Shame on the “new majority”

Mayor Baum and members of the City Council have shamed our community. On May 25th and on June 8th the council failed to unanimously endorse Council Member Sarah Levison to be nominated to the Board of Directors of the Colorado Municipal League.

The original motion passed on a 5 to 2 vote with the mayor and Council Member Santos refusing to support Ms. Levison. Council Member Sammoury, with or without strong-armed tactics from Mayor Baum and Mr. Santos, then decided that the motion should be “reconsidered.” He apparently resented Ms. Levison’s truth-telling Guest Opinion published on May 26th. The reconsidered motion in support of Ms. Levison passed 4 to 3, and I give credit to Council Member Witt for taking the high ground on both votes.

Ms. Levison offered a gracious apology if her words were misunderstood. Ms. Levison, your apology was totally unnecessary, protestations from Mr. Sammoury notwithstanding.

Three major votes have been taken on changes to the Longmont Fair Campaign Practices Act: first, to remove the quasi-judicial status of the Election Committee; second, to increase from $20 to $50 the contribution threshold for donor declaration; third, to increase from $100 to $250 the threshold for reporting independent expenditures. Each of the motions reduces the level of accountability and transparency.

Each member of the council has made his or her position on provisions of the LFCPA clear. In the U.S. House and Senate, leadership may vote in opposition to their position in order to have the ability to call the vote later for reconsideration. City council members may do the same. This was the intent of the second vote mentioned above.

Mr. Sammoury, there is, in fact, a new majority against the integrity of the LFCPA and the transparency of our elections. Ms. Levison’s Opinion was correct, as written.

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