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March 17, 2011 08:32 PM UTC

Hancock, Linkhart Try Bailing Water From Sinking Mayoral Ships

  • by: Colorado Pols

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 thoughts on “Hancock, Linkhart Try Bailing Water From Sinking Mayoral Ships

  1. 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. correct.

    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. 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.

    1. There’s no doubt an underdog can triumph in this race. But Hancock and Linkhart are making it increasingly unlikely it’ll be either one of them.

      1. 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.  

          1. …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.

            1. 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.  

              1. …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.

                  1. 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.  

                    1. …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.          

    1. 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.

          1. if you have interest and or time let me know David.  Might be a good idea to interview some of the other Mayorial candidates too (again if you have time/interest in it).

  4. 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?

    1. If you want to discuss this, do it in a diary. This post is about a vote on pay raises for City Council members. It’s not a post for people to comment on other random City Council votes.

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