A Greater Vision for Longmont and America Continues
Progress is not made by one endeavor or one election. It requires persistence, dedication, and commitment – no matter the obstacles, no matter the adversaries.
Longmont endured a huge setback in the November 2009 elections. Some are still wondering how this happened. Simply stated, progress was out-gunned and outspent.
While we can learn from the past, we should not dwell on it. We should recommit to achieving our goals and understanding our challenges.
The Longmont Vision remains a “greater vision” of realizing the goals that will guarantee sustainability and prosperity in the 21st century. Its content will serve as an antidote to the agenda of the Times-Call and other outlets whose interests are narrow and self-serving.
Share your insights and understandings with me as I will with you. Together we can return Longmont to realizing the promise that it holds but will not be achieved under its current leadership.
Local developers, the religious fundamentalists represented by LifeBridge Church, and the Times-Call took aim at the council majority elected in November 2007 almost immediately upon their swearing in. When the “other side” has the benefit of a daily mouth organ, the odds can be insurmountable. Sometimes the effect on public perception is accomplished with subtlety and sometimes it is blatant.
Those who’ve studied journalism and politics recognize that this is accomplished by the choice of what stories are covered, by the headlines attached to them, by information left out of articles (or stripped from them), by the editorials, by local OpEd pieces sought or rejected, and by the balance of letters to the editor to name just a few mechanisms.
And the Times-Call frivolously filed a lawsuit against the city for “secrecy” that it knew was within the Colorado statute. The lawsuit was intended to blacken the eyes of the progressive council majority in the public’s eye—and, based on the election results, it apparently helped.
It is unfortunate, but no surprise, that the newly-elected Longmont City Council majority, all of whom were endorsed by the Times-Call leading up to the election, have no doubt pressured the remaining city council members to settle that suit. After all, 4 beats 3 in any mathematics textbook.
I wonder what the indirect payback will be to the Times-Call for their help in getting this new majority elected. And I hope that the remaining three council members will vote “No” regardless of the settlement terms when the issue returns to council. They may have the numbers, but “might” doesn’t make “right.”
Other Republicans from within the city, throughout the state and from out of state also engaged in the same strategy. They succeeded in costing the city a great deal of money and gaining only limited changes to the Fair Campaign Practices Act. Not only did the city agree to a $68,500 settlement but the group filing the suit intentionally violated the Longmont Fair Campaign Practices Act as it stood. These people are not naïve; they knew their actions would provoke complaints and they knew costs would be incurred in the process.
There was no “free speech” issue – never was, isn’t now, and never will be. The proof was in the pudding – and that pudding was rancid as soon as it was written and arrived in mailboxes across Longmont as the Longmont Leadership “newspaper.”
The money that poured into conservative Republican candidates was greater than ever seen before in Longmont. Out of area organizations funneled nearly $25,000 to their anointed candidates. And local contributors angered and fuming since November 2007 contributed nearly $61,500, to candidates who have no intention of representing “the citizens of Longmont,” much less ALL of the citizens of Longmont. The evidence of this is already in and will be compounded over the months to come (24 minus 3 and counting). Over $86,000 buys a lot of something, and it’s not just candidates.
As a great Republican bearing no resemblance to the current batch said, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” (Abraham Lincoln)
2011 will be the End of an Error.
Longmont Vision and www.longmontvision.com are publications of Longmont Vision, created for the purpose of informing members of the Longmont community about issues and activities that impact their present and future wellbeing. Editorial decisions are determined by Kaye Fissinger.