From time to time various threads discussing why Colorado moved so far to the political Left and how quickly it happened, pop up. Some members have suggested that its the Republican party's fault, others the influx of Californians that bring their Leftist ideology with them, still others have suggested that it is the Hispanic population and the presence of illegal aliens, while some suggest it is the influx of Millennials and younger voters, others have suggested that it is the legalization of marijuana, and still others have suggested that it's due to the abuse of Colorado's ever-more-Leftist election laws (same day voter registration which requires nothing more than a declared intent to move and reside into a different voting district , drivers licenses for illegal aliens etc...)
To be sure, each of these things no doubt has played a part in Colorado's leap to the Left...but one factor I see almost no mention of is the Colorado Model and the secretive efforts by the "Gang of 4". 4 ultra wealthy Colorado residents (3 multi-millionaires and one billionaire) with a Progressive Left agenda that was focused on LGBTQ rights in regards to legislative action.
The standard political model involves fund raising efforts and contributions made to the national and state parties who then take the donations and distribute it to certain candidates. Frustrated that change in Colorado wasn't happening fast enough this "Gang of 4" (I've also seen them referred to as the 4 Horseman of the Apocalypse) re-invented the political model. Instead of funneling their donations to the Democrat party they instead directed it to create multiple think tanks, websites, watch dog groups with innocuous sounding names like Colorado Ethics Watch (which managed only to make allegations or find "wrong doing" against Republicans running for office), and by uniting/ coordinating various previously separate Left leaning groups under the same organizational and fund-raising umbrella.
Given the decline of newspaper readership and several newspapers that were either laying off some workers or going completely out of business the Gang of 4 hired up many of these out of work reporters and editors and put them to work in their newly created infrastructure.
The best description of this Colorado Model that I've heard said was that it essentially created a Progressive Left "echo chamber" putting out the same coordinated messages to voters. Voters were inundated by this repeated beacon of Leftism to the point where they largely believed and accepted it...obviously not all Colorado voters but enough to matter.
Of course, at the time this first happened, even those of us who follow politics didn't understand the sudden shift. But a couple years afterwards people started asking questions and information about the strategy started to leak out. At one point a recent college graduate of political science (supposedly unaffiliated) took an intern-level job in one of the offices where the Gang of 4 met and came across some information that disturbed him enough that he was compelled to leak it to the public and a couple prominent Republicans pushed the story.
Supposedly the Democrat party was initially upset that the Gang of 4 had circumvented the traditional fund-raising and donation model..however, after seeing how effective the strategy was in shaping Colorado's political landscape into blue territory they not only changed their minds about it...they gave it a name, called it the Colorado Model, and decided to export it to other states.
Following politics as I do I've been aware of the Colorado Model and the Gang of 4 for several years now, but only recently learned that a documentary had been made about it.
Link to original video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6i7k07TpMk
Edited: to add/ clarify a few thoughts and change wording.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Modern Day Savage,
This book, The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado (and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care), by Rob Witwer (former member of the Colorado House of Representatives) and Adam Schrager (former KUSA-News Political Reporter) is about this topic. It was published in 2010.
Jon Caldara covers this topic on his TV show about once every year or so. He practically begs Republican funders and bigwigs to fund and emulate this strategy, but it has yet to happen. I can only hope that the voters pull their heads out of their asses at some point, see how the Dems are screwing up this state, and vote them out.
Loyalty Above All Else, Except Honor
While I agree with much of the above, let us not forget the liberal agenda promoted in the education system and the indoctrination of those ideas when children begin school and continuing throughout their educational years. This has been going on for decades and the results are obvious then looking at the liberals desire to lower voting ages.
Money may not buy happiness...but it will certainly buy a better brand of misery
A man should acknowledge his losses just as gracefully as he celebrates his victories
Remember, in politics it's not who you know...it's what you know about who you know
|Rock Paper |
And, of the "Gang of 4", Polis is now our governor... ---sigh---
Never heard of the other 3, but not surprising. Hell, even with this documentary (conservative slated, but still documentary), the "people" of CO elected Polis........... ---argh----
The only good news about CO is that property values keep going up...
My 10 year old step-daughter just told us that her 2 best friends in 5th grade "like girls and want to marry them".....
5th grade.... come on!!!
Robert Heinlein – Starship Troopers – Chapter 2
“Violence, naked force has settled more issues in history than has any other factor. And the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst.
Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives … and freedoms.”
"I think soft people want to be ruled. They want to be told what to do, protected, while having no responsibility for their own well being." --- arcwelder76 (5/20/19)
I've been meaning to pick up a copy of the Blueprint for years now. As it is I've got years worth of reading currently queued up but I'm going to have to carve out some time to read this as well.
I'm not able to catch Caldara's show often, but I've heard him rail on this same topic several times when he fills in for other hosts.
Colorado didn't change on its own...it didn't move so far Left without money, influence and meddling. I'm hoping that, in time (the sooner the better), voters will realize that they can't just 'click their heels three times' and say "there's no place like home"...if they want change then they need to get involved and make that change happen. I'm frustrated (and saddened) that so many voters are unhappy with the direction both the state and the country are going, but, other than voting, are unwilling to make the time to get involved, join the fight, and not just wish for change but actually work to make it happen...voters get the government they allow to happen.
Agreed. No doubt the indoctrination and conditioning of children in (many) public schools facilitates the ability of Leftists to implement their agenda.
Governor Jared Polis understands this only all too well...which is why I believe that one of the pillars of his agenda was all day kindergarten which the legislature was more than willing to oblige.
But, at least for those voters who paid attention, there was a sharp and noticeable lurch to the Left not long after the Gang of 4's strategy was implemented...and once the groundwork was laid many of the laws and policies that followed were easily implemented in the following legislative sessions.
You can apply this logic to all the conservatives, who get a whiff or, a sight of some lefties enter into their community, throw their hands up and declare they're moving because the place is going to hell. When do conservatives stand and fight, confront these liberals who are playing the long-game?
Honestly, I haven't encountered that...that's not to say that it doesn't happen, I'm sure it does in some places...but most of the conservatives I know, despite their beliefs are more than willing to follow a 'live and let live' path and, even when they might disagree with what they see is happening, they tend to grumble some but otherwise just tuck their heads down and live their lives...and over time they simply let the progressive herd stampede over them, allowing their agenda to continue unchecked.
You can only do what you can do...we don't have the power to change everything, as much as we might like. What I object to are those who simply capitulate without a fight...without even raising their voice or lifting a hand. Win or lose I'd rather go down swinging...something to be said for the "Rebel Yell".
Having said that I'll give Colorado another election cycle or two to see how many voters who claim to want change actually get in the fight and push back against the Left. If there aren't enough voters willing to fight back against the onslaught then the state is doomed and I'll sadly cut it loose and watch the Left consume it like locusts.
Caldara's TV show, "The Devil's Advocate" is archived here on Youtube.
This is an episode where he interviews Ted Trimpa, the architect of the "Blueprint/Rocky Mountain Heist".
Ted Trimpa on Colorado's Elections 2018
Loyalty Above All Else, Except Honor
|A Beautiful Mind|
I agree with what is posted about the so called Colorado Model and the 4 Horsemen, one big problem we had was an ever-so-weak Republican candidate. I mean, laughably weak. The other side of the coin was the Attorney General's race. An outstanding candidate vs. someone who should have been laughed of the stage. I still shake my head in wonder when I look at the AG's race.
I am 60 years old and have been a Coloradan all of my life. Born in Boulder because that was the closest hospital for my parents. My father was born in a house in Edgewater in 1927, because folks just didn't go to the hospital much back then; you had your babies at home.
My grandparents and my great grandparents were also born in Eastern Colorado. My great-great grandfather moved to Stratton, Colorado on July 4, 1886.
I am tired of the way the state political landscape has changed. It makes me sick.
I don't know how to motivate our conservative neighbors. I see them on the road; I may even have seen some SF members around time.
I believe that we need to be vocal, support our conservative candidates, and back those who have the best chance of winning the election.
Splitting the vote, and bickering will only give way to more liberal candidates.
It is true that the metro Denver area carries the liberal agenda in elections. There are pockets of liberalism in Colorado Springs and Pueblo.
Splitting the state into two states isn't going to happen in my lifetime. If that worked, California would have split off years ago. There are some good conservative Americans in California; they are not as vocal as the liberals, and thus the state follows those with the loudest voice and the money.
Birthright does not make a person conservative or liberal; my brother is as liberal as it gets.
The only difference I see is that he became a school teacher, and I joined the Navy.
Thank you to Para, for allowing me to ramble. I would like to think that Colorado will change after Polis, but I don't see him loosing any support anytime soon. Until then, we'll keep up the good fight and continue this discussion.
Cheers, Doug in Colorado
NRA Endowment Life Member
AZ has been moving towards blue from red for a number of years. We're purple now. Many of the OP's suggestions as to why are the same reasons for AZ. Tucson, Phoenix and Flagstaff, each college and liberal government cities, carry much of the votes.
Lazy and naive people love free stuff. Bernie proved people like the idea of taking wealth from the wealthy and giving it to them. They don't realize that when the wealth pot runs out, the middle class will be the next pot to steal from. Once they expect and accept free stuff, they become indentured to those who provide it.
The RNC is complicit in allowing it to happen. We need another Ronald Reagan type candidate.
You're not that special unless you walked on the moon or received the Medal of Honor.
The right has some very deep pocketed and active funders (Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, etc.). And in the past the Republicans have shown a fair amount of sophistication in using the money. The thing is, the big Republican funders seem to have a different agenda from the conservative voting base. Always remember that "Republican" and "conservative" are not necessarily the same thing. If you want to know what "Republican" really means, think about the Bush family.
As far as the leftward drift out west, I'd go back to demographics, migration patterns and education. These are all working for the leftists.
Although this article is several years old I think it has some good info and description of The Colorado Model.
The Colorado Model
FRED BARNES @FREDBARNES July 21, 2008 at 12:00 AM
ast January, a "confidential" memo from a Democratic political consultant outlined an ambitious scheme for spending $11.7 million in Colorado this year to crush Republicans. The money would come from rich liberal donors in the state and would be spent primarily on defeating Senate candidate Bob Schaffer ($5.1 million) and Representative Marilyn Musgrave ($2.6 million), who are loathed by liberals for sponsoring a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. The overarching aim: Lock in Democratic control of Colorado for years to come.
Leaked memos have a way of revealing who's on top and who's not in politics and which party has energy and momentum. In Colorado, Democrats are third in registered voters (31.2 percent), behind both Independents (34.19 percent) and Republicans (34.14 percent). But in the last two election cycles--2004 and 2006--they've routed Republicans, capturing the governorship, both houses of the state legislature, a U.S. Senate seat, and two U.S. House seats. Democrats are on a roll, and that's not likely to change this year. Republicans are demoralized, disorganized, and more focused on averting further losses in 2008 than on staging a comeback.
The Democratic surge in Colorado reflects the national trend, but it involves a great deal more. There's something unique going on in Colorado that, if copied in other states, has the potential to produce sweeping Democratic gains nationwide. That something is the "Colorado Model," and it's certain to be a major topic of discussion when Democrats convene in Denver in the last week of August for their national convention.
While the Colorado Model isn't a secret, it hasn't drawn much national attention either. Democrats, for now anyway, seem wary of touting it. One reason for their reticence is that it depends partly on wealthy liberals' spending tons of money not only on "independent expenditures" to attack Republican office-seekers but also to create a vast infrastructure of liberal organizations that produces an anti-Republican, anti-conservative echo chamber in politics and the media.
Colorado is where this model is being tested and refined. And Republicans, even more than Democrats, say that it's working impressively. (For Republicans, it offers an excuse for their tailspin.) Jon Caldara, president of the Independence Institute, a conservative think tank based in Denver, says Republicans around the country should be alarmed by the success of the Colorado Model. "Watch out," he says, "it's coming to a state near you."
It probably is. With enough money, its main elements can no doubt be replicated in other states. But a large measure of political shrewdness and opportunism is also required, political traits that have eluded Republicans in Colorado while becoming the hallmark of their opponents. Democrats are wisely running candidates, statewide and locally, who campaign as centrists, not as liberals.
In 2004, in their first offensive against Republicans, the rich liberals worked surreptitiously. They'd been brought together by Al Yates, the former president of Colorado State University, and later were dubbed the "Gang of Four" by the press--or, sarcastically, by Republicans, the "Fab Four." Two of the four, Tim Gill and Rutt Bridges, made millions in computer software. Jared Polis, along with his parents, grew rich from building and selling Internet companies. The fourth, Pat Stryker, is heir to a medical products fortune and runs her family's foundation.
They quietly targeted a handful of Republican state legislators (particularly social conservatives opposed to gay rights), polled to find out what issues might work against them, and promoted their Democratic opponents. Dan Haley, the editorial page editor of the Denver Post, told me he realized a clever, new tactic was being pursued when he received a glossy mailer late in the campaign backing a firefighter who was the little-known Democratic challenger of a Republican incumbent. The firefighter had obviously not paid for the expensive piece of campaign literature.
The firefighter lost, but other Democratic challengers won. Republicans were flummoxed, having been caught totally by surprise. For the first time in 44 years, Democrats gained control of both the state senate and house. The Gang of Four had spent an estimated $2 million. In 2006, Gill and Stryker escalated their spending to $7.5 million, and Democrats won the governor's race. "There's nobody on the Republican side putting in that kind of money," says Republican consultant Walt Klein.
As for the 2008 race, that confidential memo, dated January 23, fell into the hands of a Republican activist and was first reported on January 29 by Lynn Bartels of the Rocky Mountain News. It had been drafted by Democratic strategist Dominic DelPapa and sent to Al Yates, the guru of the rich liberals. They downplayed its significance, though it memorably declared the plan would "define Schaffer/foot on throat." At the very least the memo showed the magnitude of the effort to drive Republicans deeper into the minority in Colorado.
And that effort draws powerful support from a liberal infrastructure that conservatives aren't close to matching. For years, the Independence Institute, founded in 1985 by John Andrews and headed by Tom Tancredo before he was elected to the U.S. House, stood alone as an influential intellectual and political force in Colorado. (Later Andrews was Republican leader of the Colorado senate.) In 1999, Rutt Bridges started the Bighorn Center for Public Policy, and a year later the Bell Policy Center was created specifically to counter the Independence Institute--prompting the institute's Caldara to quip, the Bell center should be called the Dependence Institute.
That was only the beginning of the buildup. Eric O'Keefe, chairman of the conservative Sam Adams Alliance in Chicago, says there are seven "capacities" that are required to drive a successful political strategy and keep it on offense: the capacity to generate intellectual ammunition, to pursue investigations, to mobilize for elections, to fight media bias, to pursue strategic litigation, to train new leaders, and to sustain a presence in the new media. Colorado liberals have now created institutions that possess all seven capacities. By working together, they generate political noise and attract press coverage. Explains Caldara, "Build an echo chamber and the media laps it up."
First, there are the think tanks such as Bighorn and Bell and supposedly nonpartisan political advocacy groups like the Colorado clone of MoveOn.org called ProgressNowAction.org, founded in 2005. Another clone, this one a local version of Media Matters known as Colorado Media Matters, was created two years ago to harass journalists and editorial writers who don't push the liberal line.
There's a "public interest" law firm, Colorado Ethics Watch, established in 2006, plus an online newspaper, the Colorado Independent, with a team of reporters to ferret out wrongdoing by Republicans, also begun in 2006. And there's a school to train new liberal leaders, the Center for Progressive Leadership Colorado, as well as new media outlets with bloggers and online news and gossip, including ColoradoPols.com and SquareState.net. That covers all seven capacities. Count them.
It's unclear exactly who is funding these outfits, since they don't have to disclose their donors. But the band of rich liberals are assumed to be the biggest contributors. And that's part of the problem for conservatives and Republicans. They don't have a cadre of what Caldara calls "super spenders" to tap for money, and Republicans have lacked the gumption and foresight to build a comparable conservative infrastructure.
To their distress, Republicans have discovered how skillful the liberal collective is at bedeviling them. It works quite simply. The investigative arm uncovers some alleged wrongdoing by a Republican candidate or official or plays up what someone else has claimed. Then Ethics Watch steps in and demands an official investigation, and ProgressNowAction.org jumps on the story. This is synergy at work. It spurs political chatter. Finally, the mainstream media are forced to report on it.
Republican secretary of state Mike Coffman was hounded for months by Colorado Confidential, now the Colorado Independent, for allowing a state employee to run a side business and not reporting a supposed conflict of interest too microscopic to be worth explaining. The mainstream media eventually picked up the story, and Colorado Ethics Watch filed a formal complaint. Later, an official audit found no wrongdoing, but only after Coffman had been publicly pilloried. The episode didn't help his current campaign for a U.S. House seat.
Caldara, too, has been targeted by the liberal groups. He used the phrase "bitch slapped" on his late-night talk radio show. Colorado Media Matters complained, and Caldara says ProgressNowAction.org sought to get advertisers to drop his show. "They tried to find a way to Imus me," Caldara says. He's still on the air.
Colorado, for the past half-century anyway, has not been a solidly Republican state. "We're not a very ideological state or a very partisan state," former Republican senator Bill Armstrong says. Colorado voters tilt slightly to the right, though you'd never know it from recent elections. The state was strongly affected by waves of newcomers. Starting in the 1970s, Colorado elected Democrats Gary Hart, Tim Wirth, and Ben Nighthorse Campbell to the Senate, Pat Schroeder to the House, and Democrats to the governor's office for 24 consecutive years. Bill Clinton won the state in the 1992 presidential race. So the notion the current rise of Democrats is a historic, unprecedented breakthrough--that's pure myth.
Republicans rallied in the 1990s when a fresh influx of immigrants from western states arrived. They were more conservative. Highlands Ranch, a town south of Denver, was nicknamed Orange County East because thousands of newcomers from conservative Orange County, California, settled there. After Campbell switched parties in 1995, Republican Wayne Allard won the other Senate seat in 1996, and Republican Bill Owens was elected governor in 1998, giving the GOP all the top statewide offices, four of the six House seats, and the state house and senate.
George W. Bush won Colorado by 9 percentage points in 2000, and Republican control appeared to be firmly entrenched two years later when Owens was reelected over a hapless Democrat opponent, 63 to 34 percent. Championed by National Review as America's best governor, Owens was viewed as a logical Republican presidential nominee in 2008. But by 2004, the Republican heyday had begun to unravel. Owens and his wife had a highly public separation and later divorced. And Republicans made critical mistakes and squabbled among themselves just as Democrats were uniting.
Two policies helped set the stage for the emergence of the Colorado Model. Term limits, enacted in 1990, forced experienced Republicans out of state office, leaving open seats easier for Democrats to win. And a new campaign finance law limited individual contributions to $400. This allowed independent TV and radio ads and direct mail financed by the Gang of Four to have a disproportionate impact on elections.
On many levels, 2004 was a disastrous year for Republicans in Colorado. Bush's margin of victory was cut in half from 2000. Democrats not only took over the legislature, but a gregarious rancher named John Salazar, a Democrat, won the U.S. House seat west of the Rockies, where Republicans have an overwhelming edge in voter registration. (He was reelected in 2006.) An even bigger blow to Republicans was the U.S. Senate victory by Salazar's younger brother, Ken.
Owens, whose backing was critical, initially endorsed conservative congressman Bob Schaffer for the Senate seat being vacated by Campbell. Schaffer is a likable conservative from northern Colorado who retired from Congress in 2004, honoring his promise to serve only three terms in the House. Then Owens changed his mind and supported beer company chairman Pete Coors, insisting he was the only Republican who could beat Ken Salazar, then state attorney general. Coors defeated Schaffer in the Republican primary, only to run a poor campaign against Salazar.
The bitterness of the Coors-Schaffer race was in contrast with Salazar's undisputed claim on the Democratic nomination. Democratic congressman Mark Udall had announced for the seat the moment Campbell said he would retire. So had Rutt Bridges. But a day later, after a tumultuous 24 hours of negotiations, Udall and Bridges appeared at a press conference to endorse Salazar, who ran as a moderate and an "independent voice" for Colorado. Among Democrats, unity prevailed, and Ken Salazar won.
In 2005, Republicans split over Referendum C, designed to waive the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (known as TABOR) for five years. Passed in 1992, TABOR limited spending hikes to inflation and population growth, required any surplus to be refunded to taxpayers, and mandated a referendum to raise taxes. Conservatives fervently opposed suspending TABOR. But Owens and a handful of Republican leaders joined with Democrats to pass the referendum in order to fund education and transportation initiatives.
Things got worse for Republicans in 2006 as the Colorado Model began to take hold. Another bitter primary, this one for governor, pitted congressman Bob Beauprez against Marc Holtzman, the ex-president of the University of Denver. Beauprez won the nomination, but the "Both Ways Bob" label slapped on him by Holtzman stuck, and Democrat Bill Ritter won the governorship in a landslide. Democrats gained legislative seats as well.
Like Salazar, Ritter had gotten the Democratic nomination without a struggle. This was all the more amazing because he ran as a pro-life, pro-business Democrat. Feminists tried to find a pro-choice Democrat to oppose him but failed. Again, unity behind one candidate prevailed.
In 2008, Republicans are still reeling from the string of setbacks and show few signs of recovery. One bit of progress: Schaffer faces no serious opposition for the Republican nomination to hold the Senate seat of Allard, who kept his promise to retire after two terms. Schaffer is already being trashed in TV ads by an environmental group, the League of Conservation Voters, as "Big Oil Bob." Schaffer worked for an energy company after he left Congress.
"The bitterness of Coors-Schaffer in '04 still exists," says John Andrews. "The bitterness of Referendum C persists. And the bitterness of Marc Holtzman versus Bob Beauprez in 2006 persists." Moreover, Andrews says, "I'm not sure our party has learned the lessons it needed to learn. Republicans and conservatives missed our moment to be the next wave of the Reagan revolution at the state level. We didn't seize the center, and we didn't seize the imagination of Colorado voters."
That's a remarkable indictment of Republicans by a leading Republican. But it strikes me as a fair assessment. Gill and Stryker, the wealthier half of the Gang of Four, remain determined to drive Marilyn Musgrave out of office after she narrowly won reelection in 2006. Gill, who is gay, is also active in opposing foes of gay rights in other states.
How much they're actually willing to spend against Musgrave and Schaffer is unclear. The leaked memo said a budget of $11.7 million was "little more than our own thinking about what a successful [independent] operation for the presidential, U.S. Senate and [Musgrave] elections might look like." Republicans often trail during the summer before the election, and Schaffer is no exception, running behind Mark Udall in public polls. Barack Obama is a slight favorite to win Colorado in the presidential election. If he does and also wins New Mexico, Democratic consultant Mike Stratton points out, "Obama doesn't need to win Ohio."
Republicans desperately need Schaffer to hold Allard's seat to avert a filibuster-proof Senate in Washington, a Senate in which Republicans can't block or even modify liberal legislation. Schaffer and his campaign manager, Dick Wadhams, insist Udall is vulnerable as a "Boulder liberal" who can't credibly pose as a moderate as Salazar and Ritter did. Neither of them had a voting record. Salazar was state attorney general, Ritter the Denver district attorney. "Udall doesn't have that advantage," Schaffer says. Udall, by the way, lists his residence as Eldorado Springs, not Boulder. Colorado voters tend to view Boulder as a haven for hippies and out of the Colorado mainstream.
Undeterred, Udall is running to the center, saying he plays a bipartisan role in the House. That will be news to House Republicans. "Udall will get to where he needs to be," says Eric Sonderman, a public relations executive in Denver. The question is whether he can effectively respond to Schaffer's call for exploiting Colorado's vast oil shale reserves. Schaffer's position is increasingly popular, and he intends to dwell on it relentlessly. To propose drilling, Udall might have to defy his wife, Maggie Fox, the state director of the Sierra Club, the ardent environmental group. According to a former aide of Bill Armstrong, she has the distinction of being the only person Armstrong ever ordered to leave his Senate office. (Armstrong doesn't recall the incident.)
Absent the Democratic headwind, Schaffer would have a reasonable chance of winning. But his prospects could be further hampered by an antiabortion referendum on the ballot this November declaring that life begins at conception. If abortion becomes a major issue, Schaffer, who is pro-life, might lose the votes of suburban Republican women. "We don't need this," Wadhams says. In recent years, Republican female voters have tended to stray.
Republican hopes of a renaissance rest largely on winning the governor's race in 2010. That won't be easy. For one thing, they lack a candidate. The Republican bench of attractive candidates with statewide recognition is bare. The most prominent ones--Armstrong, Owens, former senator Hank Brown--have retired. Armstrong is president of Colorado Christian University. Aides of Allard have hinted he could be talked into running, but that's a long shot.
In 18 months as governor, Ritter has managed to anger business, labor, and the Denver Post, which had promoted him as a candidate. After promising labor leaders he would sign legislation gutting the Labor Peace Act, he bowed to business pressure and vetoed it. The act makes it difficult for unions to organize new workers.
Labor leaders were apoplectic. At the Gridiron Club dinner in Washington a few weeks later, Ritter was confronted aggressively by Teamsters president James Hoffa Jr., who told him "all of labor is upset." Hoffa warned the Democratic convention might "blow up" if other issues were not resolved in a way favorable to labor.
Then, late on a Friday afternoon last November, Ritter issued an executive order permitting state workers to join a union. Organized labor was pleased, but Denver Post publisher William Dean Singleton wasn't. He ordered a front-page editorial that criticized Ritter harshly. "This may be the beginning of the end of Ritter as governor," the editorial said. It certainly was the end of Ritter's warm relationship with the newspaper.
For the fall ballot, Ritter is pushing a referendum to impose a $300 million increase in the severance tax on the mining industry, further alienating the business community. He personally called leaders of the Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce in the faint hope he could persuade them to back the referendum. The chamber refused.
For all his problems, Ritter will have what Republicans do not have, if he seeks reelection: the full force of the Colorado Model engaged on his behalf. At the same time, his Republican rival is bound to be tormented by the phalanx of liberal groups and targeted by the rich liberals, who are free to spend an unlimited amount of money.
"Colorado is being used as a test bed for a swarm offense by Democrats and liberals to put conservatives and Republicans on defense as much as possible," says Andrews. The initial results of that test are favorable. "The wind's at our back here," says Andrew Romanoff, the Democratic House speaker. The Colorado Model, by nearly all accounts, is working in 2008. And it should continue to be a powerful political force in Colorado (and other states) for many years--that is, until conservatives and Republicans come up with a way to counteract it.
Fred Barnes is executive editor of THE WEEKLY STANDARD . Hannah Sternberg provided research assistance for this article.
This is a recent article on some members of the Gang of 4 contributing to Joe Biden's presidential campaign.
Biden Foundation Coffers Filled by Democracy Alliance Members
BY:Joe Schoffstall Follow @JoeSchoffstall May 6, 2019 11:00 am
Partners of secretive liberal donor club who help set liberal agenda provided more than half of Biden's funds
Members of a secretive left-wing donor network that helps set the liberal agenda propped up Joe Biden's foundation prior to his presidential run by providing the charity with more than half of its cash, according to donor lists and tax forms.
The former vice president launched the Biden Foundation, his personal nonprofit, in 2016 to "protect and advance the rights and opportunities of all people through educational programming and public policy analysis," focusing on advancing community colleges, violence against women, LGBTQ equality, and shaping foreign policy, among other areas.
The foundation raised a total of $6,623,173 in 2016 and 2017, according to tax forms from that year. A majority of this money came from deep-pocketed donors in the Democracy Alliance, a secretive group that actively works to keeps its membership hidden and together pushed $1.83 billion into liberal infrastructure over the past 15 years, according to its internal documents.
The Biden Foundation's website, which publicly discloses its donors but lists the contributions in wide ranges, shows that the nonprofit was given over $1 million from two foundations and a pair of individuals: the Bohemian Foundation, the Masimo Foundation, and Tim Gill and Scott Miller.
Pat Stryker, a Democratic philanthropist and megadonor who partially owns the Stryker corporation, a Fortune 500 medical device company started by her grandfather, founded the Bohemian Foundation in 2001.
In 2004, Stryker helped form the Colorado Democracy Alliance, a strategy group created to assist the Colorado Democratic Party in pushing the state's political landscape further to the left by working around the state's strict campaign finance laws. Shortly later, the national Democracy Alliance was established, in which Stryker is also a member.
Stryker tapped Joe Zimlich and Cheryl Zimlich, both of whom also live in Colorado, to help with the Bohemian Foundation's operations.
Zimlich, who serves as the chief executive officer at the Bohemian Foundation, sits on the board of the Colorado Democracy Alliance and is a founding member of the national Democracy Alliance. Zimlich personally gave between $1,000 and $99,999 to the Biden Foundation, according to its disclosures.
While Biden's website shows that the Bohemian Foundation gave more than $1 million in total contributions, the group's own tax forms from 2016 and 2017 show that Bohemian provided the Biden Foundation with $1 million in each of those years, or $2 million total. The Bohemian Foundation's 2018 tax forms are not yet available.
Tim Gill, a software entrepreneur who has been called the "megadonor behind the LGBTQ rights movement," and his husband Scott Miller are credited with a $1 million donation to the Biden Foundation.
While still serving as vice president in 2016, Biden spoke to 30 high-profile LGBTQ donors at a Park Avenue penthouse apartment in Manhattan, in which Gill was in attendance. Biden singled out Gill, calling him "incredible" and crediting him for pushing the LGBTQ movement forwards.
Gill co-founded the Colorado Democracy Alliance alongside Stryker. Gill has also been identified as a member of the national Democracy Alliance.
Bernard Schwartz, a private investor and member of the club, gave between $500,000 and $999,0000 to Biden's nonprofit. Weston Milliken, a secretary at the alliance who sits on its board with Zimlich, gave the foundation between $1,000 and $99,000.
Of the 57 foundations and individuals who gave to Biden's charity in 2016 and 2017, the five Democracy Alliance-linked members provided $3.5 million to the foundation, more than half of the $6.6 million it collected during that time period.
Biden addressed donors in the alliance at one of its secretive conferences in 2011. Other prominent politicians—such as House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, presidential candidates Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Ben Ray Luján, Rep. Maxine Waters, and House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, who is leading the House's investigations into Trump and recently briefed the group—have appeared at the club's gatherings.
The Democracy Alliance is said to currently include more than 110 millionaire and billionaire donors. Each year, its members are required to push at least $200,000 in funding to an approved list of liberal organizations, resistance groups, and state-based political initiatives.
The alliance has set budgets of $275 million for efforts to stop President Donald Trump and Republicans during the 2020 election cycle, according to confidential documents obtained by the Free Beacon at its 2019 spring investment conference in Austin, Texas last month.
Biden announced he would shutter his foundation now that he is running for president.
The Bohemian Foundation did not respond to requests for comment on Stryker and Zimlich and their contributions to the Biden Foundation along with their relationship with the former vice president. The Gill Foundation, a charity run by Tim Gill, and Bernard Schwartz did not respond to inquiries by press time. Weston Milliken could not be reached for comment.
Joe Schoffstall Email Joe | Full Bio | RSS
Joe Schoffstall is a staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon. Previously, he spent three years with the Media Research Center and was most recently with the Capitol City Project. He can be reached at Schoffstall@freebeacon.com. His Twitter handle is @JoeSchoffstall.
Storm it's taken me a few days to make the time to watch that Trimpa interview but WOW, what an interview! I think the Rocky Mountain Heist video that I posted above did a great job of giving a documentary style overview of The Colorado Model and the Gang of 4...but that Jon Caldara interview with Ted Trimpa really calibrated my understanding of The Colorado Model and, perhaps more importantly, really opened my eyes to the 'inside baseball' 'behind the scenes' political calculations and maneuvering that most of us know little about.
I'll admit that I'm a bit shocked at just how candid Ted Trimpa was in discussing and revealing the strategy behind The Colorado Model. Ted Trimpa was reportedly instrumental in pushing Colorado's Red Flag bill through the General Assembly and getting it signed into law.
I would strongly suggest that anyone interested in knowing more about The Colorado Model and the strategy that may be headed to their state, or just the backroom strategies of political campaigns in general, take the time to watch that 30 minute Devils Advocate interview between Caldara and Trimpa.
I caught a radio debate on the "Fix our Damn Roads" initiative before last year's election and Caldara was masterful in it...and he did well in this interview also...Caldara has really 'upped' his game in recent years.
Storm thanks for posting the link to that interview...I really appreciate your participation!
This is an important part of the Colorado Model. Contrast that with the divisive "God, guns and abortion" stances that our fellow conservatives campaign on. A typical Republican primary is a contest as to who is the "True Conservative" and make no attempt to court independents. The Colorado Model requires that all participants leave their egos and agendas at the door: they have only one agenda; electing a Democrat to office.
As to the excuse that liberals from California poisoned Colorado: "Republicans rallied in the 1990s when a fresh influx of immigrants from western states arrived. They were more conservative. Highlands Ranch, a town south of Denver, was nicknamed Orange County East because thousands of newcomers from conservative Orange County, California, settled there".
Near the ocean
You're welcome. Glad I could be of assistance. There are one or two other Trimpa interviews in that You Tube archive. Caldara's done a few of them with him over the years.
Loyalty Above All Else, Except Honor
The other interesting aspect to that interview was that it was conducted after last year's elections but before this year's legislative session.
In the interview Trimpa, after Caldara quipped that that the Democrats would likely push their agenda into over reach territory, replied that we would be surprised by the moderation they would show and that the 2013 Senate recalls stung them and they had learned from it...whether it was a calculated downplay of their over reach plans, an attempt at an accurate assessment by a Leftist who has lost objectivity, or whether he was simply wrong in his assessment, we now have the benefit of hindsight of the 2019 legislative session and can plainly see the sweeping over reach by the Democrat controlled General Assembly and Governor Polis.
In reflecting on The Colorado Model and just how effective it has been it also occurred to me just how effective it is in allowing Democrats to side-step the transparency, oversight and criminal penalties voters rely on under traditional campaign laws...it is diabolically and deceitfully clever.
...really fascinating interview though...it should be required viewing by all voters.
Yes, I recall that comment by Trimpa on overreach. It gave me a bit of hope... obviously not any more. LOL I guess it depends on how you define "overreach"!
FYI, I did a search in that YouTube Archive for "Trimpa" and found some of the other episodes with him, if you want to watch them (There are 3 more, besides the one you watched, clustered at the top of the list/page.)
Devil's Advocate - Trimpa Episodes
Loyalty Above All Else, Except Honor
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