Romanoff: Where is your integrity?


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Preface:  My apologies to the Bennet campaign staff, who have asked their supporters to stay positive. I cannot follow their direction, today, unfortunately. My family is more important than any campaign.

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I saw a friend last night who decided to go support Andrew Romanoff in the CO 2010 Senate primary. I’ve stated here before, most of my political friends are long-time activists. In my area, they know Andrew personally and for many of them, that is an important consideration. I appreciate their loyalty to a friend, and having been a supporter of Andrew’s for almost a decade, I get the feeling of “owing him” for his work in the CO State House. I couldn’t understand Jim’s decision, though, since he doesn’t know Andrew.  

If Andrew Romanoff wins the primary, Democrats are sunk.

My long history of saying nice things about Andrew Romanoff aside, every day of his campaign makes me more concerned about his ability to make sound judgements. Not taking PAC money (which includes union donations, by the way) is unrealistic — an incredibly stupid thing to do. Did Andrew not read the news that the Supreme Court has determined corporations can give unlimited amounts of money to elections? Norton, Wiens and Buck are racing to find storage facilities large enough to hold the cash they will have donated to their campaigns by soul-less, conscience-free corporate America.  

If a union or company wants to give money to Senator Bennet’s campaign, great! In his year of service in the US Senate, he has managed to keep a record of 92% voting in-line with Democrats, despite accepting PAC money. He also still voted to confirm Craig Becker, indicating a commitment to labor, as opposed to big business. As Pam Bennett’s earlier article stated so well (paraphrasing), “Take their money, smoke their cigars, drink their booze, etc.”  Let them waste their money on votes that cannot be bought. Let them give to a Democrat rather than a Republican to make the Democrat more competitive. That’s what we want them to do.

It is not just naive, it is stupid to think that a Senate campaign can be won without money. Ask Mark Udall, who had to spend more than ten million dollars to get elected in 2008. Commercials cost money, and it won’t be long before living rooms across Colorado will be seeing lots of them from the Republican side. If he is not willing to take PAC money or union money to win this election for us, how on Earth does he plan to win? With magic fairy dust? Seriously — I’m asking.

I used to think the world of Andrew Romanoff — really I did. His implication that Senator Bennet is vulnerable to being bribed by PAC money is disengenuous at best. Andrew took PAC money for 8 years, and even created a PAC for all of the other PACs to contribute to, closing it only weeks before he started attacking Senator Bennet for the same. That’s not integrity. That is dishonesty.

“By implication, you are saying you were swayed by PAC money, is that correct, Mr. Romanoff?”

Andrew claims to understand how the US Senate works. Yet, he is now waging a superficial campaign ploy saying Michael Bennet should not vote for the Senate reconciliation bill unless it contains a public option. That is reckless and irresponsible. No one in the US Senate has fought harder to get the public option included in the bill, than Michael Bennet. The reconciliation bill, whether it has a public option in it or not, is still a step forward in protecting human lives. To risk not having it pass at all means allowing human beings to continue to suffer when they don’t have to. How many of Andrew’s family members do not have health care and will suffer if we don’t get the rest of the health reform bill passed? In my family, I count five.

“How many, Mr. Romanoff?”

I am not proud of calling Andrew Romanoff out publicly, but if that is the only way to stop him from ruining our chances for the extra benefits in the reconciliation bill, then I have no choice. My family cannot afford health care at the rates that are being charged now, and they are suffering.

If only all of us had Andrew Romanoff’s money to grandstand on issues like this one, as if human beings were just little pieces in a giant board game. Most of us cannot afford to jump on a plane to go to Europe or the middle east or Africa, in hopes of looking more “Senatorial”, as Andrew did in 2009. Most of us are trying to figure out how to pay our mortgages next month, or deciding between getting our aching tooth fixed or paying the electric bill. That’s why hundreds of us rallied and protested and worked on our members of Congress to get a health reform bill that would LITERALLY SAVE THE LIVES OF OUR FAMILY MEMBERS.  Watching Andrew Romanoff play mind-games with his election opponent is not a game we enjoy watching.  

STOP RISKING OUR FAMILIES’ LIVES AND OUR ELECTION, MR. ROMANOFF. Your ego, and whether or not you have a job, is not my concern. My family, and the tens of millions of Americans without health insurance, are my concern.

 

How many family members will benefit in your family by improvements in the Reconciliation bill?

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53 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. denverco says:

    I have lost all respect for Romanoff at this point. His sense of entitlement, that this was his Senate seat. The nasty tone of his campaign. Now this last shallow attempt with the public option ( especially from someone who said they wouldn’t have supported the original bill ).

    Either Romanoff is extremely ignorant on how the Senate operates, or this is nothing more than a cheap political trick. Either way this does not qualify him to be Senator from this great state.

  2. BICora says:

    In my immediate family, I count nine who are much better served by passing the bill as it is and much worse off if the bill gets killed.

    In my friends and extended family I can count many more.  If a public option can be safely added now – great.  If it means taking it back to the House and risking delay or defeat, not great.

    I still respect Andrew. I’m hoping this is just campaign politicking.

  3. CU87 says:

    The Health bill was signed into law today, peacemonger. Did you miss that?  All Romanoff is talking about is proposing a public option amendment to the reconciliation bill in the Senate.  If 51 Senators vote for it, then great, we have a public option in the Senate.  If it’s voted down, then reconciliation proceeds without it.  

    FireDogLake says “This is our only chance if we want to have a vote on a public option.  By offering the amendment, there’s no harm done – the bulk of health care reform will already be signed into law.  This is just our chance to fix it.”  25,000 people have already signed their petition asking Michael Bennet to introduce the public option to the reconciliation bill. (http://action.firedoglake.com/page/s/bennetPO?source=web)

    Now is the “only chance” we have to get a public option.  We obviously won’t get it without using reconciliation.  The Democrats don’t have 60 votes in the Senate to break a GOP filibuster. Reconciliation gives Senators an up-or-down vote.  Haven’t 51 Senators signed on to Bennet’s public option letter already? And it only takes ONE Senator to offer the public option amendment to get a vote.

    Sen. Bennet said he would lose his job if it meant he could pass a public option.  Well where is he now? We may not have a chance like this for decades to come.  We should applaud Romanoff for standing up for his convictions and for the American people…it’s just too bad he’s the only one.

    And peacemonger, you say adding a public option now will kill people?  Seriously? Did you forget a majority of Americans want this bill? How about you leave the lies and hysteria out of the Democratic Party…we have enough of it coming from the GOP.

    • AristotleAristotle says:

      I’m reregistering (from independent – I’m a lifelong liberal) as a Democrat so that I can vote for Bennet because every single Romanoff supporter on this site, yourself included, has been nasty, rude, and completely unable to make a good case for Andrew other than his service.

      Now, his service is important, but if we have a guy in the Senate (who will have spent over a year and a half in that seat, with all the built up relationships that will be out the window if we nominate Andrew instead) who has well represented Democratic interests, you have to do better to make a case why we should throw him out and nominate your man.

      But no, none of you can do that. All you have is vitriol and sputtering, and it underscores the impression, since Andrew is doing nothing to reign you dumbshits in, that this is about his sense of entitlement, not what’s best for Colorado.

      So please, just shut up. You’ve done this much damage to your man’s campaign; don’t do any more.

      Love,

      Aristotle.

    • Middle of the Road says:

      it’d be great if you could get some of facts straight. Where shall we start?

      You said:

      Haven’t 51 Senators signed on to Bennet’s public option letter already?

      No, they have not. Fortyone have either signed or made a statement of support. Ten other Democratic senators have indicated they support the public option but would be unwilling to insert it at this late stage.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

      “That’s basically it,” he said. “I hope that what comes from the House is what we agree on going into this debate.”

      Has that been agreed to yet?

      “Not yet,” said Durbin.

      “Dick Durbin just offered Nancy Pelosi a rubber stamp, something that will never happen again — especially in a 50-vote reconciliation environment,” said Adam Green, when told of Durbin’s remark. Green is a co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which has been pushing for a public option.

      If the public option is going to work its way back into health care talks, it will have to do it in the next day or two, before the parties finalize negotiations.

      The White House and congressional leaders have not taken much notice of the revived debate over including a public option in the last several weeks, other than to insist, as the administration did, that it doesn’t have “political support.”

      Yet without any whip effort from the Senate or the White House, 41 individual senators have publicly said that they are willing to support a public option through the reconciliation process. The full list is here.

      UPDATE: If true, the news that the Senate parliamentarian told Senate Republicans that the bill must become law before any amendments can be made through reconciliation alters the equation. The House, however, could still pass the Senate bill into law and then send the Senate a reconciliation fix with a public option. The Senate could torpedo that legislation without the concern that no reform package at all will get passed, giving the Senate added leverage.

      This is over. The House has voted. The bill has been signed. It’s done.

      The public option is not going into the final Senate version. That is a reality. You, and Jane and Wade and Sirota and the other day dreamers that don’t understand political reality are going to have to live with it. I’m not thrilled to lose the public option but once the House bill passed, the option was dead.

      Did you ever really care about massive health care reform or has it always just been “the public option” or the highway for you? Do you care more about scoring points against a primary opponent than you do about millions of people finally having an opportunity to have some small measure of life saving reform?

      Your selfishness is jaw dropping. Your willingness to play with people’s lives is as disgusting as your candidate’s latest political ploy to earn himself enough political points to stay in the game until August.

      I’m not sure which is more disturbing–that he’s willing to play games with peoples’ lives or that is so incredibly clueless as to what is involved to get a bill passed.

      • StrykerK2 says:

        a lot of us have been without insurance, worked jobs where employers don’t offer insurance, watched friends and family suffered, and have otherwise known that we needed this for a long time.

        I was excited to see the public option emerge; I was excited to see senators fighting for it.

        Republicans didn’t need sixty votes when they had the majority — they just got stuff done.  I, for one, am tired of spineless democrats who say they can’t get anything done without a super-duper-overwhelming-onslaught majority in the senate.

        Bennet abandoned the people who needed him the most.  All the grandstanding in the world doesn’t change the fact that he tossed aside his “championship” for the public option the second it wasn’t politically expedient for him.

        • Middle of the Road says:

          That no matter how hard you try, you can’t change political reality to suit your current Romanoff talking point of the day. Scoring cheap and false political points is clearly more important to folks like you and CU and Wade than meaningful reform that is going to change my life and some of my friends’ lives this year. Shame on all of you.

          The simple fact here is that Pelosi pulled the public option out of the House bill in order to get enough votes to pass it on Sunday. Once the House voted, it was a done deal. It is disappointing that it did not make it into the final version of the bill but the reforms that are there are so significant that I find these protestations from folks to be downright disingenuous.

           

      • CU87 says:

        Okay, you’re wrong Middle of the Road…not surprisingly.  The Health Care bill (HR 3590-The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) was signed into law today.  Now the Senate is preparing to take up the reconciliation bill (HR 4872-The Reconciliation Act of 2010).  We are talking about two different bills.  The Senate can propose any amendments they want, including a public option.  This isn’t over unless Senators like Bennet wimp out and back off the public option.

        I was wrong in saying 51 Senators had agreed to voting for a public option (41 agreed to it).  But there definitely aren’t 60 Senators who will pass a public option.  As I already said, reconciliation is our best chance.  Using reconciliation, we only need 51 votes to pass a public option in the Senate!

        I am happy to see that HR 3590 was signed into law today.  Finally we have some health insurance reforms.  But we still need a public option! And we can do it, but our only chance is through the reconciliation process.  Romanoff understands that, and we know Bennet does too-but he’s owned by the big money special interests and PACs.  

        Bennet said he would sacrifice his job to see a public option pass.  He puts out advertisements calling himself a health care HERO.  But when it really matters (now), he backs down.  When are you gonna get it?  He’s bought and paid for by the special interests and PACS.  He doesn’t care what the majority of Americans want.  

        • Middle of the Road says:

          Tell Joe Trippi the talking points aren’t working but we all applaud him (and you)for trying.  

        • BICora says:

          Tehn why didn’t the House add the public option three days ago when they had the chance?

          Yes- there are two bills. Both have been passed by the House. The first, was the healthcare bill the Senate passed in Dec. (you know- that false choice thingy).  

          The second is the reconcilation bill. If the Senate amends it- the House would have to vote to approve any changes.  Hence the risk- are there really 216 votes in the House for reconciliation with public option?

          If so- why wasn’t Romanoff pushing on Degette, his rep, to amend it then?  I may have missed it.

          But now that the House passed it- the Senate has to pass it as is or the House has to take another vote.

        • MADCO says:

          Nothing funny about it.

          Someone’s wrong- but it isn’t MOTR.

          Yes there  are two bills. Like any bill each has to pass the House and Senate in exactly the same form or it hasn’t passed yet.

          Health care (HR 3590) was passed by the Senate Dec 24th 2009 (you know- when it was a a “false choice”).  It had to pass the House in the exact same form, or it would have had to go back to the Senate.

          The only way to get the House to agree to pass it was for the Senate to agree to pass the House reconciliation bill (HR4872).  If the House had 216 votes for the public option they would have put it in that bill.  Then the Senate would have had their up or down opportunity.

          But the House didn’t. (Pelosi said the votes weren’t there- but I can’t find a quote right now)

          So now, the Senate can pass HR 4872 exactly as the House passed it and it goes to the President.

          But if the Senate changes it at all, it goes back to the House to get another vote.  This is the risk.  If it goes back to the House and can’t get 216, the Senate wouldn’t be able to just say- oops- oh, well and return HR 4872 to it’s former condition and pass it.  And the clock is ticking.

          So three points – this has almost nothing to do with Senator Bennet.  His letter was a clear signal to the House (and Rep Polis) that if the House could get 216 for a public option there would be suport in the Senate.

          I thought Romanoff was for single payer.  Why did he give up on it now and just push on Senator Bennet for a public option?

          Why push on Bennet?  There most logical way to get a public option in the reconciliation bill was to get the House to put it in – so if Romanoff was serious about pushing for this, he should have been pushing on Degette and Polis or other House leaders.  AS it is- it looks like what it is- campaign baloney with no hope of accomplishing anything.  (Which makes sense, Romanoff said he would have voted no on the flawed process and content of the Senate bill in the first place. I’m glad Senator Bennet voted yes Dec 24th- I’m glad it’s going pass now. Aren’t you?)

          The more useful thing now is to support Rep Grayson’s effort: http://salsa.mydccc.org/o/3001

          • peacemonger says:

            I have been beating my head on the wall trying to get Romanoffskis to understand this.  They are more difficult than the tea-partiers I have been trying to convince for the past year!

            Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!

      • BICora says:

        That’s not even the point right now.

        The House would have to approve any changes. And while there may or may not be strong enough support in the Hosue for a public option- is anyone certain there are 216 votes right now?  

        If so- go for it.  If not- get it later.

        Better to pass reconciliation and support Grayson’s proposal.

    • BICora says:

      Oh, well, if FireDoglake says it, then itmust be true.  Whoever elected FDL to anything?

      The House passed the reconciliation bill Sunday. No public option present.

      If the Senate amends the bill- it goes back to the House for another vote.  Are you certain it could get 216 and pass?  I’m not.

      Senator Bennet answered yes to the question If the healthcare bill included a public option and you were confident that voting for it would cost you re-election would you vote for it?  

      When the healthcare bill came up for a vote Dec 24, there was no public option.  I know Romanoff has said he would have voted no because of the flawed process and bill, but I’m glad Bennet voted yes.

      What you are suggesting now, however, is a different proposition.  You are suggesting that he amend the reconcilation bill, forcing it back to the House.  It was just in the House – was Romanoff pushing Degette to add a public option? Or is this just about campaign politicking ?

  4. peacemonger says:

    When the house bill passed, most Dem friends were happy. When the Senate bill did, most of the progressives I know were whining it wasn’t good enough. Well, the house just passed the SENATE bill. Yes, it was the bulk of what we want, but there are a lot more good things to come in the reconciliation part, as well. Michael Bennet has been fighting to get the public option put into it, and continues to fight for it. If putting it in without the votes means the whole reconciliation bill gets derailed, can we blame little Andrew Romanoff?

    I didn’t say adding a public option will kill anyone.  GEEEZZUSS CU, I HAVE BEEN FIGHTING FOR THE PUBLIC OPTION EVERY DAY FOR A YEAR. GIVE ME A FRICKIN BREAK. HOW MANY RALLIES DID YOU PLAN? HOW MANY PHONE BANKS DID YOU STAFF?

    No one wants the public option more than me.  Andrew Romanoff was galavanting around the globe last year trying to look Congressional when we spent 14 hours a day arguing with tea-partiers and planning our next rally in the hot sun.  For him to GRANDSTAND and say he is fighting for anything for health care reform is a BOLD-FACED LIE.

    Ask the President. Ask for OFA records. Ask for anyone who held a rally or a phone bank or a town hall or a health care reform rally, or anything. ANDREW ROMANOFF IS A FAKE ON THIS ONE.

    • StrykerK2 says:

      What do you mean he’s still fighting for the public option?  He walked away from the letter you praised.  He walked away from his statement about being willing to lose his job for the public option.  He walked away from people who are suffering.  It’s that simple.

        • StrykerK2 says:

          Bennet is starting to realize what turning his back on the people he was courting means.  A few weeks ago the blogosphere was crazy about him for the letter.

          Check out what FireDogLake is saying today:

          http://fdlaction.firedoglake.c

          • CU87 says:

            That’s why I’m so confused about your criticism of Romanoff and your praise for Bennet.  You act like Romanoff is holding the Health Reform bill hostage.  He’s not!  He’s just asking one senator to propose an amendment so we can have a simple up or down vote on the public option.  That’s it!

            • BICora says:

              If an amendment to the reconciliation bill is adopted by the Senate it has to go back to the House so they can vote again.  Are you sure there is 216 votes for it?

              If the House wanted to amend it with a public option, why didn’t they do it 3 days ago when they could? Was Romanoff pushing on Degette to amend it then?  If he was- I missed it.  If not- it appears to just be campaign politicking.

              • peacemonger says:

                Michael Bennet knows that, and he is trying to get them, but he knows how stupid and dangerous it would be to risk the whole thing if they aren’t there.

                Romanoff has painted Bennet in a “Damned if you do/ Damned if you don’t” box.  If he pushes for the public option when there are not enough votes for it, and it causes a collapse of the reconciliation process (which is supposed to be only about financing, incidentally), he will have defeated an important health reform bill.

                If Bennet doesn’t do that, than Andrew can claim he never wanted it anyway.

                I lost all respect for Andrew Romanoff. I haven’t felt this disappointed in a hero  since my sister told me there was no such thing as Santa Claus.

  5. peacemonger says:

    They passed the Senate version in a shell bill, but it was basically the Senate bill.

  6. StrykerK2 says:

    Peacemonger everyone on here knows that you have no history of supporting Andrew.  Every time you post something negative on him you claim it’s your first time attaching him.

    I love that you call corporate contributions to the republicans “soulless” — but not when they go to your best friend Michael Bennet.  Then it’s just a matter of getting business done.

    You want to talk about Bennet’s vote being tied to contributions?  I still haven’t heard any response from you about cramdown.  Bennet voted to kick people out of their homes and took half a million from the banking industry when he did it.  That’s pretty damn cold.

    • BICora says:

      What do you want to see about cramdown?

      Do you even understand Senator Bennet’s reasoning for voting against it? Or is your faux outrage all just based on your imagination?

      Can you explain what the bill would have done? Do you understand why Senator Bennet said he voted against it?

      If/when you research it- answer these: how many additional foreclosures resulted because it didn’t pass?  And how many additiona foreclosures were avoided because it didn’t pass?  (hint- both are a positive number)

      From a purely political perspective, Senator Bennet could have voted for it anyway. It didn’t have the votes to pass and everyone knew it.  Instead, he explained his reasoning and voted no.  His reasons were sound, even though I would have preferred he voted yes anyway.

      MADCO documented a half dozen or more times Bennet came out in opposition to the banking industry position.  I’m sure there were more, though not necessarily specific to banking.  Meanwhile, you’ve mentioned cramdown as the lone example of a position that aligned with the banks. Just one. One time.

      Can you cite all the times that Romanoff voted in a way that was in aligment with his PAC contributors? Can you defend those as having had nothing to do with his contributions? Or is it that he was bought before and now he’s not?

  7. peacemonger says:

    I have a photo of him from last summer when I told him I would work hard to help him get elected in any campaign he chose. That is when I thought it was too late for him to jump into this senate race. When he told me, I told him I couldn’t support him because Michael Bennet already had the race sewn up.

    If Andrew tells you otherwise, he is lying. I have witnesses.

  8. peacemonger says:

    I do not speak for Michael Bennet or his campaign — I am just passing on the information you wanted on cramdown. I don’t even have an opinion on it.  My 24 hour/day concern has been getting my family members the health care they desperately need, and Michael Bennet has been my ally every day for 15 months in this fight.

    On Cramdown:

    “Michael voted against the cramdown ammendment because he was concerned the legislation would result in higher mortgage rates for everybody, particularly for the middle class. He knows it is not a popular view by some people, but he believes it to be true”.

    If you want to know why he voted the way he did on anything, all you have to do is call his Senate office. I have found them to be  extremely approachable and accessible.

    • StrykerK2 says:

      the argument on that is crap peacemonger.  It would have allowed people about to be kicked out of their homes to renegotiate their mortgages in bankruptcy court so they would have had a chance to keep their homes.

      Oh I’ve talked to members of his senate office when they were out and about at political functions — doing campaign work.  Thanks, but I’ve spoken with them more than enough.

      • peacemonger says:

        I told you that already.

        • peacemonger says:

          Romanoff is a complete fake on this public option stuff. Where was he during 2009?  Look at all of the photos people took of rallies, town halls, meetings, marches, seminars, etc.  Andrew Romanoff was nowhere to be found. Fifteen months later, he jumps in and says, “I demand the public option!”

          Get a clue, Andrew. “I demand no global warming!”

          “I demand an end to hunger!”

          “I demand world-wide pollution standards!”

          “I demand no more oppression anywhere in the world!”

          Well, in the real world, demanding things doesn’t really work; hard work does. Month after month, my friends and I — all former Romanoff supporters, asked, “Where the hell is Andrew Romanoff?”  There are lots of Change agenda things he could be working on down at the Organizing for America office.  I KNOW they would love to meet him down there.

  9. peacemonger says:

    but you don’t have the foggiest idea about what you are talking about. I guess they don’t get CSPAN or internet service at the Romanoff campaign headquarters. You are clearly living in a Romanoff news bubble.

    • StrykerK2 says:

      Is that random attack on me for something in particular or just your general response not liking what others have to say?

      I have done my homework on the candidates and picked my side.  Andrew fought insurance companies — and won.  Andrew led democrats to a majority in the state house.  Andrew is apparently the only guy who is willing to stand up for the public option.

      Michael Bennet?  Well he made gayhater bigot Phil Anschutz a lot of money so he could turn around and fund every rightwing initiative for years.  Yeah — that’s not the kind of background I really look for in my Democratic leader.

      • peacemonger says:

        Have you ever had a job that made money for someone who might be a Republican?  I did. I hated it. I suspect Michael Bennet did too, which is why he went to work for John Hickenlooper as soon as he could.

        Do you hate John Hickenlooper, too?

        • StrykerK2 says:

          Look — this isn’t like saying working in the Coors gift shop is supporting Pete Coors’ agenda.  Bennet wasn’t some random person in a giant machine.  Bennet was the guy destroying jobs to make Anschutz money so he could spend it against democratic ideals.  That’s what Bennet calls “practical experience”

          • CU87 says:

            Bennet’s longest career so far has been with Anschutz.  I’m pretty sure he worked for Anschutz longer than he worked for Hickenlooper, DPS, and the Senate combined.  

            • Middle of the Road says:

              You are getting closer to telling the truth, though.

              He has worked with Democrats since 1993. He was an assistant to former Democratic Ohio Governor Richard Celeste. While practicing law, he assisted in speech writing for Attorney General Janet Reno during the Clinton administration.

              He worked 1997 to 2003 for Anschutz. He left in 2003 to work on Hickenlooper’s campaign as his financial adviser. After Hickenlooper won, he then became his chief of staff. He worked for Mayor Hickenlooper until 2005, when he became Superintendent of DPS until January 2009, when he became Senator, where he has served up until present.

              In 2008, he worked on Barack Obama’s campaign as an informal educational adviser and was a co-host for a fundraiser in Colorado for the President. Bennet’s dad worked for 10 years as President and CEO of National Public Radio. His brother is a former New York Times reporter and now an editor of the Atlantic Monthly.

              Kind of difficult to try and paint him as anything other than a Democrat with these kind of bona fides.

              Google is your friend, buddy. Give it a whirl.

              • Middle of the Road says:

                that his father Douglas, was an assistant to liberal Democratic Ambassador Chester Bowles in the 1960s’s. He ran for the 2nd congressional seat in CT in 1970. He spent 23 years serving on the staffs of several prominent Democrats including Hubert Humphrey.

                Douglas Bennet served as Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs in the Clinton Administration (1993-1995) and ran the U.S. Agency for International Development under President Jimmy Carter from 1979-1981.

                Michael Bennet was on the short list for a Cabinet position for the Department of Education. Word has it that he was one of 3 finalists, the other two being John Schnur and Arne Duncan, who was appointed as Secretary of Education.

                I’ve always been somewhat surprised that people find it shocking that Bennet ended up being named to replace Salazar, particularly considering his own background since the early 1990s’ and the long history his family has in Democratic politics.

          • BICora says:

            Can you describe in any useful way what it is you think Bennet did while working for Anschutz?

            And then explain what he actually did.

            I used to work for US West – survived the Qwest transition and the Naccio/Anschutz transition.  I don’t recall seeing Bennet’s name on that.

            I don’t undertand the Regal theaters deal. Enlighten us SK2 – but please include sources. Not because you just MSU, but it helps to inform the debate.

  10. peacemonger says:

    Another one has been living with a hernia for years because he doesn’t have enough insurance to have surgery. Another one, although a contract temp nurse, does not have insurance at all. Another one had a kid with a head trauma but couldn’t afford the $3000 for an MRI, so he went without care.

    This issue is everything to me and my family. I am not going to let some spoiled-rotten, washed-up Senator-wannabe who didn’t care enough about us to help us fight for a year for federal health-reform get between my loved ones and getting the care they need.  

  11. peacemonger says:

    Andrew could have had a strong supporter in me if he didn’t abandon us on health reform last year.  

    Sucks for him.

  12. CU87 says:

    “Increasingly, it looks like Bennet is trying to trick Colorado Democratic primary voters and appease the insurance industry at the same time. To voters, he wants to look like he’s a champion of the public option. But in order to prevent offending the insurance industry, he is refusing to even offer the public option legislation when it has the best chance of passing – that is, in the 51-vote reconciliation environment. Instead, he says he’ll “continue to push it” later – of course, later is when it will need 60 votes which both he and the insurance industry knows will be all but impossible to achieve.” (David Sirota, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

    Thanks Sirota. Your post clearly lays out everything the Bennet supporters have been afraid to admit.

    • Steve Harvey says:

      Look, there are two candidates with two sets of supporters. The two sets of supporters are each convinced that they are supporting the best candidate. Some in each camp believe the other candidate is seriously deficient in one way or another. Hardly any of them are “hiding” anything, though clearly they are each seeing reality through different lenses.

      Many (not all) in the Bennet camp were very reluctant, and very slow, to criticize Romanoff, though equally many in the Romanoff camp were very eager to criticize Bennet, and very adamant in their criticisms. Those in the Bennet camp who were quickest to criticize Romanoff did so on the basis of his electoral chances. Those in the Romanoff camp who were quickest to criticize Bennet attacked his morality and character.

      There have always been far more Bennet supporters saying “I have great respect for Romanoff” than there have been Romanoff supporters saying “I have great respect for Bennet.” Some might attribute that to Romanoff’s greater respectability, though I think it’s far more accurate to attribute it to the higher degree of graciousness and civility among those Bennet supporters.

      As many in the Bennet camp began to criticize Romanoff more stridently (beginning with Pat Caddell), the Romanoff camp, already more strident, escalated its own stridency in order to keep its lead intact.

      No one is “afraid to admit” anything. Everyone is looking at things through their own lens. One of the two major lenses being used is clearer than the other, and one among its variations is clearest of all. Guess which one I think that is.

      • botw says:

        I haven’t heard the words “graciousness” or “civility” more than once or twice — in any context — in the last year.

        One Democratic candidate for the Senate has shown great civility both in Washington and in Colorado for the last year.

        He hasn’t personally attacked anybody.

        He’s made a difference in Washington (publicly supporting the public option and rallying others to that cause, for example, proposing reforms to arcane Senate rules, for another).

        He’s made a difference for Colorado (achieving funding for the Arkansas Valley water conduit, for example).

        Win or lose, I’m quite proud of the guy.  Civility, and graciousness in return, are in short supply.

    • peacemonger says:

      and you haven’t been tricked by the soap-seller who wanted to defeat health reform since DAY ONE?

      Give me a break.

    • caroman says:

      I watched a fascinating interview between David Frum and someone from the Club for Growth (CFG).  Frum was arguing reasonably that the GOP should attempt to participate in the legislative process to achieve some compromises.  The CFG guy said, No Way!  We’ll never compromise!  We don’t care if we lose everything!

      Now, that sounds just like David Sirota and Andrew Romanoff.  If certain legislation doesn’t include everything they want, then they’re happy to see it fail.

      Earth to Romanoff/Sirota:  There is one word to describe people like you — LOSER

  13. peacemonger says:

    Over the last few days, Facebook, twitter, and progressive blogs have been full of people calling on Senator Bennet to offer an amendment to add a public option to the reconciliation side-car legislation currently under consideration in the Senate. Let me make perfectly clear that I am a strong supporter of the public option and so is Michael Bennet. Any assertion to the contrary is either disingenuous or uninformed.

    That said, I cannot support this latest effort to insert the public option. The last thing I want is to discourage people from continuing to fight for matters of public policy they strongly support, but sometimes we have to take a step back to get some perspective and realize that the current situation is not the appropriate time for this battle.

    We’ve been working to pass health care reform legislation during this Congress for over a year. It has dominated our politics and our discourse for most of that time. As of this morning, the legislation we worked on for those many months was signed into law. The history of the moment and the achievement should be lost on no one. Now we find ourselves in a bit of a strange spot. We couldn’t pass the reconciliation changes (fully closing the donut hole, increasing affordability for the middle class, etc.) without first passing the much larger and much more important base bill. That means that the current consideration of the reconciliation language comes after the main event has already happened and the celebration has begun, making reconciliation a bit anti-climactic. The biggest problem with this long battle has been the misinformation and lies told about the legislation. Well, now that the bill is law, we have our best opportunity to use the moment to educate people about what’s actually in the bill. Now is our chance to turn the tide of public opinion, to focus on the incredible benefits people will see from this law’s enactment. From a messaging standpoint, any sustained, health-care-related effort outside of that becomes something of a distraction to our main goal right now. That means the Senate has every incentive to get reconciliation done as quickly as possible.

    The problem with amending the legislation in this stage is that any change, no matter how tiny, requires the House to debate and vote again, potentially starting a ping-pong between the House and Senate. Currently, the Senate is on track to pass the bill by the weekend. Given the Congressional schedule, which has both houses in recess beginning Monday, such a scenario could cause major delay.

    Further complicating things is the fact that we’re closing in on April of an election year. Whether we like it or not, the time is fast approaching when members of Congress will turn all of their focus on getting re-elected and that thing that passes for progress in Washington will grind to a complete halt. Now, if we as progressives were content with getting nothing more done this year, we wouldn’t have a major issue, but with further jobs legislation, financial reform, energy and climate legislation, and more still on the agenda, we need to turn the page on health care reform and quickly move on to these other incredibly important issues.

    If those problems weren’t enough, we then face the fact that the Senate has a number of rather moderate and conservative Democratic members. Republicans want desperately to drag this fight on even longer, to continue mischaracterizing the legislation and distracting people from the message we really want to be sharing. To that end, they intend to offer as many amendments as they can, including a good number that may look pretty attractive to those more conservative Dems. We don’t yet know what all of those amendments will contain, but we do know that progressives probably don’t want to see them pass for policy reasons alone, not to mention the dilatory effect they will have. This is why Harry Reid’s main goal right now is to keep his caucus as focused as possible on voting against all amendments as a block. Imagine how much less credibility Reid has with Blanche Lincoln or Ben Nelson if he either gives progressives a pass to offer an amendment or if progressives ignore his request and do it anyway. That lack of credibility could see a number of Democratic moderates voting with Republicans on a variety of amendments.

    Given that reality, Reid made his case to Bennet and other public option supporters. In exchange for their agreement to not offer any amendments and vote against any and all GOP amendments, he would agree to go on record promising the public option would receive a separate vote sometime this year.

    I know all of us, including Senator Bennet, would like to see the public option make a triumphant comeback. Given the difficult political and procedural realities right now, though, I think the right choice has been made here. Progressives should celebrate the passage of health care reform right now, and they should gear up for the upcoming financial regulatory reform fight and what is sure to be a tough coming election. Michael Bennet has been strongly supporting the public option for a long time and he has unquestionably taken a leadership role. I trust him to make good on his promises. That’s why I’m supporting his decision to fight another day.

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