nancycronk

About nancycronk

Nancy Cronk is a longtime community activist and women's leader living in Arapahoe County. Six months before the historic "red sweep" election of 2014, she was recruited to run as a "placeholder" in HD37, and managed to bring in 40K from 500 small donors, and 42% of the vote -- just one point lower than the previous candidate who ran in a presidential year.

Unpacking “Abortion”: What White Men Don’t Get

Or, “Why Mark Udall and Amendment 67 Both Lost in 2014″

I was sitting in my living room a number of months ago, when a Udall commercial came on television and our wonderful Colorado senior U.S. Senator confidently and clearly articulated the word, “abortion”. “He’s going to lose”, I told my husband, “Mark’s going to lose”.

White men don’t get it — especially the kind of 30 year old, private school-educated, pea-coat-wearing frat boys who run market research firms and conduct polls and fly back and forth between DC and Denver — the kind who show up in every federal election, advising Senate and Congressional candidate campaigns on behalf of the DCCC or the DSCC. Out of touch and clueless about middle-aged or retired suburban women, or people of color of all ages in CO, they brought down Joe Miklosi’s congressional campaign in 2012, and they just brought down one of the best U.S. Senators we’ve ever had, Mark Udall. Udall’s team should have questioned their advice and trusted local grassroots, boots-on-the-ground opinions instead. They can’t say they weren’t warned.

Although the “frat boys” (as I like to call them) are confident in the answers they receive in their polls and surveys, they ask all the wrong questions. Any federal level candidates in CO who continue to run campaigns without having every important CO demographic represented on their strategy teams will lose in the future (are you listening, Senator Bennet?). If they want to understand suburban, middle class mothers or college-aged people of color, or seniors on fixed incomes, they better have them on their steering committees in similar proportions.

The abortion issue is a perfect example. Research shows the vast majority of women want abortion to be legal and safe (this is not a Democratic secret, folks). For some people (including young men), the battle cry “My body, my choice” resonates with an underlying libertarian “don’t tell me what to do” chord. For many women I have spoken with about this issue, either as a women’s leader, or as a former crisis center counselor, or as an activist/organizer who has knocked on thousands of CO doors over many years, abortion is not a black and white, intellectual issue – it is a personal, very private decision which is frequently not discussed in polite company. For some women, it is a painfully emotional subject associated with layers of spiritual, family and financial baggage. For many women, terminating a pregnancy is a tug-of-war with their heart, and certainly not a subject they are comfortable having bantered about ad nauseum on their living room televisions by a bunch of men who have no proverbial clue what it is like to be a woman. For many women, the entire conversation is off-limits, and the frankness of the political ads makes them feel very, very uncomfortable.

Not only are many women uncomfortable hearing abortion debated while they’re helping their eight year old with homework or collapsing into a chair after a long day at work, their motives to have had an abortion are not always what men assume them to be. For a lot of women, abortion is not about “my life” or “my body” or “my choice”. For many women I’ve talked to, choosing to end a pregnancy is motivated by selfless concern and love for the potential life they are considering bringing into the world. Women are motivated to have abortions for the same reasons they are motivated about organics, GMOs, fracking, education, climate change, gun restrictions and punishing pedophiles –- because they love children and want every child to be wanted, so they can have healthy, happy lives. For many women, termination is a decision made early in a pregnancy long before there is significant fetal growth or sensation, to protect a child from a life without adequate resources (parenting, food, clothing, health care, etc.) or because of quality of life issues related to fetal anomalies and genetic disorders. For many women, abortion is an emotionally painful but completely selfless decision, made with the best interests of another potential human being in mind – not something every frat boy understands easily.

If there is one thing women will fiercely protect more than their own bodies, or their own choices, or their own civil rights, its children — even other people’s children. Mike Coffman’s brilliant marketing team (let’s face it – he doesn’t get re-elected every two years because he is a good congressman) understood this well in 2012 when they watched Joe Miklosi take a stand for Choice, and then they socked him with an ad that associated Joe with pedophiles because he voted no on the straw-man “Jessica’s law”. I’ll never forget the women I spoke with at the doors while canvassing for Joe who said, “I can’t decide if I want to vote for the guy who hates women, or the one who hates children”. In the end, they voted against the man they were tricked into thinking “hated children” by Coffman’s brilliant, yet evil henchmen.

Amendment 67 failed because women want to keep politicians out of their doctor’s offices. Senator Udall lost his race because women want to keep politician’s talking about abortion out of their living rooms. If Senator Bennet wants to win re-election in 2016, he needs to listen to CO middle-class moms directly and include them on his steering committees — and skip any advice from frat boys about messaging — unless it is about messaging to other frat boys.

“Honk for Cronk” for State Representative

My campaign for HD37 is going extremely well!. While we may not be in the Colorado Pols Top Ten Races, we are not far behind (possibly 12th?), and have a serious chance at pulling out a surprise win in the southern suburbs. Here’s why:

1. It’s an open seat with a history of close races. In 2006, Angela Engel (D) received 49% of the vote. Other races since have remained in the high 40s, even with several non-aggressive D candidates.

2. I was drafted to run by a vacancy committee when Marlo Alston dropped out of the race in April. At the time, I was also running for re-election to the local Fire Board.

3. I won re-election to the Cunningham Fire Protection District on May 6th, netting the top vote count out of seven candidates. I did it by talking to R’s, D’s, U’s and I’s alike. My philosophy of respecting our workers while safeguarding our citizen’s tax money is appreciated (shout-out to CPFF Local 3027!). We started campaigning for HD37 the very next day.

4. In six weeks, from May 7th, until the June 25th filing, I raised $9000. We’re still rockin’ it.

5. My opponent — and I have nothing bad to say about him (we are running a clean, positive campaign) — lost a Centennial City Council race to Democrat CJ Whelan, another member of the CFPD Fire Board.

6. I’ve lived in the S.E.Aurora/ E. Centennial area for 24 years and have raised a family there. I have good name recognition in my district from years of volunteering for non-profits and in the public schools.

7. My full-time campaign manager and I talk to everyone we can — and we listen. You don’t get more grassroots than that.

8. Representative John Buckner, a friend to unions, to teachers and to working families (as am I), won his election two years ago in the formerly GOP district just north of mine, and won it by a 13 point spread! We only need 5 points. He did it doing the same thing we are doing.

9. The Centennial area is changing demographically. While knocking on doors, I’m seeing many people who are fed up with the extreme partisanship, obstructionist politics, and radical agendas of the far right. Door after door, people are telling us they want common sense, compassion, and community. They want grown-up politics, positive messaging, and good ideas. They point to negative fliers cluttering their porches (Gardner v. Udall, mostly), then hold up our positive literature and tell me it is “refreshing”.

In the last two days, I’ve had three registered Republicans tell me they were going to vote for at least one Democrat this time around. One said, “I don’t hate my gay neighbors, and I am tired of people telling me I should.” Another one said, “The gun debate has gotten out of control. I have guns but I think background checks are fine.” The third told me, “The Affordable Care Act was good for my business.”

10. We’re getting great press.
Elect Nancy Cronk for State Representative
District 37 Democrat Makes Late Entry
Cronk Seeks To Turn HD37 Blue

Come walk with us and see for yourself! It just might make you believe in community-based representation again! If you can’t walk, or you don’t have time to join us, please contribute here: http://www.NancyCronk.com.

CO Legislative Winners — And Losers — For Women and Children.

Every year, a coalition of non-profits in CO that work for the rights of women and children under the umbrella of the “Colorado Women’s Lobby”, rank our CO State legislators on their votes. Not surprisingly, many of the 17 Senators and 36 Representatives who received a 100% rating have the same letter after their name.

Congratulations to the 2014 legislators who scored 100 percent on the Women’s Lobby scorecard for their work to help women and children: Senators Irene Aguilar, Morgan Carroll, Lucia Guzman, Rollie Heath, Mary Hodge, Cheri Jahn, Mike Johnston, Matt Jones, John Kefalas, Andy Kerr, Linda Newell, Jeanne Nicholson, Gail Schwartz, Lois Tochtrop, Nancy Todd, Jessie Ulibarri, and Rachel Zenzinger (Pat Steadman came in close at 91).

On the House side, superstars for women and children are: Representatives Kc Becker, John Buckner, Lois Court, Crisanta Duran, Tony Exum Sr., Mark Ferrandino, Rhonda Fields, Mike Foote, Leroy M. Garcia, Joann Ginal, Millie Hamner, Dickie Lee Hullinghorst, Daniel Kagan, Tracy Kraft-Tharp, Jeanne Nicholson, Steve Lebsock, S. Lee, Jenise May, Beth McCann, M McLachlan, Jovan Melton, D. Mitsch Bush, Dominick Moreno, Dan Pabon, Cherylin Peniston, Brittany Pettersen, Diana Primavera, Paul Rosenthal, Su Ryden, Joseph Salazar, Sue Schafer, Jonathan Singer, Max Tyler, Edward Vigil, Angela Williams, and Dave Young.

My state Representative, Spencer Swalm, scored a whopping 18, tying with Senator Vicki Marble and Rep. Steve Humphrey for the lowest score this year. Term limited Swalm’s District 37 was redrawn in 2012, merging half of districts 37 and 39. It now includes most of the City of Centennial, with some portions of unincorporated Arapahoe County with Aurora mailing addresses (where I live). In 2006, Democratic candidate Angel Engel nearly beat Swalm with 49% of the vote, and subsequent candidates with very low name ID and little time to campaign, brought the DPI down to its current 46%. The two candidates running to fill Swalm’s open seat on the Republican side are Michael Fields, a very young man who identifies on the extreme far right and is not afraid to say so, and Jack Tate, a businessman from Centennial who lost to Democrat CJ Whelan for City Council last year.

On the Democratic side (and yes, Republicans, I do say “Democratic” not “Democrat”) there is a brand new candidate who was chosen by a vacancy committee after caucus (the only Dem running until that point dropped out at caucus due to personal reasons), and who started campaigning for the State House only after winning re-election to the local Fire Dept. Board on May 6th. I’m hoping CO Pols’ readers might recognize the name and invest in a promising new candidate. Here’s to adding another “100% Winner” on the Colorado Women’s Lobby’s roster in 2015 — this time from District 37!
Nancy Cronk for Colorado

Why Aurorans Want and Need Andrew Romanoff in CD6

(Warning: long)

Many of the most densely populated portions of Congressional District 6 lie within the city of Aurora. My family and I moved near Mike Coffman's neighborhood in Aurora, CO 23 years ago from the midwestern college town where my husband received his PhD. When we moved into our first home, a rental, I was stunned by the six foot wooden fences, the prevailing libertarian attitudes of the high planes, and the lack of support for worker's rights. It was a foreign landscape for a young wife from a working class neighborhood just outside of Detroit. We had moved from an international student community (similar to DU in some respects), where I organized weekly family shared meals with my neighbors from Japan, Israel, Korea, Russia, Jordan, Mexico, Thailand, Finland and many other places, as well as a babysitting co-op for new moms. My toddler son had already been exposed to hundreds of different languages in that college (bubble) community, and though we could not afford to travel (we could barely afford to eat), every conversation was a lesson in geography and culture.

When we arrived in southeast Aurora, the first neighbor I saw simply said, "Keep your kid away from the fence. My dog hates kids and will eat him."

I called my mother sobbing. "Mom, have you seen the movie 'Dances With Wolves?", I asked.

To which she replied, "Yes. Why?"

"That's where I moohoohooved!", I wailed into the phone.

In the months to come, I was greeted with political notes on my doorstep inviting me to protest the local high school health care clinic (they gave students resource information for contraception), and I was told by a neighbor that Democrats insert tiny computer chips into infant babies' scalps at the hospital to control their every move. I was asked over and over, "Are you coastal?", which to the non-Republican translated means, "You're not liberal, are you?" 

Even the synagogue we attended in Denver had some right-wing members living in the 'burbs who tried to persuade us to join their ranks — a very unusual experience considering it was as true then, as it is now, that more than 2 out of 3 Jews nationwide are Democrats. I felt like I landed on Mars. Many of the hard-working, politically-moderate neighbors we came to know were simply not interested in politics, and truth be told, as a young mother, I had no time for it either. Over the years, our Congressman Dan Schaefer handed the baton to nationally-known immigrant-hater, Congressman Tom Tancredo, who loved his job so much he wouldn't leave it for five terms!

Fast forward 23 years, two more children, and two house moves later, and we live about three miles south of that first rental home. We grew to understand the ways of the west — from planning one's weekly calendar around Broncos games, to taking time off work to see the National Western Stock Show Parade. We came to love the SE Aurora/ E. Centennial area so much, we have made it our forever home. The six foot high wooden fences took some getting used to, but I found people are really very similar all over the world.. Our first neighborhood was receptive to my babysitting co-op idea, as well as organized play dates, and shared meals for new moms. The Cherry Creek schools our sons grew up in and where I volunteered often were, and are, outstanding. The Parks and Recreation programs in Aurora are among the best in the country. More than that, my family and I ventured out to the rest of Aurora, where we found the diversity we loved — and so dearly missed. 

Aurora is now Colorado's most richly diverse city, with more than 80 ethnic restaurants and markets, and more than 90 languages spoken in its public schools (much to Tom Tancredo's frustration, I'm sure). In a single afternoon at the Central library, one can hear dozens of languages spoken, from Russian, to Ethiopian, Chinese, Korean, African, Somalian, Nigerian, Spanish, French, etc. In the summer months, the Aurora Arts Festival and Cultural Events make it one of the most exciting places to be in metro Denver. If you listen to the stories of Aurorans, you will learn they came to America for good schools, for an opportunity to make life better for one's family, and to become an American citizen in order to pursue the American Dream. They want what Coloradans have wanted for hundreds of years — a peaceful place to raise their children, a chance to work hard and make a fair wage, and a sense of community alongside other Coloradans from all over the nation, and all over the globe.

The dreams of the newly-arrived immigrants in Aurora are identical to the dreams of my ancestors who arrived to this country in previous centuries. The only difference is, many of the newer immigrants dress in orange and blue jerseys, wear cowboy hats, and love to watch American Idol-type programs on television. The old Aurora, Mike Coffman's Aurora, contributes its western charm and historic cowboy heritage with the New Aurora, to create a uniquely Colorado experience. 

In 2008, as Colorado's Secretary of State, Mike Coffman attempted to shut-down the dreams of immigrant families and people of color in Aurora when he purged countless new voter registrations, most of which were collected by liberal out-of-state groups assisting in the Obama campaign effort. Coffman knew the groups like Mi Familia Vota, Common Cause, SEIU, MoveOn.org, etc., were targeting people of color and new citizens in Aurora to register them to vote, and he wanted their voices stopped so badly, his office gave inconsistent instructions on how to fill out the forms (I know this because I led a team of voter registrars in Aurora that summer, and they personally gave me incorrect information a number of times). Coffman had the audacity to continue to purge those registrations even after he was ordered not to do so by a federal judge.

Andrew Romanoff understands the New Aurora. Andrew's grandparents were Russian-Jewish immigrants who worked hard to make sure their children and grandchildren could go to college. Andrew seldom boasts about his most-inspiring qualifications for the United States Congress — working with communities the world over to accomplish truly impressive goals through democratic means. Andrew Romanoff has shown visionary leadership not just influence (as Coffman had done) — he brought together Democrats and Republicans to repair Colorado's schools, wrote laws to protect women from domestic violence, focused on services for mental health care, and expanded affordable housing. Andrew fought to protect children and the elderly from neglect and abuse, and taught high school students in rural Central America. He worked with the Southern Poverty Law Center for civil rights, and fought for low-income women's equal pay and education. At IDE (International Development Enterprises), Andrew led efforts to teach people to start businesses and become successful farmers — giving people a hand-up rather than a hand-out. Andrew's efforts have been recognized all over the world as ideas that will work anywhere, including in Aurora, CO.

All Aurorans share another, sadder common experience. Aurorans came together from every neighborhood of its 143 square miles to comfort each other after the Century Theater Shooting. Many volunteers spent last summer visiting the make-shift Aurora memorial site comforting strangers, cleaning up broken glass, providing water bottles, and pruning flowers left in memory of the victims – myself included. We made thousands of tiny black and blue memorial ribbons and passed them out to the grieving and the curious. Among the leaders who became most involved in the healing was Representative Rhonda Fields, who became the voice for many survivors wishing to make all of Colorado's City streets safer. Rhonda faced obscene name-calling, death threats, personal attacks and political savagery for insisting on common-sense gun restrictions. Who stood with Aurora's beloved Representative Rhonda Fields and the majority of Aurorans? It wasn't Congressman Mike Coffman. He was nowhere to be found in protecting Colorado's cities and towns from overly-lax weapon regulations. The person who stood up for Rhonda and all of Aurora was Andrew Romanoff.

There is only one candidate in the race for Congressional District 6 understands the blending of New Aurora with Old Aurora to become Strong Aurora. There is only one person who understand the modern challenges Aurorans face as their city increasingly becomes one of the New West's most interesting destinations. That person is Andrew Romanoff.

Please help us this summer in registering new voters in diverse North Aurora. Aurorans of every color, of every language, of every nation of origin, deserve to have their voices restored — voices stolen from them at one time by former Secretary of State Mike Coffman. When Aurorans vote, they will remember what happened in 2008 and they will vote for Andrew Romanoff.

Coffman’s First Perlmutter-Style “Government-in-Your-Reduced-Hours-Public-Library”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Stealing a page from Congressman Ed Perlmutter's constituent services playbook, Congressman Mike Coffman faced Aurorans one-on-one in the public library a few blocks from his home this morning. About seventy-five constituents stood in line to speak with him, and each was given about five minutes alone, or with a small group. Outside, an organizer from Colorado Fair Share signed up voters on a petition for universal pre-school. While his constituents waited, we discussed questions we wanted to ask him, like the ones listed at bottom, speaking loudly enough that his Secret Service detail paced around us. At one point, I scrapped my questions and nervously told him what was really on my mind. After awhile, Congressman Coffman appeared angry and stood up, and his aides (henchman?) escorted me out of the room. It would have been much more fun to dress up in green and wave to voters with Congresswoman Diana DeGette, but someone had to do it.

Some of the questions we had for Congressman Coffman this morning:

(more…)

Arvada City Council Votes To Become “All-White Mens Club”; Citizens Shout Cronyism

A scathing indictment against the City of Arvada was published today by Arvada Citizens David Chandler and Russell Weisfeld, accusing the City Council of violating state statute and its own city ordinances in selecting a replacement Councilor to fill the vacancy left by State Representative Rachel Zenzinger. The blog article claims the Council violated Colorado Revised Statutes 24-406-2 (IV) and the Arvada City Charter Section 4.6 "Vacancies". It goes on to challenge the city to prove their compliance with Section 24-406-2 regarding advance notice of Council meeting agendas, and prompt recording of meeting minutes. The central argument made by Chandler and Weisfeld is that it was not proper for the Council to elect a new City Councilor by private ballot. 

As someone who lives on the other side of the metro area, I normally do not follow City Council meetings where I do not live. I am not an attorney, and will leave analysis of what happened legally to those who are more qualified than I. What strikes me about Chandler and Weisfeld's accusation, however, is the blatant sexism of a large, otherwise modern, suburb of metropolitan Denver. The gentleman who was appointed to fill the vacancy left by Zenzinger was as "establishment" a choice as one can get — he is the current Chair of the Arvada Chamber of Commerce. The addition of Marks to the City Council makes it an all-white, middle-aged, men's club. I venture to bet the religious and political diversity is not much better. According to City-data.com, Arvada's citizenry is 51.2 percent female. If the Arvada City Council truly represented its citizens, four of the seven Council members would be women

My grassroots group, Progressive Women of Colorado, is sick and tired of rampant cronyism in local Colorado politics. We are tired of women being treated as if we are invisible. We are tired of old men's clubs like the Arvada City Council passing their sexist baton from one golf buddy to the next. And we are not going to take it anymore. Women readers, and readers of Colorado Pols who care about justice, please call, write, blog, post, and email about this story. Embarrass the Arvada City Council for its election practices from the dark ages, and expose them for their blatant misogyny. Then, head on over to the Progressive Women of Colorado Panel Discussion on "Women in Politics" this Tuesday, from 5:30pm - 7:30pm at the Unity Church at 3021 S. University in Denver to learn how to put a stop to this. 

It's time for the women of Arvada — and the women of Colorado to fight back. 

 

Remembering Ken Gordon: What His Death Means To Colorado

Legislators and state officials kept piling into Denver’s largest synagogue – Governor John Hickenlooper, Congresswoman Diana DeGette, former CO Senator John Morse, Senator Irene Aguilar, and many more.  Before long, the enormous sanctuary which seats more than one thousand guests was full, with some well-wishers standing in the back. Two weeks after his death, and the day before the CO State legislature reconvened for the 2014 regular session, Colorado politics stood still to honor one of its’ heroes, former state representative and senator, attorney, college professor, campaign expert and ideological giant, Ken Gordon.

Speakers included Rabbi Emeritus Dr. Steven Foster, a 35 year friend of Gordon’s and spouse of Senator Joyce Foster, Senior Rabbi Joseph Black, Cantor Regina Heit, CO Governor John Hickenlooper, Speaker of the House and Candidate for Congress Andrew Romanoff, Campaign Manager Ken Smith, and University of Michigan college buddies Marc Van Der Hout and Joe Goldenson.  Governor Hickenlooper spoke about Gordon’s reputation as a campaign advisor whom he called many times while he ran for Mayor of Denver, as well as for Governor.  Governor Hickenlooper stated what many others felt, “Even when we disagreed, Ken could disagree elegantly.”

Speaker after speaker extolled Ken’s virtues as being intelligent, well-read, humble, stubborn, humorous and loyal. They told of his work to pass constitutional changes to fund higher education, health care and transportation, and a publicity stunt involving walking 300 miles across the state to get it done. Ken was passionate about the environment and frequently spent time outdoors in CO – a hobby that resulted in funny stories about how he and his friends were half-frozen and unprepared in the CO wilderness.

A particularly humorous moment was when, after a number of long speeches and an hour into the memorial service, Governor Hickenlooper attempted to sneak out of the service without drawing attention to himself. Rabbi Foster pointed out the hunched over, exiting Governor, and with a “shooing” motion told him, “Go, go, go. You have a state to run.” (Only the 40-year Rabbi of Denver’s largest synagogue could say that with such humor and affection and get away with it!)

Longtime close friend Andrew Romanoff told a number of funny stories about Ken – including one from the early days of their friendship when a rumpled Gordon arrived to a Jewish holiday celebration in Romanoff’s home and started rummaging through the refrigerator. “Don’t worry, Mom, that's just our State Representative”, he remembered telling her.

Ken Smith, Gordon’s campaign manager, was often referred to by Gordon as his “best student” – the one who wrote a paper about campaign finance reform which would ignite a passion in Ken that would define the rest of his years in public service.  Upon reading a paper written by Smith, Ken researched publically financed campaigns and was inspired to found the organization, CleanSlateNow.org. Clean Slate Now works with a number of candidates all over the country to strategize successful elections based on representing individual constituents, rather than corporate interests.

I couldn’t help but wonder in amazement how far Ken’s passion for populist, democratic politics had reached, and how many people it had touched, as scores of Colorado politicos wiped their eyes, nodded their heads, and laughed at loving jabs about Ken’s love for books, impatience with social graces, and stubborn attachment to his ideals. Why was Ken Gordon so important to all of these people?

I did not know Ken as well, or as long as many of the other attendees, but I knew him. He and I argued a number of times during the Senate Primary race of 2010, where Ken made it very clear to me I was helping the wrong side (Senator Bennet). Despite his frustration, Ken remained polite, friendly, and kind to me, hoping someday I would see the “Anti-PAC light”. Like many other Democrats, my disagreement with Ken was over the role of unions in the political process. As a UAW brat, I saw them as an integral part of campaign finance, and Anti-PAC legislation could interfere with their influence in Democratic campaigns. Since then, Ken became a supporter of my organization, Progressive Women of Colorado, and I looked to him as a leader on the “Romanoff for Congress” campaign.

Ken was our conscience. He never gave up on those he mentored, advised or kindly scolded. Ken’s was the little voice in all of our heads that said to Democrats, “Don’t be seduced by corporate influence and big money in politics. Don’t allow fancy parties, impressive titles and large donors to undermine your values. Don’t get sucked in to cynicism, to apathy and to corruption. Trust your gut, work for the people you do not know, and remember most the people too weak to help you, rather than those who can.” I’m glad I started listening to Ken Gordon and started to believe what he had been telling me – and so many others – for years. It is possible to fund a successful national campaign through individual contributions. Andrew Romanoff is doing just that right now. 

As a progressive who considered Ken Gordon both the thorn in my side at times, and one of my most respected heroes, I am deeply saddened by his death – not only the devastating loss to his entire family, but also to the state of Colorado, to the United States, and to the world.  His leadership had become increasingly more important, rather than less so, and his death came at one of the most inopportune times, politically speaking. The race for Congress in Colorado’s CD-6 between Andrew Romanoff and career corporatist Mike Coffman has much more riding on it than one man’s legacy – proving that individual contributions can fund a winning political campaign has enormous potential repercussions for the future of this country, and for the world. Ken’s inspiration in this race literally impacts the very future of our democracy.

What remains of Ken’s dream to secure democracy is up to us. In recent conversations with Ken, all he spoke of was winning the Romanoff v. Coffman race, as the ultimate testing ground for his life’s work. I ask those who are reading this – no, I implore you — please make winning the race in CD6 for the people your highest election priority, in Ken’s memory. Allow Ken to earn that legacy as the genius political scientist he so richly deserved. Allow Ken’s inspiration to live on, by securing the future of democracy for the United States, and around the world.

Ken's family has asked that contributions be made in Ken's memory to www.CleanSlateNow.org

 

Whose Job is Sheriff Grayson Robinson After?

Popular Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson announced his retirement today, giving six weeks notice, and naming his successor, UnderSheriff David Walcher. The County Board of Commissioner's will replace the Sheriff, but if the vote goes the way most of them do, it will be a rubber-stamp. Robinson's timing and text raise many questions. The letter did not say, "I'm going to Florida to play shuffleboard" or "looking forward to spending more time with my grandchildren". Instead, it read, "Leaving office prior to the end of my third term has always been an important element of my very deliberate and well-considered succession plan". 
http://www.arapahoegov.com/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/1126

Robinson is hugely popular in Arapahoe County among community leaders in both parties. Readers may recall he arrested his predecessor, fellow Republican and former Sheriff Patrick Sullivan on drug charges, beefing up his image as a "non-partisan law-and-order swashbuckler". http://denver.cbslocal.com/2011/11/29/former-arapahoe-county-sheriff-arrested-on-drug-charge/

Robinson's been positioning himself as a moderate and getting media attention as an "independent thinker" for some time. Case in point: http://www.denverpost.com/ci_22427943  And here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/16/sheriff-bills-romney-campaign_n_1283242.html​  Clearly, he is getting good campaign advice if he is running for something.

To those who know him, Robinson appears apolitical. He is very professional and serious as he carries out his duties as the highest ranking Official in Arapahoe County. His work with FEMA and Homeland Security, his height, and his serious demeanor can make him very intimidating, but he has a sense of humor, too (I once joked with him that firefighters exist so police officers have someone to look up to. He teased right back).

Will Sheriff Grayson Robinson cash in his substantial political capital and run for higher office? Only time will tell, but he's one to watch.

 

Udall Promises “Bold and Productive Action” To Fight Sexual Assaults In The Military

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Responding to growing reports of sexual abuse and harassment within the United States military, U.S. Senator Mark Udall announced today he will take a leading role by working on both sides of the aisle to address sexual violence in the armed services. He outlined his plan to find solutions, hold perpetrators accountable, and protect victims from retaliation.

His plans include co-sponsoring "a number of bills" on the issue, and pushing for a provision to the National Defense Authorization Act. One of the bills he intends to support is the Murray-Ayotte Sexual Assault bill, a bipartisan piece of legislation from Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), which will establish a special military counsel to provide legal advice and assistance requested by any military sexual assault victim. The law will require cases to be automatically referred to a general or admiral to ensure greater oversight. The bill will allow cases to be shifted outside of the chain of command if an appropriate investigation does not occur in a timely fashion.

(more…)

Softec Responds to Violent, Racist Threats to Rep. Rhonda Fields

Softec Solutions, Inc. just put out this statement regarding the violent and racist threats their Chief Operating Officer allegedly made against Representative Rhonda Fields:


SofTec Solutions, Inc. has been informed of allegations against our employee, Mr. Frank Sain. We are shocked to learn of these allegations and are taking this matter very seriously. If true, these actions are highly inappropriate and will not be tolerated. Pending SofTec’s investigation into this matter, Mr. Sain has been suspended immediately from further duties at SofTec. SofTec Solutions is a minority-owned, small business and we employ a large diverse workforce. We will absolutely not tolerate any racial, sexual, gender-based slurs or threats of violence by employees.


Franklin Sain, who reportedly said regarding Representative Fields, ""Hopefully somebody Giffords both of your asses", was arrested Friday for "suspicion of harassment and an attempt to influence a public servant" after threatening emails that were sent to Representative Fields were tracked back to his computer. He was later released on a $30,000 bond, according to Westword. Sain was appointed as Chief Operating Officer at Softec in 2011, according to this press release.

Sain's involvement was detailed in a story by Westword this morning. According to the arrest affidavit, numerous emails were sent using the words, "c*nt" and "n*gger" and one said, "I'm coming for you N*gger B*tch".

Sain is due in court March 8, 2013.

Friday Jams Fest

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)



Rest in peace, Camilla Williams. You were not only talented, but beautiful and smart.



Rest in Peace, Arlen Specter.

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)



According to the AP, Arlen Specter’s son reports his father has passed away this morning from Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, at the age of 82. The outspoken Pennsylvania Senator was known as a centrist Republican at a time when his party was swinging to the hard right, and in 2009, became a Democrat. He then lost the Democratic primary in 2010, ending a 30 year career in public service. Specter had previously survived a brain tumor and a cardiac arrest following surgery.

From the AP’s obituary:

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Former U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, the outspoken Pennsylvania centrist whose switch from Republican to Democrat ended a 30-year career in which he played a pivotal role in several Supreme Court nominations, died Sunday. He was 82…

   Specter rose to prominence in the 1960s as an aggressive Philadelphia prosecutor and as an assistant counsel to the Warren Commission, developing the single-bullet theory that posited just one bullet struck both President Kennedy and Texas Gov. John Connally – an assumption critical to the argument that presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. The theory remains controversial and was the focus of Oliver Stone’s 1991 movie “JFK.”

   In 1987, Specter helped thwart the Supreme Court nomination of former federal appeals Judge Robert H. Bork – earning him conservative enemies who still bitterly refer to such rejections as being “borked.”

   But four years later, Specter was criticized by liberals for his tough questioning of Anita Hill at Clarence Thomas’ Supreme Court nomination hearings and for accusing her of committing “flat-out perjury.” The nationally televised interrogation incensed women’s groups and nearly cost him his seat in 1992.



Mike Coffman Takes The Lowest Road Imaginable

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)



Tea Party / Birther Congressman Mike Coffman just released a new ad which crossed the farthest line known in politics — falsely associating Joe Miklosi’s name with child molesters.

The ad is so outrageous, the Fraternal Order of Police sent an unsolicited letter of outrage condemning the Congressman’s vile and disgusting commercial.  


Colorado Fraternal Order of Police Denounces Mike Coffman’s Slanderous and False attacks against Joe Miklosi:

To the Citizens of Colorado’s 6th Congressional District,

On June 25th the Fraternal Order of Police announced its endorsement of 6th Congressional District candidate Joe Miklosi for the United States Congress. The Fraternal Order of Police is the world’s largest organization of sworn

law enforcement officers, with more than 330,000 members nationwide. Across our state the Colorado Fraternal Order of Police represents over 5,000 sworn law enforcement officers. We are the voice of those who dedicate their lives protecting and serving Colorado communities. The Fraternal Order of Police is very proud to reiterate its endorsement of 6th Congressional District candidate Joe Miklosi for the United States Congress.

Joe’s opponent is running distasteful and grossly misleading commercials suggesting that Joe has jeopardized the safety of Colorado children. That assertion is totally false. We find it unfortunate Joe’s opponent would use such deceptive advertising. Joe is a thoughtful and responsible legislator with a solid record of support for the public’s safety. We have worked with Joe during his tenure serving the citizens of Colorado in the General Assembly on matters of importance to the safety of the public. We have no doubt that Joe is concerned about keeping our communities safe. He un-questionably understands the issues surrounding public safety. He is a proven staunch supporter of law enforcement and the safety of the public, and we are proud to support him.

Electing the right person to serve in the US Congress is a serious responsibility, one that is tremendously important to the citizens of Colorado. Joe Miklosi’s history of commitment to public service, secure communities, and fairness has earned him this valuable endorsement. The Colorado Fraternal Order of Police believes Joe Miklosi is undoubtedly the best candidate for this office to resolve the serious issues facing our great nation.

Sincerely,

Michael J Violette

Executive Director

Colorado State Lodge

Fraternal Order of Police

From Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…


Jessica’s Law is the informal name given to a 2005 Florida law, as well as laws in several other states, designed to protect potential victims and reduce a sexual offender’s ability to re-offend. A version of Jessica’s Law, known as the Jessica Lunsford Act, was introduced at the federal level in 2005 but was never enacted into law by Congress.

As a Children’s Rights Activist who has donated thousands of hours to several organizations for efforts that help children, I am one of many people who believe Jessica’s Laws are usually well-intentioned but create more problems than they solve. Joe Miklosi needs to respond to Coffman’s outrageous ad, and he needs to do it now.  

Secret Video of Very Candid Mitt Romney Surfaces

(Um, holy crap? – promoted by Colorado Pols)



A tracker attended a fundraiser for Mitt Romney earlier this year and filmed Romney speaking very candidly to friends and supporters about what he really thinks about the President of the United States, as well as those who voted for him. Mother Jones broke the story, dividing up the video into five parts. Some of the most potentially damaging quotes are below:

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what… These are people who pay no income tax.”

Later he went on:

“[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”



Despite the necessity of Romney to improve his numbers within the Latino community, he said some disaparaging things about them when speaking with his friends (which is all the more interesting, given that Romney’s own father, George Romney, was reportedly born in Mexico to Mormon refugees escaping anti-polygamy laws).

Romney said of his father,

“Had he been born of Mexican parents, I’d have a better shot of winning this.”

Then, when speaking of key demographic groups, he added:  

“..we are having a much harder time with Hispanic voters, and if the Hispanic voting bloc becomes as committed to the Democrats as the African American voting block has in the past, why, we’re in trouble as a party and, I think, as a nation.”

While speaking about messaging strategy, Romney repeatedly indicated he is going after people who voted for Obama in ’08, and does so by calling them, “these people” and “those people” rather than voters (kind of like, “you people”?).


“And the best success I have at speaking with those people (italics used for emphasis) is saying, you know, the president has been a disappointment…. What’re they gonna do? These are the kinds of things that I can say to that audience that they nod their head and say, “Yeah, I think you’re right.” What he’s going to do, by the way, is try and vilify me as someone who’s been successful, or who’s, you know, closed businesses or laid people off, and is an evil bad guy. And that may work.”

Romney then brags about his campaign team:

“I have a very good team of extraordinarily experienced, highly successful consultants, a couple of people in particular who have done races around the world. I didn’t realize it. These guys in the US — the Karl Rove equivalents — they do races all over the world…they do these races and they see which ads work, and which processes work best, and we have ideas about what we do over the course of the campaign. I’d tell them to you, but I’d have to shoot you.”

When asked why Romney doesn’t discuss policy much, he responds that policy doesn’t win elections.

“…in a setting like this, a highly intellectual subject-discussion on a whole series of important topics typically doesn’t win elections. And there are, there are, there are-for instance, this president won because of “hope and change.”

Perhaps Romney’s most curious moment was when he attempted to predict the outcome of the race. Based on the assumption he would win, he said the following would occur:

“We’ll see capital come back and we’ll see– without actually doing anything– we’ll actually get a boost in the economy. If the president gets re-elected, I don’t know what will happen. I can- I can never predict what the markets will do. Sometimes it does the exact opposite of what I would have expected.”

Mother Jones offers more “Mitt Romney at the fundraiser” to come soon. Grab some popcorn.

Joe Miklosi’s New TV Ad


Warning: gmdate() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /home/colopols/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wp-polls/wp-polls.php on line 460

Congressional Candidate Joe Miklosi released a hard-hitting ad today on You Tube, indicating it will begin playing tomorrow on television. Miklosi hit all of the major bullet points he needed to make:

1. He’s a regular guy like us, sitting with neighbors in friends in a regular coffee shop, not a Washington incumbent.

2. Congress has never been less popular, and here’s why you should send Joe Miklosi to fix it.

3. Incumbent Mike Coffman is a Tea Party member.

4. Mike Coffman holds dangerous, extremists views about a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions.

5. The GOP is concentrating on taking away people’s rights instead of offering economic solutions.

6. We need to stop outsourcing jobs and bring them back to the U.S.

7. Coffman wants to end Medicare.

8. Joe Miklosi = Colorado common sense.

I like the ad. Democrats need to hammer the Tea Party association on Coffman as much as possible to expose Coffman’s true colors (Coffman’s ad teams have done an effective job in his past elections to falsely paint him as a moderate). The ad is hard-hitting, yet 100% true.

Thoughts?

Do you think the ad is effective?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...