Losing A State, Losing A Nation—What's At Stake In Colorado

As goes Colorado, so goes the nation.

Under the “all seeing eye” of the Centennial State's seal, there has been a remarkable political transformation: this onetime bulwark of the New Republican Majority is now the model for the Permanent Democratic Regime.  But not for the reason you hear in the Main Stream Media.

The MSM is quick to credit the demographic change resulting from immigration—all evidence of The Growing Power of the Latino Vote [By Kathleen Geier, Washington Monthly, November 7, 2013]. But the real story in Colorado: wealthy Democratic donors built a media/ organizational/ activist machine that cut into the Republican share of Colorado whites.

Colorado has long been important to patriotic immigration reformers. Dick Lamm, the leading Democrat to oppose mass immigration, was the longest-serving governor in Colorado history. In the immigration battles of the last decade, Colorado enacted some of the toughest anti-illegal immigration legislation in the nation, with the reluctant acquiescence of then-Republican Governor Bill Owens. And, of course, Colorado was the launching pad for Congressman Tom Tancredo, who stopped George W. Bush's Amnesty efforts and almost reduced the Republican Party to a single-digit share in his 2010 Third-Party run for governor. [Hickenlooper wins easily, by John Moore, Denver Post, November 5, 2010]

So when Colorado turned blue for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, MSM pundits were eager to credit the change to the much-vaunted Latino colossus. [Latino voters helped Colorado stay blue -- more so than in any other battleground state, By Sam Levin, Westword, November 7, 2012.

According to CNN exit polls, Romney won 54% of the white vote, with Obama picking up 44%. But Obama also won about 75% of the Latino vote, which constitutes 14% of the electorate. And that was enough to make up the difference.

But this misses what is really remarkable: whites in this traditionally right-leaning state, home of conservative bastions like Focus on the Family and the Air Force Academy, voted for Romney at a rate lower than whites nationwide. According to the New York Times, Obama would have won Colorado even if Romney had captured 42 percent of Colorado’s Hispanic vote. [Assessing How Pivotal the Hispanic Vote Was to Obama’s Victory, By Allison Kopicki And Will Irving, November 20, 2012]

Some 2,584,719 votes were cast in Colorado in the 2012 Presidential election. Assuming whites were 78% of the vote (based on the CNN straw poll), Mitt Romney would have won about 1,209,648 votes had he won simply 60% of the white vote—roughly in line with what he won nationally. This would be more votes than he received in the actual election even if he hadn't received a single black or Hispanic vote.

This doesn’t even consider white turnout—voters who may have not voted because of disgust at both Republicans and Democrats. VDARE.com noted white turnout was down in 2008, and some election analysts have identified a further white turnout decline the key story of the 2012 election. 

Bottom line: appealing to the Hispanic share of the Colorado electorate, which only increased by one percentage point between 2008 and 2012, is still far less important to the GOP than making marginal improvements in the white vote.

The real question: what is happening to Colorado whites? Answer: the influx of big money into state politics, unleashed by “campaign finance reform” that has had the paradoxical effect of liberating plutocrats

The Colorado Democracy Alliance was formed in 2005. The key members were the “four horsemen”—Jared Polis, Tim Gill, Rutt Bridges, and Pat Stryker—who together invested $1.6 million into state legislature races in 2004, allowing the Democrats to win control of the state House and Senate.  The story of how they transformed Colorado politics is told in the 2010 book The Blueprint:  How the Democrats Won Colorado (and why Republicans everywhere should care) by Rob Witwer and Adam Schrager. 

Jared Polis, an enthusiastic proponent of Amnesty who goes by his mother's last name, made a fortune at an early age by starting a website for his parents' greeting card company that was purchased for $780 million at the height of the dot com boom. Polis is now one of the few open homosexuals serving in the U.S. House of Representatives (representing Colorado's 2nd congressional district). According to The Blueprint, Polis won his first campaign—for the State Board of Education—by outspending his opponent one million dollars to ten thousand dollars. His margin of victory: 90 votes.

Tim Gill, another homosexual activist, acquired his wealth by founding the software company Quark.  Gill is mostly known for donating to LGBT causes, but he is also one of the most important liberal donors in the state.

Rutt Bridges made millions in developing new technology for oil drilling. He founded the supposedly centrist Bighorn Center for Public Policy, which has actually served as a “nonpartisan” cover for coordination with leftist groups. [Rutt Bridges:  Drilling for Votes by Bill McMorris, Washington Free Beacon, October 26, 2012]

Pat Stryker is a billionaire heiress whose first foray into politics was funding the 2002 defeat of Amendment 31, Ron Unz’s only loss in his campaign to eliminate bilingual education through state initiatives. According to The Blueprint, Stryker asked anti-amendment activists bluntly if they could guarantee victory for $3 million. Stryker's multimillion dollar media strike carried the day—Unz later estimated that his side had been outspent by a margin of 15-1.

What all of these donors have in common is a sense of moral outrage unmatched by anything on the Republican side. Large donors for the Democrats are driven by values, especially homosexuals such as Gill and Polis who are willing to spend millions to defend their “community.” In contrast, Republican donors, like Republicans generally, are driven by economic concerns. The result: conservatives see politics as a business that can return investments, whereas the Left's moneymen see it as a holy cause.

The Democracy Alliance is not just funded by four people. Instead, the board of directors identifies different organizations that are meeting perceived needs and directs funding to those groups, without actually handling the money themselves. Members of the Alliance must meet certain funding guidelines. Because of its legal structure and coordination of donors, the Colorado Democracy Alliance is able to honor the letter of campaign finance laws, while violating the spirit. [Cracking the CoDA: liberal web effective by Jessica Fender, Denver Post, October 14, 2008].

In 2002, McCain-Feingold restricted the amount that federal candidates could receive from donors. In Colorado specifically, Amendment 27 also passed in 2002, limiting the amount of money that could be given to a candidate for the state legislature. As a result, “middle donors”—those who donate from $1,000 to $25,000, a key Republican resource—became far less important in the political process.  Blueprint quotes former Colorado Republican Party executive director Alan Philip: “After Amendment 27, the only people who could make a big difference were super-rich donors—those who can give $100,000 or more to outside groups—and labor unions, who got special loopholes under the new rules.”

As Blueprint authors Witwer and Schrager confirm, the recent Citizens United decision will if anything increase the reliance on outside groups and take away more control from politicians and parties.  Citizens United allows corporations, unions, and nonprofits like the Colorado Democracy Alliance to spend funds on ads, programs, or films that expressly urge a candidate's election or defeat.  This means that moneyed interests will be able to run their own quasi-independent “campaigns” without control from the major parties or the candidates.

This is bad news for immigration patriots for two reasons.

●       First, “super” Republican donors such as the Koch Brothers or Sheldon Adelson tend to be Open Borders supporters.

Insofar as they have fanatic loyalty to a nation's border security, it is that of Israel

●       Second, and more importantly—the Colorado Democracy Alliance and its other state affiliates represent a total program for establishing a permanent governing regime.

As one GOP official put it on background: “They were funding organizations that were doing nothing but writing letters to the editor.” Other tactics as revealed in memos of the group included: “distraction lawsuits;” and funding supposedly nonpartisan 501(c) (3) s that were in fact pursuing a specific progressive agenda.

The Colorado Democracy Alliance recognizes that democracy can be “managed” through the strategic disbursement of large amounts of money in normally small races, creating artificial public opinion through astroturfing, and drafting minorities (notably Hispanics) as guaranteed votes for more government benefits.

Republican organizer Morton Blackwell once wrote: “The winner in a political contest over time is determined by the number and effectiveness of the activists and leaders on the respective sides.”[ The Real Nature Of Politics, RedState.com, October 1st, 2010] The Colorado Democracy Alliance is an effort to massively increase the number of activists on one side—all while disguising its effort as “nonpolitical.”

Result: an environment where Colorado governor John Hickenlooper can openly lie about his “sanctuary city” policies and rant about bringing the Mexican Revolution to America—but Tom Tancredo is perceived as a dangerous extremist. [Tom Tancredo v. John Hickenlooper-- And Pancho Villa, by Washington Watcher, October 12, 2010]

In response to Democratic microtargeting, get-out-the vote efforts, media managing, and over 37 nonprofits covering all aspects of public policy, the Colorado Republican Party is trying…minority outreach.  [Colorado GOP announces field committee, hopes to improve voter outreach, By Kurtis Lee, The Denver Post,  February 1, 2013,] In what writer Mark Steyn has called a “one and a half party system,” conservatives within the Republican Party are opposed by leaders of their own party as well as a monolithic Democratic machine.

Colorado represents the takeover of politics by plutocrats in a system where the powerful can massively manipulate public opinion. Democrats also hope to accomplish this at a national level—and immigration is the critical battle, complete with Soros-funded “evangelical” front groups etc., pitting “elites” against the people.

Colorado Republicans—and Republicans nationally—have to rethink their policy priorities. Rather than serving as corporate lobbyists for the ultra-rich, the GOP should wage war on big money in politics and embrace a populist strategy against bankers, cheap labor, and offshoring.

This may upset some major GOP donors. But those donors aren't doing much good anyway.

The Republicans are losing their stronghold of Colorado. The only way to get it back: change the rules and confront the progressive plutocrats with something they haven't seen before: A populist GOP.

That could deliver a victory not merely for the Right in the Rockies—it could provide a new “blueprint” to save America.

James Kirkpatrick [Email him] travels around the United States looking for a waiter who can speak English.