Wednesday Open Thread

“Truth suffers from too much analysis.”

–Frank Herbert

24 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. davebarnes says:

    Today is International Beaver Day (Matt Gaetz’s favorite day).

  2. scarter says:

    Grand Junction’s municipal elections are nominally non-partisan, but there were two groups of candidates for the election yesterday; one was reactionary / Trumpist and the other about as progressive as you can get in Grand Junction.  A fortune was spent on the election by local standards.  Boebert strongly backed the reactionary slate. 

    Much to everyone’s surprise, the progressive candidates handily defeated the Trumpists, and the voters also approved the sale and taxation of marijuana.  The more right wing the candidates’ positions were, and the more they parroted the “rigged election” mantra, the worse they did.

    Something’s going on here.

    • Duke Cox says:

      It has been a long time coming. 

      The perennially suppressed liberal community has been persistent, though generally impotent. When people move to Mesa county, they quickly become aware of the domination of the society and the information distribution network by the Republican party. Rudeness to and exclusion of those who have the temerity to question the authority of the Mesa Mafia is universal and intense. It was ever thus.

      Cronyism is pervasive and unashamed (did I hear Rose Pugliese has been hired as the new county attorney?) The same people have been running this place for a very long time. Ask anyone around here how much influence is wielded by Diane Schwenke and Tim Foster.

      The oil and gas industry, with their seemingly bottomless pockets has dominated western slope politics since at least as far back as the 1970s. Most ranchers get money from the OilyBoyz, so, add the gunnies and you have Republican heaven.

      But, with the waning influence of Club 19 (OK,OK…Club 20) and the hateful and brutal influence of the Orange Horde, the rest of the community has, perhaps, had enough. If change is upon us, it has been a long time coming



      • gertie97 says:

        Rose, another breathing example that proves the Colorado bar exam is far too easy, isn't hired yet, Duke. They still have to go through the motions of interviewing her. But the backlash is building.

        With any luck Schwenke will retire soon. Foster is finishing up at CMU and intends to travel. I don't share your opinion of him as part of the evil empire; he has the advantage of being much, much smarter than the so-called powers that be.

        Everybody's good pals, the oil boys, are fewer in number these days. Club 20 is trying to refresh its rural, ag, highway and water membership in efforts to recover from a bad oil hangover.

        The know-nothings are still among us. I fear they always will be. Such is the price of living in a nice corner of the earth.



    • notaskinnycook says:

      That makes my whole day. Maybe people are coming to their senses.

      • Mr. L. Prosser says:

        The towns within the the valley are moving forward but the county itself is sewn up with the same revolving set of ultra-repubs.

        • gertie97 says:

          You are correct, sir. Palisade, Fruita and now Grand Junction are moving in the right direction, but the county continues to search for a clue. The more rural the setting, the crazier they are. The lone trumpist on the city council is going to be lonely.


      • Diogenesdemar says:

        I remember earlier this millennium being one of those who breathed sighs of relief, and tried consoling others, with the thought that, “At least we’ll never see things as bad a George W. Bush ever again.” . . . 

        . . . if, god forbid, there’s ever anything worse than Ttump out there, I know exactly the party and the people who will rush to find it.

    • The realist says:

      Really terrific news!

    • JohnInDenver says:

      off-cycle elections are often decided by who turns out … and with a chance for sale & taxation of marijuana, I suspect turnout was above the "usual" voters.

      Combo of the libertarians, the "open up boarded-up real estate" Main Street Republicans, Democrats and the anti-crazy candidate blocs means a win for "progressives."

      I must admit, I do not understand the voting numbers:  looks like about 16,500 votes cast as a total.  What I don't get is that every "District" race had about the same number reported as the "At Large" candidate.  Why have "Districts" if everyone in the city gets to vote on the council person from that district?

      • ParkHill says:

        I agree that turnout is probably the biggest factor. So a single issue or activated base like the long-suffering liberals in Grand Junction, can have an outsized effect. I'll bet the liberal base, however small it might be is still worked up about Trump.

        Trumpism does best with older white males, white evangelicals and rural Fox news viewers. That explains a lot of the Western slope voters, including a lot of GJC.

        The other segment that the Republicans have effectively marketed to (Brad Parscale is really smart) is low-info voters, which drops-off considerably in local and non-presidential elections.  

        Democrats have done very poorly with low-info, failing to activate their potential supporters, due to "electioneering malfeasance". As we know, Dems prefer wonky policy and persuasion-style arguments, which works fine for the college educated, but don't do much for low-info.

      • scarter says:

        It's the same as with the county commissioners.  The council members must live in their district, but everyone votes for  all of the districts' representatives.

        What I find interesting is the overwhelming vote in favor of an obscure rezoning issue that undoes one of the industry giveaways enacted during one of the recent oil/gas booms.  It will allow expansion of our Riverfront Trail and mixed medium to high density housing instead of an industrial dump.   Since the usual reaction to mysterious referred issues is to vote "no," and the matter had little to no advertising, people must have educated themselves and voted in favor of infilling of housing, parks and trails.

  3. JohnInDenver says:

    I got around to looking at the Secretary of State’s voter registration data yesterday. 

    More of the same for the Active Registrations:  Democrats up ahead of Reps, both lag Unaffiliated.

     4/1/2021    Democrats  Republicans  Unaffiliated

    # Active …..1,127,262 ….. 1,006,116 ….. 1,597,740

    % of regs……….29.65%………26.47%……….42.03%

    1 mo change…….. 417……….1,017………. 12,624

    6 mo change .. 29,703……….. 8,331…….. 108,728

    • kwtree says:

      That’s a dramatic drop-off in Republican Registrations, J i D. It looks like they’re mostly going to Unaffiliated.

      Regarding SCarter’s news about the Grand Junction municipal elections, I looked up Mesa County voter reg for March, and found ( skipping minor parties) 

      Mesa County.      Dem.   18,053 Rep.    42,495 Unaff 43,522  Total 106,177

      SCarter, Duke, Gertie- Do you think that the Unaffiliateds lean Trumper or are true independents? In most of the rest of the state, Unaffiliateds lean Democratic. 

      • The realist says:

        I believe in much of western Colorado and probably elsewhere, unaffiliateds lean Republican not Dem – just my non-scientific experience.

        • Duke Cox says:

          You are correct, I think.

          I think enough Unaffiliated voters have been offended by the Orange Horde to turn the tide.

          Also…very few rural voters in a city election.

      • davebarnes says:

        Why would you be anything other than UN in Colorado?
        The UNs pick their primary ballot when both arrive at their kitchen table.

      • Duke Cox says:

        My belief is that truly independent voters are uncommon. Most Unaffiliateds have a bias one way or the other. No data to back that up. Just a hunch.

        • JohnInDenver says:

          Lots of data from political scientists to say over 90% of voters are absolute partisans or "lean" strongly in one direction, that less than 10% are "independent" or true "swing" voters. 

          In the population as a whole, the number of absolute partisans or "lean" voters are lower … but mainly because the other 20-25% include both frequent voters and those who rarely vote. 

  4. MartinMark says:

    Re: Have smear campaign strategies helped or hurt Boebert? (Grand Junction Sentinel)  It's a Load of garbage

    I agree that saying any sort of anything about a Trumpist will only lead their supporters to more deeply entrench in their bunkers.  So, expecting them to awaken from their coma as the result of a magic principled argument or because their leader finally "crossed the line" is never gonna happen.

    However, the embedded premise in this essay is that Boebert hasn't built her brand around smears and negative attacks.  Boebert has not only built her brand around smears, manufactured outrage, conspiracy theories, and endless negative attacks, that is her brand.

  5. scarter says:

    My crystal ball was shattered years ago, so I'm the last one to ask.  Boebert would not have been elected but for lots of votes in Mesa County.  Hell, she even lost in her home county – Garfield. 

    And yes, Rose Pugliese  (term limited former county commissioner) is the only candidate for the vacant office of Mesa County Attorney.  So with Fruita, Palisade and now Grand Junction city officials aligned with the look to the future, not the past groups, that leaves only our county commissioners.  I kind of feel sorry for Scott McInnis; this is his last hurrah, and he's not likely to leave the stage with the cheers of the audience ringing in his ears.  On second thought, no I don't feel sorry for him.

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