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October 20, 2006 03:45 PM UTC

Friday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

I hope you know that this will go down on your permanent record.

—Violent Femmes


43 thoughts on “Friday Open Thread

  1.   If that’s the case, then Both Ways has to be in hog heaven since he and the criminal investigation are the lead story in both of Denver’s dailies and they’re getting plenty of TV air time. 
      The good news for Trailhead:  with all this free media air time, less money needs to be spent on radio/TV commercials.  The bad news for Snakehead:  more money needs to be spent on Alan Philps’ defense costs.

  2.   If that’s the case, then Both Ways has to be in hog heaven since he and the criminal investigation are the lead story in both of Denver’s dailies and they’re getting plenty of TV air time. 
      The good news for Trailhead:  with all this free media air time, less money needs to be spent on radio/TV commercials.  The bad news for Snakehead:  more money needs to be spent on Alan Philps’ defense costs.

  3. President Bush recess-appointed former coal industry executive Richard Stickler to head the Mine Safety and Health Administration. The Senate had twice refused to confirm him “because of his troubling mine safety record — the mines he managed from 1989 to 1996 incurred injury rates double the national average.”

    How is it that the citizens of this country, and this state, can even consider voting for the party of incompetence, corruption, war, anti-environmentalsm,arrogance, secrecy, anti-privacy, etc?

    Way to go Bushie!  Had enough? Vote Democratic.

    1. As it seems to be playing out, there might really be 2 unauthorized accesses to Medina’s information.  Everyone is focusing solely on this ICE agent who passed along the information; interestingly, though, BWB’s campaign (and BWB himself, last night on 9News) said that they “confirmed the information through other sources.”  Now, Bob, how did you go about doing that?  Care to explain?

    2. “Oops.”

      That’s what Bill Ritter surely said last night as he realized his Bad Boy Beauprez Bonanza was going to backfire.  Of course if campaign spokesman John Marshall of Beauprez himself were behind the database break-in it would be bad news for Bob.  But he wasn’t.  Some hacked off ICE guy was the whistle-blower and he wanted voters to know it. 

      Now they do.  Beauprez is getting lots of face time and lots of air time to further the claims about the plea bargains.  Voters are not stupid.  They won’t hold this against Beauprez if he’s not implicated.  They may even give him the sympathy vote since he’s getting crapped on by Democrat dirty tricks.

      You can’t really blame Fancy Pants.  He’s a novice at this.  You’ve got to be careful with negative ads and claims because it’s easy to screw yourself whilst you’re trying to screw the other team.

      Ritter did a lot better for himself by buring himself in a cave.  Now he’s in the ring with a great debater and a fine campaigner.  Bad choice, Fancy Pants.

      1. I agree with this and I think Beauprez is nothing but a pretty face.  Wouldn’t vote for him if he was the last person on earth.  But this is a monumental miscalculation by Bill Ritter to keep this issue before the public.  I expect to see Ritter’s poll numbers to take a nose dive this weekend.  He is playing right into Beauprez’ hands on the immigration. But of course, Ritter is a lawyer and a prosecutor and he sees nothing but legal and illegal.  He doesn’t really understand the political world and the mistake he has made.  Neither does his panty waist incompetent staff.  Sorry guys, but Beauprez wins big on this one.

        1. from today’s Rocky:

          “Anytime you’re behind in the polls by double-digits, the clock is fast running out, most of the endorsements are going against you and your name is now attached to the word ‘Gate,’ you’re probably toast,” said Eric Sondermann, an unaffiliated campaign consultant. “I don’t know that it changes the dynamic as much as cements it.”

        2. Ritter comes out ahead on this one.

          He diverted the focus of the original attack.  He got ‘FBI/CBI Investigation’ next to Beauprez’s name for about a week.  And he has shown Beauprez as willing to accept illegal information to make cheap political attacks.

          Beauprez doesn’t come out of this unscathed (and I don’t think it is over).  He had to defend his attack, his information and his staff instead of campaigning.

          Three weeks from election day and voters are reading about an investigation – if this was two months ago, no problem, but this is too close to the election.

          Hurts Beauprez.

        3. I haven’t talked to a Republican yet that has decided to change their mind and now vote for Beauprez because of this.  Anyone but those of the conservative base in this state see BB as completely out of touch on this issue.  If something is illegal, it’s illegal.  Unless, of course, you have the mindset of an administration or two term Congressman from Washington who don’t see anything as illegal — just as politics.  To think BB could be quoted as saying he wouldn’t throw someone under the bus for political gain?  Stay tuned.  Somebody is going under the bus — but you can bet it won’t be Bob. 

          This still begs the question…just how DID you verify this illegally obtained information — and just what did Marshall and ICE man talk about the last time they spoke (which was conveniently just after the story broke?)

      2. That’s so ridiculous that it’s funny. Yeah, keep trying to push that one, we’ll see what backfires.

        I do agree with you about this, though:

        “You’ve got to be careful with negative ads and claims because it’s easy to screw yourself whilst you’re trying to screw the other team.”

        Beauprez’ campaign is a perfect case study.

      3. If the voters do indeed view the illegal gathering of info to smear his opponent as a reason to vote for Both Ways then they are indeed stupid.

        And what’s with the “fancy pants” name? Gecko’s “second choice” (or is that “last choice”) name, though not terribly funny, is a much better insult. Fancy pants makes no sense (he’s not John Kerry, ya know).

        So “whistle blower” is how the GOPers want to spin this… I thought whistle blowing meant complaining about wrongdoing, not accessing and passing along classified info.

      4. Beauprez is a good man and would make a good governor. It’s not going to happen.

        Should this matter? I don’t know. Does it? Absolutely.

        It doesn’t matter if he broke into NCIC or someone else did, having “federal crime” and “Beauprez campaign” in the same sentence closes the book on this one. Adding irony to injury, this episode draws a stark contrast to his messages of accountability and experience.

        Beauprez did a great job for Colorado in Washington. Has anyone seen a higher profile Colorado political career self-destruct as quickly as this one?

  4. There are laws governing partisan political participation by federal employees. So if an ICE employee broke into the data base and gave the information to a political candidate, that law was breached…..compromising the integrity of a so-called neutral civil service. These are the questions:\

    Was the employee ordered to do this by his political appointed superiors?
    Is this the federal government attempting to influence the outcome of a state election?
    One FBI number and two names…does this have anything to do with the Witness Protection program?
    Is there an ongoing investigation which was compromised by this breach?
    Was this some kind of sting operation?
    Was this an illegal attempt to compromise and potentially blackmail a political opponent?
    Was it a trap and BWB took the bait?
    Did the ICE employee break into the system or did someone using his ID break in?
    Does BWB know the difference between First Amendment protection for the Press and his own campaign?
    Why didn’t the “leak” go to the press, first? 

    Less anyone forget, the F.B.I. had a spy in their organization for over twenty years. Robert Hanssen . (sp?)  He was a strange bird….spying for the Soviets and a devot catholic and member of opus dei…or so it was reported….the investigation to catch the spy started during the Clinton administration and Hanssen was finally apprendended in the Spring of 2001.  He plea bargined so that his family could retain his federal pension and he has given alot of top secret information to the FBI.  Problem is that the American public doesn’t know what this spy did and how he could have compromised security…..he was a computer expert.  There was no trial, no Congressional hearings and no report of his activities….which allows alot of speculation…not the least of which was that from time to time this guy would leak information from FBI files to various politicans and the press….Again….this latter is all speculative…..

      1. And if you think anarchists are kids with leather jackets, funny hair, and nose rings then think again. Douglas Bruce and his ilk are much more effective in destroying government with their throw-the-baby-out-with-the-bathwater proposals.

        1. his district isnt just colorado springs and the “wingnuts” as you say, who in many cases have elected pretty competent commissioners. bruce represents some of the eastern edge of the city and the eastern part of the county, where many poor ranchers reside. they just want government out of their lives and generally see any and all taxes as the devil.

          aside from that, bruce is excellent at reaching out to them and explaining his agenda: government is bad and i’m here to help, i am one of YOU! its actually quite an interesting situation…

  5. Winter has spent a lot of money. Other than some radio spots that seem to have been produced in house where did the money go? To Bill Winter’s salary? To staff salaries?
    No direct mail, no TV. This one is a laugher for Tancredo who is spending his time and his money helping other Republicans. At least Angie has forced the Republicans to spend a lot of money to defend Musgrave.
    Has anyone noticed that the wheels came off the Winter campaign when he got rid of Merlino and Fawcett began to surge when he started to use Merlino?

    1. It looks like the current staff salaries are pretty comparable to what was getting paid to Merlino and his helpers and the size of the staff appears to have increased considerably.  No one seems to be getting 5k a month anymore.  Winter has sent out a couple of mailings, maybe you haven’t gotten them because you live in Broomfield.  As for Fawcett: as much as I like Jay, the 9News poll and Rocky endorsement make your claim of a “surge” a bit suspect.

    2. OK, so I’m relatively new to Colorado & this site but have been reading it daily.  Can somebody explain who this Merlino guy is?  From some of these threads it sounds like he’s lost a bunch of races, involved with one winning race (Salazar) where the candidate doesn’t think so highly of Merlino and now somebody’s trumpeting him as Colorado’s own James Carville??? 

      I take it from today’s post that Fawcett just hired him?  Hadn’t seen any news announcements about that anywhere.

      On the Winter campaign, what was it that was going really well when Merlino was there that isn’t now?  Did Winter used to get a lot more press?  Does Merlino have a lot of contacts in DC and Capitol Hill?  Does he have some kind of juice with the media or national players?

      Thanks for any info – new here and trying to understand who this guy is.

      1. Winter hasn’t had more or less press since Merlino was there; Merlino didn’t provide any major access to cash that I’m aware of, nor did he get Winter any major support from national figures.  What national support Bill has received has largely been on the backs of netroots voting for Democratic PAC money (namely, Russ Feingold’s PAC) and on Bill’s Fighting Dem status/membership.  That goes for both before and after Jim Merlino.

        I would guess that the Winter campaign’s lack of further attention has been a combination of factors, including Bill’s vocalized annoyance at being passed over for any national fundraising efforts, but also including a complete lack of polling data, Tancredo largely keeping his mouth shut (in comparison to other candidates), and the large registration gap and voter detatchment in the district.  Also a factor: organizations probably trying not to look like they were unfairly favoring Colorado when so many states have good potential races.

        Bill’s still a helluva good candidate, and if he doesn’t pull through this year, I hope he runs again – hopefully having learned the lessons and shortcomings of this year’s campaign.

    3. I love how the Dems can never run a person who knows how to run a campaign in my district.  But I think this year takes the cake!  Tancredo gets another free ride and I can’t wait for him to run for Senate in 2008!

    1. The Rocky is clearly on a partisan mission this year.  The slant is perceptable no matter where you stand; the endorsement conveniently ignores every specific Fawcett has ever uttered, and dismisses the concept that some things need research instead of snap decisions.

      Small wonder that I don’t get the newspapers any more.  They’re a bad joke that’s been played on subscribers year after year – you’d think by now most people would know the punchline before the papers even get started.

  6. It’s a pretty solid endorsement, acknowledges that O’Donnell was wrong to go to Panama but that he’s the candidate of ideas and real reform in the 7th, unlike Ed, who as far as I can tell at this point is a bit of a hack.  Here’s their endorsement:


  7. Angie worked her tail off and Bill Winter whined his ass off. They’re both going to lose. They both have been ill served by their hired hands. But, Angie Paccione will lose with her head held high knowing she forced the Republicans to spend $2 million they would rather have spent elsewhere.
    Winter unlike Conti allowed Tancredo to spend full time helping other Republicans.
    No one has seen the Winter mailer whether they live in Broomfield or Littleton.

    1. I like Bill. I like Angie. I have friends on both campaigns and hope that they do well.  I think that it takes cajones to run as a Dem in districts that are perceived as “unwinnable”.  Even so, I have no problem with people who have legitimate criticisms of either campaign and find most to be insightful.  In general, people log on to this site so that they can hear what other people have to say and read other points of view.

      You, however, are only interested in bashing two candidates and shilling for another – and yourself, it would seem:

      “Has anyone noticed that the wheels came off the Winter campaign when he got rid of Merlino and Fawcett began to surge when he started to use Merlino?”

      “For someone who started out so high it has been all downhill for Winter since he got rid of Jim Merlino… By the time Merlino took over Lamm’s campaign too many mistakes had already been made. John Salazar’s first name is Congressman because of Merlino”

      “Winter should have kept Jim Merlino…”

      “Merlino gave Winter solid advice that he chose to ignore.”

      Why don’t you just get a MySpace page to fill up with your self-aggrandizing crap?

  8. We should be commending Sarah Gagliardi, John Morse and Gwyn Green. All three are in tough races and have endured some very vicious attacks. All three fought back are now ahead.

  9. So I just graduated from college and volunteered for a few campaigns.  I was trying to soak up as much advice as possible from people more experienced than myself. One of the things I was told by several different people was to STAY AWAY from anything that this Merlino guy touches.  Someone from Bill Winter said he practically drove them to the ground before he was forced out. They said something along the lines of this guy was trying to drive a car at 75 MPH with a blindfold on.  Someone else from Peggy Lamm’s campaign said that he made the campaign a terrible place to work. Guess he thought he was Jesus walking on water or something, until they lost.  Am I mistaken about this guy? Anybody? 

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