Random Thoughts: April 18, 2011

Wow, I'm Excited About a Mayoral Election!
by Jasmine Sailing

By the Jellies, it isn't often that this happens.

In fact, I think the last time I was this worked up was when Nader ran against Gore and Bush, and the Democrats started becoming gratuitously vicious about it (for the record, I voted for Nader and every time afterward... despite much hatred from Democrats). That time the excitement was moreso self defense and Nader defense and staunch belief that the 2-party system people are suckering themselves into is not ever going to suddenly start working out.

The correct combination for engrossing me seems to be 1. I genuinely like one of the choices (that's the phenomenally rare ingredient) 2. I genuinely dislike one of the choices 3. I feel pretty ehhh about other choices. This time there was an extra ingredient: the choice I genuinely like had a chance from the start. In a 10 candidate race, hes been well ensconced in the top 4.

The other top 4s? I strongly dislike one. I am deeply leery of one. I am pretty darned ehhh about one.

It was after ACLU Colorado's mayoral forum that I noticed myself getting worked up. Frankly, I was completely disgusted watching Chris Romer in that forum. About all he could say, over and over and over, was "I'm Chris Romer, and I want to be your mayor". I suppose when all you have going for you is your last name, tons of big donations, and a capacity for eating large numbers of cupcakes...

But this was an ACLU forum, for Jellies' sake! Time has passed and I'm still gnashing my teeth, thinking "How DARE him treat an ACLU forum so disdainfully?!". All 7 of the other candidates who made it to the forum treated it much more seriously.

And who looked good on that forum? Doug Linkhart, the same person who had just won the Survivor rounds brought to us by Planned Parenthood, etc. It's clear who does and doesn't take civil rights issues seriously.

And now for a new insult.

After recent poll result speculation concluded that Romer has support from the conservative gun toting tea partiers of Denver (don't get me wrong, Bruce and I own rifles, plenty of people in Denver do, but we aren't conservative tea partiers and those types are a small population in Denver), he probably needed to panic a bit because all of the other votes are split amongst the more liberal (aka the other) candidates and that would be bad news in a run-off. So, suddenly, there's a flood of Romer tweets with lgbt topic tags floating by on Twitter today (which I noticed via the 5280mayor topic).

I should have reached for my beta blockers first. Instead I first exploded about the tea party loved Romer getting lgbt tags for claiming he supports equality (eg in the workplace... this is somehow a new innovative political concept?!), while Linkhart has always been openly pro gay marriage etc. I exploded on Twitter, then I exploded on my mailing list, then I realized my heart was palpitating like mad and belatedly reached for my beta blockers.

After some lying down and calming down I don't seem to have had a heart attack. Or at least not a big one. That's always nice.

The word "open" says a lot about why I am pro-Linkhart (and he has plenty of experience, he's been one of our 2 City Council at large members for many many years and he started off in the EPA during Carter's Presidency). He's so environmental that he has the Denver Green Party endorsement without being in the Green Party (I told a friend he looks like a Green Party person in disguise before learning that they'd endorsed him... he's officially a Democrat), and that's always most important to me.

Also important, obviously, are rights issues. Linkhart (unlike any last second half-assed gambits by other candidates) has always openly supported gay marriage, legalising marijuana, and even legal needle exchanges. He feels costs can be reduced and over-crowded jail situations can be resolved by not prosecuting minor infringements. He also has a nice wacky notion that people who need help can be helped instead of having their lives further destroyed by prison. And he has worked toward so much of this as a council member.

Hes a grassroots person, rather than a corporate bought politician (like I said, he looks very Green in disguise).

What I really hate to think of is Linkhart losing the mayoral race, and no longer being a council member. He's lagging at #4 in the polls, but in my circles he's the only candidate worth talking about (oh, ok, the guy who put the UFO preparedness measure on the last ballot deserves a friendly nod... and Linkhart gave him one). Hopefully the polls are wrong, though it's not like I would change my vote and stance if they weren't.

I'm still seeing a lot of press about Romer's half-assed support of the lgbt community. I suppose that'll be one more reason for me to spit if he wins.

So, yeah, for the first time in years I'm excited. And spanning the range from eager to stubborn to irritated to really frickin' ticked off. And it's "only" a mayoral election, right?

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