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Now that we have delivered victories for Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania and most likely a win for Bill Halter in Arkansas, you, the Netroots, need to know about the next important Primary Candidate.
Just like the race between Lincoln and Halter, this is a choice between a
Corporate powered candidate vs a People powered candidate.

Andrew Romanoff
has taken the same pledge that Barack Obama took to win his race - he has pledged to take no corporate PAC Contributions or Special Interest money.  If you knew nothing else, that would be a good reason to support Andrew Romanoff. However, you need to know why his opponent does not deserve to be re-elected. Michael Bennet is a Bankster Senator and was a corporate raider  before he was appointed a Senator.  
There is a clear difference in this race - supporting the Candidate who works for Wall Street or supporting Andrew Romanoff, the Candidate who works for us on Main Street.

(crossposted at Firedoglake, Square State and Huffington post)

Before talking about Mr. Romanoff, we must examine his opponent.
Senator Bennet was appointed to the Senate, and since taking office he has voted as a Bankster with a pattern of siding with Big Money over the individual.
Bear with me, through a brief litany:
#1 Bennet was one of the few Democratic Senators to join with the GOP to oppose Cramdown

Bowing to intense lobbying pressure from the mortgage industry, the U.S. Senate killed a bill Thursday to allow bankruptcy judges to modify loan terms on primary residences the way they can on second homes, yachts, cars and other pieces of property.
The American News Project caught mortgage bankers in a celebratory mood as it geared up to kill the homeowners bankruptcy protection, known as Cramdown, in an episode that could only be called "Take Your Banking Lobbyist to Congress Day and Let Him Stomp All Over Your Right to the Courts."

Nice. A millionaire himself, he can't be bothered to help average families stay in their homes.
#2,Senator Bennet voted to stop Dodd's first attempt to reign in Wall street in the Fall of 2009:
the headline says it all
"Bennet joins with GOP to warn about Wall St. bill"
(with friends like these....)

#3, Bennet voted against the bill to Break up the Big Banks this past month.

#4 and worst of all, there is the scandal that involves Bennet's decision to invest the Teacher's retirement fund into a fancy banking derivative or 'swap' - that now is costing retiring teachers their pensions.

Michael Bennet Says He "Listens to Coloradans Hurt by Wall Street"

Bennet's direct involvement in a $750 million Wall Street transaction associated with Denver Public Schools' teacher retirement system has fed taxpayer money directly into the waiting mouths of several of Wall Street's biggest firms.
To do this, Bennet convinced the Denver schools' board of education to approve the $750 million deal, failing to tell them about key risks associated with the transactions....
So far, Bennet's 2008 transaction has directly cost Denver taxpayers at least $50 million, all of which went down Wall Street's gullet...
The real winners during Bennet's tenure as superintendent of Denver's public school system were JP Morgan, Citi, Bank of America, and the Royal Bank of Canada. The losers are you and me. As for Bennet, he gets millions from Wall Street to pay for his senate campaign.
Wall Street firms know which side their bread is buttered on -- the Bennet side. (Bennet is in top 5 in the Senate for Wall Street donations)

If you have ANY doubt about the way Denver's Teachers feel about Michael Bennet's tenure as Superintendent - just watch this video ("We know teachers, lifelong democrats, who said they will vote Republican before voting for Bennet")
In addition to these actions, I have a personal issue with Senator Bennet's conservadem votes on Climate Legislation.
#1 Bennet signed a letter to Senate Leadershiop to ensure that there would be Tax subsidies, not for renewable energy, but for Natural Gas - at a time when people in Colorado already have flammable tap water from Haliburton's fracking fluid. (watch the video - hard to believe)
#2 Bennet also signed a letter that would exempt coal pollution for Utility companies in any Climate legislation coming out of the Senate - Think about that, Bennet signed a letter that wants Climate Legislation to allow increases in Coal burning pollution exemptions - the opposite of what that legislation should do.

Bennet says that his Corporate donors do not influence his actions, but when you find out that he is in the top 20 for Donations from Coal burning Utility companies, that statement is hard to reconcile.
Andrew Romanoff has strongly supported  lifting the cap for Oil Companies involved in the Gulf Oil Spill - while his Bennet remains silent.

Lastly - who funds Michael Bennet?

Michael Bennet's former employment before being appointed was as a corporate raider for Philip Anschutz, a prominent Republican Billionaire who has funded Anti-gay measures, funds the Discovery Institute which promotes intelligent design over evolution, and has used his newspaper the Examiner to not only insinuate that Obama is a racist, but was one of the key proponents of repealing funding for ACORN.
Now, you might say, Bennet only worked for Anschutz, it doesn't mean there is any further connection between the two, unless you consider that for the first time, Anschutz is contributing more to a Democratic candidate (Bennet) than to the Republicans.
And who else?
Wall Street

With a push in Congress to reform regulation over Wall Street, financial firms have been spending big, and among the major beneficiaries is Sen. Michael Bennet. In less then six months, the Colorado Democrat (Bennet) has received $401,000 from campaign donors linked to a combination of hedge funds, securities firms, insurance companies and real estate interests. Bennet's take is bested only by four senators, including Harry Reid, the powerful Senate majority leader, and Banking Committee chairman Chris Dodd, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

Convinced yet?
Well,here are some positive things about Andrew Romanoff:
Andrew Romanoff brokered a tough deal by convincing a Republican Governor and legislators to pass Referendum C - which raised 3.7 Billion for public K-12 education, higher education, health care and transportation. In addition to that, his BEST (Building Excellent Schools Today) act funded the largest increase in school building funding in state history - something Teachers and students statewide are thankful for.
And as Speaker he helped pass some of the most progressive renewable energy solutions in the Nation.

I am proud to announce that Andrew Romanoff became the first candidate to be endorsed by the Daily Kos Greenroots community

Here is his thanks to the DK Greenroots
(1:30 video)

And instead of working as a corporate raider, prior to being in office Andrew Romanoff worked at the Southern Poverty Law Center where he was part of a Neo-Nazi and Klan tracking program.
He also spent time teaching in rural schools in Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

Consider that Andrew Romanoff organized for Colorado Democrats for several years before running for office and getting elected in 2000.
He worked to elect democrats around the state and has grown the party - and his best achievement was in 2004 in getting a Democratic majority in both chambers in Colorado for the first time since the Kennedy Administration - at a time when Bush was at the zenith of his power.
Andrew has spent his career in public service, and more importantly, working to strengthen the Democratic party.

Lastly, isn't a coincidence that Bennet has connections to one of the richest Republicans in the World and just when the Senate is about to take up Wall Street reform, Bennet is appointed to the Senate and then placed on the powerful Banking committee - the very committee in charge of Wall St. reform - including Bank Derivatives - which is something we know from Bennet's history at Denver Public Schools, is something Bennet apparently favors?

Maybe Bernie Sanders is right - we are at risk for turning into an Oligarchy.

Andrew Romanoff knows this too. This video is from the State Assembly on May 22,2010 where he won the delegate count by a margin of 60.4% to 39.6% - showing how much support he has with the base of the party.

We’re here not just to select a senator.  We’re here to decide who we are, what kind of party and what kind country we want to be.  You choose.

We can settle for the status quo, where we sell Senate seats to the highest bidder and turn Congress into a wholly owned subsidiary of the industries it’s supposed to be regulating.

Or we can say no.  We can reject the politics of business as usual, the pay-to-play culture that corrupts Washington and corrodes our country.

Part of changing that culture, a member of the Senate once said, "is recognizing that special interests – the insurance companies, the banks, the drug companies, the HMOs – have come to dictate" our agenda.  And "the only way you break out of that," this senator said, is to stop taking money from those groups "so that ordinary people’s voices are heard."
I believe Senator Obama was right.
I am the only candidate in this race – and one of the few in America – who refuses to accept contributions from special-interest groups. When we win this election, I will owe my seat not to Washington, not to Wall Street.  I will owe this seat to you.

If you think the power of the people is more important than someone funded by Wall street and corporate Republicans, then contact Move-On, Democracy for America, Act Blue and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and editors of this site, and let them know that you want Andrew Romanoff to be the next Netroots supported candidate.

Support Andrew Romanoff, the people powered candidate.

PS - Mr. Romanoff will be live blogging here at 6pm EST 4pm Mountain Monday May 24th to give his thanks for the DK Greenroots endorsement and to answer questions about the BP spill and his candidacy.

Originally posted to wade norris on Sun May 23, 2010 at 02:56 PM PDT.

Poll

Biggest Netroot victory

11%10 votes
14%13 votes
22%20 votes
50%44 votes

| 87 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Great points, but one (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bnasley, wade norris, patrickz

    That you left out, which for me, is kind of the reason I don't want him back.

    He very publicly signed a letter stating he'd put up an amendment for the Public Option into the health care bill.

    He didn't. He bailed. I donated to his campaign based on that letter, and I want my money back because he stood down because Harry Reid or Obama or someone else told him to.

    I think you should include that in here.

    Just my two cents.

  •  Romanoff's 21 point win yesterday (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wade norris, patrickz

    underscored how fed up democrats in the state are getting.  I mean he won the caucus, but the assembly was just a slaughter.

    Again, Bennet came off flat and disingenuous.

  •  Thanks for telling us about Andrew, (4+ / 0-)

    sounds like a great candidate. Hopefully we can continue to build the Greenroots ActBlue page.

    eKos: Environmental diaries @ DK

    by patrickz on Sun May 23, 2010 at 03:13:01 PM PDT

    •  and thanks for getting it started (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      patrickz, takatobimasu

      I like how I just mentioned the idea and DK Greenroots people ran with it.
      But in this time of an unending oil disaster in the Gulf, it is about time that we DK Greenroots writers had more say so on candidates.
      We can't keep doing business as usual and letting the oil companies just pollute our world.
      Andrew Romanoff is one of our first candidates who will prove that Special interest money, especially from Big Oil, is a liability, not an asset.

      H.D. Thoreau "What's the use of a fine house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?" PRAER.org

      by wade norris on Sun May 23, 2010 at 03:15:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How is he polling? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wade norris

    Both against Bennet and against the Republican dance card?  

    DSCC only worries about fundraising potential - can Romanoff fund a general election campaign without any industry money against a well funded competitor?

    Politics is like playing Asteroids - You go far enough to the left and you end up on the right. Or vice-versa.

    by Jonze on Sun May 23, 2010 at 03:13:46 PM PDT

    •  The DSCC, if I am not mistaken is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Angie in WA State, Maverick80229

      0-4 in elections this year,
      losing to Scott Brown,
      losing to Bill Halter,
      and soon to lose to Andrew Romanoff.

      Truman said if Democrats act like Republicans, people will just end up voting for a Republican.
      We need real, progressive democrats, if we are going to keep our majority and continue to lead the country.

      (And 4 out the last 6 polls has Andrew faring better than Bennet vs. all repubs- and Bennet's positives to negatives were astoundingly high
      45-45)

      H.D. Thoreau "What's the use of a fine house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?" PRAER.org

      by wade norris on Sun May 23, 2010 at 03:18:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They supported Lee Fisher (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        terjeanderson

        and he won. I could be wrong, but the DSCC didn't anoint Martha Coakely. Even the DSCC couldn't have saved such a pathetic candidate, who acted like she was KKT's long lost sister.

        •  Being Ohio's Martha Coakley (0+ / 0-)

          AND having left behind an ocean of ill will from the primary — the largeness of which is starting to shock even me — it's unlikely he'll win the general. Portman is slick, and he won't make many missteps. He's not trying to court teabaggers either. One Democratic activist told me yesterday he is going to take a good look at Portman, which really shocked me. I would NEVER consider voting for him.

          Time to garden and kick Republican ass.

          by anastasia p on Sun May 23, 2010 at 08:39:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  DSCC will support incumbents (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      terjeanderson

      no matter what.  It's just their style.

      Polling has been a little erratic I would have to say.  Romanoff has continually polled well against the Republicans.  Even the few that showed Bennet doing well also say Bennet has a much higher unfavorable to favorable rating, while Romanoff is well liked.

      Romanoff has been banking money to go up on TV soon (when exactly I'm not sure, but we still have a little ways before the primary).  More money, of course, is crucial for him.

    •  As long as this is the main qualification (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wade norris

      for a candidate, then the candidates were get will be just like the diarist describes Michael Bennet. If a candidate MUST cater to these big corporate special interests and we go along with that (as many here have) and then they DO, where are our grounds to complain? We need to be trying to change the system that requires this, and holding the DSCC's feet to the fire when they hold out fundraising as the main — or only — standard for judging a potential candidate.

      This is a vise. A candidate may look like the better primary fundraiser, but not have anything to go up against the Republicans with. The party needs to take a broader view of candidates. Otherwise, yes, we will always end up with someone like you describe Michael Bennet as being (I can't say for sure, because I haven't followed this race).

      Time to garden and kick Republican ass.

      by anastasia p on Sun May 23, 2010 at 03:31:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  true (0+ / 0-)

        and this system threatens the very core principles of our democracy.
        If more candidates don't stand up on this issue,
        we will just end up with corporatists in the Senate.

        H.D. Thoreau "What's the use of a fine house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?" PRAER.org

        by wade norris on Sun May 23, 2010 at 03:38:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Not sure the promise is worth much (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wade norris, nzanne

    Andrew Romanoff has taken the same pledge that Barack Obama took to win his race - he has pledged to take no corporate PAC Contributions or Special Interest money.

    OpenSecrets.org list of 2008 Obama contributors

    University of California  $1,591,395
    Goldman Sachs  $994,795
    Harvard University  $854,747
    Microsoft Corp  $833,617
    Google Inc  $803,436
    Citigroup Inc  $701,290
    JPMorgan Chase & Co  $695,132
    Time Warner  $590,084
    Sidley Austin LLP  $588,598
    Stanford University  $586,557
    National Amusements Inc  $551,683
    UBS AG $543,219
    Wilmerhale Llp  $542,618
    Skadden, Arps et al  $530,839
    IBM Corp  $528,822
    Columbia University  $528,302
    Morgan Stanley  $514,881
    General Electric  $499,130
    US Government  $494,820
    Latham & Watkins  $493,835

    •  good point about Obama (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bnasley, Heh

      i guess these are individuals at these firms?

      Andrew has pledged to take no corporate money.
      That's where the netroots comes in, and helps him close the gap.

      H.D. Thoreau "What's the use of a fine house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?" PRAER.org

      by wade norris on Sun May 23, 2010 at 03:21:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Don't know the answer to your question (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wade norris

        i guess these are individuals at these firms?

        I do know that OpenSecrets.org isn't very popular on DKos for some reason. But as far as I know they report the money the same way for Republicans and Democrats.

        Maybe someone can explain to me why it seems to be unfair to everyone or Democrats in particular and if there is a better source for tracking money in politics?

      •  I'm not sure the netroots (0+ / 0-)

        can make a difference except in special cases like Halter's where his opponent is so egregiously horrendous. And in many cases, the netroots has bought into the narrative that if the better funded candidate isn't as horrible as Lincoln we need to go along because in the end, money is all that counts.

        Time to garden and kick Republican ass.

        by anastasia p on Sun May 23, 2010 at 03:33:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, they are individuals (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wade norris, nzanne

        When making a federal campaign contribution, you're required to report your employer. Because of that, it is easy enough to calculate which companies' employees contributed to candidates. But that doesn't necessarily say anything about who the company itself supports.

        There is, obviously, a lot of ways to interpret what the data may or may not mean. Is there a difference if the senior management of a company all gave to a candidate, or if the money came from small dollar amounts from low ranking employees? If coal miners working for Massey give a bunch of money to a candidate, does that necessarily say anything about what Don Blankenship or his VPs think of a candidate?  

        But in the case of any federal candidate, when you see numbers about contributions from corporations, they will always refer to individuals who work for the company (with the exception of up to $10,000 that could come from a corporate PAC if the candidate accepts PAC money).

        Once social change begins,it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read...You cannot oppress people who are not afraid anymore.

        by terjeanderson on Sun May 23, 2010 at 06:02:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Given the fundraising disadvantage... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rja

    Romanoff will have to take a page out of Sestak's playbook and save his money for the last couple weeks before the primary.  

    PPP has Bennet up by 15 in their latest polling.  

    Politics is like playing Asteroids - You go far enough to the left and you end up on the right. Or vice-versa.

    by Jonze on Sun May 23, 2010 at 03:40:36 PM PDT

  •  Are you working for him? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bnasley

    Just curious.

    I have no real dog in the race. I'd be fine with either candidate.

    The real question that I have for is this:

    Can Romanoff win the general election? What does polling say about his chances?

    That's all that really matters to me. If I were a voter in CO that is what would be on my mind in the voting booth.

  •  When *IS* the CO primary date? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wade norris, patrickz

    If it's mentioned, I missed it, but it really ought to be mentioned at the very beginning of the diary!

    •  whoops! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      patrickz

      it is officially August 10th, however
      most of the voting is mail in ballots, so
      the voting begins in about 7 weeks when the first ballots arrive.

      H.D. Thoreau "What's the use of a fine house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?" PRAER.org

      by wade norris on Sun May 23, 2010 at 06:02:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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