Symbionic Smackdown

Anyone catch the “talking out of both sides of his mouth” example given by Sean McCoy at the 1/29/08 Longmont City Council Meeting? On one hand he said “we have to be very careful as council members here not to say things that smack about our sister city of Boulder“. Hmm, okay, fair enough, setting some ground rules for council members. But of course that’s not what he was really saying, follow along.

You can view it at the following YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEo7ZF3eKYU

He went on to say he’s “kinda get a little tired of that“, of what? Council members talking smack about Boulder? Who does he mean? In the next breath he says exactly what he really means: ” the lunatic fringe has kinda taken it upon themselves to use that as a divisive and in a way of separating out the community“. He then went on to describe the “symbionic” relationship between the two cities. So the message is we must bow to the altar that is Boulder and we need to “give that respect to them“. If not, you’re part of the “lunatic fringe“. Count me in!

By my count, this is at least the second time Councilmember McCoy has directly insulted a large chunk of Longmont residents. The first was insulting supporters of Lifebridge and his ridiculous theory of how 600% of Longmont was against the annexation. Alright, then how does he explain the paltry 31% who voted for Richard Juday, one of the anti-Lifebridge annexation leaders? Only off by 569% there. And those 6,000 signatures he spoke of, odd how only 4,338 voted for Juday, isn’t it? I thought we had a strong message by the petition? I always thought that was a sham, and the election partially proved it.

It’s not hard to jump to the conclusion that had the Lifebridge annexation remained on the ballot it would’ve been very close. I believe some members of council and the general public got an incorrect reading of the overall public’s mood towards “change” and the Lifebridge issue based on November’s election. I also believe Lifebridge read a little too much into it and based their decision to pull out of the process based on it. But that’s just my guess. Juday’s supporters can’t tell me they weren’t surprised that he didn’t get more of the anti-annexation petition signer’s votes, or the Levison vote from November.

How does this relate to Councilmember McCoy and his repeated insulting behavior? While he was one of the few that actually got a majority in the November election, and maybe thinks he has some political capital to spend (by attacking opponents), he needs to take a harder look at what just happened in the special election. He appears to not be very observant or see warning signs when in that very same council meeting two people got up in Public Invited To Be Heard and tore into Councilmember Benker for basically doing the same thing in a previous meeting. Yet he did it anyway.

The main problem I see is the poor example he’s leading, especially to his often abrasive supporters. If it’s alright for him to behave that way, what’s to say his less, hmm how to put this, diplomatic followers won’t be emboldened to really cross the line?

Meet The Bobbleheads!

Now for the lighter side of recent and upcoming events: As a former councilmember recently put it, there’s this ” new generation” of Longmonters. They really aren’t that new, or fresh (another word used by said writer), and some are downright frightening. Some aren’t even from or in Longmont – as pointed out by Councilmember Mary Blue in a recent meeting.

After getting the last council meeting of 2007 on DVD from the library, I have a better nickname for them: The Bobbleheads! Why, you may ask? Quite simple really, and pretty funny, too. On accident I had the disc running at fast speed, it was a riot!

You see, there’s this self-appointed group of complainers who feel empowered as they think they got a mandate on the last election. Nevermind, as previously proven, that their candidates actually did not get a majority of the vote, not even 47%. But that’s not a valid point, I guess. Anyway, they were out in force at a recent council meeting and figured they’d sit in front, that means being on camera. When one of them would say something, they’d all nod in agreement, and then look around to their new friends on council for validation. The cumulative result was something I rarely see at council meetings: COMEDY!

Of course, what was actually coming out of their mouths was anything but nice or respectful – unless of course they were addressing their new friends on council. The topper was at the end, four and half hours into the meeting, when one of them had the gall to rip into Mayor Lange for volunteering to be on some committee, basically saying that he couldn’t be trusted. Sometimes you just have to point out the obvious to some people, and he did, that no one else would volunteer for it! And that includes these clowns’ four friends on council. They were asked repeatedly, none would step up. So you get what you get.

I suspect that first meeting was the high point (or low point depending on your point of view) of their attendance, and since they didn’t get their way on leaving the Lifebridge Annexation on the ballot, the slow feeding-on-their-own frenzy I spoke of before should begin soon. Here’s a bonus: one of their own is running for council, Richard Juday. Just thought you’d like to know, that is if you planned on voting.

So if you Bobbleheads are thinking of utilizing this nickname, and I bet you wish you came up with it yourself, remember where you got it. Maybe if you spent less time running from action to action being ” over-reactionaries” (go ahead and use that, too), you could escape the groupthink and dream up something original. Yeah, I know, not likely. Enjoy.

600% Can’t Be Wrong

I hate being misquoted, so in the interest of fairness I’ll include every word of councilmember Sean McCoy’s Lifebridge comments on 1/8/08.

“Umm yeah, last lastly I’d like to point out is a uh couple things that were kind of misleading in in the press here as of recently and uh one in particular was uh uh the uh Union vote. Uh myself uh uh Councilmember Hansen, Coucilmember Levinson uh not one of us voted on that to uh uh uh much the chagrin of uh some of those that weren’t keeping track of current affairs. But uh that’s uh a real issue that I feel is uh kinda sad that uh uh people are suggesting that uh by the very fact of uh some of us getting on here in council that that drove them away. I think what drove them away is uh their own uh information that they gathered and the fact that six thousand voters got in and uh signed petitions and uh were going to send them a clear message.
If you do any statistical analysis or data collection you’ll find out if they do a thousand uh polls and they come up with six hundred uh people in support of something that’s about sixty percent on about a hundred thousand people and often times that gives you a pretty decent uh uh idea of where people are at. We technically under our last census have eighty one thousand people here in Longmont and six thousand signed that that’s six hundred percent of the people. That was the reason why they chose to go elsewhere. So I would like that to be perfectly clear and also I’d like that to be pointed out in our uh communication to the uh uh public using our public forums so that people understand that I didn’t vote on that and I don’t believe these other members did either.”

A quick tip: people are bound to remember the very issue that pretty much propelled you and your pals into office. That, and the election party pictures in the Times-Call of all of you and the leaders of the anti-annexation petition. Now, why would ANYONE think you or any new member of council was against the Lifebridge annexation? A quick Google search also brought up:

Meet city council candidate Sean McCoy
YourHub.Com Longmont
Boulder Daily Camera Q&A – Sean McCoy
The SouthwesternWeldCountyUnion, LifeBridge annexation, is another prime example of the current city council’s failure to identify good residential and commercial development that shows an exceptional benefit to the city. A change is need on council and I what to be that change. So as a future city council member I see the overturning of the Union Life Bridge annexation as a good thing and have supported the individuals working on bring transparency to Longmont’s government and their commitment to community based decision making back to council. “

Rocky Mountain News
“In the three City Council races, the three candidates on record opposing the LifeBridge annexation appeared on their way to winning seats. “

Rocky Mountain News
“Also, city council candidates Sean McCoy, Sarah Levison and Brian Richard Hansen have said publicly that they oppose the annexation.”

The Agenda
I stand by my statement that the previous CC showed disregard for the people of Longmont who wanted that land to remain open space.”

Can fool some of the people some of the time.

Hyperventilating Hypocrites

The last Longmont City Council meeting of 2007 was so chock full of nuggets just waiting to be mined. Here’s one of my favorites, an example of “it’s alright for us, but not for you!”

Days leading up to this meeting, Lifebridge Church pulled their plans for annexation into Longmont. The question for the council was whether or not to leave the question on the ballot. Was there really any question? Seemed like a “duhh” moment to me, and I know they have to go through the formality of removing it properly, that’s not the issue. The issue was that some of the people, not all, that circulated the petition against the annexation strongly requested it stay on the ballot. A message needed to be sent, doggone it!

City Attorney Clay Douglas rightly pointed out it was pretty much a moot point, but that simple point was apparently lost on some people. One of the petition supporters rightly said that the end result was the same as if the question passed (as in NO to annexation), so the goal was reached, what was the point? Still missed on some. What some petition signers may not have known or believed (even though some of us have been repeatedly saying it) was that some of the petition backer’s motives were more than simply overturning the YES council vote on annexation.

They were after the punishment and embarrassment of Lifebridge and some members of City Council. Their request to keep this on the ballot is one example. The fact some of them said they’re now moving against Weld County on the Lifebridge issue is another. They also wanted there to be some kind of act of council to make it so Lifebridge couldn’t come back later and try again to annex. There were even some members of council asking the City Attorney about this ridiculous concept – so they bought right into this anti-Lifebridge mentality. Makes them no different than the angry mob that supports them.

Some have been writing lately that the new council had nothing to do with Lifebridge pulling out. The above is yet one example. Here’s another: remember the smiling faces of the people bringing the anti-annexation petition to the city clerk on the front of the Times-Call? I’ll give you one guess ( 4 actually) of who they strongly backed for city council. Who was leading that pictured group? Their current candidate Richard Juday, who was also, I believe, the campaign manager for one of the new council members. It’s all intertwined. If there’s any doubt, just ask one of the new council members or candidates where they stood, and where they stand, on the annexation, and Lifebridge in general.

So the people who wielded their right to petition government don’t want people they disagree with to have the same right to petition, which could include a church submitting plans and permits. They can muddy it up saying that’s not really what they mean, but that’s what it amounts to. City Attorney Douglas mentioned that when an annexation is denied there is a process to reapply and there may be some time restrictions. But this annexation was approved and voluntarily pulled. There is nothing stopping Lifebridge from resubmitting it or starting where they left off. Fat chance they will, so those against it can rest easy. Or can they? More on that in a bit.

I assume some of them are steamed that they spent a bunch of their time and money on something that’s become moot and pointless, but they still got what they wanted. Apparently that’s not good enough, and I’m betting half of you that signed the petition didn’t sign up for a crusade against a church. Feel free to say as much publicly, embarrassed or not.

The rich and fragrant irony of it is this: I’m hearing rumors of other petitions and recalls. Not by corporations or churches, but just ” normal everyday people“, the kind the anti-annexation crowd claimed to be. Suffice it to say those people will not like these petitions, but who said everyone liked their petition? Who knows, maybe one of the petitions is in favor of Lifebridge, plenty of people have been writing in how they feel they were railroaded. What’s good for the goose, and all that.

But I do have one question, what if that question stayed on the ballot and people voted FOR the annexation? What then? It was baseless wishful thinking to assume it was a slam dunk, sort of like saying a ” blue tide” would sweep in Karen Benker as Mayor ( nope) and this supposed mandate from a new majority (actual votes say, again, nope).

GUEST EDITORIAL

From time to time I’ll run a letter submitted to me when the author asks that it be, or approves of it. I try to run things that are fairly unique and not rehashes of other peoples writings locally or nationally. This next letter fits that bill, whether you agree with it or not. I’m also a believer in “if someone has something better to say, and a better way of saying it, why copy or alter it?

With that in mind…

Amoral opportunity on City Council exploited by 4

Dear reader:

Imagine – if you can – not having a conscience, none at all, no feelings of guilt or remorse no matter what you do, no limiting sense of concern for the well-being of strangers, friends, or even family members. Imagine no struggles with shame, not a single one, no matter what kind of selfish, lazy, harmful, or immoral action you had taken. And pretend that the concept of responsibility is unknown to you, except as a burden others seem to accept without question to do your bidding.

Now add to this strange fantasy the ability to conceal from other people that your psychological makeup is radically different from theirs. Since everyone simply assumes that conscience is universal among human beings, hiding the fact that you are conscience-free is nearly effortless. What could you do with your huge and secret advantage that handicaps other people with a conscience? You could join Longmont City Council’s new amoral majority.

City government derives its just powers from the informed consent of the governed. But, Council Members Benker and McCoy use their conscience-free advantage over the gullible moral majority to conceal the fact the new amoral majority changed the form of City Government from a Republic with Liberty and Justice for all; to a Socialist City-State standing for Liberty and Justice for conforming political elitists. Their clever lie that “LifeBridge’s participation in the City’s due civil process is First Amendment establishment of a religion in government” is intended to; and, did divert public attention from the amoral majority’s secret establishment of a Socialist City-State in Longmont during the election and the month they’ve occupied office. The deceptive issues combined with secularism rants cleverly masked their own unethical behavior making policies to control redistribution of the middle class’s income, wealth and job opportunities in the City’s economy. To these ends the Constitution’s prohibitions means nothing if it interferes with the amoral majority’s ability to manipulate civil due process. If the amoral majority can control your life in City process it is not your friend. The majority of Longmonters have been tricked and deceived out of the right to liberty, freedom and justice in City Civil Process by Longmont ‘s amoral majority. This breeches the public trust. What can the middle class do restore their position of equality in Longmont ‘s form of government? Say No to Benker/McCoy and Yes to Government by the People. Call your Council person and insist, firmly they restore just civil due process before they become addicted and cannot give it up on their own free will.

Sincerely,

Richard Yale

GUEST EDITORIAL

From time to time I’ll run a letter submitted to me when the author asks that it be, or approves of it. I try to run things that are fairly unique and not rehashes of other peoples writings locally or nationally. This next letter fits that bill, whether you agree with it or not. I’m also a believer in “if someone has something better to say, and a better way of saying it, why copy or alter it?

With that in mind…

Amoral opportunity on City Council exploited by 4

Dear reader:

Imagine – if you can – not having a conscience, none at all, no feelings of guilt or remorse no matter what you do, no limiting sense of concern for the well-being of strangers, friends, or even family members. Imagine no struggles with shame, not a single one, no matter what kind of selfish, lazy, harmful, or immoral action you had taken. And pretend that the concept of responsibility is unknown to you, except as a burden others seem to accept without question to do your bidding.

Now add to this strange fantasy the ability to conceal from other people that your psychological makeup is radically different from theirs. Since everyone simply assumes that conscience is universal among human beings, hiding the fact that you are conscience-free is nearly effortless. What could you do with your huge and secret advantage that handicaps other people with a conscience? You could join Longmont City Council’s new amoral majority.

City government derives its just powers from the informed consent of the governed. But, Council Members Benker and McCoy use their conscience-free advantage over the gullible moral majority to conceal the fact the new amoral majority changed the form of City Government from a Republic with Liberty and Justice for all; to a Socialist City-State standing for Liberty and Justice for conforming political elitists. Their clever lie that “LifeBridge’s participation in the City’s due civil process is First Amendment establishment of a religion in government” is intended to; and, did divert public attention from the amoral majority’s secret establishment of a Socialist City-State in Longmont during the election and the month they’ve occupied office. The deceptive issues combined with secularism rants cleverly masked their own unethical behavior making policies to control redistribution of the middle class’s income, wealth and job opportunities in the City’s economy. To these ends the Constitution’s prohibitions means nothing if it interferes with the amoral majority’s ability to manipulate civil due process. If the amoral majority can control your life in City process it is not your friend. The majority of Longmonters have been tricked and deceived out of the right to liberty, freedom and justice in City Civil Process by Longmont ‘s amoral majority. This breeches the public trust. What can the middle class do restore their position of equality in Longmont ‘s form of government? Say No to Benker/McCoy and Yes to Government by the People. Call your Council person and insist, firmly they restore just civil due process before they become addicted and cannot give it up on their own free will.

Sincerely,

Richard Yale

Election Autopsy Pt. 2

This next part about the recent election has to do with who voted, and more importantly, who didn’t.

Roughly, half of the residents of Longmont are registered to vote, and roughly half of those actually did vote. About 17,000 people bothered to vote, that’s pretty sad. With a turnout that low, no one on either side can claim any mandate, message, or claim “the people spoke”. Barely anyone actually won by a majority (50.1% or higher). But, of those that did win in city council, the new majority comprises a different direction.

Which candidates won solely because they were part of a ” bloc” of candidates? Or how many got in because of an anti-incumbent or anti-good old boy network attitude with the voters? In other words, who didn’t get in based on their own merits? 1? 2? 3? You’ll have to decide that for yourself. If you say none, you’re fooling yourself.

LIFEBRIDGE ANNEXATION IMPACT
More than likely because of who got elected, and the comments they and their “supporters” are making, Lifebridge Church has decided against trying to annex into Longmont. So the special election in January will not include a question about this item.

Lifebridge says they’ll still build at the Union location, and even though Mayor Lange said that the perception that they are not welcome isn’t true, you can’t blame them for having that concern. This prediction is worthless now, but I believe a majority of the people in Longmont are not against this annexation or the church, but a majority of possible voters in a special election might have been. Again, you have to look at who voted and how they voted in November. Odds are only the truly committed (and many need to be) would have come out for a special election on this, and a lower number than the half that voted before.

So for now this issue isn’t one. Or is it? My claim all along is that these anti-annexation people weren’t just against this, and I’m either going to be proven right or wrong in the not too distant future. Based on some of their comments, many of them are outright anti-religion, anti-churches, anti-Lifebridge, you name it. They’re anti-a lot and not pro-much, except hearing themselves rant. Their next move: stop the entire project, period.

The way I see it for Lifebridge, this isn’t such a bad thing. Pull up stakes in Longmont, go to friendlier environs in Weld County, build as you like (probably cheaper with less regulations) and watch Longmont come begging in a few years for you to annex. Cooler heads usually prevail, and when these flat-earth no-growthers are through scorching Longmont with their great ideas, they’ll be replaced or be forced to adapt. Question is, when will their moonbat supporters turn on them – these types always do. Even when they win, they get angrier and start eating their own. It’s entertaining to watch actually.

JANUARY SPECIAL ELECTION
Well, now that the main event is off, there is an empty city council seat to be decided. You have a choice between Gabe Santos and Richard Juday. Mr. Santos lost the at-large seat in November, but pulled in 6,000 votes, no small amount. Mr. Juday didn’t run in ’07 but did in ’05 where he got about 900 votes. Does that point to a lopsided victory? Afraid not. Mr. Juday was part of the anti-annexation drive and helped get in this “bloc” of candidates.

You’ve seen my comments about the supporters of this, if you were against the annexation and liked that “bloc”, than Mr. Juday is your candidate. If on the other hand you were one of the many who slept through the last election only to cringe at what we ended up with, or if you are unhappy with the treatment Lifebridge has received – and now is about to leave Longmont for good – than Mr. Juday is definitely NOT your candidate. Mr. Santos was previously endorsed by the previous Mayor ( Pirnack) and the Times-Call, you have to decide if that sways you one way or the other.

Just make the effort to actually vote, it’s the only way to get a proper reading on what the citizenry is really thinking, not just some of them.

Having It Both Ways

If you’re like me, you’re probably getting tired of people blowing hot air out of both sides of their mouth. Here’s an extreme example: ” I don’t mean to offend, but you’re a scum sucking pig“. Oh, no, they didn’t mean to offend, right. Or, here’s a good one: ” I really support the troops, don’t question that, but all of their commanders are corrupt and/or clueless, and let’s go see that film that portrays those troops as raping and murdering thugs, but I still support them.” Guess you can fool some of the people some of the time.

Getting closer to home, we have this “Megachurch” situation, as it’s being called now. The rest of us know it as Lifebridge’s Union Annexation. There will be a special election for it in late January ’08, the question is should it or shouldn’t it be annexed as part of Longmont. The anti-annexation crowd (they don’t like being called ” anti-Lifebridge“, a ” cabal“, or who knows what else) is trying a new approach, but repeatedly stating they aren’t condemning church members, nor attacking them. Uh huh.

Usually right before or after these disclaimers they go right on ripping into those they disagree with. Maybe we need a trip down memory lane to see what this anti-Lifebridge cabal (oops) has let slip out from some of their members. Some of which you probably haven’t seen or heard, and wish you never had.

Even though I think I’ve made it pretty clear I’m in no way affiliated with Lifebridge, the assumptions and attacks on my unstated religious affiliation began. When that went nowhere, it was on to my ethnicity. Let’s see, since my ” last name is Rodriguez” I must be either ” running one of those “landscaping” businesses using a bunch of illegals for labor” or my ” brother is in home building” or I need to get a ” job washing dishes“. They also remind me ” Colorado is built on slave labor from Mexico friend – don’t push it“. Wow, they put me in my place.

I got a nice chuckle when one of their leaders (another one, Richard Juday, is running for city council by the way) out of the blue claimed he was ” born again“. Yet there was no shortage of comics and comments fairly derogatory towards people of faith. But the “born again” part gives him “street cred”, I guess, to rip on everyone else. Hypocrite is overused, how about … “wrong end of a horse”?

Speaking of horses, I don’t really have one in this race, so I am not offended if I offended anyone. I’m also not running for anything, or have multiple websites trying to derail something (Lifebridge), or ran a petition drive secretly videotaping those that signed. OOPS, you signers not know that? Ah, but don’t worry, they told you they are just normal, everyday people, JUST LIKE YOU, probably you’re neighbors, remember? If those are your kind of people, you belong together; you should support them and their candidates. Here’s a pat on the head…and a SUCKER.

Do Endorsements Matter?

Who do you trust with endorsements? They’re coming out of the woodwork right now for the upcoming election, and even one for the Lifebridge Annexation which isn’t even on the ballot.

Endorsements can either be a blessing, or the kiss of death, depending on your views. Something I figured was going on was verified in a recent letter in the paper: ” If you endorse this guy, I’m voting for the opposite!” was basically how it went. I’m going to assume most people figure in more than just that when picking a candidate, but you never know.

“Belonging” is important to some people. A club, a party, an association, a loose group of like-minded people, etc. Sometimes these groups, especially political parties, send out their mailers with their roster of picks. It’s so easy to just take this along with you to the voting precinct. Or take the suggestions of your little activist group, with the only question being ” how do we think and vote about this?” Yes, endorsements just make life easier – for the unthinking or easily steered.

Now to specifics on this election. The Times-Call has endorsed candidates Lange, Rawlins, Santos, and Finley and is in favor of the Lifebridge/Union annexation. Longmont’s Fraternal Order of Police and Longmont’s Firefighters’ Association have endorsed candidates Benker, Hansen, McCoy, and Levison. The anti-Lifebridge group, as far as I can tell, has only publicly endorsed Benker for Mayor, and of course is against the Union annexation.

While endorsements do have their place, usually in the back of your mind as you prepare to cast your vote, it’s okay to question those that would have you vote a certain way. Don’t be a lockstep lemming, even if you agree with your fellow lemmings 90% of the time. If you have to “walk off the reservation”, that’s alright, it’s called being in-de-pen-dent, give it a whirl.

Fair Access For All

A local subject near and dear to my heart is access to local government, as written a few months back here, and in appearances before city council. My main beef was the reduction in access with restrictions put on speakers during “public invited to be heard”. So you’d think I’d be ecstatic about council member (currently running for Mayor) Karen Benker‘s comments in a story titled ” City needs to listen more” with quotes like “I think government hasn’t been listening like it should.” “Sometimes it’s a matter of respect, listening to folks…” Well, you’d be wrong. Here’s why.

I was somewhat a regular at city council meetings, not always speaking, but occasionally. If someone spoke to my issue in a coherent way, I didn’t bother getting up as to not waste anyone’s time. I made phone calls and sent emails, and while I always acknowledge that these people had lives outside of council, I was usually responded to with the same respect I showed them. Then things started to change, and while I had my suspicions why, I was never quite sure until recently when an unnamed source within the city verified my suspicions.

As I suspected in an earlier piece, it was our local cabal that floats from action to action that brought on the change in policy. They’d go on and on for an hour or so, repeating themselves, tying up meetings, and shutting the rest of us out of our access to our representatives. Sure, they’ll cry their ” freedom of speech“, but what about ours? Does theirs rate higher or something? I think not.

You pick the topic: Walmart, anti-growth, Walmart, Lifebridge Annexation, and of course, Walmart. And usually they’d be on the losing side come vote time, as would Ms. Benker. That’s no coincidence; this same group is backing Ms. Benker for Mayor, as well as candidates Levison, Hansen, and McCoy, the “block” of candidates sharing ad space you may have heard of. So what’s the answer to being on the losing side of votes? Shut down meetings with these tactics. Very democratic, not.

I’m not asking for less access or speech for anyone, just equal and reasonable access without some ulterior motive. Since it appears Ms. Benker is the undeclared leader of the above mentioned group (recently referred to as her “noisy supporters”), there’s no way I could ever consider voting for her or the others above if they share this twisted version of representative government.