Bloomberg and the Invasion of Colorado
I've never lived in New Hampshire. Or Missouri. Or South Carolina. Or forty- six of our states. I currently reside in Colorado and therefore have a keen interest in the election process here. I participate, volunteer time and resources to candidates and causes I support, and of course vote. Since I do not live in Minnesota, I pay little attention to local and/or state-level politics there. Exactly who represents the residents of Greenvale, MN in the state legislature (Greenvale is in state Senate District 58, in case you were wondering) doesn't affect me. I really don't care how the residents of Minnesota Senate District 58 vote on the plethora of state and local initiatives and amendments that show up on their election ballots. It's enough keeping up with my own community, I don't know anybody in Minnesota Senate District 58 and I have zero desire to attempt to influence how they govern themselves.
Which leads us to the curious relationship between Michael Bloomberg, a resident of the state of New York, and Colorado. Over the course of the past year Mr. Bloomberg has pumped over a million dollars into Colorado in an effort to influence election outcomes here. Yet from our capital city of Denver to his place of employment, the Mayor's office of New York City, is about 1,780 miles. Seems awfully strange that a New Yorker has this level of fascination with elections in a place so distant.
Democrats won sweeping victories in the November 2012 elections in Colorado. Their victory gave them majority status in both houses of our state legislature. (They already controlled the governor's mansion.) In an eerily similar set of circumstance to what we saw on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. in 2009/2010, Democrat majorities in Colorado were such that any and all legislation Dems desired to pass they could And they did. The 2013 Colorado legislative session was a progressive's dream come true. They shut down debate, ignored opposition voices, ignored the will of constituents, and via party-line votes passed a legislative agenda to the left of France, let alone Colorado, a state that was red just a decade ago. For the first time in state history our governor did not veto a single bill that made it to his desk.
None of this slipped by unnoticed by Colorado voters who organized and successfully executed the recall of two state senators; John Morse (D) of Colorado Springs and Angela Giron (D) of Pueblo. Campaign disclosure documents showed that Bloomberg had contributed $350,000 to the efforts of the now-ousted Democrats to survive recall. Which again brings the obvious question; "Why does a man from New York care who represents Colorado Springs residents who reside in Colorado's 11thstate Senate District?" The man clearly cares more about who's representing us in the state capitol than we do about who's representing those folks in Greenvale.
And now this.
This Tuesday (November 5) is a state election day here in Colorado. On the ballot is a measure known as Amendment 66. The amendment represents a massive tax increase on state residents amounting to a one billion dollar a year increase placed squarely on the shoulders of tax-paying Coloradans. Guess what? Disclosures have revealed Michael Bloomberg as contributing $1.05 million to the "Yes on 66" campaign.
Why is a New York resident spending millions of his own dollars in an effort to raise taxes on the residents of another state? And not even an election in a border state, which may in some cases make some sense to attempt to influence. Why would such a person care what happens in a state 1,800 miles away, let alone be spending funds from their personal fortune in order to influence the outcome of an election there? And doing so again?
The answer to these questions points to the importance of Colorado and the all-out battleground it has become. In terms of the national landscape Colorado represents far more than just its nine Electoral College votes in each presidential election. Colorado has been zeroed in upon and represents the entry-point to the middle-west for east coast liberalism. And perhaps no one in America represents east coast liberalism more than Michael Bloomberg.
I wrote about this drive to crack the "cowboy states" in another piece that appeared on American Thinker some weeks ago. To avoid redundancy, that line of reasoning can be read here; Colorado: A Model for the Rest of the Nation?
Colorado is now liberalism's best opportunity to relocate New Yorkism to the middle-west of the nation. With the states bordering the Pacific Ocean solidly blue along with most of those on the Atlantic coast, the new battleground is the Midwest. That pesky part of the nation west of the Mississippi River and east of California that, up until the flipping of Colorado and New Mexico, were as reliably red as New York was reliably blue. The left has deemed Colorado the linchpin.
"The Colorado Model" is a grand strategy and one laid out beautifully in Adam Schrager and Rob Witwer's book, The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado (and Why Republicans EVERYWHERE Should Care), though many articles and pieces have been written about it.
Colorado is currently in the midst of a squeeze play -- caught between Bloomberg's money on one side and an influx of Californians on the other. Over the course of the past decade Colorado has been successfully "Californicated." As a California escapee myself, I'm uniquely qualified to comment on this phenomena.
In 2001, realizing that we were overtaxed, that California was too expensive, had a joke of an educational system, and was just plain overboard with its rampant liberalism -- both socially and legislatively, that even with a much higher-than-median income we had no hope of purchasing a home, etc., my wife and I decided it was no place to raise a family and left. We were and continue to be far from alone. When stripped of the statistical influx of illegal immigrants, California has become "net domestic migration" population loss state. Put another way -- people are leaving. In droves. Especially young professionals of child-bearing and/or child-rearing age. One of the strongest business sectors in California today is (one-way) truck rentals.
Of course exiting one state necessitates entering another. That's where Colorado & Bloomberg come into play. All of us moved to or stayed in California for many reasons. Its mild climate and wealth of outdoor recreational opportunities being high on the list. Many if not most displaced Californians like the western states. We enjoy the expansiveness, the ability to get away to mountains or quasi-exotic locations like the (relatively) nearby Mexican resort communities, hiking, backpacking, biking and being able to enjoy being outdoors with our children year round. For many of us the notion of moving east of the Mississippi is thoroughly unpalatable. Californians, by and large, want to stay in the west.
Hence the allure of Colorado. A western state that's still not too far from grandma and friends left behind in Cali. Innumerable outdoor recreational opportunities, an affordable housing market, (formerly) low income taxation and a climate that's much more mild than the rest of the nation knows or believes (trust me, Colorado Springs' winters ain't Buffalo or Milwaukee, not by a long shot). It all adds up to a great landing spot for California escapees.
Then, in a most bizarre twist of human behavior, Californians escape California's oppressiveness and rampant liberalism and move to Colorado -- and then vote for the same politicos and policies that were reasons they left California in the first place. Thus, in a case of very strange bedfellows, you have the intersecting of a New York limousine liberal's money with Californians seeking a fresh start. Where does that intersection occur? Colorado, USA. Which explains why a billionaire mayor of a city nearly 2,000 miles away invests millions in political causes and campaigns that affect me and my children in the Rocky Mountains. The hope of capturing our state in a squeeze play -- money from the east coast influencing transplant voters from the west coast. All to build a new, liberal power establishment hub smack in the middle of the western "cowboy states" and from which progressive policies can be exported to our neighbors.
So, my fellow Coloradans, don't be surprised when you see this man from New York and others continuing to plow finances into races that seemingly don't affect them. They have their eyes on a much, much larger prize.