Weirdest Voicemail You’ve Ever Heard in a Denver School Board Race

POLS UPDATE: Sources close to the school board candidates "supported" by the robocall described below insist that this recording did not originate with their campaigns, or anyone linked to them. Several sources indicate that, despite the call's ostensible targeting of "fellow Republicans," it was widely sent to Democratic voters in Denver. If correct, that would seem to indicate this robocall was a "false flag" attack, seeking to undermine support for these candidates by "outing" them as closet conservatives. We'll update as this unusual story develops.


This year's Denver School Board candidates apparently tripped, fell, and landed in Douglas County while the rest of us weren't looking, if this bizarre voicemail to "fellow Republicans" (yes, all six of you who live in Denver!) is any indication:

According to the cheery, robotic disembodied voice, Landri Taylor and Barbara O'Brien "share our conservative values" and will help parents send their kids to schools "free of the liberal agenda." Christian schools and vouchers are specifically mentioned, in connection with one another, just in case you needed the point driven home with a sledgehammer.

Maybe Scott Gessler should have suspended his campaign to work on Denver races, instead? DougCo seems to be doing a good job of electing far-right School Board members without the Honey Badger's help. Here in Denver, it looks like he'd have an opportunity to help send even more tax dollars to Christian schools, and right under Diana DeGette's nose, too. Now that's a Honey Badger move.

(End note: I absolutely hate Denver School Board races, and if this weren't so utterly bizarre, I wouldn't have posted it. And frankly, I like Landri Taylor. But seriously, what the heck? Is this Opposites Year? Multiple DSB candidates selling a pro-voucher stance?)

About ProgressiveCowgirl

Colorado native, young professional, progressive cowgirl. 4-term FPE (aka masochist).

26 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ProgressiveCowgirl says:

    Hmm, interesting. Apparently since the last time I posted something has changed with the "sticky" field so I can't make this post sticky. 

  2. mamajama55 says:

    PG, your post will stay at the top of this thread automagically.  As far as the School Board race, it indeed must be bizarro land up there in Denver town.

    • ProgressiveCowgirl says:

      Not the thread, the main page. The top field is an option called "sticky." FPEs used to be able to use it to put a more recent piece at the top. Now that doesn't work. Either there's a bug or Guvs only want their own posts in the top two positions on the main page now.

      • Colorado Pols says:

        You still have the ability to flag a post to sticky status. Since we installed the cache manager a few weeks ago, that status takes a few minutes to catch up with the homepage. Wait a few minutes and your post should appear.

  3. catpuzzle says:

    1. They aren't supporting vouchers. See O'brien's stance here – she supported a pretty limited program in 2003 along with Ken Salazar, but doesn't think it's needed in Denver any more:

    2. More importantly, shouldn't you be concerned about the fact that this robo call was illegal? There's no paid for on it. Kiley and Kilgore seem to be getting so desperate, that they're even willing to break the law to smear fellow dems. The fact that they are paying for last minute illegal robo calls is the real scandal here, and hopefully they will be investigated for it. 

    • ProgressiveCowgirl says:

      Like I said, I hate school board races and I'm not really interested in them, especially ones I (thank God) don't have to vote in, but this was too bizarre not to post. Hopefully if it's illegal electioneering by Dem opponents, additional exposure will lead to their being caught and fined accordingly. 

      I will say this is NOT the first connection of Landri and vouchers. I like him. I'd be voting for him if I were burdened with a vote in this horrible, horrible race. But he's stated he likes vouchers before.

      • BlueCat says:

        Don't know why you hate school board races and find them beneath your notice but that's one of the ways social conservatives started building power way back when. By taking over school boards and building a base to enter local politics and beyond. If you aren't interested in them, that suits the anti-public education crowd just fine. Their people are very interested and very determined to do away with public education. The more people who share your disinterest the better it is for their agenda. 

        • ProgressiveCowgirl says:

          School board seats should be either paid positions, or subject to restrictive campaign finance reform that prohibits PACs entirely. The fact that these are extremely expensive races full of soft-side money for an unpaid position guarantees they will always be full of candidates who have some other way of ekeing compensation out of the position, and that they will be bought and paid for by big-time campaign donors. Frankly, if I could wave the magic "now try this" wand, I'd also limit eligibility to people who either have at least one child attending K-12 in the school district or have worked for the school district. 

          These are the nastiest, dirtiest, most expensive of all off-year races, usually featuring the least qualified, most corrupt candidates in the state, and that's incredibly sad because there ARE good things that could be done in public education if only you didn't have to survive a Denver School Board election to get into a position to do them. That's why I don't like these races. What should be a few parents and former teachers vying for a role in designing the future has become a sell-your-soul contest with glossy professionally managed campaigns and Walmart money (among other corporate donors).

          • BlueCat says:

            Well we live in the world that is, not the world that should be. It wasn't always the way it is now with school board races which is how the right cheaply and easily took over so many school boards starting decades ago. There are still better and worse candidates and the right appreciates the lack of interest that makes it easier for them to advance their anti public education, pro subsidized creationist religious education and screw low income kids who will be left behind in underfunded public schools agenda.

            • ProgressiveCowgirl says:

              I vote. I volunteer. I just don't do it in Denver, praise all that is holy, and I don't do it with a smile very often even here in Jeffco. (We had a good batch the last two elections here, though.)

              • BlueCat says:

                You said you weren't interested in school board elections in general. I don't live in Denver either. I live in Littleton which, thankfully, has not yet been infected by the most virulent form of the anti-public education bug at the school board level and has pretty high quality public schools, even in the least affluent areas of the school district. 

                Wasn't always thrilled with everything about education here during my son's journey through Littleton school district but it's consistently still been the best public ed available in metro Denver and pretty decent. Littleton voters support our schools when asked, as well as our terrific museum and library.

                We also have a real downtown with plenty of unique non-chain (and a couple small local chain) restaurants, bars and retail. Music playing on weekends. A great little wine bar and a great little craft brew bar. If you're ever in south metro check it out. We're the suburban town that actually has a "there" there. 

    • dwyer says:

      Don't accuse Kiley and Kilgore of the ones behind the robot calls unless you have proof.  (Who is Kilgore?)

  4. Voyageur says:

    O'Brien and Taylor are by no means voucher types.   They do support Supt. Boasberg's reforms, but that has much more to do with charter sschools — which are, of course, public schools, than privitization.  I voted for OBrien and her fellow slate member in my District, Mike Johnson.

  5. Voyageur says:

    Sarcasm aside, it's wrong to say there are only six Republicans in Denver.   I switched parties a few years ago, so the GOP talley is now down to fivewink

  6. catpuzzle says:

    More interestingness…

    One of my friends who is helping Landri's campaign confirmed to me that this call did NOT come from them, and in fact it came from someone supporting Roger Kilgore and Mike Kiley.  Further, he said he wouldn't be surprised if the authorities were looking into it, since it's been reported, and there was no "paid for" line on it. So, it was an illegal call. Wondering who was behind it, but given that phone numbers can be traced, authorities can subpeona who contracted for the calls, etc., people who pull these kind of dirty trick often get caught…

    Here's hoping authorities track down whatever scum bags paid for these illegal calls. Given that they were stupid enough to do this in the first place, it probably shouldn't be too hard…


    • ProgressiveCowgirl says:

      How can they possibly tell who it came from and who that person is voting for, if tracing the phone number is still a work in progress? For the third time, I like Landri and I'd vote for him if I could, but it sounds like you are engaging in the same kind of mudslinging by claiming to know who the caller is actually supporting when you admit you don't know who made the call. 

  7. bullshit! says:

    I seriously doubt this was done by supporters of Landri Taylor or Barbara O'Brien. I smell a rat and I think you're being played like a fiddle PCG.

    • ProgressiveCowgirl says:

      Source is biased but reliable. If they knowingly sent me something bogus, I'll eat my bright pink hat and then kick their ass myself. I haven't posted all of it, but I have a lot more on Landri/BoB and vouchers. (Still would be voting for Landri if I had a Denver vote, though.)

      • bullshit! says:

        Did you ever hear back? Because I still think this was a cheap shot and that you're either in on it or being played. Your allusions to "more dirt" on vouchers regarding these candidates makes you seem like more than a disinterested messenger.

        Either way, you can tell your "reliable but biased" source that it didn't work.

  8. doremi says:

    I received the call….hung up on it.

    BUT….Landri Taylor has stated that he supports voucher (200%) …which is one of the reasons I did not vote for him.   I will NEVER vote for any candidate who is on record as supporting vouchers!

  9. dwyer says:

    I live in Denver.  On Saturday, I got a call from a real person urging me to "Vote for the Kids" in Douglas County.  I said that I live in Denver.  The person seem flustered and then apologized.  A friend of mine had a volunteer knock on her door and urge her to vote for "Brenda OBrien."

  10. doremi says:

    The more I think of it, the more reprehensible I think it is to lay out slanderous charges against two highly respectable individuals with no proof …. just supposition. 

    I happen to have very strong convictions on church/state separation, which is why I am highly opposed to those who indicated they are for vouchers. 

    I like to read Colorado Pols to get inside Democratic gossip, but right now I am rather repulsed by baseless charges made against a person I know and respect. 

Leave a Reply

Comment from your Facebook account

You may comment with your Colorado Pols account above (click here to register), or via Facebook below.