Andrew Romanoff, the likely Democratic nominee for the 6th Congressional District, and failed U.S. Senate primary contender in 2010, talked to Denver Westword on Friday about his upcoming campaign and had some interesting things to say. In particular it was his bloviating about special interests that caught our attention, as we thought that trope had been trampled pretty effectively last go-round.
“I see folks in Washington forgot the people who sent them there…
“…Special interests have enough politicians on their payroll already…
“I don’t think you should have to sell your house to serve in the House… There’s something wrong about a system that says, ‘Only millionaires need apply.”
OK, maybe Andrew Romanoff (D-Renting) got a bulk rate discount on campaign clichés. Maybe he’s really a starry-eyed amateur who thinks he can raise money for his campaign by ringing a bell outside a Whole Foods Market. Or, just maybe he’s picked a really ironic campaign platform to challenge Rep. Mike Coffman. Why is it ironic?
Hmmm, let us count the ways:
(1) Four millionaires bought Romanoff a really nice gavel in 2005. The Gang of Four (Tim Gill, Pat Stryker, Jared Polis, Rutt Bridges) weren’t exactly average lefties who dropped some coins in Romanoff’s campaign jar after he spoke at their Common Cause chapter meeting. They dropped millions and bought him the Legislature.
He can’t pretend he wasn’t there.
According to Rob Witwer/Adam Schrager’s The Blueprint, Romanoff accompanied Rep. Alice Madden on a fundraising pitch to Pat Stryker and Al Yates in October 2003. Did he oppose big money in politics at that meeting? Who “sent him” to the Speaker’s chair, and does he remember them?
(2) Only millionaires need apply to run for Congress? Maybe if you’re a Democrat. It worked for Jared Polis. It worked for whats-his-name…ahem, Michael Bennet [clearly Romanoff is still sore about that one]. But can you bang the class warfare drum against Mike Coffman — a lifelong military grunt who served in both Iraq wars?
In fact, let’s compare Romanoff’s race to become Speaker of the House to Coffman’s last Congressional race and see who is really a man of the people. According to OpenSecrets.org:
• Average individual contribution to Coffman for Congress in 2012: $1,100
• Average individual contribution to Romanoff’s State House 527, Alliance for Colorado Families, in 2004: $42,888.
(3) It’s likely Andrew would have needed to sell his house to run for CD 6 anyway, as his former Denver domain didn’t reside in CD6.
(4) No one said it better than Romanoff’s former Democrat opponent, Michael Bennet, in 2010, with this ad pointing out that not only has Romanoff taken gobs of money from special interest Political Action Committees (PACs), but he was running his own PAC until four months after he entered the U.S. Senate race. There’s a word that comes to mind here…
What is Romanoff going to do when the DCCC comes offering money? When Emily’s List starts running ads on his behalf?
Will he ban his current campaign staff from going to work for them this cycle?
What would happen if members of his current CD6 campaign team left to go work for one of those soft money establishments?
Is he going to disavow big money in politics then?
We certainly hope he does. It would be a big change from the Andrew Romanoff that Colorado knows best.