Archive for September, 2009

Another Candidate, Another Poll

With Jane Norton’s entry into the Colorado Senate Race, Rasmussen has test-polled her against both Sen. Ben. and Romanoff.  (No word on whether or not the controversies over Obama’s czars is hurting Andrew).  It turns out she polls better than either Frazier or Buck against the Senator Select, leading 45-36, and beating Romanoff 42-34.  Norton does well, 52-21, among unaffiliated voters, but that’s a very fluid voter bloc, given the high number of undecideds there.

Some of this, however, may be a result of polling sample.  Last week, Rasmussen had Bennet’s very favorable-to-very unfavorable levels at 14-18, but this poll has them at 8-19.  It’s hard to believe that Bennet has really suffered that much deterioration in one week – especially in numbers that are so low in absolute terms to begin with.  The new sample also has Romanoff down 8 points, 12-20, in the very-favorable-to-very-unfavorable rating, which is just hard to believe given his general popularity when he left office earlier this year.  Do people remember his active campaigning for his doomed baby, Amendment 59?

Norton certainly has higher name recognition than Frazier or Buck.  All three are right at break-even in the Veries, but Buck is at 9-7 (16 total) and Frazier at 6-6 (12 total), while Norton polls 13-12.  There’s no question that Bennet’s negatives are higher than his positives, but a sitting Senator with any sort of a record should have generated stronger feelings, especially in this political environment.  As with Ritter, the election should be a referendum on the incumbent, but count on the SEIU and CODA to try to define all three Republicans simultaneously as right wing-nuts.  Given that the public hasn’t really formed impressions of them yet, there’s plenty of room for them to prey on the uninformed.

Yet to be included in any Rasmussen poll is Tom Wiens.  I spoke with Tom before the show on Sunday night, and he seemed very confident that he could compete with Norton in fundraising.  The question is, can he compete with Bennet in the general for votes, or is he simply not electable outside of his base in the Springs?

UPDATE: A friend of mine from elsewhere in the state reminds me of another part of my conversation with Tom Wiens before the show Sunday evening.  Tom stressed that he has extraordinarily good relationships with delegates from across the state, and that he expects to do very well at the state convention.  While unlikely to win 70% there, an extremely strong showing could be enough to propel him through the primary in August.  One caveat to this strategy is that, between higher caucus participation and the as-yet-unpredictable straw poll, it maybe harder for the traditional party caucus-goers to dominate the proceedings.

While it’s the official position of the Republican Party that all candidates are welcome, and that primaries make for stronger candidates, I do happen to believe those things.  It’s a long road, people, and the raw poll numbers right now don’t mean much.

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McInnis v. Penry v. Ritter

On the heels of its Colorado Senate poll showing good news for Ryan Frazier, Rasmussen has published a poll on the governor’s race that Scott McInnis supporters are touting, and that can’t make Gov. Ritter very happy.  While McInnis leads Ritter 44-39, Penry polls in a dead heat with the next former governor, trailing 41-40.  McInnis will spin this as showing he’s stronger against Ritter, although much of the strength vs. Penry is still a result of statewide name recognition.  Penry will claim that despite still struggling to make himself known outside the party, almost half the state is ready to vote for him in the general.

Of greater interest, according to Rasmussen, is the very favorable-very unfavorable ratings for the Republican challengers.  McInnis leads here with a +10 (18-8), while Penry trails at a -3 (8-11).  Some of this may be that McInnis has been out of office for a while, and Penry is having to lead a party in office.  I doubt that it’s due to Mike “The Headless Chicken” Huttner’s attempts to portray the financial crisis as the “Bush-Penry recession.”

The election should, of course, be a referendum on Ritter’s performance, and in this regard he’s in some serious trouble.  Among those likely voters with strong opinions about his performance, Ritter has an abysmal -14 rating, with 29% strongly disapproving, and 15% strongly approving.  He’s not getting points for not deferring to Big Labor on important issues, and one presumes that the Car Tax is beginning to take its toll.

However, the fact that only 20-25% of voters have strong opinions about the Republicans leaves room for the CODA spin machine and the MSM (but I repeat myself) to help define the Republicans, and at this point, McInnis is only slightly less vulnerable to that than Penry is.   However, the legislative session is likely to be contentious, with the Democrats threatening to ram through a state-wide health care takeover of their own, and likely to pick fights on issues designed to paint Penry into a corner.  How he manages that will go a long way to determining his viability in the primaries.

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“When Will You Make An End Of It?”

And so, the Great Repainting stretches out to the end of its fifth week.  Today was supposed to see the crown molding mounted.  Elden had a friend who supposedly knew how to do this, had a mitre box, and would be able to hang the molding that Elden had already painted.

Instead, I got a call, explaining that Elden had figured out that his friend didn’t really know what he was doing, and that he had hired someone from an agency to come by and do the job properly.  Of course, this sets the whole thing back another day.  And when I got home, I saw what he was talking about.  His friend had indeed mounted one of the pieces – vertically. not at an angle, and coming to an end about 1″ from the corner.  Now, I’ve done crown molding before.  The secret here is that you really don’t even need a mitre for the internal corners.  You can just cope out the pattern, and slide a full end piece right underneath the one you’ve coped out.  Our pattern is simple enough that I could do it myself, except that I’m paying them to do it.

Elden’s reaction wasn’t particularly encouraging, either. Apparently he was so disgusted by the whole matter that he packed up and left at 10:00, with plenty of work left that he could have done.

So because the agency needs to be paid in cash when the work is done, I need to come home tomorrow during lunch, inspect the molding, and then pay (or not).  Which means that not only is the project taking more time than the Sistine Chapel, it’s not starting to devour my own time in the process.

I can’t begin to tell you how ready I am to take an evening and put books on shelves.


So Much For That Whole Listening Thing

Back when the Town Hells started, I predicted that the President would give a health care speech in an effort to salvage an overhaul this year.  I thought that he would try to sell the same unpopular bill of goods, repackaged as a result of his having, “listened” to the anger and discontent that’s obviously out there.

I didn’t give him enough credit.  Instead, the President tried to repackage the same discredited speech.

Remarkably, the President managed to be defensive, dismissive, and deceptive all at the same time.  Which leads me to think that this speech was aimed not at the American public, but at Congressional Democrats.

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Two Wheels Good, Four Wheels Bad

Watch where you park.

The number of parking tickets written in Denver is on pace to hit near-record levels for Mayor John Hickenlooper’s administration, with particular hot spots in neighborhood enclaves scattered throughout the city.

Denver officials said the increase is not an attempt to plug the city’s sizable budget gap.

Uh-huh.  Ah, it seems like only yesterday…

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I’d Settle For a Chalk Outline

A nonprofit group is seeking permission to write every word of the healthcare bill on the Capitol steps.

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Wadhams Staying Put, It Seems

Amid rumors that State Party Chairman Dick Wadhams’s trip to Nevada might portend another full-time effort to unseat a Democrat Senate Majority Leader, comes a memo from Dick himself.  The relevant parts are quoted below:

I just want to let you know that nothing can keep me from being a part of unseating a Democratic governor for the first time in 48 years, and the accidental senator he appointed.

My friend Sue Lowden, who recently resigned as Nevada Republican state chairman, asked me to make the presentation to a group of her supporters as she decides whether to challenge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

As fun as that quick trip to Las Vegas was, my full time political agenda is here in my home state of Colorado, as state chairman of Colorado Republicans.

While stopping short of an outright, “I will not be going to Nevada to run Sue Lowden’s campaign, period,” it’s clearly intended as a reassurance to the party that it won’t be left leaderless, just as it appears to be regaining its footing here in Colorado.

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Jones Resigns Over What?

Powerline nicely summarizes the problems with (now former) Obama Administration official Van Jones:

Who do they have in the White House? A self-proclaimed Communist. A vulgar Marxist twice over. A supporter of cold-blooded cop killer Mumia Abu Jamal. A 9/11 Truther . A racist hater, whose hatred extends to the United States. And insofar as his current job is concerned, we have a man who sees the “green jobs” con as a tool for overthrowing capitalism. We have, in short, the complete left-wing nightmare package.

So naturally, the Denver Post hasn’t yet printed a word about the (now former) Green Jobs Czar.  The Washington Post and New York Times, would-be papers of record, finally got around to covering  the controversy just in time for Jones to resign.  As with the Eason Jordan affair, readers’ could be forgiven for not knowing that there even was a problem, right up until the moment that the (nor former) advisor resigned.

Of course, those outlets that are now covering the resignation are basically whitewashing the problems with Jones.  Here’s the AP, as carried by the Washington Post:

Jones, an administration official specializing in environmentally friendly “green jobs” with the White House Council on Environmental Quality was linked to efforts suggesting a government role in the 2001 terror attacks and to derogatory comments about Republicans.

“Derogatory comments” is one way of putting it.  Calling them “a**holes” is another.  Jones wasn’t just “linked to” efforts (note the passive voice).  He actively linked himself to them by signing an online truther petition.  ABC News’s Todd Connor is even more circumspect (audio not available online):

Van Jones decided to leave in light of recent questions surrounding a racially tinged speech and a petition he signed which questioned the official version of the 9/11 attacks.

Plenty of speeches are “racially tinged.”  Few rise to this level of American self-hatred:

The American way, manufactuered by these white folks in office. By these rich men here to mock us. The United States is a stolen land led by right-wing, war hungry, oil thirsty. And when it’s all said and done they still can’t clean their own place because they got people of color playing servant to do that sh*t for them… The true terrorists are made in the US, in this police state… The US is a crack-fiend for oil. And they’re ready to rape, kill, assault, rob anybody and everybody

And plenty of people have questioned the official version of 9/11.  I’ve noted that having Jamie Gorelick sit in judgment on the 9/11 Commission was pretty close to the ultimate fox-guarding-the-henhouse moment.  That’s a little different from asking whether “high-level government officials may have deliberately allowed the attacks to occur.”

Again, readers may be forgiven for wondering what all the fuss is about.

In fact, Obama has merely victimized himself here, by a (now former) Tsar System that end-runs around Congressional vetting, and has been victimized by a press corps sleeping-walking through life.  The two are not unrelated.

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Denver Traffic in Reverse

INRIX has ranked Denver traffic as the 15th-worst in the country.  Not so bad, perhaps, except that they also have us ranked 21st in population.  This is also up from 16th in 2008, and 18th in 2007, so pretty much everything’s going in the wrong direction here.

It’s just a guess, but I don’t think this is designed to help.   I think it’s designed to make driving harder, not easier.  Back in May, Councilman Johnson was pushing the survey for Leetsdale Drive in her newsletter.  According to traffic surveys, the Leetsdale/Colorado Blvd/Alameda Ave concoction is the most-heavily-used set of streets in Denver.  So naturally, the smart thing to do is to subject the entire corridor to years of construction, in all likelihood leaving it less able to handle traffic flows.

Here’s an idea.  Less money for Living Streets, more money for this.

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A Feature, Not a Bug

The Denver Post this morning reports on Sen. Bennet’s town hall in Pueblo, and on a Denver Chamber of Commerce poll (PDF) on Coloradoans and health care, excuse me, health insurance.   Sen. Bennet seems to have remained an inscrutable non-entity when it comes to actual policy issues, but the DCC report provides at least a little insight, both into how Coloradoans feel about their coverage and reform efforts, and how the Denver Chamber thinks

While ignoring the 77% of respondents who believe they have “good or excellent” care, Lynn Bartels focuses on the 26% who have “skipped a recommended medical test, prescription, treatment in the past 12 months for you or a family member due to cost.”  But neither the Post‘s crack reporters nor the Chamber’s summary addresses either double-counting (a “yes” counts for either the husband or the wife), or the seriousness of the treatment foregone.  Consider four families of four, 16 people in all, and one person questioned in each.  If only one person out of the 16 has foregone care, the result of this question will show a 25% positive, even though only 6% of the people covered by the question actually did without.

Sen. Bennet did, apparently, show some Doomsday slides about the wreck our economy and personal finances become if costs continue to rise at current rates.  Naturally, the idea that individuals, deciding not to pay for certain procedures, or to negotiate down the prices, might actually help bring about cost control, has never entered his mind.  To that extent, the decision of some people to do without rather than pay the insurance- and government-subsidized prices, which are largely fictional in any case, is a feature of what reform should look like, not a bug.

The other striking point is that while the Chamber opposes mandates for its members, it’s ok requiring an individual mandate.  The larger business members that compose the Chamber have always been good at externalizing costs.

One question: when will the Post get around to linking to original source material when it’s available online?  They almost never do this, for some reason.

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