BARBWIRE BOB – Let the games begin/Start your engines

The Ukrainian invasion weighs heavily on Americans at this time in history.  It is hard to stop writing about the situation. This past week, one bright spot was when two Ukrainian Neptune missiles sank the Russian Black Sea flagship “Moskva,” named after the historic city.  There is a famous song, Moonlight over Moscow a music staple of that city.

Russia is warning the United States about sending sophisticated weapons to Ukraine;  those missiles and the technology of how to strike a Russian warship in the Black Sea sounds like Americans may be stepping up to the plate.   

It will be a world tragedy if NATO and the UN allow Kyiv, a beautify, historic city, to be destroyed.  We will be featuring a story of a young Ukrainian woman who comes from a Ukraine dairy farm asking for financial help for that state’s dairy industry.  She relates that they may have to slaughter the dairy herds if the war continues.  

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Kudos to readers if you made it through the trilogy of the GOP state assembly held in Colorado Springs last Saturday.  As a follow-up, last week Ron Hanks was criticizing  State GOP chair Kristi Burton Brown on not giving a platform to the group that attempted to change the assembly rules to cast paper ballots rather than the electronic hand-held  devices distributed to delegates by their county chairmen.  By late afternoon the 3700 delegates were languishing through the  eight GOP governor nominations and speeches.  Still to go in the late afternoon was  the highlight of the day with six nominations and speeches by U.S. Senate candidates.   To change the rules and go to paper ballots  would take a two-thirds vote.  Brown called a vote with the rule change motion failing.  But, the ballot proponents came back two more times with paper ballot demands.   She wisely, and bravely, stood her ground as assembly chair, ruling them out of order.  

The electronic devices worked extremely well, showing the voting numbers on the screen counting as delegates voted  to the  number of allocated delegates voting.   The votes were tabulated accurately in minutes, not days.  

Brown responded to Hank’s criticisms  saying that he should be happy as he was the only survivor of the electronic balloting,  attaining  slightly over the necessary 30 percent vote count to make the primary ballot June 28.  

Bottom line, some  Republicans are questioning electronic voting devices that created such a stir in the 2020 election.  Paper ballots would have been a nightmare in timely distribution and counting procedures.  The assembly rule change motion would have derailed the entire voting process that was concluded by late Saturday afternoon.

In case you are wondering about the wording of a state assembly versus a state convention.  State political conventions are only held on presidential  election years when delegates attend the state convention and elect delegates to the national presidential conventions.  Assemblies are always on the non-presidential election years.

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GOP  Legislator, Ron Hanks, will face Denver construction company owner, Joe O’Dea, in the June primary election.  The winner will face incumbent U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, according to recent media reports he already has a war chest of over $6 million dollars.  O’Dea petitioned onto the ballot. Otherwise Hanks would have been unchallenged for the Nov. 8 general election ballot.  Former United States Senator Hank Brown has endorsed O’Dea for the senate nomination.

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I have a story about Bennet whom I’ve known since he was Denver School Superintendent. Bennet is now finishing his sixth year as  Colorado’s senior senator.  

It was during the winter, prior to his election to the Senate, that we had a serious winter snowstorm that dumped two feet of snow on the metro area.  I was fortunate to be driving  an all-wheel drive SUV that could plow through the snow.  I was the only person able to deliver newspapers  to the post office and vending machines that day. 

I came up the alley behind the Denver Public school administration building  and in the alley was a BMW with three men attempting to push the stranded “Beamer” through the several feet of deep snow.  It was an impossible task, and the car was mired in the deep wet snow.  One of the vehicle pushers was then Supt. Bennet.  He was wearing leather loafers , no hat or gloves, and looking very cold and distressed.  We were able to push the stalled car back out of the alley into the parking lot, and I told Michael,“Jump in, I’ll take you home.”

We plowed through the deep snow, and unplowed roads, trekking to the  school leader’s home, somewhere in the Washington Park area to his circle drive front door.  He was forever grateful for my rescue and whenever I see the Senator we laugh about that experience.    

Bennet, Hanks, or O’Dea, only one will be the next United Senator  joining Senator Hickenlooper in Washington D.C. next January.  

Along with the Senate race, voters will have to choose eight congressional leaders this year, with one new 8th district due to population gains. There will be hard-fought races in all the redrawn Congressional Districts.

Along with the national races there are three candidates still standing for governor,  Democrat  incumbent Jerald Polis; top assembly GOP  vote receiver Greg Lopez, former Mayor of Parker, and Trump administration appointee; and Heidi Ganahl, the only statewide elected Republican office holder who has served as a University of Colorado Regent. 

Regarding the June 28th primary, registered Democrats will received Democratic primary ballots.  Registered Republicans will receive Republican primary ballots.  Unaffiliated voters  will receive both the Democratic and Republican primary ballots and can vote either one, but not both. Casting that vote will not impact the unafiliated status.  This is because of Proposition  108 passed by voters in 2016.

Let the games begin!