Bennet’s identity crisis & “I can just buy it” attitude

During the primary I was always clear I supported Andrew Romanoff. Frustrated as I was to see him lose to Michael Bennet I said I would vote for Bennet because we need to hold the seat. But as I watch more of his arrogance and identity crisis I’m rethinking whether I can vote for the guy. Would he be better than Buck on the issues I care about? If I believe what he said while being challenged in a primary, yes. If I watch what he did before and after that, I don’t know. Way better on some critical issues, maybe not much different on a lot of others.

Is it better to have a Dem in office who will vote with the party most of the time (or at least when he thinks people are watching) but has shown he’ll side with big banks and others to do their bidding and water down meaningful reform OR is it better to have a rightwing nut who will be in the minority and give us somebody to rally around defeating next go around. Somebody I think will sell out every progressive value once he has no more need for our support or somebody who is very public about opposing most of what I believe?

I’d like to hear from some of the other former Romanoff supporters about if you’re voting for Bennet and why or why not.

Every time I think I can vote for Bennet instead of leaving that race blank I see something new to remind me that he is everything that’s wrong with the Democratic party.

Let’s take the local daily paper’s ringing endorsement of Bennet which his campaign has been touting, blasting out and posting anywhere and everywhere online. If I read the endorsement it basically says “We’ve known Michael Bennet way longer than most people. He’s not at all the progressive he had to pretend to be to win the primary. He’s actually been a pretty inept Senator who hasn’t stood for much of anything. But we know who he really is and once he doesn’t have you pesky voters to appease he’ll be that guy from Anschutz and DPS that we loved. You know, the guy who put a company billions in debt to line his pocket and give Phil Anschutz a half billion more to fund every right-wing bigoted initiative. That guy who put the DPS pensions at risk, thought experienced teachers are just deadwood and that charter schools are the answer to everything and took marching orders from the billionaire hedgefunds behind DFER and Stand for Children. Trust us. He’ll go back to being that guy so vote for him. If we know him like we think we do he may even go Ben Nighthorse on you.”

Then there’s EFCA. A year of dodging and weaving when he knew giving a straight answer would sink him in a primary. You’re against EFCA? Maybe you should have had the spine to say that all along.

How about his latest ad? “Big oil, the insurance companies and nearly every special interest think Colorado is for sale.” I do at least agree when he says “The special interests think they can get their way.” On the next line “But Colorado’s not for sale” well that remains to be seen. And “I’m nobody’s senator but yours” sure sounds like “a Senator for the rest of us” but his votes have told me what I need to know about whose senator he is. And who is it that these special interests are dumping money into? Isn’t Bennet one of the top takers of money from oil, insurance, banks and “nearly every special interest” who thinks Colorado is for sale?

I know Romanoff said after the primary he was supporting Bennet and asked his people to support Bennet but why have I not heard of a single event where Romanoff was with Bennet campaigning? He’s all over the state campaigning for other Dems but nothing with Bennet. Is that too much for even him to do or is it the Bennet campaign that doesn’t want Romanoff out there with Bennet?

On the topic of former Romanoff supporters, the Bennet team’s handling of tonight’s rally is another thing that has me irritated. A couple weeks ago I got two different emails forwarded to me that were sent out from Bennet field staffers saying that the Clinton rally was a good chance to reach out to the people that had been ignored, slighted or marginalized especially Romanoff supporters since Romanoff would be at the rally so tickets should be offered to known Romanoff supporters. Nice gesture but a couple problems here. First, giving me a free ticket to see the former President that said Romanoff was better is not going to sway me. I need to see something out of Bennet that makes me think he’ll grow a spine and stand up for progressive values. Second and more problematic with this is that Romanoff is not going to be at the rally. I was kind of surprised to see the emails and blasts all over Facebook touting Romanoff being there so I reached out to some of Romanoff’s former staff last week. They said that Bennet’s people had offered free tickets to anybody who attended a house-party for Romanoff Friday night (they’re still trying to pay off the campaign debt) but when they checked about the rally as of Friday Romanoff had not even been contacted by Bennet much less invited to be at the rally. So you have Bennet people telling everybody Romanoff would be at the rally but they hadn’t even invited him. Then I heard that Bennet staffers showed up at Romanoff’s event and wouldn’t leave and at the end some Bennet supporter stood up to lecture the group about how she was with Bennet all along and they all need to get behind Bennet. This was a Romanoff event for his hardcore supporters. Way to stay classy Bennet staff & supporters.

Maybe Bennet thinks all of the Romanoff people will just fall in line because Romanoff said he supports Bennet and after-all Buck is scary so Bennet is the only sane option. Or maybe they figure they don’t need the Romanoff supporters. The DNC and OFA were able to win the primary for Bennet by getting all those infrequent voters and new voters from ’08 to vote so maybe that’s their thinking.

Or maybe the DNC & OFA just figure they went so far out on the line for Bennet that they’ll spend whatever it takes to buy the election and prove they’ve got the juice to pick our Senator. They’ve got the wife of a Bennet staffer as Executive Director of the CDP, the fiancé of Bennet’s #2 (fresh in from Washington this spring) running the coordinated campaign (don’t even try to tell me that wasn’t a rigged hire – I can guess who they were “coordinating” with all spring and summer). Now they’ve sent in some out of state firm to run a shadow field coordinated campaign since the official one wasn’t getting the job done. Check out DemGain. Terra Strategies has been trying to recruit regional organizers and paid canvassers to try to save Bennet. I was told by the coordinated last month that they did not have any paid positions but now I hear this out of state company is paying $1k/week for regionals and $100/day for paid canvassers and are running it totally outside of the BennetCDPCoordinated campaign. The couple Romanoff people I know who they tried to recruit just couldn’t go that far and campaign for Bennet but I have heard that after the DNC sent in a bunch of Terra people from out of state they ended up hiring mostly Romanoff people to run the whole thing. Guess that’s good news for some of them that needed jobs. I tried to find out what they’re doing since there already is a coordinated campaign but the people I know who talked to them said they’ve all been told to keep what they’re doing quiet and are at totally separate offices from the CDP, Bennet campaign and coordinated campaign. Sucks to be a low-paid organizer or volunteer for Bennet when the money is being thrown around to an out of state firm and the old Romanoff field team. At least the Romanoff people are getting some of the cash flying around.

So at the end of it all, I have an appointed Senator who:

1) The people who know him best say he’s nothing like what he campaigned saying he is in the primary

2) Calls himself an education reformer while screwing DPS teachers and selling out to the reform ideas of the billionaires from DFER

3) Sits on the banking committee while protecting the banks.

4) Never introduced the public option he promised he’d reintroduce later

5) Sold out labor on EFCA

6) Rails against special interests but is the biggest depositor of their checks

7) Tells me he’ll be a Senator for the Rest of Us…. I mean rest of Colorado

8) Has a staff and supporters that continue to insult Romanoff

9) Hijacked the CDP, the coordinated and used the county party offices for his & OFA’s activities during a primary

10) Needs the DNC/OFA to come try to save him in the final weeks by trying to buy Romanoff’s supporters and field people

OR I’ve got Ken Buck who is as wrong as you can be on nearly every issue.


Clinton gives Romanoff national boost

I know the endorsement has already been talked about here but it looks like Clinton’s help wasn’t limited to what was being reported as just a letter to Romanoff’s own list.  Two friends of mine who were Hillary supporters have told me they got an email from Clinton today asking them to give money to Romanoff. They’re both out of state (Florida & Pennsylvania) so it looks like the letter went out to Hillary’s whole national list.  Looks like Clinton is betting bigger on Romanoff than a lot of people were saying.  

I don’t know if this is the same letter that went out last week but here is what was forwarded to me. It came from an email address and the subject line makes a pretty bold statement coming from President Clinton!

From: Bill Clinton

Sent: Tuesday, July 06, 2010 1:07 PM

To: Samantha

Subject: Our Next U.S. Senator


You are receiving this message as a member of’s online community. Please take a moment to read this special message from Bill Clinton.

I first met Andrew Romanoff in 1992, when he was a student at the Kennedy School of Government and I was a candidate for President.  Four years later, I was running for a second term, and he had just been elected to his first — as one of Colorado’s representatives on the Democratic National Committee.

I was proud to carry Colorado in 1992, but you should be even prouder of what Andrew Romanoff did to turn the state blue.  He worked harder than anyone in Colorado to put Democrats in positions of power — and to use that power to benefit every single citizen.

I support Andrew Romanoff for the U.S. Senate, and I hope you will too.  Please make a generous contribution to his campaign today.

Andrew led the effort to win a majority in the Colorado House of Representatives for the first time in 30 years, and to keep that majority for the first time in more than 40 years.  He built the largest Democratic majority since John F. Kennedy was President.

Even more important, Andrew took on Colorado’s biggest challenges and made enormous progress.  As the first Democratic Speaker of the House since 1976, he:

• Put together an Economic Recovery Plan to bring good jobs to Colorado and balance the state budget.

• Passed the largest investment in school construction in state history — a billion-dollar plan to repair, rebuild and modernize schools, especially in rural Colorado.

• Protected Coloradans from the threats they face every day: insurers who deny their claims and refuse to honor their policies, scam artists who prey on seniors and bilk them out of their life savings, polluters who destroy the environment and expect somebody else to pay for the damages.

Colorado is far better off today because of Andrew Romanoff’s leadership.  America will be too.  Please invest $250, $500 or $1,000 in Andrew’s campaign today.

In 2008, the editors of Governing Magazine honored Andrew as “Public Official of the Year.”  They recognized in Andrew the same qualities that the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Council of State Governments, and more than 50 other organizations had already seen — integrity, courage, compassion.  Simply put, Andrew Romanoff is one of the best legislative leaders in the United States.

As a Senator, Andrew Romanoff will continue to stand up to special interests and fight for working families.  We need Andrew’s leadership in Washington — especially now, when so many Americans are losing so much.  “It is not enough,” as Andrew put it at the Colorado Democratic Assembly last month, “to put a President of real talent and vision and leadership in the White House if the same qualities are not matched at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.”

Andrew won the state assembly by 21 points.  With your help, he’ll win the primary and the general election.  Please make a generous contribution to Andrew’s campaign today.

Andrew brings to this race both an extraordinary record of public service and an extraordinary capacity to lead.  I believe that those assets, as well as his deep commitment to Colorado, give Andrew the best chance to hold this seat in November. You can make that happen by contributing to his campaign today.


New Bennet Ad – More fiction than fact

I saw Michael Bennet’s ad this morning and have to say that although the production value is pretty minimal, it was a basically effective ad – especially for those voters who aren’t paying much attention or who just take what they see on t.v. at face value.

I knew a lot of what he has in there is more fiction than reality and was happy to find that Romanoff had a response up quickly. If Bennet’s ad goes unchecked, he’ll sucker a lot of voters into believing him. If Romanoff has been raising the money he needs to be on t.v. soon and he’s ready to swing, a lot more voters could find out how full of it Bennet really is. Guess he’s learned quickly how to do the Washington 2-Step since he’s been back in his hometown of Washington DC.

Bennet’s new ad and his limited version of what he’s done

Romanoff checks Bennet’s facts and finds a whole lot of fiction.


This Michael Bennet…

The more I learn about the appointed one and his public proclamations vs his behavior while no-one is watching, I’m realizing there are two Bennet’s still running for office and they’re both running for the same seat. This Michael Bennet says he’s only been in Washington for a year  and says the only time he feels like he’s in Washington is when he’s debating Romanoff – This Michael Bennet is running a nasty, smear campaign, grew up in Washington and whines about having to win his own seat.  

This Michael Bennet says he just hates “politics as usual” and says he wants to ban lobbyists from working in Congress and vice versa but This Michael Bennet watered down that reform enough to make sure Guy Cecil could be his Chief of Staff and brought one of Rahm’s boys out to be his spokesman with a no-hit-too-nasty approach as long as it’s never posted for all voters to see.

For the past two months, a few friends (some at legit news outlets, some completely fictional who found their way onto Bennet’s press list) have been sharing with me the press releases Bennet has Trevor Kincaid send out and some of the messages and talking points being circulated – some releases go to all press, some apparently to targeted lists. Some of the talking points are directly from those releases and others are from “supporters” who meet or talk directly with Team Bennet. The common threads among most of them are that 1) They are far nastier than what Bennet publicly admits saying about Romanoff, 2) They show a clear pattern of trying to smear Romanoff’s character and 3) they are nearly identical to what gets posted by Cronk & Springfield on HuffPo & Facebook and by Raymond1, MOTR, BOTW, Caroman, peacemonger and others on here. (Note – I’m not saying each of those posters here gets the talking points directly but the subject matter and word choice is striking).

I spoke up with disgust when Bennet sent his people on a Rovian whisper campaign about Romanoff being single and how “it shouldn’t matter… but it will.” I’ve watched as some tried to paint Romanoff as a racist or anti-immigrant (from those here to the releases Kincaid sends out).

This week I got a message on Facebook inviting me to a “surprise protest” at the State Assembly to “demonstrate our outrage at Andrew Romanoff’s anti-immigrant past and his recent attempts to hide that past behind empty words now that he is running against an immigrant rights hero.” (to the person who sent that – and you know who you are – don’t assume because of my last name that I will listen to your dog-whistle about immigration – I think for myself and after my family has been here for 5 generations, I’m an American first.)

Michael Bennet is not the “aww shucks” guy next door who is shocked by what he’s found in Washington. If anything, he’s just upset he can’t be the corporate raider he was for Anschutz that nobody could stop from steam-rolling over them, he can’t be the bully he was behind closed doors at DPS and, as he recently had to admit, despite having every special interest group and power broker behind him, the appointed one will actually have to win this seat for himself.

So while some of the Bennetons spend their time on here, HuffPo and Facebook attacking the “negative” campaigning from Romanoff because he dares to point out the truth about Bennet’s past and his inaction on many issues that This Coloradan cares about, maybe they should look inward at what is coming out of Camp Bennet.

So how about this Senator Bennet: If you’re willing to say it in a press release, if you’re willing to have your spokesman call people and say it, how about posting it on your website or better yet, post it there first and then come here and post it. People here attack Romanoff for the statements he puts out but at least he has the spine to post everything he puts out directly on his website for all to see. And to my “friend” from Facebook who I’ve never met but thinks my last name means I’ll join a protest based on lies, I will see you there – I’ll be the one standing with hundreds of teachers and parents who have dealt with the fallout from the work of the real Michael Bennet.

Note to Trevor: Thanks for making it so easy to get a few email addresses on to your press list. Since you’re new to Colorado, I do have to tell you though, the “Casa Bonita Reader” is not really the official weekly paper of South Park though I do appreciate you adding us quickly to your list and having your “assistant” (who is also clearly from out of state) email and offer to have the Senator do a phone interview with our editor. You can go ahead and take that email address off your list – I’ve got a few others on there so I’ll throw you a bone on this one.


Repubs love immigrants – for cheap labor & taxes anyway

A friend sent me this gem of a quote that was one of their guy’s attempt to demonstrate how moderate and compassionate he is on immigration. Too bad for them, when an intelligent person reads it, it’s clear that even when the Repubs are trying to act like they understand the need for immigration reform, for them it comes back to “what can they do for me?”

“A tough, fair and practical comprehensive solution will help the economy by turning undocumented workers into legal taxpayers and ensure that businesses have the necessary labor they need to compete.”

Notice they start with “tough,” throw in “fair” to seem almost reasonable before immediately going into what they really care about – more low-income people paying taxes to make up for their tax cuts and cheap labor to exploit for more corporate profits. No mention or appreciation of the humanitarian issues, the struggles immigrant families face, the laundry list of contributions to our country from doing jobs others won’t or spilling their blood for our country – just pay taxes and give businesses what “they need.”


Will Bennet return tainted Goldman Sachs $$?

So we all know Michael Bennet has been more than prolific at raising money from Wall Street (only five members of Congress have him beat in this category), but does he draw the line at taking money from executives of a company that has been indicted for fraud?

From today’s Wall Street Journal:…

In Colorado, incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet was accused by his Democratic challenger Andrew Romanoff of doing Goldman’s bidding in return for cash. “An indicted firm is no place to turn for campaign contributions,” said Mr. Romanoff, who called on Mr. Bennet to return the $6,300 he has received from the Goldman executives. A Bennet spokesman didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Unlike some Romanoff supporters on here, I don’t have a problem with any/all PAC money and it’s sure not the reason I support Romanoff and want Bennet gone, but surely there has to be some line drawn. I don’t think any member of Congress should take money from a business they directly regulate – if you’re on the banking committee, no bank $$, Health & Human Services, no pharma or insurance $$ etc. I’d also like to see Congress have to report real-time their contributions from lobbyists & PACs and have a public listing of meetings with or fundraisers hosted by them. I don’t care if the money comes in, I just think there should be a lot more sunshine on who’s giving to who and when[poll id=”1109″]


Delegates get the message from Bennet

Senator Bennet’s message to those delegates who are the “super active” or “hardcore caucus goers” as described by Rahm’s boy Trevor Kincaid have gotten the message clearly and are expressing their response in votes at assemblies this weekend. Fortunately for Mr. Bennet, they aren’t the ones who really matter and Bennet has a super-secret plan to win the general without those pesky activists who like to do things like knock on doors, make phone calls and stuff envelopes. Now, Mr. Bennet can use those highly trained out-of-state folks that are building his field operation to go get signatures outside the Circle K and just like Obama invigorated a new generation, so too will the Appointed One discover an entirely new generation inspired by his soaring oratory skills and his insightful understanding that it’s not the party loyalists and activists who really matter.

So, how did that pan out in another week of assemblies?

Inspired by Bennet’s announcement that he’s going the extra safe and, according to some on here, brilliant path, of spending millions 1Q on caucus and then $675k on tv only to now go the path of petitioning, the delegates are speaking at assemblies across the state. The Uncommitteds are doing just what Bennet planned – they’re all going with Romanoff and some of those really irritating ones in his own camp who think the party base is important have done what Kid Kincaid and MADCO have been hoping – they’re leaving too.

In Mesa, Romanoff pickus up 16pts while Bennet loses 7. Those small counties where Bennet had shown some strength that Craig Hughes described as proving Bennet’s statewide appeal? They’ve gotten the message too – Huerfano flips from Bennet to Romanoff, Chaffee, pick-ups for Romanoff. More to come, but it does look like Rahm’s plan is being perfectly executed by Kid Kincaid and the Bennet camp who are visiting Colorado for the year – across the state, those annoying activists are getting out of Bennet’s camp just like they wanted – purge the party and reach unity by building a new one with super secret droves of voters who are just waiting for it to be their time.


Bennet Starts petition drive

(I don’t know what to make of this, but it’s news – promoted by Danny the Red (hair))

First they call losing winning, then it’s that Colorado was just losing in their opponent’s “backyard” (Where is your backyard Mr. Bennet? K Street?), most recently it’s that the 22,000 who voted are “just the hardcore caucus-goers” – Who do you think will be needed to knock on doors, make phone calls and lick stamps to win in the general? You know that November race that all polls show Romanoff as the only Dem who can beat the Republicans? Oh yea, you can just buy those services like you’ve bought all of the out of state staff and people calling for Mr. Bennet. Now Rahm’s errand boy and recent Colorado arrival Trevor Kincaid reveals Bennet is in fact starting to circulate petitions “just in case.” Well, at least that’s one way to get on with money instead of those pesky voters – you can just pay petition circulators.

Article after the jump

Bennet starting petition drive for primary ballot

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet is beginning a petition drive, hoping to guarantee that his name is on the Aug. 10 Democratic primary ballot in his election contest against former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff.

  Bennet’s campaign made the surprising announcement to The Pueblo Chieftain Friday afternoon. Bennet would have to get 30 percent of the delegate votes at the Colorado Democratic Party convention on May 22 to win a place on the primary ballot……


Bennet’s got another ad

Looks like Mike Bennet had a busy day filming commercials and driving around Colorado. He’s up with a new commercial and a $300k+ 2 week buy – notice the same “rugged” outfit and tired face as the last commercial.

I admit to being biased as a supporter of Romanoff but this ad doesn’t strike me as particularly strong and I’ve seen Bennet come across much better in speaking. Maybe he was just in a hurry to get back to a fundraiser and was tired from having to run around to all these new places he’s supposed to see so he can say he’s “listening to Coloradans.” I wonder if he’s held more public meetings with voters in Washington County or fundraisers in Washington DC with lobbyists and special interests?

My questions:

1) Does Bennet really think we believe he has spent more time in Washington County then in Washington DC where he’s really from? Or will enough low-info voters just accept the image he’s buying on t.v.?

2) Does anybody think Bennet complaining about the influence of special interests is a bit ironic? I’ll be the first to say Romanoff needs to get some more message besides anti-special interests, but apparently it’s resonating enough that Bennet is trying to take it away from him.


Bennet shaken, continues smear

Well looks like the new boy Rahm sent out from DC to Denver to help spin for Bennet is going to keep the smear up. Here’s the latest: Kid Kincaid wants people to believe that the local UFCW who is endorsing Romanoff is turning on him. Only, that’s not quite true. The local hasn’t budged on their support of Romanoff despite Rahm’s pressure on the national and national’s pressure on the local to get behind Bennet. Note to Rahm: We don’t need Chicago or DC telling the locals who to endorse, we don’t need your spin-masters coming out here and we sure don’t need you telling us who to vote for.  While the national may be under pressure from Rahm, the locals here know Romanoff and I’d guess they aren’t thrilled with Bennet taking money from Safeway’s Corporate PAC while UFCW-7 was fighting against Safeway to get a living wage and reasonable contract for Colorado’s working families.

Subject: UFCW Turns Away from “Kill the Bill” Strategy, Urges Bennet to Stay the Course


UFCW Turns Away from Romanoff “Kill the Bill” Strategy, Urges Bennet to Stay the Course

DENVER, CO (March 23, 2010) — Organizations that have endorsed Andrew Romanoff in his Senate bid now disagree with his “kill the bill” approach to health care reform. His decision to align himself with the same strategy embraced by obstructionist Senate Republicans and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell makes him appear out of touch and far removed from commonsense health care reform advocates.

In a letter to Sen. Michael Bennet, the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) recognized that Romanoff’s approach would jeopardize health care reform and urged Sen. Bennet, “not to offer any amendments, including the public option amendment.”  They went on to say, “It is time for us to finish what we started and pass the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act without amendments.”

“Colorado is going one way and Andrew Romanoff is running the other.  Michael’s commonsense approach to health care reform would start implementing the transformative policies that improve our health care system and start working to improve upon these reforms immediately — which includes continuing the fight for the public option,” said Trevor Kincaid, Bennet Campaign spokesman


New lows from Bennet campaign. Or is it?

The e-mail/press-release below was forwarded to me by somebody who received it from an ardent supporter of Michael Bennet.  

If this is authentic and something the Bennet campaign sent out then Bennet has stooped to new lows in his attacks on Romanoff and he is clearly hearing the footsteps of the masses turning against him. If this is not real and his supporters are sending it around, he needs to immediately denounce it, apologize to Romanoff and the 35,000 people who signed the public option petition and his campaign needs to rein in his supporters. Either way this issue isn’t going away and I think Bennet owes an apology (and a refund) to all of those who bought into his “I’ll introduce the public option in reconciliation” charade.

Release follows (emphasis mine)


Sen. Bennet’s Commonsense Approach Implements Reforms Immediately,

Looks to Public Option as Next Step

DENVER, CO (March 23, 2010) — Coloradans and Americans are celebrating the passage of historic health care reform that President Obama championed and millions of Americans stand to benefit from almost immediately.  However, Andrew Romanoff is not celebrating.

As final, critical health care reforms are considered in the Senate, Former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff — who has consistently refused to support Democratic health care reform efforts — continues stand with Republicans in Washington in opposition to real health care reforms.

Romanoff has refused to say how he would have voted on health care reform, but appears to be joining Senate Republicans in the obstructionist effort to block a bill that will improve insurance affordability, eliminate the special deals, and close the prescription drug doughnut hole for Colorado’s seniors.

The Republican designed, “kill the bill” strategy that Romanoff has embraced makes most progressives wonder how he has become so out-of-touch with Colorado voters.   Romanoff’s position in December would have forced women to pay more than men for insurance, leave 826,000 Coloradans uninsured, halt the deficit reduction measures, reverse the security granted for young people, remove the prohibition on rescissions and preexisting conditions denial, and force seniors to pay more for prescription drugs.

“Why Andrew Romanoff is playing political games with desperately needed health care reform is lost on anyone who wants a stronger, more accessible health care system,” said Trevor Kincaid, Bennet campaign spokesman. “By embracing the Republican ‘kill the bill’ strategy, Romanoff is running away from commonsense voters and practicing the type of cheap politics that so many in Colorado are sick and tired of.”

The pragmatic approach adopted by Sen. Michael Bennet, every Democratic Senator, and nearly 200 major progressive groups will ensure the passage and implementation of health care reform.  Sen. Bennet has been a champion for even further reforms, including the public option, but knows that this once-in-a-generation opportunity can’t be ignored just to score cheap political points.

“The health care reform that Sen. Bennet championed and President Obama signed will make life better for every single American.  Sen. Bennet is continuing to fight for more reforms and the public option but will not let this opportunity to help millions of Coloradans slip away,” said Kincaid.


This is starting to remind me of 06 when Peggy Lamm got desperate and smeared Perlmutter accusing him of supporting the rights of rapists over the victims of violence. We know how that turned out for her and at this rate Bennet may well be headed to the same future of obscurity and short-lived relevance in the public eye.

Pretty outrageous for Bennet’s people to accuse Romanoff of aligning with the GOP and basically calling him a GOP collaborator. When Romanoff was building the Democratic majority in Colorado what was Bennet doing? That’s right, he was a corporate raider for Anschutz building the very wealth that would be used to fight equality and every core Democratic principle. That is until he took a stint at DPS to gamble the teachers’ pension and champion charter schools. He has the audacity to call Romanoff a “career politician” – what does that make him? His longest job was with Anschutz so I guess that makes him a career wealth-builder for a right-wing bigot and homophobe. I think I’ll take the guy who has committed his life to public service, building the Democratic party and fighting for those who most need a voice and let the corporate raider go find a job where he’s more comfortable – I hear JPMorgan is hiring Mr. Bennet.


Advertising 101: Note to Bennet’s Agency

I just caught Bennet’s new t.v. spot. It was tivo’d so the first time I saw it was with no volume as I fast forwarded through commercials. Here is what I saw: FREEZE  LOSE   BAN   BENNET. I can’t say I disagree with the statement but I really don’t think that’s what they meant.

After I got done laughing I watched the ad on normal speed and I will say it was a somewhat decent spot. For those average voters not following the back and forth with him and Romanoff, the message was pretty good and probably will resonate with voters. It was a little too Pete Coorsish for my liking and Bennet looked tired but if I didn’t know Romanoff had been beating on those same points before Bennet did, I’d probably like what he had to say.

I’d love to see Romanoff run a spot countering the ad and include a clip from their debate of when he challenged Bennet to reject government health insurance until all Americans are covered and Bennet refused. Most people watching the ad will probably never know the hypocrisy of everything in it. So I guess Bennet’s strategy is wait until they hear Romanoff say something the voters like and then spend hundreds of thousands of out of state dollars running ads co-opting the ideas and misleading uninformed voters.

The agency who did and approved this ad should be beaten and flogged though. One of the key rules in television advertising is that before you approve a spot you watch it with the volume off and these days you also watch it on fast forward and slow-motion. Positioning those words exactly in the same place in huge all caps so the sequence reads FREEZE LOSE BAN BENNET is sloppy at best, amateur at worst.


PPP: Romanoff by 5 vs Norton & stronger among Dems

See http://www.publicpolicypolling…

The Colorado Senate race looks like a toss up, with incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet and Republican challenger Jane Norton knotted at 43.

Neither of the leading candidates is particularly popular. Bennet’s approval rating is 32%, with 46% of voters disapproving of him. Norton’s not a whole lot better with 35% of respondents having an unfavorable opinion of her to only 25% who view her positively. Both candidates are in the red with independent voters.

Norton leads Bennet 44-35 with independents, but Bennet is getting 79% of the Democratic vote while Norton is currently at just 77% of the Republican vote, leading to the overall tie.

Bennet primary challenger Andrew Romanoff actually leads Norton by a 44-39 margin, as he loses only 6% of the Democratic vote (compared to Bennet’s 11%) and holds Norton to a 4 point advantage with independents.


Banks win on Swaps while DPS loses courtesy of Bennet & Boasberg?

(Interesting and generating some comments – promoted by Danny the Red (hair))

Got the press release below forwarded to me by a friend who covers finance stories on a national desk and this just a couple days after an SEIU newsletter about “interest rate swaps.” Reading between the lines and taken along with the NY Times article and the recent SEIU newsletter, there are some very serious questions that need answers.  These Swaps are exactly what has sent Greece to the brink and are costing cities and states across the nation millions they already can’t afford to be losing.

Are banks like JP Morgan rolling in extra profits from Swap transactions at the cost of DPS students, teachers and retired DPS teachers counting on their pensions?

Just what kind of financial wizardry did Bennet and Boasberg do with DPS’ funds and what is the condition of the teachers’ pension fund? What if any impact does it have on PERA after that merger? Has the DPS School board been kept fully apprised of the financial condition of the district, the pension funds and any losses they’re eating after their current and former resident financial geniuses got them into this deal? Do the teachers know?

Who advised DPS on these transactions & what kind of fees were they paid?  

It’s not just the potentially escalating losses to DPS, but as was reported in an article (… ) about swaps plaguing New Mexico, it means if any of the banks involved goes under, the value plummets.

Here’s how a newsletter from SEIU described these “Swaps”:

Sunday’s New York Times ran an article blowing the lid off a Wall Street scheme called “interest rate swaps” that are sucking money from cities and states across the country. The swap deals were originally sold to communities as a way to shield against unpredictable interest rates. But, when the banks crashed the economy, the rules of the game changed.

Now, all these swap deals are doing is generating pure profit for the big banks – and it’s being paid for with our tax dollars.

Help stop the swaps. Demand a public investigation into these shady deals:…

These swaps deals amount to the biggest Wall Street bailout you’ve never heard of – around $28 billion nationwide. The city of Oakland, CA alone is paying $5.2 million annually for a swap deal with Goldman Sachs. That’s enough to completely resolve the city’s outstanding budget gap – and avoid cuts to critical services. Instead, it’s being used to fill Goldman’s profit pool, while city services go on the chopping block.

Help expose swap deals in your community; demand an investigation:…

Taxpayers have already given enough to bailout Wall Street. But that hasn’t stopped them from taking more. With communities feeling the squeeze in a tough economy, the last thing we can afford to do is send billions of our local tax dollars to Wall Street.

Click here to contact your attorney general and demand a public investigation into interest rate swaps:…

Press release sent out today:


News Advisory – March 11, 2010

DENVER, CO.  On Sunday, March 7, 2010, The New York Times published an article entitled “The Swaps That Swallowed Your Town,” about interest rate swaps and their effect on school districts and municipalities. The article is available here… .

In short, the story reports on the dramatic effect interest rate swaps are having on the budgets of public institutions and their ability to provide the services we expect from them. It also details the extent to which financial institutions took advantage of public officials and taxpayers in these transactions. Based on our preliminary research, we believe Denver Public Schools is being adversely affected by this kind of deal.

In 2007 DPS began to address pension-related issues and made a decision to raise $750 million for two primary purposes:

* To refinance pension certificates of participation from bonds issue in prior years, so as to redirect more money into the classroom

* To fully fund the DPS retirement system in anticipation of a merger between the DPS teachers retirement system and PERA, the Colorado retirement system.

DPS entered into negotiations with JP Morgan and CitiGroup, agreeing to issue fixed-rate bonds secured by DPS school buildings and other properties. DPS then began discussion to enter into an interest-rate swap agreement with JP Morgan, Bank of America and the Royal Bank of Canada. We believe that following ensued: DPS entered into a swap transaction, believing that interest rates would stay high. As recent financial news tells us, interest rates fell. We are concerned that this may have translated to a loss of taxpayer dollars.

The Times article specifically cites two major concerns with these types of transactions: a lack of understanding on the part of the public institutions and lack of transparency in the transaction as a whole. Because of our fiduciary responsibilities, we ask for a public accounting of these matters.

We, the Board Members of the Denver Public Schools listed below, believe we have a duty to the children and employees of our district, as well as to the taxpayers to make certain that all the facts concerning these transactions are made clear to the public.

Arturo Jimenez

Vice President,Director, District 5

Denver Board of Education

Jeanne Kaplan

Secretary,Director, District 3

Denver Board of Education

Andrea Mérida

Director, District 2

Denver Board of Education