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August 01, 2009 06:02 PM UTC

Dr. Jared And Mr. Hyde?

  • by: Colorado Pols

Thursday night, Rep. Jared Polis hosted a phone-in townhall meeting that we understand was attended by a decent number of CD-2 voters. We weren’t on the call, but we’re told by liberals who have been alarmed of late by Polis’ controversial demands to reduce spending and taxes in the health care reform proposal that he articulated himself pretty well–expressing the kind of support for all the key components of the plan that the liberal base in his district expects.

If they hung up with a bit of a disconnect between his representations of the healthcare reform bill to them as opposed to, for example, the Washington Post, they were probably prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. Polis is an engaging and disarming personality, we don’t doubt his ability to hold forth persuasively–especially in a forum he controls.

But then in the New York Times yesterday, “other Jared” struck again…

Working somewhat as a bloc, and also through other groups like the fiscally conservative Blue Dogs, the freshmen helped not only to postpone a floor vote but also to spur concessions on cost and regional disparities. In addition, in response to freshman demands, party leaders are talking about raising the threshold for any surtaxes that could hit small businesses.

“On issues where we agree, we are not afraid to speak out together and flex our muscles,” said Representative Jared Polis, Democrat of Colorado and an author of a letter to Ms. Pelosi challenging the proposed surtax. “And one of those issues in the context of the health care debate was speaking out against tax increases we saw as too expensive.”

That’s it. Entire contribution from Polis to the story. “Tax increases. Too expensive.” It’s what we’ve seen from him repeatedly now, this whole other guy who looks just like the Jared Polis that tells his constituents he supports health care reform, but then feeds talking points to the opposition.

What the hell is going on? Is it so hard to understand that apart from specific technical concerns one may have–and have a wonderful noncontroversial opportunity as a legislator to address–when all your quotes in the biggest media outlets in America are bashing the proposal, in these maddening unqualified terms tailor-made for misuse by opponents, you’re going to piss off the proposal’s supporters? No matter how many times you tell them “no no, I really do support this?”

Rep. Polis is going to have a month of townhall meetings and other events to explain himself during the August recess, and he won’t always have the benefit of cherry-picking the audience. As we said before, Polis has tied himself to the fate of health care reform with his actions–he’ll either be part of a solution that the Democratic base will cheer, or he will go down in history as a freshman representative who helped obstruct passage of one of the Democratic Party’s biggest priorities. The problem for Polis is he doesn’t really have control over that outcome; but after spiking the debate with poorly-explained ‘concerns’ that seem to contradict everything else he says about the issue, he’ll be held accountable for it. That is not a situation we would ever advise a politician with an interest in self-preservation to get into.

However it plays out, we’ll be here to note the consequences.


20 thoughts on “Dr. Jared And Mr. Hyde?

  1. Unlike Ritter who I chose as the lesser of two evils I believed in Jared Polis. My only defense is he is not in my district so I didn’t really have a need to research his candidacy thoroughly. But the trust is gone and I don’t think the trust will ever return because he has shown his true colors and they are shaded in colors that benefit Jared Polis and the richest 1% of the population.  I’m not sure about Boulder either.  I think the constituents are buying his lies because perhaps they are worried about their own interests as well.  

    We did just fine as a nation when the distribution of wealth was more evenly distributed.  The notion that high disparities of wealth are okay has got to change for our nation to recover.  It’s an economic fact and one that will become apparent to even the rich once they realize they can’t have it all; they have to share.  Our world works better when prosperity is shared and not hoarded as it has been for the last two decades or so.  

    Boulderites are overt environmentalists and liberals but underneath are they self-serving? Do they secretly not want to be taxed for healthcare?  Of course I’m from the east coast originally where liberalism is inbred.  I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t always believe Boulder residents are real liberals and so were fooled by Jared Polis because they have the same Jared Polis interests.  No offence Boulder residents but I’m hoping you look in the mirror and ask why you were fooled by this man who pretends to be liberal.  

    1. be won in Boulder. The winner in Thornton, Northglenn, and Westminster wins the primary. So you can criticize Boulderites, which may well be justified, but if you want to criticize those that elected Polis, the greater share of that burden lies to the east of Boulder.

      1. Boulder County CD2 Voters: 23,404

        Adams County CD2 Voters: 13,185

        all other Counties combined in CD2: 14,000

        (Jefferson and Broomfield Counties make up the largest portions of the “other” County category in CD2)(Westminster is in both Adams and Jefferson Counties. But, even if you add Westminster in Jefferson County to the Adams County total, Boulder County is still larger #)

        Although Adams County portion of CD2 is very important for a victory in CD2 primary, Adams is still FAR behind Boulder COUNTY in the numbers of voters in CD2 Democratic Primary. Remember, Adams has a large portion in CD7 too.

        % of Voters in 2008 Democratic CD2 Primary

        Boulder County 47%

        Adams County 26%

        All other Counties combined 27%

        I agree with you that Boulder proper is not the largest portion of CD2. Thornton and Westminster have larger populations, but, there are more Boulder County CD2 Democratic Primary Voters than Adams County CD2 Democratic Primary voters, by more than 10,000 votes.

    2. If raising my taxes by 1% in good years (this year sucks) means we get a good health insurance system in this country – sign me up.

      In fact, out of self-interest as a small business owner, if a 1% increase means that I can get out of the business of providing insurance to my employees and instead just cover the cost – I’m better off financially.

      That’s what bothers me about this – I think most business owners are in my category – 1% is a great deal for fixing this problem.

  2. if it weren’t likely the fact that ten times as many people were on that one phone call than the entire roster of Pols readers from CD-2! Maybe 20.

    Actually, have you considered the possibility that he’s just trying to piss you off? After Pols performance during the primary, it certainly wouldn’t surprise anyone if he did just decide to raise your blood pressure for a few weeks before doing the right thing, which he always does. LMAO.

    In a slightly more serious vein, Jared’s not the slickest politician in the world … because he’s not a politician. And I do agree with one thing: He needs to stop talking to the press if he can’t stick to a boring talking point, like DeGette. But by this time the press knows he’s never boring, and he’s becoming a go-to guy. Strange thing is, though (actually not that strange) that people trust him. They give him tons of room to be creative and different, because in the end good things happen around him. Just one of those things. If DeGette were making these statements she’d be hurting herself badly. I really doubt that’s the case for Jared.

    1. has turned out badly (and there’s really only one thing he’s actually done: Amendment 41), on what basis do you say he “always does the right thing”? He hasn’t been in Congress long enough to have accomplished anything legislatively.

      And on what basis do you think people trust him? You like him, and I guess you have a friend who likes him, but there is a larger world outside your house parties. Join it.

      1. Polis has been involved in a number of successful things, both in business and politics, prior to Amdt. 41.

        But he is by no means perfect, and by playing both sides of the debate in health care he’s rapidly losing my trust.  How am I supposed to support someone who’s saying one thing to me and then spouting off the opposite to national newspapers?

        As an aside, he still hasn’t come back to this site to say he’d support the health care reform bill without his desired compromises…

          1. He made his first fortune starting an ISP while he was in college, and then took a very quiet greeting cards company and did some very smart things with it. To dismiss that as “running his parents’ company” would be wrong. Then he closed some incredibly lucky deals during the Internet boom that left him with a real fortune. Following that, he started and sold a couple other very successful companies (and sank some money into other companies that weren’t successful, like any entrepreneur).

            It’s also true that, even if he bought the election to an extent we’d never seen in Colorado, getting elected (rather than re-elected) for the first time as an openly gay congressional candidate was an achievement.

          2. I still donate to the Community Computer Connection that Jared founded…

            And he’s been helpful – and successful – in his support of other candidates.  Also, IMHO, his role on the BoE was a success.

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