Yes: Amendments T, 69, 70, 72, sugary drink tax, schools … Hillary

My ballot is ready for delivery. There’s a law in Colurado that photos of filled out ballots are not allowed. Mine is in the secrecy sleeve.

The election ballot came in the mail the other day. I hear a bunch of people haven’t quite made up their minds yet. I don’t get that. Not that I’m any kind of political guru, but here are my takes on the election.

While I like the convenience of mail-in ballots, having to place first class postage on them is a form of a poll tax. Old school student that I am, I will drop off my ballot at the polling place on election day.

I predict the Democrats will take back the Senate and make a big dent in the House GOP majority. What will continue to stalemate congress is the heavily gerrymandered districts that benefit the Republicans. Democrats who get elected in Republican districts will likely be there for one, maybe two terms. The SCOTUS decision upholding the Arizona election commission as a non-partisan redistricting tool and the 2020 census should enable the creation of more competitive districts.

Presidential Electors – Hillary and Kaine: I was/am an ardent Bernie supporter but now reluctantly for Hillary – but solidly, 100 percent behind her. A vote for Hillary / Kaine is a vote for the Bernie movement. If you’re for social justice, getting money out of politics, balancing income disparity, cracking down on Wall Street, further health care reform, fixing trade deals, then, maintaining a Democrat in the White House  will move that agenda.

I predict Hillary will win by a landslide. It will be unbelievably huge – believe me. Hillary is lucky she’s isn’t running against McCain or Romney this time. It would have been a tight 2016 race.

Write in Moon

If you’re one of those “Bernie or Nobody” or “Hillary and Trump are both terrible” voters, it’s not like you don’t have choices. There are 22 pairs of candidates on the Colorado ballot. If you don’t like any of them, there’s a “write-in” blank. Because of third party candidates, Hillary is likely to win in Utah … WHA’???!!!

If it’s any consolation to my Wyoming friends voting for Trump, in any scenario from a Hillary landslide to a Hillary squeaker, Wyoming goes solidly for Trump. Trump is guaranteed three electoral votes.

For those of you who have forgotten what you learned in political science class, we don’t vote for candidates, but rather for electors who, in turn cast each state’s vote for president. Electors aren’t bound to vote how the state directs them, however. There are people who don’t like this approach, but we’re a nation of states not a nation of people, as we are sometimes led to believe. The electoral college system provides equity to the least populated states.

US Senator – Michael Bennet: This is a no-brainer for me. In a purple state like Colorado, the US Senators have to govern to the center. Michael Bennet after being appointed by Governor Hickenlooper, had a tough reelection campaign in 2010 against Ken Buck. He’s proven his ability to work on both sides of the aisle including with junior Senator Cory Gardner. He stays out of papers and governs quietly.

Representative CD 2 – Jared Polis: I’ve known Jared and his partner Marlon Reis for a number of years. I think I first met Jared when he was managing his foundation and eventually on the state board of education. He is another guy who has to be sensitive to the Republicans in his district, which expands north and east. I’m okay with that.

I tend to support people I know – Republican or Democrat – and that’s no exception for these contested races:

CU Regent – Alice Madden

State Senator – Steve Fenberg

County Commissioners – Elise Jones, Deb Gardener

As for the judges, the blue book gave them all a pass. I’ll let them ride another term.

Constitutional Amendment T – YES: This reminds me of that Seinfeld pilot episode within an episode when a guy is sentenced to be Jerry’s butler. Rather than take this provision out of the constitution, the reference to slavery and involuntary servitude should have just been removed. There are plenty of similar punishments that happen in the forms of community service, restorative justice retribution, etc.

Constitutional Amendment U – NO: People / Corporations who use public land for private purposes should continue to pay taxes. The constitution is no place to be dealing with administrative costs as being a reason to exempt users from paying tax.

Constitutional Amendment 69 – YES: Big pharma and mega-insurance companies are against this one. If it passes, it will signal other states to opt out of the Affordable Care Act which has been a boon to big medicine. There are many people who will be turning 65 soon and enrolled in Medicare. Why should I be okay with paying a little more income tax? It’s for the common good. Besides, I don’t have kids in the public school system and I don’t complain about paying those taxes, because education is public good.

Constitutional Amendment 70 – YES: When I was a kid, I worked for the minimum wage, which was, seems like $1.32, and for a 12-year old that was a lot of money – especially when I was allowed to work sometimes 50 hours a week. What else did I have to do? The minimum wage isn’t supposed to be a living wage. It’s a benchmark. It’s a starting wage. The current $8.31 isn’t even a starting wage. However, for workers who think they can make a living on $9.50 / hour, I have news for them, they better get two jobs or get fit to work into something that is better paying. Small and micro business owners have a good gripe in that this could be an undo burden on them, but it’s a cost of doing business. If a small biz is just squeaking by paying workers $8 an hour, maybe it should evaluate the business model.

Constitutional Amendment 71 – NO: The reason the constitution gets amended so often is because if it isn’t in the constitution, the state legislature can change a law passed by referendum at the drop of a hat. If anything, the constitution should be amended to say that any law passed by referendum can be changed by the legislature, but any changes have to be by majority of each county’s legislators, independent of party of affiliation.

Constitutional Amendment 72 – YES: Taxes like these are paid by people who knowingly use a product that is bad for them like tobacco (in fact, it’s written on all the packages). Tobacco also happens to be addictive so it’s an easy sell. Tobacco smoking isn’t a right, it’s a choice. People who choose unhealthy options, regardless of reasons, also place a burden on the public health and safety through second hand smoke, avoidable health problems such as heart and lung disease. The bad lifestyle choosers also get into insurance pools driving up premium costs. This isn’t about tobacco users (they often think laws like this gang up on them) but rather about tobacco. Also, if this were only a law passed by referendum, the tobacco company lobbyists would have a hey day lining elected officials pockets to get the law gutted.

Proposition 106 – NO: I think there are adequate ways for caregivers to end a person’s life or a sick person to end their own life without adding this huge death industrial complex behind it. Let’s see, there’s Smith and Wesson, the left over oxycodon … This is a choice that a person makes after consultation with family friends, preacher, their dog. The government has no place in this decision.

Proposition 107 – YES: I imagine both political parties are against an open primary because it allows independent voters to vote in either partys presidential primary election. I don’t know how any one who stood in line for hours thinks the caucus system is better than a direct primary.

Proposition 108 – NO: While independent voters would be able to vote in a party primary for state and local candidates, it allows an exception for non-presidential candidates to be selected by a convention of party elites. This must be a compromise voter suppression measure proposed by the GOP.

Boulder County Issues 1A, 1B, 1c – YES: I always vote for the pittance of sales tax increases to maintain infrastructure including parks and open spaces. I seldom use the open spaces, but they are a public good.

Boulder County Issue 1d – NO: Term limiting candidates should be left up to the voters to decide. If the District Attorney is doing an okay job, let him/her serve as long as the public can stand them.

City of Boulder 2H – YES: This is a tax similar to the tobacco tax proposed in Amendment 72. If a person wants to make unhealthy choices, they should be willing to pay a little extra. The Big Gulp from 7-Eleven now costs $1.59 and a refill is $.99 – I’m pretty sure your average Big Gulp drinker would pay 50 cents extra. I know I won’t mind. I’ll continue to buy my fountain soda here, than travel to Longmont for my occasional to save on taxes.

City of Boulder 2I – NO: There are other ways to better utilize the Boulder water supplies. Denying land owners water isn’t the right way to do it. There’s a big debate happening in town now about residential growth. Allocation of scarce resources needs to be a more balanced approach.

City of Boulder 2J – NO: The city of Boulder council is not a full time job and providing access to benefits available to city employees encourages people to run for office not to serve, but to self serve because of the health insurance benefits.

City of Boulder 302 – NO: There is no need to legislate term limits. If anything, there should be another effort to establish city council wards in Boulder to create more equitable representation. Remember the time when two council members lived in the same house?

Boulder Valley School District 3A – Yes: Even though I don’t have kids in the school system, education is a public good. I helped on 2A many years ago which fixed the existing schools and built some new ones.

Yours truly, Michael and Jerry mugging at BIFF

Scientific and Cultural Facilities District 4b – YES: I am self-interested in this one. I’m a member of the Boulder International Film Festival board of directors and some of our funding is SCFD. This is one of most worthwhile taxes, particularly for small to medium sized arts organizations.

In another race of interest to me, I think this is the biggest game changer of all the overlooked elections in the country:

Wyoming CD At Large – Liz Cheney: I predict the Virginia carpetbagger and daughter of Dick Cheney will win in a landslide. She quasi-moved back to Wyoming to take the open seat held by Cynthia Lummis. I further predict that Cheney will ditch Wyoming after two terms and run for president in 2020 / 2024. Carpetbagging worked for Hillary Wyoming is a way easier path to the top than going through New York. If she wanted to take the big state route, Texas – corporate home to her dad’s firm Halliburton – would have been the obvious choice.

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I’m standing with Bernie

bernie hillary

I’m standing with Bernie. He endorsed Hillary today.

This just was delivered to my In-Box from Bernie who endorsed Hillary.

I know there are a bunch of my fellow Bernie supporters who are disappointed in this, but there really was no other alternative for him. He says he wants to keep his movement growing.

I also thought Occupy would have some staying power, which didn’t.

As much as I would like to see him stay active on a national basis, I’m pretty sure Bernietheism will slowly whither on the vine. I just don’t have the energy nor the spare time I once had to save the world. 

It would have been impossible for him to get any traction as a progressive candidate. Jill Stein and the Green Party are jaded and I imagine the ardent Berniephiles will go that way.

Some Bernie supporters will join Jeb Bush who won’t support Trump or Hillary and stay home on election day. I thought about Gary Johnson, but he’s a liberal Republican masquerading as a Libertarian and would likely try to junk Obamacare. I think when the debates roll around, he’ll poll high enough to at least get into one national debate. While Trump and Hillary end up bashing each other on the stage, Johnson will pose himself as undamaged goods.

If Johnson catches on and can grab 20 percent of the vote, he could send the election either way considering ClinTrump are neck and neck within the statistical margin of error. Neither of them wants to peak too soon?

Credible third party candidates have turned elections. 
wallace buttonGeorge Wallace in 1968 – After all the violence at the Democratic National Convention, the far left forgot to vote and Richard Nixon won a close one. Back then, though, there was no voting process oversight and there’s no telling what other chicanery was perpetrated back then.
perot mup 1992Ross Perot in 1992 – Ross Perot was a fairly reasonable and very rich oil guy who funded his campaign with his own money. Turned out he and George H.W. Bush were the same candidate and after the reversing his “Read my lips, no new taxes pledge” Perot pushed the election to Clinton. Had Perot’s running mate John Stockdale been a little more articulate, Perot may have competed much better. Gore cleaned his clock in the VEEP debate.
nader 2000Ralph Nader in 2000 – I don’t think Nader was an intentional spoiler since he only won around 3% of the vote (compare that to the 20 percent garnered by Perot and the 14 percent by Wallace). Nonetheless, he took enough support from Al Gore to make it a close race. Gore won a greater percentage of the popular vote since he carried the urban strongholds, but unable to win the more important electoral college vote. Bush won the sparse Red states.
 
In a purple state like Colorado, my vote does matter. I’m a rational voter and didn’t think I’d have to select the lesser of two evils until Hillary’s arrogant and dishonest actions were revealed by FBI Director Comey.
Unlike my ultra-conservative friends who think she should be doing hard time, I see her as more of a political criminal. There are lots of those, including George Bush, et al.  (No Weapons of Mass Destruction); Ronald Reagan (Iran-Contra); Richard Nixon (Watergate, he was an actual criminal); LBJ and JFK had dirty noses. I didn’t add Bill Clinton to that list since he was impeached over lying about blow jobs and in my book, only a political high crime / misdemeanor. If he followed Monica Lewinski’s advice on foreign policy – now that would be grounds for impeachment.
The only clean guys were George H.W. Bush who had a good flip flop on a needed tax increase and Jimmy Carter who had a helicopter go bad sneaking around Iran finding hostages and they both lasted one term.
What about me?
I’m standing with Bernie on this one … here’s likely the last note I will receive from Bernie this election cycle. It will be interesting if he turns his list over to Hillary.
bernie logo

My last email from Bernie. Usually, he asks for money. Not this time.

Alan – I am writing you today to express my deep pride in the movement – the political revolution – you and I have created together over the last 15 months. When we began this historic campaign, we were considered fringe players by the political, economic and media establishment. Well, we proved them wrong.

 We showed that the American people support a bold, progressive agenda that takes on the billionaire class, that fights for racial, social, economic and environmental justice and that seeks to create a government that works for all of us and not just the big campaign donors.
 
We mobilized over 13 million voters across the country. We won 23 Democratic primary and caucus contests. We had literally hundreds of thousands of volunteers across the country. And we showed – in a way that can change politics in America forever – that you can run a competitive national grassroots campaign without begging millionaires and billionaires for campaign contributions.
 
Most importantly, we elevated the critical issues facing our country – issues the establishment has pushed under the rug for too long. We focused attention on the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality in this country and the importance of breaking up the large banks who brought our economy to the brink of collapse. We exposed our horrendous trade policies, our broken criminal justice system, and our people’s lack of access to affordable health care and higher education. We fought aggressively to address the crisis of climate change, the need for real comprehensive immigration reform, the importance of developing a foreign policy that values diplomacy over war, and so much more.
 
We have shown throughout this election that these are issues that are important to voters and that progressive solutions energize people in the fight for real change. What we have accomplished so far is historic – but our work is far from over.
 
This movement of ours – this political revolution – must continue. We cannot let all of the momentum we have achieved in the fight to transform America be lost. We will never stop fighting for what is right.
 
It is true that in terms of winning the Democratic nomination, we did come up short. But this election was never about me or any candidate. It was about the powerful coming together of millions of people to take their country back from the billionaire class. That was the strength of our campaign and it will be the strength of our movement going forward in the months and years ahead.
 
In the coming weeks, I will be announcing the creation of successor organizations to carry on the struggle that we have been a part of these past 15 months. I hope you will continue to be involved in fighting to transform America. Our goal will be to advance the progressive agenda that we believe in and to elect like-minded candidates at the federal, state and local levels who are committed to accomplishing our goals.
 
In terms of the presidential election this November, there is no doubt that the election of Donald Trump as president would be a devastating blow to all that we are fighting for. His openly bigoted and pro-billionaire campaign could precipitate the same decades-long rightward shift in American politics that happened after the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. That rightward shift after Reagan’s election infected not just politics as a whole but led to the ascendancy of the corporatist wing of the Democratic Party – an era from which we are still recovering.
 
I cannot in good conscience let that happen.
 
To have all of the work we have done in elevating our progressive ideals be dashed away by a complete Republican takeover of Washington – a takeover headed by a candidate that demonizes Latinos, Muslims, women, African Americans, veterans, and others – would be unthinkable.
 
Today, I endorsed Hillary Clinton to be our next president. I know that some of you will be disappointed with that decision. But I believe that, at this moment, our country, our values, and our common vision for a transformed America, are best served by the defeat of Donald Trump and the election of Hillary Clinton.
 
You should know that in the weeks since the last primary, both campaigns have worked together in good faith to bridge some of the policy issues that divided us during the election. Did we come to agreement on everything? Of course not. But we made important steps forward.
 
Hillary Clinton released a debt free college plan that we developed together which now includes free tuition at public colleges and universities for working families. This was a major part of our campaign’s agenda and a proposal that, if enacted into law, would revolutionize higher education in this country.
 
Secretary Clinton has also publicly committed to massive investments in health care for communities across this country that will increase primary care, including mental health care, dental care, and low-cost prescription drug access for an additional 25 million people. Importantly, she has also endorsed the enactment of a so-called public option to allow everyone in this country to participate in a public insurance program. This idea was killed by the insurance industry during consideration of President Obama’s health care program.
 
During the Democratic platform proceedings in St. Louis and Orlando, we were victorious in including amendments to make it a clear priority of the Democratic Party to fight for a $15 an hour federal minimum wage, expand Social Security, abolish the death penalty, put a price on carbon, establish a path toward the legalization of marijuana, enact major criminal justice reforms, pass comprehensive immigration reform, end for-profit prisons and detention facilities, break up too-big-to-fail banks and create a 21st century Glass-Steagall Act, close loopholes that allow big companies to avoid taxes by stashing their cash in offshore tax havens and use that revenue to rebuild America, approve the most expansive agenda ever for protecting Native American rights and so much more.
 
All of these progressive policies were at the heart of our campaign. The truth is our movement is responsible for the most progressive Democratic platform in the history of our country. All of that is the direct result of the work that our members of the platform committee did in the meetings and that you have been doing over the last 15 months.
 
But none of these initiatives will happen if we do not elect a Democratic president in November. None! In fact, we will go backward. We must elect the Democratic nominee in November and progressive Democrats up and down the ballot so that we ensure that these policy commitments can advance.
 
It is extremely important that we keep our movement together, that we hold public officials accountable and that we elect progressive candidates to office at the federal, state, and local level who will stand with us.
 
As part of that effort, we still have a tremendous amount of work left to do in the Democratic Rules Committee that will be meeting in the coming weeks. We have to enact the kinds of reforms to the Democratic Party and to the electoral process that will provide us the tools to elect progressive candidates, to allow new voices and new energy into the Party, and to break up the excessive power that the economic and political elites in the Party currently have. As with our fights on the platform committee, that will only be possible if we stand together.
 
You should know that I intend to be actively campaigning throughout this election season to elect candidates who will stand by our agenda. I hope to see many of you at events from coast to coast.
 
In conclusion, I again want to express my pride in what we have accomplished together over the last year. But so much more must be done to make our vision a reality. Now more than ever our country needs our movement – our political revolution. As you have throughout this historic campaign, I ask for your ongoing support as we continue through the fall and beyond.
 
On a personal note, I cannot say with words how appreciative Jane and I are of the kindness, dedication and love we experienced from so many people across the country. We are deeply touched by it and will never, ever forget it.
 
Please let me know that you will stand with me to defeat Donald Trump, and to elect candidates who will stand by our agenda as part of the future of our political revolution. Add your name now.
 
Forever committed, forever fighting, forever forward,
Bernie Sanders

Forget Trump, Hillary is the big GOP unifier

donald-hillary-billThe three men in Hillary’s life right now will be nothing but trouble until she can get them in line. I, like Noam Chomsky and Robert Reich, am Feeling the Bern until I can no longer.

Bernie can’t win. Why doesn’t he quit?

The better question is why doesn’t Hillary adopt some of Bernie’s tenets before the convention?

As long as Hillary keeps wearing the blinders, her path doesn’t get any straighter.

Bernie is sticking around to nurture his populist movement. So far, do good, but I thought Occupy would get traction, but turns out Occupy morphed into Bernie.

Hillary, likely, is betting Bernie, like Occupy, will be irrelevant. His followers have zero chance of changing Wall Street.

Trump is showing his campaign hand. He’s going after Bill. I’m pretty sure, he’s dis-entombing Monica Lewinsky, Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones and others we might not have known were hidden in the crypt.

It’s gonna get ugly.

Hearsay, innuendo, made up stuff, the whole shebang.

The political pundits are dancing around the issue, bracing for the onslaught. Hillary is ignoring it.

Then there’s the email thing. I don’t agree the latest reports are a rehash. She’s tried joking it off, ignoring it, sending Claire McCaskill to run interference, even apologizing.

She can’t shake it. It keeps popping up in the tabloid and ‘legit’ news cycles with click bait headlines of all kinds. She isn’t helping her cause.

gennifer-flowers-monica-lewinsky1It’s gonna be uglier than any campaign I’ve seen before, which isn’t saying much since none of them have been this gossipy and personal.

This seems different than Nixon’s lying, cheating, and stealing, but campaign 2016 is being treated as if it’s the same as politics as usual though.

In fact, many of the Hillary supporters I know, at least who I read on facebook, say something to the effect, “Well, the Clintons have baggage and have had their clocks cleaned for 25 years or more, and have emerged relatively unscathed – so, blah blah blah?

I don’t think the election season will play out like typical politics.

Hillary just said that Bill is in charge of job creation. He’s officially fair game assuming Hillary finally gets enough delegates and she’ll have to accept not only his successes but his less successful actions.

Trump may have a 70 percent disapproval rating among women voters but he’ll prove his detractors wrong by being one of the biggest supporters of women when he continues to pile on an abusive Bill Clinton.

Hillary needs to own the violence against women narrative and along with it, solidify the electorate behind her story. So far, she doesn’t really have many stories. She’s campaigning on her political savvy – which is diverse at the state and federal levels and in the community. There’s no doubt she’s smart and experienced.

Without a good narrative, her political experience and knowledge will go the way of Mike Dukakis, Al Gore and John Kerry. These three also campaigned as highly experienced statistics-spewing policy wonks and ignored the simple Republican story lines against them.

dukakis-hortonDukakis didn’t respond to attacks about being weak on crime and Willie Horton. Al Gore couldn’t shake Bill Clinton nor did he have any answer to the “fuzzy math” comments by Bush 43 about his Medicare lock box  that couldn’t get any traction a month before the election. Kerry ignored the “Swift Boat” smear campaign and allowed George W. to paint himself as an “ah, shucks rancher” when he and Kerry both shared the same upper crust pedigrees.

What if Hillary said something like, “You know, it’s no secret that my marriage has had it’s share if problems, maybe like yours. There were times I thought my husband was a big SOB there were other times when things were great. I’m not proud about how my personal life went down like an episode of “Scandal.” Bill was impeached, he’s had a tough hill to climb. I have to tell you our entire family paid for his screw ups, and we moved forward.”

Victim blamers ask, “Why did Hillary stay?” as opposed to “Why didn’t Bill change?”

Well, Bill got a loud wake up call from the public-humiliation perpetrator treatment program almost lost his job and that was that. Hillary is putting him in charge of job creation. I did think his welfare to work program was a good one. The same could happen with a new look for incentive-based Medicaid.

Trump’s misstep about his “Bill strategy” is blaming Hillary because she “enabled” hom to philander – he leaves a lot of subtext there without having to explain. That will back fire except among the men and women who believe that women should be subservient.

So far, Bill has been brushing Trump off like lint, but his message should be the same. Something like, “Well, Anderson, we had some rough patches. They were all caused by my stupidity and it really messed up our family, in fact, I don’t know if it will totally heal up.

“We’ve gotten through it. Chelsea has a family of her own now and being a grand father has really put things into perspective. Hillary could have sent me packing, but instead we decided to work things out and I can’t say that’s been easy, but we support each other 100 percent now and want to get down to being responsive to the American people.”

What about Bernie.

He’s not going away anytime soon. He has a pretty good chance to win the rest of the states, including California. Lucky for Hillary, she has the super delegates mostly in the bag come June 7th.

If Hillary wants Bernie to go away, her campaign needs to start capitulating a bit. If it’s viewed as a zero – sum game (we won, so go home) there will be a bunch of disgruntled Bernie supporters, myself included.

Here’s how I would mansplain her strategy.

What if Hillary called up Bernie and said, “You know Bernie, you’ve raised a lot of good points over the past year and figured out how to harness that grassroots energy particularly among young people. To tell you the truth, I’m not so good at that.

Buffett Gates“You’re right, I agree with you about figuring out how to keep money out of politics and I’ve been a little to complacent on that and it’s going to be a little uncomfortable for me to deal with the big banks and Wall Street after the PAC that’s been supporting me has accepted all that money. I didn’t think it was that big a deal, but apparently it is.

“But you know what? They’re going to have to cry in their beer when I’m not with them. I’m also okay with raising taxes on the upper one percent and they better get on board with that like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and others have about spreading out the wealth.

“So are we going to do this together? That means you’ll have to reign in your young horses and let them know we’re all in this together!”

It will take some doing, but she can win this thing. It’s not going to be politics as usual.

Apres campaign 2014 – Democrats are their own worst enemies

The 2014 midterm election cycle was a Throwback Tuesday to the 2004 presidential election. The Democrats blew it with their finesse game. The Republicans are way better at campaigning using brute force and they have way more money.

The big quasi surprise was Mark Udall getting defeated. I think it was largely at his own hand. His ground game wasn’t good enough. I think if he had Obama come to Denver and Boulder, that would have been positive for him. Nationally, the Democrats bought into the Republican anti-Obama story. Instead of staying home, president should have been been out there making whistle stops. I don’t care what anyone says, when the President of the US shows up it is a BFD!

I wait until election day to turn in my vote.

I wait until election day to turn in my vote.

Udall let Gardner position his campaign as single issue, which it wasn’t. Udall originally was elected because of his name. He was a political carpetbagger when he first came to Boulder and ran for the U.S. House. Gardner did a good job framing Udall as a career politician with no heart.

Gardner played the “grandma card” and the “tractor card” which both played well. Plus he was only joshing about his past personhood and anti-women views. Udall didn’t show any emotion. He followed the Gore and Kerry playbooks which talked about data and votes and little about his story and about his vision for the country.

I did see a blog post on his campaign site about he being a kid in the southwest, but that didn’t do anything to show him “in touch” with Colorado. Same thing happened to John Kerry when Bush shaped the election and Kerry just followed along with being painted as a rich kid and a swift boater.

The Bill and Hillary road show helped close the gap for Udall, but their star power is fading. The Clintons showed up in Kentucky many times but Alison Grimes was thoroughly stomped there by Mitch McConnell.

Hickenlooper eked one out. That should be a wake up call. He tried to keep everyone happy, but ended up ticking everyone off. Bob Beauprez playing the “mass murderer” card backfired. I imagine families in Colorado would feel safer without edible marijuana on the market. Both Ways Bob is a sore loser and likely waiting for a recount before conceding.

Meanwhile, in Wyoming – the Republicans held serve. The state legislature lost a Democrat in Lee Filer from Cheyenne, but picked up Charles Pelky from Laramie. I think the mix in the Wyoming State House of Representatives is 51 Red to 9 Blue. The Democratic Party in Wyoming doesn’t have a candidate grooming strategy.  The Tea Party, on the other hand, is good at making all politics local by getting their folks to get on city parks boards and planning commissions. In Jefferson County, Colorado, the conservative majority members of the school board were sneaked in there and nobody really noticed until the recent flap over the move towards revisionist history.

In Wyoming, if a person gets elected to any office or appointed to a board or commission, it makes them immediately available for other elective offices. Former Mayor turned State Legislator Del McOmie at out a cycle or two and was elected as mayor Lander for his second go-around. He’s thoughtful and asks around before he makes decisions. When I worked for him it was during some tough times – the U.S. Steel mine closed, the bottom dropped out of the uranium market just after the 3-Mile Island meltdown. I hope he resurfaces in statewide politics again.

Senate Majority Leader In Waiting Mitch McConnell has been talking big after the election and it doesn’t sound like there will be any conciliatory offers. He’s already threatening Obama on immigration reform. Working with the Democrats, according to McConnell, is total capitulation to the GOP perspective. I don’t see much happening in the next two years. I doubt there will be any meaningful conference committees unless a bunch of Republicans break ranks – which is what happened when the Democrats had control of both houses. Not much got done when congress was controlled by Democrats either.

I can hardly wait until 2016 to hear about why Hillary and Jeb both are too extreme for my own good.

Election day thoughts 2014

Election day 2014 is tomorrow. I voted early but not casting my ballot until tomorrow – election day.

Based on all the “too extreme” for Colorado ads still running on TV, apparently there is still too much money flowing and voters still haven’t made up their minds.

I find it amazing that there are voters out there who are so uninformed they are actually swayed by the nonsensical mudslinging messages. If you’re one who hasn’t made up your mind, I want to know who you are and get your information from TV ads, I want to know who you are!

Who has the most toys doesn’t translate into victory. House majority leader Eric Cantor spent $168,000 at three restaurants while eventual winner David Brat spent $123,000 on his entire campaign. At the end, Cantor spent 40 times more money than Brat and lost by 10 points.

Here’s how I voted on issues and candidates this year. I follow politics in Wyoming and Colorado where I have stakes. I tend to support people with whom I have some sort of connection and that bears out this election cycle.

US Senate Colorado – Back in the mid 1970s, I went to Washington DC for a student political science institute. I befriended over a couple days Morris Udall. He’s the father of Senator Mark Udall, who is in a neck and neck race with Cory Gardner. I got to know Mo Udall, however briefly during the conference. I met Mark Udall when he moved to Colorado to run for Congress. He’s a career politician and that reputation is catching up with him. i voted for Udall mostly for the good of the order of keeping the federal system split. I think Udall will prevail, much like Senator Bennett did when he defeated Ken Buck.

US Congressional District 2 – I’ve known incumbent Jared Polis for a number of years, mostly through non-profit organization circles when I worked for Assets for Colorado Youth and he was on the Colorado Board of Education. Since he was elected to the US House, I don’t run into him as much as I once did. I voted for Jared again. His opponent is a Chinese guy named George Leing – he pronounces his name in Anglicized fashion “Lang”. He’ll get votes in east and north Boulder County, Weld and Gilpin counties.

Colorado Governor – John Hickenlooper was one of the first people I met when I came to Colorado. He and I served on the Chinook Fund board of directors for a number of years. He’s had to govern to the middle and “Both Ways Beauprez” has had to grasp at straws to find issues that would make John look bad. Recently, Beauprez played the “soft on murderers” card, which I don’t think have played very well. I voted for John again.

68 – I voted for gambling expansion at the Arapahoe County horse track. Not because I want to fund education, but to encourage more gaming.

105 – I voted for the GMO labeling. The proponents came up with a little over $500,000 while the opposition raised over $12 million from multinational corporations like Monsanto, Pepsi Cola, Kraft, Coca Cola. With a cast of characters like that I pretty much had to vote for it.

In Wyoming, competitive elections went away in the mid 1990s when the Democratic main stays were all soundly trounced and never resurfaced – former Governor Mike Sullivan, former Secretary of State Kathy Karpan; former state Senator John Vinich. Since then, the laws were changed to suppress voter registration and voting. In a red state like Wyoming, there end up being various shades of red. I don’t know how long it will take for Wyoming to become competitive again – maybe never.

US Senate Wyoming – My first job out of school was with the city government of Gillette. I was in a class at the University of Wyoming called the Human Services Project. Multidisciplinary students worked together to solve problems arising from rapid population growth during the coal boom there. I worked for then Mayor Mike Enzi and City Administrator Flip McConnaughy – now Senator Enzi’s Chief of Staff. Mike’s wife Diana and I were both members of the Wyoming Private Industry Council charged with administering federal job funds. Mke is running against a former Catholic priest, Charlie Hardy, who’s been logging a lot of road miles in Wyoming and has become a bit of a media darling. Enzi will win this one big. I’ll be surprised if he runs for a 5th term after this.

US Congressional District Wyoming At Large – The incumbent is Cynthia Lummis. She and I, as well as her siblings, all grew up together. Cynthia’s husband, Al Wiederspahn passed away suddenly last week. I don’t even know who is running against her, but she’ll win in another landslide, maybe getting 90 percent of the vote.

Wyoming Governor – I’ve gotten to know Matt Mead and his family over the past four years,  He’s been in a couple videos I’ve made for his art’s awards celebration and for the 75th anniversary of the Wyoming state parks system. It’s election season, but nonetheless, he’s had to govern to the middle, which means something totally different than other places. He’s running against a guy from Pinedale, Pete Gosar. I think he’s the Wyoming State Democratic Party chairman. Matt Mead should win with no problem.

State House District 21 – A friend of mine, Albert Sommers is running for reelection. He’s a level headed and thoughtful guy who should win again. His wife, Sue, is quite the graphic artist. He funds his own campaign and refuses contributions from others.

Lander Mayor – former mayor and state legislator Del McOmie is running for Mayor again.  My second job was working for the city of Lander as Del’s assistant before I worked for the Northern Arapaho Tribe on the Wind River Indian Reservation. I don’t know who he’s against, but he should win this one.
There you have it, I’m not trying to influence you, since my opinions are clearly too extreme to help anyone change their minds and I approve of this message