Many of us supporting Andrew Romanoff for Senate are confused about exactly why President Obama is coming to Colorado to support the appointed incumbent.
Andrew Romanoff is the candidate in the race for the United States Senate in Colorado who is not accepting contributions from the political action committees of special interest groups (PACs). Candidate Obama came out against taking PAC contributions during the 2008 cycle.
In fact, he said that the only way ordinary peoples' voices can be heard is if candidates stop taking money from special interest PACs.
Like Barack Obama, Andrew feels that this kind of money distorts the political process, creates a conflict between constituents and contributors, and increases the cynicism of the American people.
Our opponent, Michael Bennet, has raised a lot of money from PACs and special interests. According to Huffington Post he has raised $612,804 of "Wall Street Campaign Cash," making him the number 5 recipient in all of Congress. On Dick Durbin's amendment to help people whose homes faced foreclosure due to bankruptcy, he voted with the banks.
Washington is broken and not working for the people of America. Do you want health care to be affordable and available? Congress won't deliver. Do you want the banking industry, which nearly took the entire world's economy over a cliff sixteen months ago, to be regulated? Congress won't deliver. Do you want to pass a bill that will reduce the amount of carbon going into our air to prevent catastrophic climate change? Congress won't deliver.
Congress is not working for us. It is working for the big special interest contributors. These special interests don't care about our health, our savings or whether the planet melts--they do care about this quarter's profits. The only way to change this is for the people to start electing candidates who, like Andrew Romanoff, are not taking that money and are not subject to special interest influence and pressure.
We believe that Andrew Romanoff is the candidate who is closest to the views and spirit of candidate Obama. President Obama, who needs every vote he can get in the Senate, has taken to supporting incumbents, Specter over Sestak in Pennsylvania, Bennet over Romanoff here--the lesser candidate in both cases.
Something the President might not be aware of is that Coloradans like making their own decisions. Many of us like Barack Obama. We contributed to his campaign. We walked door to door for him. We marked his line on the ballot. But we don't think he knows better than we do who would make the best Senator from Colorado.
It is unlikely that President Obama has compared the two candidates. I don't think he knows who has the closest ties to Colorado. I doubt that he knows how Andrew Romanoff organized the effort to get the first Democratic majority in the Colorado House in three decades, how he sponsored and fought for a state referendum that saved us from fiscal crisis in 2005, or how he sponsored legislation that put a billion dollars into our crumbling schools.
I'm confident that if he did compare the two men, rather than just going with the incumbent, he would be with us.
I'm also confident that Colorado voters, when they do compare the two men, will support Romanoff. In fact, it is already happening. The most recent Rasmussen poll showed Romanoff doing 7% better against likely Republican nominee Jane Norton than Bennet does. (By the way I'm guessing that more than 50% of Jane Norton's fans support her because they think she is former Colorado Attorney General and Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton).
The country is at a tipping point. The people are disgusted. Their needs are not being met. It is on the verge of getting a lot worse... or a lot better. In Colorado, Romanoff is the hope for better.
So President Obama is coming out to Colorado--a state confident of its own ability to choose the best candidate--to raise money for the man who is less supportive of his values, and less likely to win a general election against the Republican.
It is a mistake.