Friday, May 25, 2007

Hickenlooper gives Nevitt the business

Yesterday's Denver Post issued a missive from George Merritt entitled "Mayor: Candidate flier misleading."
Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper delved into the City Council races for the first time today, calling out District 7 candidate Chris Nevitt for "misleading voters."

Nevitt's campaign used a picture of Hickenlooper on its latest flier.
The Nevitt campaign responded that the flier was intended to be light. I guess the Dr Seuss-themed cover and the fanciful rhymes weren't a strong enough tip-off for that, to wit:
Denver parents and teachers think his plans are just super,
and hopefully so does Mayor John Hickenlooper
Of course, the Watters campaign was elated, thanking the mayor for "setting the record straight." But the bigger story here is the culmination of a threat made by the mayor earlier this month. On May 2nd, the day after the general municipal election, Colorado Pols featured an article entitled "Hick May Pick Sides in One City Council Race." It read, in part:
Hickenlooper doesn't normally make public endorsements of candidates for city office, but there was a lot of talk last night that he would soon endorse Shelly Watters over Chris Nevitt in City Council District 7 because he is uncomfortable with Nevitt's close ties to organized labor.
Anyone who recognizes Hickenlooper's business origin can see that a candidate who would support the larger working community would be an ideological opposite. Still, some insightful comments ensued over at Colorado Pols, none more perspicacious than the first:
Nevitt's base will stay with him, and he only needs to pick another 3.1% to win in the runoff. Shelly has a much higher hill to climb. Nevitt wins this and Hick would be foolish to get involved publically (though everyone knows he was involved behind the scenes).
Hickenlooper involved behind the scenes? You mean Hickenlooper has been actively campaigning against a pro-labor candidate this whole time, perhaps through The Kenney Group, who managed both Shelly Watters' campaign and Hickenlooper's re-election bid with the same large donations from big businesses and land speculators? Say it ain't so.

This background information provides insight into Chris Nevitt's incredulous response to the pseudo-controversy, as quoted in yesterday's Denver Post article:
"A couple people called and said, 'You are implying that John Hickenlooper endorsed you,'" [Nevitt] said.

"I actually called them back and said, 'Nothing could be further from the truth.'"
You can say that again.

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