Sara Lu Hanley

A Correction: Mayor Baum and his contributors and contributing factors

The Baum SquadLast week I left a comment, expressing my disappointment in our mayor for his seeming hostility toward our environment and his conduct at city council meetings toward Longmont citizens. Not ten minutes after my comment was posted, the “First Lady of Longmont” stalked me down on Facebook, and she asked that I correct myself regarding campaign contributions to our mayor. In my comments I referenced that our mayor was paid for by oil and gas—Mrs. Baum took exceptional issue with that and reminded me that our good mayor “took no money from ANY contributor,” and that he “did have many, many friends who had in-kind donations to his campaign.” So as you asked, Mrs. Baum, I did take a look at your husband’s campaign “in-kinds.” And to all of the other pieces that were—shall we call them—”contributing factors” to your husband’s campaign.

Here is what I found:

  • Your husband is bought and paid for by realtors and developers
    (your husband makes that very clear on his website, Longmont is after all, now “open for business” developers to do whatever they want)
  • Your husband is bought and paid for by investment brokers and insurance agents
    (your husband makes that very clear on his website, Longmont is after all, now “open for business” developers to do whatever they want)
  • Oil and gas special interests groups found that Mr. Baum’s candidacy was aligned with their own interests
    (These folks we will call Western Tradition Partnership, an anti-environment organization from Montana, set on using dirty Marilyn Musgrave politics to ensure that individuals friendly to oil and gas interests—such as Platte River Power Authority—are elected to office. They filtered money through their cover group Longmont Leadership for these campaigns.)
  • Far right anti-government extremist special interest groups found that Mr. Baum’s candidacy was aligned with their own interests
    (We will instead call them Coloradans for Economic Growth—a “drown government in a bath tub” group of extremists aligned with nice people like Doug Bruce, who think it’s ok to kick people in public chambers during legislative sessions. They filtered money through their cover group Longmont Citizens for a Brighter Future. On a personal note, I think your husband’s politics and behavior bare a striking resemblance to Mr. Bruce.)

Now, those things said, Mr. and Mrs. Baum, I suppose I need to qualify those statements. Mr. and Mrs. Baum I am growing weary—as a Longmont voter and tax payer—of your repeatedly telling the paper, you took “no monetary contributions, but rather in-kind donations.” It’s disingenuous. In fact, you took at least $9,000 in “in-kind donations,” which is fine, but I’m not a big fan of people who only like to tell pieces of the truth and conveniently leave out the rest of the story. And, when I say bought and paid for by realtors and developers, they contributed 60% of the money… I’m sorry “in-kind donations”… to the Baum for Mayor campaign. I have no problem with individuals donating to a campaign, but it is disingenuous to tell the public you took “no money from any contributor.” (Fine, you sent them to Rabbit Hill Graphics with their checks for your mailers and signs instead.) I hope in the future he will be a little more honest about his contributions.

So second, when I mentioned that I felt that the mayor was also bought and paid for by oil and gas and right-wing extremists in my comment, I should have been more like the mayor and said the following,”Oil and gas special interests and right-wing extremists who hate that government looks out for our open spaces and tax payers find Mr. Baum, Ms. Witt, Mr. Santos, and Mr. Sammoury so appealing and in line with their interests that they would come in from Montana and Denver to spend over $20,000 to influence our city council election.”

So let’s simply call them a “contributing factor” who found our Bought and Paid Four so ideologically aligned, that they spent large quantities of money to mercilessly beat up on Councilwoman Benker and to a lesser extent Mayor Lange in addition to promoting, although they never said the words “vote for” (that would be illegal), Bryan Baum, Katie Witt, Gabe Santos and Alex Sammoury. So Mrs. Baum, I stand corrected, from this day forward, I will call the oil and gas special interest money a “contributing factor” in your husband’s election to the position of Longmont mayor.

Finally, I think you miss the real points Mrs. Baum—of my prior comment. My biggest issues with your husband are these:

  • Your husband and the new council are openly and unappologetically hostile to the environment and the New Energy Economy.
  • I agree, our city needs sales tax, so why did they allow Walmart to renege on a promise to build a Sam’s Club
  • Your husband’s hostility toward Longmont Citizens, free speech and anyone who says anything contrary to his ideologies and special interests in council chambers is appalling and undemocratic—again, it is no different than former Representative Bruce, who in State Legislative chambers saw fit to kick a photographer.

But then again, your husband never said he was in this for the people of Longmont.

Mrs. Baum, I appreciate your asking me to look further into your donors and who your husband is exactly; and please know that I, in no way, meant to slander your husband. Rather, my purpose was to express my genuine frustration with your husband’s behavior and policies. My comments regarding oil and gas special interest money, were assumptions—perhaps made to quickly—as to why oil and gas special interests would want to spend that much money on electing your husband.


Note the Letter from Mrs. Baum:

Sara, I saw your story on Freerangelongmont.com in which you make repeated assertions that Bryan took money from “big oil and gas” but in fact Bryan took no money from ANY contributor (other than himself as he put over $4,000 of our own money in to his campaign). He did have many, many friends who had in-kind donations to the campaign in the form of buying t-shirts, stickers, signs and the like, but again, no cash was accepted, and infact none of the in-kind donars were from big, small or otherwise gas and or oil so I’m curious as to exactly what you mean when you say he received all these donations when the fact is he had none. Feel free to check all of his campaign records at the city clerk (or I’d be more than happy to email the PDF’s to you) and additionally feel free to contact any of our donars directly if you have any questions. You might then choose to correct your post as I’m certain you wouldn’t want to knowingly slander someone online, especially when you have been given on the facts right here. Thanks!

Stephanie Baum
Baum4Mayor Campaign Manager