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.
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?
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.
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
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.