In the world of K-12 education politics, when you are trying to do something right and shake up the status quo a little bit, it’s very hard to avoid flak. And anyone running for local school board deserves careful scrutiny. But when silly rumors start flying and supposedly serious news agencies report them, I suppose it’s time for someone else to step up and take on the challenge. Hey, no problem: I’m used to being called silly names by teachers unions.
In case you’re not aware, I’m talking about the upcoming elections for Douglas County Board of Education, an area south of metro Denver for the uninitiated. The story begins last December when the local teachers union — affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers — endorsed and gave money to four Board candidates (including two incumbents), one in each of the competing districts. (See the document at the bottom for screenshots of campaign finance reports.)
Then the local Republican Party endorsed four other Board candidates (including one incumbent) to challenge them. So why do we act shocked that Republicans representing parents and taxpayers in conservative Douglas County opt to back candidates other than the ones financed by the teachers union?
Maybe because it’s not terribly common to see those bound together by their support for parental choice, charter schools, high academic standards, financial transparency, and accountability — agenda items to which union leaders generally are not favorable — try to get a little organized.
But just exactly why did the highly-respected Ed News Colorado team report the story so breathlessly yesterday? (more…)
What a difference a week makes! Last Sunday Denver Post editorial page editor Dan Haley laid out the red carpet for Republican Jane Norton‘s U.S. Senate campaign. Today, in the printed space directly beneath Haley, columnist Vince Carroll took a look at Norton’s “clunky” bio page and “languid and subdued” introductory video, and had to say Ummm… Not so fast: (more…)
Trying to build on Lefty hitman David Sirota’s smear that the anti-Obama Care movement is characterized by “racist undertones” leading to rampant death threats, the 5280 blog recounts:
He isn’t the only public figure in Colorado to be threatened for digging into the intricacies of the health care debate. Last month, Congressman John Salazar received a death threat during a protest in Grand Junction, leading his office to contact Capitol police and the FBI, according to The Pueblo Chieftain.
Umm, does 5280 not read the Denver Post? (more…)
Last week I pointed out that financial concerns might end up pushing the Colorado Springs Gazette to abandon its longstanding position as a beacon of limited government, personal liberty, and fiscal sanity. Well, buckle up, because it’s started happening really quickly.
Witness today’s Gazette editorial co-signed by publisher Steven Pope and John Weiss, publisher of the Lefty Colorado Springs Independent, pulling out the big scare to support a tax hike on the city’s ballot.
However, it’s not clear the new Gazette management has considered all of the implications of the property tax increase (H/T Sean Paige).
If the Gazette losing its independent, libertarian voice concerns you in the least, now is the time to speak up.
Last Friday, the Dump Reid PAC out of Nevada sent out an email update that included the following note about Colorado’s Republican Party chairman and a leading Republican contender to take on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2010:
Sources confirm that Dick Wadhams was in Las Vegas recently to meet with [Sue] Lowden and is prepared to join the campaign if/when it becomes official.
Awakening from the long Labor Day weekend, the Dead Governors opined on Tuesday morning: “Dick Wadhams is reportedly considering a move to Nevada.”
Some time later that same day, fellow Right-leaning Colorado blogger Joshua Sharf reported on a memo from Wadhams that all but definitively indicated he had no plans to head to the Silver State. The Associated Press made it more definitive: (more…)
The Denver Post this morning has up a story by Jeremy Meyer filled with local reaction to the news of Obama speaking to school children next Tuesday. Meyeer quotes several people in the story, but my remarks to him yesterday didn’t make the cut. Here’s more or less what I said:
This has all the signs of the Obama cult of personality. Parents who don’t want to subject their children to the organized hero-worship of a controversial political figure certainly can’t be blamed for wanting to pull them out. The decision should be made at the local school level, but in any case the parents at least should have the opportunity to opt out. That’s perfectly appropriate.
Could a rare newspaper editorial voice for liberty — a long-time fixture on Colorado’s Front Range — be on its last legs? Sean Paige writes about news of bankruptcy at the Colorado Springs Gazette (where he used to be the editorial page editor) and the possible demise of the “Freedom Philosophy” on the newspaper’s opinion pages.
Like the demise of the Rocky Mountain News, this too would be a sad development for Colorado. But if it does come to pass, is new media ready to step in the gap? Paige’s own Local Liberty Online is one place to start, but those are huge shoes to fill.
I can only imagine very few readers of Sunday’s Denver Post opinion page shrugged their shoulders with a ho-hum. All stacked together on good old page 3D of the Perspective section, the collection of pieces had to evoke some wholehearted assent, some serious disagreement, or both.
Let’s go with the bad news first, the lead fantasy-ridden editorial “Public option is critical to reform”:
Opponents also say the public option is a ruse meant to facilitate a government takeover of health care. On the contrary, we think it will give the insurance industry every incentive to innovate and find efficiencies, best treatment practices and ways to make their rates more attractive to businesses and policy holders.
Based on what, the wishful thinking of the Post‘s editors? My jaw almost hit the floor as I read this editorial. Whether or not they like the cheese shop sketch analogy, here’s one good place (or here, for that matter — written by a fellow journalist) they could start to dunk their heads in a dose of reality. If the Post wants to promote real “game-changing reform” of health care, here are some much more promising ideas friends of liberty need to be talking up. (more…)
Congratulations appear to be in order for Jeremy Pelzer, who has landed some sort of gig at the new online Rocky Mountain Independent. Jeremy’s fairly long feature today is the latest Colorado GOP postmortem piece, with the standard news hook of a lifelong moderate Republican switching parties in disgust:
The Colorado Republican Party has had few supporters more loyal than Brandon Curtis.
The 32-year-old sales marketer from Denver had voted straight Republican in every election since he first cast a ballot in 1996. Last year, he was a delegate for John McCain in the Republican presidential caucus.
But in the general election last November, Curtis voted Democratic for the first time in his life, picking Barack Obama and Mark Udall for president and U.S. Senate, respectively.
And he says heâ€™ll do it again next election.
â€œI feel like the current state of the Republican Party would lead me away and have me vote Democratic,â€ Curtis said. â€œItâ€™s a situation where moderates like myself â€” the (Republican) party just doesnâ€™t want us right now. . . . Thereâ€™re still a lot of principles that I agree with, but I think thereâ€™s too much focus on the social issues.â€
Having read that, I don’t doubt its veracity or Mr. Curtis’ sincerity. I’m not exactly thrilled with the state of the Republican Party myself. But as usual when reading this sort of story — especially with someone of the same age and especially of the ambiguity of the term “moderate” — I’m left with a series of questions for the person highlighted. For the purposes of drawing the most meaningful lessons from his example, I’d be curious to know the following answers: (more…)
So some of y’all must be thinkin’ … Whatever happened to that thar’ swine flu thing? Apparently, the World Health Organization is set to issue an alert for a “level 6 pandemic” — the first such designation in 40 years.
Before you start stampeding through the streets in panic, take note:
The declaration of a global epidemic was expected Thursday as WHO officials huddled in an emergency session in Geneva in the wake of 141 swine flu deaths worldwide, including 12 in New York City….
If WHO moves from level 5 to level 6 on its pandemic alert scale, it would be the first flu pandemic declared since the Hong Kong flu killed an estimated 1 million people in 1968.
On Wednesday, WHO reported 27,737 cases worldwide, most of them mild and requiring no treatment.
Are you scratching your head, too? How can a mostly mild H1N1 strain that affects about one-fortieth the number who were killed by the Hong Kong flu evoke the same designation and any meaningful comparison between the two? (more…)
Last night I wrote about my personal connection to a General Motors plant closing. To put that into meaningful (and frightening) perspective, you simply have to read Rossputin’s insightful account of the travesty that is the wildly unpopular government takeover of GM.
It’s the lead story at Human Events, and for good reason. Congratulations, Ross!
Remember the story of the Black Panthers intimidating Philadelphia voters on our most recent Election Day? Well, there’s an interesting update at The Next Right that strongly suggests the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) is happy to let the issue drop.
Author Mike Roman makes some cogent points in his conclusion:
These actions raise a number of troubling questions. For example, why did the Civil Rights Division voluntarily dismiss a lawsuit that they had effectively already won, against defendants who were physically threatening voters? Is the Division concerned that this dismissal will encourage the New Black Panther Party, or other groups, to intimidate voters? Why did the Division seek such limited relief against a defendant who was actually carrying and brandishing a weapon at a polling station on election day?
Don’t expect to see this story at the top of your network news broadcast or anywhere near the front page of the New York Times.
Can’t help but say that I’m a bit disappointed in the Grand Junction Sentinel for the shoddy article and headline erroneously equating the Facebook group membership of my colleagues Todd Shepherd and Justin Longo with support of Josh Penry.
On the other hand, the Dead Guvs’ complicity in their own headline writing and truly bizarre conspiracy theorizing is downright amusing. It reinforces the case that they’re out of touch with local Republican politics and are relying on deductive logic to perpetuate a pre-fabricated narrative. They’ll have to do better if they wish to be believable as something other than a fountain of Democrat talking points.
When Todd — a man of journalistic integrity (and amazing vocal impersonation skills) — explains the origin of the “serious questions” for Scott McInnis by writing: (more…)
It seems Colorado’s own David Harsanyi is getting some national attention for his column-writing talents. Witness “The 30 Best Conservative Columnists for 2009″ list compiled by John Hawkins of Right Wing News. David breaks in at number 22.
Yes, David is a native New Yorker and not really from Colorado. (Then again, few of us really are from Colorado.) But he’s certainly made a name for himself while on the editorial board of the surviving Denver Post. Some of us even can say we knew him “when”. You can find his columns here and his blog contributions here.
Of course, Michelle Malkin – who regularly graces the lists of top conservative columnists and comes in at number 7 on the latest – is officially a Coloradan as of last summer.
I’d say that, all in all, Colorado is well represented on the list of today’s top conservative writers.