The Denver Post put out a winners and losers list yesterday from the reapportionment process. Rather than annotate their entire (flawed) list we wanted to focus on one area they got it totally and completely wrong — the placement of the two Marios.
Belonging at the top of the loser list is Mario Carrera. He went from someone getting glowing reviews in the papers to someone despised across the state by conservatives. Starting off a Super Mario, over the course of the commission, he showed his true colors and ended up Super Partisan Mario.
If there was any doubt as to Carrera's spectacularly failed leadership, the ultimate repudiation of the scam that Carrera perpetrated came when Governor Hickenlooper, in a very public way, gave Carrera a big, fat tisk, tisk, tisk.
As the Post's list rightly recognizes, Mario Carrera's decision to donate $2,500 at an Obama fundraiser while chairing the Reapportionment Commission as the nominal "Unaffiliated" voter representative was an enormously stupid decision. As polls show real Unaffiliated voters in Colorado think quite poorly of the President, Carrera couldn't have done a worse job in representing that vital constituency.
On top of his sham voter registration, Carrera rigged the process to favor the Democrat-drawn maps, allowing the Democrats to review the Republican maps for four days before submitting their own. Adding insult to injury, he also supported banning amendments and even denying Republicans the opportunity to submit a minority report.
The fix was in and it came courtesy of a man named Mario Carrera. We'd say that qualifies him as a full-blown loser. No mixed bag there.
Also misplaced is the Republican Commissioner, Mario Nicolais, who the Post also places on the "Mixed Bag" list. Fellow GOP Commissioner and Colorado College professor Bob Loevy has dubbed Nicolais "the de facto leader of the Republicans on the 2011 Reapportionment Commission."
While the Republicans got the shaft by Mario Carrera, their consolation was having a leader willing to speak the truths the media refused to print (until it was too late). After Carrera lied through his teeth in public to Nicolais about the different deadlines Carrera held Democrats to compared to Republicans, Nicolais seemed to realize the fix was in.
After Carrera voted for maps that should have been inadmissible under his own rules, and blocked the GOP from having any say in the process, Nicolais let loose, calling Carrera a "wolf in sheep's clothing" and pointing out his bald faced lies.
It was Nicolais's verbal pummeling of Carrera that finally convinced the media to mention the real Carrera backstory.
Had Nicolais not gone on his tear we might still be reading the counter-factual drivel from the media that Carrera is an "Unaffiliated" voter who simply decided to side with the Democrats' maps because they were the better maps in his opinion.
While the GOP was most assuredly given the shaft by Carrera and his fellow Democrats in reapportionment, we can thank Mario Nicolais for ensuring a wide swath of Coloradans know why and how.
That's not a mixed bag in our books, that's a full fledged winner winner chicken dinner.
Maybe if the Democrats had listened to the Greater Mario, their own Governor wouldn't have expressed such distaste with them and their scam-i-fied reapportionment process.