BARBWIRE BOB – 3-14-24

March Madness has arrived, basketball for many fans (see our new columnist, Ryan Boublik on pages 14-15 on this subject), and politics for those interested in the future of America.  Politics, like it or not, is the sole mandate to enjoy all the privileges, benefits, and freedoms  of living in this great country. Basketballs, through nets, does not.

Gerri and I did our duty last Thursday evening attending our No. 315 precinct caucus.  There were seven of us in our specific precinct out of hundreds, and about 30 people assembled overall, a poor showing.

The area district captain passed out lists of registered voters in each precinct.  Usually, caucuses can be lively with competition to elect delegates to the county convention.  There was no competition this year to any of the upcoming events.  The rule is… if you don’t attend your precinct caucus, and the county convention, you’re not eligible to be a delegate to the state convention to be held mid-summer in Pueblo, or the national convention in Milwaukee. Convention years are primarily for the purpose of electing federal office holders all the way to the presidency.  Some County Commissioner candidates are up for election this year.  Present county office holders are not up for re-election until 2026, along with state office holders. 

In Arapahoe County Commissioner, icon Bill Holen from Aurora is winding up his 12 years of service to the county.  Commissioner Jeff Baker is seeking his re-election to office, taking in far eastern Arapahoe County.  Baker is the sole Republican member of the five-member county board.  He has done an admirable job and deserves to be re-elected.  He did attend our precinct caucus.  Running to replace retiring Holen is state senator Ronda Fields who has been a shining star in the State Legislature. She will easily win that seat and I endorse her election.  She is a strong advocate for transparency in government.  

Jason Crow will easily be elected to Congress with no serious competition appearing in the 6th Congressional District.  The real action this year is in the 4th Congressional District where Rep. Lauren Boebert has shifted from the 3rd District in Western Colorado to the Eastern Slope 4th District.  Rep. Ken Buck has announced his retirement from Congress, leading to the vacancy in the largly GOP District. There are 10 Republicans, 5 Democrats, and 1 Libertarian candidate in that race, with the largest number of votes located in fast growing Douglas County. It is a winner take all contest. Boebert has been endorsed for re-election by Trump and some political seers think that she will be the winner with $1.5 million in the bank, an experienced campaigner, along with a staff.  This contest will dominate state politics at the future 4th District gathering, at or near, the State Convention in Pueblo.  The county convention will be held at Smoky Hill High School on March 23.  Democrats will have to gather to endorse delegates to the National Convention in Chicago and support present incumbents.

It is disappointing to hear that GOP Chair David Williams, himself a candidate for Congress in the 4th District, has moved to have paper ballots used, rather than electronic voting tablets.  The electronic tablets were successful at the 2022  state assembly in Colorado Springs, saving hours. Votes were tabulated in minutes, not hours. In 2022 almost every candidate nominated at county and state assemblies lost in a very blue State election sweep.

The GOP National Convention is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and will be a coronation, rather than a convention, as former President Trump will  have enough delegate votes to cinch the nomination.

I rushed home to hear President Biden’s State of The Union speech, that fortunately for me, started late because of a Palestinian traffic blockade.  I like to see the entrances of the elected presidents, regardless of party to the floor of the House… “Mr. Speaker, The President of The United States.”  I’ve viewed many presidents entering the floor and being greeted by party colleagues.  Thursday night was a highlight for President Biden.  He seemed to enjoy the camaraderie of the evening and succeeded in getting under the skin of Republicans.  Democrats seemed to love the speech, and Republicans seemed to shudder.  It’s all in the eyes and ears of the beholders.

It seems that some changes are in order, but it is a long time before November 5.  Anything can happen.