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February 08, 2006 09:00 AM UTC

Madden to Decide Next Week

  • 53 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

House Majority Leader Alice Madden will make her decision on running for governor next week, which is realistically about all the time she has. From The Denver Post:

Democratic House Majority Leader Alice Madden is so serious about a potential run for governor that she has asked her husband to cancel a business trip to China next week.

She plans to spend much of this week on the phone, gauging whether she would have enough support to beat Bill Ritter for the Democratic nomination and go on to win November’s general election, she said.

She already knows one hurdle she would face if she runs. “It’s not the liberal thing,” she said, “it’s the Boulder label, which I think is sort of insulting to voters.”

Madden had been waiting on the sidelines as Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper pondered a run. Now that he has stepped aside, her potential bid will be “much-discussed” at a family get- together this weekend, she said.

Madden said she will announce her decision next week.

Despite U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar’s endorsement Tuesday of Ritter, some state Democrats remain committed to floating a candidate who supports abortion rights. Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald has cut a $500 check for Madden’s potential campaign. “Look what she’s accomplished,” she said, noting that Madden is a lawyer and a leader of her party who’s raising two kids.

Young Democrats in Boulder planned to start circulating a petition today urging Madden to run, said Andrew Harrison, head of the College Democrats at the University of Colorado-Boulder. But others say the Boulder liberal tag, fair or not, would be the kiss of death in a statewide race.

Madden could win a Democratic primary, but that would be the “high-water mark” of her campaign, said Eric Sondermann, an independent political consultant who works on issue campaigns. “The whole package makes for very tough sledding when you get very far away from the Denver-Boulder radius,” he said.

The GOP spin on Madden on Tuesday was this: Please run. “I think Alice Madden would make a fantastic candidate for any Republican to run against,” state party spokeswoman Rachael Sunbarger said. “She is a darling of the unions and has recently received questionable funds from third-party groups whom she claims not to know. Top that combination with her extremely liberal voting record, and I think that it makes for an interesting and fun race.”

Republicans recently complained about Madden and other Democrats receiving in-kind contributions from unknown donors. The Democrats have denied any wrongdoing.

Comments

53 thoughts on “Madden to Decide Next Week

  1. She already knows one hurdle she would face if she runs. “It’s not the liberal thing,” she said, “it’s the Boulder label, which I think is sort of insulting to voters.”

    ……….

    LOL
    Well, she’s got her excuse all set. 

    Then this:
    ………………
    Madden could win a Democratic primary, but that would be the “high-water mark” of her campaign, said Eric Sondermann, an independent political consultant who works on issue campaigns. “The whole package makes for very tough sledding when you get very far away from the Denver-Boulder radius,” he said.
    ………………

    “What – you mean the voters in the whole STATE will have a say?!?  Oh, no!”

    Hilarious!

  2. Alice Madden is similar to Senator Patsy Murray of Washington. No one gave her a chance and now she is in her third term as a United States Senator from the State of Washington. Patsy Murray and Alice Madden defied the odds because they are leaders. They both are real life soccer moms who put their families first. They are fighters and people love fighters. People love fighters and hate politicians who duck the important issues.
    Yes, Alice Madden can win.
    Frankly, who would you rather have going up against Bob Beauprez?Both ways Bill Ritter or a winner and a fighter in Alice Madden?
    In case anyone has forgotten. For the first time in decades the Democrats have a Majority in the State House. Why?Two words. Alice and Madden.

  3. My, it seems like the battle lines have been drawn; Ken vs. Fitz.  Fitz said that she will support Madden because she supports abortion.  However this calls Ken to the carpet.  Ken point blank stated that he will fight anyone who stands against Ritter because he is pro-life.  Let me see; we have a national figure versus a person who did not have enough guts to run for state office.  We have a person that has proven that he can reach all voters versus someone basically from a very liberal bastion and no cross over appeal.  I guess change is hard; this fight might be bloody.  I am taking money that Ken will win this going away.

  4. I agree with ColoradoDem.  A moderate (Ritter) has a pretty good chance of winning a state-wide race.  Dems should get behind one candidate.  Unity is the key.

  5. Alice Madden is a leader.
    As Majority Leader Alice has a good relationship with the business community.
    What is electable about Bill Ritter?
    What has he ever done outside of Denver?
    Alice Madden elected Democrats from places such as Greeley and the Western Slope. Jim Riesberg and Wes McKinley are in the Legislature because of Alice Madden.
    Leaders must take stands on the issues. Alice has guts. Bill Ritter ducks every issue except abortion. He has no health care plan, no environmental plan no nothing except bring back back alley abortions.
    Go Alice Go — you’re a winner girl

  6. Alice Madden is a leader.
    As Majority Leader Alice has a good relationship with the business community.
    What is electable about Bill Ritter?
    What has he ever done outside of Denver?
    Alice Madden elected Democrats from places such as Greeley and the Western Slope. Jim Riesberg and Wes McKinley are in the Legislature because of Alice Madden.
    Leaders must take stands on the issues. Alice has guts. Bill Ritter ducks every issue except abortion. He has no health care plan, no environmental plan no nothing except bring back back alley abortions.
    Go Alice Go — you’re a winner girl

  7. Alice Madden is a leader.
    As Majority Leader Alice has a good relationship with the business community.
    What is electable about Bill Ritter?
    What has he ever done outside of Denver?
    Alice Madden elected Democrats from places such as Greeley and the Western Slope. Jim Riesberg and Wes McKinley are in the Legislature because of Alice Madden.
    Leaders must take stands on the issues. Alice has guts. Bill Ritter ducks every issue except abortion. He has no health care plan, no environmental plan no nothing except bring back back alley abortions.
    Go Alice Go — you’re a winner girl

  8. Let’s not make the same mistake we made eight years ago, folks.  In 1998, the Democrats had a fantastic candidate in Mike Feeley — Majority Leader in the Senate, popular with both Democrats and Republicans, pragmatic and middle-of-the-road kind of guy.  He was totally electable, and all the polls had him thrashing any opposition (including some little-known Republican candidate named Bill Owens).  Problem was, the very left-leaning Lieutenant Governor, Gail Schoettler, decided she wanted to run too.
    Even though polls had Feeley winning all races (very much like Ritter now), Feeley got beat at the primary by Schoettler, and Owens got his Christmas present early that year.
    The moral of the story is that the Democratic Party must be careful not to cut off its nose to spite its face once again, and have to suffer through at least 4 more years of a Republican governor.

  9. HoyaDem:

    You are way off the mark.  Gail Schoetler is as middle of the road as Feeley was.  The fact that she only lost by 5200 votes was remarkable given the registration disadvantage that Democrats face in this state.  Would Feeley have done better?  Hard to say.  But if had been able to do better it had nothing to do with how liberal either candidate was.  You have to remember that Feeley was the darling of the unions.

    There are a lot of things that contributed to the Schoetler loss.  Most of them tactical or even strategic.  I also think that there was still some sentiment among some of the electorate opposed to voting for a woman.  It also didn’t help that Romer did very little (he still was very popular among the electorate) to help Schoetler.

    But don’t fall into the trap of believing that Feeley would have won just because he was more conservative or centrist than Schoetler – it just ain’t so.

  10. Great points by georgetownhoyadem.excep for one little thing
    Feeley was not Mr. moderate he was vilified as too liberal. Schoettler was the moderate
    Mike would have been a great governor
    Alice Madden is a winner. You do not take over the State House unless you are a winner. By the way where was Bill Ritter when Alice and so many others were working to take control over the Legislature? Did he raise money? Did he do anything at all?
    Alice Can Win
    Alice Will Win

  11. Fair questions, RunAlice.  And an equally fair  question is what has Alice been doing in the 2 months that have passed as Mayor ‘Looper was ‘pondering’ his decision?

    Did she raise any money?
    Did she do anything at all?

  12. Madden would be an early Xmas present for the Republicans.  The Dems took over the House and Senate thanks to Stryker/Polis/Union money and the R’s being arrogant and asleep at the wheel.  They let their candidates twist in the wind thinking the D’s couldn’t pick up enough seats to overturn.  They won’t be sleeping in 06 with the possibility of losing the veto pen as well. I can see the ads now, “Liberal Boulder lawyer blah blah blah…” She might as well pick Ward Churchill as her running mate. The R’s agree, “Run Alice RUN!!!”

  13. Great points by georgetownhoyadem.excep for one little thing
    Feeley was not Mr. moderate he was vilified as too liberal. Schoettler was the moderate
    Mike would have been a great governor
    Alice Madden is a winner. You do not take over the State House unless you are a winner. By the way where was Bill Ritter when Alice and so many others were working to take control over the Legislature? Did he raise money? Did he do anything at all?
    Alice Can Win
    Alice Will Win

  14. Remember 2004.

    Bob Beauprez took a filet knife to Dave Thomas like he was a fish.
    Ritter’s record should be examined. What was the office conviction rate while he was DA?
    Why did the conviction rate go down every year he was DA?
    Why did DA’s Grant, Thomas, and Peters all have higher conviction rates?
    How many death penalty convictions did Ritter’s office obtain?
    Bob Beauprez is on his way to the Governor’s Mansion

  15. The last comments raises an interesting point for Democrats to consider.
    Bill Ritter was a District Attorney.
    How good was he?
    Democrats had best examine that record.
    The Republicans surely will.
    Alice Madden has an excellent record. Alice has been honored by labor, business and environmental groups. This proves that she can build a coalition.

  16. Iron Mike, if you’re the one posting those Democrat suicide notes under the pseudonym GoAliceGoRunAliceRun, my hat is off to you.  A way out Boulder liberal wins a statewide race?  How did that work for you Ds the last time you tried it with Rollie Heath?  Or Josie Heath, for that matter?  Even Tim Wirth lived in Denver the first he ran for and won the 2nd CD seats. 
    Win with Ritter or be pure with Alice?  What to do, what to do?

  17. Rolie Heath was the chosen candidate of the Democratic Party establishment. Feeley, Knaus and Matsunaka.
    If she is so wacko how come she was able to build a majority for the first time in decades?
    Alice Madden has proven that she knows how to win in every corner of the State.

  18. Gosh, I didn’t realize that Alice Madden had the sole credit for electing 35 House Democrats, 18 Senators, winning the U.S. Senate seat and, apparently, stopping male pattern baldness.  Silly me, I thought a couple million other citizens might have played some role in that political earthquake.  How could I have been so wrong?

  19. Madden can be described in simply one word:
    Winner
    Never lost an election
    Since she has been in the House Democrats have won more seats every two years. Alice deserves the credit for the takeover by Democrats of the State House.
    Her opponents can only call names.
    Bill Ritter can point to no accomplishments in public office. Alice Madden can

  20. It would be quite politically incorrect to comment on the physical attractiveness of legislators Morgan Carroll and Alice Madden, ohsosexy.  So I’ll just sit here rereading your post until the drool running down my lips short-circuits my keyboard.

  21. Bill Ritter never lost an election either, and he ran in a vastly larger and much more diverse district than Alice Madden did.  As far as accomplishments in office, he pioneered the innovative drug court which helped rein in some of the abuses of the war on drugs and juggled federal funds and foundation grants to maintain Denver’s vital juvenile diversion program after Owens cut those funds from the budget.  In contrast, Boulder — Rep. Madden’s turf _ just abandoned juvenile diversion.  If Democrats nominate Alice Madden, they will be committing “suicide by cop” — with Beauprez in the role of cop.

  22. No death penalty convictions
    Overall conviction rate dropped every year
    Criminals given lenient deals only to commit more crimes after being released
    Bill Ritter has a great record

  23. Ritter only asked for the Death Penalty 7 times and never got it.  Lets get real here, Colorado is not Texas or CA where they hand out the DP like hot-cakes.  There are only 2 people on Death Row in the entire state and only 1 person has been executed since 1967, so lets look at all the facts when determining how tough on crime Ritter is.

  24. Alice of course does not get sole credit for winning the legislature was she sure was a big part of it, logistically, strategically and inspirationally.

    I’ve been let down by too many Dem leaders in recent months to hope that Alice will run, but if she does, she has my vote.

    BTW, some Dems think I have been vocally too hard on poor defenseless Bill Ritter so I have thought of two positive thingss to say so far avbout him:
    1. He’d be better than Mark Holtzman.
    2. He IS the best looking man running for Gov. (But I haven’t seen who the Lib’s are putting up yet)

  25. Hey, “tough on crime,” how do you feel about Holtzman’s support for the death penalty for Overtime Parking?  Filing seven death penalties speaks for itself.  It isn’t Ritters fault that a REPUBLICAN legislature screwed up a death penalty that had been approved by the Colorado Supreme Court  and actually used to execute Gary Lee Davis by shifting to an onconstititional scheme the U.S. Supreme Court later struck down.  That led to a wholesale clearing of death row in Colorado.  Only Democrat Bob Grant has actually seen an execution in Colorado in 30 years.  But Ritter seeking seven death penalties is a much stronger record than any Republican prosecutor in the state has turned in.  Ritter is tough on crime.  Holtzman/Beauprez are soft, especially on corporate crime.

  26. I think it’s time for a Colorado Pols “Hottest Politician” contest.  We already have three nominees.  I checked their photos online and can verify that Ritter, Madden, and Carroll qualify as “hot” with a 3% margin of error.  Keep those nominations coming!  The winner will receive a Quiznos’ punch card good for a year’s supply of meat sandwiches.

  27. Joan Fitz cut Madden a $500 check.  I’m surprised that they assume this is a Life (or the Abortion issue as you clowns call it) issue. 

    Doesn’t anyone else see this as self-serving?  Joan lives in CD2 and has been rumored as the strongest candidate to win if Udall has the intestinal fortitude to run against Allard in ’08 (I’m making a leap of faith about Wayne here).

    With Madden out of the way as a battered Liberal Dem Gov candidate, it’s smooth sailing for Joan.  The $500 isn’t about issues and philiosophy, it’s about political ambition.

  28. The life issue was important in Owen’s first run for governor.
    Democrat candidate Schoetler may well have had NARAL, et. al., support but the issue splintered the Republicans.  A Pro-Human Life  group took over 10,000 votes from Owens; more than his margin of victory. Their argument was that Owens supported ROE and wouldn’t work to overturn it.  The Republicans saw the possibility of these kinds of one issue groups taking votes from the mainstream candidate and costing the Republicans future elections. They struggled mightly to make their rhetoric strong enough to appease these life groups.
    But,  if you watch Republican candidates/elected officials very carefully, you will see that they NEVER vote or advocate voting  on outlawing abortion; the legislation is ALWAYS on the margin and many times is written in such a way that if passed by the legislature, a court order blocking enforcement is absolutely guaranteed.  These strategy has brought the Republicans control of Congress, the White House and now the Judiciary.
    I believe that the Democrats are now practicing a variation of the same strategy.  Ritter’s position is virtually identical to Salazar’s and Kerry’s; but his rhetoric is different.
    The reduction in the rate of abortions and the increased difficulty of obtaining abortions may be due to some legistative restrictions, in various states, or it may be due to other factors.
    There is no one sufficiently objective to analyze it.
    Somebody needs to call eveyone else’s bluff.

  29. Why does no defender of Ritter refute the fact that his conviction rate dropped every year he was District Attorney? That is a real measuring stick.

  30. This will come as a shock to you, Tough on Logic, but by mandate of the United States Supreme Court, the death penalty can only be imposed by a jury.  Prosecutors can seek it, but prosecutors can’t impose any penalty, only the jury can.
    Still, just out of curiosity, how many times have you filed for a death penalty?  Or are you just blowing in the wind?

  31. Seven tries and seven whiffs on the death penalty. Maybe the Democrats should turn to Bob Grant who knows how to get the death penalty.
    Bob Grant’s Office had a much higher overall conviction rate and a higher conviction rate in every category than Bill Ritter’s office did.
    Bob Grant has a real record. Bill Ritter’s record as District Attorney will be pointed out to the voters by Bob Beauprez and the voters will not like what they see.

  32. Actually, Tough on Logic, Both Ways Bob will attack Ritter’s record and praise Ritter’s record, in the same week. It’s a habit with him.
    But you do have one good idea — we should get Bob Grant to run for Attorney General.  He’d be great.

  33. Let’s try to imagine a pro-choice Republican running for Governor.  Why do Democrats have to live with this egg?  I am a Democrat for many reasons and being pro-choice is one of them.  I for one, will not vote for Ritter, just like I didn’t vote for Owens. This is no time for us to start compromising on women’s issues. So DEMOCRATS, we need a choice.  Run Alice Run.

  34. Boulder’s Alice Madden?  Just like Boulder’s spoiler Peggy Lamm? You have got to be kidding.  It’s a Republican Dream team.  Both are counting on the “dole” because they are women who can earn the public welfare of Emily’s List.  Meanwhile, a dollar for Madden and Lamm is like a dollar for Holtzman and O’Donnell.

    Maybe it’s the high altitude in Boulder or the wafting of halucinogenics from the CU campus that makes these candidates from Boulder  delusional in their belief that they can remotely appeal to voters outside this left-wing island in a sea of center-right Coloradans.

  35. Alice Madden has a solid record in increasing penalties for domestic violence and sex crimes. Madden is a winner.
    What none of the Ritter people are able to deny is that the conviction rate in his office is the worst in the State and got worse every year that he was District Attorney.
    I will take a Boulder liberal over someone who proved that he could not handle the last job he had.

  36. You know, all this bashing of Ritter’s prosecution record makes me wonder why you Dems wanted him to run for … ATTORNEY GENERAL.

    Sure, sure, the AG slot was the bone to be thrown to Ritter to pave the way for Hickenlooper’s run for Governor, but now that Hick has decided not to run, it’s become open season on Ritter’s DA record.

  37. Prediction:  Madden won’t run.  Polis, et.al will use their considerable money and influence to defeat the anti-choice, anti-gay ballet initiatives.  The good news for Ritter is that this will help bring out the Democratic base, the bad news for Ritter is that those Democrats may simply NOT vote for the governor’s slot and the Republicans get the governor’s office by default.
    The really bad news is that electronic voting in Colorado is so screwed up that nobody will know what is a real protest “undervote” and what is just a computer foul up.

  38. Alice Madden to run for Guv?

    According to the Denver Post, Colorado House Majority Leader Alice Madden will tell us this week whether or not she’s going to run for Guv. Though this is probably academic. Madden was on AM760 with Jay Marvin last week (a podcast of the the int…

  39. Democrats are felling right into the trap on the abortion issue – we continue to be split by their wedge issues.  There are so very many more important issues that we need to deal with.  Unity is the only way we’ll get in, and Ritter has a good chance state wide.

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