Tag Archive for 2014 Midterms

Colorado Senate Decided in 2014 Midterms to Flip to Being Republican Controlled!

Ballots were counted well past Election Day in many states including Colorado. It wasn’t until Friday November 7th when the Colorado Senate was announced to have flipped to being controlled by Republicans after ballots were finished being counted in Adams County. This ended a decades long drought in Colorado GOP leadership. Colorado will now have divided party leadership in the bicameral government, with the Dems controlling the House by 1 seat and the GOP controlling the Senate, with Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper at the helm, and veto power.

Divided government is very healthy for democracy, and it will also help John Hickenlooper have a term guarded by checks and balances. Hickenlooper will likely have a less controversial governance over the people in his second term, because it is less likely for super liberal unpopular legislation. (Like that of the gun laws of his first term.) It is unlikely that any such legislation will pass in the second term with the divided House and Senate leadership.

I see a healthy governance in Hickenlooper’s term and I see an economically healthy Colorado. We already have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, and we have a great small company startup success rate in Colorado. And I believe the fact that John Hickenlooper won re-election by about 50,000 votes is the turning point of his entire political career. Since he won re-election he can now easily position himself to run for president in the future, which he has been considered a political up-and-comer for years, with Politico profiling him as a potential Democratic presidential hopeful.

I am upset now in hindsight that Colorado did not go ahead with the fracking ballot measures that could have been on the 2014 ballot. Over the summer, when it was still thought that Udall could potentially win, John Hickenlooper capitulated to the Democrats and worked out the deal with Rep. Jared Polis to remove the ballot measure. The idea was that it would save Mark Udall. Well it didn’t save Mark Udall and now we have not made any progress on the fracking issue statewide when there is a political hunger to make regulations and now there is no major election until 2016. I predict that Rep.  Jared Polis is not done yet. He just won re-election and he is one of the most wealthy Congressmen, in the Top 10 Most Wealthy in Congress, and he is unafraid to make enemies.

Just today there was a high pressure water explosion in these sub-freezing temperatures in Weld County Colorado, and a worker died on a Halliburton fracking site. I predict the fracking issue does not go away anytime soon from the political arena, and the debate becomes louder and more contentious. Fracking is a huge part of Colorado’s economy and I know people who work in this field like any other job-field. I just hope that they are safe and not exposed to dangerous chemicals or otherwise unsafe work conditions. I do not judge people for having a job. I just think that these oil companies and engineering companies put their workers in unsafe conditions at times and perhaps we can make regulations that ensure worker safety without inhabiting the economy. Because even with the low unemployment rate, unemployment is still high and I cannot see the Colorado people outright banning anything that creates jobs. Not in 2014. So can we just make it safer? We may have to get used to earthquakes caused by human purposes in Greeley. I can’t see it going away anytime soon.

Post Election Analysis: Colorado Midterms 2014

It’s been a few days now since Election Day and ballots continued to be counted here in Colorado. The Democrats look to hold the Colorado House of Representatives by one seat. They had a nine seat majority last session and now barely hold on to power. And the Colorado Senate is still up in the air with ballots still being counted in Adams County. A very close and contentious 2014 Election on both the local and national levels. But as the expression goes, the local is global. The political trends that we see this election year on the local level bode as bellwethers for the nationwide political trends.

Obviously, it was not a good year for the Democrats. Yet, none of it was unexpected. The “Sixth Year Itch” prevailed in that the President’s party, the Democrats, were voted out of office in record amounts. The Senate flipped from being Democrat controlled, with Harry Reid as Majority Leader, to Republican control, with Mitch McConnell as presumed new Senate Majority Leader. The House of Representatives also picked up several seats. The total numbers: GOP picks up at least 7 seats in the Senate, and at least 14 seats in the House, give or take a few if the GOP takes a few additional races that continue to be up in the air while recounts, runoffs, and remaining ballots are counted.

Obviously, the main narrative in the media is that the GOP trounced the Dems. And they did. I will give them that. And they had an extremely savvy strategy, especially in the Cory Gardner/Mark Udall race. I believe that Gardner benefited from the Democrats war-on-women central focus setting a vulnerable Mark Udall up for failure. This is what angers me. That the Democrats bungled this one and were complacent about the focus on this issue. As a feminist, I agree that the GOP’s policies are not women-friendly. The legislation coming out of D.C. is not women-friendly. They can’t even pass an Equal Pay Act in D.C. Then there’s the terrible decision made by the Supreme Court in the Hobby Lobby Case. Between those and the Personhood legislation on state and national levels coming up every election cycle, and the “Forcible Rape” terminology in legislation, how are women supposed to believe that the GOP works for their interests at all? So the Democrats are correct to pursue this strategy. But it was not in their political interest to make it the center of Mark Udall’s campaign. Voters have a lot of anxiety right now about a lot of serious issues, and they have no confidence in Washington D.C. to address these issues. People are angry, and also checked out. And a wonderful Senator, one of the GOOD guys, Mark Udall pays the price. And opportunist and liar Cory Gardner is now a Senator.

The Colorado Independent has a great piece by writer Mike Littwin, in which he sums up the Colorado 2014 midterms in a nutshell stating: “The strangest thing is that Hickenlooper – who has spent so much time at the center of a gun-laws, sheriffs-pandering storm — is the Democrat who survives, and Udall, whose career has been basically storm-free, is the one who gets toppled.”

Such is the strange world of politics, where nothing is fair and anything can happen.

With 13 Days Until Election Day, Mail Ballots Have Arrived To Voters State-Wide and Early Voting Has Begun! And NEVER POLITICS Shares Candidate Endorsements

Never Politics Small

 

With less than 2 weeks until the election, nationwide the pundits are predicting victory for the GOP. The Senate Majority is likely to flip to being controlled by the Republicans, and here in Colorado the GOP leads in the polls in several key races: the senate race, the governorship, and key House of Representative races. President Obama’s approval ratings have been dismal, sitting at about 40%. The election has become less about the issues in the country and more of a referendum on President Obama. The GOP don’t have to have a proactive campaign when all they have to do is tie Democrat incumbents to the unpopular President. And this has been done ad nauseam in this election season.

Cory Gardner has run a “successful” campaign by linking Mark Udall’s voting record to President Obama’s agenda. This tactic is clearly based on the statistics on Midterm elections. In the sixth year of a President’s term, his/her political party loses. The statistics show it. Which is why I am having a hard time sustaining hope in this political climate. But I am more interested in the long-game anyway. While the GOP may win, and win big in November, I still believe there is much evidence to suggest that they are still losing the long game, and losing it nationwide. It is easy rhetoric for the GOP in this election to simply tie candidates nationwide to an unpopular President. But are they actually suggesting any alternatives? Do they have any cogent policy suggestions on how to move the country forward? I don’t see how they can win the Presidency in 2016 without a real vision for the country.

In fact, I think Hillary Clinton already has the election basically in the bag, and she hasn’t even formally announced that she is running yet. None of the speculated crop of GOP presidential candidates will have any remote chance of beating her. All of the polls in Iowa and New Hampshire show Hillary well ahead in the polls when matched against any of the GOP candidates (Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Jeb Bush, et al.) None of the metrics I have seen show that the GOP can win nationwide popular votes when they refuse to shift stances on the issues of the times. The GOP adamantly refuse to vote for immigration reform, raising the minimum wage, continue to support anti-women policies that infringe upon their reproductive rights, or reform on student loan interest rates. So, while the Democrats may lose in the short term, I doubt that the trend holds for too long. In 2016 and beyond we are likely to see reversals in these trends.

In addition to the Democrats inherent uphill battle this election season, I am also immensely frustrated by the local newspaper media piling on. I am alluding of course to the Denver Post and their recent endorsements of Cory Gardner and also Mike Coffman. The Denver Post usually endorses Democrats and liberal candidates, and I find it very fishy that all of a sudden this newspaper is endorsing these very socially conservative candidates. The timing is odd as well. The Denver Post is currently up for sale. And it’s current owners are a hedge fund. It seems to me that these endorsements have more to do with the owner of the Post and the prospective sale of the paper than the collective opinion of its journalists. There has been a sizable outcry against the Denver Post since these endorsements, with everyone from Gary Hart to others speaking out against it. The Denver Post said in its endorsement of Cory Gardner that the gridlock in Washington D.C. needs to stop, so they endorsed Gardner because he will be a new Senator, versus Udall who has been in the Senate for 15 years. This is the most pathetic logic I have ever heard for an endorsement. Cory Gardner has served in Congress for a few years in the House of Representatives and he has been one of the obstructionists who have caused the gridlock. In fact, he did not do much to stand up to his party during the Government Shutdown of 2013, when Colorado desperately needed a functioning federal government to provide emergency funding for Colorado during our devastating 2013 thousand year flood. It really boils my blood that just one year after all of the outrage over the government shutdown, the citizens of Colorado have already forgotten about it. Voter amnesia at it’s finest. And if the Denver Post was really serious about supporting candidates who will change the gridlock in D.C., they should have endorsed Andrew Romanoff for Colorado’s 6th district. Instead, they endorsed a well-known Birther and obstructionist, Mike Coffman. The Denver Post has no credibility anymore. It’s just another corporate agenda by the oligarchy.

NEVER POLITICS 2014 POLITICAL CANDIDATE AND BALLOT MEASURE ENDORSEMENTS:

Senator: Mark Udall
Governor: John Hickenlooper/Joe Garcia

Congressmen (6th District): Andrew Romanoff

Secretary of State: Joe Neguse
State Treasurer: Betsy Markey
Attorney General: Don Quick
State Representative, District 37: Nancy Cronk

BALLOT MEASURES:

Amendment 67: VOTE NO.

Amendment 68: VOTE YES.
Proposition 104: VOTE YES.
Proposition 105: VOTE YES.

 

John Hickenlooper in Re-Election Fight And if Jared Polis’ Anti-Fracking Measures Make the Ballot, Could Doom Mark Udall

In the spring, Hickenlooper’s campaign was flying high. Spirits were high that Hickenlooper would have a comfortable lead through the summer leading into the fall and the election. But that was before the Republican primary and before Hickenlooper’s opponent was chosen.

And here comes Bob Beauprez.

He crushed Tom Tancredo in the Republican primary. And he has a shot of becoming Colorado’s next governor. The Denver Post recently ran a piece about the “6-year-pushback,” the idea that there comes a push-back against the President’s party after 6 years in office, the result of voter frustration after 6 years of policy making. There could be a tide of political change in this politically purple state. We could get a Republican governor for the first time since 2007. We could get a Republican senator in the form of Cory Gardner.

Gov. Hickenlooper is now locked into a re-election fight, much like Mark Udall. Polls in mid July showed Governor Hick locked into a statistical tie. A Quinnipiac University poll released on July 15 found Republican Bob Beauprez leading the governor, 44% to 43%.

Hickenlooper has taken a few hard hits in public opinion over the last few years. The first was with the passing of gun-control legislation following the 2012 Aurora movie theater shooting. And the second stumble was with the very unpopular decision Governor Hickenlooper made to allow a “temporary reprieve” on the death penalty sentence of mentally-ill killer Nathan Dunlap. Bob Beauprez is jockeying into position to exploit public anger on these two issues. That combined with the public anger about “Obama-care” and the Dems have an uphill battle to November.

And we the citizens get caught in the middle with the mind numbing political ads that fill our tv screens on the local channels. Super PACS are out in force. We have ads from Karl Rove’s Super PAC, the Koch Brothers Super PAC, the Republican Senate Majority PAC, the Democrat Senate Majority PAC, then from Udall and Gardner’s campaigns directly. It is mind numbing. Combine that with the oil company propaganda ads which tell us that fracking is safe, effective, and counters our reliance on Middle Eastern oil. Nevermind that is completely unsafe and ruins the drinking water and farmland. Nevermind that it is causing earthquakes in Greeley, Colorado, a place that has never had any earthquake activity.

Time and Politico both recently published in-depth pieces that did an excellent job examining the impact of Jared Polis’ anti-fracking state-wide ballot measures that could potentially be on the ballot in November, if enough signatures are had by the August 4th deadline.  Democrats are concerned that these measures will serve as Republican turn out machines in November. This may cast the death blow to Mark Udall and to Gov. Hickenlooper. While I admire Rep. Jared Polis for speaking out against the intimidating oil and gas lobby in Colorado on fracking, he is not helping out the chances of Mark Udall keeping his Senate seat. Independents could very well be essential in determining who wins the Senate seat and who our governor will be….