Tag Archive for bryan baum arrested

Elect candidates who stand against fracking

Cast your ballot for those who will best protect Longmont's right to local control.

Vote, checked with red pencilAs we approach municipal elections Nov. 5, I believe it is critical that voters understand where each candidate stands regarding two lawsuits the city is currently defending. Although each lawsuit pertains to the community’s ability to regulate oil and gas operations within its corporate boundaries, each resulted from a separate approach to address foundational principles of local government in Colorado.

Home rule, citizen initiative and local control are key concepts found in the Colorado Constitution, the Longmont city charter and in years of practical application. The reason these basic principles of government are so critical is simple. When properly applied, they put key decisions about local communities in the hands of the people most heavily impacted, local residents. Under our charter, the citizens elect the City Council, which has the obligation to adopt appropriate policies to protect our health, environment and quality of life. This includes appropriate regulations for all land uses.

If and when residents do not believe the elected city council members are appropriately protecting the community, citizens have the right to initiate appropriate actions. This is what happened in 2012 regarding oil and gas operations. The ability to adopt appropriate land use regulations is a basic right of home rule cities in Colorado and a fundamental expectation of citizens. As you will see below, the primary opponents of local oil and gas land use regulations in Longmont are Gov. John Hickenlooper and the multi-billion dollar oil and gas industry. That is why city council elections this year are absolutely critical.

The first lawsuit is an attempt to thwart the city council’s right to reasonably regulate land uses in Longmont. It was filed by Gov. Hickenlooper via his industry-dominated Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC). The oil and gas industry quickly joined the governor’s legal action so that it could throw its deep pockets of cash into the fight to have the state, not the city council, regulate oil and gas operations within Longmont.

The governor felt compelled to take legal action against our community because a majority of the Longmont City Council dared to enact land use regulations that prohibit oil/gas operations, including hydraulic fracturing, within residential neighborhoods and requires these operations to be at least 750 feet from schools, hospitals and day care centers. Since the governor finds these rather timid Longmont regulations to be too restrictive of the heavy oil and gas industry, it verifies how little protection he believes our citizens deserve.

As of today, the city is vigorously defending its home rule rights to reasonably regulate the heavy industrial activities associated with oil and gas operations. However, a future city council could stop defending this lawsuit and capitulate to the governor and the industry. At least one candidate, mayoral challenger Bryan Baum, has publicly stated that he is in favor of settling this lawsuit. If you believe in local control, you need to know where the other candidates stand.

The second lawsuit stems from 2012, when a group of Longmont residents became convinced that a majority of the elected city council was not adequately protecting the community from the impacts of oil and gas operations. The citizens initiated a city charter amendment that prohibits fracking operations within the city boundaries. Approximately 60 percent of the voters agreed with the amendment last November and it is now a part of the city charter. The Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) promptly filed legal action challenging Longmont’s city charter. The governor quickly joined forces with the industry.

I hope you see the pattern of state government and industry joining forces to attack local control. The opponents of local control hope that the combination of the power of state government and the deep pockets of a politically connected industry will intimidate small communities and citizens. They think bullying local government serves their interests. It will not work in Longmont if we elect the right city council members.

Both of these lawsuits address important local control issues; therefore, they must both be vigorously defended. The one addresses the powers of a home rule city as provided for in the Colorado constitution. The other defends the right of citizens to initiate charter amendments or legislation when their elected representatives fail to act appropriately. These rights and powers of our local community are in the hands of the next city council. I encourage each voter to understand the candidates’ position and cast your ballot for the ones who will best protect our community.

Former Longmont City Manager, Gordon Pedrow

Former Longmont City Manager, Gordon Pedrow

 

Scofflaw Ex-Mayor Arrested for Failure to Appear

Brian Baum - Arrested after failing to appear for traffic court

Brian Baum – Arrested after failing to appear for traffic court

Wow. Just wow…

Longmont’s has-been ex-mayor Bryan Baum, obviously still a slow learner even after his last run-in with the Boulder County court system, caused a potentially-fatal accident involving a motorcycle and then didn’t show up for court on Oct. 17th. Apparently Mr. Baum has a real problem with authority – especially when he’s not in authority.

In 2010 he stalled paying medical damages to a Longmont family after dogs that escaped his property attacked a woman and her dog. The family took him to court and won a $566.62 settlement for medical expenses1 – after which he and his wife argued bitterly with the judge. Apparently there were also hard words outside the courtroom as well that prompted the officer on duty to ask them to leave.

The incident didn’t appear in the Times-Call until after FRL reported on it. Baum had paid the judgement – not much choice, the alternative would have been jail I suspect – and clearly had hoped it would simply stay swept under the rug. When the Times-Call finally published their story Baum called them and reportedly had this conversation:


(from Daily Camera online 10/25/2011)

“We paid our debt and now you are dragging us through this bullsh–,” Baum said, adding that he had receipts to prove the judgment was paid, although it was not yet reflected in court records. He said he would provide the receipts to the Times-Call, but added, “I am serious, man, but this is going to cost you. This is. You are going to pull my family into a bunch of crap.”

Asked what he meant about “cost you,” he replied. “We’ve got to get something in return for this.”


Mr. Baum subsequently lost a tight race for his mayor seat and sure seemed to be harboring a grudge; he and his wife (or someone close to them obviously) tried to claim that a post on Facebook by my stepson2 was ‘a threat’ and insisted I be arrested. The Boulder County District Attorney indicated it was ‘…not a credible threat…’3 but that hasn’t stopped Longmont’s hard-core partisan hate machine from trying to make hay with it – still to no effect.

To me, the funniest part of this new incident is that the accident took place as the ex-mayor was pulling out of the driveway of a McDonalds4.

The Times-Call story phrased it like this:


According to police reports, Baum was stopped facing west from the driveway to the McDonald’s near 19th Avenue and Main Street waiting to turn left onto Main Street. He pulled forward to attempt the turn, but stopped suddenly to accommodate another vehicle. When he stopped, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle traveling north on Main Street struck the car.


Sounds to me like he was in a hurry, pulled out without sufficient clearance, stopped directly in front of the motorcycle (to avoid getting hit himself) and the motorcycle didn’t have enough stopping room. Had this been on a street with a higher speed limit the accident might well have cost the motorcyclist his life. Luckily for the motorcyclist it didn’t.

It’s typical for people that don’t ride motorcycles to not give them enough attention but Mr. Baum has written about going for rides on his Harley so it’s pretty clear (to me at least) that he knew exactly how dangerous pulling out and stopping in front of a motorcycle was5,6. Probably why he was cited for “careless” driving. But more importantly he was also cited for “failure to produce insurance” – the same insurance you and I are required by LAW to have and carry proof of at all times when driving. Something tells me the motorcycle rider will be waiting for compensation for some time.

So, after causing the accident and getting ticketed he failed to show up in court. Only when a bench warrant was issued did he finally do the right thing and turn himself in. Maybe he is learning – imagine how bad a public arrest would have looked…

This is a man that thinks he should have another chance to sit on Longmont’s City Council – as an at-large councilman7 with a four-year term no less! – obviously hoping to weasel his way back into the Mayor’s chair some day.

At least that’s what the poorly-concealed rumors oozing out of Longmont’s extreme right say.

Here’s hoping this is the final nail in this poltroon’s political career and he’ll simply crawl away from the public spotlight for good.

One can only hope.


  1. The couple in question only asked for their out-of-pocket medical expenses when they easily could have sued for much more. But really? $566.62?? The guy’s a ‘wealth manager‘ – must not have much to manage.
  2. A veteran of two tours in Iraq and Purple Heart recipient
  3. I believe that’s lawyer-talk for ‘bullshit
  4. Especially since his wife and friends have been tweeting relentlessly about weight loss
  5. Assuming he ever took a motorcycle riding safety course…
  6. Or just didn’t give a crap…
  7. Hoping to knock yet another Democrat off council?