Wednesday, December 30, 2015

You can make a difference! Write a letter to the editor NOW, encourage your friends to do the same!

Your letter to the editor encouraging participation March 1 in one of the 6000 neighborhood meetings in the Colorado Caucus by affiliating by Jan 4 would be very welcome, best day for Denver Post Sunday edition is usually Thursday. 

See Sue Obrien's column about the virtues of the caucus system vs primary a few posts back. 

DO YOU CARE ABOUT THE COLORADO CAUCUS ENOUGH TO WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR AND TO ENCOURAGE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA AND EMAIL FRIENDS TO DO THE SAME? PLEASE SHARE WITH PEOPLE WHO YOU THINK MIGHT LIKE TO GET IN A POSITION TO RUN FOR ELECTED PUBLIC OFFICE OR WHO WOULD LIKE TO HELP OTHER GOOD PEOPLE GET ELECTED. THANKS!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Last Call for 2016 Colorado Caucus

To vote in the 2016 Colorado Caucus you must meet certain requirements.

One deadline is coming up in just a few days, you must affiliate with the major party of your choice 2 months prior to the March 2016 Colorado Caucus. So you have until the end of this month.

If you are already registered to vote in Colorado you can change your party affiliation online:

Change Party Affiliation Online (click here)

Here is more information from the Colorado Secretary of States Office and a phone number to call if you have any questions.

If you call the Secretary of State's Office with a question, please share what you asked and the details of the answer with us here as a comment.

Colorado Secretary of State (click here)

Monday, December 14, 2015

GOP & Dem Song

God Only Knows What I'd Do Without You (Colorado Caucus)
https://youtu.be/EkPy18xW1j8

Colorado Caucus: Best chance for the common person to serve in elected public office. That's why the rich and powerful are constantly trying to kill it.

Post news about our wonderful Colorado Caucus on: Colorado Caucus News 


Colorado Caucus. Why?


Monday, December 14, 2015

Colorado Caucus. Why?

Because we like you! (Burned into the brain of some of us from watching the Mickey Mouse Club every day after school.)

Colorado Caucus levels the playing field, it's the best chance the person who is not a multi-millionair has of getting elected to public office.

Do you think that could be the reason multi-millionaires are constantly trying to kill it?

No comments:

Friday, December 11, 2015

Happy birthday Darryl Erskin!

would have been 67 today. Without his dedicated work, along with that of Phil Perington, Ruth Prendergast, Bill Armstrong, JoAnne Gray, Sharon and Ben Klein, Frank and Sylvia Sullivan, and many others, we would not be getting ready for the 2016 Colorado Caucus. 

Are you going? http://www.Facebook.com/Colorado.Caucus.News

Something we can all agree on....

Anyone but Trump:
http://anyonebuttrump.blogspot.com

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Better? Better for who Better Colorado?

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Reporter? Editor? Willing to help us one day next spring? Teacher?

If you'd be willing to be part of the leadership for a reporting team of citizen journalists as a reporter for one of your neighborhood caucuses next spring, as a webmaster, County Publisher or District Editor, please call John Wren at (303)861-1447. If you get voice mail leave a complete message, your name, phone number, and political and media experience. Thanks!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Lead an Action Class in Practical Politics in your community. The objective is to increase the informed participation in the 2016 Colorado Caucus. Apply to be a faculty member or a student at http://www.WrenCollege.org

Friday, November 27, 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Be a reporter on the Colorado Caucus News team!

You are invited to a free online workshop for people who are interested in being certified as a Colorado Caucus News reporter. We intend to provide overnight reporting on the 6000 gatherings that will be held across Colorado the first Tuesday in March next year. To get more information see http://www.WrenCollege.org

If you'd be willing to be part of the leadership team as a webmaster, County Publisher or District Editor, please call John Wren at (303)861-1447. If you get voice mail leave a complete message, your name, phone number, and political and media experience. Thanks!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Want to know more about Colorado Caucus?

Click on "Neighborhood Caucus" tab above, it's just been update. More information will be coming there soon as we progress towards the 2016 Colorado Caucus next spring.

After you click on the tab, scroll down past the blank area to the very bottom for more links. Watch for an update of this site soon!

How to boost attendance and participation:


Want to boost attendance and participation at your favorite neighborhood gathering? Promise Walter's Pizza! http://Facebook.com/Colorado.Caucus.News
Posted by John S Wren on Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Defender of the Caucus?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Would you help me help Colorado?

Would you help me?

Would you please get me invited to speak at the next meeting of your neighborhood, service, church or other group in the next few weeks about representative government and (true)self-directed learning?

I would very much appreciate sharing with you and your group about out wonderful Colorado Caucus, the best chance the average person has of serving in elected public office, and what, if anything, can be done to save it from the attack that is certain for this next legislative session.

I'll also share about the fact that running for elected public office or helping other good people get elected can be an excellent self-directed learning project.

It seems to me between now and next March could be a great opportunity for many of us to be of great service to Colorado neighborhoods and our wonderful Colorado Caucus.

Also, at the meeting of your group I'll be recruiting others to speak about this important topic. We will have an all day meeting soon to train speakers and others who volunteer to help in this important effort.

If not next week, when?

John Wren
(303)861-1447

Monday, October 12, 2015

Have you been invited?

Seems these "listening" meetings are invitation only:


Supporters of our wonderful Colorado Caucus should make sure to attend and speak up at these "listening" sessions....

Posted by Colorado Caucus News on Sunday, October 11, 2015

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Free! Denver IDEA Cafe Startup Workshop and Grassroots Rally!

Are you new to Colorado? Or are you just new to Colorado politics? Want to make a difference as an active citizen? Join us for this grassroots rally! Whether you want to run for elected political office yourself or just help other good people get elected, join us this Friday or any Friday at Denver IDEA Cafe. Check it out, and please share with your friends! It's only too late if you don't start now!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Why March?

"(A GOP) “brokered” convention in Cleveland in July 2016 is a very real possibility, where no single candidate has a majority of the delegates’ votes heading into the convention. In such a situation, each state’s delegation to the convention becomes extremely important. For Colorado, the No. 4 swing state in the nation, our importance in this convention cannot be overstated."

http://www.coloradostatesman.com/content/996132-colorado-gop-must-keep-march-caucus

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Stop the Colorado Caucus killers!

"Why is the Colorado Caucus withering? First, because the legislature, in an ineffectual grab for national headlines, created a meaningless presidential primary that eliminated the headline race that once inspired much caucus activism. Second, because we're all getting good at sitting on the sidelines."

The late Sue O'brien
Editorial Page Editor of The Denver Post
October 2002 (see complete editorial in previous post here.)

Sue O'brien was a long time political veteran and could clearly see the great value of our neighborhood caucus-assembly system for nominating to the primary ballot.

Those the Denver Post have writing about it now have never been to one. So they are easily swayed by the 40-city propaganda tour that just launch over the weekend on the western slope at a meeting of Club 20.

The rich and powerful for the most part hate the Colorado Caucus. It gets in the way of their plans to make us "Better Colorado."

I'll be posting here over the next few days as I talk with people about what needs to be done to fight this current attack. Is it time to resurrect Save the Caucus?

Save the Caucus was formed in 2002 to fend off a similar attack, and because of the efforts of a few good people like Ruth Pendergast Amendment 29 which would have killed the caucus was beat 60% to 40% despite being outspent 1400 to 1.

Watch here for more in the next few days, and check out Colorado Caucus News.

John Wren
Denver voter since 1968.
(303)861-1447

Grassroots Rules. : Colorado Caucus? Isn't it just a waste of time? Wo...

Grassroots Rules. : Colorado Caucus? Isn't it just a waste of time? Wo...:   This Sue O'brien editorial does a great job putting the light of reason on the Colorado Caucus

Grassroots Rules. : Important book makes strong case for the importanc...

Grassroots Rules. : Important book makes strong case for the importanc...: Why Iowa?: How Caucuses and Sequential Elections Improve the Presidential Nominating Process by David P. Redlawsk My rating: 5 of 5 stars ...

The caucus-killers launch attack

Club 20 pitches ideas to Western Slope conservatives during event - The Denver Post

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_28802309/club-20-pitches-ideas-western-slope-conservatives-during-event

I just posted this comment:

"Better Colorado" wants unaffiliated voters to choose candidates for political parties. That would be an effective way to kill the Colorado Caucus.

This 40-city tour is really helping Colorado or is just an exercise in propaganda by rich and powerful political manipulators and their dupes, in my opinion. Clearly one of their objectives is to kill the Colorado Caucus. More in a few minutes http://www.COCaucus.org 

It is unlikely the Denver Post will keep my comment up. I hope you will go there via the above link and express your opinion on this 40-city tour put on the the rich and powerful, does it seem to you it's a wonderful act of good citizenship or is it an effort to manipulate and control the voters of Colorado?

More from me here on this blog momentarily, much more over the next few days.

John Wren
Voter in Denver, Colorado since 1968.
Currently registered Unaffiliated. Previously registered as a Democrat.


Monday, September 7, 2015

Show your colors for the Colorado Caucus!

Our Colorado Caucus is the best chance the common person has of serving in elected public office.

That's one of the reasons so many rich and powerful people would like to kill the caucus.

Show your colors for the best chance the common person has to serve in elected public office. 

More info and order on http://t.co/2D1tkTqrNm 

PLEASE LIKE AND SHARE TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT OF OUR COLORADO CAUCUS.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Hits on this site, spike is 2012 Colorado Caucus.


Our purpose is to use education to increase the informed participation in our Colorado Caucus. It's a labor of love of John Wren. We are going to use Google+ Hangouts to be of more help to more political newcomers this election cycle. For more about what's being planned watch The Startup Show this Friday, 10 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time A link to the show will be posted right here for you to watch live, or come back any time to watch the recording.

Do you have friends who are new to Colorado or just new to Colorado politics? Do them a favor and email a link to here to them, also post on social media, the buttons below make it easy.

Tools for Political Tool Box

What's the caucus-assembly tool?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Colorado GOP Executive Committee says "No voting on Presidential candidates at your caucus."

We'll hear more about this, but based on what I know now, here is what I think of this.

The Colorado GOP leaders last Friday met and discussed several issues. One was a rule change by the Republican National Committee that says if there is a vote on the Presidential candidates in any way, that vote has to be binding on the delegates.

This creates many problems, states are going to react and probably get this changed, maybe by the time of the national convention. But maybe not.

So the Colorado Republican leadership did the smart thing. They decided to no hold a Presidential candidate straw poll. They've gone back to the system that worked so well in the past for Colorado Republicans.

The straw poll came along after Colorado had the disastrous experiment with a Presidential primary.  When Colorado voters had the good sense to go back to what had worked so well since 1912, the straw poll was an attempt to drag the primary home, sort of a take-out primary.

That's not the way it worked in the past.

Delegates will get elected and they have to first attend their precinct caucus. Is there discussion about the Presidential race at the caucus? Of course. Delegates are elected to go to various nominating assemblies. Do those in their caucus know those delegates feeling about the Presidential candidates that night? Of course. But things might change. And some delegates will be elected who say it's way to early to make up their mind.

Sometimes there is a steamroller, the caucuses are all packed, only one candidate has delegates elected across the state. When that happens, the straw poll doesn't make any difference, either.

Seems to me the GOP has done the smart thing. We'll see.

I just posted this as a comment on the Denver Post article concerning this GOP decision. You can see a link to that article on our Colorado Caucus News Facebook Page  http://Facebook.com/Colorado.Caucus.News 

In our representative system we should be voting for the best possible people to go as delegates and represent us. Vote for the delegate or slate of delegates that will make the best decision on the floor of the convention based on full information. Sounds to me like this is a move to strengthen the GOP Colorado delegation. Should be good for Colorado.

Friday, August 14, 2015

"Keep the caucuses, ditch the primary.


Thursday, August 6, 2015

The effect of leadership.

Iowa has leaders who help citizens understand the value of the Iowa Caucus. Colorado has, with a few exceptions, leaders who are silent or who actually are working to kill the system they have been entrusted with by the citizens of Colorado.

Important book makes strong case for the importance of the caucus in not just Iowa, but also Colorado and the other caucus states.

Why Iowa?: How Caucuses and Sequential Elections Improve the Presidential Nominating ProcessWhy Iowa?: How Caucuses and Sequential Elections Improve the Presidential Nominating Process by David P. Redlawsk
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Extraordinarily well researched by political science professors at three universities, not a light read but vitally important in the debate about the value of the grassroots institution, what some see as the full flowering of what the founders of the country had in mind.

Makes a suggestion no on has picked up on, not mentioned in any of the reviews or interviews about the book that I have seen, it deserves to be widely discussed.

The suggestion is to have a caucus period at the beginning of the election season and then a national primary with the rest of the states.

Not an easy read because of it being crammed with important facts, but that is part of the appeal. This is solid research well presented, something that has never been produced by those who would kill the caucus. This follows on the heals of another that the authors credit, Grassroots Rules, Standford University Press which is equally enthusiastic about the caucus assembly system after taking a close look.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Colorado Caucus? Isn't it just a waste of time? Wouldn't a Presidential Primary be more meaningful?

  This editorial by a long time Colorado political reporter and editor does a great job putting the light of reason on the Colorado Caucus and it's effect on Colorado politics:

Caucuses aren't for ciphers.
  October 6, 2002
  by Sue O'Brien, Denver Post Editorial Page Editor

cipher - a person or thing of no importance or value; nonentity - New World College Dictionary 

So, what will we choose to be: ciphers or individuals? 

Ciphers are faceless. They have value only as something to count - a signature on a petition or a vote to tally by machine. It's easy for ciphers to hide out. 

Hey, they're just part of the mob.

Individuals, by contrast, stand out. They take responsibility. And they rarely hide. 

We have a sovereign opportunity to become ciphers this November. 

One of the few mechanisms left in modern politics that rewards individual initiative - the precinct caucus - is on the brink of being eliminated in favor of a political nominating system that would let wannabe candidates get on the ballot only by collecting - and counting - petition signatures. 


It's a lousy proposal put forth by an otherwise admirable organization: the Bighorn Center for Public Policy. 

Now, I have nothing against getting on the ballot by petition. But why eliminate the choice - caucus or petition - that our present system provides?

It's not as though there's something inherently wrong with the caucus. And, even though these grassroots conclaves have seen declining attendance in recent years, there's a lot inherently good about them. 

Look around modern society. We have a woeful lack of what Harvard scholar Robert Putnam calls "social capital" - the dynamism that comes from doing things together and making community decisions together. 

Yet the spate of election "reforms" we're seeing these days almost seems designed to stomp out the last vestiges of community collaboration. 

"Voting and following politics are relatively undemanding forms of participation," writes Putnam in his influential "Bowling Alone." 

"In fact, they are not, strictly speaking, forms of social capital at all, because they can be done utterly alone." We can be utterly alone, too, when we perform the two other actions modern politics seems to want to limit us to: writing checks and watching attack ads on TV. 

We're systematically replacing "social capital" with plain old monetary capital. 

Colorado's traditional caucus-convention system, in contrast, rewards the shoe-leather and diligence. It provides a low-cost way for aspirants to work the neighborhoods, investing energy instead of dollars.

Recent proof of this pudding came in the race for the GOP nomination in the 7th Congressional District, where Rick O'Donnell captured first line on the primary ballot with a low-budget campaign that focused on traditional caucus and door-to-door campaigning. O'Donnell eventually lost the primary to the better-funded Bob Beauprez, but his achievement in getting on the ballot was impressive. 

But even more important than the caucus' benefits for candidates is its benefit for ordinary citizens. It's a vibrant neighborhood forum for hashing out ideas - the last remaining arena in which you can get on the first rung of the ladder toward political effectiveness by just showing up. 

I've covered precinct or town caucuses in Iowa, Maine, Minnesota and Mississippi as well as Colorado. My favorite memory is of escorting a big-deal network analyst to his very first caucus in an American Legion hall in Iowa. 

This was a political expert well into his 50s, yet he'd never seen a caucus; primaries had always been his beat. He was blown away. For the first time in years of covering politics, he told me, he'd seen the true face of America. 

He was right. Caucuses offer a peculiarly intimate view of a community and its people. They'll amaze you with the quality of caring and thought participants bring to the discussion. And sometimes, if you're very lucky, you'll see new, young leaders find their first toehold in the process. 

Why is the Colorado caucus withering? First, because the legislature, in an ineffectual grab for national headlines, created a meaningless presidential primary that eliminated the headline race that once inspired much caucus activism. Second, because we're all getting good at sitting on the sidelines. 

The Kettering Foundation's David Mathews once reminded readers that the word idiot comes from the Greeks. Privacy, they thought, was akin to stupidity. "Idiots" were incapable of finding their place in the social order. 

Why bow to the trend of letting the next guy do it? Why sell out to letting money replace shoe-leather at every level of American politics? Why not keep the caucus as an open door to involvement, while continuing to provide the petition alternative? 

Bighorn's goal may be to increase the number of people peripherally involved in the process - but the initiative will never replace the quality of participation the caucus can provide. Good 
political talk … is where we recognize the connectedness of things - and our own connectedness. … 

Good political talk is also where we discover what is common amidst our differences. -David Mathews, "Civic Intelligence"
  
Sue O'Brien was editor of the Denver Post editorial page. See passed on not long after writing this. We miss her.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Neighborhood College? Self-directed learning groups are forming.

University of Denver Alumni Magazine

Thanks to the University of Denver for the plug in the new edition of our alumni magazine that just came out. It plugs the most current version of the idea to create small neighborhood groups for the purpose of education and strengthening the social capital in the neighborhood. Here's what they said:

They were kind to give me this small mention in the back pages that give highlights of alumni activity and milestones year by class year.

It makes it sound like my little book on startup is new, which is not the case. In 1994 when it was first published it expressed some very unique ideas, some of which have since been expressed in a more helpful way, the best in my opinion is Just Start (Harvard Business Review Press) which was co-written by the then President of Babson College.

To see my little book online just Google John Wren Daring Mighty Things and it comes right up. The Kindle version can be read online, or a paperback version can be ordered.

If you'd be willing to start a group in your neighborhood, we'd love to help you. Each Saturday at 10:30 a.m I've been holding a Google+ hangout for those engaged in the process, let me know if you'd be interested in joining us next time.

John Wren
(303)861-1447

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Colorado Caucus and the need for a neighborhood bipartisan praxis.

When it is functioning properly, each of the two major parties for each precinct has leaders who recruit block and/or apartment captains who welcome newcomers into the neighborhood and offer help when needed to neighbors.

These precinct leaders  meet with their block captains regularly, often in a once a month meeting where the district captain, county chair, sometimes even the state chair stops in and says a brief hello. One way of looking at this is Colorado Caucus as praxis.

The problem (or opportunity, depending on how you look at it) is that most issues in neighborhoods cut across party lines, things like problems with the street, street lights, trash removal, etc.

What if there was a third organization in each precinct that would function as the servant of the precinct leaders, that would be neutral on issues and candidates, but only serve to welcome newcomers and connect them with the precinct or block  party of their choice? The task of block worker and precinct leader, meeting monthly, could be thought of as a neighborhood praxis;

the practical - making judgements - praxis
This illustration is taken from this explanation of what is meant by praxis:
http://www.infed.org/biblio/b-praxis.htm 

Neighborhood precinct as praxis. Starting right now. The name may change. It may be best to be totally independent of the SBCC. But it is clear to me this will happen by the 2016 Colorado Caucus.

Please contact me if you are a supporter of the caucus-assembly system, if you aren't actively involved now in a political party, issue or candidate committee, and especially if you have experience as a precinct leader you'd like to share.

Contact me if you'd like to be part of this effort. I expect we will make a media release tomorrow and your thoughts about this now could make a big big difference.

Call me at the phone number below and leave a complete, confidential message. I'm the only one with the code to the voice mail box. I'll get back to you as quickly as possible, but it may not be until next week, so tell me your ideas on the voice mail message, I guarantee they will be heard and considered as we put together this new statewide neighborhood organization.

Thanks for your support.

John Wren
Co-founder, Save the Caucus (which defeated Amendment 29 in 2002 and then disband.)
Founder & CEO, Small Business Chamber of Commerce, Inc.
Founder, Neighborhood Praxis (working name, this is only use so far)
1881 Buchtel Blvd #501
www.JohnWren.com
(303)861-1447

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Cause or effect? Do people learn to join in caucus states? Or is it just something in the water?

"...Primaries draw a very different type of voter than a caucus does. In a paper on this topic, Eitan Hersh shows that primary voters and caucus-goers aren't necessarily different ideologically—caucus-goers aren't more extreme or less tolerant—but they do differ on other dimensions, specifically political engagement. Caucus-goers are joiners. They're more likely to attend meetings and join organizations than primary voters are."

http://www.psmag.com/politics-and-law/what-states-get-when-they-decide-to-hold-a-primary-instead-of-a-caucus-and-why-it-matters-so-much

Monday, May 4, 2015

The people of Colorado win!

Today the Colorado Senate Appropriations Committee voted to not send SB15-286 to the floor of the Colorado Senate for further consideration.

What I've done to help stop this very misguided idea from becoming a reality has very much been in the spirit of Save the Caucus, the committee that was formed to fight Amendment 29 in 2002. Despite being outspent 1400 to 1 (yes 1400 to one) Save the Caucus won big 60% to 40%.

SB15-286 was brought to the Senate last Friday in the closing hours of this session. I've been monitoring such a possibility for the entire session after the Denver Post editorial created the idea of a Presidential Primary in Colorado.

Some reporter needs to dig into what triggered the idea of a Presidential Primary with the with the Denver Post? Was it something that came out of their advertising department? Ad revenues would sky rocket with a primary election, that's for sure.

Is Colorado better off with our Colorado Caucus than we would be with a Presidential Primary? Absolutely! Look at the states with our system (down to 17) to those that powerful forces have driven to the darkside and what do you observe? Here's what:

"Primaries (as opposed to selection of delegates via a caucus system) have probably fostered exactly the kind of television-driven, sound-bite-heavy, attack-oriented presidential politics Americans deplore,' writes Christopher C. Hull in his Stanford University Press book "Grassroots Rules."

"The last three decades' drive toward more representativeness (the illusion created by a Presidential Primary instead of the Caucus system) may be not only be selecting worse candidates but harming the country's politics."

I did the little that was possible for me to do myself, posting here on the Internet, Twitter, Facebook, and this educational website that has been my personal project for a few years, making phone calls, and, most importantly, getting Corky Kyle and others involved in fighting it..

This fight about how Colorado selects our delegates to the national nominating conventions of the major political parties is far from over.

More about what might happen next tomorrow.

Thanks again to Corky Kyle and all the others who gave our wonderful Colorado Caucus a reprieve so it has that tomorrow.

Kill Colorado Senate Bill 287 Before It Kills Our Colorado Caucus!

Oppose SB15-287
PLEASE SHARE THIS, ESPECIALLY WITH COLORADO LEGISLATORS AND ACTIVE DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS.

Save the Colorado Caucus
Fact Sheet- SB15-287

“CONCERNING THE (so called, tested & rejected) RESTORATION OF A PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY ELECTION IN COLORADO”

Issue: The bill creates a presidential primary in Colorado for all major political parties. The state must reimburse counties for the costs of the presidential primary election in the same manner as for elections with statewide ballot measures based on the number of active electors affiliated with the parties participating in the primary.

The bill increases costs in the Department of State by $1,677,689 in FY 2015-16 and in
future presidential election years. Based on current law, these costs may be paid from either the
Department of State Cash Fund of the General Fund. These costs are summarized below:
Expenditures Under SB 15-287
Cost Components FY 2015-16 FY 2016-17
County Election Reimbursement $1,620,000
Computer System Modifications 47,689
Travel Expenses 10,000.00
TOTAL $1,677,689 (DECEPTIVE!!!)

Statewide, county clerks will have costs of approximately $4.0 to $5.0 million to conduct
an additional election during presidential election years, based on the costs counties currently incur to conduct the existing June primary election, a mail ballot election of similar size and scope. Costs to counties will include the printing and postage for mail ballots, the operation and staffing of voter service and polling centers, and other administrative and operational costs. Of this cost to counties, $1.6 million will be reimbursed by the Department of State.

The bill takes effect August 5, 2015, if the General Assembly adjourns on May 6, 2015,
as scheduled, and no referendum petition is filed.
Effects of Proposed Legislation:  Please consider the following:

1. There are three days remaining in the 2015 legislative session.  Such a major policy change should be carefully considered by all stakeholders to this process and not decided in the last three days of the legislative session.

2. The expense incurred by the Secretary of State’s office and all of the county clerks for adding an additional election is excessive. Again this decision should involve all parties involved in the process to adequately address planning, cost, and implementation of an additional election.

3. This additional election was implemented several years ago and it was discontinued because of budgetary issues with the state.  Is it appropriate to create these costs again and have small business and others, which use the services of the Secretary of State to have their fees increased, to pay for this election, without any input into the process.

4. Other states are going the other direction, going back to the caucus system.

What you can do!  Oppose the passage of SB15-287, START WITH YOUR LIKE AND SHARE OF THIS!

 Use the interim to bring stakeholders together and working with Secretary of State, determine the feasibility of this policy change.

For more information contact: Corky Kyle, MPA, CAE, The Kyle Group, 303-263-5422 or ckyle@thekylegroup.com. 1410 Grant Street, Suite B304-1, Denver, Colorado  80203.

(We will be re-registering Save the Caucus with the Secretary of States office if this gets out of committee, we might need to do it anyway. As most know this Facebook Page has been my personal project, along with http://www.COCaucus.org, until the last few days of fighting the Colorado Caucus Killing SB 287, we have just focused on education with the goal of more informed voters no matter what their position on issues or candidates. I've recruited Corky Kyle, a very well know lobbiest, to help us protect the last, best hope for the average citizen to serve in elected public office, the Colorado Caucus. Watch for more news about Save the Caucus and it's rebirth soon.  John Wren (303)861-1447 or cell (720)495-4949.)

PLEASE LIKE AND SHARE. THANKS!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Save the Caucus? Why?



Why is it worth fighting for the Colorado Caucus?

No one has ever explained it's value better than my friend Sue:

  Caucuses aren't for ciphers.
  October 6, 2002
  by Sue O'Brien, Denver Post Editorial Page Editor

cipher - a person or thing of no importance or value; nonentity - New World College Dictionary

So, what will we choose to be: ciphers or individuals?

Ciphers are faceless. They have value only as something to count - a signature on a petition or a vote to tally by machine. It's easy for ciphers to hide out.

Hey, they're just part of the mob.

Individuals, by contrast, stand out. They take responsibility. And they rarely hide.

We have a sovereign opportunity to become ciphers this November.

One of the few mechanisms left in modern politics that rewards individual initiative - the precinct caucus - is on the brink of being eliminated in favor of a political nominating system that would let wannabe candidates get on the ballot only by collecting - and counting - petition signatures.

It's a lousy proposal put forth by an otherwise admirable organization: the Bighorn Center for Public Policy.

Now, I have nothing against getting on the ballot by petition. But why eliminate the choice - caucus or petition - that our present system provides?

It's not as though there's something inherently wrong with the caucus. And, even though these grassroots conclaves have seen declining attendance in recent years, there's a lot inherently good about them.

Look around modern society. We have a woeful lack of what Harvard scholar Robert Putnam calls "social capital" - the dynamism that comes from doing things together and making community decisions together.

Yet the spate of election "reforms" we're seeing these days almost seems designed to stomp out the last vestiges of community collaboration.

"Voting and following politics are relatively undemanding forms of participation," writes Putnam in his influential "Bowling Alone."

"In fact, they are not, strictly speaking, forms of social capital at all, because they can be done utterly alone." We can be utterly alone, too, when we perform the two other actions modern politics seems to want to limit us to: writing checks and watching attack ads on TV.

We're systematically replacing "social capital" with plain old monetary capital.

Colorado's traditional caucus-convention system, in contrast, rewards the shoe-leather and diligence. It provides a low-cost way for aspirants to work the neighborhoods, investing energy instead of dollars.

Recent proof of this pudding came in the race for the GOP nomination in the 7th Congressional District, where Rick O'Donnell captured first line on the primary ballot with a low-budget campaign that focused on traditional caucus and door-to-door campaigning. O'Donnell eventually lost the primary to the better-funded Bob Beauprez, but his achievement in getting on the ballot was impressive.

But even more important than the caucus' benefits for candidates is its benefit for ordinary citizens. It's a vibrant neighborhood forum for hashing out ideas - the last remaining arena in which you can get on the first rung of the ladder toward political effectiveness by just showing up.

I've covered precinct or town caucuses in Iowa, Maine, Minnesota and Mississippi as well as Colorado. My favorite memory is of escorting a big-deal network analyst to his very first caucus in an American Legion hall in Iowa.

This was a political expert well into his 50s, yet he'd never seen a caucus; primaries had always been his beat. He was blown away. For the first time in years of covering politics, he told me, he'd seen the true face of America.

He was right. Caucuses offer a peculiarly intimate view of a community and its people. They'll amaze you with the quality of caring and thought participants bring to the discussion. And sometimes, if you're very lucky, you'll see new, young leaders find their first toehold in the process.

Why is the Colorado caucus withering? First, because the legislature, in an ineffectual grab for national headlines, created a meaningless presidential primary that eliminated the headline race that once inspired much caucus activism. Second, because we're all getting good at sitting on the sidelines.

The Kettering Foundation's David Mathews once reminded readers that the word idiot comes from the Greeks. Privacy, they thought, was akin to stupidity. "Idiots" were incapable of finding their place in the social order.

Why bow to the trend of letting the next guy do it? Why sell out to letting money replace shoe-leather at every level of American politics? Why not keep the caucus as an open door to involvement, while continuing to provide the petition alternative?

Bighorn's goal may be to increase the number of people peripherally involved in the process - but the initiative will never replace the quality of participation the caucus can provide. Good
political talk … is where we recognize the connectedness of things - and our own connectedness. …

Good political talk is also where we discover what is common amidst our differences. -David Mathews, "Civic Intelligence"
 
Sue O'Brien was editor of the Denver Post editorial page. See passed on not long after writing this. We miss her.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Who are your neighbors?

To find out, join Nextdoor, the private social network for neighborhoods, and start connecting with your neighbors.

Using it helps us love our neighbors and do some good for them.

For more about it and to introduce it to your neighbors see http://www.nextdoor.com/!AWQZJA 

Why neighbors?



What issue? What candidate? In our representative democracy these are not the questions I ask myself very often, but rather I ask what good may I do today?

Some use their neighbors to advance their cause.

I prefer to help my neighbors learn about our Colorado Caucus, regardless of their political opinions, trusting that those neighbors  those who become block workers or precinct committee people or district captains will pick good representatives for us, or they will become candidates for elected office themselves and if they are elected they will make up their mind on particular issues. 

Ben Franklin told us we have a republic if we can keep it. Picking one issue and insisting on my way with it seems to be not in the spirit of what had made this such a great country until the late 60s to early 70s. We are a republic and not a democracy. 

And being selfish and self-centered, insisting on my own way is certainly not very neighborly. 

For more about this between now and the 2016 elections watch this educational (we hope) site sponsored by the Small Business Chamber of Commerce, Inc 

We as an organization are not affiliated with any political party, issue committee or candidate, but we cooperate with all who love the United States of America and our radical experiment in self-government that began in 1776 and continues today to the extent that we continue to be free citizens in a republic. http://www.COCaucus.org