Thursday, July 23, 2009

The warchest

This is in response to a comment on the TC article that denied 'hundreds of thousands' of dollars were being raised by LIFT. Okay, so it's only $100,000 ... still kinda extreme for a City Council election - even half of that (assuming the other half really does go to community projects) hell, even a quarter of it. And it wasn't on YourHub it was in plain sight on the TimesCall. Don't forget this money is NOT tracked through reports - LIFT is a political organization that does not have to report where it gets its money from.

Follow the money folks... in my opinion the motives are very clear - the architects of the LifeBridge project are definitely behind this group.

And the problem LIFT seems to have isn't just that the Council listens to a 'small group' (which is bull in my opinion - pretty obvious the council doesn't listen to me...) the problem is that it isn't their small group.


From the number and ferocity of the attacks on me you can infer that I hit a nerve - the really classy part was the way some of the commenters managed to insinuate some slashes at my wife's recent death from cancer. Nice. Very Christian of them. Oh yes, they're so pure of heart and motive. It's hilarious how I'm excoriated for being 'nasty' and two comments later someone's stabbing me in the face with my own wife's death. Cowards.

The comments on the Times Call make my point about the right wing in Longmont far better than I ever could. You want people like that running the city?

==========================

From the Times Call:

LIFT will jump into local politics

New group wants to promote business

By Rachel Carter
Longmont Times-Call LONGMONT — A new group in town wants to promote business in Longmont, and its members plan to get involved in local politics to do it. Longmont Investing For Tomorrow, or LIFT, formed in August to support and promote jobs and the businesses that create those jobs. But part of LIFT’s mission is to advocate for policies and leadership that the group believes will bolster a healthy local economy. Rick Samson, chairman of the LIFT board, said the idea has been in the works for several months. He and other local business people — including Susan Pratt, a longtime Longmont businesswoman and commercial property owner — started talking about ways to “get new blood involved in the political scene in Longmont.” “The idea was to see if there weren’t some business people out there who were concerned about the direction the city was going and see if there was a unified voice to speak to the city on city issues,” Samson said. He said the group formed as a response to the current Longmont City Council. LIFT members worry that the council micromanages, listens to only a small segment of the community and is skeptical of business, he said. “It’s a response to council, but I wouldn’t consider it an attack,” Samson said. “I think council is in a position of listening only to a few voices, but we want to present another voice that is pro-business, pro-Longmont.” He added, “We are not after anyone or anything; we are all about the betterment of Longmont on a positive, professional level.” LIFT kicked off in August and now has about 100 members, he said. The group is trying to raise $100,000 by the end of the year for its “war chest” and already has more than $35,000 promised, LIFT leaders wrote in an August letter soliciting both donations and volunteers. LIFT will use that money leading up to the 2009 election, in which the group plans to play a role. Samson said LIFT is a nonpartisan group that will be involved in politics only at the local level. LIFT is not currently supporting any candidates or ballot issues, “but when, not if” it does, the group will use money it has raised to do so, Samson said. LIFT organizers are asking people to help recruit candidates for the Longmont City Council, research local issues and get residents to vote. Group leaders also are asking volunteers to act as a watchdog group to the Longmont City Council, including reviewing the council’s weekly agenda and organizing people to speak at council meetings. “We can only change policy through City Council, so that’s where we have to stay proactive,” Samson said. Longmont Mayor Roger Lange said it will be interesting to see what LIFT does during the next year, and during next year’s City Council election. Lange, who was a councilman for seven years before becoming mayor in November, said no matter who is on the City Council, there will be some people who aren’t happy with their elected officials. “If they’re unhappy with their representation, get involved and see if you can change it. That’s what happened in November. That’s what happened in spades,” Lange said. “Obviously, it’s a sea change, and it has pleased some people and not others,” he added. Councilwoman Karen Benker said LIFT members are disgruntled about how November’s election went. “They’re very unhappy their candidates did not win in November’s election,” she said. “I think the new council has struck a healthy balance between business and listening to residents.” Benker said the new council is working to create an economic-development department, drafting an economic-development plan and sponsoring a “shop local” campaign. She also pointed to the quarterly town meetings and monthly coffee chats council members have with residents as evidence of how current council members have reached out to residents. “I think we’ve changed the culture of the city so it’s more open and inviting to everyone,” Benker said. LIFT also is asking people to write opinion letters and columns to the Times-Call, call the T-C Line and add comments to online articles. Times-Call managing editor John Vahlenkamp said the newspaper’s editors watch for organized campaigns and “copycat talking points.” “While we’re happy to be the forum for local commentary, we keep an eye out for letter-writing campaigns,” Vahlenkamp said. “To quote what’s printed every day on our Opinion page: ‘We do not publish letters that are part of an organized effort to flood the newspaper with mail on a single topic.’” Rachel Carter can be reached at 303-684-5216 or rcarter@times-call.com.

It's good to have left an impression

From the comments at the Times-Call:

Further proof of where Doug Wray is coming from...for several years he ran a vicious anti-Marilyn Musgrave blog called Muskrat Hunt...it regularly included some of the most vile and profane attacks you'd ever see against any person, let alone a congresswoman. And speaking of campaign finance, let us not forget that Defenders of Wildlife (Virginia-based) spent a staggering $1.6 million to help defeat Musgrave in the Colorado House Dist. 4 2008 election. We didn't hear Wray and the local lefties griping about that little contribution, did we?
7/23/2009 11:55:29 AM
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LOL!!!!!!!!!

So this person wants to bring up Marilyn Muskrat? Oh HO... if you want to talk about dirty politics, there's a lady that took the cake - and the pan... and the stove... and left the cake knife twanging in your back!

It's hilarious to read comments trying to attack me about bad-mouthing Marilyn Musgrave.

I feel absolutely NO remorse about that. The only reason MuskratHunt was deleted from the web was because I didn't want to give her one iota more news-space than she deserved after leaving office. I'm sure the howlin-mad hardcores have stacks of printouts (probably bound and gold-edged in their solid teak bookshelves) of it they'll be delighted to whip out at the slightest provocation.

The reason people were pouring money into getting rid of her was because she had to GO.

Don't forget, Muskrat was defeated roundly in an overwhelmingly-Republican district. Her own party voted her out.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Behind the scenes

Remember the attack flyer that went out about Richard Juday during the last election?

Scott Shires.

Remember Greeley Report? Yep... Scott Shires.

I submit that LongmontReport is another creation of this person.

Note that both the flyer and LongmontReport were supportive of Gabe Santos.

I suggest you obtain a copy of my remarks to City Council tonite, they are part of the public record.

When you read them, note that Dean Lehman and the Times Call's lead political reporter were among the recipients of the 'attack' email, thus I will not be writing a letter to the editor on this subject since in my opinion the Times-Call has clearly chosen to indulge in dirty politics and misuse their public influence.

I understand Mayor Lange not allowing my comments at council, it was an attack on Councilman Santos. However, the attack started with Gabe - and this is just the beginning.

Here's the presentation I submitted.

Here's the text of my speech:

“Let the Attacks Begin”
What we will present to you tonight is sensitive and it is unfortunate that it is necessary. What began in January 2008 must not be repeated in November 2009.

The only way to prevent ugly campaign practices may be to pull back the curtain and expose those who have engaged in these practices. We are here tonight to do just that. Armed with this information, we hope that our community will reject these practices and those who engage in them and allow our local campaigns to be argued on the merits of the issues and the capabilities of our candidates.

“Let the Attacks Begin”
Our presentation has been titled “Let the Attacks Begin.” We chose this title, not for reasons of hyperbole, but because these are the words written by Council Member Gabe Santos on January 9th, 2008, to launch the ugliest campaign in Longmont’s more recent memories.

Council member Santos bristles at the very mention of his previous employment as a manager for former U.S. Representative Tom DeLay.

This appears to be the immediate reason for Mr. Santos subsequent attacks. Though given the nature and speed of what followed, one can genuinely wonder if any reason would have been necessary at all.

Who is Tom DeLay that his very mention produced a stream of vitriol?


Who is Tom DeLay and Why Would He Be a Trigger?
• DeLay was the Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives .
• He was the “right-hand-man” to Speaker Newt Gingrich whose “Contract on America” in the 90s helped set the stage for the abuses that followed in the subsequent 12 years.
• DeLay was known as “The Hammer” for his intimidation of and threats to his own party members.

There’s more, but this should refresh memories.

It’s no wonder that Mr. Santos would be sensitive about his past employment.
Unfortunately, he learned all too well from Mr. DeLay how to run an attack campaign. But he didn’t do this alone, he had a great deal of help. Help from well-known members of our community and help from outside individuals whose sole purpose is to carry out an attack on a candidate’s behalf.

Mr. Santos authorizes attacks.
The slide on the screen is a copy of the email that Mr. Santos sent to Stacy Cornay, Frannie Follick-Hood of the Pratt organization, his wife, and former Longmont mayor Leona Stoecker.
The words are simple and straight forward. Clearly the recipients had prior knowledge of and prepared plans for what was intended to follow.

“…make sure…certain things for Gabe get done right away.”
Frannie Hood then carried the instructions out to those who have long considered themselves to be the “pillars” of Longmont’s society. Quote: “…make sure…certain things for Gabe get done right away.” The email list is long. We’ll make it easy for you to see just who these people are.

The “Pillars”
And how do these paragons of Longmont’s past movers and shakers “shake out”? They are the principles of LifeBridge/4C, including the senior minister of LifeBridge Christian Church Rick Rusaw and Reggie Golden. They are leaders of the Longmont Chamber of Commerce, including Richard Samson who is now the chair of this committee’s offspring LIFT. They are key people in Longmont’s real estate community. They are developers, public figures, well-connected industry figures, like Dale Bruns, Martin Dickey, and Barbara Brunk. And then there’s Susan Pratt, Alex Sammoury, Bonnie Finley. And we mustn’t leave out the head of our very own local newspaper – Dean Lehman of the Longmont Daily Times-Call.
These are the people who were responsible for the following.

“Let the Attacks Begin” Timeline
First we have the arrival of a blog called “Longmont Report.” This blog continued to post until they were legally challenged.

Following the launch of the attacks on Longmont Report against Richard Juday, the opposing candidate, and Jen Gartner, the individual responsible for the referendum campaign to repeal the LifeBridge Union annexation, the Times- Call endorses Mr. Santos as if the endorsement were an independent judgment rather than a pre-planned action.

But they weren’t done. Oh no. Blogs don’t reach all the voters. And so arrives in Longmont mail boxes on January 19th the mailer you see on your screen. Notice the unflattering pictures. Notice also the hostile and false attacks.


• Keep Boulder liberals from annexing Longmont
• …organized campaign of lies…
• Boulder County Democrats scheme
• …Juday’s supporters reads like a who’s who of radical left-wing activists who fill the war chests of Democrats
• …big brother scheme…


The following Saturday, January 26th, an eight- page pink letter by Stephanie Baum arrives. Mrs. Baum’s husband is one of the recipients of the execution email following Santos’ instructions to attack.


After piously declaring that our election was non-partisan and that he would not take campaign contributions from a political party, Santos permits the most partisan attack of the season.


• …Gabe Santos, who is a common sense Republican.
• …assault by a radical element
• …radical left wing Democrat activists supporting Mr. Juday.
• …Boulder radicals…
• …Boulder Democrats …
• …People’s Republic of Boulder…
• …radical anti-growth…
• …dangerous social engineering…
• …Big Brother schemes
• …Boulder radicals…
• …radical special interests..
Mrs. Baum references her website, which was previously sited by the League attack mailer.


The Colorado League of Taxpayers was required to file an “independent expenditure” report with Longmont’s City Clerk. It never did. It’s also required by federal law to reveal its contributors. It does not.

Research revealed that behind the 527 Colorado League of Taxpayers and a number of other 527s is Scott Shires. Mr. Shires was sued by Colorado Ethics Watch for a similar attack tactic in Garfield County and the courts found him liable for over $7,000 in fines.

If the statute of limitations hasn’t run out, we would encourage our city attorney to pursue legal liability for his actions in Longmont.


This is how the January 2008 campaign was conducted and these are the executioners. And Mr. Gabe Santos seated at the end of the dais is the one responsible for it. If this should happen again, will we tolerate it? We trust our community to say “no.”

Others in the community have their own horror stories to tell. Let’s hope that we won’t have new ones to tell before the year is out.

+++++++++++++++

Note, the attempt to spin this neglects to mention Frannie Hood's message to Santos' campaign staffers. Nice try folks.