Denver City Council races are supposed to be all sweet and nonpartisany, and part of me really wishes they could be that way. But if you want to have a full pictures of a candidate, you'd be stupid to ignore their partisan history. Here's a case in point.
District 10 candidate Wayne New is distributing an ad listing a "woman's right to choose" among his top priorities. The mailer reads (See below.):
The City Council Campaign has focused on the critical issues of over-development, traffic, parking, and the voice of the people in key City decisions. Just as important is sharing with you what I believe. I believe in:
...A woman's right to choose, ensuring that women have access to all reproductive healthcare services.
The advertisement doesn't tell you that New contributed $250 to Colorado Senate candidate Cory Gardner in August of last year.
Why would it? Anyone who's politically conscious knows that 1) donating money to Cory Gardner and 2) having a woman's right to choose as one of your top priorities are 3) mutually exclusive.
Maybe you can find some poor soul, afflicted with severe cognitive dissonance, who thinks like Wayne New on this topic, but if you do, too bad for both of them.
Cory Gardner, now our U.S. Senator, made anti-choice legislation a centerpiece of his rise to political power, earning high praise for years from hard-line anti-choice groups, which helped him win over Republicans.
Once Gardner won his Republican primary, and began courting moderate voters across the state, he promptly abandoned his longstanding support for Colorado's personhood amendment, which would have banned all abortion, even for rape and incest, as well as some forms of birth control.
Gardner, you recall, also sponsored a federal personhood bill that would have banned abortion nationally. Apparently not wanting to part ways with anti-choice supporters in Washington, Gardner refused to remove his name from the federal personhood bill, despite having dumped the state version.
Gardner drove reporters nuts by refusing to acknowledge the existence of the federal personhood bill, even though he was a co-sponsor of it! Watch this amazing video of Gardner, and let me know how New could possibly support this guy, if choice is truly so important to him.
Remember, the apologists for Gardner, like The Denver Post editorial page, said choice isn't so important an issue nowadays. If only this were true. (Think Texas.)
In any case, Gardner's victory over pro-choice Sen. Mark Udall was a tragedy for the pro-choice movement, and if you gave money to Gardner, you are complicit in that tragedy.
That's why Wayne New's partisan history matters. And it goes beyond choice.
"I have watched Charley Brown and Jeannie Faatz, two other UTR Republicans cast reactionary and negative votes against many of the progressive ideas that have come before City Council," emailed Tom Hart, a resident of Congress Park with ties to the community that go back 50 years. "I don't think the voters in this district want to elect obstructionists to the City Council at this important time in Denver's development. There are certain key aspects of the Republican philosophy that would make it hard for New to vote the will of the majority of voters in this district."
Sorry to be a buzz kill for anyone who thinks partisanship should be left to the whisper gallery in Denver's District 10 City Council race. But if a guy like Wayne New is going to claim to be a pro-choice leader, and he's claiming to hold other progressive ideas, he needs to explain why he donated to Cory Gardner.
Correction: This blog post initially listed Wayne New as a "registered Republican." In fact, he changed is party affiliation from Republican to unaffiliated in March.
[Disclosure: I support New's District 10 opponent, Anna Jones, though I live outside the district.]