Real Irony in Our Colorado Solar Fight

Oops. If I were the folks at Xcel, that's what I'd be saying. For the last year they've been trying to get rid of net metering here in Colorado (just like other utilitiesand the Koch brothers – have been trying to do nationally). 

Well it turns out, according to this press release from the solar folks, that just a few years ago Xcel was happy to make the case for solar: 

Last week in Denver, Coloradans packed into the Public Utilities Commission meeting rooms to support the cornerstone rooftop solar policy net metering.  Meanwhile, a new finding shows that Xcel also knows the true benefits of net metering.  A Denver Post article from 2007 says "Xcel officials maintain that all customers benefit because solar systems delay the need to build expensive power plants and reduce prospective future taxes on carbon emissions from fossil-fuel power." Xcel's current attacks on net metering are a flip-flop meant to protect the utility monopoly from competition.

Right there, Xcel is admitting that rooftop solar and net metering systems actually help the grid – exactly the opposite of what they're arguing now. And they're making the case using the kinds of points about expanding the cost analysis (i.e. including the cost of building huge new expensive power plants) that they're rejecting now. 

Oops, indeed. 

I tracked down the original DP story. Here's a link to it for anyone interested. It's really worth a read, as it walks through Xcel execs making the case about everything that's great about rooftop solar. Quite a change of heart they've had. For instance, in a more recent piece in the post, they say:

"We believe that net metering is a hidden incentive that unfairly requires non-solar customers to pay the grid costs of solar customers," Alice Jackson, a vice president of Xcel's Colorado subsidiary, said in an e-mail.

What's with the change of heart? The solar folks in that article lay it on competition, and that's probably a bit part of it. But the old quote from Xcel is important not just as a gotcha moment: it should force the company to accept cost projections that take into account the other social costs of dirty coal and gas power they're using, compared to solar, and to account for the upfront costs of big infrastructure investments in power plants (which are also passed along to consumers). After all, they're the ones who made the case for it. 

 

 

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Could Xcel’s Aggressive Attacks on Solar Backfire?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

I posted two weeks ago about the next step in the fight over municipalization in Boulder, as Xcel sought to sue and forcibly keep customers who just wanted to be rid of them. I just read this article about another element of the battle, and it got me thinking:

After failing to get enough votes in either of two municipal referendums to stop the formation of Boulder’s proposed muni, Xcel filed a lawsuit in Boulder District Court earlier this month to block the muni formally created by a unanimous Boulder City Council vote May 6.

When things went to voters in Boulder, Xcel lost. Badly. Twice. And it’s not the first time that Xcel has lost big when its issue went before the voters. In 2004, for example, Colorado passed our Renewable Portfolio Standard. We were the first in the nation to do it via ballot initiative. That’s important, because it circumvented all of the money and power Xcel has cultivated in the legislature. And that’s a lot of money and power. For example, this list from FollowTheMoney shows Xcel paying TWELVE lobbyists in 2012 alone:

(more…)

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Xcel Getting Desperate, Suing to Forcibly Keep Customers (Boulder) Who Rejected Them

I posted two weeks about Xcel’s fight over municipalization in Boulder. Now it looks like Xcel is getting pretty desperate on this, so desperate in fact that they are suing the city of Boulder to try and force them to keep Xcel as their utility, even though folks voted to get rid of them. Per the DBJ:

Xcel Energy Inc. has filed a lawsuit against the city of Boulder, arguing that the City Council went too far when it voted to create a city-owned utility last month.

The suit, filed by Minneapolis-based Xcel in Boulder District Court Tuesday, claims that the City Council overstepped the limits voters imposed in a 2011 election on the matter.

So much for consumer choice, apparently. Boulder’s citizens made the ultimate consumer choice and decided to ditch Xcel, opting to run their own utility that can provide the kind of power for them that they want. After fighting it for years and years politically – and losing decisively – Xcel is now turning to the courts, hoping to force the people of Boulder to stay on as customers, even if they don’t want it. It looks like the prospect of municipalization is really scaring them, so much so that they are trying to force customers that don’t want to buy from them any more to keep buying. Boulder voters rejected them not once but twice – it's pretty clear where people stand: 

In 2011, Boulder voters granted city officials permission to explore ending the city’s electric service with Xcel (NYSE: XEL) as long as the new city-owned utility could meet or beat Xcel’s rates and service.

In November 2013, voters approved a $214 million cap on the cost of acquiring Xcel’s assets.

As I mentioned in that last post, it’s probably scary for Xcel because there’s a growing push across the state for this. Coloradans for Electricity Choices was launched by some solar advocates and others around the state. And, as MamaJamma mentioned in the comments on the other post, for Xcel and other utilities that are failing to provide the kind of services that folks want, or even attacking their own customers (i.e. those that want to use rooftop solar) the municipalization option is increasingly appealing, and people are starting to look into it.

This is good news for Pueblo, wrestling with the Black Hills Energy Monopoly, which has spared no effort to punish businesses and nonprofits who install solar on rooftops.

There are people meeting here discussing municipalization and/or forming an energy cooperative. The present situation is untenable – Black Hills has the highest rates in Colorado, is callous towards its impoverished consumers, and purposely suppresses solar.  Boulder may indeed light the path for the rest of the state to re-volt.

Thanks for the diary, cp.

This could prove to be a real problem for Xcel, and their response to it – trying to force customers that have rejected them to use their services – is not likely to be a successful approach in the long-term. In fact, it’s probably just going to piss off people – and the politicians that represent them – and I think it may wind up spelling further trouble for Xcel down the line.  

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Looks Like the Colorado Solar Battle is Heating Up

We’ve all been hearing a lot of Xcel’s “Responsible by Nature” and “doing solar right” (I wrote about why I thought this was, well, wrong, at the time) ads over the past few months, and now we know why. Over the last year, Xcel has been quietly pushing to try and kill net-metering policies in Colorado (just like other big utilities – and the Koch brothers – have been trying to do all around the country). This fight is continuing, and it looks like it’s going to get bigger. I saw a great news piece with background on it on 9News:

Few may argue the benefits of solar. However, Xcel Energy may be changing the solar game in Colorado. It could mean a showdown between the utility and people who install rooftop solar panels.

You can watch the video of it here: http://www.9news.com/story/money/business/2014/05/27/showdown-looming-for-solar-energy-in-colorado/9615983/. (I still don't know how to embed video on here, so I won't try!)

Anyway, it looks like this is why Xcel is trying to greenwash it’s record: because it’s real plan is to take out consumer’s solar choices. Now, it seems people are pushing back on Xcel’s anti-competitive, anti-consumer behavior. Last year, Boulder finally won their political fight to start municipalizing, taking control of their electric system away from Xcel. Yesterday, according to this blog, solar advocates here in Colorado launched a campaign to help other towns and cities also municipal-ize their systems, or at least get them started on the process:

As Boulder prepares to set up its own power distribution system, local Coloradans and The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) are making sure that other municipalities are aware they can choose to break free of Xcel energy’s monopoly. Coloradans can choose where they obtain their electricity.

“As electricity users, we should have a say in how we source our electricity,” said Jamie Sarche, a proponent of the campaign. “Municipalization is a way for us to expand our choices and prevent Xcel from entrenching its monopoly.”

A number of communities whose franchise agreement is about to expire have received letters

http://www.theecoreport.com/green-blogs/technology/energy/utilities-energy-energy-articles/coloradans-can-choose-where-they-obtain-their-electricity/

 

This could be a real threat to Xcel: every community that decides it’s tired of Xcel’s bullying policies and starts to municipalize cuts off part of Xcel’s customer base. If even just a few other cities did this it would be a big deal for Xcel – giving communities and residents the chance to make more of their own choices and cutting Xcel out of the equation.

Per another blogger on this:

Citizens have banded together to create a group called Coloradans for Electricity Choices (CEC), a grassroots organization that provides important information about when communities are eligible to seize the means of sourcing electricity back from the regulated monopoly utility and return it to where it rightly belongs: with the electric consumers.

Despite mouthing public platitudes about how much it loves solar, Xcel has spent a surprising amount of energy fighting the fundament solar policy of net metering in Colorado. Xcel has been the poster child for something I’ve written about here before, namely this: Utilities across the country are saying they love solar so much, they want to kill it before it reaches maturity.

But despite utilities spending immeasurable money on lobbying efforts, but it’s not going to work —especially in Colorado.

Simply put, it’s a matter of choice. Municipally-owned utilities work for and are controlled by the citizens.

Such entities are living, breathing examples of true (small d) democracy at work, providing communities actual local control of their futures instead of depending on the kindness of corporations.

http://redgreenandblue.org/2014/05/29/coloradans-have-nothing-to-lose-but-their-chains/

 

It looks like Xcel is going to have a real fight on its hands here, especially if these efforts start to gain more momentum. And it's constant claims on the radio that it's interested in "doing solar right" or "responsible by nature" are definitely going to be put to the test…

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Doing Solar Wrong

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Xcel, our utility here in Colorado, has been busy recently fighting against rooftop solar, all-the-while arguing that they’re totally for solar but the incentives aren’t needed anymore / are too expensive.

They’re also running a bunch of TV and radio ads that talk about how they “do solar right”, bragging about the amount of solar energy they do, etc.

Here’s the thing: Xcel is a big, big utility that operates across a number of states, including Minnesota. And based on this story I read from Minnesota about their approach to solar there, I think it’s hard to take Xcel at their word that they’re really pro-solar.

Minnesota is looking to build a big power plant to serve Xcel’s customers. Xcel wanted to build a gas plant. Another company proposed to do a bunch of solar. The judge on the case decided they should go with the solar because, notably, it was a better deal than natural gas:

Minnesota soon could see at least a sevenfold expansion of solar power.

In an unprecedented ruling, a judge reviewing whether Xcel Energy should invest in new natural gas generators vs. large solar power arrays concluded Tuesday that solar is a better deal.

If the finding by Administrative Law Judge Eric Lipman is upheld by the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC), Edina-based Geronimo Energy plans to build about 20 large solar power arrays on sites across Xcel’s service area at a cost of $250 million.

In a 50-page ruling, Lipman said “the greatest value to Minnesota and Xcel’s ratepayers is drawn from selecting Geronimo’s solar energy proposal …”

 

So basically, not only is the project producing clean energy as opposed to the gas Xcel wanted to use, but it’s a better deal for ratepayers. And what’s Xcel do? Why, attack the solar plan of course:

Minnesota, power companies attack solar energy plan

State energy officials and power companies tried Tuesday to derail a proposed $250 million solar energy project designed to meet future electricity needs of Xcel Energy Inc. customers in Minnesota.

In regulatory filings, the Minnesota Commerce Department, Xcel and two other companies that want to build natural gas power plants urged state regulators to reject Edina-based Geronimo Energy’s plans to build approximately 20 large solar power arrays across Minnesota.

(more…)

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A Different Ken Buck Video About Domestic Violence

Ken Buck’s campaign is out this morning with a video touting his commitment to fighting domestic violence. Obviously, he’s trying to preempt some of the issues that dogged his last campaign, like his decision not to prosecute a rapist who confessed to the crime, calling the woman’s claims “buyers remorse”, or his issues with sexual harassment.

But it’s a little bizarre that he’d want to dwell on issues like domestic violence, given how abysmal and heartless his record has really been when it comes to protecting victims. Some of this came up in 2010, but I think it’s worth refreshing our memories about who Ken Buck really is, and how extreme he is on these issues.

Take, for instance, this video – which tells a very different story about Ken Buck’s unwillingness to protect a victim of domestic violence. A failure to do so that was probably driven by Ken “I eat Mexican food” Buck’s extremist, rigid anti-immigrant politics.

The video details the case of Maria Gaspar. As the Greeley Trib wrote,

(more…)

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This is HUGE – Rosemary Rodriguez Running In District 2 Race for Denver School Board

Really big news in the Southwest Denver School Board race – Rosemary Rodriguez will be running for the District 2 seat currently occupied by that disgrace of a board member, Andrea Merida. She's formerly president of the Denver City Council, and is Senator Bennet's State Director.

This is according to this Ed News Colorado story.

 

Rodriguez will definitely enter the race as a clear frontrunner, and – based on the support it looks like she's already assembled – it seems like she might already have the race wrapped up. She's got a who's who of grassroots leaders, electeds, progressives, etc in her corner.

 

According to her website she's got the support of Wellington Webb, Dan Pabon, and Rudy Gonzales, all of whom backed Arturo Jimenez in 2011. She's got the support of Tim Sandos, who's been a longtime powerhouse in the Southwest Denver community. She's also got Polly Baca and many many others. A lot of these folks have been on the other side of some of the debates in Denver, so props to Rodriguez for assembling such a strong, diverse coalition of people. Exactly what the seat needs after Merida, who has been so divisive (among many other things).

 

From the looks of it, Rodriguez has a ton of great experience for the job and has represented the community before. DCTA hasn't endorsed in the race, and took a pass on Merida (who they've been allied with). Another union-linked candidate (Rosario C. de Baca, a former union organizer) has also entered the race, and Rodriguez herself has really strong progressive credentials, which should make it a very tough choice. Certainly, it wouldn't make a lot of sense to endorse against Rodriguez, given how strong she'll be. De Baca is a community activist, but as far as I can tell, she probably doesn’t have much of a shot at winning the seat – she just makes things hard, and probably now, impossible, for Merida. My guess would be that DCTA sees the writing on the wall and sits this one out. At least, that's probably the most sensible thing for them to do.

Either way, Rodriguez is a serious favorite to win this seat, so this may (finally) mark the end of our mis-adventure with Andrea Merida

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At Least She’s (Hopefully) Not Your School Board Member…

(The battle of Andrea Merida vs. everybody else rages on – promoted by Colorado Pols)

It’s always good to see our elected officials take to the interwebs to engage in some good ol’ interaction with the people they are supposed to be representing.

Of course, for most politicians, that might mean responding on twitter or engaging on facebook. But for a select few, it might just mean getting down in to the trenches, and starting a good old flame war.

And few are more likely to be engaging in some good ol’ blog-post-comment-wars (general belief is she had quite a few sock puppet accounts here on Pols back in the day) or general online "trolling" than the Denver school board’s very own elected super-troll, Andrea Merida (when she isn’t busy imploding in some other way, of course).

What follows is almost too ridiculous to be true. It's simply incredible that she’s (still) an elected officia, and in a job that’s important!

So, check out the kind of elected official her constituents are lucky enough to enjoy!

(more…)

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Sen. Bennet rips on the false debate in Washington DC

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

I missed this last week, but I’m glad it showed up on facebook, because it’s definitely worth a watch, if people haven’t seen it already.

While the House of Representatives was busy voting to repeal the health care law for the 32nd time, Senator Bennet was bringing some Colorado commonsense to the Senate floor.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…

Bennet read a moving Facebook post from Denver school board member Mary Sewell’s that described where she learned of the Supreme Court’s heath care decision – in the doctor’s office with her daughter who was being diagnosed with diabetes.

It’s a really powerful example, and showed how the debate about repeal and the mandate is missing the point. Washington is debating whether to call the mandate a tax or a penalty.  But either way, it will only impact a really small portion of the country.  Instead, the debate should be about the majority of Americans throughout the country who are paying higher premiums to cover the cost of the uninsured and people like Mary Sewell and her daughter here in Colorado who won’t have to worry about preexisting conditions for her daughter thanks to the health care law.    

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Guerin Green, Andrea Merida, and…Emily Sirota?

As some people mentioned during the FPE elections, one of the big tickets on the agenda for the next six months in Colorado politics will be the Denver School Board elections. Apparently, local radio talker David Sirota’s wife is running. I don’t know much about her, but a friend who knows her and the “board minority” well pointed a few posts out to me, and I thought they were pretty notable myself, and wanted to highlight them. Everyone on here should be familiar with Guerin Green, notorious slimeball, scumbag, stalker, fake journalist, and wanna-be political hack. From the look of things, he and the anti-administration, tear-down-DPS crowd have a close friend in Emily Sirota…

Guerin Green pushing Merida, Jimenez, Kaplan and Sirota

More after the jump…

Guerin Green Pushing for Sirota

From the looks of it, Green is and has been pushing pretty hard for Sirota. Based on my own listening, he is a pretty frequent guest on her husband David’s radio show, usually in the past to trot out crazy attack on the School District or Michael Bennet along with the likes of Andrea Merida.

Who, and I guess it shouldn’t come as any surprise, is also supporting Sirota.

Merida pushing for contributions to Sirota

Maybe Sirota thinks very very differently than Merida and Guerin Green and Arturo Jimenez and John McBride and Chuck Crowley and Chris Scott and the rest of this bitter gang who wants to tear down the school district and fire Tom Boasberg. I don’t know. But as far as I can tell, her school board campaign is not off to the right start if this is who she’s hanging out with. And would they be supporting her if they didn’t think they could count on her for their agenda? Do we really need another Andrea Merida (or another vote in her corner?) on the board?

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Ken Buck’s “Fiscally Responsible” Leadership Continues…

O hey, remember that guy Ken Buck?

From the Greeley Tribune…

Weld County will pay almost $300,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union involving a lawsuit over illegal immigration and identify theft.

The Weld District Attorney on Monday announced it had settled with ACLU, which sued the county over its Operation Numbers Games operation in 2008. Weld Sheriff deputies seized roughly 5,000 tax returns from a local tax preparer in search of illegal immigrants committing identity theft.

The ACLU filed the lawsuit against Weld District Attorney Ken Buck and Weld County Sheriff John Cooke on Jan. 26, 2009. They claimed that officers violated the Fourth Amendment rights of those 5,000 tax clients of Amalia’s Translation & Tax Service in Greeley in 2008, while they searched for those illegal immigrants believed to have committed the crime of identify theft. Courts last year agreed.

http://www.greeleytribune.com/…

I’m sure Weld County doesn’t have any programs or anything that money couldn’t be better spent on, right?

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CO House Republicans’ Brilliant Plan to Reduce Childhood Obesity

Apparently one of the ‘concerns’ House Republicans have with the school breakfast program is that it might be fostering the scourge of childhood obesity.

It’s irrefutable logic, and Republicans’ solution to the issue is pretty brilliant: if you don’t feed poor kids, they probably won’t get fat.

Anyway, go over to that blog that the big Denver newspaper runs to read what Tim Hoover has written about it. A small taste…


Sen. Kent Lambert, one of the Republicans on the Joint Budget Committee who voted against supplemental funding for a school breakfast subsidy for poor children, has had concerns about such programs in the past.

In 2009, Lambert, R-Colorado Springs, submitted questions to the Colorado Department of Education about its overall approach on nutrition.

“Is the Department looking at reducing childhood obesity, especially among the poor? What are they doing to decrease it?” Lambert asked.

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REPOSTED: Is Buck Hiding Another Serious Ethical Scandal in His EEOC File?

This sort of got buried and ignored previously, but it looks like it is coming back up, so I wanted to re-flag some of this information for folks.

I am very curious about this rumor that has been floating around in the comments sections etc. of some of our local papers about Buck’s record of harassment or discrimination. Normally, I’d dismiss a rumor cluttering the comments section, but after the same rumors about his DoJ record proved to be true, I think we have to give this one a little more credibility.

Things seem to be building up on this since it seems to be getting rumor-ed around more (hence appearing in a post today), and I think it’s probably time for Buck to come clean about whatever the issue is.

Today, pols wrote…

Epilogue: we’ve heard a rumor from several credible sources now about an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission  (EEOC) complaint against Buck in his past record that could shortly be disclosed “October surprise” style.  We’ve been told that newspapers and at least one Denver television station are actively working this story. To be clear, the specific details of this have not been disclosed to us, even on background, except that it involves a complaint and a settlement. But we’re told it could further damagingly reinforce Buck’s problems with women voters.

http://coloradopols.com/diary/…

A few commenters said they had heard similar, so I quickly googled (“ken buck” EEOC) and saw some mentions of this. I decided to take a look back at the articles they were citing. I thing the most important thing is this op-ed by former DA Al Dominguez in the Greeley Tribune back when Buck was running for DA. It appears that people knew of the rumors about the Department of Justice scandal, but for our purposes, this is the most interesting part of it…

Since the office of district attorney requires the everyday management of employees, I would also challenge both Quammen and Buck to sign waivers/releases for the free and unencumbered view of any file that may exist at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

http://www.greeleytribune.com/…

It looks like Quammen agreed to turn over everything, and Buck refused. We already know he was hiding the DOJ ethical violation. What is he hiding in his EEOC complaint? Is Pols right? Buck needs to disclose this immediately, and it seems to me that responsible reporters should keep asking Buck what the issue is until he discloses it.

I think this has the potential to be very serious, and very troubling.

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Is Buck Hiding Another Serious Ethical Scandal in His EEOC File?

I am very curious about this rumor that has been floating around in the comments sections etc. of some of our local papers about Buck’s record of harassment or discrimination. Normally, I’d dismiss a rumor cluttering the comments section, but after the same rumors about his DoJ record proved to be true, I think we have to give this one a little more credibility.

Things seem to be building up on this since it seems to be getting rumor-ed around more (hence appearing in a post today), and I think it’s probably time for Buck to come clean about whatever the issue is.

Today, pols wrote…

Epilogue: we’ve heard a rumor from several credible sources now about an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission  (EEOC) complaint against Buck in his past record that could shortly be disclosed “October surprise” style.  We’ve been told that newspapers and at least one Denver television station are actively working this story. To be clear, the specific details of this have not been disclosed to us, even on background, except that it involves a complaint and a settlement. But we’re told it could further damagingly reinforce Buck’s problems with women voters.

http://coloradopols.com/diary/…

A few commenters said they had heard similar, so I quickly googled (“ken buck” EEOC) and saw some mentions of this. I decided to take a look back at the articles they were citing. I thing the most important thing is this op-ed by former DA Al Dominguez in the Greeley Tribune back when Buck was running for DA. It appears that people knew of the rumors about the Department of Justice scandal, but for our purposes, this is the most interesting part of it…

Since the office of district attorney requires the everyday management of employees, I would also challenge both Quammen and Buck to sign waivers/releases for the free and unencumbered view of any file that may exist at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

http://www.greeleytribune.com/…

It looks like Quammen agreed to turn over everything, and Buck refused. We already know he was hiding the DOJ ethical violation. What is he hiding in his EEOC complaint? Is Pols right? Buck needs to disclose this immediately, and it seems to me that responsible reporters should keep asking Buck what the issue is until he discloses it.

I think this has the potential to be very serious, and very troubling.

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Romanoff: First Negative, Desperate, and Lying. Now Shameful.

Today I went to Michael Bennet’s press conference in front of the capital that he to call out Speaker Romanoff for his simply false negative ads. I was one of those holding a sign behind him.

Apparently Romanoff’s campaign heard about it too and tried to crash the event. Totally unnecessary. They came across the same way Romanoff does – over-the-top negative and willing to say or do anything to win.

From a report that just came out on it from the AP…

A campaign event by Sen. Michael Bennet Saturday degenerated into a Democratic shouting match as more than a hundred of his primary opponent’s supporters crashed the event and heckled the senator.

http://www.washingtonexaminer….

Bennet and a number of supporters spoke, including DPS parents who testified to what a great job bennet has done, and Lt. Gov Barbara O’Brien, who spoke about how sickened she was about Romanoff’s lying negative campaign.

She also had a great exchange with one of the Romanoff supporters who were trying to shout her down. He said “we can’t hear you” as she was talking about Romanoff’s attacks. She responded “Well maybe you don’t want to, you’re holding a Romanoff sign!”

Bennet spoke last, and he was on fire. He was very courteous, as always, to the Romanoff crowd, and he defended his record forcefully and clearly. He rebutted each and everyone of the false attacks Romanoff has been making.

He talked about how he saved failing companies that were already going bankrupt, preserving thousands of jobs. Andrew’s attack on that is dishonest.

He noted that voted with environmental champion Mark Udall against an oil and gas bill that sounded good but was badly written and would have hurt Colorado’s economy. Andrew has attacked him for this vote.

He voted against a bank amendment that wouldn’t have dealt wit the real problems, and would have forced banks to sell off assets overseas. Another attack from Romanoff.

And he made the point perfectly that I think is the clearest difference between him and Romanoff: he knows Romanoff will launch political attacks on his votes, but his job isn’t to worry about that, its to do the right thing for Colorado.

Best I have seen him. He seems fired up and ready for this week.

I think some people will probably try to make the point that Bennet’s press guy showed up at Andrew’s thing. That’s true but there’s a huge difference between one guy showing up to talk to reporters, and an angry Romanoff mob trying to disrupt the event. Romanoff should be ashamed of this.

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(Updated to reflect CPR change) Breaking: Romanoff Would Have Killed Wall Street Reform

Update 2: Looks like the reporter misunderstood Romanoff’s effort to have it both ways by trashing the bill and attacking Bennet, without actually saying he would have voted for it. Glad Andrew now has decided to support the bill though. If he had said he supported it earlier, which he was trying to avoid saying, this all would have been moot.

we mistakenly reported that his democratic challenger Andrew Romanoff would have voted against the bill. Romanoff clarified his position today

Update: The Huffington Post has posted the radio report, and it says (and I heard)…

“Senator Bennet’s democratic primary challenger says the bill doesn’t do enough to fix Wall Street and he would have voted against it.”

Huffington Post writes…

Challenger Andrew Romanoff says he would have voted against the financial reform bill passed by the Senate this week because it doesn’t go far enough. Were Romanoff, the former Speaker of the Colorado State House, representing Colorado in the Senate, his ‘No’ vote would have made him one of just two Democrats to oppose the legislation, and would have prevented the bill’s passage.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…

ORIGINAL POST:

Wall Street reform finally crossed the finish line today, but if Andrew Romanoff were in the Senate, it would have died by one vote.

I was listening to Colorado Public Radio on the way home today. They reported (and I heard VERY clearly) that Romanoff said he would have voted against Wall Street reform. That means it never would have passed since it got only 60 votes. Michael Bennet and Mark Udall voted for it.

I think it’s pretty ironic, since in Romanoff’s new television ad he refers to Wall Street as a “rigged casino.”  But Romanoff obviously doesn’t want to fix the problem or even take steps forward to address the problems that led to our financial crisis.

According to the New York Times, this bill will help end the same reckless behavior that got us into this mess. Republicans held up the legislation for weeks, as they are now holding up extending unemployment benefits, etc, but in the end Mitch McConnell, Jim DeMint, and the rest of the other Republicans lost. And Romanoff would have been their ally.

The bill expands federal banking and securities regulation from its focus on banks and public markets, subjecting a wider range of financial companies to government oversight, and imposing regulation for the first time on “black markets” like the enormous trade in credit derivatives.

It creates a council of federal regulators, led by the Treasury secretary, to coordinate the detection of risks to the financial system, and it provides new powers to constrain and even dismantle troubled companies.

It also creates a powerful new regulator, appointed by the president, to protect consumers of financial products, which will be housed in the Federal Reserve. The first visible result may come in about two years, the deadline for the consumer regulator to create a simplified disclosure form for mortgage loans.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07…

It may not be perfect, but it’s clear that it contains a lot of good stuff protecting consumers, regulating banks, etc.

We have passed two key pieces of reform this year: Health Care Reform and Wall Street reform. Romanoff has also said he would have killed Health Care Reform. Again, neither bill was perfect, but change is slow and I think both moved us miles up the road.

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Romanoff finally hits the airwaves

( – promoted by ClubTwitty)

Former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff is finally joining Michael Bennet up on TV in the democratic primary. I don’t know how much money he has to spend on it, but the production value of the ad (which looks like it could have been done in the Wayne’s World basement) probably suggests it isn’t huge.

Here’s the ad (hope I got the embedding right!) :

Here’s a link if I didn’t…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…

Romanoff continues to make not taking PAC money (this time!) the theme of his campaign, and says it makes Washington corrupt.

One thing that stands out to me about this is that I don’t remember Romanoff as a big reformer / shake things up type when he was in the state legislature. In contrast, Bennet has really made himself a reformer, which I think probably undercuts Andrew’s message.

The biggest thing it seems to me is that it’s a fine ad but nothing about it really distinguishes him. He could be anyone railing against PAC money. That didn’t seem to get a lot of traction last time around, and I’m not sure it will this time.

Curious what people think though. Will this be effective? Poll below.

[poll id=”1150″]

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A suggested change to the rules on Pols

(This seems to have attracted a lot of attention as a dairy, so let’s move it up to front page. – promoted by Voyageur)

Since I just got in trouble for saying something that I think a lot of people feel, I want to post a diary to have a forthright discussion of the issue.

Pols position on anonymity generally makes sense. I for one probably couldn’t have started posting on here without it. In fact, concerns over it had me holding off on actually participating for awhile, though I’ve read the site pretty regularly since the 2008 election. I think that as a general rule, this allows for a number of folks who wouldn’t otherwise get involved to voice their insights and share their thoughts.

There is however one group of people that I think should be exempt from this protection, and that is elected officials. I think it should be a fully permissible act to “out” an elected official on here. The fact is that by holding office they live by a different set of standards than the rest of us, and a different set of standards. That’s especially applicable when it comes to slandering other elected officials, whether they be of the same or opposing ideology, party, or faction.

The standards for accountability are and should be higher, and those standards should be maintained on here. When campaigns or candidates post something, they have accounts that they post it from. We should expect the same transparency from those currently in office. It is simply unacceptable for an elected official representing the public to take potshots anonymously at a candidate or other elected official. I believe outing anyone who engages in this behavior should be perfectly acceptable, but I look forward to hearing people’s thoughts.

Poll below.

[poll id=”1145″]

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