14 May 2006

Colorado's First CD Democratic Assembly

In case you were waiting with baited breath in suspense, I'll get down to business first. Colorado's Democratic Party First Congressional District Assembly nominated five term incumbent and chief deputy whip Diana DeGette as the Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives for Colorado's First Congressional District unanimously, in light of the fact that nobody else put their hat in the ring. It also unanimously ratified the standard language concering the vacancy committee that would nominate a candidate to run on behalf of the Democrats in the event that a by election was held in the event of Ms. DeGette's untimely inability to serve.

If you didn't know that this would happen, you are seriously out of the loop.

Dozens, if not hundreds of delegates trudged down to South High School (the alma mater of both DeGette and her mother), just South of Washington Park, nevertheless. In great part we did so neither for this important but pro-forma duty, nor to witness Penfield Tate's mastery of parliamentary procedure (the former Mayoral candidate and current Denver Water Board member is the chairman of the part of the Democratic party machine responsible for the First Congressional District).

Mostly, we came to hear our frumpy Congresswoman, who almost always votes the right way, speak. We were not disappointed. Her fifteen minute musing on what would happen should Democrats retake Congress was well worth it. A vision of the two weeks when the minimum wage is increased, when every chair of every committee issues subpoenas to investigate scandals the Republicans have sought to cover up, when an energy bill skewed to conservation and renewables passes her energy and commerce committee, and when generally, the adults are back in charge again, was fetching. She properly funneled near heckles into a sense of shared purpose and a need to take action by electing Democrats. No Democrats weren't pushing an impeachment proposal they didn't have the votes to support as a minority party, because they didn't have the subpeona driven investigation results needed to build bipartisan support and no they weren't about to make impeachment about crass political gain (as Republicans did under Clinton). They would limit that tool to real and solidly proven high crimes and misdemeanors. Yes, she supported the needs to the homeless and had secured increased budget funding for their needs, but the only way to really address the problem was to get a majority. Her speech itself resonated with quiet outrage, the disgrace all of us feel at how things are going in Washington right now when one party is in control.

Lt. Governor candidate Barabara O'Brien didn't disappoint either, firing up the base by reminding us of Bob Beauprez's votes against pregnant women, children, the homeless and historic preservation. He's so mean he even hates old buildings.

The most important political point made was a subtle one. Democrats aren't going to have any serious fights in Denver in the general election. But, our place in the statewide races is critical. Democrats need overwhelming majorities and high turnouts in Denver and Boulder to win statewide. It is far easier to drum up more votes in Denver than in Colorado's swing counties. And, making this happen, we were told, is our mission in the six months to come until the election.

No comments: