What the Oughts Brought

(We’re going to start posting the best and worst of the decade starting next week, so you’ve got another chance to give us your thoughts. – promoted by Colorado Pols)



With the inaugural decade of this new millennium coming to a close in a few weeks, it’s time to take a look back at the decade that was.

We’ll reveal our Winners, Losers and Otherwise later in the month, but first we want to read your nominations. We’ll accept nominations for both awards and categories, with one main criteria: It had to have happened in the Oughts (or 2000s). For example, any nominated politician needs to have campaigned for election or re-election in at least the year 2000.

Click below for a list of some potential categories, and then make your own suggestions.

What the Oughts Brought: Winners, Losers and Otherwise

  • Best/Worst Politician
  • Best/Worst Campaign
  • Best/Worst Republican/Democrat
  • Best/Worst Consultant or Manager
  • The Jackass of the Decade
  • Best/Worst Ballot Measure
  • The Top Unintended Consequence
  • The Top Trend

    Other categories? Potential award winners (or losers?) Make your nominations below.

  • 59 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

    1. redstateblues says:

      Some niminees that pop into my head:

      Jackass of the Decade: Dave Schultheis, close runner up Dick Wadhams

      Worst campaign: Bob Schaffer 2008 US Senate or Bob Beauprez 2006 Governor

    2. Middle of the Road says:

      Tom Tancredo for Governor 2010

    3. Middle of the Road says:

      to think of them all.

      Worst Republican–too many to name. I give up (I kid. I kid,) but if we are allowed to name somebody outside of Colorado, I vote for Tom Delay and his scumbag cronies and that includes Bob Schaffer.

      Worst Democrat–Jared Polis, for jerking around constituents on health care reform, for regurgitating right wing talking points to the WSJ, for trying to backtrack from his comments regarding Internet access, for generally behaving like a “maverick” ass in a district he seems to take for granted will always send him back to Congress. Self funding only gets you so far, Jared.  

    4. redstateblues says:

      Morgan Carroll. I’m sure many of her detractors would put her in the Worst Democrat category too, but I think she’s one of the few people in Colorado politics who has integrity and sticks to her guns on virtually every issue.

    5. redstateblues says:

      Don Marostica, for being a voice of reason in a caucus of insanity.

    6. redstateblues says:

      Andrew Romanoff. He may not be my choice of candidate, and his US Senate campaign may or may not end up being a wash, but few doubt AR’s political skills. He was key in helping to establish the Democratic majority in this state as we know it.

    7. jaytee says:

      Boy Wonder Josh Penry from the 2010 governor’s race. Bumrushed and backpedaling still!

    8. jaytee says:

      CO4 2010 GOP House candidate Tom Lucero’s hand-scrawled error-ridden campaign finance statements.  

    9. One Queer Dude says:

         Beauprez standing next to a horse’s ass.  (And I’m not talking about his running mate)

      • Colorado PolsColorado Pols says:

        Good one – we forgot that.

      • Danny the Red (hair)Danny the Red (hair) says:

        The one of a Japanese battle flag with a voice over something like “America was the victim of a sneak attack once before and we defeated our enemy” now a picture of Stan Matsunaka comes up (cue foreboding music)”Stan Matsunaka wants to surrender to the people who attacked us on 9-11.”

        I can’t remember it well, but it was the most despicable piece of racist shit I’ve  ever seen live on air.  There have been more racist ads, but I mostly remember seeing those when people discuss how racist they are.

        Maybe it isn’t the worst since Muskrat won.  I guess it depends on the definition of “worst”.

        • redstateblues says:

          The anti-Musty commercial that showed her in a pink Chanel suit picking the pockets of soldiers was disgusting. Not as bad as the attack ad she ran against Matsunaka, but it was pretty bad too.

          Lots of fodder for this list in CD-4.

      • BlueCat says:

        Definitely need a worst campaign ad category.  As runner up, I recall those silly ads Conti ran in CD6, looking under the bed for illegals.  

      • Munchkin says:

        Hickenlooper skydiving was the best commercial on behalf on Referendum C.  Amazingly, it passed.

    10. Dabee47 says:

      If you’ll permit me to go allll the way back to the dark ages of 2003, you no doubt remember Hick’s, IMO, quality commercials.  

    11. Ellie says:

      On choosing Sarah Palin:

      “She’s not from these parts, and she’s not from Washington, but when you get to know her, you’re going to be as impressed as I am,” Mr. McCain told a midday rally of 15,000 people in a basketball arena here shortly before Ms. Palin, with her husband and four of her children, strode out onto the stage.

    12. droll says:

      Winner for stopping the state being shut down completely.  Loser for ending in a bad, bad year.

    13. RedGreenRedGreen says:

      Best Politician: Ken Salazar. When a Dem majority was just a twinkle in Al Yates’ eye, Salazar was the only Democrat to win statewide and then proved it was no fluke when he beat Pete Coors for the Senate. He’d be a lock for re-election if he hadn’t been elevated to the cabinet — the firmest vote of confidence in Salazar’s role turning Colorado for Obama. In 2014 he can start his two terms as governor.

      Worst Politician: Bob Beauprez. He threw away a congressional seat he could have kept forever, ran an embarrassing campaign for governor, and helped solidify the notion Colorado Republicans are inept when the rubber hits the road.

      BestCampaign: Hickenlooper 2003. No one was more of an underdog at the start and no one ran a more flawless campaign. He was lucky a snowstorm kept everyone glued to their TVs when his clever campaign ads ran unopposed, but when the streets cleared he followed up and charmed voters and left them energized.

      Worst Campaign: Beauprez 2006. This goes down in hstory as one bungled opportunity after another. From the horse’s ass to Janet Rowland (but I repeat myself) to the Voorhis nonsense, Beauprez’ foot was his own campaign’s consistent target.

      Best Republican: John Suthers. He’s the only one standing after three straight elections when Colorado’s ruling Republicans were handed their hats. Even die-hard Democrats will grudgingly pull the lever for Suthers next year, a real feat since — unlike Marostica and White — he’s an uncompromising Republican.

      Worst Republican: Marilyn Musgrave. She poisoned the brand and year after year reminded Colorado moderates why they were throwing the bums out.

      Best Democrat: Andrew Romanoff. The very picture of moderate competence when he helped lead Democrats to retake the statehouse, a fresh, young politician whose future seemed restrained only by his ambition.

      Worst Democrat: Andrew Romanoff. After eight months of dithering and thwarted skullduggery, Romanoff’s late entrance into the Senate primary smacks of sour grapes and nudges a reasonably safe Senate seat into play. All the competence that marked Romanoff’s reign as speaker seems to have vanished. Sometimes personal ambition isn’t the best guide to the future.

      BestConsultant or Manager: Anne Caprara. Unseating an incumbent member of Congress — for the first time in Colorado in two decades — is no mean feat. Caprara set the standard for a consistent campaign that never lost sight of its goal.

      Worst Consultant or Manager: Dick Wadhams. Trying — and failing — to serve two masters, the Schaffer manager drastically misread the tone of 2008, spewing invective and expletives and, in the end, shortchanged both his candidate and his party.

      The Jackass of the Decade: Is there any doubt? Doug Bruce retires the jersey. This decade, TABOR’s Trojan horses came home to roost, Bruce made a mockery of Capitol decorum, and he got trounced by voters to boot.

      Best Ballot Measure: Amendment 20, medical marijuana. Still immensely popular, Colorado lived up to its shaky reputation as a live-and-let-live state when it became the only state to put medicinal pot into its constitution.

      Runner up: Ref C, the rarest of moments when all the adults decide to set ideological blinders aside and tackle a problem.

      Worst Ballot Measure: Amendment 48, personhood. With its teenybopper spokesgirl and jaw-dropping consequences, this return to the 19th Century divided the base instead of rallying it on the way to a devastating failure at the ballot box.

      Runner up: Amendment 41, ethics. This mess of good intentions was so poorly written it’s tied state government in knots — albeit tiny knots — for years and has yet to result in a single meaningful fix to an ethical problem in Colorado.

      Top Unintended Consequence: The 2003 Pledge of Allegiance law. This was the over-reach that set the ball rolling.

      The Top Trend: There’s no question, the story of the Oughts is the story of Colorado voters replacing Republicans with Democrats at virtually every level. Fueled by breathtaking incompetence at the national level, Colorado Republicans swore blind fealty to TABOR and trotted out their pet Religious Right issues while the state’s finances and bridges crumbled. Culminating in the Obama victory — perhaps the peak of this trend as voters grow frustrated with Democrats’ attempts to fix a near-Depression — the Colorado of 2009 would be unrecognizable to political observers of 2000, and it’s all because of this trend.

    14. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

      But some great award for Bill Owens when he kissed his political future goodbye to campaign for C & D because he realized the state needed them.

      And an honorable mention to JFG who along with Romanoff made an awful lot happen in the legislature as well as finding a way to get everyone on-board with C & D.

    15. Emma Anne says:

      Ken Salazar, for voting for Gonzales and torture.

      Not sure on the Repub side.  Someone campaigning for Ref. C probably.

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