Thursday, February 11, 2010

Party Elite Are Sabotaging Democracy: Romanoff Shows Independence with Pinon Canyon Stand

The two major political parties are subverting the democratic process in our state. They are, perhaps unwittingly pushing people like me toward the "Independent" column. First it was the Republican elite who got together behind closed doors to anoint Scott McInnis as their candidate for governor, long before the primary process had a chance to work. They even drafted a platform, a document which has traditionally been part of the party caucus process.

Now it's the Democrats who are subverting the primary process. President Obama is on his way to Denver to give his blessing to, and raise mega-bucks for Senate candidate, Michael Bennet. Such an endorsement would be fine if the primary process had been allowed to play itself out and Bennet had emerged as the party's choice. But that's not the case. There's another strong, viable Democratic candidate in the race; former Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, Andrew Romanoff.

It has become evident that Romanoff is just too courageous in his thoughts and actions for the party elite to embrace him. First, Governor Ritter ignored him and appointed Denver School Superintendent, Michael Bennet to fill the Senate seat vacated by Ken Salazar. Now the Colorado Democratic Party, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committees are conspiring with Bennet's campaign to sabotage democracy, short-circuiting the primary process, by bringing the President into our state to campaign for Bennet, Perhaps Romanoff is just not corporate-friendly enough for the taste of the party elite. After all, he has turned down all campaign contributions for PACs, while Bennet raked in $600,000 from PACs in 2009. Or perhaps he's not urban-centric enough. In taking a strong position against the Army's plan to expand their Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site he has signaled that he will represent the state-wide interests of Colorado, and not automatically do the bidding of the military and defense contractors in Colorado Springs and Denver.

Whatever their reasons, it's just not right for the Republican or Democratic party-elites to impose heavy-handed influence upon the primary process. It causes people like me to consider a third, independent way forward.

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