Denver Direct: Where’s the dirt?
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
In the on-going and seemingly endless Denver campaign for mayor, Michael Hancock continues to whine about Chris Romer’s dirty campaign practices. For example, by email today, Hancock says “Chris Romer and his allies have reached a new low, using dirty tactics never before seen in Denver.” I’ve gone to mayoral debates, watched the TV ads, read the emails, and listened to the robocalls, and I have yet to see anything I would call dirty campaigning.
To me, a dirty campaign would include spreading false rumors about your opponent or trying to set up your opponent for an embarrassing gotcha moment with a good-looking woman, hopefully in a sleazy bar. I’ve seen none of this. What I have seen is egregious violation of City laws as to where you can legally place campaign signs. Both candidates, and their eager volunteers, seem to condone plastering the public right-of-way with campaign signs.
When I saw approximately 40 Romer for Mayor signs neatly spaced on the west side of Colorado Blvd, south of 23rd Ave, in the public right-of-way, at about 4:30 pm today, I had had enough. At about 5:00, I called Romer headquarters and told the young man who answered that these signs had to be taken down. At first he said they were legal because it was “24-hours before the election cycle”. What?
I told him that they had until tomorrow morning to remove them or I was going to go there and videotape myself removing them, and post the video on this blog. He got all huffy and said he would call the police and have me arrested for theft. No, says I, I would be picking up litter on the public right of way, a public service. I would even return the signs to his headquarters once I removed them. When I asked for his name, he hung up.
This inspired me to call the non-emergency number for District 2 police. I was informed that “no police officer in District 2 would write you a ticket for removing the illegally placed signs from the right-of-way”, and that I could “ask for a “civil stand-by” to have an officer there”. Now emboldened, I got back in the car and drove to 23rd and Colorado Blvd. It was about 5:30, and all of the signs were removed. They were now in the hands of three people who were just then crossing the boulevard. Mission accomplished.
I certainly didn’t want to fall into the same category as John Bailey, who, you may remember, was accused of threatening people over yard sign removal back in 2007, when his wife Sharon was running for District 8 City Council. I understand John Bailey is now Wil Alston’s campaign manager.Which brings me to the current District 8 City Council race, between Wil Alston and Albus Brooks.
I attended the Denver Decides District 8 forum at Church in the City on Wednesday, May 11. Having seen the mobil TV truck parked outside, I didn’t bother to bring my camera, opting instead to give each candidate a packet of information before the debate about the on-going pollution of City Park’s Ferril lake with Lowery Landfill water – you know, my favorite “Dead Duck” issue. I included my card and asked each of them to call me to set up an interview at their convenience.
Ch 8 had it covered, with three cameras and a nice setup on-stage. You can watch it here. Aside from the mistaken information from moderator Beverly Weaver about Carla Madison’s running for a 3rd term, it was all pretty much pro forma, that is to say, boring beyond belief. There were about 50 people there, and I suspect that about half of them were with one or other of the campaigns.
Alas, neither candidate called . Neither Wil Alston nor Albus Brooks had the fortitude to even call and politely decline my invitation for an interview. They both say they want to hear about resident’s concerns, but they are both more concerned with mouthing platitudes and promoting themselves. OK, I know this Dead Duck problem might be considered a State issue, but the original secret deal was between then-mayor Wellington Webb and the major polluters. This, and the fact that a least one neighbor who lived across the street from City Park has now died of cancer, and that dogs walked in City Park are dying of tumors, would seem to make it a matter of some importance to all of the residents around City Park – that is to say, District 8.
So grab those ballots and get started. For Mayor – you’ve got your choice between the slick bankster and the dumb guy, and in District 8 City Council race you can choose between the basketball scholarship guy (Alston) or the football scholarship guy (Brooks), neither of whom has the balls to talk to me on camera.
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