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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.
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.