07 November 2012

Editorial: The Aftermath

Or, perhaps better titled... "A Little 'I Told You So' and a Little 'You Were Right'".

After I put out my predictions on Colorado races (especially the Colorado State House), many people went nuts saying I was super pessimistic, only doomsday would bring those numbers, we were going to gain several seats in the House and win the Senate, etc.  Well, some of you were right about one thing... I was wrong on my numbers.  However, I think I've earned the right for a bit of a (maybe even a big) 'I told you so!' because my numbers about the Democrat sweep of the Colorado State House were low, not high.  In fact, of all the electoral prognostications I saw, no one else right-of-center predicted a net Democrat gain in the State House, let alone the near-total sweep that happened (I didn't look at things like Colorado Pols or other places like that, so I don't know what the left-of-center folks were saying).

So what happened?


Two words.  Ryan Call.

Three words.  Republican 'Leadership' Vacuum.  (referring to the counties, since State Party is covered previously)

That's my election summary for Colorado.  The party of evil cannot be beaten by the party of stupid, and it's more stupid than usual here in Colorado.  Remedies?

  1. Run the so-called 'leadership' out of town on a rail.  February and March will be upon us before we know it, and we MUST clean our (GOP) own house before we worry about anything else.
  2. Once we have actual leadership, better candidates.  Not these simpering, moderate, big-government boo-hoo Boehner sissy-types, but people who actually believe in liberty and the GOP platform--and aren't afraid to talk about it, advocate effectively, and are actual competent candidates.
  3. We need a long-term strategy.  Living election cycle to election cycle, with a year and a half of down time between elections DOESN'T CUT IT.  At minimum, we need a 10 year strategy in place within the next 6-12 months.  We won't win everything overnight.  We have to be realistic.  But for crying out loud, we need to plan.  Failing to plan is planning to fail.


The results will not be official for a while longer, but I don't think (other than possible one race: SD19) that the results will drastically change between now and when the official results are released.  Not enough to change who wins, at any rate.  Below are the winners as of right now from the Secretary of State's results page (I'll add in percents later when they are official).  If they're in bold, I got that race right.  If they are in italics, I got that race wrong.  Not all counties have reported into it yet.

CU Regent
Pre-Election Make-up: 5 Republicans, 4 Democrats
Projected Post-Election Make-up: 5 Democrats, 4 Republicans
Post-Election Make-up: 5 Republicans, 4 Democrats
  • At-Large: Steve Ludwig (Democrat)
  • Congressional District 3: Glenn Gallegos (Republican)
  • Congressional District 5: Kyle Hybl (Republican)
  • Congressional District 7:  Irene Griego (Democrat)

State Board of Education
Pre-Election Make-up: 4 Republicans, 3 Democrats
Projected Post-Election Make-up: 4 Republicans, 3 Democrats
Post-Election Make-up: 4 Republicans, 3 Democrats


Pre-Election Make-up: 4 Republicans, 3 Democrats
Projected Post-Election Make-up: 4 Republicans, 1 Democrat, 2 toss-ups (my bet is at least one, CD7, goes R)
Post-Election Make-up: 4 Republicans, 3 Democrats
*Quick note on the two toss-up: I never said Kevin Lundberg or Joe Coors would win, only that they could win (and I do have to admit surprise with the defeat of Coors by the numbers I'm seeing).  Under better leadership in this state, they very well may have won, but speculating doesn't get us anywhere.  Bottom line, while I'm surprised by the margin of defeat that Coors suffered, I'm not terribly surprised either district did what it did.  I'm giving myself half credit for each of these, though, to be fair.


State Senate
Pre-Election Make-up: 20 Democrats, 15 Republicans
Projected Post-Election Make-up: 16 Democrats, 15 Republicans, 4 toss-ups (my guess is it goes 2 and 2 for Republicans and Democrats)
Post-Election Make-up: 20 Democrats, 15 Republicans
*Okay, on this one, I was wrong.  I actually thought Lang Sais would win outside the margin of an automatic recount.  While this race is within the margin of automatic recount now (I believe 332 votes are separating them), I'm not sure that Lang can make up that many votes.

**Partial credit to me on this one for leaving it a toss-up and not doing with it what I did with SD19, because I thought about it originally.  I am a little surprised that Newell won, to be honest, but not totally shocked.

***There are two counties yet to complete reporting in this race according to the SOS site, and about 1,000 votes separating Crowder and his opponent, so it may tighten, but I don't think he'll end up losing.


State House
Pre-Election Make-up: 33 Republicans, 32 Democrats
Projected Post-Election Make-up: 30 Democrats, 28 Republicans, 7 toss-up (my very unscientific prediction is all but 1 or 2 go Democrat based on district performance and/or active voter registration numbers, and what I know about the district and candidates)
Post-Election Make-up: 37 Democrats, 28 Republicans
*Not giving myself any credit for it, but I was right that Ellyn Hilliard did have the largest number of votes for a Republican in Boulder State House races.  Just sayin'.

**Partial credit for this one since I gave no clear prediction.

***My bad for not making this one a toss-up, I was truly surprised that J. Paul Brown lost that district with the numbers I saw.

****My only surprise in this race was Kathleen Curry not getting more votes than she did.

I'm not really surprised by any of this (other than J. Paul Brown losing, that one did catch me off guard), but I am somewhat surprised by the margins I'm seeing.  For example, I expected Robert Ramirez to lose, but not by near 10%.  Just goes to show the power of reapportionment.



Bottom line, reapportionment really shanked us.  I was overly-optimistic about the State Senate, and under-pessimistic about the State House.  Finally tally?

Out of 94 races in which I predicted an outcome, I only got 3 out and out wrong; 4 races I characterized as toss-ups (either not making a clear predictions one way or another, or which I called as "leans" the wrong way (but still kept it as a toss-up).  That equals a 96.81% accuracy rate.  Not too bad for relying solely on the three things I have always found to be the most reliable indicators in politics:
  1. Active Registered Voters,
  2. Past District Performance, and
  3. Good ol' gut instinct (which is largely based on knowing many of the districts and candidates).
No polls, no "how much money was raised", no gimmicks.  Just saying, folks.  Just saying.

Oh, and I more than once predicted Obama would win Colorado.  In fact, that was the best possible thing (well, actually, the best possible thing would have been Obama winning Colorado but losing nationally), because that is a slap in the face to the Ryan Calls and Eli Bremers and other GOP hacks of the world.  Guys, you didn't win it.  You and your ilk have now fudged up what should have been two wave Republican years (2010 and 2012), and you still haven't gotten it through your back-room, smoke-filled brains that we can't fight the party of evil with your brand of stupidity and lack of strategic vision.  

Maybe the rest of the Colorado GOP will now get the hint to make that kind of Republican 'leadership' extinct.  This isn't about radically changing the Party, this is about using common sense, a solid platform actually adhered to by candidates, and basic political strategy to actually... you know... win elections.  Liberty is a winning message, guys.  Get on the bandwagon or get off at the next stop (heck, we might even throw you off before we get to the next stop depending on how you respond to this repudiation of your inability to "make Colorado red again").

14 October 2012

The "United States is" vs. "United States are": A step towards socialism/progressivism

Regardless of one's opinion of the Civil War, the one thing that most liberty-lovers can agree upon is that one outcome of the North's victory was a major shift in the way people, both at home and abroad, spoke about the United States.

Gone are the days of the primacy of the several States over a limited Federal Government, and in their place, the Federal Government grew.  No longer were the United States referred to as a plural collection of several states, but a singular, "unified" federal-centric nation.

  • The "United States are" = individual states joined in a union with constitutionally limited federal power 
  • The "United States is" = increased federal power and decreased state sovereignty

Perhaps worse, during this shift from plural to singular, it became the predominant view of the Federal Government and the majority of citizens alike to see the states not as sovereign entities, but rather as mere administrative divisions of the central Federal Government.

I believe that this change in thought is what helped pave the way for the "progressive" amendments to the Constitution in 1913 (the 16th and 17th Amendments), and has allowed for creeping socialism ever since--because most citizens now think of the country as a Federal Government that has primacy over the several states, rather than the proper balance: the several sovereign states as the "incubators of democracy", with a Constitutionally limited Federal Government.

05 October 2012

Top 10 Republican and Democrat Counties in Colorado

Based on numbers from the Colorado Secretary of State's Office (accurate as of 1 October, 2012), here are the top 10 counties by percent of active Republicans and Democrats within the county.  Now you'll know where to move to--or avoid--based on the concentration of Republicans or Democrats in a particular county.

I find the disparity between Republicans and Democrats congregating together to be interesting--when averaged, the top 10 Republican counties come out to 65.38%, whereas the top 10 Democrat counties come out to 51.96%.  Apparently Republicans like living around other Republicans more than Democrats like living around other Democrats.

Other interesting food for thought: Arapahoe County has the 3rd most registered active Republicans AND 2nd most registered active Democrats in the state (94,971 and 94,695, respectively).  I'm sure this is why it is a swing county.

Maybe now I need to do top 10 best performing Republican and Democrat counties.  That could be fun and illuminating... but, without further delay, the numbers for this post...


10) Kit Carson -- 59.94%
9) Phillips -- 60.14%
8) Lincoln -- 61.12%
7) Moffat -- 61.73%
6) Custer -- 61.99%
5) Hinsdale -- 63.52%
4) Cheyenne -- 66.7%
3) Rio Blanco -- 72.49%
2) Washington -- 72.79%
1) Jackson -- 73.42%

(Note: El Paso County has the most total active registered Republicans, at 132,755--but only 46.59% of the registered voters in El Paso are Republicans, which is why they didn't make the list)


10) San Miguel -- 45.07%
9) Mineral -- 46.81%
8) Pueblo -- 47.1%
7) Saguache -- 49.29%
6) Huerfano -- 50.01%
5) Denver -- 50.79%
4) Conejos -- 51.68%
3) Lake -- 51.9%
2) Las Animas -- 54.79%
1) Costilla -- 72.17%

(Note: Denver County, no surprise here, has the most total active registered Democrats, at 152,176, and you'll notice them on the list at number 5)

04 October 2012

Opinion: Debate Analysis

It was obvious to even the non-objective observe that Romney won last night.  Obama almost didn't even bother to show up.  Maybe if he brings his teleprompter next time, just because he's so used to seeing it, it will help him psychologically to be more "in the zone" (not that we really want him to be).  It's no big secret that Obama is not a great speaker, he's a great reader.  Or maybe he speaks well, he just can't impromptu.  At all.

Romney had some great moments.  He had a few good zingers, at the beginning especially (bring up the "middle class has been buried" line was inspired).  He made excellent points on things like the debt not just being an economic issue, but a moral one, and that $90 billion of subsidies to bankrupt energy companies (all but one I believe are now bankrupt, but don't quote me on that) was like 50 years worth of subsidies (my personal favorite line of the night--his later point about that being able to hire 2 million teachers I thought was much weaker).  He seemed much more solid and alive than I've ever seen him this campaign.

Romney also had some bad moments.  Let's be honest--and hope he gets better before the next debate.

Areas to improve on or watch for next time:
  • When Obama lies, don't whine about it ("But... but... but... he LIED about my economic plan!" sounds like a 5 year old, not a Presidential candidate).  It's not like it surprises anyone on our side of the fence that Obama lies, and that would have been a great time for a joke, not a whine. 
  • Be careful not to cross the line between being strong and not letting the media/moderator run roughshod over you and coming across like a jerk.  I think Romney came awful close to that line last night, so he needs to watch that carefully.  On the plus side, I was pleased to see him actually appear to have grown a pair and was glad he kind of took charge there.
  • Do not cave on things like regulations, taxes and getting the federal government out of things it doesn't belong in (like healthcare and education).  Romney really worried me with his statement about how the free market can't exist without regulations, and his repeated statements about not actually wanting to lower taxes (he usually meant, I think, to the point where it adds to the deficit, but didn't always add that in) or get rid of regulations or keep parts of Obamacare (which should NOT be a federal issue in the first place) or that the Federal Government should help out with education at a state level (again, so NOT a federal issue) are very troubling.
  • Romney must get a better answer on the Obamacare vs. Romneycare issue and stop saying repeal and REPLACE.  It should be repeal and repudiate, then repeal all the federal regulations that are causing price spikes in healthcare.  Even with Obama barely there, Romney lost that section from what I saw.  He has to get stronger on that, and quickly.
  • What struck me as odd last night was Romney's attempts to make his positions sounds like Obama's on several issues, and then have Obama be the one trying to draw distinctions.  Usually, it is the other way around.  I didn't like that approach and hope it is never used again.

Overall, even with areas to improve on, I thought Romney did surprisingly well--certainly much better than I expected, to be perfectly frank.  I also really liked the format of this debate as compared to previous Presidential and primary debates.

A brief note now on "independents" and the "audience" for the debate:
  • Most people who claim to be "independent" or are registered that way are NOT middle of the road, no matter how much they tell you that.  A significant portion always vote for one party or another, they simply don't want to be affiliated with a party for whatever reason.  Anyone who says otherwise is probably lying.
  • Most Republicans who left the party to become independents didn't do so because they wanted the GOP to be more "liberal", but because it wasn't conservative enough, or pro-liberty enough.  Pandering middle of the road-to-left in a general election, therefore, further alienates that voting block--and Romney is going too far left for many of them, from what I've been hearing.
  • Debates don't win elections.  Most people have their minds made up by now, even if they don't want to admit it.  Most people either don't like Romney or Obama, but the "undecideds", based on my experience, are largely looking for a reason to vote for Romney or Obama, not just against the person they don't like.  People watch the debates to get a positive reason to vote, and I'm not sure that last night's debate did that for either candidate.  Yes, Romney came across strong for the first time, and yes, he obviously won.  But he also said some very troublesome things about the free market, taxes, regulations, etc.  Wanting to save parts of Obamacare doesn't help him, either.  Obama totally not showing up certainly didn't help him.
  • Finally, who watches these debates?  Honestly, it's largely the wonks and people who have already made up their minds (how many Romneyites or Obamaheads were tweeting/blogging/facebooking/commentating last night?  LOTS...).  Any arguments that Romney "had to" go left because of the audience is just plain naive.  Additionally, no candidate should ever change their message because of the audience.  How it is presented, yes--absolutely.  But never the content of the message.  Romney can't say he want to cut taxes on the campaign trail just to turn around in the debates and say... well, not really, and many other things that sounded to me like contradictions.  Flip-flopping, or at least appearing to, will not win you an election because it erodes trust.

11 June 2012

“A Marriage of Athens and Jerusalem…”

I normally try very hard not to cross the streams of the left and right hand kingdoms, mostly because I am just as passionate about theology as I am about politics and am probably just as polarizing in both realms, but here goes nothing.

I took a brief hiatus from Party politics last week to attend the 49th Rocky Mountain District Convention for the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod 7-9 June in the Denver Tech Center.  This was quite unexpected.  At our May voters meeting at Church, I was elected as a last-minute alternate to replace our other alternate who had a conflict arise, just in case our delegate couldn’t make it.  No one else volunteered, so I did.  Our Delegate swore up and down that he would be there—and I know it would have taken an act of God to keep him from it.  Which is what happened.  Those incredible rains came last week in Colorado Springs, and late Wednesday evening, I got an email from him informing me his house had flooded and he couldn’t make it.  Our Pastor’s house flooded, as did my mothers.  All three live very near each other.  So I, living in Denver now, ended up attending as our congregation’s voting delegate.

After a little kerfuffle with the sign-in (I was so last-minute my paperwork wasn’t there, and because my Pastor, who is the District Secretary, had a flooded house, he was delayed in getting to the convention), the fun began.

Without getting too much in the minutia of the theology of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, let me give a brief overview for those who aren’t too familiar.

We are a creedal church, meaning we confess the Ecumenical Creeds (Apostles, Nicene and Athenasian).  We believe in Faith Alone through Grace Alone by Scripture Alone.  We believe that the Bible is the infallible Word of God.  We are a sacramental church, which means we actually value the saving properties of Baptism and Holy Communion (which we believe in Real Presence, which means that the Body and Blood are in, with and under the elements—not transformed into, nor merely representing).  The Book of Concord is our confession of faith, and is entirely based upon and in accordance with Scripture.  We hold tradition and history to be important, but not on the same level as the Bible.

Anyone who wants to know more may certainly ask.

Now, as with party politics, there are essentially two sides in our synod.  The “confessional” side, the Quia subscribers to the Book of Concord (“Quia” is simply Latin for “because”, meaning that we believe in the Book of Concord because it is supported by Scripture, indeed, in full support by Scripture), are all very conservative.  The liberal side, the Quatenus subscribers to the Book of Concord (“Quatenus” is Latin for “insofar as”, meaning that they believe in the Book of Concord only insofar as it is supported by Scripture), are the folks who promote things like ordination of women and contemporary worship.

I am just as conservative in my church politics as I am in my party politics.  In fact, on Facebook, I identify myself as a “Confessional Quia Reformed Catholic”.  Originally, the word Lutheran was a pejorative used to try and convince others that those subscribing to the Augsburg Confession were following a man, not God, so while it is an identifier now, I prefer to not use it when at all possible.  When not using it as a title, I also specifically use small “c” catholic (like my many rants on “l” vs. “L” libertarianism) because it refers to the church universal, not the Roman Catholic church.

Hopefully that helps give you a foundation to understand where I’m coming from religiously now, so that the rest of this makes a little more sense.

I hope sometime soon to have the chance to expand this more, but for now I am just throwing out some notes I made during the convention.

·         Confessional Lutherans seem to have a slightly small “L” libertarian tendency—this, largely, I think is due to our strong left-hand, right-hand kingdom doctrine (one that, interestingly enough, Kevin Miller—a non-Lutheran—used as the basis for his book “Freedom Nationally, Virtue Locally or Socialism”)

·         Lutherans really do just have more fun.  How many other church bodies can you think of where you can sit down with your Pastor, the President of the Synod and your husband… drink whiskey, smoke cigars, listen to U2 (on the iPhone of the Synodical President) and talk left-hand kingdom politics?  I dare you to find me one.

·         Speaking of our Synodical President, Matt Harrison… you might know him as the man who kicked serious butt testifying before Congress earlier this year on HHS rules.  If you missed it, it is so worth it to watch/read (various video, audio and statements can be found here).  Find me another church body that, on their website, implores their members to actually study the Constitution (“Learn about our rights under the U.S. Constitution to freely exercise our beliefs and to speak of Jesus Christ and our conscience in the public square.”).

·         There was a huge political emphasis at this convention.  Colorado Right to Life was present with a table and petitions to take to churches.  The banquet speaker (which I missed due to a previously-scheduled conflict) was the National Right to Life President—a Missouri-Synod Lutheran, I might add.  Tim Goeglin was one of the session speakers.  Even during President Harrison’s address the opening night of convention, a few political questions were asked.  This is a church body that, more than most I can think of, is engaged in and understands public policy and the left-hand kingdom.  I’m glad they are getting more engaged as Pastors, as we only have 6 LCMS Congressmen right now (one of them is our own Cory Gardner, though!), and I think that may be changing soon.

·         On a less political note, Colorado has some absolutely incredible confessional Pastors.  It was such a blessing and salve for my soul to be around God’s servants who preach, teach and confess everything I hold dear.  For too long, we’ve been fighting against the infiltration of liberalism into our Synod (anyone who knows me knows that I refer to the ultimate outcome of Seminex, the formation of the ELCA, as the E?CA, because they’re not Lutheran but I don’t know what they are…), and I am so pleased to see a marked return to our confessional roots.  In speaking to several there, it appears this is a pretty drastic shift from even 10 years ago.  I couldn’t be more pleased.

Now, for a few thoughts on the parallels I saw there between the GOP and the church politics.  Maybe I’m just reaching.  I’d love your input on whether or not I’m crazy or if there are the actual parallels I’m seeing, particularly from those who were in attendance.

Declaration of Independence/Bible (conservatives)
Our ‘roadmap’ for the founding of this nation given to us by our founding fathers
The ‘roadmap’ for the foundation of Christian life and doctrine, given to us by our Lord
Declaration of Independence/Bible (liberals/progressives )
Worth reading, but an old history lesson
Worth reading, but not always right
Constitution/Confessions (conservatives)
Sacred, means today what it has meant always, unchanging
Sacred, means today what it has meant always, unchanging (quia, because the Word of God is unchanging)
Constitution/Confessions (liberals/progressives)
A living, breathing document, can change over time to mean whatever we want it to mean
A living, breathing document, can change over time to mean whatever we want it to mean (quatenus, because the Word of God is not sacred and can be reinterpreted to “fit the times”
Traditional, “old-fashioned”, time-tested principles with a focus on actually retaining and promoting those principles of governance
Traditional, “old-fashioned”, time-tested principles with a focus on actually retaining and promoting those principles of faith
Focused on growth and unconstitutional practices to gain the illusion of more power, principles can and are sacrificed in order to obtain more power
Focused on growth and extra-biblical practices to gain the illusion of more power, principles and doctrine can and are sacrificed in order to obtain more ‘power’

Like I said, maybe I’m reaching, but the parallels are pretty obvious to me.  The fight of principle vs. the illusion of power is alive and well in the GOP, and appears to be in my church body too, which of course means I just can’t sit idly by, I must engage in this battle.  Party politics is important, and I will likely be engaged in it for the rest of my life.  But church politics… that is of eternal importance, and so I can’t be uninvolved any longer.  I’m looking forward to the 2013 Synodical Convention now.

Let me be clear… this is not the time or place to debate me on religion.  Comments like that will be removed because they have nothing to do with this post.  Notice I didn’t evangelize in the least here, I’m simply talking about my faith and am looking mostly for input from those who share it (meaning all of Christendom, not just Missouri-Synod Lutherans).  Don’t attempt to evangelize me on your beliefs or lack thereof here.  We can do that another time.  Just talk to me on the elements here.  Thanks!

Oh, and one last comment—that was the best run convention I’ve ever seen, bar none.  Somebody there knows Robert’s Rules of Order pretty darn well (actually, I think most of the attendees knew RROO pretty well, which helped significantly).  There were a few nit-picky things I noticed, but not enough to really even bug me.  The GOP could learn a thing or two (or ten) from them on how to run a meeting.

31 May 2012

Editorial: 'Paid' Opinions

I've been accused of many things over the course of my time in politics.  But, as they say, there's a first time for everything, and for the first time in 14 years, I was accused of having bought opinions yesterday.

I find this so nauseatingly repugnant that I thought it might be worth it to explain how I pick candidates--those I work for, volunteer for and/or generally support.

Arguing with those who are so clearly set in their opinions (not backed by any facts or reason, I might add) isn't worth my time.  But responding to this is important because it is foundational to what I do and what, in many ways, I think sets me apart from other "operatives" in this state.  I believe very strongly in principle and character, and to claim something that calls either my character or principles into question is something I take very seriously and is not wise to do.  Politics 101 says don't piss off potential allies unless there is a very good reason to do so--I've done this many times, so it’s not that you shouldn't do it.  Just have a good reason first.

When I hear about a race or meet a candidate, the first thing I do is look at their website.  What a candidate chooses to tell the world is important.  What they say, or often... what they don't say, is huge.  I also ask others who know them (political folks I trust and know from the area, etc.).  I usually get a pretty good sense of a candidate after meeting them anyways, and so far, I'm only rarely proven wrong about my initial impression.

Before I would ever consider volunteering or working for a candidate, I do a little more extensive research.  I want to make sure that, beyond all reasonable doubt, I have no concerns about supporting that candidate in that particular race.  I have a hard time doing anything I can't put my all into, so it would be very difficult for me to work for a campaign that I didn't thoroughly and whole-heartedly support.  If I can't do that, I'll elect (pardon the pun) to stay out of that race.  I don't generally like being approached by someone to work for or support them and then going to work for their opponent if I have already decided I can't support that candidate (unless there's a really, really compelling reason to do so--but those are rare).  

You'll notice, for example, on my Primary recommendations, there are some that I didn't give an opinion on.  I know most of the candidates running this year, but I don't know some well enough to completely and totally support some of them over another in their specific race.

Of course, my support of a candidate in a race doesn't mean that their opponent is bad--it just usually means they aren't qualified for that particular job (granted... there are some who are just total sleaze-buckets, but that's not always the case).  In fact, there are many times I think reasonable Conservatives can disagree over who is the Right Republican in a race--and there are times that it's hard to decide who is the best candidate.  On the other hand, there are times when a candidate is so bad that if they end up winning... rather than supporting them over the Democrat in a race, it's better to let the 'lesser' of evils in that one win.  

Simply put, there are some candidates, Republican candidates, who I will not support and, in fact, secretly hope lose.  The only way to bring this Party back to its roots of principle is to make sure those who have none are not reelected.

Ultimately, I form my opinions (which are entirely my own--anyone who knows me knows that I am not easily swayed once I form my opinions) long before I would work for or even support a candidate in a race for any office.  Any insinuation otherwise shows a lack of knowing me and how I operate, and even, maybe, is a projection of character deficiency on their part--but perhaps that's just the cynical side of me speaking.  

There are many whose opinions, endorsements and work can be bought (too many, in fact).  I am not one of them.  Those who do hire me do so for my expertise once I have already decided to support them.  It's certainly never to "buy" my support.  Anyone who thinks otherwise is just plain ignorant.

Oh, and since I'm also apparently a paid blogger (ha... with 10 posts over 4 months?  I must be really good...), feel free to send in your checks.  Cos I haven't gotten any of them yet--for what are you waiting?

25 May 2012

Opinions: A little campaign advice...

Normally, campaign strategists keep all their work and suggestions secret for fear of someone else picking up on what works for them and then stealing it. And you never give information to your opponent’s campaign! Why would you do that?

Well, good thing I’m not a normal campaign strategist. Let me give a little (albeit probably passive-aggressive and certainly snarky) campaign advice that, while it is directed at a specific campaign, is applicable to many races I’ve seen and will probably see in the future.  Don't take it too seriously—if you can't have a little fun in politics, what's the point of being in it?

  1. Don’t call your opponent a “budding career politician” if you’ve held elected or appointed office (from student government on up) in almost every year since your junior year of college—especially if you already have a campaign committee open for the next cycle, just in case you lose for the second time in a row (hey—third time’s the charm, right?). 
  2. Don’t tell other folks you “didn’t read the emails sent out by your campaign” and then take delight in remembering the baseless attack you put in it months later. I don’t know which is worse… not actually approving communications going out from your campaign, or lying about it to CYA. 
  3. If you want to be taken seriously as conservative and pro-Second Amendment, don’t have Hank “Assault-Weapons Ban” Brown as your honorary campaign chair. 
  4. If you want to be taken seriously as an “experienced” and “credible” candidate, you might want to show you have some credible experience. Like in a statewide race, for example, it might behoove you to show up outside the Denver-Metro area (only five times since September? In order: Logan County Lincoln Day Dinner, Weld County Lincoln Day Dinner, Mesa County Republican Luncheon, Grand County Assembly, El Paso County Assembly.). People respond better to folks showing up than sending letters (or not even returning emails and phone calls from County Party Chairmen). 
  5. Additionally, if you’re going to have surrogates speak for you, you might want to find some who don’t put the audience to sleep as much as you do in your job.
  6. Fundraising is key—so much so that you’ve claimed your opponent can’t raise money. Except when he’s outraised you since he got into the race… every. single. reporting. period. Oh, and throwing $1,000 of your own money into your campaign the last day of a reporting period because you’re raised no funds and want it to look like you have been doing something? Totally classy. 
  7. Do you so lack any common sense that you’re really willing to spend 71% of your funds so far on a campaign consultant who is clearly doing you no favors? P.S. Please tell Mike Ciletti it’s time to let this one go before he gets outperformed by a “little girl” in Colorado’s only statewide race in 2012 to save himself from the embarrassment. Dick Wadhams might want to consider dropping this one, too.
  8. When you look for people to endorse you, usually you go to the folks who know you best. Not so with this race. This one sought titles… and as he even says himself, he doesn’t know most of these people. His retort, of course, was, “Well, I may not know them but they know my opponent”. Ooh, ominous. Except that most of them endorse him BEFORE his opponent was in the picture. Oops.
  9. Speaking of titles… most people aren’t nearly as obsessed with titles as you seem to be. Get over it. No one else really cares.
  10. If there is even the appearance of a conflict of interest, one might consider running for another office (since clearly, this guy just wants another title and has no real interest in doing the job that goes with it). And yet, with no regard for the rest of the Republicans in this state who will be tarred with your sticky brush of hypocrisy and conflict, you plow ahead. At that point, you’re not a team player... you’re a power-seeker.
  11. Reagan’s 11th Commandment was “Thou shalt not speak ill of your fellow Republicans.” This means no personal attacks in races, but you can vehemently disagree on issues—and should discuss those. But when you don’t have the high ground on any issue… I guess the only thing you have left is personal attacks, something at which your campaign excels. I suppose when you’re not right on anything else, making up lies about your opponent is the only thing that’ll get you elected. Oh wait. That’s why every Republican in a statewide election in Colorado since 2004 with a nasty primary has LOST.
  12. And finally… if you’re going to regale the fact that you narrowly escaped victory in a previous election, you might want to get your numbers right. If you lost by, as you say, less than 0.4%, there would have been an automatic recount. Which there wasn’t. But hey, since you’re willing to lie about your opponent, why not lie about your previous race too? It’s not like you can’t easily find this information out or anything…

21 May 2012

The 'Right' Republicans Initiative

See?  To told y'all I was a terrible blogger.

With the Primary just around the corner (1 month and 5 days!), I wanted to update this with a little project I am working on.  It's called "The Right Republicans Initiative" and is to promote our liberty and principled candidates in both Primary and General elections.  You can read it here.

If you don't want to read all the reasons why I picked who I did, here's a quick synopsis:


Congressional Districts

  • District 1 (Adams, Denver): Danny Stroud
  • District 2 (Boulder, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Eagle, Gilpin, Grand, Jefferson, Larimer, Park, Summit, Weld): Kevin Lundberg
  • District 5 (Chaffee, El Paso, Fremont, Park, Teller): Doug Lamborn

State Senate
  • District 8 (Grand, Garfield, Jackson, Moffat, Rio Blanco, Routt, Summit): Randy Baumgardner
  • District 10 (El Paso): Owen Hill
  • District 21 (Adams): no opinion 
  • District 23 (Broomfield, Larimer, Weld): Vicki Marble
  • District 28 (Arapahoe): no opinion 

State House

District Attorney
  • District 11 (Chaffee, Custer, Fremont, Park): Thom K. LeDoux
  • District 18 (Arapahoe, Denver, Elbert, Lincoln): Leslie Hansen
  • District 22 (Dolores, Montezuma): no opinion

06 February 2012

Caucus 2012 (the prequel)

Tomorrow are the Colorado Caucuses, occurring in various locations across the state.  Make sure to check out my guide to the 2012 caucus and share it with your friends and neighbors who have not attended a caucus before (or need to brush up).

Also, please consider becoming a State Delegate for Matt Arnold (candidate for CU Regent, At-Large) and if you're excited about his campaign, talk about it at your caucus (here are some talking points and flyers you can bring with).  It is important and it does make a difference.  You have the chance, as a delegate, to determine who goes on the ballot, in what order they are listed and potentially prevent a costly primary in many races (county commissioner, state house and senate, and of course, CU Regent, At-Large).  Please let Matt's campaign know if you did make State Delegate and comment about your caucus experience!

03 February 2012

Rick Santorum

I'm not even going to get into the social issues discussion here (that would put this at way more than 2-3 big items I take issue with), but I do want to mention that being socially conservative does not make up for being a big government neo-con, which Rick Santorum clearly is (in fact, being socially conservative feeds into that to a large extent, but I digress).  It's almost like when someone here in Colorado says that because she worked for Focus on the Family, she's a Conservative across the board... right.

Rick Santorum voted, by my understanding, 5 different times in Congress to raise the debt ceiling (I'll look to see if I can find the article again where I read that... but if you have it or have different numbers, feel free to post in a comment).  Now, how can you trust someone who did that to reduce our deficit and be a fiscal conservative?

Additionally, Fm. Sen. Santorum seems to have an issue with using the government to pick winners and losers in the manufacturing industry through earmarks, grants and pet projects, basically promoting bailouts in Pennsylvania of one company or industry over another.  This also is disturbing to me, because it far exceeds the appropriate role of any government, let alone the Federal government.

Consistent opposition to Right to Work laws is not okay.

Mitt Romney

It's hard to settle on just 2-3 top issues with this guy for me.  He's the quintessential politician, and seems to embody everything that everyone hates about politics.

Most important is the issue of RomneyCare for me.  It has almost nothing to do with the mandate itself, and after speaking to a few people following the Denver GOP First Thursday Breakfast, they actually made it worse with their excuses for his sell-out.

There was a ballot initiative in Massachusetts to implement a single-payer system.  So what did Mitt Romney do?  Work with a bi-partisan effort to implement what we know today as RomneyCare, which helped mitigate some of the worst aspects of the single-payer ballot initiative.

...for those in Colorado, déjà vu, anyone?  Yes, that's right.  It's the same argument we heard from Madame House Majority Leader Amy Stephens that resulted in our "free market" "local, state's rights" solution (erm... government-run, federally funded and Obamacare compliant solution, I mean--oh wait, calling it that makes me a misogynistic anarchist... oops...), known here as SB11-200, or AmyCare.

So here is the question: do you sacrifice your "conservative" principles to make something that is still BAD less bad, or do you stick to your guns and let the bad thing pass?  I couldn't sleep with myself if I allowed the first to happen.  Making bad slightly less bad is like sinning, only less.  It's not acceptable in my book.

My biggest fear would be Romney repealing Obamacare, only to replace it with something slightly less bad.  Next would be if Romney makes this kind of compromise on anything else.  There is a point to working across the aisle and getting things accomplished, but not when that involves sacrificing your principles on the altar of political expedience.

Additionally, I have no confidence in Mitt Romney's appointments to the Massachusetts Supreme Court, and fear his picks for federal courts/US Supreme Court.

Finally, I don't know if Mitt Romney has the spine to make the tough decisions necessary to balance our budget, reduce our debt and deficit and cut government back to it's Constitutionally mandated size.  Everything he does seems to be about making sure he gets elected the next time--which is fine, but leaves him looking much like Colorado's Democrat Governor, John Hickenlooper.  Case in point... the same-sex marriage issue.  Romney could have done something to stop that, if he's really anti-gay marriage (as he says he is... when he's not for it, that is), but instead he punted it to the Massachusetts Supreme Court, who he knew would uphold it.  Not only is that weak and spineless, it's despicable.  I cannot respect that.

Ron Paul

Anyone who knows me knows that I am, at my core, a huge Ronulan in that I agree with over 90% of what Ron Paul has to say (whether or not he could be or is the ideal candidate is a whole 'nother debate for another time--one that I am refraining from for 2012 because I have bigger fish to fry in Colorado).  So you should hopefully take it seriously when I say there are two problems with him that have me more than a little annoyed at the moment...

The first is his issue with earmarking spending.  Now, I understand the argument that you want to bring back tax money that went to the Fed from your district, but you can't seriously expect us to believe you're anti-earmark when you stick them in bills you know will pass so you can vote against it but still get the money for your district.  That's duplicitous and obnoxious.  I've yet to hear a good answer from his campaign about it.

The second is getting involved at all in the Federal Personhood Amendment deal.  You can't advocate passing a Federal Constitutional amendment to protect life beginning at conception, and then attempt to invoke the 14th Amendment and delegate the enforcement of that to the states.  Then you have 50 interpretations of what a Constitutional amendment means and it becomes disastrous.  Either you go for all or nothing on this one... going halfway is moronic.

Newt Gingrich

I don't know how Gingrich ended up being one of the two most attractive candidates in this race... by comparison, he's certainly one of the more Conservative since the beginning of the race.  But I do have two issues with him in particular...

I think everyone remembers the dreaded Nancy Pelosi-Global Warming advert (if not, watch it here).  I don't care so much about his views on global warming or climate change or whatever the PC-term-de-jour for it is.  What I'm worried more about is what he may try to do about it from a government standpoint.  It's not a government issue, and I would hope he'd keep the EPA and other entities' sticky fingers out of this one.

The second one is, you guessed it, his issues with fidelity.  Of course, I do believe that one can be redeemed and change, but at the same time, I've witnessed first hand how destructive that is to a family... and how irreparable that trust is once broken.  If we can't trust our elected officials, we shouldn't vote for them.  So this issue leaves me torn... I'm not sure if it's enough to vote against him if he becomes the nominee, but it doesn't sit well with me, either.

02 February 2012

GOP Presidential Primary

To be perfectly honest, we don't have a good candidate for President on the Republican side for 2012.  Our bench will be better developed in 2016 and beyond (with the rise of folks like Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Allen West, etc.), but if Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are the best we have this year... we're screwed.  I wish we could put them all into a blender and take the best of them and throw it all into one candidate--then we'd be nigh on invincible.  Let me list below the things I like about each guy, and individual posts will follow on my top 2-3 concerns with each candidate.

Newt Gingrich has the smarts and the connections, the experience and know-how (and a track record of actually cutting the deficit, balancing the budget and reducing spending).

Ron Paul has brought focus to economic, fiscal and Federal Reserve issues like no one else in recent history, and he makes a compelling case for focusing on our borders first, and leaving nationbuilding to someone else.

Mitt Romney looks the part--if Hollywood were holding casting calls for the role of President in a movie, Mitt Romney would be your guy, and frankly, he generally has the most articulate surrogate speakers.

Rick Santorum is a great example of faith and family man, the kind that made this nation strong and continue to strengthen the moral fibre of this country.

Today, at the Denver County GOP First Thursday Breakfast, I listened to Representatives from each campaign as they spoke.  I got to ask them a question... for each of the candidates many flaws (the examples I used were Gingrich: Global Warming commercial fiasco; Paul: earmarks; Romney: RomneyCare; Santorum: debt ceiling increase x5 and significant earmarks), how can we as conservatives trust that they will actually reduce the size and scope of government and limit spending based on their records (not platitudes, platforms, talking points or rhetoric--but actual facts from their records).

Actually, the answer from the representative of the Paul campaign disappointed me the most (we'll talk about this in his post later).  But all representatives gave facts to back why they think their candidate would actually cut spending and government.  Romney's surrogate spoke of his efforts to mitigate bad things into less bad (not compelling to me, but a fair point); Santorum's surrogate spoke of his opposition to the bailouts and Paul's representative pointed out that Ron Paul has more "no" votes on record than any other Congressman (just call him "Dr. No") -- Gingrich's representative was not there at the time.  So I do applaud each of them for listening to the specifics of my question and actually giving me a straight, simple answer.  I didn't necessarily agree with all of them, but they do get points for actually answering my question, which never happens at a political event.


I've tried on and off for years to blog with too many failed blogs to count, and am never faithful.  However, there are times were I need a place to post things that Facebook doesn't accommodate very well.  So don't expect consistent content, but I'll be talking about candidates I'm working with, candidates I support, El Paso County GOP Issues, etc. -- predominantly focusing on local and state issues, but I have something in mind for the Presidential Primary, if I get the chance to write it soon.  Drop me a line here or leave a comment if you have comments (no redundancy intended), suggestion, questions or rants!