Bob Seay for Colorado

About Bob Seay for Colorado

I am a high school music teacher in Lamar, Colorado. I am also the Secretary of the Colorado Democratic Party and a former congressional candidate. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Republican Recalls: Voter Suppression After the Fact

Bob Seay

Recalls of Democratic lawmakers in Colorado are not about making sure lawmakers faithfully represent their communities. Quite the opposite. These strategic recalls are designed by Colorado Republicans to nullify the results of the 2018 election and to gather information for the 2020 election.

They are voter suppression after the fact.

Republican attacks on Tom Sullivan (D-Centennial) are a good example of this kind of election nullification. Tom Sullivan was talking about gun control when he defeated a Republican incumbent and won his seat in the Colorado House of Representatives. It was impossible for him to avoid. Tom Sullivan’s name has been linked to gun regulation since 2012, when his son was killed in the Aurora Theater shooting. Tom made gun control the centerpiece of his campaign when he ran for State Senate in 2016. When he did not win that election, he ran in the next available opportunity, the 2018 Colorado House race. Again, his campaign centered on gun control. Tom Sullivan eloquently and boldly addressed an issue that most politicians won’t even touch.

In 2018, the voters decided he was right.

Now, Colorado Republicans expect us to believe that 54% of the voters of traditionally conservative Centennial, Cherry Creek, and South Arapahoe County did not know where Tom stood on guns. Or at least that’s what they claim. It’s either that, or they think that 54% of the total votes cast should not be counted and just don’t matter.

This recall isn’t about malfeasance or misbehavior. Recalls should be reserved for officials that have betrayed the trust of the voters or have broken a law. The only misbehavior Tom Sullivan committed was standing up to the NRA and Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. In doing so, Rep. Sullivan has shown more courage than most elected officials at any level and of any political party, Democrats included.

Kristi Burton Brown, an attorney and the vice-chair of the Colorado Republican Party, said Tom was being recalled because “he did not represent the families of Colorado.” Maybe Tom Sullivan does not represent Ms. Brown, Ken Buck, and their friends in the Republican Party, but he was elected by an 8 percent margin to represent the people of his district.

Is it that hard for Republicans to accept that the people of Colorado House District 37 just aren’t that into them anymore? This is the same district and same election that unseated Mike Coffman and sent Democrat Jason Crow to Congress.

Republicans don’t want lawmakers who represent the people of Colorado, or at least not a lawmaker that represents an evolving district like Colorado House District 37. Republicans want to impose their failed policies on all of Colorado, including cities and counties that clearly rejected those policies in 2018. With these recall efforts, Republicans are clearly putting Party ahead of People.

We cannot allow recalls to become the weapon of choice for political parties that continue to be out of step with the majority of voters.

The GOP does not get to override the will of the voters, especially when that intent was expressed as clearly as it was when District 37 elected Tom Sullivan.


The Weld County Recall Is Not About Weld County

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Rochelle Galindo (D-Greeley).

Despite what Weld County Republicans are saying, the recall effort against Rochelle Galindo (D-Greeley) isn’t because she voted for Colorado’s Red Flag law. It’s not about oil and gas development. Those issues are simply convenient excuses for a political party that refuses to accept the results of any election it doesn’t win.

That’s not to say that emotional issues like gun safety and local control of fracking operations won’t be exploited by Conservatives for political purposes. But to the people behind the recall, these controversial issues are tools for propaganda, not actual political objectives.

The actual objective is for white Conservative Republicans to regain power after losing everything in 2018.

It’s the political equivalent of a frivolous lawsuit; more obstructionism from a political party that is out of ideas.

Republicans know that they don’t have to win to nullify the 2018 election. Instead of working on legislation that could help Weld County and the rest of Colorado, Galindo and Colorado Democrats must now devote a significant portion of time to fighting the recall. Money and resources intended for a legitimate reelection campaign in 2020 will instead be depleted on this totally unnecessary political stunt. A community that needs to come together and solve serious problems related to growth and the local economy will instead will be even more torn apart.

The recall is funded largely by Colorado’s version of the Koch Brothers, Patrick and Joe Neville of Castle Rock [Pols note: Pat Neville lives in Castle Rock, but not Joe]. Not content with imposing their extreme agenda of failed public schools, inadequate infrastructure, uncontrolled growth, and other problems on the people of Douglas County, the Nevilles now want to export their Republican dystopia to the rest of the state, along with racism, homophobia, and the idea that only wealthy people deserve to be in politics.

Republicans love to claim they are protecting the Constitution even as they are subverting it. The recall isn’t about democracy or making sure that elective officials represent the people in their districts. Just the opposite. This is about preventing a representative from fighting for the voters who put her in office. These Republicans are telling 53% of Weld County voters that their vote doesn’t count.

A working class Latina Democrat like Rochelle Galindo, who carried 53% of the vote in Greeley, would have a hard time getting elected in affluent, white, ultra-conservative Castle Rock and surrounding Douglas County. Fine. She doesn’t live in Douglas County. She isn’t representing Castle Rock.

Galindo was elected by the citizens of Greeley to represent her home town. She cares about her constituents, listens to them, and works to make their lives better. That bothers Joe and Patrick Neville. The Nevilles want someone who will fight for them, regardless of her constitutional duty to represent the people of Greeley.

Greeley is a test case, a chance to develop a template to use in the future. If this recall is successful, there will be more. Republicans won’t be satisfied until they have nullified every election in this state. So much for democracy.

Let’s recognize recall elections for what they are: The last stand for the privilege and entitlement of rich, racist Conservatives who can’t win legitimate elections.


Ken Buck is Using Zika for Political Purposes

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

o-zikalata-570Ken Buck and other House Republicans are using the Zika crisis to advance their anti-choice, anti-woman agenda. And, as is often the case, he is blaming the Democrats.

Congressman Buck is already on record as opposing abortion in cases of rape and incest. Now, the House version of the Zika bill, which Ken Buck supports, makes it clear that Republicans also oppose family planning in cases of Zika, microcephaly, and other severe Zika-related birth defects.

The $1.1 billion House bill – almost a billion dollars short of the $1.9 billion requested by the President – includes no money for contraceptives or condoms and no funding for a Planned Parenthood facility in Puerto Rico, one of the areas hardest hit by the virus. Instead, the bill provides for after-the-fact health care, including pediatric subspecialty care, for mothers, children and others experiencing complications from Zika. Let’s hope that this care includes ongoing counseling and financial support for parents who will be faced with raising a severely handicapped child. Microcephaly is a lifelong condition and is associated with developmental delays, intellectual disabilities, problems with hearing and vision, and other problems.

Federal law already prohibits the use of federal funds for abortions. Any money that would have gone to Planned Parenthood would, by law, be limited to educational materials, examinations, and contraceptives. None of the money included in any Zika-related legislation would or could have been used to pay for abortions. House Republicans are using Zika to achieve the political objective of defunding Planned Parenthood.



Ken Buck’s Endorsement of Donald Trump

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CD-4 Democratic congressional candidate Bob Seay.

CD-4 Democratic congressional candidate Bob Seay.

Ken Buck called Donald Trump a “fraud” and has said that “Trump’s proposal (to ban all Muslims) violates the Constitution, the values of our nation, the Republican Party platform, and my conscience.”

On this point, Mr. Buck was correct.

But now Congressman Buck expects you join him in supporting this fraud, this unconstitutional bigot, this violator of national values. According to a statement made on conservative talk radio, Mr. Buck believes a Trump presidency would mean that he (Buck) would “have a chance of influencing policy in the executive branch.”

What kind of influence might Congressman Buck have on a President Trump? So far, Ken Buck has supported legislation that would decrease funding for the Office on Violence Against Women, including funding for state and local law enforcement assistance. Both Buck and Trump have said that workers don’t deserve a minimum wage. Buck’s Article One Amendments were an attempt to defund everything from the EPA to tobacco education programs, more than 30 programs or government agencies in all, in a single piece of legislation.

Thankfully, Ken Buck has shown very little success in influencing policy in Congress or even within his own Party, where he is widely regarded as too uncooperative to be effective. Lack of cooperation and the inability to work with others is a large part of what is wrong with Congress today.

We need a Congressman who puts the real needs of his district first and can work with others to meet those needs, regardless of who is in the White House. We cannot afford another Congress that considers frivolous legislation while refusing to vote on our most pressing issues.

Ken Buck was right when he called Donald Trump a fraud. He was wrong when he decided that being a fraud was OK.

Bob Seay is a candidate for the U.S. House for Colorado’s 4th Congressional District. His website is or


“You Are Not Alone” – Congressional Candidate Bob Seay Speaks at the CD-04 Democratic Convention

CD-04 Convention, Loveland, CO

April 15th, 2016

I am Bob Seay, and I am running for the privilege of representing CD-04 in the U.S. House of Representatives. My opponent is Ken Buck.

And that alone should make you want to vote for me.

I am currently the band director and music teacher at Lamar High School. In addition to my teaching duties, I have served as my school’s building rep for our local chapter of the National Education Association. I’m also a political activist.

I’ve done a lot of work, but I haven’t held an elected office. Compare that to the people who have been elected to office but haven’t done a lot of work, at least not for us. People like the Republicans in the Senate.

In a Congress in which 51% of the members are millionaires, I will know how it feels to live paycheck to paycheck. I know how it feels to be really sick and to not have health insurance or the money to pay for a doctor. I know what it’s like to be unemployed and alone.

I have been there.

I think about those points in my life when I get a campaign contribution from someone who lists their occupation as “unemployed.” That is an incredibly humbling feeling. This is not a game. I’m not running just so Democrats can have a name on the ballot. I’m running because I see needs that are not being met.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our campaign. Your donations make this campaign possible. Thank you to the people who have volunteered their time, knowledge, and skills to this effort. I am blessed with a lot of smart, talented, and committed friends. But we’re not there yet. We need your help now more than every if we are going to move forward.

You are encouraging us to go on. You are letting us know – letting me know – that we are not alone.

And that is why I came here tonight: To tell you that you are not alone. Because it can be lonely being a Democrat in CD-04

You are not alone if you disagree with Ken Buck and the radical agenda that he represents.

You are not alone when you believe that healthcare should be a right and not a privilege. A medical crisis should not lead to a financial disaster.

You are not alone when you believe that a woman has a right to make her own personal and private medical decisions. This is 2016. Why are we even still having that conversation?

You are not alone when you tell oil companies that homeowners and communities should have the right to say “No!” when someone wants to put an oil well in their backyard.

You are not alone.

For too long, we have been locked out of the conversations that affect our lives. We have been told to be quiet and to accept the fact that we live in a conservative district. We have been ignored and treated as if we don’t even exist. It is time for us to speak. It is time for us to be heard.

Ken Buck doesn’t want to hear us.

Ken Buck doesn’t want to hear that climate change is a real problem, even though anyone with a thermometer and a piece of graph paper can tell that it is.

Ken Buck doesn’t want to hear about campaign finance reform. Ken believes that corporations are people and that money is speech. But if money is speech, then who will speak for those who don’t have any money?

Ken Buck doesn’t want to hear that being “pro-life” means more than just telling women they have no choice. You can’t call yourself “pro-life” if you repeatedly try to defund programs that help families. If you try to defund clinics that help women. If you support policies that are killing the planet.

We are facing serious problems. But some of the solutions seem pretty obvious.

We can reduce poverty and lower the number of people who need food stamps by requiring employers to pay a living wage. You can’t really call it a “minimum wage” if it doesn’t meet the minimum requirements of what it costs to live in a community. At the same time, we need to recognize the needs of small business owners in small towns, the real job creators. We give tax breaks to corporations and they move jobs overseas. Small businesses keep jobs here. Small business owners in CD-04 tend to be very good people. We need a realistic living wage structure that works for workers and for small business owners. And we need to stop using taxpayer dollars to subsidize large companies like Walmart that refuse to pay their workers a living wage.

We can save Social Security by raising the cap on social security contributions. Full disclosure: As a teacher, I am part of PERA, which is not part of the Social Security system. But most of you in this room pay 6.2% of your salary in Social Security taxes. But if you make over a million dollars a year, you pay less than 1% of that income. In what universe is that a fair system?

We can increase our productivity and encourage our young people by making it easier for qualified students to go to college. A college graduate should not have to start out with 30, 40, or $50,000 in debt. It is time for America to get back to the business of investing in education. It is time for America to get back to the business of investing in young Americans.

We can preserve the environment without sacrificing our economy by transitioning to alternative fuels. How many blacksmiths do you know? At one time, this country was full of blacksmiths. They made horseshoes, and wagon wheels, and all sorts of useful things. Where did they all go? Was there some sudden mass extinction event that only targeted blacksmiths? No. They became the men who built or worked on the cars that made their job obsolete. They transitioned from an antiquated technology to a new technology. We need to do that same thing with oil and gas. The people who are drilling for oil today could be the same people who are drilling for geothermal energy tomorrow, or working on wind farms, or solar arrays, or on things that we haven’t even thought of yet. This is not a job loss. This is a job transition.

As we consider alternative technologies, we must also consider alternative crops. Given the changes in climate and our water supply, we need to consider hemp and other crops that are better suited to our new environmental reality. We need legislation that allows farmers to do that. We need to end the “buy and dry” policies that have ruined our farmland and wrecked our economies.

We can fix our immigration problem with laws that let honest people join mainstream society instead of fixating on ways to keep people out. You can’t solve your problems by blaming them on someone else. Racist hatred has never solved anything.

I’ve heard people say that people like me are just people who want free stuff. That’s not true. That would be the Tea Party that expects to receive government benefits without paying anything for it. We understand that nothing is for free. What we want is to be able to say how the money we pay in taxes is spent. As a nation, we have invested a lot of money in corporations, in the form of subsidies, tax breaks, and other giveaways. It is time for us to invest in people. It is time for us to invest in Americans.

This election is a battle of ideas. And in a battle of ideas, we will win, because the truth is on our side. The truth is that Eastern Colorado needs the programs and policies that come from the Democratic party. CD-04 needs universal healthcare. We need economic development. And good public schools. And need immigration reform.

And Ken Buck is not helping us to meet those needs.

We are not alone. The rest of the state needs those things too. The rest of the country needs those things. And the next President of the United States, whomever she or he may be, will need a Congress that will work with them to get the job done.

So remember:

You are not alone.

Your voice matters.

Your ideas matter.

And in this election, your vote will matter.

Thank you.

You can learn more at our website at

Or at 

Either way.





TPP Is Not Right for Colorado: A thoughtful reconsideration.

I have been asked to clarify my position on TPP, the Trans Pacific Partnership. I know that there are others who have the same question. Since I have previously written about this on Colorado Pols, this seems like a good forum for that response.

The short answer is that after much research and thought, I have realized that I cannot support the TPP as it is currently written. In many ways, I find myself in the same position as Hillary Clinton: I was optimistic about this highly anticipated trade agreement, but was disappointed and cannot support the final result.

Here’s the long answer:
Our farmers and ranchers need international markets. I was hopeful that TPP would help meet that need. That hope was squelched when, as the result of another trade agreement, the House voted against Country of Origin Labels (COOL) for Colorado beef. This same restriction against COOL is also found in the TPP. Under the TPP, beef and other agricultural products would not be allowed to display an identifying COOL label. Consumers would be unable to tell whether a steak came from the USA, where standards for food safety and quality are high, or from some other country with lower standards.

The fact is that the world prefers American beef, and Colorado ranchers are a big part of why they do. Around the world, consumers look for beef that says “Product of the USA”. That advantage is lost when those products are not allowed to display the “Product of USA” or “Product of Colorado” label. Other countries know they cannot compete with the quality or reputation of American beef, thus the ban on COOL. That is not fair to Colorado ranchers.

Consequently, the only reason for someone from CD-04 to support the TPP was no longer valid. I cannot support a treaty that erases over a century of hard work to develop a reputation and puts Colorado ranchers at such a strategic disadvantage.

Once I realized that ranchers and farmers in CD-04 would not benefit from TPP, the other parts of the treaty were no longer acceptable. To be clear, I am willing to accept some trade-offs if they provide an advantage. In any negotiation, one must weigh the costs against the benefits and then make an informed decision. I am not willing, however, to accept things like unfair labor practices, risk to the environment, and the loss of intellectual property rights, especially when there is no corresponding benefit to be gained for Coloradans.

I hope this helps to explain my position. I cannot support the TPP as it currently is written.

Bob Seay (pronounced “See”) is a Democrat who is running against Ken Buck in CD-04. See for more information.


Ken Buck and the Politicization of Policing

Rep. Ken Buck (right), with his gun.

Rep. Ken Buck (right), with his gun.

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

By Bob Seay

On the surface, Ken Buck’s “Blue Lives Matter” proposal looks good. (“Rep. Ken Buck introduces ‘Blue Lives Matter’ bill to make targeted killing of a police officer a hate crime”, March 17) Like Mr. Buck said, “I can’t imagine anyone would be opposed to protecting police officers.” I agree. My brother is a cop. I would do anything to protect him and his fellow officers.

But Mr. Buck’s bill is not intended to protect police officers. It is a cynical political ploy designed to further divide our country and to garner votes for himself and his Right Wing colleagues.

Conservatives typically oppose laws for hate crimes, which they often refer to as “thought crimes.” They maintain that all violent crimes should be prosecuted vigorously, regardless of who the victim might be. Colorado and many other states already require either the death penalty or life without parole for the killing of a police officer. There is no legal or prosecutorial benefit to be gained by classifying the killing of a police officer as a hate crime. There is, however, a strong potential political benefit to be had by exploiting the deaths of these honorable men and women.

Good cops resolve conflicts. Likewise, a true statesman sees the big picture and works to bring people together. With this bill, Buck has intentionally done just the opposite. His deliberate appropriation of the slogan “Black Lives Matter” is a giant middle finger to people who are legitimately concerned about the very real problem of the use of excessive force by rogue officers. The title “Blue Lives Matter” virtually guarantees that this bill will incite division and violence, much of which will be directed at the very officers that Mr. Buck claims to want to protect. It inflames the conflict and divides people. This is type of schoolyard taunting is very popular among the Donald Trump -Ted Cruz wing of the Republican party. It also has the potential to make the country explode.

If Ken Buck is really concerned about protecting police officers, then he should come out against armor piercing “cop killer” bullets. He should make it harder for criminals and potential terrorists to acquire military-grade weapons. He should provide funding for more training in conflict resolution so officers are better equipped to deescalate potentially deadly situations before anyone is killed.

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, a total of 94 police officers were killed while on duty last year, 52 in traffic-related accidents and 42 from gunfire. These men and women died while protecting us and our values. They deserve our utmost respect and gratitude.

Ken Buck wants us to believe that those who oppose his bill are in favor of people killing police officers. Nothing could be further from the truth. We oppose his bill because we don’t want to make the job of policing more difficult and more dangerous than it already is.

Bob Seay is a Democratic candidate for Congress for CD-04. His website is 





Why I am Running Against Ken Buck

Why would a Democrat living in an extremely conservative district decide to run against an incumbent who won with 66% of the vote?

Let me explain.

I am running for Congress because there there is currently no one in Congress who represents the interests of the majority of people who live in Colorado’s Fourth Congressional District (CD4). In fact, Eastern Colorado has not had a voice in Congress for most of the past 40 years.

The problem is that most of the voters don’t realize that they are not being represented. But let’s look at the facts.

If CD4 had a representative, he or she would vote for the passage of trade bills that promote agriculture, including the TPP, Country of Origin Label legislation, and others. He would be working to promote all of the businesses in Colorado, not just gas and oil. This Representative would recognize that contaminated ground water is useless to farmers, ranchers, and families. He would understand that small business owners need reliable Internet access, good roads, and someone who will work for intelligent, responsible regulations.

If we had a representative in Congress, then he or she would be addressing the 27% poverty rate that exists in Lamar, or the 22% of Greeley that live below the poverty line, or the 14% poverty rate in Longmont. But instead of representing these constituents, the Representative from CD4 voted to give a tax break to that 0.002% of Americans with estates of over $5.4 million. It seems unlikely that any of those Americans would live in Eastern Colorado. Our representatives have consistently voted for tax breaks for Americans who do not live in CD4 while neglecting the very real poverty issues of this part of the state.

In Crowley County, 1 in 3 adults under the age of 65 have no health insurance. In Weld County, 1 in 10 adults are uninsured. Someone who represented the people of CD4 would be working to solve this problem. Instead, our Republican representatives have consistently voted to deny health insurance for these Coloradans – and have joked about having done so.

If CD4 had a Congressman who advocated for their needs, then people would be less likely to die on Highway 287, a road with heavy truck traffic which should be an Interstate but isn’t. A Congressman representing this area would fight for the economic and safety benefits of such an Interstate. If we had a Representative, our farmers would not have to whisper a prayer every time they drove a truck full of wheat across a structurally deficient bridge or road.

If CD4 had a Representative, he or she would be working to protect public schools instead of looking for ways to siphon taxpayer money away from our community schools and into private, for-profit enterprises. Rural Coloradans tend to think that this issue does not effect them because there are no physical private schools in their area. What they don’t realize is that the schools in their communities are still being drained when students leave to go to online schools. Schools in Colorado lose, on average, about $6300 every time a student leaves to enroll in an online school, a charter school, or a private school. A Representative of Eastern Colorado would be working to improve our public schools, not to destroy them.

A Representative of CD4 would fight for water rights for farmers and ranchers. He would not work to kill off programs for wind and solar power – abundant resources in CD4 – but would work to promote renewable energy. He would recognize the boom and bust cycle of the oil industry and would be working for energy sources that are economically stable and environmentally safe.

Someone who represented CD4 would also represent the immigrant families who work in our fields and businesses. His attitude towards immigrants who might be undocumented would be innocent until proven guilty and not the other way around. He would create ways for immigrants to come into American society. He would not create even more barriers to citizenship.

Someone who represented all of the people of Eastern Colorado would not force a woman to carry the child of her rapist. He would not want to shut down facilities that provide reproductive health care services. He would recognize that decisions about contraception are best made by families, not by employers or politicians.

Eastern Colorado needs someone who will represent all of the people of this area. Not out of state donors. Not oil companies and companies that want to have a monopoly on agricultural products. And not the extremely wealthy Americans who do not even live in this district.

CD4 has been without a voice for too long.
Now is the time to speak up.

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