Sunday, November 13, 2005

CO-7 Perlmutter Campaign opens HQ.

As this astute blogger reported, I made a post over at dKos.
To save you the trouble of following the link to the link that leads you to my post (a possibility I hope will bring a moment of joy to my Mom) I will reprint both that post, and another I made about the same event


Ed Perlmutter, candidate for Colorado's 7th Congressional district, hosted a grand opening party today at his new campaign headquarters.
The room was filled with a who's who of Colorado Democrats, including current and former State Senators Mike Feely, Mo Keller, Deanna Hanna, Polly Baca, and Stan Matsunaka, along with a panoply of labor figures, fire fighters, and mayors. I had an opportunity to discuss the netroots with Stan Matsunaka, and he was very present to the importance of Daily Kos and other internet communities during his fight with Marilyn 'Defense of Marriage' Musgrave, and he was looking for ways to broaden involvement of supporters on the political web. I also found that the Perlmutter campaign staff was very open to helping create a dialog with the distributed national constituency and were interested in working with me to reach out to everyone who wants to help pull this crucial congressional seat out of Tom Delay's pocket. Ed gave a speech that started by alluding to the atrocities of the current administration, in which he invoked the proverb "Lies lead to ruin." As he went on, his message turned to a more affirmative message that focused on the policies he would advance, and he spoke of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory as an example of a way to simultaneously improve national security, the economy, and the environment. After he spoke, I passed along a question from a post on Soapblox Colorado. I asked how his stand on issues differed from his Democratic Primary opponent, Peggy Lamm. He first responded by indicating how he had grown up and worked in the district, and how he had helped build and support the party while she had done little for the Democrats in Colorado, he indicated Dave Thomas across the room, who had run last cycle for CO-7 and said I could ask Dave how much help she had been. He also underlined her support of Republican Governor Owens in '02 as an example of her questionable commitment to party values. I acknowledged that, but I asked him to go outside of history and find an example of where a vote from him might differ from one that Peggy might cast. As one example, he offered, "I won't vote for guns as much as she will." I will ask him for more examples as time goes forward, and I will share what I hear.


"Change begins in Colorado's Seventh District"That is what Ed Perlmutter said was his campaign's mantra, and it was a theme that resonated with both his old friends from the Colorado Senate, and with the rising talents who filled his new headquarters.

He had been introduced by Mike Feely, who had lost the seat in '02 to Bob Beauprez by 0.07%, a mere 121 votes in a race that gave 9,422 votes to third party candidates. Mike reported that he had always said the only reason he ran that year was that Ed wouldn't. That Ed was running this time seemed to give him a sense that vindication was at hand. He seemed confident that this time his side was going to win. There was muttering in the back of the room that there may even be icing on this cake. Beauprez' attempt at a step up might just be a step off a cliff. The Governor's mansion could just be a mirage on his horizon. Feely introduced many people around the room, glancing from time to time at a list he had made to make sure that everyone in the long litany was acknowledged and thanked for their support and the differences they had made to their communities. Afterwards, I asked him if I could copy the list for a political blog, and he handed me the list itself and happily dictated out a few late additions. He hesitated over giving me one name. It was a past member of the State Senate who had served with Mike and Ed and several others in the room. Mike wasn't sure if the gentleman would want his name associated with the campaign. The man was a colleague and a respected friend, but he was also a Republican, so it seemed inaccurate to call him a supporter. It was a strange paradox. Even people who don't support Ed, respect him, like him, and well... support him. Many of the names on the list are familiar to anyone who has followed Colorado Politics, Baca, Pascoe, Keller, Matsunaka, Martinez. I think it was Sen. Keller who said that if we had any more legislators there, we would risk violating the open meetings act. I looked over at Deputy Attorney General Renny Fagan to make sure he was laughing. Some of the names are the vanguard of the slow but visible transformation of this swing district in this swing state. People like Mayor Jerry Ditullio of Wheatridge who won by 51.5% of the vote, Aurora City Council Member Larry Beer who managed to win with a 47.2% plurality, and Sue Marinelli of the Jefferson County School Board who won a three way race with 38% of the vote.Change was starting in the 7th, and these people intended to keep it moving across the map. In fact, if they could stop the map itself from moving on them, they felt the Republicans had no hope. The Republicans are attempting a last minute gerrymander that could dissolve away the Democratic advantage in the seventh. The people around me were confident that the Supreme Court would not decide to load the dice, and they expressed it with an optimistic fire that too many years of Bush makes hard to kindle in my heart. But they were sure that the GOP would have to ultimately resort to their standby solution for electoral problems and try to drown them in dollars. The word was that this could be a very expensive race. Feely tossed out a guess of 1.5 to 2 million dollars. I heard that advertising might cost, "225 a point," a phrase that, while absolutely meaningless to me, strikes me as an incredibly high amount. Checkbooks fluttered open and donors stepped to the plate. I am a man of humble means, but I made it a point to give a little something to the fight. But I also started thinking about where my personal talents are, and I started thinking about grass roots, and I started thinking about how amazingly large of a lawn we share. I think there is a possibility that the real agent of change is not on the map at all. I think it can begin in the everyhere-and-here of the internet, and then leap from Blog to Ballot, and create change in the places that are ready to be leveraged. I think that Colorado's seventh is ready. I think there is a good team wanting to win the fight. I think we are the secret weapon.
Where do we go from here?


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