City Council Candidate Still Not Explaining GOP Support

05/27/2015 10:33 am ET | Updated May 27, 2016

City Council candidate Wayne New, who changed his voter registration from Republican to unaffiliated in March, acknowledged in a Denver Post interview last week that he's spotlighting progressive ideas to try to prove to voters that he's not as conservative as you might think from his record of donations to Republican candidate Cory Gardner and others.

But Wayne New still hasn't said why he donated to Gardner, who's now Colorado's U.S. Senator, having defeated Mark Udall in November.

Wayne New told the Post he supports left-leaning initiatives, like a plastic-bag fee, and he doesn't want to get into partisan scrapping.

Fair enough. No one should vote against Wayne New just because he was a Republican until three months ago.

But it's not a partisan attack to want to know why Wayne New donated to Cory Gardner. It's a substantive question. What issues did he agree with Gardner on? (Somehow, I don't see Gardner supporting the bag fee.)

What did he like about Gardner, who's not a moderate Republican by any measure? About Mitt Romney? About John McCain? About the Republican National Committee?

So, as you can see below, New's answer to the Post about his conservative background doesn't answer these questions.

Denver Post (@8:15): Mr. New, you've been a Republican in the past and have donated to Republican candidates in the past. Now you're registered as an unaffiliated voter. In last week's debate, I thought it was interesting, you supported the idea of a plastic-bag fee and talked quite a bit about environmentally-focused efforts. This is not a partisan election. You're running to represent a pretty liberal district. Is that part of your consideration when you're thinking about some of these issues like the bag fee.

Wayne New:
It has been very much. It's funny, over several months that we've all been having forums and discussions, we've never talked about social issues at all. It's always been about development, or over-development, parking, traffic, transit. And we haven't talked about it at all. And finally, when we're having discussions about that, I'm much more of a moderate individual when it comes to social issues. I put out a flyer just to make sure everybody understands that I stand for women't rights, gay rights, the environment, and conservation. Discussions too, with Travis Leiker, who finished third, have been helpful too. He's been very helpful as we've developed positions on social issues. So it's been very good. So, I'm very much of a moderate person. And I hate this partisan politics that has been brought into something that should be nonpartisan. We should all just be thinking about the issues and addressing the issues and working together, not having this divisiveness of Democrats versus Republicans. That's not going to create a great city.

Okay, but why did Wayne New support Cory Gardner? Which of Gardner ideas will help create the great city New wants?

[Disclosure: I support New's District 10 opponent, Anna Jones, though I live outside the district.]