Should Greens Run Candidates Who Can’t Win, Like Minor Parties Often Do?
by Art Goodtimes
Sep 30, 2010 | 1349 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BOB KINSEY … It was great to see a Green candidate getting solid local media coverage last week. It speaks to our love of the freedoms of speech & belief tolerated in this county… Front Range folks ignore minor party candidates, unless they “poll” at 10% on the random sampling surveys done by Colorado pollsters. In fact, Ken Salazar protégé and incumbent U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey (Dem-Ft. Collins) got heat last week, over on the other side of the mountains, for refusing to debate her Repub candidate Cory Gardner unless two low-polling candidates were included, canceling several proposed debates. Happily, CBS affiliate – Northern Colorado Channel 5 – agreed to a format that includes Constitutionalist candidate Doug Aden and Independent Ken Waszkiewicz … But, as an elected Green official, I have to say I disagree with the Colorado Green Party’s strategy of running candidates for state offices they have no chance of winning and, untested, are not qualified to run for; just as I disagree with the national Greens for running untested, unqualified candidates for national office … The practice of politics – running government in the name of the people – is an art as well as a science, and needs someone who’s studied both – political science and community leadership … This year’s U.S. Senate seat race between incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet and Repub Tea Party candidate Ken Buck is a crucial one for our state’s progressives (my catch-all turn for Greens, most Dems, liberal independents and a few Libertarians). Bennet is a successful, savvy, private & public sector lawyer who holds the most American of values – freedom, choice, social justice, energy self-reliance and community resilience. Buck, his opponent, is a smooth-talking Ivy League D.A. who would end Social Security (“a horrible program” he called it in one speech), refuse abortion to victims of rape or incest, and who supported the radical right Personhood amendment (#62) until he learned that some common forms of birth control like the pill would become illegal and has now backed away from support for Amendment 62 (although he says he still supports “personhood”) … In that kind of match-up why would any thinking progressive vote for anyone but Michael Bennet? Personally I’m proud to be a Green for Bennet. Let’s work and pray that he’s elected to do what he’s been doing so well as an appointed Senator.

MANNY’S BRIDGE … Dr. Emanuel Salzman founded the Telluride Mushroom Festival 30 years ago, and he’s been a bit of a one-week-a-year Telluride celebrity (reclusive and humble as he and his wife Joanne have always been). But they also have had a large role to play in Denver’s Lower Downtown or LoDo neighborhood, where they were urban pioneers who began living across from Union Station when it was far from fashionable. Together they have spear-headed efforts to make LoDo more bicycle and pedestrian friendly, including preserving a steel railroad bridge across Cherry Creek on Wynkoop St. (where John Hickenlooper, with the Salzmans as investors, started his famous brewery) … The Mayor honored Manny last year by naming the bridge after him, and dedicating a plaque in his honor (smashing a special batch of Wynkoop ale on the abutment). I got to visit the bridge with Manny when I was in Denver last, tying up mushroom loose ends, participating in political dramas (progressives knocked two arch-conservatives off Colorado Counties’ Public Lands delegation to D.C. and elected Rachel Richards of Pitkin County and our own Lynn Padgett of Ouray County in their place), and meeting with cohorts and consultants as part of my CSU’s Center for Collaborative Conservation fellowship.

BETTER DEAD THAN RED … Not a few of us oldsters remember this apocalyptic Cold War mantra coined by the right, back when almost anyone who worked for social justice or peace was considered “a commie” … Curious that now the color “red” represents the very right-wing that tried to demonize the Left in the Sixties … Given the radical Tea Party hysteria and their untenable political positions (their much-touted Amendments 60 & 61, plus Proposition 101, are estimated to cost Colorado almost 6,000 jobs and is guaranteed to raise property taxes just to maintain existing services), perhaps we need an updated Dem version of this mantra as current bumper sticker.


Fall’s First Storm, Summer’s Last


Strange muddy tracks
up Doris Ruffe’s driveway
like cracks in her glasses

Dallas Divide

Dark clouds pummel
the Cimarrons
while the sun-blue Sneffels
shine untouched

except for a see-through
blouse of snow
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