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October 17, 2007 01:05 AM UTC

Republican Announces, Sort Of, in SD-8

  • by: Colorado Pols

We get a lot of press releases here at Colorado Pols, and some are better than others. Of course, others are also stranger than some, including this one from Republican Muhammad Ali Hasan, who announced today that he is thinking about announcing his candidacy in Senate District 8.

Eagle County resident and political news commentator Muhammad Ali Hasan has filed as a candidate for Colorado State Senate District 8 with the Secretary of State. While a final decision on a run for the seat is not expected until January, Hasan has decided to move forward in the process to adhere to state campaign laws and to allow for more liberty in exploring his options.

“I have a deep respect for campaign laws,” Hasan said. “Since there is no provision for exploratory committees is Colorado, filing shows everyone I am serious about thoroughly evaluating a possible run. I plan to use the next few months to have conversations with residents and local party leadership before making my final decision.”

You’ve got to love that first quote. I have a deep respect for campaign laws. Well, that’s certainly good to know.

But the strangest part of the release is that it includes a quote from a random person in Glenwood Springs who specifically mentions the fact that she doesn’t endorse Hasan, making this the first press release we’ve ever received highlighting a non-endorsement:

Jeannie Ford Artez of Glenwood Springs said she is also impressed by Hasan’s energy and eagerness.

“Though I haven’t decided who to endorse yet, personally I think he is a terrific young man who is very bright,” Artez said. “I have very much enjoyed meeting with him and I look forward to seeing what he is going to do.”

Huh? Could Hasan not find someone who could, you know, actually endorse him? Did he just meet this person on the street and ask what they thought of him?

The full press release follows.

Eagle County resident and political news commentator Muhammad Ali Hasan has filed as a candidate for Colorado State Senate District 8 with the Secretary of State. While a final decision on a run for the seat is not expected until January, Hasan has decided to move forward in the process to adhere to state campaign laws and to allow for more liberty in exploring his options.

“I have a deep respect for campaign laws,” Hasan said. “Since there is no provision for exploratory committees is Colorado, filing shows everyone I am serious about thoroughly evaluating a possible run. I plan to use the next few months to have conversations with residents and local party leadership before making my final decision.”

Hasan has an extensive background in political commentating for national news networks and as a political activist. Locally, Hasan was a founding member of the Eagle County Young Republicans, served as their first president, and currently serves on the Eagle County Republicans Finance Committee. Hasan holds a Masters degree and is a former public school teacher to extremely low-income, urban students.

Senate District 8, currently represented by term limited Republican Jack Taylor, includes all of Eagle, Jackson, Moffat, Rio Blanco and Routt counties, as well as parts of Garfield county. Hasan said he believes he could bring new energy, ideas and a commitment to be an advocate for the issues that matter most in Senate District 8.

Hasan’s high energy and interest in local issues is appealing, said business owner Rick Spencer of Routt County. The two met on several occasions as Hasan traveled the district, and Spencer said Hasan “leaves an impression.”

“He is highly energetic and he seems very curious,” Spencer said. “He gets very involved in things and is really working hard to get in step with what is going on here and what matters to our counties.”

Jeannie Ford Artez of Glenwood Springs said she is also impressed by Hasan’s energy and eagerness.

“Though I haven’t decided who to endorse yet, personally I think he is a terrific young man who is very bright,” Artez said. “I have very much enjoyed meeting with him and I look forward to seeing what he is going to do.”


22 thoughts on “Republican Announces, Sort Of, in SD-8

  1. Now there’s a useful ‘profession.’  So I have three questions (I figure, WTH, I’ll limit it to three).

    1.What are the key things/issues that are “…going on here and what matters to our counties.”?

    2.How does Mr. Hasan distinguish himself from the incumbent and likely challengers?

    What skills does ‘political commentating’ include that are transferable to representing a far flung rural district that includes both progressive areas and counties controlled like 19th-century Republican land baron fiefdoms  (i.e. defacto County Commissioner for life TWD)? 

      1. Really, guys, come on.  There’s a difference between having a serious discussion about the drawbacks of a name like Mohammed versus cheap humor at someone’s expense.  Let’s try and keep it above board, folks, and remember that the beauty of our nation is that anyone can achieve the American dream – whatever their name.

  2. His name alone is deadly in a primary situation, but what is funny to me is that he lists himself as a political commentator. In reality he is simply the son of a rich doctor and an idiot when it comes to Northwest Colorado. He listed himself as a filmaker before today? His lack of knowledge was seen deeply in a recent article in the vail daily where he plotted out an idea for what he called “Californication” of Western slope water. I think a  comment from a Vail resident on the papers website said it best:

    “Are you kidding hasan? I sure hope you decide not to run for senate based on this alone. We are the western slope. Not California!!! Nor should we ever want to model anything of ours off them. Yes, water is an important issue and we shouldn’t waste it. Or give it away but working with other communities is essential. The front range is behind on their policies but they are already doing what you are asking for large part. Get your facts straight and stop soapboxing. Funny how you want to take out all the oil around but get so heated about water.”

      Cc26 on Tue, 02 Oct 2007 15:49:09 PDT

    And did you see his announcement in the Vail daily today. Hahaha, what a joke this kid is. I will put my favorite quote in from the article:

    “When I was being trained by John Badham, director of classics like “Saturday Night Fever” and “Short Circuit,” I recall him telling us his regret for making films too early in life. His confession shocked me, considering all of his success. He went on to talk about the life experience he missed out on and the missed opportunities of creating catharsis for his audiences, mainly due to the fact that he had not experienced life enough, in his eyes at least.”

    I am glad John Badham took Hasan under his wing to explain the historical significance that was brought out in the “classic” short circuit, but I hope my next state senator takes advice from constituents and not a B rated filmaker… But what do you expect from a B rated filmaker. Try to experience life first and then run for office 

  3. He has been to the Eagle County school district, Vermillion Basin and Roan Plateau…  but what does he think about any of these things? Who knows, he certainly doesn’t say.  From a previous column I got the idea he wants to drill Roan, but based on his article and other things he is attributed with, I wonder how much he knows about the Roan Plateau, about local opinion, about which elected leaders have championed it, about the resources at stake, really about anything.  I certainly can’t tell from his press release or from his column.

      If I would be inclined to vote for someone, I want to know how they will vote/lead on western Colorado issues, not that they miss a snowboard (they never had…?).

  4. But I do not find jokes about his name or heritage funny.  I don’t find it funny when Ann Coulter does it and I do not find it funny when anybody else does it.

    1. It would be like an openly gay candidate running as a Republican. Or an athiest. The Republican party has put so much energy into demonizing the Arab world that I think many Republicans just won’t be able to understand this.

      1. Jokes mocking his name and suggesting he’s a “terrorist” would be awful – just like they are when Fox News does it to Obama.

        But people joking about how the same Republicans who are so quick to demonize Barack Hussein Obama now have a candidate named Mohammad Ali – well, that seems to me to be fair game. We’re not mocking the individual – I’m very pleased to see he’s running! – we’re mocking the party.

        1. Subject heads like, “Hasan is a terrorist to our legislative process” don’t encourage the kind of rational discussion you’re talking about.  It’s just mean, and I expect better from the commenters on this blog.  We can tear each other down about issues and beliefs all day long, but racist terrorist jokes aren’t ok.

  5. So what more do you need to know?

    He’s a candidate until he’s not a candidate–until he withdraws.

    Seems clear enough to me.

    That means he has to file campaign finance reports, and we’ll all be able to see over time just how serious he is.

  6. but I dont remember the expressive quote “FIVE ALIVE” continuing into political banter that could be used to help me and the rest of the Western Slope. This kids dad is as rich as anyone in the state (Hell, he gave Muhammad that house in the district so he could run) and his son still knows nothing about Western slope needs. He doesnt stand a chance against White…

  7. I’m very proud that the Western Slope is getting attention in this upcoming 2008 election. We are the most important area in the state right now, and spotlight on our issues (oil, gas, water) needs to take centerstage. I am deeply proud to be helping in the creation of that theater.

    Now, most people considering a run for State Senate would pay $30,000 to a big PR company, that would hire people to sit at computers all day, scattering blogs, and writing comments of defense for whatever candidate hired them

    I’m not like that – I believe that one defends oneself best

    So let’s ROCK —-

    1. HOUSE — I would go easy on the “Daddy bought home a for me.” Our Eagle County home has been in our family for around 16 years now. In addition, I’m an official owner of the home, responsible for property tax. We have roots in Eagle County/Western Slope and I am deeply proud of that.

    2. DADDY’S MONEY — Again, any campaign related expenses are coming out of my pocket, not Daddy’s. The financial statements filed with the SOS will reflect such a thing. As far as where I got the money, I saved what I made in political commentating, in addition to joining family investments. Any campaign I take on would be with my money, not ‘Daddy’s’. However, Daddy has offered to write a $400 contribution, should I run (thanks Dad!).

    3. JEANNIE ARTEZ —- Jeannie is a very dear friend of mine and she is very active in the Jewish community of our Western Slope. We have a proud interfaith dialogue here on our Western Slope. With that said, there is going to be a lot of unnecessary fuss made about my having a Muslim background. Regardless of endorsement, including Jeannie’s name dispels the myth of religious tension on the Western Slope because it shows that people of different religions work together and support each other. It may sound silly, but including Jeannie in press release materials was important to us, on this basis. The Western Slope is a wonderful place that celebrates diversity – Jeannie’s comment is a testament to that good dialogue.

    4. ROAN PLATEAU —- Now to real issues — I was very supportive of expanding the current drilling on the Roan Plateau, but now I am hesitant. First off, it is important to understand that much of the area around the Roan Plateau is already being heavily drilled; so we are really debating a small area. In addition, 70% of the natural gas available on the Roan Plateau is privately owned, demonstrating that we have many logistical, political, and issues of ownership to resolve. Main thing though — since spending time at the Roan Plateau, I was DEEPLY shocked at how shambolic the current infrastructure is. On my last visit there, I was standing on a dirt road (made for cattle ranching) as three gigantic big-rigs drove by, going to gas drilling pads. Talking about drilling expansion on the Roan Plateau is absolutely premature — the dialogue that needs to open is how are going to go about improving the current infrastructure on the Roan Plateau, because the dirt roads there do not accommodate for higher capacity drilling. In addition, I’m very upset with current Republican leadership, as some Republicans are pushing a bill that would increase drilling on the Roan Plateau and send 50% of the royalties to a fund for State Higher Education — THIS IS COMPLETELY INAPPROPRIATE —- Now I want to help Higher Education, but K-12 Schools in Garfield County are overcrowding with so much new oil/gas industry officials in town, healthcare services are overwhelmed, and the county roads are a mess. We need to seriously consider an increase in the current levels of severance tax, in order to address the problems that are causing terrible effects in Garfield, Rio Blanco, and Moffat…. from there, we need to seriously invest in a better infrastructure of the Roan Plateau if drilling is to expand. The last thing we need to do is start EARMARKING royalties from drilling that is not even happening. Such earmarking is irresponsible and a slap in the face to the good people of the Western Slope who are managing the current drilling. And I’m with Rep Kathy Curry — I support drilling — but there’s some problems we need to take care of immediately. I hope the Oil & Gas Commission takes some leadership on this issue. Lastly, the Roan Plateau is a real beautiful place, with many valleys. Any drilling should be extremely environmental friendly… sadly, the topography of the area makes for difficult drilling, but we’ll have to do our best.

    5. VERMILLION BASIN — Compared to the Roan Plateau, the Vermillion Basin is much easier place to drill, in my opinion. The topographic structure of the Vermillion Basin accommodates for easier drilling, based on the tour I took of it. In addition, the infrastructure there is much more accommodating as many roads are paved, straight, and wide, allowing for big-rig trucks to move more easily. I think directional drilling (directional pads) could easily be accommodated over most of the Vermillion Basin, with minimal environmental impact, mainly due to its flat topography.

    6. OIL SHALE — I had a great conversation with Trent Kaiser, who is a friend of mine, over at the last Club 20 meeting. Kaiser is the Vice President of Noetic, a company heavily involved with Oil Sands drilling in Canada. Despite what others say, Kaiser demonstrated to me that the technology is becoming available to extract oil shale. Colorado is not ready for this, considering our current infrastructure problems. The Natural Gas boom happened overnnight, but we have done our best to make up for it. Our Oil & Gas Commission has overlooked legislation on Oil Shale, and we need to start seriously considering matters of infrastructure, severance tax, and ownership rights, in terms of oil shale. While some believe that it will never be extracted, Trent Kaiser was not so quick to say such a thing. We need to be ready, if the time comes.

    7. WATER/CALIFORNICATION OF WATER ARTICLE — Much is being made of my Vail Daily article about water. In summary, what I said is that a lot of fuss is being made over Denver seeking to move water from Eagle County (Wolcott River) or the Yampa River, for the purpose of satisfying its needs of growth. However, unlike Orange County, Denver does not reclaim its water and send it back out to citizens, nor does Denver require low-flow toilets. Rather than spending billions building a new pumpback project, I think the Front Range would be better off with practicing Smart Growth (low flow toilets, xeriscaping, water reclamation) than it would spending billions on pumpback projects and/or pipelines that go through Wyoming. Lastly, if Denver wants more water, then we should really focus on getting that water to the Big Thompson Project, rather than building a new pumpback project that would cost billions. However, I am against giving Denver any Western Slope water, at the current time. The Front Range needs to practice Smart Growth and demonstrate its ability to conserve. That alone, will probably solve most of Denver’s problems, at a cheaper price, as well.

    8. POLITICAL COMMENTARY —- Political commentary means NOTHING in politics, and if anything, most political commentators have FAILED when they ran for office (Pat Buchanan, Alan Keyes, etc). I am deeply proud of my political commentary career, but I do run, then I would want people supporting me on my history of serving as a public school tyro-teacher and environmental scientist. In a district like SD-8, knowledge and experience on Education and Environmental Science are the best things I can offer.

    9. JOHN BADHAM — Feel free to attack me all you want, but I appeal to everyone’s good soul in refraining to slander John Badham, especially since we have a community here. Professor Badham was my mentor and a father figure to me. I get sensitive about attacks towards him. Please focus on attacking me instead.

    10. CONCLUSION — This is going to sound silly…. but believe me…. I am considering a run for this because I want to help people. Period. If I wanted political fame, I would run for Congress in CD-2 or CD-3, as I have roots in Eagle and Pueblo. I have the capital to fund a respectable campaign, and my knowledge of the War On Terror would certainly help. But I like Congressman Salazar and I think Polis/Shafroth/Fitzgerald are all good people, despite my political disagreements with them. CD-2 and CD-3 are in good hands (Polis, especially, as our State Board Chair, representing Eagle County, has done a good job of addressing the concerns of Eagle County and many of us here wish him well in his CD-2 bid, even though I’m supporting the Republican Party). In addition, if I wanted more money, I would go back to political commentary, where I did very well. If I wanted more fame and money, I would go back to filmmaking, where I was winning many awards. The truth is, I have a cause and a group of people that I would like to help. I believe that the Western Slope needs more attention and deserves a greater piece of the political spotlight. We are rich in oil, gas, water, and taxes — we deserve a bigger seat at the table. If I am to run, then this is out of service to the area and people I love. If it was ego, then I would be in a very different place right now. Simply considering a run is bringing much needed attention to our Western Slope — I am DEEPLY proud of this.

    11. SNOWBOARD — and lastly….. I do indeed have a snowboard… it is a Never Summer 165 Titan, hand made in Colorado.


    And what’s with the “Terrorist to the legislative process” and my name being “deadly”?? — Let us remember that Colorado is the state that celebrates DIVERSITY more deeply than any other state. We were one the of first to send a Native American to our National Senate (Nighthorse Campbell), one of the first to send a Latino to our National Senate (Ken Salazar), and one of the only to have an African American serve as Lieutenent Governor (Joe Rogers). I don’t think “Muhammad” is deadly on any ballot in Colorado, when you consider all of that.

    West Of The Tunnel — Deep in my heart, I don’t believe that you truly feel that way about our good people of Colorado. I appeal to your good heart to refrain from speculation, and instead, focus on the issues at hand. After all, we are Western Slope Brothers (you and me) — you don’t have to support me, but let’s at least let our interactions of disagreement be full of love and not negativity.

    And with that….. I should really go to bed…

    For those of you in Routt, Moffat, Jackson, Rio Blanco, Garfield, and Eagle — it has been a pleasure meeting you so far and I look forward to continuing the good dialogue

    Thank you Pols for the good coverage

    And for all — may peace and love always be upon you all!!!

    Muhammad Ali Hasan

  8. I don’t know who the Dems may run, but Al White is running for the R nomination.  Given his record in the Legislature it would be foolish for the Rs to nominate anyone else.  White has been an excellent, thoughtful legislator.  Though clearly a conservative (though perhaps not by the Party’s current standards) he is not an idealogue and does not vote lockstep just because party orthodoxy demands it (that is also why he is undoubtedly getting a primary).  He has always done what he thought was in the best interests of his house district and the state.

    I do not always agree with Al, but I respect his integrity and committment to doing what the people sent him to do.

    If there were more Al Whites, the Rs would not be staring up at the light out of the abyss they have put themselves in.

  9. …but I’m worried about his current support of drilling the Roan Plateau and sending 50% of the royalties to a Higher Education Fund, that will benefit Denver and Boulder, primarily.

    Expanding drilling on the Roan Plateau, without updating the current infrastructure and addressing the low severance tax (Colorado’s 1.9, compared to New Mexico and Wyoming, which are between 5 and 6), is irresponsible. Sending the royalties to Denver and Boulder, well to me, that seems like robbery.

    I hope calls for such a plan are abandoned soon.

  10. We want to protect it. 

    Building massive new roads and such on top will destroy its character, drive away the small businesses that rely on the Roan as it today, trash the genetically pure trout strains there (read the CDOW report, and three-state report on the recovery of this species, BLM’s own Aug 2002 ACEC report for Roan Plateau, and the BLM’s EIS on the matter for more info. documentation).  Roads (along with well pads) are precisely the problem, sedimentation, etc.  not to mention spills, for this species.  The mule deer herds will be decimated (again, read BLM’s own report, 20-40% decline in mule deer numbers).

    According to a new report put out by the Schnake/Sims ‘Drill Colorado first’ group, about 4,800 wells would have to be installed on the Roan to get out the resource the industry is after.  4800 wells.  4800 wells. 4800 wells.

    Finally, please provide me some evidence to suggest that Rep. Curry supports drilling Roan Plateau. 


  11. Buddy – you’re preaching to the choir

    Take the “4800” number to your buddy Representative White, who wants to expand drilling (right now) and give the royalties to Denver and Boulder

    As far as Rep Curry supporting drilling of the Roan Plateau –


    I’m with Rep Curry — I don’t like drilling, but directional padsite drilling is the future, in this case

  12. Directional drilling, from adjacent private land is, of course, what advocates for Roan Plateau have been in support of all along, and what Reps. Salazar and Udall have worked to get into the Energy Bill.  Is that your position too?

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