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.