Evening edit — apologies to all who had to work at figuring this out — posted this morning before work, been around here a while but haven’t posted more than a couple things so my skilz maybe not up to snuff. I didn’t link to anything (skilz, and 1st cuppa coffee brewing), I just wanted to get the news out.
April 4, 2017 City Council Election. In Colorado Springs. Congratulations to Yolanda Avila, Richard Skorman and Jill Gaebler on their well deserved and hard earned HONEST victories!
Six district city council seats were up for election. 3 at-large positions were not. It is nominally a non-partisan race — hence not much reference to party. Of the at-large remaining for another 2 years none are particulary evil, and they are ‘good’ folks, two are a bit (or more) right but will listen, and sometimes surprise.
Jill Gaebler is registered Republican, but is so fair and reasonable and comes from a background of service to the community that the left likes her very well, thank you. She was the progressive choice, particulary since her opponent was backed by large contributions and had dark money PAC influence sending out decisively negative and untrue mailers, etc.
Richard Skorman is unafilliated — he is a well-loved longtime resident and downtown businessman with a popular restaurant / coffeeshop / bookstore who was past councilmember and vice-mayor who has led on open space issues and environment for years. He ran for mayor last cycle and was defeated by the developers man, former State Attorney-general John Suthers. This time he made up his mind 2 days before deadline to run against his developer backed opponent since the progressive field was thin, and dropped out in favor of backing Skorman when he announced.
Yolanda Avila is a Democrat who ran for an at-large seat last cycle and lost, but has continued to attend council meetings and remain active since. She has a long history in her District (4) which is a somewhat forgotten area, and is well regarded there and by anyone who knows her. She is focused on getting more services and bus transportation to her district, and since becoming legally blind as an adult, is sensitive to the needs of the disabled and disadvantaged. We figured she was our longest shot, but with the level of awareness and willingness to volunteer, our local progressives turned out time money and phone minutes to carry her to victory BIGLY!
Geislinger ran unopposed in District 2, jumped in near the last minute when NO ONE WAS RUNNING — let that sink in. Luckily he is also a good man who has gotten the endorsement of Bill Murray — our most progressive at-large councilmember, and we are happy to see him win as well.
That means 4 elected/re-elected faces that could have gone the other way. Couple that with one of the other 3 fairly consistently on our side — and the other 2 being reasonable and intelligent folks we’re ECSTATIC — we could have had it go entirely the other direction b/c big & dark money.
Ok — still no links, sorry, but I’ll get better next time.
Thanks to all who commented — some with questions, some with answers. RMN below is a friend of mine with depth of knowledge I highly respect and try to learn from.
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April 4, 2017 City Council Election. In Colorado Springs — long a bastion of right-wing red, pretty much the reddest county in the country, home of Focus on the Family (Focus on your own damn family), and locally heavily controlled by developers on city council and county commission (no Democrats on commission in 42 years), home of Doug Bruce, gadfly, former council member, instigator of the TABOR bill and convicted criminal — Progressives have scored a major victory in a campaign marked by outside influences, major dark money smears of respected candidates, and attack pieces and editorials from the local conservative paper the Colorado Springs Gazette (owned by oil “tycoon” Phillip Anschuz, along with the local 5 star Broadmoor resort).
My friend and new El Paso County Democratic Party first vice-chair Tracie Powell put it best on her FB page:
“Truth won; lies lost. Local, small donors won tonight; big, dark, outside money lost tonight. Grassroots won; manufactured candidacies lost. Facts won, alternative facts lost. Responsible development won; gluttonous sprawl lost. Integrity in local media won; biased reporting designed to destroy lost. Hard work, connecting with people and listening won; entitlement, divisiveness and devotion to special interests lost. Congratulations to Yolanda Avila, Richard Skorman and Jill Gaebler on their well deserved and hard earned HONEST victories!
Folks — if we can pull this off in Colorado Springs, it bodes well. It bodes well for John Ossoff’s race in Georgia, the Montana progressive Rob Quist's race, and more. We had over $400,000 in dark/opposition money put into a race that pays councilors about $5600 a year. A true Public Servant position. Opponents raised about $1000 per donation. The progressive candidates raised perhaps $100 per donation — from 10 times as many people. No large donations. NO LARGE DONATIONS — just people power! Thank you people of Colorado Springs!
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