Citizen-owners of Memorial who object to this effort by Memorial's board to make Dr. McEvoy a millionaire as he heads for the exits can join a rally we're organizing for noon, Wednesday, outside Memorial Main on Boulder. Folks wanting to know more about ways they can fight this outrageous, insider-orchestrated giveaway can find them here: http://americansforprosperity.org/042812-s…. AFP-Co believes Council needs to vote on this, up or down. A failure to do so constitutes a dereliction of duty on which councilors should be held accountable. Memorial trustees should be fired and replaced if they refuse to comply with a “no” vote from Council. Dr. McEvoy shouldn’t be paid a penny more than his contract stipulates. We applaud Angela Dougan, Tim Leigh, Lisa Czelatdko and Mayor Steve Bach for having the common sense to oppose this. We invite everyone else to join our efforts to get the rest of City Council and the unelected board at Memorial to see the light and stop this from going forward. Here's where folks can get more info on how we're fighting this: http://americansforprosperity.org/042812-s…
You're also wrong on the facts, John, when you say that AFP wants to sell Memorial to the highest bidder. A correction would be nice. AFP has not taken a position on which proposal, if any, it will support, since we haven't seen them all. Unlike many of those Jan stacked on her task force, we have an open mind on the issue and will study all the options before taking a position, if we do. What we're insisting on is an honest and open process, which presents the citizen-owners of Memorial with a genuine choice -- not something pre-winnowed by Jan Martin and a bunch of insiders who have their own agendas and don't trust the people to make the right decision. My personal position (when not speaking for AFP) is that the sale of Memorial should have been one of those choices, and that one major flaw in the process, and bias in the process, is that this option was prematurely removed from consideration, due to a bias on the commission. But even in that case, the devil is always in the details. To say that I'm reflexively pro-sale misrepresents my personal position. Focus on trying to speak for yourself, John, and don't attempt to speak for us, by indulging in speculation unsupported by fact.
I too found Dr. Corry's comments "devastating," John. Devastatingly lame and beside the point. His reasoning, if you can call it that, is that health care professionals like himself are such a sainted, self-sacrificing (not to mention sanctimonious) class of people that the city's conflict of interest prohibitions simply don't apply to him. And that's complete BS. Corry believes he and a Memorial colleague should be able to sit on a panel tasked with judging a competition in which his employer is a participant. Would they feel the same if two employees of one of the other bidders were voting? No. They would be beside themselves in rage and indignation, justifiably. Even a first grader can understand that there's something fundamentally wrong, and unfair, in what the task force was up to. That so many city leaders (and even some local "journalists") don't is really stunning. No credible, professional, legal RFP process anywhere in the country allows interested parties to influence outcomes. The results would be disallowed and they would get their rears sued off if they did. Allowing these individuals to vote on the bids not only would have created problems in the court of public opinion, but it might have landed the city in a court of law, costing us lots of money and further delaying the resolution of this issue. That you find Corry's self-serving rationales for doing the wrong thing compelling suggests that senility really must be setting in. I think subsequent developments have shown that conflicts did, in fact, exist. In a tacit but bizarrely overreactionary admission that she was going to lose this argument, task force chair Jan Martin did what most spoiled-sports do when things don't go their way -- she tossed a fit and changed the rules, again, by ousting everyone but council members from the voting process. It was a wild overreaction to what AFP was seeking, which were recusals by three members with obvious conflicts, but I guess Jan would rather blow the process up, and penalize task force members without conflicts, than admit she made an error by including interested parties in the RFP process. The entire episode is embarrassing, because it illustrates the ad hoc, biased, seat-of-the-pants way this process is being run. Martin has turned what was just a debacle into a farce. But that's what you get when you place someone who's already made up her mind on the issue, and is determined to steer things toward her preferred outcome, in charge of what was supposed to be a deliberative process. That was the first blunder, the first conflict of interest, from which all the others follow. And this all occurred without a word of protest from others in leadership who should have known better.
I appreciate Pam Zubeck contacting me for a comment on the Memorial Task Force transparency issue but I’m not sure why she or her so-called editors at the Indy must use any mention of Americans for Prosperity to deliver another misinformed slam on the Koch brothers, who really have nothing to do with the story at hand. It’s perfectly appropriate to highlight AFP's connection to the Kochs when it seems relevant to the story: we’re proud of their record as businessmen, philanthropists and freedom-fighters. But Zubeck doesn’t just mention the Kochs, she directs readers to a now-notorious, widely-discredited hit piece on Koch Industries that she says will provide them with a “comprehensive story" about the Kochs. The piece is a case study in journalistic malpractice, as even scribes at the liberal Washington Post had to concede: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-w…. And spreading the smear only serves to raise questions about the sort of journalism practiced by the Indy. There are plenty of objective, unbiased, accurate stories about the Kochs out there, for anyone interested in getting something other than liberal spin and vilification. There are plenty of stories and blog posts refuting the linked story. A reporter interested in educating her readers, instead of indoctrinating them, would choose her source materials more carefully.
It’s also worth pointing out, in closing and just for future reference, that the Kochs provide less than 10 percent of the funding for Americans for Prosperity, with more than 80,000 donors, small, medium and large, providing the remainder. AFP now consists of nearly 2 million active members, with just over 50,000 in the state of Colorado. Making it all seem like the doings of just two brothers, even as wealthy as they are, misrepresents reality. Almost all the activities undertaken by the state chapter, moreover, are funded from state or local donors – since the Koch brothers probably have much more on their minds than whether Jan Martin is rigging the Memorial bidding process to get the outcome she wants. We enjoy such state and local financial support, and can sustain ourselves on that support, because we are effective advocates for the causes we care about.
I guess it’s that effectiveness that makes us such an irresistible target for liberal attacks.
A very interesting and enlightening piece but I must scold you for a factual error, minor to you, perhaps, but significant to me.
I am not a registered Republican; nor am I part of any party "establishment." I steer clear of party entanglements for reasons that this story makes plain. I'm one of those who keep the focus on principles, not party loyalty or political personalities. I worked for Republicans in my Washington days but drifted away from the party in the mid-1990s, when I saw the party drifting away from it's limited government moorings -- and from me. It shouldn't be surprising, therefore, that I generally side with the upstarts, and against the "old guard," in this dispute.
Amy Stephens' derision of libertarians as "anarchists" shows how little she really understands this topic, but such thinking is commonplace inside the "old" GOP, where country club collectivists and nanny-cons tend to dominate. Republicans could bring some much-needed consistency to their thought and actions, and might restore the party's pro-liberty credentials on so many issues, if they listened a little more closely to what libertarians had to say, instead of dismissing us as anarchists. Republicans may benefit in the short-run from the anti-Obama backlash, but being anti-Obama, or Democrat Lite, isn't a platform that will have much staying power. The party must present a positive, rational, consistently pro-freedom and pro-individual agenda in order to successfully compete with the pro-state, pro-collective platform of Democrats. And it still has a lot of work to do on that front.
If the pro-freedom insurgents ever successfully take back the party, maybe I'll register as a Republican again. In the meantime, I'm comfortable as an outsider. There's much more freedom of thought and action out here.
The least you could do, if you're going to write about my writing, is to include a link to the post you're writing about: http://www.locallibertyonline.org/paige_bl…. That way people can decide for themselves whether my observations about Richard rise to the level of "rancor." That some will agree with you is only natural -- it's their ox getting gored.
The timing of the pieces is coincidental. Wayne does his thing and I do mine. I would have submitted my piece to the Indy but no one there has the balls to run it. And it's just goofy -- typically, in your case -- to suggest that we've been called on to lower the boom, in coordinated fashion, by operatives inside the Bach campaign.
As a supposedly-"sage" political observer, you must know that the candidate in the most trouble is usually first to "go negative." That would suggest it's Richard who is in trouble. The only question now is whether these tactics will elevate him, or, as I suspect, drag him more rapidly down into the peat bog.
Take more care in questioning motives, John. Yours aren't pure.
Good post, John. But I feel compelled to weigh in on one issue.
I’m not sure what Tom was referencing when he linked darkened streetlights with plasma TVs, but Bernie’s criticism is also off-base, since this council can indeed be blamed, directly and indirectly, for the streetlight and trash can fiascos.
We’re directly responsible for streetlights being turned off because a majority of us -- including me, regrettably -- voted for it during the fiscal 2010 budget markup. It was the kind of penny-ante, nickel-and-dime budget cut we were stuck with since a council majority, including Bernie, wouldn’t go where the real savings are, in city pay and benefits. Bernie’s suggestion that we turned off streetlights in a bid to save police and firefighter positions doesn’t track with my recollection, since we approved the streetlight shutoff in late 2009, as a straight budget-cutting move, and only began refilling public safety vacancies a year later, when debating the 2011 budget. No one at the time we turned off the streetlights said we were doing it to save public safety jobs. It was just what we were stuck doing because the courage was lacking to do anything bolder.
I supported the streetlight shutoff and take responsibility for it. But I did so believing and hoping that a majority of my colleagues would also have the courage to defy the then-city manager and tackle city pay. That didn’t happen. A majority on this council cared more about preserving city salaries than preserving city services. That left us nibbling around the edges.
Council didn’t approve the removal of trash cans specifically, as far as I know, but it did so indirectly, in my opinion, by failing to challenge and overrule the then-city manager when she took this obviously-petty and punitive action. Council is supposed to sit as a policy-making board, leaving the day-to-day details to the manager, but that general rule is applied selectively. Council could have ordered that the trash cans immediately be returned, and could have found the money to pay for this, had it wanted to. But it didn’t want to, either because it was cowed by the then-city manager or because it was content to see this take place.
Tom Gallagher may have confused me on the issue of plasma TVs. But he’s spot-on when he talks in his campaign about the failure of this council to take “ownership” of its actions. Bernie’s whining about being "blamed for everything" is emblematic of just that.
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