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Ter Ducken

Conti reminds me of Larry Johnson, the guy from boulder who changes parties every couple of years and runs for senate, congress, or whatever, but never makes the ballot. I remember last cycle he was runnning for us senate, then when udall said he was running for senate for one day, Larry said he would run instead for congress in Udall's seat. Then when Udall dropped out, Larry said, just kidding, i'm running for senate again.

Democrats thought Conti was a good new candidate. she wasn't. She's Larry Johnson with more money.

mountain punditry

(an open post to joanna conti): please don't take the harsh reality of COPols insight personally. the truth hurts sometimes, but COPols has hit the nail on the head. you are not congressional material at this point. also, please take the advice on micro management to heart here. there is nothing worse than a political neophyte that thinks they know what they're doing only to have completely disappointed every hard working staff member and volunteer down the road. it's not just your reputation on the line, but everyone around you that has committed their time and energy in order to help you win. by discounting the advice of the professionals working around you, it only makes it that much more difficult to surround yourself with any talent down the road. political professionals talk amongst themselves ALL the time and if you gain a poor reputation then no one of any merit will want to work with you or support your candidacy. if you're not the right candidate then PLEASE step aside and let the colorado democratic party along with the dccc find someone who can win in CD-7. the LAST thing democrats need is a primary situation here. please don't make it any harder for the hand-picked candidate.

i think i read here at COPols that you might consider a run for secretary of state. it would be your best move (personally & politically) to run for this seat. this is the ONLY way that you will remain viable in the party and i'm certain you would garner more support for this effort over anything else.

Alfalfa

As a resident of the 6th District and Joanna Conti supporter, I have to say the post is pretty dead on. We had a lot of hopes for Conti and to see a campaign that only got a few percentage points higher than Lance Wright was a huge disappointment. A lot of us invested time and money in the campaign, at times against our better judgment, because we thought if there was ever a year to knock out Tancredo, 2004 was it since he was breaking his term limit pledge. Maybe the district is simply too tough for us, but we should have done better than we did.

Throughout her campaign, Conti had some good people around her, so you probably have to chalk this up to the "good campaign, bad candidate" theory of why people lose elections.

I don't think Conti is ready for a statewide race. And, I don't she would see the same type of support she got in 2004 for a race at Secretary of State - and she'd need that kind of money to have any chance. She should look no higher than state legislature.

But, whatever happened to people starting in politics at the bottom and working their way up? If someone is interested in service yet doesn't have a great deal of political experience (i.e. having more than a few years as even a registered Democrat) why not run for some of the less "glamorous" yet vitally important elected positions like school board, county seats, city seats, whatever. If you do have a personal goal of being in Congress but not a lot of experience, use those seats as a stepping stone to building a credible base. Colorado Pols is right - by aiming too high again, Conti is displaying quite an arrogant approach to service.

And, there are those (myself included) that would argue using one's skills and abilities to help better our schools by serving on a school board is more important than getting into Congress.

Finally, and sorry for the long post, let's remember that Lance Wright got 35% percent of the vote. Considering how much money he spent (wasn't it a few thousand??), I'd call that "good candidate, no campaign." At least Lance stood for something when he ran, and it wasn't all about his personal goals.

Alfalfa

In reading my post above, I called Conti's effort one that was "good campaign, bad candidate." In re-reading it, it sounds kind of contradictory to my other comments. To clarify, by "good campaign" I meant having a strong group of people, volunteers and dollars around you, which, by many accounts, Conti did. I didn't mean that the overall campaign was good, which clearly it wasn't.

Beth

What a joke. I heard similar things about her in the last race, and I can tell you this, I'll work for whoever is running against her in a primary, no matter who it is. She has no right to be running for the seventh. What an egomaniac.

pdt

Congratulations on writing the longest fact-free post I've seen in a great while. It should have been entitled, "Just call me Rush!"

From all that diatribe, I see just four items that are presented as facts, all of which are false:

1. Relied on her husband for campaign funding. You presumaby can read the campaign finance reports as well as anyone. This was not a self-funded campaign.

2. Improvement over Wright. Lance Wright got 30.0% of the vote in 2002, while Conti got 39.1% in 2004. Last time I checked, that's a 9.1% difference, a huge step in the right direction for CD6.

3. Staffers quit. Joanna's staffers and volunteers loved their candidate. There was very little turnover compared to a typical house campaign.

4. Doesn't care who she represents, lacks experience, etc. Joanna's kids all attend public schools in CD7. Could it be she has more at stake there? She will be a better representative of the voters in CD7 than in CD6. I suppose you had heart attack when Hillary Clinton ran for Senate, too.

I'm very disappointed at the disregard for facts in your post.

Alva Adams

PDT, you're right - Conti did get nine percentage points higher than Wright. Our mistake.

On the other points, however, we'll stick with what we said. We never said Conti was self-funded, but a majority of the money she raised was because of business connections from her husband. She also did self-fund $180,000.

Conti may very well have had staffers who loved her, but she did lose a lot of staffers who tired of her refusal to listen to their advice - that's a fact. Her campaign manager was incredibly frustrated at the end, but moved to Colorado from out of state and couldn't quit - and he should be commended for sticking with it regardless.

If Conti is so concerned with the issues in CD-7, where her kids go to school, then why didn't she run in CD-7 in 2004? She was running in CD-6 months before Dave Thomas had decided to run in CD-7 and could have chosen this district from the beginning. She's running in CD-7 because she can't win in CD-6 and is just looking for somewhere else to run. This is all about her.

Conti was indisputably the worst Federal candidate for office in Colorado in 2004, and she'll be the worst candidate in CD-7. Heck, Tancredo was so unafraid of her that he took a trip to Russia or somewhere in October. She has absolutely no business running for congress in CD-7.

pdt

No, the undisputably worst candidate, or at least campaign (hard to tell the difference, sometimes) in 2004 was in CD7. This is a race we absolutely should have won, an incredible waste of campaign contributions. As much as you personally hate Conti, show me the evidence that the CD7 candidate in 2004 was better. Which one beat expectations by a bigger margin?

If you're banking on Tom Tancredo's political wisdom to condemn Conti, you need look no further than his recent time spent in New Hampshire.

This is obviously something personal, and I can't claim to know what's on your mind. But show some journalistic responsibility, at least.

Susan B

sorry, pdt, but Alva is right. I live in Littleton and Conti was awful. it's not right for her to run in seven after losing in six. if she wants to run for congress, stick to running in six. we have democrats who can win in seven, and she isn't one of them.

peterco

Dave Thomas ins't running again, probably because that whole Columbine thing bit him in the ass. Peggy Lamm is running, I believe.

If Conti improved the vote total so much, why doesn't she try again? The name ID and orginazation is already there now, and there won't be the Bush GOTV operation cranking out the votes from reliable Republican areas in Douglas county. And the worst part is 2006 is probably the last shot at the seat. If Tancredo tries to run for President, then a competent Republican will win the seat and it will be locked up.

gotv

Bush GOTV helped Tancredo or any other candidate? If you saw the goons that came in with that operation, you would say that they hurt everyone in close races. What a joke.

peterco

Since Tancredo vote total was about 50,000
more than 2002, you can attribute that to either the presidental election in general or GOTV. Either way, it won't be there in 2006, and it would depend on whether Conti can keep more of her voters in the fold until 2006.

There were massive bonuses from Conti running against Tancredo. Tancredo in January was tapped out of money - he states that on his election website. It is the benefit of actually contesting seats.

Alva Adams

Tancredo had $161,352 on hand at the end of 2004.

peterco

I know, but he spent more than he took in for that election cycle, about 150 thousand more. And the personal request on his campaign website dated from January asks for money. Musgrave doesn't even do that, and she had a tougher battle.

That isn't the sign of a strong winner, unless it to fund his Pres run.

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