Time to look at local politics

I should have voted immediately after receiving my mail ballot. It might have saved me from this last-minute deluge of calls and emails as the 2012 campaign races to a close.

My problem is compounded because I’m hearing from both sides, courtesy of signing up online for a ticket to Mitt Romney’s appearance at Central High School earlier this year. That’s prompted a long series of missives from “Mitt” and “Paul” and “Ann,” all presuming that I’m one of the faithful just because of my desire to personally experience both sides of the campaigning. 

(At least I’m addressed as “Jim” in their emails. That contrasts with ongoing personal messages to “James G” from buddies like Mark Udall, Gov. John Hickenlooper and the Colorado Democrats. This is the result, I suppose, of some list sharing after a contribution to Bill Ritter’s gubernatorial campaign.)

Just yesterday, my new friend “Paul” was kind enough to offer me a chance to spend next Tuesday evening with the GOP standard bearers if only I’d contribute a minimum of $5. Since Ryan expressed a desire while speaking here in Happy Valley this month to return to Colorado for a future elk hunt, I’m sure he’ll understand why I’ll pass on this amazing opportunity in favor of my own hunt, beginning this weekend.

Given that President Barack Obama is back in Washington to oversee efforts to deal with the storm pummeling the East Coast, and that Gov. Mitt Romney is also curtailing campaign efforts while the high winds and roily seas threaten, let’s leave national politics and take a look at some campaigning closer to home.

I wonder, has anyone in the 3rd Congressional District seen or heard a positive political ad from Rep. Scott Tipton? We’ve seen plenty of an innocent-looking Tipton briefly announcing “I approve this message,” just before a variety of C+ formulaic attack ads against Sal Pace.

Particularly egregious is the one castigating Pace for voting to suspend the property tax exemption for seniors, a vote Tipton also made, understandably given the state’s financial picture at the time, while he was in the Legislature.

At least Pace, in his own advertising, seems to have grasped the concept that it’s necessary to run for something in addition to against somebody. Denver Post editorial page Editor Curtis Hubbard listed Pace’s first ad, featuring his family, as the most effective political ad of the season in Colorado. We’ll see how that translates next Tuesday evening.

Credit Jared Wright for one thing. He hasn’t been overwhelming us with political advertising for his legislative campaign despite some successful fundraising.

At least Tim Menger makes no bones about not raising money for the typical accoutrements of a campaign, given that he’s likely as surprised as any of us that his effort has gained the traction it has, including a Daily Sentinel endorsement, courtesy of Wright’s various well-documented indiscretions. 

Still, smart money is on Wright (or, more correctly, the “R” after his name on the ballot) to win and ensure the local GOP faithful of continued embarrassment, though assuming that capability might be presumptuous.

That leaves the rest of us with the kind of second-class, ineffective representation we’ve subjected ourselves to since we had folks like Tillie Bishop, Matt Smith, Gayle Berry, Dan Prinster, Bernie Buescher and Jim Robb fighting our battles in Denver.

Although Dan Robinson’s run an effective campaign and also gained a Sentinel endorsement, it also is likely, given the letter after his name on the ballot, we’ll have Ray Scott back “distinguishing” himself at the Capitol. And that, as I’ve written earlier, we’ll probably have Rose Pugliese and John Justman making us wish for the “good old days” under Craig Meis and Janet Rowland.

All this discussion is purely academic, as I’ve given up wagering on the outcome of elections. One burned, twice shy, as the saying goes, since I’m still awaiting the final payoff dinner from my deadbeat Republican buddy Tom Burke after winning a couple of bets two years ago.

Jim Spehar would be willing to go double or nothing with Tom Burke on this year’s presidential race, but what’s the point?  Your comments are welcome at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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