Hancock, Linkhart Try Bailing Water From Sinking Mayoral Ships

A few days ago we took note of baffling votes by Michael Hancock and Doug Linkhart, two Denver Mayoral hopefuls (and current Denver City Council members) who all but committed campaign suicide when they voted to approve pay increases for Council members.

Hancock and Linkhart are both trying hard to defend those votes, as Fox 31 reports:

A recent post on the well-read ColoradoPols blog showed Hancock and Linkhart’s faces photo-shopped onto a sinking Titanic and called their vote “tone deaf”, especially amidst the election…

…In a statement sent out Wednesday afternoon, Linkhart said he would forgo the pay increase if elected mayor, but noted that the 6.6 percent salary increase won’t take effect until 2014.

“This is a non-issue for today’s budget,” said Linkhart. “We should be delaying any increase in deference to the economy, but not engaging in political posturing regarding future increases that are spelled out in city ordinance.”

Like Linkhart, Hancock also promised to decline the cost of living adjustment if he’s elected mayor, but defended his vote to increase council members’ salaries.

“I believe very strongly that we can’t let public service or politics become a playground for only the rich,” Hancock said. “Serving on the Denver City Council is a full-time job, and we need to ensure that working-class, diverse groups of people have the opportunity to lead Denver in the future.”

As we’ve said time and time again here on Colorado Pols, when you make a mistake on a campaign — STOP TALKING ABOUT IT. There is nothing that Linkhart and Hancock can say that will make their asinine votes on Monday seem any less damaging, but they can certainly help make things worse…which they both managed to do by drawing more attention to their mistakes.

As for their statements, Linkhart’s rationale on Monday’s vote — that it doesn’t affect the current budget — does nothing to make the vote look better. Nobody cares when the pay raise takes effect. Denver is facing a $100 million deficit now. Politics, like much in life, is all about perception.

But thankfully for Linkhart, Hancock’s statement is even worse. For some reason, Hancock insists on sticking with his rationale that a pay raise is necessary because “we can’t let public service or politics become a playground for only the rich.” We would agree with Hancock if he were talking about, say, the state legislature. But City Council members already earn more than $78,000 per year, plus $30,000 in benefits. Given that the average personal income in the Denver area is about $45,000, Denver City Council members are already doing pretty well.

Hancock’s statement summed up this entire fiasco for both he and Linkhart when he said, “This is about being a leader and standing up to do what is right, not what is politically expedient.” We’ve no doubt that Denver voters will agree that Monday’s vote was about “being a leader.” That’s exactly why neither Hancock nor Linkhart are likely to be elected.

31 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Tea Party Skeptic says:

    Hancock’s biggest contributors are the cab companies.

    The cab companies that he has lied and fought for his entire career.  Hancock took pride in fighting against immigrants from Africa for his benefactors.  Michael Hancock is a hypocrite and a dishonest one at that.

    A playground for the rich is where Hancock has played his entire time on the Council.  

  2. Middle of the Road says:


    This doesn’t kick in in 2014. The first part, the 3.3% pay raise, kicks in July 2013. The second part of the raise kicks in July 2014.

    I’m sure he thinks it sounds better to say 2014 but anyone that’s paying attention and can read the Denver Post is going to find out otherwise.  

  3. reubenesp says:

    but Romer’s campaign contributor list should raise a lot of eyebrows, too.


    Let us not forget how underdog Wellington Webb triumphed over then-favorite Norm Early due to public concern about where Early’s campaign money was coming from, and the amount of it.

  4. Interlocken Loop says:

    Lots of expensive consultants but if he can find a way to pay them Mejia could be a factor.

    • Middle of the Road says:

      Her ads are running and she’s the only one of the 3 on the council running for mayor that voted against it.  

      • Nugget says:

        I agree the votes or explanations don’t look particularly good but the race hinges much more on the ground game. Several high-profile candidates might cancel each other out allowing someone like Linkhart to make the run-off.  

        • Middle of the Road says:

          so I can’t blame you for hoping this doesn’t damage his chances.  

          • Nugget says:

            …but being a Linkhart supporter doesn’t preclude me from pointing out that this issue alone won’t sink him. I’ll admit I’m wrong if Boigon wins based on perceptions of being a fiscal crusader.

            • Middle of the Road says:

              I think you make a good point about the ground game being key here. I just don’t think this helped Linkhart’s campaign and it appears he could use all the help he can get right now to break out of the pack.  

              • Nugget says:

                …and I agree with your point about Linkhart’s need to break out the pack. I just think ColoradoPols is sensationalizing this issue and others are just using it to pile on.

                • Colorado Pols says:

                  Whatever you say. But if either Hancock or Linkhart make the runoff, this vote will be used to bludgeon the crap out of them in TV ads.  

                  • BlueCat says:

                    but I can see the “Let Them Eat Cake” ads now. Sometimes I think ColPols does go a little far looking for something to inflate.  After all, you need eye catching stuff, even on slow days, to remain a popular blog so fair enough. But this isn’t one of those cases.  I don’t see how this is sensationalizing anything at all. It is what it is. If Linkhart supporters don’t like it, let them complain to Linkhart. It’s 100% his own fault.  

                    • Nugget says:

                      …but they are addressing a hypothetical run-off between two candidates in which records matter more. I simply don’t see how this issue “sinks” a campaign focused almost exclusively on mobilizing dedicated supporters in a crowded field of candidates. I seriously doubt the Linkhart campaign is “bailing water” because of his vote. And BTW, no, I’m not at his office now typing this to defend him.          

                    • BlueCat says:

                      I admire your dogged loyalty. Really.  It’s nice.

    • ProgressiveCowgirl says:

      I like the guy, I like his principles, and I like that he’s run a clean, localized campaign without any big mistakes so far. He’s a solid choice.

  5. DavidThi808 says:

    And instead worry about their Council re-election. I think this will remain a major issue when they run again.

  6. nancycronk says:

    with an embedded video about how they are in contempt of court for not following the ADA decision, and it has been removed. What’s up, Pols Editors?

    I do think it is relevant to the thread. The ADA federal law pre-empts city council ordinances and the Denver City Council has ignored it. This speaks to competence — is the Denver City Council really interested in an expensive lawsuit against the federal government? Why would anyone vote for a city council member who is willing to ignore federal law?

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