Romanoff for Governor 2014?

Update on Education protests:

Protesters are encouraged to attend the rally at the CO State Capitol on Tuesday, 2/22 at noon, organized in solidarity with WI workers. Say YES to labor; say NO to education budget cuts, EVERYWHERE.


Let me be the first volunteer.

It appears Governor Hickenlooper would rather decimate our schools than raise taxes on corporations, or for the wealthy. That is unacceptable.…  If this is a preview of the next four years, I’m not buying.

Carol Hedges, Director of Colorado’s Fiscal Policy Institute, says it much better than this grassroots organizer ever could:

“The proposed spending cuts will also hit college students hard, as state spending per student will be $878 per student less than last year. The result will be increases in tuition and fees that will make a college degree out of the question for literally hundreds of thousands of Colorado residents. (Emphasis mine.) Unemployment in Colorado is already at a 28-year high – it’s hard to imagine how our state will recover if we don’t invest in an educating our future workforce.

“Our state government simply needs more revenue to do the things Coloradans expect, and voters have the power to change our future.”

The Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, a project of the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, is pursuing a measure for the state’s November 2011 election that would increase revenue and make the state’s tax system more fair. A key feature is a restructuring of the state personal income tax, establishing six income brackets with six rates and resulting in all Coloradans investing a similar share of their income to support education and other vital community services.

Coloradans can learn more about the tax proposal and sign up to show support at our website.…

Bennet worked with us on health care reform beginning early in ’09 and I became a loyal supporter, donating thousands of hours building grassroots support for him over two years (I have no money but I have a few friends). Bloggers, activists and politicos in Colorado know I worked my ass off for Michael Bennet in 2009 and 2010. I created countless facebook pages for the guy, had some events, and blasted his accomplishments using social media.

I never disliked Romanoff. I just paid Michael Bennet a debt of gratitude for going to bat for millions of Americans without health care.

I’m hoping if I pledge myself to a Romanoff for Governor campaign, Hick might notice. Or maybe someone who works for him. Or maybe just a few other Bennetistas on Pols.

As my old Ritter campaign friend and Hick campaign staffer Matthew Derrington will attest, I volunteered for Hickenlooper a little. Not much, but he had my support. I worked hard on GOTV, which benefited all Dems. I have Hickenlooper signs still in my house, and a sticker on my car.

This is not a reaction to left-wing radio; i haven’t listened to them in months. I’m not influenced at all by David Sirota or Mario what’s-his-name. They haven’t been here long, so when they pretend to know about Colorado, I just laugh. (I’m not a native myself, but I’ve been here more than twenty years now, for whatever that’s worth.) I’m joining anyone’s bandwagon. I couldn’t care less about the noise corporate dollars buy on the airwaves.

This is not a threat. This is a notice to the Governor — if there is one sacred part of the Democratic platform, it is education. Supporting education is on the short list of every Democratic party platform at every level, in every state of this country. It always has been, and it always will be. Why? Because education is the food that grows the state. Without quality education, we become like a third-world country. I grew up in the Detroit area; I don’t want to see decay happen to my beloved CO, as well.

We’re not going to sit idly by and watch our Governor cut our schools down to the quick without a fight. If Governor Hickenlooper thinks he can cut education funding drastically, and the grassroots will not organize against those cuts, he’s wrong. If he does cut education before considering raising taxes, we start begging Andrew Romanoff to run for Governor in 2014. And we start hitting the streets.

This is also a challenge — Governor, I want you to succeed. I’d rather be volunteering for “Re-elect Hickenlooper” than “Romanoff for Governor” in 2014. (I’d like to see Andrew Romanoff run for something and win, too.) I want all of our Democrats to succeed. But much more important than any election is our principles… principles like believing in education as a pillar of democracy.

And while I’m at it, I challenge all of our State Party Chair candidates and Denver Mayoral candidates, as well. If you want us to believe in you, to follow you, to support you, and to elect you, lead us out of this budget mess without cutting education. Speak out in favor of raising taxes, go on television and radio every single day and denounce TABOR — do whatever it takes — but take a stand for not cutting education.

If the threat of Andrew made Bennet run to the left, as Romanoff supporters have said so often, imagine what he could do for Hickenlooper. What do you say, Andrew?

Who’s with me? Meet me on facebook and let’s plan this thing.  

About nancycronk

Nancy Cronk is a longtime community activist and women's leader living in Arapahoe County. Six months before the historic "red sweep" election of 2014, she was recruited to run as a "placeholder" in HD37, and managed to bring in 40K from 500 small donors, and 42% of the vote -- just one point lower than the previous candidate who ran in a presidential year.

44 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. jbowen43 says:

    Cuts must be made during this session. Where would you cut?

    Will you be organizing a campaign to get tax increases on the wealthy and on corporations on the ballot? Can it be on the ballot this year? Perhaps it should have been on the ballot last year since it was understood that  the Recovery Act funds would dry up.

    • Libertad 2.0 says:

      would not help with the budget woes the state is facing in 2011. The increase wouldn’t take effect until 2012.

    • nancycronk says:

      What I want to see in the Governor is leadership. I want to see him on television every night demanding air time, explaining to Coloradans how we got in this mess, demanding that that we get rid of TABOR, insisting on a more fair tax structure as the CFPI suggests, saying if he has to raise taxes in the next four years to give kids the education they rightfully deserve, he’ll do it. All he ever says is, “We need to be nicer to business”. Bull.  

  2. coloradopolster says:

    that Colorado has a constitutional requirement to balance the budget and numerous hindrances to raising revenue contained in TABOR.  If you want to criticize him for not being agressive enough on constitutional reform (as ColoradoPols does on the front page right now) fine, but this activist-driven idea that Hick hates education is just wrong.  He’s doing this because he is constitutionally mandated to make cuts to balance the budget, and frankly education is the only remaining item left to cut.

    Not saying its a good thing, but I disagree very much with the idea that he is out to gut education because of his political ideology.

    • nancycronk says:

      I never said he is out to gut education as part of political ideology. I don’t believe that to be true at all. I get it that the budget is in grave danger and he is desperate to follow the law to balance it. I also know he said he is not interested in looking at the revenue side of the equation. That is unacceptable.

      I’m saying education needs to be a sacred cow.

    • Ray Springfield says:

      I don’t think that he wants to make education cuts. His hands are tied to balance the budget.

      TABOR is destroying Colorado.

      • BlueCat says:

        Hearing that we can’t do things we really ought to do, or prevent things we ought to prevent because there is no appetite for fill-in-the-blank is getting a little old. But not ready to turn against Hick yet. As for Romanoff I don’t see him winning any statewide race in the foreseeable future. Mayor would have been more his speed if things had played out differently.

  3. DefenseDenver says:

    A governor that prioritizes beating up on kids (just like the school breakfast Repubs) probably needs a primary challenge.

    It’s a provocative, honest question you raise.

    • nancycronk says:

      I just know these cuts need push-back and am willing to be a squeaky wheel, if necessary.

      I got a bunch of emails saying it’s a bluff or a ploy on Hick’s part, and he is just playing the legislature. I remember reading a story about a parent who was goofing around and pretended to throw his kid off a bridge. Sadly, the guy didn’t know his own strength, or it was windy, or whatever, and the kid went over the edge. All the sorrow in the world didn’t make him alive again.

      • gertie97 says:

        Where would you cut? The cuts have to be made NOW. There isn’t time for an election.

        • MADCO says:

          Post a sign saying

          We apologize for the inconvenience of having to close this road and or bridge.  We chose to fund K12 education.  Sincerly, John Hickenlooper, Governor

          • gertie97 says:

            I’d like to see if nancycronk has any.

            If I were on a school board (and thank all Gods past and present that I’m not) my first reduction would be administrator salaries. My second would be the athletic budgets.

            Cut sports out, and you’d get the voters’ attention.

            The governor can’t do it, not with local school boards setting budgets. But the local boards sure could.

  4. Politically says:

    However, I’m not sure Hickenlooper has any choices at this point. I applaud him for not looking into the revenue side, Colorado is already taxing the crap out of everything.

    But is our State really in a good position if we’re taxing candy, soda and internet sales yet cutting education? Thank God we’re required to balance the budget. Imagine the hole we’d be in without it.

    Concerning Romanoff, I would rather see him run for Congress but I’d support him for anything he goes for, really.

  5. NeonNurse says:

    We political junkies are already paying attention.

    The legislature, especially the ‘cut state taxes till Colorado Springs looks like a comparative paradise’ are PROBABLY paying attention, even if they’re pretending not to care.

    But how about regular Coloradans? How long have they been going about their regular lives while school budgets and other services got ‘ratcheted down’? Sure, they might grumble a tad, but NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE.

    My partner was a middle school librarian for 32 years until she was ‘persuaded’ to take early retirement. She says that for the last 14 years she was on the job, her budget was cut EVERY year. I believe you could find thousands of service providers in Colorado with a similar story.

    Our house is burning down, but no one cares. They don’t seem to be worried by the smoke, and they aren’t hearing the “EEEEEEEE” of the smoke alarm.

    They apparently are going to need to feel some actual flames before they move their butts and do something.

    That’s why I think that Hick could talk and talk and rant and rave and paint himself blue and run around Coors Field with his hair on fire, and it would not accomplish anything, because it’s not as interesting to the average citizen as American Idol, iPads and sports.

    But maybe I’m just a cynic.

  6. c rork says:

    This isn’t about “where would you cut, Nancy?”

    There was, and hasn’t been for some time, anywhere else to cut. Hick walked into a state government with a messed up constitution and a looming $1.1 billion deficit.

    My issue with Hick is the tone he took at the JBC meeting while presenting his budget. He went against Ferrandino, Pace, Heath and Steadman when they started to talk about the revenue side of the equation.

    Not only is he robbing Democrats of political cover, he is ruling out, as Pols noted, the only possible solution to our budget situation. That said, I think it’s a little soon to talk about a primary challenge.

    This initiative will likely be on the ballot this year. Hick had better start thinking hard about which side of it he will be on…

    • nancycronk says:

      I listened to Mario S-M for the first time in a long time, tonight. He called it “heavy lifting”, and I agree with him completely. We need Hickenlooper to do some heavy lifting for us. That’s exactly what I mean. The last thing a Democratic Governor should be saying is, “There is no appetite for taxes”.

  7. CastleMan says:

    is not one, at least in the short run, that Hickenlooper can solve by himself.

    Yes, he should make the case that more revenues are needed, so that our higher education system can remain the beacon it should be. He should talk to the voters about what a $497 per kid cut in their local school’s budget will mean.

    But that conversation takes time and the budget has to be cut now.

    Now, the cut could be much lower, but for that to happen – again, given the imperative of it happening soon to get to budget balance this year and next – he’d have to propose many other cuts to other state functions that would be painful in their own right. You could cut corrections, yes, but it’s not near the burden on the general fund that K-12 is. And it’s politically dangerous to advocate the release of felons.

    Proposing to cut, in some cases entirely, government agencies won’t get you to balance very easily or, maybe, at all.

    So the governor has a tough conundrum on his hands.

    • The realist says:

      The declining state budget and declining services have been occurring for a period of years.  The only thing new this year is that the temporary federal funds are disappearing.

      So are the electeds just going to sit back and have the nonprofits such as the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute take the lead on this crucial issue?  No guts.

  8. nancycronk says:

    I don’t have the solution. All I know is, if the education budget wasn’t there, we’d find some other places to cut, or other ways to raise money. Education and human services should be the sacred cows that are never touched. Maybe we need to think outside the box and get really drastic.

    How about Hick and everyone in his office agree to wear a “Repeal TABOR” t-shirt until 6pm everyday during his term, or until it is repealed? Have them sell them on the steps of the state capitol for $20 apiece on their lunch hours.

    Close the state parks and reservoirs. Put a sign in front of each entrance saying, “It’s the schools or recreation, folks — take your pick”.

    Bottle deposits — 10 cents each (I’m serious about that one.)

    Charge everyone $100 admission into the Governor’s mansion and $25 to tourists entering the state capitol (get a pass if you are testifying on a bill, or for official business only). Better yet, sell the Governor’s mansion for cash. (Governors never want to live there anyway, right? Ask Ritter.)

    Add fees to everything. Double them. Triple them. Hunting licenses, way up. Gun ownership fees — sky high. Fishing — charge the going rate per pound per average catch — in fees. Add fees for boating, bike trails, bowling even — if it is not education, add a fee. Recreational vehicles  and collector’s vehicle plates — quadruple the fees. Add higher fees if you own more than one automobile per person. Pornography — $50 per page just to have it on the store shelf.

    Add a fee to paper newspapers, phone books  and advertising by mail. Call it a “Save a tree” fee.

    Not wearing a helmet on your bike? That would be $50 for the “stupidity fee”.

    Charge a fee for every little girl entered into those ridiculous child fashion shows. Medical marijuana licenses — how much is it worth to you?

    Breeder’s fees — $100 per animal, added on. (That ought to lower the pet over-population rate, too.)

    Parking fees on football and baseball days — an added $20. Stadium clean-up fees, another $10.

    Building a fence? There’s a fence fee.

    Taking a photo at a highway turn-out? $2 in the box, please.

    Ammunition fees? Don’t ask — you can’t afford ’em.

    Does the Governor have a driver? Why? Wave his driver’s license fee and tell him to drive himself.

    Look for state-owned land we are not using wisely, and sell it.

    No more per diems for meals for state employees or legislators. Ban all travel out of the state except for the Governor.

    Charge a speaker’s fee of $10,000 every time the Governor is asked to speak at a Chamber of Commerce meeting or other corporate-friendly event. If they want his picture, why not charge for it?

    Reduce pay scales. There are so many people out of work in CO, there would be others to fill the jobs that are cut by 10%, if people don’t want them.

    Higher gasoline fees? Why not?

    Add a fee for every Sarah Palin poster or autograph. Call it a “Get real” fee.

    These may sound silly, and some of them I meant to be silly. I am serious as a heart attack about this question, “If the education and human services budgets were not there, what would we have to cut?” Or rather, where would we generate income if our lives depended on it? (Our childrens’ lives do.)

  9. Gray in Mountains says:

    While I would be advocating tax increases  I do think what Hick is doing (I haven’t had the conversation) forces the leg to take a lead in advocating for increased taxes. If it is on the ballot he’ll be there. But, if he tries to get them on the ballot, if he leads, then even some of the more responsible legislators will be silent.

    Hick is showing that with current revenue levels this is what you get.

    While I do like citizens voting for tax increases I hate TABOR for the ratchet and I hate Gallagher for the absolute limit on residential taxes, even for palatial “homes”.

  10. Ralphie says:

    But no.

    The Radical Romies have done enough damage already.  Time for them to evaporate.

    • And if they exist in measurable numbers anywhere outside your mind, Ralphie, why haven’t they swarmed this thread to support Nancy’s idea of running Romanoff for governor in 2014?  

      • nancycronk says:

        They blog on Square State.

        The vast majority of Romanoff supporters are normal people with legitimate concerns, and effective, responsible ways to express them.  

        • Was Dwight D. Eisenhower a “radical” by your definition?

          • Ralphie says:

            You’re no Dwight D. Eisenhower.

          • nancycronk says:

            I could name them all by name, but I wont’t. They consider themselves the “true progressives”, but I question that. Does progressive mean “looking forward”, doing things that help move the conversation along in helpful, meaningful ways (which I think it does), or does it mean just saying nasty things to assassinate the character of others through the veil of anonymity? If you ask me, the latter if more-of-the-same, which makes them conservatives.

            I don’t know all the screen names, but I know the characters. They were the same ones who got nasty real quick in the Romanoff campaign, causing him to lose credibility as a candidate.  You know them, backward speller. You’re one of them, I’m sure.

            I desperately want to get these well-intentioned folks to see they don’t help anyone with guerilla tactics. If they really care about kids in DPS, if they really want to rid the word of corporate interference in local politics — and I believe they do — the only way to seriously cause change in those directions is to clean up their act. Stop blogging anonymously. Start blogging responsibly. Stop with the petty personal attacks. Make points without using names.  Stop the bullying. Start the Change.

  11. SSG_Dan says:

    If he were to challenge the absentee Congresswoman in CD1 for the seat, it would be a rout. Repubs would switch parties and vote for him in the Primary.  

  12. doublel says:

    Here’s what the GA did Wednesday, per Education News:

    A busy afternoon was on tap at the Capitol, with committees hearing bills on beverage bottle deposits (some of the revenue would go to education) [and] tax credits for private school tuition.

    Students from Denver and Salida rallied on the Capitol steps at noon Wednesday to promote their bottle bill. Five hours later the proposal to put a 5-cent deposit on many beverage bottles – and to give part of the expected revenues to education – was killed 5-4 by the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee.

    It was a case of youthful enthusiasm colliding with economic analysis and political might, and the latter won.

    Good for the CCLP; I’ve already signed the letter. This is how I explain it:

    In early 2009 I lost my job. Toward the end of ’09 I got a new job — which pays a little over 50% of the previous job. My household couldn’t run on that amount, so I got a 2nd job (additional revenue). That’s what us regular folks do. Shouldn’t the gummit do the same?

    Oh, and for @Politically below: They’ve already proposed to dump the minuscule tax on candy and soda.

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