Buck is Crazy, Part 2

Buck on Abortion

Almost never, only if the actual health if the mother is threatened.

Mr Buck:

What would be the appropriate punishment for a pregnant woman who conspires with her doctor to terminate a pregnancy for a reason other than whatever your definition of actual health of the mother?

Do you favor the death penalty for conspiracy to commit murder?

What about Roe v Wade?

How does the US Senate overturn the settled law of the land?

How Maes Hurts Dems

Complacency  and Overreach

Maes?! What a maroon! What an ignoranimus!

He can’t win. He doesn’t have his party’s support.

He’s clearly unfit  to hold this office.

I don’t have to even ask if any of this sounds familiar. Nor cite sources.

That any of the characterizations of his ability, intellect or past are true is irrelevant.  

If the smartest candidate always won, I can think of a lot of campaigns that would  have ended differently.

If division of one’s party  core this far out from election day gauranteed loss, I could think of even more campaigns that would have ended differently.

And if there was some kind of fitness test, well there are some office holders that never would have got there and others who never would have been re-relected. Over and over.

The CO 2010 general election will be al about turnout.  Most elections are, but sometimes turnout is virtually assured: presidential election in 1992, 2000, 2004 and 2008, just to name a few.

But turnout is not guaranteed in CO this cycle.

No presidential election.  No motivational propositions to drive turnout.  Local stuff doesn’t drive turnout.

So it’s the Senate race.

Both parties had disunfying primaries.  But for reasons previously expressed

the R’s will be more motivated and are typically better at unifying behind their candidate anyway. At least that’s my perception, and in CO 2010  it’s my fear.

Imagine the apathetic D’s with no local race to care about who think Hick is a lock because Maes just cannot be taken seriously. Imagine Maes gaining real R credibility by  gaining a real LtGov and perhaps the reasoned endorsement of someone (anyone) that CO R’s take seriously.  I’m not talking Rosen or Gunny Bob. I’m not talking Wadhams or The Jeffco R Mens Breakfast Club. I’m talking Gingrich. Or Palin. Or Norquist. Even Bruce.

Then we have complacent D’s not writing checks because of course it’s Hick. Maes just can’t win.

We’d have low D turnout because Maes just can’t win, and neither will 60, 61 or the other one.  

So that’s the complacency part lowering D turnout.

Then we have the Left, Sirota, some of the posters here, and others pushing hard Left for single payer, federal law requiring abortion, gay marriage, open borders, card check, cap and trade and so on.  They feel embiggened because Maes just can’t win but the overreach of the far left, either in rhetoric or reality has three negative impacts for D’s.

It encourages the bitter, divisive D’s who want candidates much  

further Left to stay home. Not write checks. Not organize canvass nor GOTV.

To the degree that the L captures media, it reinforces the R talking heads portrayal of Hick, Bennet and other CO D’s as crazy far left socialists who are ready willing and motivated to help Obama drive America right over the cliff into Islamic radical socialism.

It divides the D party.  It encourages the frustrated D voters to vote for Nader and splinter. This doesn’t help Hick- it helps Maes.

Of course, none of this will matter and Maes will be easily defeated by Hickenlooper if, but only if D’s do not get complacent and do not attempt to overreach.  

Maes Promised Answers to CoPols

Last winter Dan Maes, Republican Gubernatorial nominee was interviewed by resident CoPols poster and current FPE DavidThi808 .    

In reply to several important questions, Mr Maes indicated it was too soon for detailed answers and that he would get back to us later.

I do actually have a copy of the budget and will get specific.  Be patient, there is still time.

It’s hard to get extremely detailed in a first interview. ….  

I welcome your challenges and questions.

Now is later.

Several questions that were asked stand out to me.



by: ClubTwitty @ Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 19:20:16 PM MST

It would be more accurate to compare with neighboring Rocky Mountain states.  Comparing the Piceance, with its limited pipeline capacity etc. to the shale plays for instance is Enron accounting.  I believe one of the links above goes to a diary comparing Co with other RM states.  The oil and gas industry is now on record admitting the regs did little.  If you look at the decline, it started before any of the rules went into effect.  Tens of thousands of federal acres are already leased in the Piceance, in known production areas, not subject to the state rules.  Drilling has declined at a comparable rate there.  Are you suggesting that the oil and gas companies are so stupid they don’t know where the rules apply?

Or said another way,

Given the O&G industry’s acknowledgement that the CO regs had little impact, would you still advocate repeal?


You said  “we can cut 4,000 state employees.”

Which ones?

You said  “CO has one of the highest ratios of state employees to population in the country”    What are you using as your source?

Colorado ranks 29, but if you take education out of the mix: CO ranks 29.   http://www.taxfoundation.org/

You said  “CO is ranked 6th in the country for state employee pay rate”  What is your source for that?

Colorado ranks 28th.   http://www.taxfoundation.org/

3) You endorsed “zero based budgeting” for Colorado. How does that work and why would that be a good thing for Colorado?

4) Do you support Faster?  If not, how do you propose to fund necessary maintenance on Colorado’s highway network?

5) How do you propose to stop the precipitous decline in funding for Colorado higher education?

6) Aug 2, you told Adam Schrager at 9News that you support Prop 60, which undoes the so-called “mill levy freeze” upheld by the Colroado Supreme Court in 2009.

Wouldn’t Prop 60 undo the hundreds of local de-Brucing elections? Why is statewide proposition appropriate to overturn local elections?

More importantly, the language of Prop 60 says that school districts will phase out half of their property tax by 2020 and any decreased revenue for schools as a result would be paid by the State.  The state budget is already facing shortfalls – would the money come from tax increase or budget cuts? If budget cuts, what would  you cut?  

7) Several tax exemptions were eliminated in the 2010 legislative session. Tim Hoover of the Denver Post recently published a follow up that indicated that the elimination of sales tax exemption on candy and soft drinks had zero impact on jobs losses in the state.  LIkewise, the elimination of the exemption of sales tax on industrial  electricity resulted in no job losses.

Would you still favor the reinstatement of these tax exemptions? Why?

Buck is Crazy, Part 1

Buck on Social Security


“I don’t know whether it’s  constitutional or not; it is certainly a horrible policy,” Buck said. “The idea that the federal government should be running health care or retirement or any of those programs is fundamentally against what I believe. And that is that the private sector runs programs like that far better.”

Buck on federal sudent loans


…we have to wean the American public off those,” he said.

Buck on federal healthcare reform

Repeal it.

Buck on birther legislation


Yes, he insulted the birthers, but I got the sense that was more of a political sensibility than a rejection of them.

Buck on Ref C

…largest tax increase in the history of the state of Colorado …

He claims he opposed it.

Buck on US NAtional Security and our biggest threats


But I think the largest threat we really have is the progressive liberal movement.

Not terrorists. Not energy dependence  on foreign, sometimes hostile, nations. Not China’s economic surge.  Not climate change. Not rogue nukes.  Not crazy candidates like T. Tancredo.

ca Z SZZj lL RP g

What Now? Bennet

Bennet wins – and it is not the end, but the beginning.

183,000 voters showed up and said Bennet.

He wins by 8.5%

So what?

What now?

1) Thursday 12:30 Capitol Steps

Dem unity rally.

Show up – be polite to someone.

2) Join the consolidated campaign.

3) Connect with Organizing for America and get to work.

4) Write a check for Bennet.

5) Go to http://bennetforcolorado.com/  and sign up.

6) Meet some people of Team Bennet and express your view.

Meet the candidate, watch him listen when you ask your questions, listen to his answer (which almost surely be “too long” by  classic campaign 101 lessons)

7) Winning is fun. Losing stings.

But in this case, winning is more fun and losing should sting less because Michael is a good guy.    I like ANdrew. I’ve always liked Andrew.  I like Mike.  

8) Realize that Sirota is nuts about who can win in Colorado.

9) Say something nice – or say nothing.

10) Take Maes seriously.  I don’t really understand how and why but as easy as it’s been to write him off, he keeps winning.

Sure, make the jokes, they write themselves.  But he keeps winning.

too much bs

The latest Romanoff – Bennet fan arguments threatened to take over another post.

That seemed pointless and …well, unnecesary.

So I moved the fight here.

Sure, I have thoughts on both comments, but I’m too busy today and tomorrow. Maybe I’l comment Wednesday.

Romanoff has lied for months

about himself

1. He’s claimed to be civil rights lawyer the truth he has no license

2. He hasn’t taken a dime in pac monry

truth-he cashed out his own personal pac, and says that he’ll take DSCC money if he wins the primary.

3. He said he’d vote against health care in Dec.

the truth–he told Littwin in March that he would vote yes.

4.He”worked” at the Southern Poverty Law Center

The truth he did a  3 month internship at age 21 fron 10.87 to 12.87

5. We still have no answer as to when he taught English in Nicaragua.

6.He claims to be progressive. The truth is he’s a DLC man of the year in 2009

7. He glorified Pat Caddell then said he had no idea that Caddell’s views on labor and environmentalists are extreme.A simple Google search indicated Caddell’s positions.

At best he doesn’t vet people.

8.He claims that he didn’t boast about how harsh the 2006 immigration bill was.The truth is he did.

9,He keeps crying about corruption when his own campaign has tarnished DPS.

10.Financial reform bill. He was so confusing that a reporter thought he would have voted against it. Then when he saw which way the wind blows  he clarified his position the next day claiming the reporter misinterpreted his statements

About Bennet

1. He started his  campaign stating Bennet didn’t support the public option

2. He claimed in a Colorado Springs debate that Bennet changed a vote for 2400.

The Statesman has disproved this twice.

3. Looting, obviously false.

4,He has suggested for months that Bennet bases all his votes on pac money. This is clearly false.

5. He has had his  shills at DPS provide unaudited information to try to discredit his opponent. He casts dispersions on  both Bennet, and Romer on this issue and as mentioned, he has basically single handedly destroyed the credibility of the DPS school board.

There is more if you wish.

A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.Paul Simon

by:Ray Springfield @ Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 01:13:16 AM MDT

Sorry Twitty, I know you didn’t want this but Ray has said way too much BS to let it slide.

1. No he didn’t

2. The PAC was dormant for 2 years and he gave the remaining funds to veterans organizations. Bastard.

3. He supports Single Payer and has been upfront about that since day one, like me, he thinks that the current “reform” is not good enough.

4.Clearly you’ve never done an internship. Go down to the Bennet HQ and tell all of those hardworking out of state interns that they aren’t really working, see how that goes.

5. After getting his Bachelors at Yale and before his Masters at Harvard. You trace it back.

6. Progressive Liberal Conservative Mentally Insane is all in the eye of the beholder. Personally, I think you are insane, your Mother may not think so.

7. I don’t think it’s lying to say you don’t know. Obama didn’t know that his appointees didn’t pay their taxes, a simple background check probably could have provided that information. But you know what, I forgive him.  

8. I don’t care if he boasted about them or not, the fact of the matter is he did the best he knew how to do at the time. To gripe about it would have made the Repugs come after us harder. I have asked you and others repeatedly what else would you have done?  

9. Complaining about corruption is not a lie. He has 2 supporters on the board, Bennet has the rest of the board, with the possible exception of Arturo, and one of them is his treasurer. How many DPS meetings have you been to Ray? Teresa Pena’s attitude is hurting those kids a lot more than a couple board members supporting Romanoff.  

10. This sounds like a crock, what are you even talking about?

About Bennet

1. Bennet didn’t support the Public Option until Romanoff was a lock to run

2. Money changes the conversation, always.

3. I give you that one.

4. All? All seems like an outlandish statement, but it is Ray so maybe not. Money changes the conversation.  

5. The NYT is a reputable newspaper, they did an investigation.

That’s it. And believe you me, the Denver School Board had it’s problems WAY before the Senate Primary.  

“Seriously, I think Bennet’s mother is more willing to criticize him than many of you.” – OldBenKenobi

by: TheGreatAndPowerfulOz @ Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 13:59:34 PM MDT

too much bs

The latest Romanoff – Bennet fan arguments threatened to take over another post.

That seemed pointless and …well, unnecesary.

So I moved the fight here.

Sure, I have thoughts on both comments, but I’m too busy today and tomorrow. Maybe I’l comment Wednesday.

JKj FET amEqi aBT

Bennet Strongest D Candidate in the General

Forget for a minute how the Colorado D’s got here. 2008  election, transition, Bennet appointment, nine months of rumor and Romanoff chasing other jobs and the LT Gov. thing followed by an announcement of a challenge….followed by another announcement that the challenge would continue and not be sidetracked by the gov thing.

Forget all that and think about this…

It’s less than a week before the end of the primary and Andrew Romanoff and Michael Bennet are in a very close race for the D nomination.  If someone had predicted this in Aug or even Nov 2008  no one would have believed it.

Negativity is the great equalizer – but only because we let it be.  I choose to ignore it as much as possible when I try to decide how to cast my own vote.  I respect that  campaigns must win in order to do anything and that sometimes hardball negative campaigns are required.  I hope if he needs it,  Bennet has it in him because he’s the best chance we have to keep the seat D.

The D nominee will either have to face  Buck or Norton. Either way, it will be a well funded R campaign,  with organized and motivated R voters and county organizations, running an anti-D, anti-Obama, anti-anything, campaign in Colorado.

Whichever D we nominate, in the general all the D’s are going to have to get it together.  If we can’t – then we lose.

And Bennet makes the strongest D candidate in the general.

Bennet is the only candidate in the race who has created jobs.  The medium and low information voters care about this and this cycle so will the highest information voters, even the single issue voters for whom jobs is not that single issue.

If he wins, he’ll  have beat a popular, experienced D with a large network of party activists and friends.

Bennet is new. DT posted recently what i’ve heard elsewhere, that AR has a strong message for the general: He’s not an incumbent D.  Bennet’s is even stronger – he’s not a D who has ever held elected office before.  And if Romanoff is the nominee, that’s not how it will go.  It will be pitched more as he was the heir apparent, but he didn’t get picked. Why?  No matter he voted this way and that way and etc.  Do you really think Ref C is not a big part of why Norton is trailing right now?

Bennet can do well where Obama did well.  Though I’d predict a lower overall turnout and less R crossover., Bennet can carry some big biz R’s and U’s, more likely to happen for him than for AR.

Bennet showed he would stand up to the teachers’ union at DPS. Though D’s haven’t all cheered that, it’s not a negative in the general. In fact, it’s probably a positive.

Bennet has the necessary fundraising chops. Udall had no primary, the 08 turnout and coattails and he still spent $15million to win by a much smaller margin than Obama.  Where and how is AR going to get that kind of big money?

Someone else apparently supporting AR recently posted that voters are emotional and irrational. That they are all “pissed off at this do nothing Congress and ineffective President.”    Whether that characterization of Congress and the President is correct or not, I agree that perception is out there.  

Bennet has never argued the point – he agrees the Senate is broken:  Been there, seen it, started working on it.

Bennet can make this argument better than AR because Bennet is the new guy, never in an elected position before.

Finally, again, even if Bennet is the more electable D in the general, neither D can win if in the general all the D’s cannot get it together.  If we can’t – then we lose.

Until this strange campaign, AR has been good. Sometimes even very good, and if he wins the nomination. I’ll support him because he’s good and because he is much closer to the kind of Senator I would want than Buck or Norton.    

Bennet is also good and he is also the stronger general candidate and has my support in the primary.

Romanoff Lies – Consensus Has Formed by Local TV News

In campaigns, news cycles get compressed and yesterday’s audacious claim (Bennet saved jobs at Regal) too often is forgotten by today’s shocker (Romanoff flips on accepting DSCC money).

But there are people who fact check and research and, unbelievably, there are people who care about the truth.

So here’s three of four* Denver local tv news shows reporting on the truthfulness or not of the D Senate primary candidates.  

1) Denver News 7 “Facts Or Fiction: Romanoff ‘Greed’ Ad Against Bennet”

“Fiction. Part fiction. Misleading. Fiction”

They say “fiction,” I say lie.


Bennet is truthful about saving jobs at Regal and that in 2004 Romanoff supported the creation of “social security personal retirement accounts”- widely referred to at the time as “partially privatizing Social Security”

3) News 4 “Fact Check”

Bennet working for Anshutz:  Bennet was truthful – he saved jobs.  

So, Romanoff flips on accepting money from the DSCC, lies about Bennet’s work at Anshutz and obfuscates about supporting social security personal retirement accounts.

Bennet tells the truth about working at Anshutz and saving jobs at Regal and is truthful about  Romanoff in 2004 supporting social security personal retirement accounts.

Here’s more from  Bennet, obviously not unbiased but also true.


*I could find no equivalent feature on Fox News 31, though they do link here to Colorado Pols.com

Roamanoff Campaign and PAC money, cont. updated

update 1:

at 4:58 pm, Wed, 8.4.2010

I listened to the AR interview on The Caplis & Silverman Show (podcast here later today www.khow.com) and he stipulated that he has not taken PAC money in this campaign and will not.  Caplis was gone- Siverman was solo, and tried to ask about the DSCC and the fungibility of funds, but after a brief joke, they changed the subject.

I believe AR thinks that he can accept DSCC money and still honestly claim that he has not received PAC support.  I don’t believe that’s true – I agree with Pols that it’s “absurd.”  But I do believe AR believes it.


Yesterday the hot topic in the CO D US Senate primary was the news that despite railing against PAC money for the past 10 months, Romanoff’s campaign has no problem accepting PAC support, as long as it goes to some 3rd party first.

Politico has had the story – and numerous updates.  As of 8am (MDT) today, I believe they are up to update #4.


Campaign Romanoff has clarified, and re-clarified and re-clarified all night.  Now it’s starting to make sense how this could not be a gaint flip.

“We’d be willing to accept that, sure. I don’t think it is a significant part of what the DSCC raises overall, either. The DSCC doesn’t represent an industry or any group of industries or anything else. There’s no direct relationship,” Romjue said. “The percentage of PAC money they raise overall is low. We’re not going to unilaterally disarm.”

See- the percentage is low, and it’s not directly from the industries or groups or PACS donating.     Ohhhhh, sure…wait, what?

Percentage: DSCC estimated 20-25% of their 2010 donations have come from PACs.  And I agree this is relatively low, lower than I would have expected given all the talk about how the US Senate is for sale.

Senator Bennet’s PAC contributions have been  18.3% of his total fundraising.  The lowest percentage of anyone in CO Congressional delegation, except for Jared Polis who was able to largely self fund.

18.3% vs 20 to 25%.  I may need some help with the math, but it would appear that 18.3% is less than 20 to 25%.

As for the directness of the donations, well, that’s certainly a challenge.  How about if I create a campaign finance organization to receive PAC and industry donations that I redistribute to candidates as I see fit?  Then when I choose to support a candidate, they wouldn’t have to worry about getting PAC support direct from the PAC or industry. It would be form MADCO.  That would certainly make it clean, right?


AR1.0  PAC money is ok, even necessary

AR2.0 Sep 2009- Jul 2010 PAC is always bad

AR2.1 Aug 2010- tbd  PAC money is ok if the percentage of total money is low  and it’s only accepted through some 3rd party.


TsbZk u Ac yNwqYttiD him H

Clean Sweep for Bennet – DeGette endorses Michael Bennet

Earlier today, I received the following announcement from Congresswoman Diana DeGette

DENVER, CO – Congresswoman Diana DeGette (CO-1) today offered the following statement endorsing Michael Bennet for United States Senator from Colorado:

“I am proud to offer my support today to Michael Bennet to continue his service to Colorado as our United States Senator.

“Since he has been in the U.S. Senate, Michael Bennet has taken an important role in some of the biggest legislative issues of the day.  Senator Bennet offered provisions to the recently passed Wall Street reform bill that strengthen consumer protections, with mandatory disclosures and greater oversight to prevent the kind of economic meltdown we’re currently facing.  Last week, he proudly stood up against the ongoing obstruction of his Republican Senate colleagues to vote to extend unemployment benefits, finally bringing relief for Colorado families still struggling in these tough fiscal times.

“Senator Bennet and I share a commitment to the natural resources of our great state, and he has voted to protect wilderness and secure our water supply.  He has worked to protect jobs and create opportunities for Colorado families, and he fights every day to secure our nation’s fiscal future.  Senator Bennet was also a champion for Colorado as we all worked to provide Americans with access to affordable health insurance coverage.”


I am pretty sure this means Bennet has been endorsed by all the CO elected Ds in DC:  Udall, DeGette, Polis, Salazar, Markey, and .Perlmutter.

Previously it has been claimed that most D county chairs lean Romanoff, and at least one DPS Board member that is on AR”s paid staff also endorses him.  

It appears increasingly obvious that if AR does not win this election, he will have to primary DeGette and if he doesn’t win that, then Udall.  

I Voted Bennet!!

I have posted more than once why I support Senator Bennet.  






When Governor Ritter announced he decided to appoint  Michael Bennet,  like many I was surprised it was not someone better known or with prior electoral success.  I was eager to meet the guy and find out whether or not I would approve. I did not then nor do I now care that RItter appointed a relative unknown.

Sure, if Ritter had appointed  some well known, established D (Romanoff, Fitzgerald, Madden, or some other) that would have probably been ok with me.  I don’t know why Ritter didn’t choose anyone else- but I believe him when he says he chose Bennet because he thought  Bennet was the best person for the job.

The most important consideration to me at the time was that the governor appoint someone who would be a strong supporter of President Obama.  Senator Bennet is and has been.  

Other important considerations were to make it someone who is electable in Colorado, smart as hell, and bonus for someone who thinks like me on most, if not all, issues. Senator Bennet is a smart guy and, so far, apparently thinks like me on most things.  We will be finding out any minute now how electable he appears to be.   Then add in 19 months of voting – and I’ve disagreed with him on one vote. (cramdown- I would have preferred it passed and that Bennet would have voted for it even in a losing cause- the votes weren’t there.)

But even smart and electable, I think 2010 will be a much more difficult Senate election cycle in CO for the Ds than 2008.   The closest thing we have to model is Udall ’08. The numbers suggest that Romanoff would have a much tougher time in the general than Bennet.  The D nominee does not have to carry Wray or Frederick or Steamboat to win.  You do have to carry the metro area by a wide enough margin and get at least close to 40% in C-Springs/Ft Collins.  And then not get crushed too big in the ROS.

2008 we had large and motivated D turnout. Caucuses set records all over the key locations- esp suburban Denver. (ArapCo, JeffCo,)   And in the general- Udall did really well in JeffCo & BoulderCo- which I would have expected for him.  He barely carried Arapahoe 52 or 53% – where Obama won by 14%.   He also just barely won in Larimer and had a decent showing in Weld with almost 45%.  He got less than 40% in El Paso.  He lost in Park- though Obama carried Park to a tie. Outside of Denver- Udall didn’t do as well as Obama anywhere in the front range.   Why would Romanoff?  Udall had some track record and a US Rep gig.  Romanoff has less track record and only local gigs.

Some believe the same, or more damning could be said for Bennet- except a) he’s the incumbent b) he’s not as threatening to Business c) he’s more of an outsider and d) Obama endorsed him.   The last should bolster his turnout in the areas where Obama did well over McCain- especially in those areas where Udall didn’t do nearly as well as Obama or where there was significant President/Senate undervote.

Add to that, I think in 2008 many county R organizations were complacent. CO R’s weren’t that excited about McCain, everyone had some GWB fatigue and in  2010 that isn’t going to be there.  The R’s will continue to be more energized, and the if the D turnout is down we will have big trouble holding the seat.   Like  ’96 when Dole carried Colorado over President Clinton- I have been expecting a more energetic Colorado R party in 2010.  I’m not saying the R’s will topple Degette or Polis, nor that the R gubernatorial nominee will carry Denver. Just that R turnout will be higher than otherwise expected in a non-Presidential cycle. If the R nominee is seen as reasonable, there will be a race.  A race that will be easier for Bennet to win.

I could dive into legislation that Bennet is co-sponsoring – rules and limitations that do not require a Constitutional amendment first but will reestablish some level of transparency to mitigate the impact of the SCOTUS decision in Citizens United v FEC;  Bennet Amendment to Protect and Strengthen MEDICARE (which passed 100-0 ); the just announced Oil Independence for a Stronger America Act, and others – but I have no doubt  that Romanoff would/will agree on all of these.

Oh, I know the public option letter! the public option letter!

Shocking that when the Senate & House leadership (Redi Pelosi) say no the freshman senator from Colorado can’t get them to do it anyway. He tried, they said no more amendments.  He will try again.

Many posters here have wrongly attributed to me (and others) bitterness or frustration that AR is even running.  I never said that Romanoff should not run.  I prefer Bennet, but if AR wanted to run, he should.  

That said, I have been frustrated by his campaign… in part for when it has devolved into circular firing squad – damaging to the D nominee whichever  it is. The campaign has to run in opposition to the incumbent, but when he he does it in a way that damages the eventual D nominee, it’s problematic.  Worse than AR, the AR supporters here on Pols and elsewhere have sometimes been shrill and over the top.  And, of course,  it would have been a lot easier to just focus on Norton/Buck with DSCC support from January.  In the end, I hope that almost all the D’s and enough of the U’s can come together and elect the D nominee whether it’s Romanoff or Bennet as either would be far better to me than either of the R candidates. And for the issues driven AR supporters, you too.

I have posted more than once why I support Senator Bennet.  Likewise I have posted many times that I will support the D nominee whichever it is.  Do the same for your choice.

VJ Isg DbFoD

Denver Post Endorses Bennet

As ballots go in the mail, the Denver Post endorsed in both the D & R primaries.


They endorsed Bennet – as do I – and  Norton.


Comparing the two endorsements it strikes me that if we get Norton/Bennet they will endorse Norton, though that comparison may be useless – in 2008 editorial board member Chuck Plunkett endorsed Hillary Clinton in the primary and then endorsed McCain in the general which seemed quite the reversal since Clinton and Obama were a lot closer on most issues than Clinton and McCain.

I’m not sure whether DP endorsing helps or hurts a candidate.  The comments are somewhat telling. But more to the point, the DP reasoning seems … no so reasonable.

Anyhoo- the D nominee will have my support whichever it is, since both are way closer to me on the key issues of the moment than either R candidate.  ( more on that later)  

Who Benefits Most from McInnis Implosion (updated with Poll)

I am not suggesting that anyone has engineered this.  I fact, it would appear the only ones who could have engineered the McInnis campaign’s recent travails and  apparent termination are McInnis himself, the Hasan Foundation and maybe Rolly Fischer.  And it is pretty clear from the way things have played out, none has anything to gain by McInnis’s recent catastrophic campaign events.  

But politics is tough toenails, hardball if you prefer, and when someone blows up like this there are winners and losers.

It would be easy to be snarky and partisan and just say all  Colorado residents benefit most because he has demonstrated he would not have been a forthright and talented governor.    Or that this confirms the feeling of some that he is exactly the kind of slimey-lawyer-lobbyist we don’t need as Governor.  And I may yet agree.

But some thoughts:

Hickenlooper: Widely seen as a lock against Maes, even now as there is speculation that McInnis will still carry the primary, this kind of damage to McInnis can only help Hickenlooper, not without his own baggage, though apparently minor in comparison.

Maes: Maes has to be wondering what it would take for the Republican talking heads, establishment and spinmeisters to take him seriously.  Better managing the campaign funds would be a start. Acknowledging that not doing so is way worse than a few parking tickets a bare minimum.    Actually raising big campaign funds would be a good next step.  The so called Tea Party support sure seems to be limited to press releases and some sporadic events.  

But I recall from last winter that in addition to Maes promising to deliver more detailed budget proposals and other answers that he acknowledged as a neophyte candidate he would learn a lot.  I suspect he has.

Buck: But for all eyes turing to McInnis now, the media attention would still be about the recent  Tancredoism and Buck’s strange repudiation;  no, acceptance; no, complicated explanation

about how President Obama is the biggest threat to the USA.  I’m sure he is hoping that most registered voters in Colorado just forget about that. And the reprimand for

ethics violation from then US Attorney Suthers and subsequently leaving his job under a cloud.

McInnis: better that everything comes out during the primary than in the general.  Well, sort of.  OTOH, what other fraud, embarrassing lies, or other flaws are in his background that just  have not come out yet?  He clearly either thought this would never come out (no incentive for the Hasan Foundation nor Fischer) or no one would care.  Either way, he was really, really wrong.

Wadhmans: Wadhams does not appear to have wanted candidate McInnis anytime in recent history – 06 or 08 for sure.    And he had to have been still stinging from McInnis’s 08 election eve claim  that he would have beat Udall but for the way the party moved and shook in 07 and 08.

Who Benefits Most from McInnis Implosion

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Camp Romanoff Weirdness Becomes Comedy

A few days ago I posted a  diary about some recent silliness from the Romanoff campaign.

Specifically , a slogan – Senator Festavus, a Senator for the rest of us.

And some branding- The Backbone Express (a Chevy van) and The Backbone Tour– the van and candidate driving around Colorado.

For even posting about something so silly, I was slammed a little bit – it’s just a campaign tactic, it’s  a weak “attack”.  My post was not an “attack” and this kind of messaging is not a campaign “tactic” either.

Meanwhile, the Denver Post also noticed the similarity to John Andrews’s Backbone America. And that it is recognizable to Colorado politicos as an John Andrews Republican thing.  

The Post  referenced comments from other D’s

Some Democrats, including former state Senate Minority Leader Mike Feeley, admitted they did a double take when the saw that Romanoff was using the Backbone theme.

I contacted John Andrews.

Pretty funny – imitation is the sincerest form of flattery –   JA

The Post also quoted a Romanoff spokesman trying to be funny

Romanoff’s campaign spokesman, Roy Teicher, was asked about Romanoff

choosing a phrase so closely identified with Andrews, one of the chief

critics of Colorado Democrats. Teicher had some fun with his response.

“Is it your understanding that he owns the word? Or did Russ Feingold own it? Who owns the word? Let’s get to the bottom of this,” Teicher said in an e-mail.

It sounds like  Teicher and I agree: this is silliness. Not a campaign tactic. Not a message. Just silly.

Of course Andrews doesn’t own the word.

Obama doesn’t own the words Hope and Change.

Pailn doesn’t own “that hopey, changey thingy” nor “hockey mom.”

Likewise, no one owns the phrase “put lipstick on a pig.”

But for a campaign that has a message control problem, or at least a perceived message control problem, which is even worse, this kind of silliness does not inspire confidence that he can win the general.  It certainly isn’t going to persuade anyone who is not already attending Camp Romanoff either as day camp or sleep away camp.  Instead, like the songs and slogans we learned at camp when we were kids, this kind of silliness  leads to fun reminisces and strong friendships for the campers.  

Meanwhile – the van broke down.  

Perfect.  The Breakdown Express

A campaign that is challenged to budget for media or staff, instead bought a custom van.  And painted it.  And built a branding message around it. And it broke.   Just perfect.

Romanoff Resorts to ….Weirdness

For a campaign that has struggled to find a penetrating and compelling message, and that has had a tail-wags-dog feel to the media cycles (Photoshopgate, Caddell, still-running-for Senate press conference) the campaign seems to have shifted into a new gear.


1) “A Senator For the Rest of Us”

I’m all for religious freedom and fictional holidays.  But a campaign message that directly rips “Festevus for the rest of us” from Seinfeld is …weird.  It is funny, and I’m usually all for funny.  But aside from the obvious anti-Christmas implication,  it just does not seem to cut through the media fog as a good way to brand a campaign for a serious candidate.

It would be funny, if the US Senate was somehow less serious.  But because the Senator we elect in November is going to serve 2011 – 2017 and will have to contribute to the Senate leadership of how we handle Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo, Net Neutrality, campaign finance reform, healthcare the sequel, banking reform continued, the 2012 presidential election and litterally dozens if not hundres or thousands of other serious issues, it doesn’t seem helpful to be so …irreverent and silly.

I was hoping any minute Romanoff would stop with the one-liners and quips. If only to pretend to aspire to the kind of gravitas I prefer in elected leaders.  But Senator Festavus is what we get.


2) Backbone America is a right wing whackjob organization run by John Andrews.  Ok- that might be a bit harsh- Backbone America describes themselves this way

… Backbone America Citizens Alliance, John Andrews, Chairman. The alliance stands for America without apologies, America with steel in her spine, America as it was meant to be according to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. John is a fellow of the Claremont Institute, former Colorado Senate President, appointee of four US Presidents, US Navy veteran, Presbyterian elder, father and grandfather – as well as mayor-for-life of Backbone, Colorado, his imaginary hometown of the heart.

And Backbone America produces a radio show

“Backbone Radio with John Andrews,” every Sunday afternoon. We broadcast for liberty from the rooftop of North America, high atop the continental divide. We’re the most principled, most patriotic, most faith-based, most Colorado-proud spot on your weekend radio dial. We bring you America without apologies, America with steel in her spine.

Sure, others make the claim to be the backbone of America- Highway 66 fans, American steel workers, teachers, entrpreneurs, grad schools,  power grids, even internet cable and fiber.  But in  Colorado political circles, the common inference  is a connection to Senator Andrews’s radio show and organization.

And so earlier this week when the Romanoff campaign announced “The Backbone Tour” it struck me as …. weird.

No comedy here. John Andrews  was about as right as he could get in Colorado and still be electable.  And different politics aside, he is kind of mean.

And so the Romanoff campaign “Backbone tour”  in the “Backbone Express”  just seems….weird.  Does the Romanoff Campaign want everyone to be reminded of John Andrews?  Do they not realize that John Andrews will do everything he can to help R’s take this Senate seat?

It’s just weird.

Meanwhile, I have doubt that the Backbone Tour on the Backbone Express by Senator Festavus can help the campaign attract new following and articulate a compelling message that will penetrate the media fog.

Perhaps it’s the result of budgeting for staff and media on a tight budget. Perhaps it’s just AR’s humor showing through.  Perhaps it’s the precursor to his next media director.  It’s just weird.

Romanoff Resorts To Just Making Shit Up

The only consistent message of the Romanoff campaign about why he would be better choice than Senator Bennet is that Senator Bennet accepts PAC money and Romanoff is not accepting PAC money this time, though he has in the past.

I and others have argue that this is a weak message. That is barely works on anyone except tea partiers, who are not likely Romanoff primary voters anyway.  That campanoff will have to reverse the position if he is the nominee in order to be competitive in the general media wars.  

And most importantly that it only matters if Romanoff can show that Senator Bennet’s votes have actually been corrupted by the donations. And so far he has been unable to do that.

I previously posted a lengthy post going through several Bennet votes comparing them to his PAC/corp donors. And it looks like those donations are not really affecting his votes.

(Not to mention that his percentage of PAC donors is the lowest of all the Colorado Congrssional delegation, not counting the self-funded Polis, and may even be a lower percentage of PAC donations than Romanoff raised while he was in the state house running from a safe seat.)

But in the recent debate at Colorado College in C-Springs Romanoff resorted to just making shit up (MSU).

As reported by the Colorado Statesman toward the end of the debate the candidates had a chance to directly address each other and ask questions.

Romanoff saved his most pointed attack for the debate’s last few minutes. During the final exchange of the night, Romanoff questioned whether a campaign contribution from a private, for-profit college had influenced Bennet’s actions on a Senate committee last month when, Romanoff charged, Bennet “did nothing” to protect students from being harmed by “predatory loans.”

Sounds kind of like AR thought he had a smoking gun.

But, not so much a smoking gun as made up baloney- which campanoff has had in abundance from the beginning.

The Statesman does a nice job summarizing the facts.

Romanoff tied Bennet’s “inaction” in the Senate to a vote taken in a House committee last October, when Rep. Maxine Waters, a California Democrat, proposed an amendment to financial reform legislation aimed at bringing loans made by schools like Westwood under the regulatory wing of a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

Waters explained at the time why she thought it necessary to close a loophole in the House legislation that would exempt so-called “gap loans” – offered by private, for-profit colleges like Westwood to cover expenses beyond whatever traditional educational loans students qualify for – from oversight by the new agency. The amendment failed on a 33-35 committee vote.

Next, according to the Romanoff campaign’s “Westwood bullet” release, the Bennet campaign “[r]eceived a contribution from Westwood College on 3/19/10 for $2,400,” followed by the Banking Committee’s consideration of its consumer protection bill three days later, where “Sen. Bennet had the opportunity to stop these predatory lending practices but did nothing.”

Sound like a damning sequence of events? Except that’s not exactly how it happened.

According to congressional records, rather than “[do] nothing,” Bennet voted to bring “gap loans” – and most other consumer loans, for that matter – under the authority of a newly created Consumer Financial Protection Board, charged with regulating any loan “offered or provided for use by consumers primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.” In other words, Bennet voted for the legislation Romanoff said he failed to introduce.

In addition, the Senate bill Bennet voted for in March was an entirely different bill than the one Waters unsuccessfully tried to amend in October. Where the House bill included extensive loopholes that allowed educational “gap loans” to escape rigorous oversight, the Senate bill didn’t. The Senate’s bill – in the headlines this week as Republicans eventually agreed to allow it to come up for debate after voting to filibuster it three days in a row – establishes more sweeping powers for its Consumer Financial Protection Board than the House does in its version, which would create a stand-alone agency.

Wow- so Bennet didn’t do what Romanoff said he did. I’m shocked, shocked I tell you, that campanoff would just MSU.

But what’s that you say- Westwood did donate to Bennet and so something bad must have resulted.

Yeah –

But what about Westwood’s $2,400 campaign contribution?

….Bennet’s vote was the opposite of what Westwood would have wanted anyway.

bolding for emphasis is mine.

Wow- if Romanoff is even close to right about how potentially corrupting PAC/Corp donations can be, then he’s got to be just about ready to endorse Bennet and get out.  It’s clear that Bennet can take the donations and still vote his conscience and vote for what’s good for Colorado and the country.  

So, what we it appears the D’s have is a primary with candidates who have accepted PAC/corp donoations, with one candidate having decided to forgo the donations he wasn’t likely to get in this election anyway, who then claims that PAC/corp donations are bad and influence the votes and should be returned, though, of course, he didn’t return any of the PAC/Corp donations he’s ever received.  Exactly which of Romanoff’s votes in the House were bought back when he was accepting PAC/corp donations?

More to the point- campanoff has yet to define a single vote or action of Senator Bennet’s that was bought.  Instead they resort to MSU and implications and innuendo.    


Fundraising & Our US Senate Candidates

Michael Booth’s Raising money an “unholy” quest in Colorado Senate races

in todays DenverPost gets it just about right. It should be required reading for every candidate, every possible candidate and everyone who posts here on CoPols about fundraising and campaign funding.

Fundraising is painful hard work.  It’s like telemarketing and direct sales with a largely intangible product that is uncomfortable for most people to pitch aggressively – themselves.  And while successful candidates must get good at it, it is unlikely it is ever either the motivation or the talent of any candidate which causes a candidate to run.  I suspect most are new to it, and most are not very comfortable doing t.

But all the successful candidates realize the necessity and get good at it, or at least good enough.

In the current Colorado election cycle we have several races that are good examples of the variety of approaches, also known as what to do and what not to do.  Of course, the voters ultimately decide and conventional wisdom can be thrown over by other events. Good candidates sometimes break through despite weak fundraising – but mostly not. Sometimes a candidate can run and win against demographics and other factors, but mostly not.

We’ll find out this summer if HIckenlooper with his later start can catch up to McInnis.

We’ll know in August if:

–  Wiens’s choice to self finance was a good one.

– Bennet’s ability to outspend Romanoff matters in the primary.

– independent expenditures on Buck’s behalf will be as effective as Norton’s ability to spend what she raises.

– what affect  Maes’s inability or unwillingness to raise anywhere near as much as McInnis will have.

And then in November we’ll know if:

– Flerlage’s inability or unwillingness to raise 7 figures really matters in CD6

– what size budget will be required to carry CD4

– and so on.

It has been argued that I and others have made the claim that the candidate who has the most funding, wins .  I never said that, and I doubt anyone who pays attention to elections has.  It is sometimes true that the candidate with the biggest budget wins- Polis 08, Bloomberg 09, Obama 08.  

And I am sure it also sometimes true that a good candidate with much less to budget than his opposition nevertheless goes on to win. Just as I am sure that good candidates have sometimes won despite the relevant demographics and other factors.

But most of the time, candidates need enough budget to be competitive.

The DenPo article shows that while Colorado is still generally lower budget for Senate races than other states, recent experience suggests $12-15-million is “competitive.”  It’s not about having the most it’s about having enough.  What we don’t have recent data for is  the budget for a competitive US Senate primary. We’re in uncharted waters here.

Buck, Norton, Wiens – three different approaches so far and all three will be on the ballot, if they want it.

Buck and Norton have done nothing to suggest they are anything less than motivated and committed.  However Wiens gives the impression that he is willing but not that motivated. He’s raised very little money, and even his self contribution is mostly in the form of a loan.  

By all appearances Buck wants it- but most of his resources so for have come from independent sources. His strongest fundraising quarter to date in 1Q  should change things. Norton deciding to withdraw from the state assembly and only petition is probably going to make getting on the ballot more expensive for her than it will be for Buck who just needs to show up next month to make ballot.

In the D Senate primary, so far we have two candidates with gigantically different fundraising results.  The Post article says “to date Democratic candidates have raised at least $6.8 million”.  Which is sort of like saying when I’m in a room with Bill Gates, our average net worth is $20 billion.

The Post article gives the impression that Romanoff has been focused on the grind of fundraising, though it’s not clear if that’s a change from last year or a continuation.  I suspect the addition of Romjue, Trippi, Cadell, Lake, etc meant a meaningfully more fundraising focused 1Q.  We will know this week what the number is, though it may or may not tell us weather the focus changed. A small number (less than $500k)  may mean AR wasn’t putting in the time.  Or it may mean that he put in the time but generated small donors or too few.  A big number (more than $1mm) may mean AR was more focused on fundraising. Or it may mean he was more successful after caucus and the earliest assemblies.

I predicted here on CoPols that Romanoff’s 1Q would be $1.2mm.  While at least one Romanoff supporter claimed that I was just trying to set an unnecessarily high bar, to “play an expectation game”, or something, I did the math differently.

Romjue, Caddell, Lake, Trippi were announced in Dec and Jan. So if they have had positive impact on fundraising focus and/or success it wasn’t in the 4Q.  If they haven’t had positive impact on fundraising- why are they still on the payroll?

Then 11,500 Democratic caucus goers said they prefer Romanoff.  If they each donated just $100, that’s $1.1-million.

So if anyone is playing an expectation game, it’s the Romanoff supporters who suggest that another $300k or $400k quarter is a great demonstration and strong enough. Maybe.  

We don’t have great data about how much is enough to run a competitive primary.  But here’s the thing – the primary ends in mid-August (approx 16 weeks from now)  just 6 weeks before the general election ballots are in kitchens around Colorado.  Is 6 weeks enough time to run a general election campaign this year in Colorado? It feels a little thin.  

Because I much prefer the D candidate whichever one it is, I prefer the D candidate be able to start campaigning for the general not later than July. June even.

If Romanoff doesn’t put up $1.1million + for 1Q, then it means Trippi, Romjue, Lake, Caddell didn’t have positive impact on the campaign’s fundraising and it raises the question whether they can going forward. And it means that the 11,500 caucus goers who “prefer” Romanoff, may be willing to show up and caucus and assemble for him, but they wouldn’t write a $100 check. Not even once.  

jIg dTiM paRXY v qXV

Democratic House Win ; What?!

Republican Ed Lynch, a 44-year-old West Palm Beach contractor, sought to make the race a statement on the health care bill in District 19, which includes parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Lynch had hoped public disdain for the health care bill and low congressional approval ratings would help him upset Deutch, widely seen as the front-runner. He lambasted the health care overhaul as a government takeover and the gutting of Medicare, while Deutch told voters it would provide immediate relief.

Lynch also slammed Obama’s stimulus bill as doing little to help the economy and called the president’s timetable to withdraw troops from Iraq “moronic.” Deutch said he would have voted for the health care overhaul and the stimulus bill and supports Obama’s Iraq strategy.


I don’t understand how this could have happened. The R candidate picked all the right sides on all the right issues. His D opponent cooperated by siding with Obama and having all the wrong positions on the same issues.

This was well after healthcare passed, after the socializing of America, after Virginia and Massachussets and NJ, after the President announced the timetable for Afghanistan, and after the stimulus.

And after all that great fundraising Steel has done.

This must be a mistake. How could the liberal D get 62% of the vote? Isn’t that Limbaugh’s home district?

There must be someone that can be blamed.  Dang liberal media.


Why I Am For Romanoff <____insert reasons here________>

I support Michael Bennet and want him to win the 2010 general election for US Senate. Of course, this means I want him to be the D nominee in the primary.

I have tracked comments and diaries here on Pols since September about why various posters support Andrew Romanoff for US Senate.

I have previously posted some of them here. And I am consistently surprised by the passionate opposition to Bennet with no corresponding passionate expression of support for Romanoff.

There have been some solid explanations- I remember Voyageur’s, Dan Willis’s and one other. So I’m not calling them out here- I’m calling out the rest of the anti-Bennet, apparently pro-Romanoff posters.

I’ll paraphrase a few below – and apologies if I get any of your posts wrong. Just correct me here, link to your post or whatever.

Also, if I’ve named someone a Romanoff suporter by mistake, apologies.  Honestly, other than being clearly anti-Bennet, for some of you I’m really just guessing- you coul be pro-Wiens for all you’ve said in favor of Romanoff.

In the end, I assume that almost all the D’s and enough of the U’s can come together and elect the D nominee whether it’s Romanoff or Bennet as either would be far better to me than any of the R candidates.

JO: He’s not Bennet. (HNB)

Sharon Hanson: HNB


StrykerK2: ______

JeffCoTrueBlue ______

RockyMtnModerate: ______

kingbaby: ______

Wade Norris: ______

gaf:  ______

dukeco1  ______

krsteinb  ______

cscottrun4it ______

oldbenkenobi  ______

Sir Robin  ______

protestinthestreet  ______

Anyone else ______

Illegal Pretending to Be Lawyer, Sh/be Illegal Pretending to Be a Mortgage Broker

The DenPost today reported that criminal charfes were filed against a guy acting as a lawyer who was not a lawyer.

Technically, right now in Colorado it is illegal to pretend to be a mortgage broker, ie, to operate without a license.

But in the recent brouhaha about potentially altering Colorado’s oversight of mortgage brokers, two proposals stand out.

First, that the oversight could be in the form of a “Board” instead of a single person, the Director of the Divsion of Real Estate, currently Erin Toll .  I have not seen any compelling data to suggest that a Board would be better. There is, however, convincing data to show that Board’s are more expensive and move more slowly, so unless it can be shown to be better in some way, it seems like a bad trade.

The other is that the proposed board be dominated by licesned mortgage brokers and investigations be secret.  Now, it’s easy to see why already licensed brokers would want to make sure no unlicensed or otherwise unauthorized individuals attempt to act as brokers.  But exactly how is it helpful to anyone other than the investigated broker to make investigations secret?

Since 2006 when Colorado adopted legislation that required mortgage brokers to register (modified in 2007 to require licensing) I am aware of no criminal prosecutions for originating without a license.  Though I am aware of several investigations for same by the  Division.  

Attorney general Suthers did go after some operators for advertising and other violations, but it was more in the form of a cease and desist than an  indictment or prosecution.

This is a good illustration of exactly how state regulation can be more effective consumer protections than federal. Not that mortgage brokers are disproportionately responsible for foreclosures, or even more expensive loans*, but it’s one piece of a large puzzle.

The markets with best consumer protections on foreclosure have those protections because they have suitably strict state rules. (more on that later in a separate diary).   And this is frequently reflected in how loan originators are licensed and supervised.

BTW – I have heard no significant complaint about how Erin Toll was operating the office that wouldn’t fit into the broader category of “we don’t need no regulation.”

As for  “fake lawyers”   I usually assume that when someone else makes the claim for someone, it’s just a mistake.

*in fact, brokers tend to originate cheaper loans than banks and other “traditional sources” see The Mortgage Professor  and other sources

Senator Bennet’s Leadership Draws Unfair Criticism in DenPost

Recent experience suggests that several things are required to execute a successful political campaign.

It’s been documented .

Things like

1. Communicate a clear and consistent message

2. Persuade, don’t educate

3. Respond quickly to attacks

4. Run a tight ship with a clear chain of command


1) Understand your constituency

2) have a compelling reason to run

3) start fundraising- calculate the budge req’d to run successfully

4) calculate the “win number”

5) refine the budget

6) canvas/get out the vote

7) repeat 3-6 as required

8) transition or concede


1) know the issues involved in the office you seek

2) Develop a compelling message

3) funding.

4) Canvass

5) repeat

or  from a software company

Step 1: Get the Right Tools

Step 2: Hire Campaign Staff

Step 3: Budget and fund raise

Step 4:  Strategy and Message

And so on.

I am a Democrat and I want the Colorado seat to stay D.

I like Senator Bennet – he has done a very good job so far.  But I also think he ‘s the most electable in the general and this is crucial to me.  Yeah, yeah, there have been polls and …yada blada.  Too early for polls to be predictive. Useful, yes, especially to the degree that the poll measures the quality of the required components.   But polls more than 7 months from election day in a race like this are not that predictive.  The likely primary voters are not all engaged yet. The economy can change a lot in the next seven months. A lot can happen, including just voters getting to know the candidates.

Many well intentioned Colorado D’s, and others, have criticized Senator Bennet for executing successfully on one or more parts of the required campaign components. But no complaint has been louder or more bizarre and misplaced than the criticism that he has successfully been raising big money, including from PAC donors.

Through 4Q 09 – the last reporting period for which reporting is available – Bennet successfully raised a little less than $5mm, including a little less than 20% from PACs.

20%? That does not sound like a big number.

It seems like some people are just offended by a number that sounds like a large value.  But in a 2010 US Senate race, $15million is considered “cheap.” And Team Bennet is not there yet, though his pace is ahead of recent successful Colorado campaigns.   Udall and Salazar had not raised $4.7mm by the year end of the year prior to their election date.  So he has been more successful, but it is not like he’s raised 10 times the amount needed to win just because.

Some critics have complained that the Bennet campaign’s defense of raising big dollars is that the campaign with the most money always wins.  The campaign has not, to my knowledge, made that claim, and it makes no sense because it’s verifiably not correct.

However, the Bennet campaign realizes – and I and other supporters have claimed – that campaigns generally need to have sufficient funding to win.   Yes, some very low budget campaigns have won. But it is the exception. Some campaigns have also won with a less than clear and compelling message or other weak component, but that is also the exception.

The loudest criticism is that Senator Bennet has received so much PAC contributions.

Well, first, Senator Bennet has received the lowest percentage of PAC contributions of any member of the Colorado Delegation, except Congressman Polis who accepts no PAC contributions and largely self-financed in 2008.

This morning’s Denver Post article attacking Sen. Bennet for his recent announcement of an ambitious agenda to fix a broken Washington just doesn’t accurately reflect Sen. Bennet’s record.   The Denver Post unfairly singles out Sen. Bennet for receiving PAC contributions, even though he’s received a lower percentage than the rest of the Colorado delegation.

Candidate ___PACs/Other committee cont Total  %PAC

Michael Bennet (2010) $885,195 $4,824,998 18.3%

Mark Udall (2008) $2,186,292 $11,787,048 18.5%

Betsy Markey (2010) $448,820 $1,179,896 38.0%

Diana Degette (2010) $205,515 $311,667 65.9%

Jared Polis (2010)    $1,000         $242,305  0.4%

Ed Perlmutter (2010) $428,799 $882,124 48.6%

John Salazar (2010) $381,049 $676,561 56.3%

Doug Lamborn (2010) $90,135 $153,256 58.8%

Mike Coffman (2010) $148,336 $410,447 36.1%

(from FEC.gov)

The article implies that somehow because Sen. Bennet has taken PAC contributions it limits his credibility as a reformer going forward.  That the act of acceptance means he cannot legislate in opposition to those contributors.

If only the Senator had some kind of voting record or track record in the Senate that we could judge. But wait, he’s been there for more than a year.  Surely, he’s voted on something relevant in all that time. Some vote or position where the Senator was in opposition to some of his donors.

If only the Senate kept records of these kinds of things. It would be so helpful to be able to look it up and confirm either the claim that he has caved to his donors or that he has stood up for the families and voters of Colorado as he has claimed he would.

Senator Bennet’s record in the Senate shows that he has consistently stood up to the special interests. It would be one thing if Michael had a history of caving to the big money, but his record is exactly the opposite.  He has consistently taken the tough stands and stood up to the special interests, advocating for Colorado families.

Banking Industry and credit card issuers

Early in His Term  Senator Bennet advocated for Financial Regulatory Reform  [David Theilan, 4/26/09

“…Bennet launched in to discussing the financial mess…He then talked at length on the work he is putting in with Senator Warner and others under the direction of Senator Dodd to come up with the needed regulations to insure this does not happen again. He dove in first to the asleep at the wheel regulators we had. And the fact that not only was there minimal to no regulation, but the banks were being encouraged to leverage themselves even more to 20:1 or even 30:1. Clearly he saw this as insane.”

Bennet Is Pushing For Strong Consumer Financial Protection Agency.  Denver Post 10/4/2009

“Bennet … is in favor of many of the regulatory reforms proposed so far even though they are opposed by Wall Street. He’s in favor of both a new consumer regulator and reining in the derivatives market, Bennet said.” This was a move that is aggressively opposed by the financial services industry.  

Bank Industry Opposes Creating a Consumer Financial Protection Agency. Reuters 2/25/10

“Republicans and lobbyists for banks and Wall Street have been trying to kill or weaken the proposal, calling it an unwise step that would separate consumer protection from banking supervision. The CFPA also threatens bank profits.”

Senator Bennet Helped Pass “Landmark” Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights.

Bennet voted for the Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights Act. Politico May 19 called the measure a “landmark” “credit card crackdown” and said it would “impose strict new rules on interest rates, fees and other controversial billing practices.”

Banking Industry Opposed CARD Act. Reported Fox Business

“The banking industry opposed the overall measure and said it could restrict credit at a time when Americans need it most. Banking officials defended their existing interest rates and fees on grounds that their business — lending money to consumers with no collateral and little more than a promise to pay it back — is very risky.”

Banking Industry Opposed Interest Rate Cap and Bennet Voted For Reasonable Caps on Credit Card Interest Rates.

Senate Roll Call Vote 191

Industry Opposed Freeze On Rates and Bennet Supported the Credit Card Rate Freeze Act. Bennet Co-sponsored a measure that, according to the Wall Street Journal, would “freeze rates on existing card balances until February, when tough new rules for the industry are slated to go into effect.”

Wall Street Journal


I will add more later for other industries- focusing especially on the industries from which Senator Bennet has received PAC contributions. Health Insurance and Pharma, Oil and Gas and other mining, nursing homes and one a separate pice on specific financial legislation where I disagreed with his vote, but understand his logic. There have been votes on other legislation and resolutions and other Senatorial stuff, this is just stuff most obviously related to PAC donors.

But it is important to keep in mind that fundraising is just one component of a executing a successful campaign, one that Senator Bennet does well, better than most.  By all means, hold him accountable. Absolutely, let’s have campaign finance reform.  But until we do, do not unilaterally disarm by forgoing funding just ’cause. Let’s do it after we win and hold the seat.

Colorado wants a public option.

Recent Colorado polling on a public option tells us what we all know. Well, most of us know.  Colorado wants a public option.


Bennet s going to take heat for the letter he wrote saying we should put the public option back in and pass it by reconciliation.

Bennet will advocate for this because he knows it’s the best thing for America.  And Colorado.

It turns out, that most of Colorado agrees with him. Even CD4.

He is not doing this because there is a primary, as some have fallaciously and unfairly indicated.  He came out in support of a public option not later than June*, well before there was a primary.  And it was not later than early September that he was clear that he would advocate reconciliation to get it passed, if necessary*. Still before there was an actual primary.

He’s not misinterpreting the will of the people of Colorado as the R talkers and posters at the DenPost are claiming. He’s leading on this important issue because he knows (he said so again last night – I’ll link the video when it’s available) that it is vital to our national security, to getting the debt under control, and it is the right thing to do for America.

The R talking points are going to distort and tell more lies, calling it a “government take over” which it is not, that it will drive up the deficit, about which CBO scoring says it reduces the deficit, and maybe even that the death panels are real.


Good News From Afghanistan

I think. It sounds like good news.

February 16, 2010

Secret Joint Raid Captures Taliban’s Top Commander


WASHINGTON – The Taliban’s top military commander was captured several days ago in Karachi, Pakistan, in a secret joint operation by Pakistani and American intelligence forces, according to American government officials.


Here is an opportunity for a policy difference between Romanoff & Bennet.

Will it come up tonight? Doubtful.

Instead, if the moderator and hosts stick to the plan of asking pre-selected questions, I suspect the questions will be almost exclusively about more local stuff and campaign mechanics.

But national security should be story #1. If they agree – then talk about everything else.