They can run, but they can’t hide

The Boulder Weekly — Best of Boulder 2010: Staff Picks, 4/29/10

Katie Witt’s supporters

The Longmont City Council election last fall was a lulu. Conservatives were slinging mud at the liberals, and vice versa. But the Katie Witt-Karen Benker race reached a new low for a small town trying to reconcile its rural, conservative roots with the influx of Boulderites who can’t afford to live in the People’s Republic. In this race, the conservative mud was especially dirty, and it was bankrolled by an outside group with a history of filthy political tactics and ties to campaign law violations. Supporters of conservative Witt included Western Tradition Partnership (WTP), a Montana group that had funded smear campaigns against liberal candidates in the past. Part of the group’s money went toward pamphlets calling Benker a liar, and part went to a “push poll” in which residents were asked leading questions that implied she was guilty of discrimination, among other things. WTP was also involved in a law suit against the city that attempted to shield campaign contributions from public view. The race put Longmont on the map as a prime battleground for control of the 4th Congressional District — and as a key factor in whether Colorado becomes a blue state or a red state. It also exposed the fact that unseen forces are often at work in local elections that have historically been sleepy. And it was a sad commentary on the depths to which we’ve stooped in our political discourse as a country. We’d much rather call the other side names than actually have intelligent debate about the merits of any given issue.

  7 comments for “They can run, but they can’t hide

  1. May 7, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    I wonder why candidates who want to represent the people try so hard to hide the people who support them. Perhaps one of the parables of Jesus might shed some light on the subject….The Gospel of Mark, Chapter 4, verses 21-23…

    “And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick? 22 For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad. 23 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.”

  2. Ron Shay
    May 18, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    I’m relatively new to Longmont and discovered this site when I saw a “Free Range Longmont” bumper sticker. Having watched some of the city council meeting broadcasts recently, I have to ask, is Katie Witt (?)….umm…… “special”? Not trying to be cruel, but this person appears to be incapable of stringing words together to form a cohesive sentence, suggesting that there is something wrong, developmentally, with her. If this is the case, I applaud the city of Longmont for giving someone like her a chance. If she is not “developmentally disadvantaged”, I honestly have to wonder how she could have been elected in the first place.

  3. M. Douglas Wray
    May 18, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    Money, Ron, LOTS AND LOTS OF MONEY. Six-to-one ratio, not to mention a full-time attack dog AND the help of the local ‘newspaper’.

  4. 2 Sons
    May 20, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    I agree with you Ron. Katie Witt is not very capable of much. However, she is good at making faces, rolling her eyes A LOT and checking her cell phone often during Council Meetings.

    Have you seen our Mayor mock the citizens of Longmont, or lose his temper yet? If you keep watching the council meetings, you will soon.

    Both Witt and Baum have NO business being in politics.

  5. M. Douglas Wray
    May 20, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    A comment was recently submitted by “” from an internet location in Germany. The email was invalid and the comment was a blatant lie – obviously from the Lunatic Fringe. Children, please. This is NOT the Times-Call. The rules at will be followed, no exceptions.

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