April 6, 2005 Minutes

Minutes of the Monthly Meeting April 6, 2005

submitted by Deb Gardner and Kathy Simon

Longmont Coop Market

7:00 pm

President Lee Springer called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm. There were about 30-35 people attending.

David Ahrens gave the Treasurer report and the Longmont Area Democrats have $622.71 in the bank. The SDC has $50 in the bank. David encouraged everyone to pay their dues and make other contributions if possible.

Eileen Penner announced that the LAD has organized a fundraiser. We have reserved all the seats for the California Actors Production of “Just Old Friends” on May 19th at 7:00 pm. Fifty tickets were purchased for $7.50 each and will be sold for $20 each. That would net the LAD $625. The theater is located at 101 Pratt Street, Suite C. It is under the viaduct going over the railroad tracks at 1st and Pratt St. Wine and delicious chocolate desserts will be served after the show. Several tickets were sold the evening of the meeting. If you would like to attend, contact Eileen as soon as possible at eileenpen@aol.com

Deb Gardner announced two events for the Boulder County Democrats. The Truman Dinner will be held on Sept. 10, 2005. Senator Biden will be the speaker. We couldn’t let the spring go by without a party, so we will be having a “spring fling” on May 21, 2005, 7-11 pm at the Broker in Boulder. The working title is “A Night To Remember.” We will be honoring our recently term-limited elected officials, Ron Stewart, Paul Danish, and Terry Phillips. We are going to look back at our party over the decades and at the many transformations our party has gone through. We would also like to honor all the people who planted the seeds that we are able to harvest today. So please send in the names, stories, and pictures from our proud past. If you have pictures, come by headquarters at 1725 Walnut in Boulder and we can scan them into the computer and give you your picture right back. Tickets will be $25 in advance and $35 at the door. Dessert and dancing, with music from the decades will round out our evening. Space is limited, so reserve your spot today at

http://www.bouldercountydems.org

The Longmont Area Democrats will help the City of Longmont with its Clean Up day this Saturday at 7:30 am. Anyone interested please meet at the Isaac Walton pavilion on Sunset Street.

Lee Springer encouraged everyone to purchase phone cards for the troops as a way to support the troops without supporting the war. April 21, 2005 at the Longmont Public Library the Longmont Area Democrats will be showing the movie “Control Room.” The film will begin at 6:30 pm. Dr. Mike Beal, a political scientist and specialist about the Mid East will speak and answer questions following the movie.

Brandon Shaffer, Paul Weissmann, and Jack Pommer will be our speakers for next month as we host an area-wide Town Meeting on May 4, 2005.

The LAD is also publishing a cookbook as a fundraiser. Wanda Sterner is organizing the effort. How could anyone resist “Perfect Pommer Pot Roast,” “Hot and Spicy Tupa Challupa,” or “No CARB (no Cheney, Alberto, Rumsfeld, Bush) Democracy Dessert?” Please send your recipes, pictures of food, chefs, or just people eating to wrshome@comast.net and use the word “recipe” in the subject line. If you have a great recipe but can’t think of a Democratic name for it our staff writers will help you out.

Wanda Sterner is very ill and we all know she would appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

State Senator Brandon Shaffer stopped by to say hello and let us know what he was up to. He was working on the state budget today. There were amendments proposed by Republicans just to get the Democrats on the record as voting against a popular issue, for example funding the arts versus funding older citizens. They are using mean-spirited tactics and pitting Dems against Dems because we can’t fund everything. What can we do on the Tabor reform act? There will be something out of the legislature soon. We need to make sure precinct captains from 2004 are still there and that they can be activated for this push. This will actually be an “off year” election. There will be a professional media blitz but we need those feet on the ground early. We need a good informational brochure to hand out at events such as the Cinco de Mayo celebration on May 7, 2005. Right now the plan is evolving. There is a void in the area of information and how to get it disseminated David Ahrens is volunteering in Brandon’s office two days a week and is a big help, as is Pat Davis.

Sen. Ron Tupa, the speaker of the evening, talked about Tabor reform. Gov. Owens has now endorsed Tabor reform. He makes a pretty strong case for moderate Republican support, but there still is not a majority. The business community and education will support the current reform bill. Ron thinks it will pass this time. It will be a multimillion dollar campaign. The Governor’s pitch will be 180 degrees from the Democratic pitch. His point of view will be that it is a way to stop the “tax and spend liberals.” This strategy will turn off a lot of liberal people. Let him take credit for saving the world and get money for education, etc. If he brings in Republican votes that is a good thing, but we should not react to his spin negatively. The point is to get it passed. Mike Coffman will be the biggest opponent because he is using his opposition to any Tabor reform to solidify his conservative base.

Ron then reported on the Secretary of State Bipartison Blue Ribbon Panel on election reform. There are twelve people on it, making up a good mix of people. They have been meeting since December and have had about ten meetings. Hi to Bonnie Carmody; Ron has known her for fourteen years from Bingo days. Ron also commended Brandon Shaffer for doing a great job down at the capital. Ron feels that Secretary of State Donetta Davidson is very non-partisan and fair to Democrats. He handed out a summary of the proposed election reform legislation.

As the Chair of the State Veterans and Affairs Committee Ron is carrying the reform bill. There are some major changes. It will require training of election judges. It will change dates so that people and clerks have more time to process registrations, etc. It will change voter ID definitions by allowing for Native American tribal identification and allowing for student ID with photo ID issued from the school. There has been concern about students voting in two different places, but there is no evidence of fraud. Voter registration drives have been a real problem. Some groups did not turn in all the registration forms. All voter registration drives must register with the state and more. Registration forms will have a tracking number on them. We will provide a receipt. The new bill should include a provision to pay people an hourly rate, not by number of signatures.

There was a discussion of the Register Renters drive and how this would work. Maybe we need to have a different form that did not have a number or a receipt on it.

There was also a discussion of provisional ballots. At the last election some judges did not know the rules and were turning people away, which should never happen. The Ken Gordon bill says you can vote anywhere and every race counts. It would require duplicate ballots for each person that voted in the wrong precinct. It provides for auditing and testing of machines to make sure they are not bad. The “paper trail” was discussed. Every precinct must have a least one touch machine. If they have not already been purchased then the new one must have a verifiable paper trail.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 pm. The next meeting will be on Wednesday, May 4, 2005 at 7pm.

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