About Meiner49er

Mining for Blue votes among the red rocks of Larimer County.

Larimer County Folks ain’t “shaking in our boots” – or – what’s up with the Republican Shoe Fetish?

(I’d like to see a diary from the Republicans up there too – promoted by DavidThi808)

I’ve been quiet for a good long while of late, because there’s work to do up here in Larimer County.  

Still, it was good to take a moment away from my county map long enough to see that 1) Cory Gardner seems to have forgotten the Republican aversion to the New York Times


and 2) that even folks in New York are starting to grasp the urgency of what’s going on “about an hour north of Denver.”   Quoth the Times:

“This state represents a major swing region – the Rocky Mountain West – coveted by both Republicans and Democrats; the political and ideological counterpoint to the industrial Midwest, another major swing region. And Larimer County, about an hour north of Denver, is – in its diversity of interests and allegiances – representative of Colorado.”

Whether it’s a well-known candidate like Rep. Betsy Markey (D-CD4) or some lesser-known candidates like Jay Harrison (first Democratic Sheriff candidate since 1962), Commissioner candidate Adam Bowen, or HD 49 challenger Karen Stockley (who’s looking to be the first Democrat to win the rural parts of the county since the mid-70s), the county’s Democrats are working hard to consolidate our 2008 gains.

More importantly, we’re working to consolidate a vision for the future of Northern Colorado; one the Times rightly recognizes

“as increasingly linked to the high-tech and renewable-energy economy, which leans Democratic…a microcosm of Colorado’s future.  

Maybe that’s what’s got Cory Gardner “shaking in his boots.”

That’s right, Gardner claims we’re all “shaking in our boots” up here, “desperately afraid of what happens next week.”  It’s true that our local economy is a little shaky, but not so much that I meet folks who are “desperately afraid” while I’m out knocking doors.  Maybe Mr. Gardner wants us to be afraid, but we here in Larimer County are proud Americans, and we tend to see the bright side of a future we can work for together.

According to the Times,

the “Brookings Institution…ranked the Fort Collins area as having the second-best-performing small city economy in the Intermountain West.”

That’s because we Larimer County folks have a clear vision to grow a new energy economy that will capitalize on our open spaces, strong winds, and unending days of sunshine.

“Shaking in our boots?”  I don’t think so.  Larimer’s Democrats are out walking in them, and walking tall! I heard a lot more cheers than jeers for the Democrats at the County Fair parade last night.  By contrast, all I saw from the Republicans was a bunch of old men and boys dressed as militia from the original 13 colonies.  That may make for easy earned media, but it doesn’t really have much to do with Colorado’s past, let alone it’s future.

If Larimer County is a bell-weather for the nation, so be it.  For all the bluster from our opposition, we know sunnier days are ALWAYS ahead “about an hour north of Denver.”  If you feel the same way in your part of the state, or in your part of the country, why not jump on our bandwagons and help us make a difference?

Larimer County folks...

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“Peanut Butter” (and Jelly?)

Escaping the bottom quintile in state education funding just got a lot harder for Colorado kids.

Despite the efforts of Lieutenant Governor Barbara O’Brien over the last few months to corral some of the coveted $4 billion in “Race to the Top” funds offered by the Department of Education, and despite the fact that some see Colorado at the “head of the class” in this competition


the Department of Education’s decision this week to “spread” the funds around by population amounts to a several hundred million dollar slap in the face to our state.


That’s the “peanut butter.”

New York and other “top tier” states are now smug in the security that they won’t need to do anything to compete other than submit a cover letter.  Assets Colorado thought it could count on now count for less, and as a result, at best if successful, the state might get $175 million for all its hard work.  That’s about a 2% bump.

The decision to compete, and to compete hard, for several hundred million more was made here in Colorado by state government officials who saw an opportunity and went after it.  Now that someone in Washington has changed the rules, what should our state representatives and Senators be doing to keep us in the Race?  

Will Colorado representatives stand up for all that hard work on behalf of Colorado kids, or will the federal “peanut buttering” be met only with spineless “jelly?”


( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

A new group is set to launch in the House of Representatives, made up of conservatives set on defending American power and interests against encroachment from international institutions: The Congressional Sovereignty Caucus.

Their kickoff meeting will be this coming Wednesday, featuring co-founders Reps. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) and Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), plus Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) — and special guests Oliver North, Frank Gaffney and Doug Feith.

Rep. Lamborn declined to comment, but his office did point us to an opinion column he wrote last week:  

“Sovereignty is vital for America because we are an exceptional nation,” wrote Lamborn, “one uniquely blessed with a vibrant Judeo-Christian heritage, as demonstrated both through its founding documents and by the witness of history. For any nation, and I believe especially for America, to give up any degree of control of its destiny to transnational bodies is irresponsible and wrong.”

Combine this with Newt’s proclamations last week that he’s “not a citizen of the world,” and it seems that the Right’s right back where it belongs in a bad economy, head in the sand with its “America First” rhetoric.  Quite a contrast to all the talk about promoting open markets, free trade, NAFTA, and “the common calling of freedom-loving

people across the globe” we heard from the Bush Administration!  

Perhaps Lamborn and his ‘league’ think we can’t afford our global engagements any longer, but the issue is that we need global engagement now, more than ever.

Colorado businesses relied on various international regimes and agreements to establish relationships with 197 foreign markets, bringing in 7.4 BUSD in 2007 (all figures are from USGLC).  Colorado Private Voluntary Organizations likewise gained roughly 10 MUSD from funds pledged to the International Affairs Budget that same year, a budget Lamborn voted AGAINST renewing last week.  Too costly?

Now add in the tax hikes that would have to follow if we were in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the War on Drugs alone (sacrificing a little bit of our destiny pays 8:1 on the DoD dollar), or how much larger our intelligence community’s already bloated black budget would have to be if we didn’t share intelligence with partners around the globe (would love to provide figures, but don’t want to be accused of treason!).  

The conclusion SHOULD be clear:  isolationism “is irresponsible and wrong.”  Have the Republicans also forgotten the Munich Analogy now that Bush is out of office?