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November 05, 2013 06:16 AM UTC

Election Day 2013 Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

"Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost."

–John Quincy Adams


52 thoughts on “Election Day 2013 Open Thread

  1. My updated guess as to the results:

    • 66 will lose 46 – 54. And maybe worse. I haven't heard anyone talk about how it will improve K-12. (Not saying it won't, just that there was no message that got to people about that.)
    • AA will win 60 – 40. And maybe more. I've yet to meet a single person who voted against this (granted Boulder is not representative of the state as a whole).
    • Boulder 310 will win 52 – 48. And maybe more. What I've heard from person after person is they don't trust the people running municipilization. Some of that is true believers will not take a dispassionate view. Some of it is the experience that the government is a bad manager. (And before anyone claims no they're not – the #1 government news story right now is the ACA website. So yes, voters view the government as incompetent.)
      1. I think 310 will pass. I'm pretty much on the fence on this one as we have no way of knowing which alternative is better. I've yet to hear a single person in Boulder say they voted against it. I'm sure a lot will, but I think more will vote in favor.

  2. Congratulations, ColoradoPols, you have made the boyles show!  The Tancredo pix is on the boyles web page and petey read some of the comments.  Gessler was on the show and said they were investigating some charges of voter intimindation by the anti-recall protestors.  petey said some of the Colorado pol comments "couldn't be read on the air." (And, I thought that we were getting so much better with civility, etc.) Also, petey said, he was his "personally belief" that the anti recall people were being paid. He and Gessler used the term "useful idiot" to refer to the spokesperson who was on the air with boyles last week

    Now, you have rattled the cage.  The question is: Will you open the cage and engage or will you run away and hide?

    boyles may have goofed big time on one issue.  He acknowledged that he is familiar with this website.  Therefore,  he knows that the audio, posted on Coloradopols,  documents that the insult of "brown shirts" was said by the recall person on the show and boyles was wrong to bully Tom Mauser into apologizing.  

    I hope to hell that some pro bono legal eagle is checking all of this out for the anti-petition folks.


    1. Last week's guest from the anti-recall side was Tom Mauser.  So are Peter Boyles and Scott Gessler calling Tom Mauser a "useful idiot"?  OMG!!!  How crass!



        No, boyles called the number listed on the door hangers and got a woman (I don't have the name in from of me) who is listed on the filing with the Secretary of State's office as the contact for Democracy Defense Fund. She did not know where the money had come from nor did she know anything about the door hangers.  boyles calls her a "nice woman" who is a dupe. I think that is whom they were referring to as  a "useful idiot."

      1. yeh, Jason, Tancredo showed at 8am and was on for about a half hour….very funny, played the victim…promised to help out the recall any way he could….

        It is a shame you couldn't listen…..


      2. While you're at it there, how about checking on what Boyles gave out at his home for Halloween treats this year???  (Our local media used to cover that for really big celebs, like Elway, years ago . . .)

        I'm sure there's at least one polster here who would be interested in knowing this vital information . . .

        Thanks, in advance. 

  3. Why is government incompetence ok?

    Two summers ago we were driving back from Steamboat and the DOT was repaving the highway. So one lane had a mile long series of machines. The first machine was chewing up the old asphalt. Then machine after machine was doing the next step. And at the end you had a new roadway ready for driving. The whole thing was inching along and was beautiful to behold. 

    We turn on our faucet and we get clean water. We flush our toilets and the sewage is handled. If there's a fire the fire truck is there in minutes and the fire is put out.

    The government is capable of operating effeciently & effectively. It does so in many ways day after day.

    And yet… 

    (Not to pick on Michael who I usually agree with), we have this. It's totally acceptable to have government IT projects fail. And fail at an extraordinarily high rate. We have it here with CBMS and many other projects. We have it with the Obamacare website. We have it with many other projects.

    Why is this acceptable? Why?

    In a competent development environment it's rare that a project slips. And this includes projects that are much more complex than anything the government creates. When it does happen, like in the case of Apple maps, the person responsible is fired. Fired primarily because the last person you want trying to fix the problem is the nincompoop who fucked it up. Secondarily to show that failure has consequences, which is fundamental to an effective organization.

    This leaves most people with the impression that the government is incompetent. Not just incompetent at IT (which is clearly true), but incompetent at everything. And that gives the Republicans the ability to run with that story as it is very credible.

    1. So your examples are both IT projects, which are clearly farmed out to private entities, as an example of govt imcompetence at everything?  Very contradictory post…

      1. My points are that first off, why does government incompetence at IT get a pass from the politicians as ok when the government is quite good at numerous other things.

        And yes, people will see the IT disasters and from that will draw the conclusion that the government as a whole is incompetent. On this issue, don't shoot the messenger (that's me).

        1. I have noticed that when a person has a particular expertise in an area he or she may experience far more impatience and irritation when others screw up in that area.  My husband dislikes TV shows about hospitals and doctors. I am less than patient with educators who don't seem to be able to educate either their students or the public at large.  I also think the teachers' unions should be very active in weeding out inadequate teachers and in promoting good practices. I am very disappointed with them. Teacher training still needs a lot of work.  Teachers need better leadership and support   I am a former member of AFT.  I take it more personally when incompetence or impossibe senarios are allowed play out.  I'm sure the same thing applies to dentists, lawyers, electricians and so on. 

          And I have no doubt that while not fully to blame, the current purposeful disfunction in Washington and in many states with "Republican" governors has contributed to this mess. It may also be a generational thing.  But that doesn't seem to has slowed down the NSA. 

          I understand your frustration.  I hope things do better in the near and long term for government IT projects for all our sakes.  They must do better.  And, you are right, we must expect better. 

          1. There's a lot of truth to that (the personal expertise). And you're right, the NSA manages to have really good programmers.

            But my god, the rank incompetence in the Obamacare website is just incredible. Like your husband going to a hospital and finding they're using witch doctors.

    2. David – I don't take issue with your assertion that things need to get 'fixed'.  I took issue with you couching Sebilius as a fuck up and incompetent.  I think Obama has learned the hard lesson that creating change inside the government is a much more difficult task than from the outside.  To wit: the re-election campaign (now OFA) is one of the most tech-savvy entities in existence.  This isn't a blind loyalty to Sebilius or anyone else in the Cabinet as far as that goes.  It's about the political reality the President and Kathleen have had to face since Day 1. 

      The ACA law is what drove and funded so much of this – and it's the not-so-quiet secret in this town that federal contractors always put their 'C 'students on federal programs – the A students get assigned to their private contracts. They all know the game: there is never a penalty for cost overruns. 

      Given the political hand they've been dealt, given half-of-half of Congress would rather canabalize government than fix it – I think it's gone about like anyone would expect a major government program to go.  We had all kinds of problems with the Medicare Part D rollout – we fixed it.  If 31 governors had done their job, this would have gone flawlessly.  Again, and I mean this sincerely, guys like you and your company should be the ones driving this change.  But that kind of change is going to come from Congress – not from the White House or the Cabinet. 

      And I'm clearly in the camp that wished POTUS would sell our side harder than he does.  There has been a lot of ACA already implemented that is benefitting Americans every day.  Unlike Brownie, where people were actually dying from his incompetence, nobody is dying from this saga.  If they can't go live by Nov. 30 we'll probably see a delay.  I, like you, wish we would have gone to single-payer, but we both know who killed that idea as well.  Our side is a long ways from perfect – but at least we have an interest in fixing this for everybody.  The Teahadists…not so much.

      1. @MB,

        The guy who ran the "most tech-savy entities in existence" left the building long ago and is now working for Hillary.  Obama evidently let him go.  Obama also turned OFA into a enuch organization. Could he have a "mole" on the staff….

        1. That comment was directed on the level of technology adoption during the campaign.  If the ACA website worked half-as-good as the 2008 and 2012 campaigns ability to contact me every five minutes – their problem would be solved.  Good on Hillary.  I don't have any interaction currenlty with OFA so can't comment whether they're good or bad. 

          I have little use for hysteria [the media spin machine, not David] –  I'd rather roll up my sleeves and fix it. I wish it had been better, but it isn't. Nobody's going to war; no one is dying.  In fact, quite the opposite.  In the big scheme of things this is a hiccup.

          As my grandmother often said, "this, too, shall pass."

        2. dwyer, the database/voter contact/GOTV entity formerly known as VAN (Voter Activation Network) has merged with NGP. OFA did in fact initiate the development of this database,but it's evolved a few times since then. It may have lost its original developers, but competent people run it now.

          The fabulous database of legend does in fact keep getting better, through its iterations as Obama's campaign secret weapon, through the DNCC and DSCC versions, etc. I've worked with this database every year since 2008, and it really does keep getting more efficient and user-friendly.

          It used to beat the crap out of whatever database the Republicans were using- at least, they had significantly more errors on their voter contact lists and their targeting.

          . I know that on VAN, I can look up any voter in Colorado, find out his/her precinct, voting history (which elections he//she has voted in), volunteer history, other voters in the household, and much more. All this information has been put to strategic use. It interfaces with the secretaries of state databases, takes input on the fly from mobile devices of canvassers in the field, and it will chop vegetables!

          Well, maybe not that last.

          So it's way premature to mourn the loss of tech-savviness on the Dem side. The software and support is top flight. Bluecat, as a party operative, and probably others on here, can tell you the same. Whatever the faults of the administrators making political decisions, the database kicks butt.

           I'm definitely not enough of an IT person to compare the VAN database with the healthcare database. It would probably make just too much sense to have had the VAN designers input on


          1. @MB and mj55,

            My comment on OFA refers to the fact that OFA was a democratic organization and after the Obama win, it changed its designation to a 501(c)3 and according to IRS rules as noted on the OFA website, it CANNOT advocate for any candidate or become involved with partisan politics.  OFA can only advocate for issues on a non-partisan basis. Therefore, the democratic party has lost,  IMHO, an incredibly important election support. 


            1. I like that OFA isn't supporting state candidates anymore. They mightily pissed off many people, as you know, when they interfered in the Romanoff/Bennet primary.

              My point is that everything that makes change – the volunteers, the networks, the community groups, the trained, enthusiastic interns, the paid staff, and yes, the mighty VAN database – that was started or promoted by OFA has kept on growing and expanding into new venues without supporting candidates.

              They've turned over campaigning to the DSCC, and the DCCC which use the same database, hires OFA trained people, and can advocate for candidates.

              While Republicans chew each other up for not being right wing enough, Democras are cooperating at the local, state, and national levels. Not well enough, obviously, not yet, but I think in 2016 we're going to see that cooperation like never before.

              In Jeffco, for example, my old friends advocate for healthcare, for immigration, for awareness on climate change, all with OFA training, the mighty database, funds, and expertise. "Issue groups" can make a difference.

              I've had my differences with OFA, specifically around how they do and don't do voter registration. I don't work with them now, because of those differences. But to say that the organization is now a "eunuch" is way understating its impact, in my opinion.


              1. @mj55,

                First of all, I absolutely defer to your field experience.  Let me explain where I am going from. I remember the bitter fight, here in Denver, over the Romanoff/Bennet primary.  My impression is that Denver Democratic Party is still smarting over that rift and many of Romanoff supporters were also Clinton supporters – so there is a split that goes back. The comments I heard about 2012 were that that OFA was simply "taking over" and dictating to the local party organizations.  I had brief contact with OFA in the summer of 2011….and the interest in "local opinion" was just a selling point, I was told that national was not concerned about the same things I was and I was "not to worry" and get onboard as a "worker bee."  I do not respond real well to that approach.

                This is what happened, IMHO:

                1) OFA dominated in the individual states and set up a GOTV that won the election for Obama.

                2) In running that "tight ship," OFA weakened the democratic party organizations at the city, county and state levels. 

                3) I don't think that the local Democratic parties, particularly in Colorado, have been rebuilt.  I did not know the degree to which the technical expertise of OFA had been shared with the individual parties.  Political Parties, however, are about power and influence.  That is the part that OFA took.

                4) Obama changed OFA from a national Democratic party organization to a non-partisan "issues advocacy" organization.

                5) "Issues OFA" attempted to influence Congress on gun control, sequestration. migration, and the government shut down,  and failed miserably on each issue. 

                6) I would argue that the best way to influence Congress is to lobby individual Representatives and Senators in terms of their re-election.  In order to do that, you have to have a partisan organization or one that can be active in election politics.  OFA cannot.

                7) This is the reason I call OFA a enuch organization.

                8) The local party organizations need more than technology. They need to feel that they are in charge and have some power. 

                9) The White House does not have a feedback loop from the states, cities, and counties.  I have used the impression that Obama has a "tin ear."  He does not have any real way of "gut checking" his political spiels, because the people with influence are all technocrats or close friends from Chicago.



      2. We disagree big-time here. This was totally under the control of the administration. They could have placed the work with competent people. They could have recruited an A team from Silicon Valley. They're doing it now so clearly they could have done it before.

        And the fact that they went live unaware of how bad it was. Sorry, but if Sebilius was working for any tech company and delivered that she would have been fired instantly. There would have been 5 – 10 people out the door.

        I don't care if Obama is upset and wants it fixed instantly. I want competent leadership. I want someone who can get the stuff under their control done.

        1. I don't mind disagreements.  And I tend to look at things more in the whole than in silos.  Overall, his leadership has been to my liking.  Don't like everything – but I'd undoubtedly like it less had we been saddled with Caribou Barbie as our VP for eight years. 

          1. Exactly. He is of great historic significance as the first non-white American President but I don't thnik he will be remembered as the most skilled or effective. Still a big whew compared to what the past years and next few would be like with either McCain/ Crazy lady or Romney/Crazy man.

            1. It is still early days to predict long term political legacy.  Roosevelt had mixed results and implementation was often rushed.  He was in a hurry.  But he pulled a lot of rabbits out of the hat.

              I think the tea partiers will carry a little black cloud over their sorry populist reputations.  Boehner and McConnell will not fair well either.  Bless their unfortunate hearts.  wink

              1. True. Let's say ACA succeeds and leads to eventual acceptance of the kind of universal healthcare people in all the other modern industrialized countries have. Obama would then be considered the one who set us on that road and made it possible. 

                But I certainly will never see him as one of our most effective presidents over all. From the moment he decided that offering 90% to his opponents as an opening bid in health care reform negotiations and not even giving single payer a place at the table as a bargaining strategy after running on reform that would include a public option, through the rest of numerous negotiations and crises to the present, it would be very hard to describe him as highly effective.

                He certainly performed his role as leader much more effectively in the recent government shut down and debt ceiling crisis so there's a learning curve. If he continues to move in this direction for the remainder of his second term and continues to get results by the new means with which he is replacing his former approach of essentially begging Rs to be nice while pointing to his own base as the problem, he may finish strong.

                I also am not among those who will remember fondly the level of secrecy, the erosion of privacy rights, the love affair with assassinations by drones regardless of collateral damage and the lack of will to reverse deregulation in the financial sector in a significant way.

                Of course, despite all the GOTP screaming about his radicalism all these years, other than the immediate post-election abandoning of a public option, I can't really complain that I got something other than the centrist he ran as and for whom I voted for. 

                I do think he could have been more effective in pushing the agenda he ran on from the beginning considering that he had a majority in both Houses to work with. His inability to manage his fellow Dems during the time Dems held both Houses was an unfortunate instance of failure that can't be laid at the door of GOP obstructionism. 

                His early and for a very long time continuing, strategy of being dismissive of anyone or thing remotely progressive in a vain attempt to get the GOP to be open to cooperating with him and the priority he gave to his equally vain determination to change the tone in DC to one of sweet civility no matter how clear the GOP made it that its only goal was to thwart and crus him were not  good choices, to put it mildly.  

                I believe I voted for my best option in 2008 and 2012  and I'm very glad the Rs didn't win.  I was moved by being part of the historic election of our first non-white President when such a thing, up until the advent of Obama, seemed a long way off. But I never idealized him then and don't now.

  4. boyles show, etc.  Now a caller is promoting the idea of posting pix of the anti-petition rallers and asking people to identify. …suggested title: "Name the Thug."  boyles show has been devoted to painting the anti-petitioners as intimindating, harassing, paid, trained, and tancredo as the victim.



    1. Of course they are.  The campaign is working.  They're scared.  Somebody finally stood up to the bully.  Isn't it a beautiful thing?  For years the right has hidden behind the first amendment for their lying, cheating, stealing absurd positions.  Now, the left figured out how to do it and the right is mad.  Huh???  Smiling.

      1. It is a beautiful thing UNLESS the recall is effective and Hudak is out.  See, it is not enough to fight back….you have to fight back and win….there is almost a month to go.

      2. That's exactly right.

        These gunzos are bullies. That they've been popped in the face, stood down, called on thier collective bluff, is evident in the "name the thug" bullshit boyles is pulling. 

        Pure projection, and from  a guy that's been a bully as long as I can remember him on the radio. And remember, like all bullies, beneath boyles' bluster, there's the coward. 

        Still haven't heard from Jason re: boyles' claims he was US Army Airborne, but still hoping, as I'd like to use it as point of refernce as to boyles' veracity, credibility, and trustworthiness.

        boyles knows he used to claim military experience, I heard him doing it, and I'd love to hear his response to the direct question. My gut is he'll attack the questioner and the accuser. I've got a DD214. Question is, does boyles?

  5. While deciding whether or not to vote for government hating GOTPers (yeah I know. Not many reading this intend to but it ties it in with the election day theme) who, against all historic and contemporary evidence, somehow manage to believe that the way to get the economy going is through austerity because the public sector is somehow the enemy of private sector growth(?), please read the following. I'm not good at figuring out how to make things like charts and pics appear in my comment box but the link will get you to everything including the chart.

    The next time a Republican tells you government spending is out of control, the chart below is all you need to prove otherwise.

    The Financial Times has a story on Monday that is long and paywalled and not all that surprising to anybody who has been watching Republicans squeeze the life out of the economy for the past four years or so. Still, it's a story worth telling again and again, and it can be summed up in its opening paragraph:

    "Public investment in the US has hit its lowest level since demobilisation after the second world war because of Republican success in stymieing President Barack Obama’s push for more spending on infrastructure, science and education," write Robin Harding, Richard McGregor and Gabriel Muller.

    And they have a helpful chart to illustrate this, which I have reproduced here using data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (story continues after chart):

  6. Done my duty. Voted no on 66 and yes on AA. I realized that they were talking about retail pot, not MM pot. But I rejected the referred amendments on additional Denver taxes on pot. Let's start with AA and see where it goes.



    1. I'm with you. But the corporation mentality that's been embedded into the social framework is one of "me first". Also, if you read Dave Thi, there's the kneejerk "never raise taxes, no how and no way" drumbeat that bagdom thrives on.

      Also, the fear "Union Teachers" will make a living not pedestrian enough. The thought of a teacher retiring with dignity, free of food stamp need, somehow irritates people. Don't know why, just the way it is. Maybe fox, o'reilly, beck, etc. 

      What people don't understand though, is that it costs more in the long run. It's just that th parent pays out to a private contractor, a vendor, a walmart, instead of pennies on the dollar for 66.

      Oh well, bag mentality wins this round.

      1. There is all that. But I think the big problem was they never sold why the additional money was needed. What new things we would get (like effective evaluations). And why a higher tax rate is needed to bring back stuff we used to have.

        People will vote for more money for K-12. But they have to be convinced that it will improve the system because they've been burned way too many times when "for the kids" led to more money, but no improvement.

    1. I turned my ballot in in downtown Colorado Springs this morning.  There was a steady stream of peoplecarrying their ballots in.  There were several young women with small children among them.  But I do not think 66 will pass,  and this after decades of Colorado underfunding education.  The anti public education people have done an effective job.

  7. In the final days of the Virgina elections Cuccinelli has been trumpeting the gubernatorial election as a referendum on Obamacare (ACA). If he loses do you suppose he and all his TP friends will be announcing that the people of Virginia have spoken and they want to keep Obamacare? That certainly hasn't been the reaction of Republicans to another referendum election, the presidential of 2012 in which Romney ran on repealing Romney, I mean Obamacare, so I wouldn't hold my breath.

    Whatever they're doing in the Kentucky state exchange ought to be cloned because they're having terrific success, both with the technical aspects and with the education outreach they've done. When did Kentucky become a hot bed of ultra liberal politics?  Would that be never? 

    Meanwhile, while few expect TP fave Cuccinelli to make it, Christy in New Jersey is on his way to winning by historic margins, the guy who hugged Obama and isn't ashamed of it, thereby becoming the enemy of the TP. 

    Has the TP peaked? How many more referenda is the group who claims to represent the people going to lose while still clinging to that fiction? How much longer will the GOP let them call the shots in a GOTP everybody seems to be getting thoroughly sick of? I hope long enough to produce enough unelectable candidates in purple states to put Pelosi back in the Speakership. With a contribution from CD6 in Colorado.

    Oh wait. I forgot. I don't listen to enough rightie radio or I'd know they still rule and always will. Resistance is futile, libtards are doomed, yadyadyada. 

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