s a big secret. … From what I hear — and mind you, I’m getting this second-hand — but from what I hear … The money comes from — wait, are you ready? … the money comes from the volunteers who put a few bucks into the hat when it’s passed around during the meetings that are completely open and to which you have been repeatedly invited. … Because these are very small donations, there is no requirement for the group to keep a list of the names of the donors.  Just like a church collection, or a 12-step meeting, or thousands of other small grassroots community groups and causes do every day all across the country, in complete compliance with the law.

                      Now, can you keep that secret there, Ralphie? Can ya?

                      In fact, I have attended many Democratic Party functions right here in Colorado where money was collected in the exact same way.  At the end of the event, a Democratic Party officer would carry the coffee can of cash and coin back to the party office.

                    • droll says:

                      Try to keep up. Apparently this group does in fact keep track of their donors. With receipts and everything. I know, right?

                      You also seem to be confused about Colorado law and why this organization would ever have to file anything at all. 12 step programs aren’t even close. But good comparison!

                    • You misunderstood the reference to receipts, and you misunderstood the parallel to the fact that a wide variety of others groups, including the Democratic Party, collect small donations in the very same way without recording the names of the small donors or the individual amounts they gave.

                    • what do you mean “this is first hand”?

                      Does this mean you finally got up the initiative to attend one of the group’s meetings in person, as you have been repeatedly invited to do, rather than continuing to chatter in idle, uninformed speculation and reckless innuendo like the rest of the Rovian “Polsters” in this thread?  

                    • droll says:

                      It’s first hand because the person claiming to be DD just told me.

                      Moron.

                      I also JUST WROTE (you responded to it in fact) that I’ve been to a meeting.

                      And you can claim all you want that this group is exempt as a church or doesn’t have the responsibility because they aren’t a political organization, but it doesn’t change the facts.

                    • droll says:

                      You haven’t responded to it. Possibly further proving that you aren’t reading any comments.

                      Which would explain why you’re having such a hard time answering questions or addressing points.

                    • Ralphie says:

                      How do you they’re all small donations?

                      And you said “meetings” plural.  With no list, how do you know the total they donated in cash.

                      See what your problem is?

                      Sloppy bookkeeping or yet another deflection.

                    • If you don’t make a list

                      How do you they’re all small donations?

                      This doesn’t take an advanced degree in mathematics: If the sum is small, each of the individual donations is small. … Unless someone contributed a negative amount into the hat.

                      And you said “meetings” plural.  With no list, how do you know the total they donated in cash.

                      Um, let’s see … I would guess that they look into the hat and count the donations.

                    • Ralphie says:

                      Then what’s the total so far?

                    • They have no obligation to tell you, but maybe if you ask nice … on the other hand, what are the odds of that?

                    • Ralphie says:

                      Many times.

                      Crickets.

                    • droll says:

                      Completely pleasant.

                      No answers were forthcoming. Tends to irritate…

                      Got an answer?

                    • droll says:

                      how many people have donated several times? Are you using the honor system to be sure people are only putting in small amounts?

                      More importantly, do you actually speak for DD, or are you just guessing?

        • Laughing Boy says:

          They’re not replying to you is that all four of them are out walking Easley’s district, trying to convince the folks out there that the Montbello grad from Park Hill is trying to sell them out to the corporation-y corporations that sit in their offices, and corporate.  With Dick Cheney.

    • cscottrun4it says:

      1. DPS has made significant strides toward improving student achievement in the last 5 years?

      2. Research data back up that the reforms being enacted in DPS will work?

      3. Closing schools improves outcomes for students?

      4. Leadership is not critical to successful organizations?

      Well, if you guessed false on everyone of the above questions, you’d be right.  

      Improvements in academic performance after 5 years of reforms have resulted in virtually no gains in DPS.  Thus, DPS was required to submit a district reform plan to the Colorado Department of Education this past month.

      The latest research shows that virtually none of the school reform efforts supported by the Obama administration have any effect on academic performance.  Not testing, not merit pay, not charter schools, not closing schools, not multiple school models in the same building, none of it.  DPS has been an utter failure at improving academic achievement.  As of the 2010 CSAP testing event, only ~ 15% of 10th graders are proficient in math.  That is virtually the same as in 2004.

      Of the kids attending poor performing schools that were closed by DPS in 2007, only one of the schools receiving students from schools that were closed performs better than the school that was closed.  This model holds true across the country.

      Leadership is the key to organizational success.  This is true in business, and it is true in education.  At Garden Place elementary in Globeville, the new principal has empowered the teachers while keeping a firm hand on professional development and training.  The result?  Garden Place received 70% of the total points possible for student growth.  Garden Place is one of 10 DPS schools out of 161 where growth has increased each year for the past 3 years. That a 6% success rate in DPS, and that success is all at the elementary school level.  

      People should be pissed about this state of affairs in their schools.  You want to blame teachers?  There are some horrible teachers in every district, and DPS may have more than its share, I don’t know.  But take this for example: when asked how many good teachers are at Montbello High School, the principal answered, None.  

      I don’t know about you, but if that is the case, what kind of idiot is the principal?  The kind of idiot placed in the school by Tom Boasberg, DPS’ superintendent.  

      And don’t give me that crap about the teacher’s union won’t allow a principal to fire bad teachers.  It is simply not true.  As a parent, I have been involved in the firing of 4 teachers, all bad and all with the support of once good principal. Bad teachers are retained by bad principals, and bad principals are retained by DPS’ superintendent.  Period.

      So what is everyone afraid of?  What happens if Easley is recalled?  He still gets his shot on the ballot.  Others can run to replace him.  There is no guarantee that someone with Easley’s view point won’t be elected in his place.  Who knows?  

      Those who are supporting Easley’s recall have very few assurances related to the outcome.  Keep that in mind.  

      Also, remember, recalls are part of our democracy.  If the people represented do not feel that representation reflects their view points, they can petition to recall the representative.  That is what the people of NE Denver are doing.  It is what I’d hope you would do if you felt betrayed by a politician representing you.  

      We like to call that accountability.

      • Ralphie says:

        You keep posting, I’ll keep asking.

        Are you hiding something?

      • Aristotle says:

        If there was no good reason for it – if he’s not inept, corrupt, or a criminal – then what’s to fear is that any of our elected officials can be recalled if some special interest decides to get rid of them.

        If you don’t think that’s reason to be fearful, then you are a HUGE part of the problem.

          • Aristotle says:

            You have a bunch of charges but zero proof. That’s zero out of three.

            • DefenseDenver says:

              Are you denying the fact that he works for the DSF and that Boasberg and Pena are on that board, while he oversees Boasberg’s job?

              That constitutes undue influence.

              Those are the facts.

            • Middle of the Road says:

              CDScott above was actually very clear what the motive here is. Again, it isn’t about Easley. It’s about taking down Tom Boasberg. That’s what the recall effort is about. And that’s what makes it disingenuous–the great pretense all these folks including the ever elusive DeFENSE have gone to in order to make this about something other than what it is.

              They want Boasberg out. They hate him as much as they hated Bennet when he was Superintendent of DPS. This is political payback at its worst.

              So, back to the original premise of the diary? Why recall Nate Easley? Well, they all answered that question for me–so they can fire Boasberg if they gain a majority on the Board.

              And the second question remains unanswered? Where does DeFENSE get their funding for their efforts in “assisting” in the recall effort?

              • Middle of the Road says:

                See cscottrun4it’s comment.  

                • Aristotle says:

                  If they’re going after Boasberg via Easley, it’s still a recall without cause. The conflict of interest charge is tenuous at best and an outright misrepresentation of the relationship he has with the board at worst. The other charges on the recall ballot are so airtight that DefenseDenver hasn’t breathed a word of it in any of their subsequent posts. That, to me, is their biggest inadvertent admission that this isn’t what they’re making it out to be.

                  • If they’re going after Boasberg via Easley, it’s still a recall without cause.

                    “If” being the key word there.

                    The conflict of interest charge is tenuous at best

                    That’s your (incorrect) opinion.

                    and an outright misrepresentation of the relationship he has with the board at worst.

                    “at worst” — yeah, but in reality it’s not the case


                    The other charges on the recall ballot are so airtight that DefenseDenver hasn’t breathed a word of it in any of their subsequent posts. That, to me, is their biggest inadvertent admission that this isn’t what they’re making it out to be.

                    So now your argument is that because they don’t continually repeat their entire list of concerns in this comments thread, that none of those concerns are valid? If they did, the childish little bullies who dominate this site would jump on them for “spamming” or some such thing. The recall organizers have provided links that lay out the whole list of reasons why Easley is being recalled, and they have repeatedly stated and explained several of the key elements.

                    They have also repeatedly answered these disingenuous and/or misguided queries about the group’s “funding.”  Perhaps the trouble there is that people who are so deeply entrenched in an alternate universe of professional political hackery where corporate-funded corruption is the accepted norm are having a hard time grasping the concept of a legitimate plain-old grassroots community group.  Watching them trying to explain this concept to you people reminds me of the Allegory of the Cave.

                    If you want to find out more about this grassroots community group, GO TO THEIR MEETINGS. They have repeatedly invited you to these open meetings. You can even watch as the hat is passed to see who’s contributing a couple of bucks here and a couple of bucks there. They have also posted contact names and phone numbers for people to call and find out more info on how to join this exercise in good old-fashioned grassroots democracy.

          • Ralphie says:

            Where does your money come from?

                • his instructor is pointing to the objects as they pass and requiring him to name them, – will he not be perplexed? Will he not fancy that the shadows which he formerly saw are truer than the objects which are now shown to him?  

                • DefenseDenver says:

                  I know you want to hear that it’s the amorphous, evil union, but it ain’t.

                  Sorry to disappoint.

                  • MADCO says:

                    I believe in community. I believe people can come together around community issues they care about.  I believe that groups can begin, organize and agitate without corporate support, without establishing a 501 c 3, or 527 or PAC or any other corporate entity.

                    I believe when that happens that “passing the hat” can rent space and pay for the pizza and coffee.

                    Where it gets harder to believe is that the same energized group of people can put up a website and a coherent media messaging strategy.  Not impossible. Just harder.

                    For example- is the Tea Party such an outpouring of frustration and patriotic passion? Or is it a Koch-brothers funded and Atwater-Luntz inspired polyethylene turf pseudo-movement?

                    When the Tea Party Express went on tour, I wondered who was paying for it? Who was riding it? Who was feeding them?  Why didn’t we have that kind of resource support when we were trying to get the Shattuck superfund site  removed from our neighborhood? We were organized. We had passionate community support. What we didn’t have much of was money. We didn’t have a web site and domain. We didn’t have a media strategy.  Maybe we would have if we were smarter.  But stuff that costs raises the obvious question of who is paying. And you can reply “the people” but that’s not an answer.  I don’t accept it when that’s Doug Bruce’s non-answer reply. And whether I agree with your goals or not, I don’t accept from defensedenver either.  

                    No one will be disappointed to learn that defensedenver has no more money than what was collected and spent at the last event.  No one “wants” to hear that a teacher’s union is funding an organization working to recall an elected school board member- not even the union.

                    All of which begs that broader question – why do you care what Ralphie or MiddleoftheRoad or Aristotle or Laughing Boy or any of us think about defensedenver?

                    • MADCO says:

                      recall Spencer Swalm, Dave Balmer and others and repeal TABOR.

                      Replace school funding with more stable sources like property and income taxes.  

                    • DefenseDenver says:

                      We’re mostly from Denver.

                      As to MADCO’s question, we really don’t care.  They’re entrenched in an idea that somehow it’s shady.  

                      The question is being asked over and over who’s funding things.  Want to know who’s putting money in the hat?  It’s those same people in the videos.  

                    • Ralphie says:

                      There you are again.

                      Whoever is writing the posts behind that nickname, how much have you PERSONALLY donated to this effort?

                      That ought to be an easy question to answer without knowing the total contents of the hat that you pass.

                    • MADCO says:

                      Isn’t Nate Easley’s district 100% in Denver?

                    • The question only matters because it isn’t answered.

                      Yes, it has been answered. Several times. In fact, in the next couple of paragraphs, you acknowledge the validity of the answer, but then you veer off again into fiction and irrelevance.

                      I believe in community. I believe people can come together around community issues they care about.  I believe that groups can begin, organize and agitate without corporate support, without establishing a 501 c 3, or 527 or PAC or any other corporate entity.

                      Great! Now we’re getting somewhere.

                      I believe when that happens that “passing the hat” can rent space and pay for the pizza and coffee.

                      Good, good, good …

                      Where it gets harder to believe is that the same energized group of people can put up a website and a coherent media messaging strategy.  Not impossible. Just harder.

                      Oh, darn it, you just fell off the track of reason again. You’re seriously claiming that putting up a bare-bones website and communicating a coherent message requires advanced technology, sophisticated organization, and extensive funding?

                      For example- is the Tea Party such an outpouring of frustration and patriotic passion? Or is it a Koch-brothers funded and Atwater-Luntz inspired polyethylene turf pseudo-movement?

                      This is not the Tea Party.

                      When the Tea Party Express went on tour, I wondered who was paying for it? Who was riding it? Who was feeding them?

                      This is not the Tea Party.

                      Why didn’t we have that kind of resource support when we were trying to get the Shattuck superfund site  removed from our neighborhood? We were organized. We had passionate community support. What we didn’t have much of was money.

                      Why are you lamenting your own failure?

                      We didn’t have a web site and domain.

                      That was dumb.

                      We didn’t have a media strategy.

                      Even dumber.

                      Maybe we would have if we were smarter.  But stuff that costs raises the obvious question of who is paying. And you can reply “the people” but that’s not an answer.

                      Did you try passing a hat?

                      I don’t accept it when that’s Doug Bruce’s non-answer reply. And whether I agree with your goals or not, I don’t accept from defensedenver either.

                       

                      Doug Bruce again. Maybe you should start a separate thread on Doug Bruce. He’s not relevant here.

                      No one will be disappointed to learn that defensedenver has no more money than what was collected and spent at the last event. No one “wants” to hear that a teacher’s union is funding an organization working to recall an elected school board member- not even the union.

                      Great.

                      All of which begs that broader question – why do you care what Ralphie or MiddleoftheRoad or Aristotle or Laughing Boy or any of us think about defensedenver?

                      I can’t speak for DefenseDenver, but as a third-party observer, I can point out that this question is devoid of merit. At the same time those members you mentioned are repeating the same answered questions over and over, you are now faulting DefenseDenver for taking the time to answer those questions?  Maybe you “Polsters” ought to get together and get your Rovian smear attempt a little more consistent.

                    • Ralphie says:

                      The issue is whether your organization is stealth-funding a petition drive and whether your organization’s effort is comparable to his.  Perfectly relevant discussion.

                      Why do you consider legitimate questions to be a “smear?”  Nobody’s accused anyone of anything.  We’re just asking.  You’re not answering.

                    • I don’t have an organization.

                      For that matter, DefenseDenver is technically not an organization either.  

                    • Ralphie says:

                      I’ll keep asking.

                      Keystrokes are cheap.

                    • Laughing Boy says:

                      If they’re collecting money for political purposes, then they’d better be.

                      So far, I’ve been unable to find any registered entity that Merida might have with the State or City that might provide an insight into how this money is being transferred from customers to Merida, and then to DefenseDenver, as their website states.  Maybe a reporter from Westword or the Post might have better luck than I.

                      I’m not saying that an elected official is involved in a tax, sales, or political impropriety, I’d just like she and DefenseDenver to clear it up for me, as I find it tremendously relevant.  I think, as a former small business owner, that it’s important that everyone follow the same set of rules and I see a tremendous amount of evasion going on here, and it makes me uncomfortable.

                    • MADCO says:

                      Good word.

                      Something doesn’t feel quite … the way it should.

                    • MADCO says:

                      The question only matters because it isn’t answered.

                      Yes, it has been answered. Several times. In fact, in the next couple of paragraphs, you acknowledge the validity of the answer, but then you veer off again into fiction and irrelevance.

                      I was being rhetorical- not speaking about a single question, but referencing the general political truism that frequently the most interesting question is the one unanswered.

                      And no, they haven’t been answered.

                      The questions started with –

                      How is DeFEnSE connected to John McBride’s recall petition?

                        No answer.

                      Who is DeFENSE?

                      The only replies – people from the community and the people in the video.  That does not answer the question.

                      No one ever asked the inappropriate who is the poster  defensedenver – though the question has been appropriately asked does the poster defense denver speak for DeFENSE?

                      No answer. Perhaps someone should create a user name like …neasleychair and post as if they were someone they’re not. Or ispeakfornateeasley  and post as if they speak for someone they do not represent.  Perhaps not.

                      I’m pretty good about identifying writers by their style.  But the question  of who is writing the pieces on the DeFENSE website has not been answered.

                      Which reminds me, don’t speak for me.

                      You’re seriously claiming that putting up a bare-bones website and communicating a coherent message requires advanced technology, sophisticated organization, and extensive funding?

                      No- I never made that claim.   But when another politically active community organizer claimed that a few (thousand) photocopies and some small events didn’t cost anything, I was doubtful.

                      …the same answered questions over and over…

                      No- the only thing that’s been answered is “the passed hat”.

                      And as for what we Polsters ought to do – we’re a cult, donchya know? We do what we’re told by our nameless, anonymous leader (s).

                  • Ralphie says:

                    You must have me confused with LB.

                    I just want to hear who is paying for your operation.

                    Why don’t you just tell me that you’re not going to tell me and then we can move on?

                    • Laughing Boy says:

                      On your “Gear” page, you state:

                      Because DeFENSE is not propped up by private foundation funding, we depend on donations from regular people like you and on the sale of items on this page.  Know that proceeds from your purchase go to furthering the DeFENSE mission, which is to equalize the discussion of what neighborhood schools need to be successful.

                      The items in question are designed and produced by “Liberal Latina”, which appears to be Ms. Merida.

                      So if she’s not involved with the recall, she’s at least the sole source of fundraising you have listed on your website.  I would expect that that transfer of money would have to be publicly noted somewhere, but I’m still not seeing anything registered either with the city of Denver or the State.

                      It also pretty much negates the defense (pun intended) that she’s not involved with DD.  She’s obviously very involved with it, and they are very involved with the recall effort.

                      As an elected official (and my DPS Board Rep.), I’d love to know the exact nature of her involvement with all of this, just to clear it up.

                      Would anyone care to chime in?

                      BTW, I have screenshots on all of this, so scrub away if you wish, my question still stands.

                    • Ralphie says:

                      I’d like to know if the organization or the maker/seller of the gear is collecting sales tax and making sales tax payments to the State/City/County.  Or alternatively, if the maker/seller holds an exemption certificate.

                    • DefenseDenver says:

                      n/t

                    • droll says:

                      It’s your organization, correct? See? This is why people think you’re hiding.

                      Even though, I suspect that asking her is incredibly similar to asking you. Similar…

                    • DefenseDenver says:

                      Then he deserves to hear it directly from his representative.  She is, hands down, the most accessible school board member in the state, the only one with an active website, the only one that regularly answers emails and phone calls.  There is no reason why he could not get her answer.

                      The problem here is that you folks want to see the seamy underbelly of things.  You’re getting all fluttered because you don’t like the passing of the hat nor the $2.50 button.  

                      But you don’t care that Oakland Elementary in the Montbello area, for example, has already received state funds to revitalize, are already showing a sharp upward tick, and the district is wiping them clean and replacing them with a charter school.  You don’t ask whether the upwards of $250,000 in state money has to be paid back, or whether it’s just gone up in the thin air, basically misappropriated.  

                      No, you want to know about a $2.50 button that isn’t even selling because we haven’t pushed it.

                    • ClubTwitty says:

                      Disclose your governing structure and board, trustees, advisory council whomever/whatever.

                      Those folks tossing their coins into the cup…?  How many of those ‘coins’ come in chunks of $50 or more?  And of those, from whom do they come?

                      Otherwise, I will continue to see your lack of substantive response as a dodge.  

                    • DefenseDenver says:

                      You think we’re kidding about this.  We are literally a grassroots group of people from all over the city, each bringing their own natural talents to the table, and each wanting to preserve public education and make it work for our kids.

                      There’s no magic in this.

                      The money we collect comes from the individual volunteers that work on the projects.  We’ve never seen anything larger than maybe a $20, because we are not wealthy people.  We’re just people that live, mostly, in Denver.

                      The video from yesterday is right there for you to see.  THOSE are people that work under the mantle of DeFENSE.

                      Now, since you care so much about our structure, why don’t you join us?  Now there are a total of TWO bellyachers that have actually stepped up and signed up to get emails from us.  Hats off to those two.

                    • Laughing Boy says:

                      But answer this, please.

                      Are you an official representative for Defense Denver?

                      If so, then you must be familiar with the fundraising deal Ms. Merida made with you through sales of items from “liberal latina”. After all, you listed it on your website as the main avenue for raising money for your cause.

                      Could you please disclose what that deal is?

                    • MADCO says:

                      Who bought the domain?

                      Who writes the articles? Who edits?

                      When 9News Wants to Know calls for an interview- who will they call? Who would do the interview?

                      If Mr Easley wanted to have a debate – who would stand up and speak for defense denver?

                    • Ralphie says:

                      I am not a “constituent.”

                      But I am a resident and a taxpayer of Colorado and have a right to know if she’s complying with the law.

                      You’re taking money from her, right?  It’s on your web site.  So is she legal or not?

                      Hell, if I ran that web site, I’d want to know.

                      I don’t run that web site and I STILL want to know.

                      When you’re taking money from someone, you can no longer plead ignorance.  At least not with any credibility.

                      So is your money dirty or clean?  Are your contributors paying their sales taxes or not?  After all, you’re selling their shit on your web site.  Are YOU paying sales tax?  Inquiring minds want to know.

      • cscottrun4it says:

        There is no money.  Period.  None.  I have heard of no money.  I was told by one of the leaders of this recall effort that he was approached by someone offering to collect signatures for $15,000.  He said the group had $15.34.  Why is that so hard to believe?  I know, the majority of Colorado Pols participants do not actually believe in the political process.  All the believe in is, well, I’m not sure.  It is sad.

        • DefenseDenver says:

          Which we’re considering posting, except we don’t have his permission.  He did, however, once work on the campaigns of Pena and Hoyt.

          • Laughing Boy says:

            Burn!

            It costs more than $15 to register a domain and host a website.

            Have you received any donations online?  If so, how are you accounting for these in accordance with State law?

            • DefenseDenver says:

              You got us!  It costs nearly $20 to run a website!  Whew!  That’s a major expenditure!

              • Laughing Boy says:

                …the damage you’ve done to Merida and the recall effort in the last few days?

                I’m an R.  I hate your guts anyway because I realize that unions have ruined education in this country and I have young kids.  You were never going to pull me in to help unseat a reformer.

                But the way you’ve acted to some pretty liberal, rational, intelligent, politically active Dems is just idiotic.  If you make everyone your enemy by hiding from them, getting 8000 signatures is going to be that much harder.

                Keep up the good work, and you’d better start covering your tracks a little better than you have.

              • ClubTwitty says:

                including his knee-jerk reactionary hatred of union, especially education unions, but I agree with him here.  Your responses have been a lesson in how not to do damage control…

                I believe the questions asked of you in an earlier post, responses eventually posted in the thread, perhaps were too broad to avoid the easy dodge…’we have no formal organizational structure.’

                Assuming then that the monies you collect, however and from whomever you collect them, are not just stashed under your mattress…who is operating as your fiscal agent?

                A very specific question that will only be answered with a specific response.  

                • DefenseDenver says:

                  We’re not a nonprofit corporation, nor are we representing ourselves as one.

                  The chipping in that happens is spent on renting rooms for meetings, buying coffee for meetings and making copies as needed.

                  It’s really that simple, people.

                  • Polsters: “What shade of green is your house?!?!”

                    DD: “I live in an apartment, and the color of the building is blue.”

                    Polsters: “Stop deflecting! Answer the question! Crickets! Crickets! What are you trying to hide?!?!”  

                    • Ralphie says:

                      DIDN’T answer the question.

                      More obfuscation.

                    • The question was, verbatim:

                      who is operating as your fiscal agent?

                      The answer was:

                      We don’t need a fiscal agent

                      We’re not a nonprofit corporation, nor are we representing ourselves as one.

                      And this Ralphie lout still insists DefenseDenver “DIDN’T answer the question,” that the answer was “obfuscation.”

                      That’s insane.

                    • Ralphie says:

                      I am having a taxpayer episode.

                      Your group doesn’t want to discuss its finances.  That’s clear.

                      You and Douglas Bruce.

                      Note to ssaye:

                      You can only insult me if I respect you.  I don’t.

                      You have continued to block any effort to find out who is paying for your recall drive.  That’s all I need to know.  In my opinion, you are hiding something.

                  • Ralphie says:

                    Or tell me you’re not going to tell me.

                    Oh–you just did.

              • Ralphie says:

                If you’re really interested in transparency, why did you register your site’s domain through an anonymous domain registry?

                That looks like you’re trying to keep something secret.

  12. Teeter says:

    Also submitted to their web site comment form, where I am afraid it might disappear, thus posted here as well.  Should answers be provided, I will share them here.

    Who sits on your board?  Are you organized as a charitable non-profit or as an advocacy organization?  Do you have staff?  Who are they?  Who funds this organization?  

    I agree, openness and transparency are important, so thank you in advance for providing honest and prompt answers to my inquiries.

     

  13. sxp151 says:

    is that it’s kind of funny to see people who jealously guard their anonymity here going on and on about how OTHER people should be more transparent.

    Some people put up a web site so they could write opinions, and even support positions we may disagree with! It’s not that unusual.

    • ClubTwitty says:

      Not on my blog postings.  

      But if an organizations exists to go after public officials, I believe that the public gauging the reasonableness of a recall ought to be able to easily discern who is behind the effort.   The ‘its just a few people passing a hat around’ makes me more suspicious than not.  

      • DefenseDenver says:

        Sign up on the email list and come to a meeting already.

        We’re not “jealously guarding anonymity.”  Wade (or someone) posted a video here from yesterday’s canvass.  We posted one from the protest about Montbello schools.  We’re right there in the open.

        If you want names, addresses, etc., you probably should come to an openly-announced meeting.  Get to know people.  Ask their names.  Ask why they’re doing this.  It’s really that simple.

        • Laughing Boy says:

          Just tell us who’s really behind your organization.

          How are you raising money for a political recall?  Is it in a bank?  

          • DefenseDenver says:

            So you can get meeting announcements, and come and see yourself.

            If a video from yesterday’s canvass doesn’t tell you anything, then it’s fruitless.  This is a little like the OTHER Holy Grail clip, about drowning a witch.

            We get the idea that you’re just being contrary for kicks.

            • Laughing Boy says:

              But you have a lot of left-leaning folks that are calling BS on you for being so completely evasive about who your organization is, and being really coy about what your real purpose is.

              I suspect the SOS and the Denver office of revenue will be more illuminating than you guys have been.

              Hope all your ducks are in a row.

            • ClubTwitty says:

              I live on the Western Slope and leave Denver Schools to Denver folks…

              I originally recommended the diary (and would have promoted it had my privileges not been revoked) because I thought it would get a lot of response, and we can only spend so much time telling conservatives how stupid they are.  

              The evasiveness and DEFENSiveness of the responses, however, piqued my interest.  And the more folks ask, the more you weave, which looks fishy to me.  And that does interest me–because I have to wonder…why the apparent subterfuge?  

              Since many of us are accomplished organizers, policy wonks, and the like, ourselves, we probably have pretty adept BS detectors in these regards.  Or maybe we are merely twisted logicians burning witches.

              In any case, if you have to file anyways, spit it out now and end the doubt.  After all, its just a few folks with no personal agendas other than better schools passing a hat around for spare change, right?  

      • droll says:

        don’t they have to disclose? Even if it’s just part of the trail; like DD donates or works on it, then you have to be able to see DD somewhere? This isn’t some guy, it’s a blatantly political organization.

        I think the latest Bruce shenanigans are a great comparison. “Well, if we skirt this like this we don’t have to tell anyone anything.” I can’t wait for the accidental email to go out. Here’s a tip, DD: That other 0 was a typo! Don’t use commas, they’re a killer.

        For the record, the more I read of all the DPS bullshit, the more I hate all of these people. I think a great solution would be to toss out Boasberg, Merida, Easley, and everyone else. Everyone gets what they want! And it’s better for those pesky kids running around the schools they tour. Seems the least they could do is be quietly incompetent.

        • DefenseDenver says:

          Check the statutes.  We’re literally keeping receipts and will file a campaign finance report, just like we’re supposed to.

          • Laughing Boy says:

            …have you received from Merida so far?  The DCTA?

          • droll says:

            I read your snark, non-answers from your homeboy’s paper:

            http://www.thecherrycreeknews….

            Super classy! Has the situation changed?

            Since you are keeping track of donors, and will have to disclose them anyway, why not just tell us who they are?

            See? THIS IS WHY YOU LOOK DISHONEST.

            I feel this is one of the most important questions asked and I didn’t see a response; are you officially representing DeFENSE?

            • Laughing Boy says:

              We responded

              Check your junk mail if you don’t find it.

            • Laughing Boy says:

              Here’s my favorite part:

              Even my DPS-educated fifth grader can adduce this.

              I think this is what we are referring to as “the problem”.

              You also keep telling us to sign up for mailings, etc., and then you openly admit in that piece that if you’re opposed to whatever your actual mission is (‘corporat-y corporations taking over schools and making them all…corporatized’ Uh…what?) that you will exclude them from your email list.

              You realize this isn’t going to go away, right?  Why don’t you just tell us who you are, how much money you’ve raised, from whom, and what you’re real mission is and save us all some time?

              • sxp151 says:

                that your thrice-repeated half-remembered quote that two homophobes made up about someone else is this organization’s actual position? And then you critiqued it?

                Well done.

                • Laughing Boy says:

                  Or their mission statement?

                  It’s as obtuse as the Robbins character in the movie, and as detached.

                  This is all about the DCTA trying to make a power move and undo some badly-needed and previously-enacted reforms through a recall.

                  • that you keep rambling about, it seems to have had quite an crippling effect on your worldview. It’s like maybe something bad happened while you were watching that movie in the theater all those years ago and now you’re stuck with a chronic subliminal association, like you spilled your super-size Pepsi all over your lap or something just as that line of dialogue was being spoken on the screen.

            • DefenseDenver says:

              Ask the people who chip in a few bucks what their names are.  They’ll probably tell you if you’re nice enough.

          • Ralphie says:

            said you WEREN’T keeping receipts.

            Which is it?

            You people need to keep your stories straight.

            • DefenseDenver says:

              We’ll be filing a campaign finance report for recall expenses.

              Individuals are spending their own money for those expenses, and those are the receipts we’re tallying.

              Individuals also kick in when it’s time to buy coffee for meetings and room space, and normally it’s $5 here, $10 there.  This is the only way we’ve raised any money at all.

              This is precisely the way many nonprofits started out.  

              It’s really not rocket science.  It’s just that many of you spend a lot of time on the internets instead of actually getting out and working for change by banding together, so this concept is foreign to you.  It’s ok.  It’s understandable.

              We really do appreciate the attention to our social media presence, to the quality of our website and writing, etc.  We’re really glad you think it’s so impressive that there MUST be some nefarious agent behind the curtain.  But again, we’re sorry to disappoint.  It’s just little ‘ole community members, and the people in the posted video are regular “pony-uppers.”  They’re committed, so they chip in.

              Now, if you want more details, you are welcome to sign up for our email newsletter, where you’ll get notices to our open meetings.  You can meet the people in the video.  If you’re nice, they’ll tell you their names.  

              Aside from that, there’s really no point in beating the dead horse over and over.

              Good luck with all that.  

              • ClubTwitty says:

                It’s just that many of you spend a lot of time on the internets instead of actually getting out and working for change by banding together, so this concept is foreign to you.  It’s ok.  It’s understandable.

                Care to back that up?

                • Middle of the Road says:

                  I love that level of condescension, don’t you?

                  And why should he back that up when he hasn’t been able to back up anything else he says? You just gotta lower your bar of expectations with these folks and you’ll fit right in. 🙂

    • sufimarie says:

      I bet it would be really smart.  

  14. Chuck Crowley says:

    Why are you supporting the administrations efforts in FNE?  Was it because they were so successful at Manual and North?  Why is it wrong to hold our elected officials accountable?  Is it okay to campaign on a platform and then sell out for a leadership position?  Have you ever attended a DPS school board meeting?  I have and I don’t see leadership qualities in the superintedents chair nor the presidents chair.

    • Laughing Boy says:

      You’re totally misusing the recall component because the DCTA got its ass kicked on the reform measures passed, and they might lose a little tiny bit of power, while the kids might actually be given a better shot.

      This whole thing makes me sick to my stomach. I don’t know how you guys can look in the mirror.  

  15. Chuck Crowley says:

    Laughing boy?  Is that because you are not man enough to use your real name?  Don’t even think of playing the DCTA card with me.  I think they are a joke.  How do you figure that I’m misusing the recall?  I told you why I’m involved, please try to address my specifics.  Or are you just a joke?

    • Laughing Boy says:

      You folks don’t deserve any replies until you’re more forthcoming about your organization.

      All you’re doing is insulting and evading.  I’m sure that won’t bite you in the ass.

  16. Chuck Crowley says:

    Really? I’ve told you who I am and where I’m coming from.  How could I be more forthcoming?  Are you capable of an intelligent conversation?  I’m new to this type of discussion.  I’d much rather be face to face but I’m 99% certain you are not capalble of that.  Yes that was an insult.

    • Laughing Boy says:

      Although, I’ll tell you that even some of the folks that can’t stand where I’m coming from are probably as equally sickened by the Defense Denver movement’s ability to tell the truth, and the way they’ve handled themselves in here.

      The whole ‘face to face’ thing is silly, misplaced bravado, and I’m not going to engage in it with you.  So, mwah.  Good luck with your fake-ass recall.

    • Laughing Boy says:

      You’re right.  I’m totally not “capalble” of a face to face meeting with you.

      Are you a DPS product by chance?

      • Chuck Crowley says:

        Yes, I’m not a strong speller.  Want to discuss differential equations?  No, I’m not a DPS product.  I have a daughter in DPS.  You?  Capable of repoduction? I grew up in NY public schools.  Finished in Jeffco in 81.  It was a complete joke.  Went to CSM.  You?

    • Aristotle says:

      First, welcome to Pols.

      Second, it appears as though you’re having a discussion with Laughing Boy. Please note that his comments are coming right below yours, indented, to show the thread. LB (as we like to call him) managed this by clicking on the “Reply” hyperlink below your comments. If you click on the “Reply” hyperlink below his comments, you’ll maintain a distinct thread, which will make it easier for all of us (and not just the two of you) to keep track of things.

      Thank you for your attention.

  17. bullshit! says:

    But I went over to Squarestate to take a look at “Defense Denver’s” case. I’m not involved with DPS, so I haven’t really been following this.

    Complete joke.

    http://squarestate.net/diary/1

    Holding secret meetings that should have been open to the public in violation of the state’s open meetings law requiring transparency when school district policy is being made;

    That’s what Andrea Merida did, right?

    He misused the law in an attempt to censure (publicly reprimand) 3 progressive school board members who were invited by a lawyers group to attend an education information meeting

    In violation of the open meetings law, right?

    Goddamn. This is more juvenile than the playground fights real DPS employees break up every day…

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