Last Friday night, I was in Colorado and attended a House party for recently-appointed Colorado Senator Mike Bennet. Joining me was Darcy Burner, the legendary people-powered congressional candidate from Seattle, who spoke on a panel with me the next day.
I was very much looking forward to taking inventory of this new senator. Was he smart? Was he authentic? Did he connect with regular people? The answer to all of these things was yes. Indeed, in 30 minutes of Q&A, he quickly rose on the list of politicians I respect.
With one big exception. For some odd reason, he seemed to freeze up -- twice -- when asked about his position on the Employee Free Choice Act. He said he didn't have a position.
The next day, Darcy mentioned this during our panel. Local progressive activist Max Tyler raised his hand and said he asked Bennet the same question at another event and got the same answer. Colorado blogger John Erhardt of SquareState.net describes what happened next:
Darcy Burner challenged us in that discussion to call [Colorado] senators and congressmen, to pressure them to support worker's rights. So when the panel ended, an amazing thing happened. Candidate for CO-06, David Canter came to the front of the room and asked if he could be part of that challenge.
On the spot, Canter cut a YouTube video with Darcy and Max Tyler, announcing that he was posting an online petition urging Colorado's congressional delegation to stand with workers and publicly endorse the Employee Free Choice Act. Here's the video:
This was a remarkably bold thing for a first-time congressional candidate to do--challenging a sitting U.S. Senator and others to get off the fence on an important issue.
And Senator Bennet, if you'd like to do something similarly bold, feel free to announce your position on the Employee Free Choice Act right here at the Huffington Post!