– By John Bigger, President, Longmont Area Democrats
Welcome to the first in what will be an ongoing series of columns on the LAD site dedicated to news and issues relating to the Longmont Dem/progressive community. As the summer winds down and election season heats up, it is critical for our community to be engaged and galvanized in order that we may continue to effect Longmont’s continued evolution – politically, socially and intellectually.
As always, I welcome your feedback and ideas!
Longmont City Council/Mayoral Candidate Forum
On Wednesday, September 7 at 6:30pm, The Longmont Progressive Center (723 Main St.) will host its first ever candidate forum. If you attended the forum which was hosted by LAD at FRCC in 2009, you can expect a similar format with this year’s LPG-hosted event. The forum will be emceed by a local resident with no ties to the Longmont political community and will feature a variety of topical questions for all candidates in attendance.
Please plan to attend and learn more about local Longmont issues and candidates.
Matt Jones Announces State Senate Bid
Current HD12 State House Representative Matt Jones (D) announced this morning that he is running for the CO State Senate District 17 seat currently held by term-limited Senate President Brandon Shaffer (D). Having volunteered for Matt’s HD12 campaign, I have gotten to know Matt well and I am quite excited about the prospect of having Matt represent our senate district. Matt brings a wealth of experience, having served multiple terms in the state house, and his demonstrated ability to “reach across the aisle” for support on critical bills has established him as a very successful Representative.
We look forward to working for Matt on his bid to succeed Brandon Shaffer, who is seeking to unseat freshman CD4 Rep Corey Gardner (R) in 2012.
Boulder Reapportionment Hearing Recap
Monday’s (8/15) state house district reapportionment hearing provided few fireworks, but plenty of ardent support fromLongmontand Boulder County Dems. The meeting, held in a standing-room only conference room at CU’s UMC, was hosted by the committee charged with defining new state house and senate district boundaries and was chaired by HD12 Rep Matt Jones. The committee is comprised of five Dems, five Republicans and one independent, non-partisan member.
A number of Dem and progressive activists presented key points in opposition to the currently proposed plan (6001). Such topics included the fracturing of the Latino community, segregating the “heart” of Longmont(downtown/main street) from the much larger HD11 and general, politically-motivated gerrymandering.
While the opposing sides in the debate remained mostly civil and respectful throughout, the same cannot be said of one of the committee members, Republican lobbyist Gayle Berry, who literally screamed at a startled fellow committee member who was simply urging Berry to refrain from “cross-examining” citizen speakers.
For information regarding the reapportionment proceedings, please visit WWW.Colorado.gov/Reapportionment.
You are also encouraged to email the committee at email@example.com in order to voice your concern over the proposed district mapping.
Local Right Wing Longmont Election Tactics
“By discovering the enemy’s dispositions and remaining invisible ourselves, we can keep our forces concentrated, while the enemy’s must be divided.”
“It is the rule in war, if our forces are ten to the enemy’s one, to surround him; if five to one, to attack him; if twice as numerous, to divide our army into two.”
– Sun Tzu
Anyone who is familiar with the basic tenets of Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” is familiar with the stated principle that, in order to defeat one’s enemy, said enemy must first be divided. By now, any learned strategist knows this tactic when she/he sees it, yet it continues to be used. Why? Because it can be effective when executed skillfully.
The “other side” has already begun exercising these tactics, seeking to alienate and/or marginalize Longmont’s various Dem and progressive entities in order to gain victory in the upcoming non-partisan city elections.
One such example was brought to my attention today, in fact. A local attack blogger, in a painfully transparent attempt to execute said “division strategy”, devised a fabrication regarding yours truly, implying that I had actually visited his blog site and posted some derogatory remarks in the comments section. He went on to suggest that he had performed a little IP “sleuthing” and had discovered that – lo and behold! – said post was traceable, not only to an iPhone (which I own), but to Longmont Area Democrats. For reference, there is no “Longmont Dems” network entity from which any silly comments could have been posted to his blog. Further, I do not visit his blog. It doesn’t interest me and I’m not interested in reading comments from a guy who does nothing but trash his fellow Longmont citizens. And I most certainly did not post any comments to his blog.
This is but one example of their tactics, folks. Don’t get sucked in. In the weeks leading up to the election, they will say and do anything they can to divide us. Desperate moves such as these began rearing their heads years ago when the longtime Longmont“establishment” began to notice an alarming (to them) growth in the progressive population and movement in Longmont. They didn’t like it and they will do whatever it takes to stem the tide of momentum.
Last Night’s LAD Film: “The Most Dangerous Man in America”
Last night’s edition of the LAD Film Series featured one of my personal favorite documentaries, “The Most Dangerous Man inAmerica: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers”. If you were unable to attend and have not seen this film, please do so. It is truly inspirational to learn about a man whose only motivation for putting himself in a significantly dangerous situation was his internal desire to do what was best for his country.
Please join us on the third Wednesday of every month for our film series.
LAD Growth in 2011
Those of you who have been attending LAD events this year have no doubt noticed a lot of new faces. I am pleased to announce that the LAD continues to grow, feeding off of the continued influx of Dems and progressives intoLongmont. As mentioned above, the times they are a-changin’ (and have been for years!) in this community and we can continue to reap the benefits of the welcome infusion of left-leaning citizens from other parts of the county, state and country. If you let your membership lapse last year, it’s time to get back on board. You’ll see many familiar faces as well as many new ones. We host outstanding programs each month and we boast numerous members who are well-known activists in the community and who can put you to work on various campaigns and causes!
Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month at723 Main St.,Longmont.
Until next time, I’ll leave you with a quote from one of my personal favorites, Hunter S. Thompson:
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”