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Home / Articles / Views / DyerTimes /  Time for Longmont voters to push back on disgusting 'push polls' and those they benefit
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Thursday, October 24,2013

Time for Longmont voters to push back on disgusting 'push polls' and those they benefit

By Joel Dyer

First off, let me just warn you that I’m pretty angry about what’s going on in Longmont’s city council races. I’m upset because I naively thought, or at least hoped, that as a community we had matured and moved beyond the kind of childish, unsophisticated politics that are now taking place in our council races, races which are supposed to be unaffiliated and therefore above the typical manure that passes for partisan politics these days.

I mean, give me a break, has someone really stooped so low, again, as to drag back up robo-call push polls that just flat out lie and deceive the public about certain candidates who are running for city council?

And oh, spoiler alert, it’s the Democrats who are running for council, namely Dennis Coombs, Trisa Baxter, Polly Christensen and Ron Gallegos, who are being primarily targeted by the calls. Gee, I didn’t see that one coming.

Surely it’s just a bizarre coincidence that it’s the Democratic mayoral and at-large council race candidates who are on the receiving end of these classless, deceptive push polls, which were obviously designed to help certain other candidates in those races who just happen to be affiliated with a different political party.

I wonder who could be behind such a despicable, anti-democratic ploy that does nothing but hurt all of the citizens of Longmont (he asks while humming the theme song to the movie The Magnificent Seven).

It’s an inside joke. (See bit.ly/197HnhU.) The movie reference is from the last time outside oil and gas money tried to buy Longmont’s elections with a silly campaign lauding the fact that seven former Republican mayors, including Bryan Baum, who is running again this election, apparently thought it was a great idea to allow oil and gas wells to be drilled in our neighborhoods.

Of course the silly seven mayors campaign didn’t work last year because basically, Longmont voters aren’t stupid. They knew whose outside money was paying for the campaign and understood that just because a few has-been mayoral shills were willing to sell out the quality of life of their neighbors to please the Republican hierarchy at the state level — state Republican leadership beholden to the oil and gas industry — didn’t make allowing drilling within city limits a good idea.

So the question is, could some of the same morally challenged folks — yes, lying is a moral issue — be behind this year’s deceitful push polls? Are our local Longmont council races really once again under attack from some of the same outside organizations that have used such despicable tactics in the past? Unfortunately, it appears that’s likely the case, based on that old cliché about leopards and their spots. But until the proper campaign finance paperwork is filed by whoever is soiling our local elections, we won’t be able to accurately identify exactly which disgusting pinheads authorized and/or are paying for the push polls.

I will say that it is my best guess, as someone who has covered a few decades worth of elections, that generally the people who are benefiting the most from lying BS like these robo-call push polls tend to be the people who know who is behind them. And in my book, if you know who’s doing it and you don’t expose them, then you are equally a liar and fraud.

Honestly, the only thing shocking about all this political subterfuge is that the slimy Neanderthals behind these push polls and the surely soon-to-arrive pamphlets of distorted facts actually believe that Longmont voters are too stupid to see through their deceptive tactics once again.

Those behind the lies and those benefiting from the lies politically actually think that we’re too dumb to understand that this attempt by outside forces to play a role in who sits on Longmont’s city council is anything more than just the latest attempt by the oil and gas industry to get its dirty hands on Longmont by seeding our council with its known shills.

One industry-friendly group after another, from Main Street Longmont to American Tradition Partnership (ATP), have thrown money at our local elections and to certain candidates in an effort to make sure that the industry gets what it wants.

This push poll business is no different. No matter who turns out to be paying for the polls, it’s all about getting friends of the oil and gas industry on the council so that the council-generated oil and gas regulations passed last year can be weakened or eliminated, so that if the industry and state prevail in their lawsuit to overturn the fracking ban, then Longmont could be turned into a polluted pin cushion ASAP. That’s what this election, unfortunately, is really about, regardless of what is being claimed.

Despite how this may sound, I’m not indicting the Republican Party. There are certainly Republicans who have run for council in a proper, unaffiliated way, just as there are Democrats who have not always done so.

If Republican councilman Brian Bagley were running this November, Boulder Weekly would have endorsed him because he has proven that he is willing to let the facts, not the party or the oil and gas industry, determine how he will vote on any given issue. That’s all that can be asked of anyone on council.

And likewise, while we did not endorse Republican councilman Alex Sammoury, who is running for reelection, he has been very quick to say that he does not support the push poll and that he is appalled by this negative campaigning, and I believe he’s sincere. But not everyone benefiting from the lies in the push polls has been so vocal in their protest of this latest campaign strategy that only insults Longmont voters.

I do hope that if Sammoury or Bagley knows who is behind this scumbag electioneering designed to try and recreate some long-ago-outdated conservative bloc on council for the sole purpose of pleasing state-level Republican Party power players who want to serve up Longmont to their keepers in the oil and gas industry, they will make the identities of those persons and/or organizations public.

This is not just business as usual at election time. Longmont is under assault by outside special interest groups with plenty of money to buy plenty of influence over our local government. But only if we let them.

There was a massive outpouring of democracy last fall when voters of all party affiliations and independents turned out in great numbers to protect Longmont’s future.

Please don’t fall asleep at the wheel this year.

This year’s council elections are, in reality, still about the exact same issues. If there is not a massive turnout by those opposed to fracking and the sub sequent destruction of our quality of life and property values that would follow from such industrial use of our neighborhoods, then the old guard, who is beholden not to Longmont citizens but rather to the state Republican Party and the oil and gas industry, could succeed in its attempt to reclaim a council majority and undo all that has been won through hard work and education.

That said, please take a look at our endorsements for Longmont City Council on page 15. We can’t stand still. If we aren’t moving forward, then we are surely sliding back. And we all can remember what that looks like. Please vote, and make sure your family and friends do so as well.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

 

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Very well said, Joel! As the "old guard" of Longmont continues to fade into irrelevance and as the city becomes increasingly progressive, the lingering local Republican base (including its attention-starved, mostly ignored bloggers and their withering ex-mayors) desperately clings to a reality that died years ago in this town - one driven by fear, protectionism and bigotry. 

In fact, the only "real" supporters this sad, rotting lot can boast these days exist outside the confines of the city and deep within the moldy catacombs of the offices of the panic-stricken oil concerns who cannot accept the will of the public.

Gabe Santos and Bryan "Scofflaw" Baum reside firmly in the back pockets of the pro-fracking oil lobby and they will do anything to ensure that those interests enjoy an unregulated, hassle-free path right through Longmont's neighborhoods.

Don't be fooled, folks. Santos and Baum may be playing by old rules, but they are doing so with moneyed outside interests who couldn't give two randy rips about Longmont's quality of life or its citizens in general.

 

 

 
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