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September 26, 2006 03:44 PM UTC

Tuesday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

Ain’t war hell?


49 thoughts on “Tuesday Open Thread

  1.   It looks like George Allen is having a major macaca moment today.  It seems a couple of his football playing buddies recall him using a racial epithet years ago.  The senator issued the traditional denial. 
      This Virginia race just keeps getting better and better (first the macaca comment, next guilt over his Jewish mother, and now this).  Betcha this race ends up giving the Dems their 51st seat in the Senate!
      Dick Wadhams has his hands full with this clown.  The Both Ways’ race would have been like a day at the beach compared to George Allen.

    1. … deny there was anything racially motivated about him and his high school buddies going to a predominantly black school before a game to paint anti-white epithets (hoping to get their predominantly white school all riled up)? The stunt itself was just a juvenile prank, but his current denial of anything racial in it is a window into his current beliefs.

  2. Don’t count 51 seats yet, Hawaii is now competitive. The GOP just announced who replaces Coffee as the republican candidate and it’s my mom. And I put her on a level with Clinton in terms of how well she campaigns.

    For more details – I have the story on my blog.

    And… everyone who worked on creating her website is a Democrat.

    Anyways, for all of you Republicans and moderates here – this is now a competitive seat but she needs money. She has just 18 days until absentee ballots go out. So go to and give till it hurts. Democrats too – she’s a really good legislator.

    1. She needs a seriously better website for anyone to give her any money. For example, under “Issues” she should at least present something of a message and not just “Please return tomorrow for Cynthia’s position paper”.

      Also, pretending this is a competitive seat is laughable. She lost to a man in the Repub primary that had already pulled out of the race. That man was already losing by 28 points in the polls to a Dem. I’m all for Repubs throwing away money on unwinnable elections, but this is even a bit much.

      I understand i’ts your mother, but am I missing something?

      1. Saturday midday they asked her if she would run

        Sunday afternoon they selected her

        Monday they announced and a website had to be up.

        She has been a state legislator for the past 16 years concentrating on state issues.

        Could you kick out full position papers on all those subjects in 24 hours, and at the same time get everything else done that must be done before an announcement?

        As to losing, she wasn’t running against anyone. And the total vote against Akaka (Ed Case plus Republican) is greater than Akaka’s vote.

        So her chances? Put it this way, a lot of Democrats in Hawaii now view this as possibly very competitive.

        – dave

      1. That was the main campaign issue Ed Case had – both Akaka and Inoye are very old and will pass away soon. As Hawaii never votes out incumbents (100% return rate across all offices) that means they will die in office.

        It could happen the same year and Hawaii will suddenly have no seniority in the Senate.

        Inoye still seems sharp (talked to him a couple of years ago) and has done and continues to do well for Hawaii. But Akaka is just filling up space to no effect. So Case ran on a platform of both actually doing something and to build up seniority so that when Inoye passes away, he would have a decent level of seniority.

        My mom is not as young as Ed Case, but she’s a lot younger than Akaka (I told her she should run as the “youth candidate”) and the same holds, to not lose both seats at the same time.

        thanks – dave

        1. I have to say your mom’s got a seriously uphill battle.  He’s an institution and not entirely ineffective.  His major asset is – unfortunately – fellow Senator Ted Stevens, with whom Akaka has a cozy “I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine” arrangement.

          Case ran on a Republican-lite platform, and got shot down because it was a Republican-lite platform.  Had he been more of a liberal or progressive candidate, his bit about age might have held.

          1. But…

            1) My mom is clearly a more liberal/progressive candidate than Case.

            2) The Republican primary total plase Case’s vote is way over Akaka’s.

            And the best sign, the Akaka team is upset because instead of taking it easy from now till the election, they suddenly have to work.

            Should be interesting…

    1. Scott Shires was charged with three counts [PDF] of willfully failing to file corporate income tax for Octane International, Ltd., a fuel research and development firm, for the years 1999, 2000, and 2001 and three counts of aiding and abetting while serving as the company’s secretary-treasurer.

      Shires is a busy guy. He manages the Senate Majority Fund, LLC, among dozens of other state and federal Republican political committees. In fact, his company, Campaign Compliance Center, describes itself as “government reporting and contribution experts”.

      The Senate Majority Fund is the group whose financial relationship with Trailhead was called into question recently.  Things must be pretty uncomfortable at the “dozens” of Republican political committees Shires manages.

      1. I recall Shires being pretty obnoxious during his one run for elective office in 2000.  Then again, his Democratic opponent was fairly obnoxious as well.  It made for a tough choice as to which one to vote against.

    2. I mean, you know, not a fictitious one.  I’m sure no one else noticed the very timely, well coordinated repsonse by Huttner & Ritter to the Alexis Dixon ad…

      1. the criminal information charging Mr. Shires with three counts [PDF] in federal court on August 24, 2006.

        The charges against Mr. Shires do not relate to Trailhead, but the fact that Shires manages the Senate Majority Fund and “dozens of other state and federal Republican political committees” (GOP Operative Charged with Tax Crimes) raises some questions in my mind.

        I trust Moonraker would not suggest that U.S. Attorney Troy Eid is coordinating his work with the Ritter campaign.

              1. Joe McCarthy and Richard Nixon proved that guilt by association generally does work in politics.  Tom Delay and Karl Rove have attempted to uphold that venerable GOP tradition.

              2. of an organization whose manager is facing those charges.  Imagine someone has also charged that your organization has engaged in money laundering.  Wouldn’t you be talking to lawyers and auditors right about now?

                Imagine you’re on the board of an organization that received advice from someone who is facing those charges.  Wouldn’t you be talking to lawyers and auditors right about now?

                Imagine you’re a donor to those organizations.  What would you be thinking right now, and who would you be talking to?

                Guilt by association isn’t the issue.  We don’t even know if Mr. Shires is guilty.  We do know that he’s entitled to a presumption of innocence.  But we also know that the organizations involved have certain responsibilities.

      1.   A couple of days ago, I posted the question:  is there any reason to vote FOR Bob Beauprez other than:  (a) he hasn’t plea bargained, and (b) he hasn’t been involved in any fatal African motor vehicle accidents.  (At least, as far as anyone knows.) 
          I still haven’t seen an answer.  Surely after two or three days, someone at the Both Ways’ campaign, state GOP HQ, and/or the Trailhead Foundation can come up with at least one talking point on why someone should vote for Beauprez.

        1. to when moonie first showed up (right after Labor Day, wasn’t it?). I posed that question to him, and his answer was “vote for Bob because he never killed anyone!” Neither have I but I wouldn’t run for office on that alone.

          1. I did post some good reasons to vote for Bob a while back.  And, like I said before, it doesn’t come up often because there are about 3 (sane) of us trying to give the other side of the story.

            I’m pretty sure the ratio of Bob bashing vs. Ritter praising is about 6:1 on this site.  Might as well be 6:6 (=1:1, I know).

            Bob is the only guy in this race with a long history with the business community.  Whether it be farming, developing (which he did once I believe) or banking.  He has a solid record on business, having received top scores for 4 years from various small & big business groups.  He has walked the walk.

            You guys can talk about Ref C as much as you like, but guess what?  It already passed!  It can’t be taken back!  You guys are sore winners.  And it’s very legitimate for Bob to bring up the topic about refunding the monies that have (or will) come in that are addtional to the Ref C projections.  Ultimately, that’s a pure ideological debate.  And Bob is right that Ref C is not a permanent fix.

            Education – this is going to be more of an ideological debate too.  For most of you, and Bill Ritter, Am 23 wasn’t enough.  Bob and most in my party disagree.  By your logic, $12B wouln’t be enough to improve education.  At some point, you have to look at what you’re spending money on.

            Healthcare, Bob co-sponsored legislation with others from both parties that breaks actually allows state & federal govt to be creative in formulating new ways to insure the uninsured (Creative Federalism Act).

            If your’re a 2nd Amendment type, Bob’s your choice.  If not, Bill’s your guy.  Not much to debate.

            If you’re a one issue voter on abortion, you have it easy.  Bob = pro life.  Bill = pro choice.  Again, not much to debate there.

            Immigration.  Bob has a much stronger stand on enforcing the existing immigration laws and strengthening them with new ones. 

            As for Bill Ritter, he walks on water to you guys.  When cases come up where he displayed extremly poor judgment as a DA, most of you get apoplectic, regardless of the facts.  Your typical response is an attack on Trailhead or Beauprez.

            1. I’m glad that you are here to give us all entertainment every day. Bill Ritter is pro-life and you know it. Anything else is just spin from your side trying to paint Ritter as an ultra-liberal. He isn’t. Get over it.

              1. other than him just saying “I’m pro-life” that says to you that he is pro-life?  Because that is usually followed by:

                1.  except in the case of rape, incest or life of mother (I’ll give you this one, many pro-lifers say the same.

                2. except in the case of fetal anomalies.  (please save the 1/1000000000000000000 case of missing brain stems).

                3. Ritter would put state money back into Planned Parenthood, which provides abortions.  The money is fungible – the less they have to spend on providing abortions, the less they have to budget for birth control, etc.

                4. Would not sign a bill to outlaw late-term abortions.

                Pointing out the obvious to you guys makes me sound like a crazy.  I’m not really a zealot on the issue.  What gets me is the fact that he is blatantly and transparently duplicitous on the issue.  Here he is the emperor with no clothes.

                1. I am apparently.  The more money Planned Parenthood gets from the govt. on non-abortion releated budget items, the more they can spend on abortion related items with their non-govt. raised dollars.

                  I’m done talking about the issue….  Ugghhh….

            2. they sure got lost amongst your “Ritter Bad!” comments. But let’s break down one thing…

              Bill Ritter is known as being a pro-life guy. Maybe not the rabid abortion clinic bombing type, but there it is. Calling him pro-choice ain’t nothing but spin.

              Also, in your last paragraph you refer to “cases” but I’ve seen discussion of only ONE case. I for one will need to see that this case was somehow representative of the way things were handled by Ritter’s DA office before it affects my plan to vote for him. Bad as it was, it’s less than clear that the victim’s family didn’t give their consent before the plea was offered.

              Now, before you lump me in with the others, I want to state for the record that Ritter is less than inspiring for me. However I do typically vote Democratic and it takes an exceptional Republican to earn my vote. (The last guy was Sam Reed, SOS in Washington State, and he came through in the governor’s race there by not interfering with the recount.) Beauprez doesn’t strike me as any more inspirational than Ritter, and if the Post’s profile was accurate (and since Beauprez hasn’t denounced it then I will take it as such) he seems to have little idea of why he even wants the job.

              I’m glad that you decided to go over some of Bob’s positives, even if we had to cajole you into doing it.

              1. Ritter is prochoice; he supports Roe V. Wade.  As a district attorney, he took an oath to enforce that law. Roe says a person can choose what they believe, they can’t force someone else to that belief. Ritter self-identifies, personally, as prolife for religious reasons. His position is identical to Kerry, Kennedy, Cumo, Salazar, etc. He just calls himself prolife and the others call themselves prochoice. It doesn’t matter.  Ritter does not actively support a Human Life Amendment or support judges who would overturn Roe. I think the hierarchy of his Church pretty much leave politicans alone if they call themselves prolife. Ritter never bucks authority. Ritter did charge women who gave birth and abandoned their babies to death, with first degree murder.  Perhaps he will cite this as evidence of his prolife beliefs.

                Beauprez is pro states’rights.  He supports the appointment of judges who would overturn Roe and return the issue to the indiviudal states.  The indiviudal state could then regulate according to an electorate’s decision not the US constitution. Turns a civil right into a matter of states rights and echos the old Republican argument agains federally mandated civil rights.

                Abortion is like mercury. Nobody can pick it up.  It is poison.  The least we can do is define positions accurately.

                1. There are a spectrum of positions on issues related to abortion as I’m sure everyone on the site knows.  Labelling Ritter “pro-choice” is done by pro-lifers who believe that the only acceptable “pro-life” stance is to outlaw ALL abortions.  Labelling Ritter “pro-life” is done by pro-choicers who believe that the only acceptable “pro-choice” stance is to provide abortions on demand for any woman at any time during a pregnancy. 

                  Most people take a position somewhere between these extremes and are in favor of some restrictions on abortion.  Which restrictions, now, that varies from voter to voter.  But arguing over whether Ritter is pro-choice or pro-life is a big waste of time because it depends on who’s defining the terms.

                  1. I’ve been using pretty standard definitions.  It is entirely within reason to call Bob Beauprez pro-life because he doesn’t believe in it at all – with one exception (life of the mother).  No govt. funding, etc.  I imagine there’s little debate here about what category he fits into.  He is unambiguous on the issue.

                    On the other hand, Ritter is intentionally ambiguous.  He says he is ‘pro-life’ but then describes actions he would take as governor – and they are reasonably interpreted as ‘pro-choice.’

                    In other words, if you took his comments and attributed them to a Roy Romer, Gail Schoettler or Rollie Heath, no one would bat an eye or accuse him of making ‘pro-life’ statements.  Bill Ritter’s comments are in-line with self-described, pro-choice candidates.

                    That’s why pro-choicers are giving him a pass.  Because he’s one of them.  He doesn’t need a pass from pro-lifers because they represent a very small fraction of the Dem party.

                    Personally, I’ve voted for people on either side of the issue.  But Ritter is being disingenuous.

    1. “What I’m saying

      is that the ‘guilt by association’ strategy isn’t a very legally compelling one.  Sometimes it works politically though.”


      And then you throw a little mud. Have you contributed one good comment on this blog since showing back up in Colorado, Alan?

      1. He asked if I was an 18 year old.  Mixed reaction. I had an excellent dinner with a very nice wine, and the company of a very nice woman and that definately didn’t happen at 18.  On the other hand the joints could use some work and I wear a hat whenever I’m outside and not just for style, and that also definately didn’t happen at 18.  But I admire youthful vigor so thanks, moonie.

  3. http://www.chieftain

    Hillman for Treasurer

    “COLORADO VOTERS will elect a new state treasurer in this year’s election. Seeking the position are Cary Kennedy, a Democrat, and Mark Hillman, a Republican.

    Mr. Hillman is the clear choice.

    A staffer for former Gov. Roy Romer. Ms. Kennedy has worked on a number of state issues, including Amendment 23 and Referendum C.

    Mr. Hillman is one of the bright stars in Colorado public service. A wheat farmer from Burlington, he made his mark early as a state senator from District 1, which encompasses a great swath of Southeastern Colorado. He fast became regarded as one of the most thoughtful, hard-working legislators in recent memory.

    While serving as Senate minority leader, he was known for his bipartisan approach in getting legislation passed. For example, he teamed with Rep. Buffie McFadyen of Pueblo West to sponsor legislation giving preference to state agricultural products when all other factors are equal.

    He sponsored legislation creating the “Hall of Shame” which posts on the Internet the names of people who avoid paying their state taxes. He also was sponsor of legislation to preclude lawsuits against the food and drink industry by people claiming those businesses caused their obesity.

    Mr. Hillman already has experience running the State Treasury. In 2005 Gov. Bill Owens named him acting treasurer during the leave of absence taken by Treasurer Mike Coffman who did his second stint of military service in the Middle East. Mr. Hillman served that office well.

    As state treasurer, Mr. Hillman will serve on the board of the Colorado Public Employees’ Association overseeing state retirement funds. He’s a firm believer that that program needs to be on sound financial footing to protect state employees’ pensions so the funds are secure when retirement comes.

    We urge voters to elect Mark Hillman state treasurer.”

  4. Watching Congress squirm around issues right before elections is always interesting (or depressing).  We’re up to that point now.  Just a rehash of a previous resolution that came up right before midterm elections.

    The Week of Shame

    This was written in January 2003, before we’d yet invaded Iraq.  I think it’s safe to say Winslow Wheeler was against invading Iraq, but the interesting part is his account of the Senate debate (starts on page 8).  His rating of Senators show no favoritism and is based on the consistency between Senators’ votes and comments.

    “The speeches could be put into one of three categories:

    В·Senators and House members, mostly Republicans, supporting Bush on the question of war, who described accurately the legislation they were going to vote on;

    В·Senators and House members, mostly Democrats, opposing Bush on the question of war, who described accurately the legislation they were going to vote on; and

    В·Senators and House members saying they supported Bush on the question of war but who described the legislation they were to vote on as something radically different from what was actually before them. These were both Republicans and Democrats.”

    McCain, Warner among pro-war advocates get praise as do Chafee, Levin, Wellstone among the anti-war side.  Just about every presidential contender excepting McCain gets blasted (Hagel, Kerry, Clinton, et al).  Biden came oh so close to making the courageous list, but lost his nerve at the last moment.

    For those who read the first few pages and start screaming at what was already known, try to keep in mind this was back in 2002 and early 2003.  It was still a matter of which set of facts do you put more credence in and it’s a pretty big step to decide the President of the United States is intentionally presenting fraudulent evidence.  The few Senators who could rightfully be blasted for knowing the truth, yet voting for invasion would be the Senators with access to classified information like Chafee, Hagel (which explains why a Republican found it so hard to support the bill), Kerry, etc.

    1. Apart from all the proganda crap, invasion of another country is a violation of international law unless that country poses an immediate threat. No one contended that Iraq did.  Ironically, one justification for a pre-emptive strike is if another country is amassing an army on your border…which, of course, is what we were doing on Iraq’s borders back when…

      Bush made up his own rationale and no one in the US confronted him, effectively. The US is the aggressor nation. And there are a whole array of nations who are now uniting against us, in their own defense. Who could possible blame them?  As for the ordinary US  citizens….we are frogs, slowly being boiled to death….

  5. Anyone, and I mean ANYONE, who still contemplates voting republican….is floating down a river in Egypt.

    Good gracious….can thinking human beings deny the very facts in front of their eyes? I mean….

    -illegal, costly wars
    -record deficits
    -manipulation at the pumps
    -planning to bomg Iran next
    -arrogance and ignorance as a foreign policy

    for Jesus, Mary and josephs sake….WAKE UP

    This Republican leadership is the path to ruin and damnation…..

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