AURORA | Local Democrats took to Grandview High School’s auditorium Saturday for the party’s county assembly saying, “As goes Arapahoe County, so goes the state of Colorado.”
“Nov. 4, I know it’s bearing down on us,” said Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, who will face off against Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., for the a U.S. Senate seat in November. “You know what Congressman Gardner said in his announcement speech? He said Colorado’s future is fading. Well friends, fading may be what Colorado looks like for the House of Representatives. But for the rest of us, the shine never comes off of our state.”
Udall denounced Gardner’s votes to shut down the federal government, to end Medicare, as well as his refusal to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
“I’d never lead the charge for the radical personhood amendment, or co-sponsor a bill to criminalize abortion, even in cases of rape or incest,” Udall said. “I’m going to run on my record … It looks to me, with the news yesterday, that Congressman Gardner’s going to run away from his record.”
Gardner recently said he was wrong to have supported personhood measures after learning they would deny women some types of contraception.
Udall was later followed by 6th Congressional District candidate Andrew Romanoff, who will face off against incumbent U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, for one of the country’s most competitive House seats in November.
Romanoff touted his own immigrant background, describing his grandparents who emigrated to the U.S. from Poland, and his father, who was the first to attend college in the family.
“My grandparent’s story is not unique,” he said. “It’s being repeated everyday all across Colorado, all across America. It is the American dream. The fundamental promise that if you work hard, and play by the rules, you can get ahead. And your children can do even better.”
Romanoff said his opponent also wanted to grow the middle-class and strengthen the economy. “You know what, I believe him. Where we disagree, and what this race is about, is how we get there,” he said.
Romanoff touted other differences in his own agenda that include supporting equal pay for equal work and comprehensive immigration reform. Coffman, who last year introduced a House resolution that would provide a pathway to citizenship for youth enlisted in the military, has in the past been an opponent of earlier immigration proposals.
“He was wrong to shut down the government, wrong to oppose an increase in the minimum wage, wrong to call social security a Ponzi scheme, wrong to call Tom Tancredo his hero, wrong to call the DREAM Act a nightmare, and wrong to call the president of the United States un-American,” Romanoff said of Coffman.
Romanoff faces some criticism on immigration, having served as the Colorado Speaker of the House in 2006, when the Legislature passed a series of bills aimed at undocumented immigrants that included denying non-emergency state benefits to adults who couldn’t prove residency.
Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., said electing Romanoff to the U.S. House seat would help Democrats gain a majority in the House. The House is currently made up of 201 Democrats, but needs 17 seats to gain a majority.
“The path to 218 goes right smack dab through Arapahoe County,” she said. “I need Andrew Romanoff to get to 218. Will you help me do that?”
Staff Writer Aaron Cole contributed to this report
I am intrigued with Andrew Romanoff’s newfound interest in living in Aurora. Where was his interest in the 6th CD before 2013?
For two election cycles in a row, Democrats have forced a Denver state representative on the voters in this newly configured congressional district. Does anyone think Romanoff would be in a rented apartment in Aurora, if the district wasn’t represented by a GOP congressman? Does anyone really expect Romanoff to remain in Aurora, if he loses in November? His Democratic predecessor sure didn’t stick around. This smacks of an attempt to gain a second congressional seat for the City and county of Denver.
Romanoff talks about the Personhood Amendment, but we are more concerned with his embracing Obamacare which has raised health care premiums, deductibles, and co-pays. We are also dismayed with his willingness to treat citizenship as a door prize to be given to illegals, who simply managed to evade capture.
Aurora, Centennial, Littleton, Highlands Ranch, and Brighton is better served by having a military veteran, like Mike Coffman, representing them in the U.S. House rather than infecting Washington with yet another lawyer… one who would be a merev freshman in the minority party,
Mike Coffman is a “birther.” He doesn’t think President Obama was born in
the United States even though President Obama released his birth certificate.
The Green Party of Colorado held its state nominating convention the same day that the Arapahoe County Democratic Party held its assembly. I was nominated as the Green Party’s candidate for the Sixth Congressional District seat that is currently held by Mike Coffman. The following is from my nomination speech on March 22:
When he [Mike Coffman] was first elected to this office in 2008, it was a safe Republican district. But redistricting following the 2010 census changed the demographics of the district, making it Colorado’s only competitive Congressional district and one of the most hotly contested Congressional districts in the country. Mike Coffman was narrowly re-elected in 2012 with just 47.8% of the vote. He was Colorado’s only member of Congress to be elected by less than a majority of the vote that year.
Andrew Romanoff is a former four term Democratic state representative, former speaker of the state house of representatives, and a former candidate for US Senate. He moved from Denver to Aurora in February of last year to establish his residency in the Sixth Congressional District. The same week that he moved, Romanoff announced that he was running against Coffman.
Legally, a candidate for US Representative only needs to be a resident of the state, not necessarily a resident of the district. The framers of the US Constitution did not envision Congressional districts. Today, as a candidate for US Representative, I propose that we amend the US Constitution to get rid of single member Congressional districts and elect the US House of Representatives by a national system of proportional representation using open party lists. The US Senate should be abolished, along with the Electoral College. Giving each state two US Senators has greatly inflated the political power of less populated, rural conservative states, creating an artificial Southern Block veto over Congressional legislation. The reactionary, misrepresentative US Senate obstructed the anti-slavery movement for sixty years and blocked civil rights legislation for another hundred years. As James Wilson asked at the Constitutional Convention: “Can we forget for whom we are forming a government? Is it for men, or for the imaginary beings called States?” Thomas Jefferson believed that the US Constitution could only be binding upon his generation. He said that each new generation should create its own Constitution. We are more than 200 years overdue for a new Constitutional Convention.
The Cook Partisan Voter Index now gives the Democrats a one point demographic advantage in the Sixth Congressional District. The Democrats are targeting this district as one of a very small number of seats that they might be able to take away from a Republican incumbent. Romanoff is considered to be a strong contender. Both major parties are funneling millions of dollars into this race. Early media coverage of this district has treated it as a horse race to raise campaign contributions and get out the vote, with no major issues. Romanoff has obliged. His campaign website says nothing about public policy issues, but it does beg for money to support his campaign about nothing. Like the old song goes, “It Don’t Mean a Thing, If It Ain’t Got That Swing.”
The corporate media are already so bored and unimpressed with the meaningless contest between Coffman and Romanoff that they have declared this to be a Swing District. In fact, the political website “Colorado Pols” described this district as the “swingiest of swing seats.” When I read this, I thought, hey, my name is Gary Swing. This is an open invitation for me to jump into the race and add my name to the ballot. It sounds like the Sixth District is a good place to find Swing Voters.
When Romanoff ran for the US Senate, he ignored candidate surveys that asked for his positions on public policy issues. “On the Issues” — a website that claims to feature “all the candidates on all the issues” has no record of Romanoff taking any positions on foreign policy issues.
Here’s my foreign policy platform: Uphold the Kellogg-Briandt Pact outlawing war. Abolish nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. Remove all US armed forces from foreign nations and restrict them to non-offensive defense of US territory. End all foreign military aid. Stop US interference in foreign elections. Abolish the CIA, the NSA, and the Selective Service System. Rescind NAFTA and GATT. Support “fair trade” policies, freedom of travel, and international work permits that are not tied to a single employer.
Andrew Romanoff may not have any issues, unless he has issues with the whole issue of having issues. I will openly admit that I’ve got LOTS of issues. Serious issues. Global warming. Fracking and tar sands. Conversion to renewable energy sources. Single payer national health insurance. Overpopulation. Food security. Sustainable agriculture. The mass extinction of animal species. Public campaign financing. The runaway surveillance state. The Green Party has hundreds of serious issues, spelled out in its national platform.
Every election year we hear the same nonsense about “voting for the lesser of two evils.” But year after year, 99% of American voters continue to embrace the greater evils of the two major parties: never ending wars of aggression, imperialism, authoritarianism, and environmental devastation.
Some people may fear that I could spoil the Sixth District election for the Democrats, but you can’t “spoil” elections that are already rotten to the core. If you vote for candidates who don’t represent your values, then you are wasting your vote. The Democrats assume that they can take liberal votes for granted, but the Democrats just offer a bit less of the same corporate agenda as the Republicans.
I will say though, it was a thoughtful gesture for Andrew Romanoff to step forward and start running against Mike Coffman long before anyone else did. So thank you, Andrew. But if he has nothing of substance to say, maybe it’s time for Andrew Romanoff to withdraw from the race. I would welcome his endorsement and support as a Green Party candidate in the general election for the Sixth Congressional District. Let’s swing this election together. I’m sure that Andrew Romanoff could find a better use for his millions of dollars in campaign contributions, such as financing a citizen initiative to elect Colorado’s state legislature by a modern system of proportional representation. It’s time to get into the swing of things.
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