(Note: After the paragraph wherein Mayor Baum was quoted in the Times-Call and the topic turned to Western Tradition Partnership, Council Member Witt sought to interfere with the speaker’s address. The Speaker responded, “I am exercising my freedom of speech, Council Member Witt.” She then proceeded with her prepared remarks.)
Address to Mayor Baum and Longmont City Council: May 4, 2010
On your agenda this evening is one of the most important pieces of legislation that City of Longmont can consider. You are to decide whether Longmont will have open, transparent, fair and just elections or whether the interests of those who would control our local government will be able to exercise their privileged positions and do so even more under the radar of full disclosure.
Today’s article in the Times-Call left me incredulous. That justification to abandon Longmont’s efforts to provide transparency to our local representative democracy defies moral foundation, is unprincipled and plays into the hands of those who believe they have a birthright to control government to their own personal, corporate and ideological gain.
Mayor Baum, you are quoted as saying that, “We are a target (to sue); we have been identified as such. We’re labeled now, and we have to be really careful because we’re on everybody’s radar screen.”
And who is this “everybody” to which you refer?
The lawsuit brought against the city last year by Western Tradition Partnership was an unscrupulous and cynical strategic attempt to gain control of the Longmont City Council by radically conservative forces both out-of-state, within the state and indeed by local powerful political interests and their toadies.
Organized as a 501c4, Western Tradition Partnership can simply create an entity and have the sources of their funding unknown to anyone without a federal case and court order. Its money can come from out of the country, around the nation, and locally by cowards who want to keep their public image as untarnished as possible.
Republican Scott Gessler was the attorney for this lawsuit debacle. He drools at the possibility of using his attacks on Longmont as a platform for election to Colorado Secretary of State, a position that would allow him to influence our state elections in the manner of Katherine Harris in Florida in 2000 and Ken Blackwell in Ohio in 2004.
Previous mayors of Longmont, Republicans Julia Pirnack and Bob Askey, joined this suit as well as the Longmont Area Realtors Association, and unsavory blogger Republican Chris Rodriguez.
Four city council members benefited by the support of Western Tradition Partnership who funded Longmont Leadership who viciously attacked your opponents; the Realtors Association who endorsed the current council majority; and the aforementioned individuals who either endorsed or executed the dirty work.
The settlement you authorized used city taxpayer funds to reimburse the very organizations and people who provided most of the impetus for your election to office.
The people of Longmont must be made aware of the decadent undercurrent operating behind the scenes of Longmont and Colorado politics. With the foregoing, now they are.