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December 29, 2008 04:30 PM UTC

2008 Top Ten #10: "Master Of The Terrible Press"

  • by: Colorado Pols

We can think of no better way to kick off our recap of historic 2008 in Colorado politics than to revisit a man who has been so very good to us in terms of furnishing entertaining subject matter for blog posts, Ali Hasan.

As Westword reported last January:

Ali and Miller held hands as they walked back to the Lexus SUV. She made a U-turn out of her spot, heading the wrong direction on the one-way street. A man drove past her in another SUV and mouthed “One way,” lifting his pointer finger into the air.

“Don’t you point at my girlfriend,” Ali joked as Miller turned the car around. “I’m the next fucking state representative.”

Of course the subsequent restraining order, oath of celibacy (TMI, anyone?), and loss to an incumbent who spent a small fraction of Hasan’s over $350,000 of family funds ultimately complicated his ability to make good on that little boast. Despite all of this, Hasan’s shockingly-wide permagrin hasn’t budged a millimeter we’re told.

Thanks for the memories, Ali.


30 thoughts on “2008 Top Ten #10: “Master Of The Terrible Press”

  1. If you wish to participate in our political system please don’t think you can do what Polis did because you have wealth in common. Start with your local P&Z commission and learn how government works.  

  2. The permagrin is there for good reason

    If you were an active voter in HD56, there was around a 95% chance that the following happened in this last campaign season –

    1. I was in your neighborhood talking to voters and walking with my team

    2. Your door was knocked on twice in a 3-month timespan, either by me or a staffer

    3. You received a personal call (not robo-call) from me or a staffer, soliciting any feedback or questions

    Overall, 20,000 doors were knocked on twice, with myself knocking on around 10,000 doors personally

    25,000 personal phone calls were made, by a team of volunteers, staff, and myself

    And of course, I probably spent the entire last month of the campaign on street corners all over HD56

    We ran on a socially-liberal (pro civil union/gay marriage, mostly pro-choice) and fiscal conservative (heavily PRO-TABOR with no compromises) ticket, which in my mind, set a new standard for Republican politics

    What’s killed Republican politicians is that too many are running on ANTI-TABOR and socially-conservative tickets — and no one likes a candidate who wants to raise your taxes and restrict your civil liberties

    The culmination of all that hard work was 47% of the vote, the highest performance of any Republican on the ticket in HD56, and outperforming McCain by around 13 points (I believe)

    We also won Eagle County, making us the only Republican on the entire ticket to win there and got the highest Republican percentages in Lake and Summit

    It is of note that I was deeply proud to run on the Republican ticket and despite being the highest vote getter, I would’ve traded that for seeing all of my Republican buddies win – we all worked very hard – personally, I think the bail out really dipped all Republican numbers – I was against the bail out, and I wish McCain would have been, as well

    It is also of note that, in my opinion, we were deeply outspent by the Democrat-sympathizing 527 machine, which sent a plethora of negative mailings and robocalls in the final month of the campaign — I have heard personally of anti-Muslim robocalls being made against me throughout the district — I have no idea which organization it originated from (CODA? Accountability For Colorado? Progress Now?), other than knowing that Democrats in Denver were clearly scared

    So why the permagrin?

    I’m deeply proud of the campaign we ran — knocking on thousands of doors, visiting every single precinct, and doing this all in a district where some said that a brown guy, with a Muslim background, and Republican identity, would get no traction?

    I would’ve liked to have won – but 47% is enough to make this dude ‘permagrin’ for a long time

    And no need to thank us for memories — believe me, there are plenty more down the pipeline

    Peace and love all!


    1. like getting rid of the fuel tax when our infrastructure is failing.

      And, I don’t believe there were any anti-Muslim robo calls. I’m in HD-56 and never heard one word about your religion, only about your silliness. That and the $ you were spending for the “staff” that you paid to knock on doors and hang stuff.

      1. this guy gives totally unsubstantiated claims of anti Muslim robocalls, and yethe’s “proud” to be a part of a political party whose members were involved in a whisper campaign that Obama is Muslim and that he pals around with terrorists.

        Shame.  Some day it’ll come back in style.

    2. We never heard anything about your religion (as Gray in the Mountains).  

      We heard a lot about how you were spending unfathomable amounts of money in our few small counties.  

      More importantly we heard about your positions, which we didn’t agree with.  These are the counties that don’t like TABOR.  We recognize that TABOR is responsible for dramatic decreases in funding for our public schools, so we have to pick up more of the tab, for higher education, so we have to pay more when we go to college, and for transportation, so that more people are stuck in traffic trying to get here and help sustain our way of life.  

      Furthermore, how would you have built your monorail with TABOR in place?  Since we can’t even fund necessary programs, where would we fund a monorail from?  You said you had private money lined up?  Where is it?  If you want to serve the people of these communities, push these private funders to invest.  In the meantime, TABOR will continue to restrict growth in even regular transportation maintenance, much less investment in new (and very expensive) projects.

      I guess my point is that your ideas just didn’t seem to make sense.  You seemed to have a lot of talking points that you thought would poll well, but the voters of HD 56 saw how contradictory they were.  A smarter, more informed, and more pragmatic set of positions (such as though put forth by your opponent, Rep. Scanlan) are what will (and did) win in this district.  These include understanding the limitations of TABOR, knowing how to work with and around them, and being very clear about how new programs will be funded.

  3. He put his name out there and ran which is more than 99.9% of us blogging have done. (Hell, most blogging here do so anonymously.)

    And he posts here conversing with us here. And in a diary that is making fun of him. That puts him way ahead of most politicians in terms of actually interacting with the great unwashed masses.

    Yes, his politics a lot of us disagree with – that doesn’t make him evil, just that he has an opposing philosophy.

    Yes he’s done & said some pretty dumb things personally. And so we kid him about it and he takes it. But we sure give him a lot mre grief than Joe Whitcomb who also had some majoe skeletons in the closet.

    Yes he uses his parents money to his political advantage. Everyone who runs for office with a credible chance has some unfair advantage – you don’t win if you don’t. We seem to get more upset when that advantage is money, but it’s one of the less useful advantages.

    Anyways, please keep in mind that Ali is not the anti-christ and his numbers were quite good. Opponent – yes. Personal stories that make you go “what the…” – yes. But I don’t see why he brings out such venom from some here.

    1. What are you talking about? He’s a popular target because he’s a buffoon. He just claimed Progress Now arranged anti-Muslim robocalls in his district, for crying out loud.

      I don’t understand this “give the candidate a break because he posts on a blog” treatment. It’s what made Daily Kos go insane over John Edwards at the beginning of this year.

      The fact that a politician blogs is not a redeeming feature; in fact it can cover up for some very serious flaws. Bloggers can be a candidate’s harshest critics, but many of them are so insecure that a little ego-stroking will make all criticism disappear. It’s a decent strategy.

      And having just reread the linked stories in the post, there are a number of scathing comments from you about Hasan as well.

    2.    He’s a little eccentric but compared to some of the other Repubs, he’s one of the better ones.  (I admit, that’s not saying much.)  

        He went through the entire campaign without kicking any photographers, mistaking Mt. McKinley for Pike’s Peak, or calling for the bombing on Mecca, unlike some of his peers in the GOP.  

      1. are far better than many of our wondrous Blue Dog Democrats. I think that needs to be acknowledged.

        Would I vote for anyone that is pro Tabor? Hell no. But it doesn’t cost me anything to give him props for his positions on gay marriage and abortion.  I also appreciate that he has stayed with the Republican Party to try and affect change from within.  

  4. I appreciate the feedback, but I’m standing by my comments

    Reports of anti-Muslim phone calls came to us from a member of the Eagle County Democrat Central Committee — I don’t want to release names here, but the person who called our campaign is trust worthy, in my eyes — and again, I remarked above that we received reports of it

    Second, a mailer was released, I believe from Accountability For Colorado, which went at great lengths to emphasize my affiliation with Islam, as well as my first name being ‘Muhammad’ — to me, it was trying to incite scare tactics

    As far as I’m concerned, the creators behind these mailers were practicing race baiting in order to win — personally, that’s not why we lost – I would blame the ‘bail out’ on that — and again, I’m open to any criticisms, but at the end of the day, dirty politics had to be used against our campaign in order to win — I’d rather keep my 47% and my integrity, thank you

    Now I agree that some Republicans used those same tactics against Obama, and that was WRONG — however, the best way to bring more positive recognition of culture, religion, and race into politics is to have more minorities run for office — I was proud to bring diversity to my Party and I certainly believe that is has had a positive mark on the Colorado Republican Party

    Studying the race baiting tactics that seem to have been employed though, I do certainly hope that the Colorado Democratic Party (and the Dem sympathizers) cultivate an American Muslim candidate soon

        1. Thanks for putting up the link – I read it and it looks to be true.  I am sorry for doubting what you posted above, and for my previous comments.

          Taking David’s advice, and especially in the spirit of the New Year, I won’t be posting any sort of negative or snarky comments about you in the future.

          You obviously have a very thick skin, which bodes well for you if you continue in politics.

          Good luck to you and a very happy new year.  

          1. IMO it’s not necessarily racist for listing his first name. (It’s funny – the quote is “Mailers from Accountability for Colorado, a so-called 527 group, included his Islamic first name, Muhammad, despite its absence from the campaign and the ballot.” Ali is Islamic too.) That’s not to say that spreading lies are okay, nor is it to dismiss the idea that they were trying to call attention to his name the same way anti-Obama detractors emphasized his middle name, but we need context in order to judge accurately.

            Thanks, Ali, for the link.

            1. if your name is Ali Hasan, people probably already think you’re a Muslim. I think the name “Hussein” carries worse connotations than “Muhammad” only because of Saddam.

              That said, if Democratic-leaning groups were trying to appeal to anti-Muslim sentiment in campaigning, even subtly, that’s a total dick move. Sometimes the “Four Horsemen” do more harm than good. (Looks like the organization was funded by at least two of them.)

              1. Where people don’t really seem to care about religion all that much.  Any muslim-baiting (which we never saw, but apparently was out there) would have been seen as a negative for the sponsoring group or Ali’s opponent.  Religiously, we overwhelming supported a gay man for the US House, we have low church attendance rates, and the most popular pastor in Summit County is Rich Mayfield a leftist preacher who regularly questions the religious establishment and interprets the bible in a 21st century context (often disagreeing with the mainstream interpretations).  Read some of his thoughts here:


            1. and thanks.  I tend to agree with sxp that this whole flyer business that happened to Ali is just so completely wrong. I was completely shocked, and it dosen’t matter which side it happens to.  

              I am not so proud that I can’t change my mind from time to time.  I think the way he handled it was great. If something like that happened to me I doubt I would be as gracious.

    1. Colorado may not have a candidate yet, but we Dems do have Keith Ellison. Hopefully, a muslim candidate will step up here in Colorado, but having Ellison in Congress is pretty huge.

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