A while back, then candidate Dennis Coombs inquired about a “beer summit” with me before the campaign season really heated up. Like most of these types of invitations (beer, coffee, lunch, dinner, etc) I receive on a regular basis, I passed as my time is fairly limited – and I wasn’t particularly thrilled with the company he kept. I finally responded to that email today and wished him well in his tenure as mayor of Longmont. Based on the events of today, he’s off to a promising start.
With about 2 weeks left in the campaign, a fairly despicable group called “Moving Longmont Forward” put out an attack mailer on Mayor Bryan Baum. Around the same time, an attack blogsite put out an attack piece on Mayor Baum about an incident involving a dog fight that had nothing to do with Longmont or the job of mayor. A few days later, Mr. Coombs had a letter in the Times-Call denouncing both of these actions. In it he said, “I would never condone a political attack ad or bringing up of that year-old unfortunate dog story incident“. I wasn’t convinced, and the same day wrote “Dennis Coombs’ denouncements fall on deaf ears“. His denouncement was made in the heat of the campaign at a time when every vote counted. As we would find out, literally every vote did matter as the results were as close as an election could be.
On the Friday after the election, Mr. Coombs repeated these denouncements, but with a little more teeth, when he said: “I want all of these negative innuendoes against the Baum family stopped…I never agreed with those attacks. I was never behind those attacks. And if there’s anyone who thinks they’re doing me a favor by that – don’t. I don’t need that kind of help.” (source Times-Call). This does not fall on deaf ears, and here’s why:
Mr. Coombs did not need to make this statement, he won, the race was over. By making this statement, he risks angering a fairly unbalanced segment of Longmont. Unfortunately, these were also the people who helped him get elected in their own nefarious way. These are the people I’ve written about endlessly on this and other blogs that any serious candidate or representative should steer as far away from – for this very reason. Don’t worry, I won’t let anyone forget who they are, but all one has to do is peruse this website to see who they are and why they should never be taken seriously – and are basically a tumor on the city.
I guess my detractors could level the same charge at me. The big difference is that, unlike them, I’ve never targeted spouses of candidates or councilmembers, nor have I seen anyone else do that. This is their bread and butter. The excuse they give is that Stephanie Baum was formerly a blogger and is fair game, which is a similar approach they take with my wife. Here’s a tip, you pack of morons: I’ve been with my wife for four decades, we (Bryan and I) don’t think of our wives as bloggers/activists first, which is an activity they’ve done (blogging) for a short period of time, relatively speaking. They are our wives, the mothers of our children, and we know it drives the haters crazy when they see that couples can actually be an effective team. I’m sure that entire paragraph went right over their narrow-minded heads, but at least everyone else is clear on the difference.
But back to the point. This was as divisive a campaign as Longmont has probably ever seen. With the possibility of delays and recounts, it could have gotten much worse. Bryan Baum and Dennis Coombs took a huge step towards putting that all in the past and putting Longmont before ego’s and agendas. They both deserved to be applauded for that. For the record, the Baums had asked me to back off of Mr. Coombs during the campaign – something probably nobody knows. I didn’t for a couple of reasons: I saw the abuse my friends (the Baums) were taking at the hands of Mr. Coombs supporters, and while he later denounced them, it was too little too late. All the stumbles Mr. Coombs had made did actually occur, I didn’t make them up out of thin air. And again, the company one keeps says a lot.
I did pledge to Mr. Coombs that I would not do what Mayor Baums detractors did to him for over 2 years. Before he was even sworn in they “prayed for locust” and asked that everyone “wear blue” to every meeting, and essentially have a two year protest of the 2009 election. These are the adult children in our midst. I also offered Mr. Coombs my assistance in any airport related matter since I am currently on the city airport board, and overall wished him success. That’s how grown-ups operate, regardless if your candidates won or lost.
Those that he denounced though will not receive the benefit of the doubt that I extend to Mr. Coombs. Quoting U.S. Senator John McCain, “I will make them famous and you will know their names“. That’s not sour grapes or being a sore loser. I consider this election a success as the majority went from 4-3 to 5-2 and I’d take Coombs/Levison any day over McCoy/Hansen. I suspect civility on council will be greatly increased due to the makeup of this council.
My intent is to make sure, dear readers, that those who’d rather rip our city apart for their own political agenda do not skitter away unknown behind the floorboards like the cockroaches they are. This should help pave the way for this council to get down to the business of running the city in a productive way for the benefit of all citizens. Or at least the ones who really want to move Longmont forward.