HUDSON: SETTING SIGHTS ON 2016 ALREADY
Since the only suspense in Charlotte was whether the President’s acceptance speech would have to be moved indoors, the assembled punditocracy found it far more productive to speculate on the 2016 convention. In exchange for his nominating speech had Slick Willie extracted a promise from Barack Obama to support Hillary next time out (perhaps to the eventual disappointment of Joe Biden)? Was there anyone among the putative candidates, collectively known as the seven dwarfs, who could challenge Snow White? And, what of the party rank and file?
HUDSON: IT’S RELATIVELY CALM THIS YEAR…
I moved to Denver in October of 1972, too late to attend my Democratic caucus or even to cast a vote. I was therefore unaware that a McGovern juggernaut engineered by Gary Hart had swept an entire generation from party leadership in Colorado. My precinct committeeman in North Denver was one of the few holdovers who managed to survive. Joe Vinnola was the ‘starter’ at the dog track in Commerce City and a staunch supporter of Mike Pomponio’s Denver machine. Pomponio, the long time Democratic Captain on the north side and a master of proxy warfare, had been among the first to fall.
HUDSON: COPPER, TIN AND BRASS ARE OUR POLITICAL CHOICES
The Colorado Statesman
If you have ever donated to a Colorado political campaign, Democratic or Republican, and you still have a landline telephone, then your enjoyment of the recently concluded London Olympics was almost surely interrupted by frequent calls from money-grubbing candidates. It’s useful that our elections and the Olympic games coincide every four years. They serve as a reminder of what can be achieved through sheer determination, commitment, hard work and nearly super-human effort.
HUDSON: OBSERVING AURORA FROM A DISTANCE
It’s always a surreal experience when you are traveling far from home, and something bizarre or terrifying is reported to have occurred there in your absence. I learned twenty years ago that when the President of your Homeowner’s Association tracks you down in Seattle, it isn’t to deliver good news. A freak hailstorm had smashed all the windows along the north wall of my fourth floor condo in North Denver. My daughter was staying with me that summer and shouldered the responsibility of having them boarded up until I could return. The only good news was that, while other homeowners were cleaning up their damage, I was speaking to my insurance agent and ordering replacements before the entire Denver market ran out of glass.
HUDSON: A REAL PAIR OF VOTER FRAUD CULPRITS
So what does all this rumored voter fraud really look like? In order for fraud to genuinely threaten Colorado’s democracy it would need to be organized, extensive and a game of large numbers. There would have to be meetings, assignments and a plan. It would require, if not an army, at least platoons of conspirators — perhaps, even collaborators at the clerk’s office or in the voting booth. How could all this unreported collusion avoid the gimlet eye of the law?
HUDSON: A TYPICALLY AMERICAN RESPONSE
Most Americans would probably prefer that the July 4th holiday be scheduled like Labor Day and Memorial Day, guaranteeing us another three-day weekend each summer. But, it was, after all, July 4th when our Declaration of Independence was written 236 years ago; and, here we are, still celebrating that decision to overthrow colonial rule and find our own way in the world as a democratic people. It’s also been 225 years since we drafted the Constitution that governs our federal system.
HUDSON: PARANOIA RUNS DEEP
For the second time in less than a month, a Republican legislator has expressed their suspicion that Colorado’s leaders are actively colluding with the White House for the express purpose of embarrassing them. It’s enough to make you break out your copy of Richard Hofstader’s famous 1963 essay, The Paranoid Style of American Politics. Of course, Hofstader didn’t argue that this tendency is only a Republican problem. In fact, the propensity for paranoia has proven an equal opportunity political pathology in recent decades.
HUDSON: YOU KNOW, THAT VISION THING...
When I moved to Colorado forty years ago, it was exciting to know my kids would grow up in one of the youngest states in the nation. Throughout Colorado’s history wave after wave of youthful immigrants, first in pursuit of gold and silver, then personal health, economic opportunity, recreation or an outdoors lifestyle, have propped up our construction industry. At times, this runaway growth has resulted in a pronounced grumpiness towards newcomers. It motivated voter rejection of the 1976 Olympics, and, I suspect, the general distaste for taxes required to underwrite public infrastructure for all these new arrivals.
HUDSON: WHAT’S WRONG WITH LEAVING GOOD ENOUGH ALONE?
It will soon be two years since Channel 7’s Tony Kovaleski ambushed the Executive Director and several of Pinnacol’s Board members at the Pebble Beach resort, living the lush life of the 1% — green fees, spa treatments, luxury suites, first class airfare and gourmet meals.
HUDSON: HE WAS A MAN WITH A BIG HEART AND GENEROUS SPIRIT
Whenever politicians step into mud puddles of their own making, wags are quick to label them as “poster boys or girls” for term limits. Carl “Bev” Bledsoe, to his credit, was a poster boy for the advantages of seniority and lengthy legislative service. There simply aren’t adequate adjectives to characterize his political skills. Bev was a shrewd and wily partisan, to be sure, but he was also ready to craft a compromise when circumstances demanded. His decade as Speaker of the Colorado House earned him respect, if not exactly affection, along both sides of the aisle.