(any frontpaging is greatly appreciated!)
I think I’m the only 31-year-old who has ever run for office twice and lost both times. Sometimes, I look in astonishment at people who have actually won, wondering what special wisdom they carried that journeyed them to victory. Governor John Hickenlooper and Mayor Michael Hancock, to my best knowledge, have won every election they have ever jumped in. However, I find myself becoming increasingly appalled over their handling of the Occupy protests.
I am proud of my Colorado roots and I have always taken pride in the fact that we probably have the nation’s most beautiful State Capitol, rooted within a gorgeous, civic park. However, the scene of this park, lately, looks more like a dictatorship in a struggling country, than it does a peaceful Capitol. There are police cars parked throughout the beautiful, grassy lawns, with dispatched officers carefully watching every passerby. I have worked with Colorado’s law enforcement community and I have a tremendous affection for them, so this article is not an indictment of them, rather, it is an indictment of the men who give them their orders – Governor Hickenlooper and Mayor Hancock.
No, I haven’t won an office, but I must offer the following ‘wisdom’ to Hickenlooper and Hancock –
Please recognize that Occupy Colorado is relevant, backed with factual credibility that no amount of police force can stop.
When I ran for State Treasurer in 2010, I did it under the agenda that Colorado’s Treasury should “Divest from Washington losers and invest in Colorado winners.” The Occupy movement has taken to the streets of States and municipalities because their grievance is that, instead of spending precious government resources on local job creation, our local governments are actually perpetuating the sins of corrupt, Wall Street entities. And nothing enhances this point better than the financial situation here in Colorado.
In 2010, the majority of Colorado’s State Investments were invested in beneficiaries of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), meaning that billions in Colorado monies, that were mandated to be invested, were not staying in-state for job creation, but rather, going to documented bail-out recipients.
As of 2011, massive amounts of Colorado monies remain invested in bail-out beneficiaries, as proven by the most recent portfolio updates.
And in cataloguing the current portfolio, one notices heavy investments in Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and others.
Granted, the Colorado Investment policies are extremely stringent, with the rules making it very difficult to invest in securities that are “asset-backed.” In turn, such policy puts Colorado in a position of primarily investing in debt repayment, which is why the collateralized debt obligations (CDO’s) offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, whose return on investment is based on mortgage debts being paid, are particularly popular, with credit card debt obligations also appearing frequently. I bring these points up because this is where the City of Denver needs to assert itself.
One of the finest securities, that is not “asset-backed” is municipal bonds – bonds issued by counties or municipalities that help with the financing of public projects, or in some cases, public-private partnerships.
As documented in their most recent Disclosure Statement, the City and County of Denver is issuing millions in bonds that, if financed, will create Colorado jobs and help with our growth, without perpetuating Wall Street corruption. Furthermore, it seems that most of these bonds meet Colorado’s Investment Policy requirements, in terms of not being “asset-backed,” as well as having qualified credit ratings.
Yet, rather than pitch these job-creating Denver bonds to the State of Colorado as an alternative investment to the current Wall Street losers, Mayor Michael Hancock has instead dispatched police forces all over our civic park, effectively shielding Governor Hickenlooper from the dirty work.
There is a better solution to this.
And that solution is a three-step plan that could easily be implemented by Hickenlooper and Hancock, in an effort to not only appease the Occupy Movement, but more importantly, do what’s right for Colorado –
1. Colorado’s State Treasury should divest from TARP beneficiaries (Washington Losers).
2. Colorado’s State Treasury should invest in municipal bonds throughout the State (Colorado Winners).
3. Mayor Hancock and Governor Hickenlooper should host joint townhalls, where they sit, for hours if needed, with one microphone, listening to the grievances of any Occupy protestor that attends. And if the townhall runs over time, then such townhalls should continue being hosted for a straight week, 12 hours a day, until every grievance has been heard.
And in taking the three steps above, I am deeply positive that the ‘Occupation’ will end, with all Coloradans being satisfied at what was accomplished.
While I have never won running for office, I have visited over 20,000 doorsteps, and I’ve come to find that people don’t expect public officials to solve their problems, rather, they expect them to listen. And as long as people feel that they are being heard, their satisfaction usually overwhelms whatever lingering ire they may carry.
Divest from Washington Losers and invest in Colorado winners – an agenda that I pushed in 2010, which was ahead of its time, but now ready for the current time.
Of last note, I am a fiscal conservative who believes that America’s best days occur when we run an economic system that is driven by Capitalism, not corruption. I do not speak for Occupy Denver, but I, Miguel Ali, a Capitalist and Constitutionalist, proudly affiliate myself with Occupy Denver.
With love and peace –
Muhammad Miguel Ali Hasan