The Art of the Smear

It’s been standard practice for years for political hacks to fling mud at opposing candidates.  While it is appropriate to compare/contrast qualifications,  issue positions, funding sources and an incumbent’s voting record most people agree character assassination is inappropriate.  The most common form of the “smear” is liberal/leftist accusing their conservative opponents of being “bad people”.  This is often in the form of “racism”, sexual impropriety and/or the always popular “you’re…

Lakewood Voters Not For Sale

The most expensive City Council race in Lakewood history ended with a resounding defeat for the establishment candidates.  In Ward 4 David Skilling was elected with nearly 53% of the vote which almost matched the 54% achieved by his predecessor David Wiechman against Betty Boyd in 2015.  Mayor Adam Paul’s selected candidate LaDawn Sperling came in third with 21% of the Ward 4 vote.  In second place was the Democratic…

Campaign Finance Violation Filed Against Ward 3 Gifford Campaign

In our recent blogs we noted the introduction of “independent expenditure committees” into city politics to get around the problem of Lakewood’s $2,500 limit on donations to candidates.  These committees also allow donors who wish to remain unknown (such as the marijuana retailers funding mailers in support of Kyra DeGruy in Ward 1) to cover their tracks by funneling donations through a number of pass-through groups.  Following the money trail…

Marijuana Sellers and Police Support Kyra DeGruy

We have often noted Mayor Paul’s unique political ability to get opposing political interests to support his agenda (see previous blog Strange Bedfellows).  With the introduction of dark money through the use of new campaign finance committees, called independent expenditure committees, we now have one of the most bizarre couplings so far.  Traditionally, the establishment has its unions, in this case the Police Union and the West Metro Firefighters Union,…

Establishment Gunning For Ramey Johnson

One of the important lessons Mayor Adam Paul learned from his mentor, Bob Murphy, is the need to eliminate critics.  When Ward 1 Council Member Ramey Johnson ran against Paul for mayor in 2015, she automatically went to the head of the mayor’s hit list.  Since Ramey received over 49% of the city wide vote during an election that was ultimately driven by fallout from the school board recall, she…

Establishment Forms Attack Committees

As our resident political science major Mayor Adam Paul well knows, one of the secrets to staying in political power is to run negative campaign ads against your challengers.  As noted previously, four of the five Council seats up for election this fall have strong challengers to the mayor’s candidates.  As we enter into the final couple weeks of the campaign the debate between the candidates will move away from…

Mayor’s “October Surprise” to Save Harrison

The October Surprise.  Every political science major (like Mayor Paul) knows the advantage incumbent politicians gain by using their insider power to create an issue that will either help their re-election efforts or hurt the chances of their opponents.  The political dictionary defines October surprise as a “news event late in a political campaign that has the potential to influence the outcome of an election. Because Election Day is typically held…

Can’t Fight City Hall – David vs. Goliath

Everyone knows the old expression “you can’t fight city hall” means the establishment in Lakewood.  The recent controversy around the citizens’ growth initiative has stirred up all the special interests who run Lakewood.  In addition to the developers and financial interests, the opposition to the citizens’ initiative has brought out the usual groups who seek government support (advocates for affordable housing and bicycles, business associations, and nonprofits).  In addition to…

Legal Games to Defeat the People’s Initiative

         It is a well known fact one of the ways the special interests retain control over the establishment both here and around the country is to use the court system to defeat efforts by the people to take control of their government.  The latest example of this is Lakewood’s growth initiative.               When it became clear the special interests were…

Establishment Restores Discipline to the Ranks

Over the years the establishment has been very good about keeping tight control over their minions.  It is well known when three or four candidates run for a Council seat it can result in some strange upsets.  The most recent example was when Charlie Able won a Ward 1 seat with a little over 40% of the vote.  It was slightly more than his establishment opponent.  However the other establishment…