Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Former candidates side with Bach in mayoral runoff

City Sage

Posted By on Wed, Apr 27, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Steve Bach

Now that was a surprise — to me, at least!

The decision by defeated mayoral candidates Tom Gallagher, Brian Bahr, and Buddy Gilmore to endorse Steve Bach gives his campaign a substantial boost, and may further reassure conservative voters who may have been concerned about Bach’s character.

I was surprised because, after contacting both Bahr and Gilmore, I came away with the impression that neither was anxious to endorse. I expected a mealy-mouthed statement along the lines of “We are impressed by the vision and competence of both Steve and Richard, and we urge voters to consider their records, their positions, and their plans for revitalizing our great city, blah blah blah…”

Nope. They collectively toed the right-wing line, even scolding Skorman for attacking those poor, pitiful, much-maligned developers.

Why?

Clearly, Bach’s views are more consonant with theirs than are Skorman’s. But there may be other factors in play.

Take Tom Gallagher. Not to put too fine a point on it, he needs a job. While it’s doubtful that either Skorman or Bach would hire him, it makes sense to have a friend in the mayor’s office — or, at the very least, not to have an enemy.

Bach strikes me as a guy who holds grudges, who doesn’t forget slights, and who will remember who supported him when he needed it. Skorman’s just the opposite — he doesn’t have an enemies list and is willing to work with anybody who shares common goals. Endorsing Bach won’t damage any future relationship with Mayor Skorman, while endorsing Skorman would freeze you out with Mayor Bach.

And while Buddy Gilmore and Brian Bahr scarcely need jobs, something of the same nature may be in play here. Whether or not they intend to seek elected office in the future, they’d probably like to be involved in some way. They might seek places on boards or commissions, or just the opportunity to present their views on specific issues directly to the mayor. Endorse Skorman, or sit out the election, and Mayor Bach might not return their calls.

By themselves, the endorsements aren’t a big deal. But combined with the well-orchestrated pushback against Skorman’s anti-developer campaign theme, which the pro-Bach forces are cleverly using to put Richard in the anti-business, anti-jobs, anti-decent hardworking conservative suburbanite box, they’ll have an effect.

And although Skorman may have outraised Bach 2-1 in the past couple of weeks, that doesn’t mean that organizations such as Americans for Prosperity, nationally funded by the opera-loving right-wing billionaire Koch brothers (and locally headed by talk show host/Doug Lamborn victim Jeff Crank) don’t have plenty of money to play with.

So the Skorman forces had better step up their game — and they are. After a glass of wine at Rico’s last night, we wandered over to Skorman headquarters at 8:45. I expected that it’d be deserted, but there were dozens of volunteers still there, and they weren’t drinking coffee, gossiping, or preparing to leave.
Their guy needs to regain the momentum that he so clearly had after April 7, and much will depend upon his performance at the May 2 candidate forum at the Pikes Peak Center. Bach has proved to be a skilled counterpuncher, and is far more polished and credible on the campaign trail than he was a couple of months ago.

Yet Skorman’s army of supporters may yet prevail. Despite the howls of tea partiers on the right and unreconstructed radicals on the left, we live in a democracy. Everyone gets one vote: you, me, Bahr, Gallagher, Gilmore, and all of Richard’s contributors.

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