There are two ways of looking at Mike Miles' recent endorsement of Andrew Romanoff in Colorado's Democratic U.S. Senate primary race.
On the upside, Miles — who is currently superintendent of Harrison School District 2 — rallied the Democratic base in his 2004 Senate bid against fellow Democrat Ken Salazar, even gaining a slight lead in delegates over Salazar at the party's state assembly and convention.
But in the primary election, Salazar crushed Miles, 73-27.
The Web site ColoradoPols.com, which has generally taken a dim view of Romanoff's campaign against Sen. Michael Bennet, sees the fundraising letter from Miles, which is posted below, as evidence that Romanoff has "jumped the shark."
Equating Miles, who has little political experience, with Romanoff, the former speaker of the state House, may be a stretch. But Miles' race against Salazar could illustrate the impact of money in a primary race. Romanoff has said he won't take PAC money, and Bennet is striding away from him in fundraising, most recently having raised close to $700,000 in a single night when President Barack Obama swung through town.
From the desk of Mike Miles
I am supporting Andrew Romanoff for the United States Senate and I hope that you will as well.
Washington is owned by the special interests, and the recent Supreme Court decision will only make this worse. I ran for office in 2004 because I cared about the needs of real people. There are very few members of Congress who are willing to stand up for people against the power of wealth. There are very few members of Congress who care about universal health care, who opposed the war in Iraq, who stand up for civil liberties. The members of Congress seem to care more about their jobs than our welfare. Many of them say the right things but they don't have the courage to do the right things.
Andrew is the only candidate in the race for the United States Senate in either party who has made a commitment to refuse special interest PAC contributions. He has taken a strong position against the money driven, "you come to my fundraiser and I'll vote for your bill," culture in Washington. Other candidates say they are for reform but they take the money and somehow never get around to actually changing anything.
Another reason to support Andrew is his record of leadership and accomplishment. After two years in office his peers elected him to be the Minority Leader. From that position he led the effort to get the first majority in the Colorado House in three decades. As Speaker, he passed needed legislation — Referendum C which saved us from a fiscal crisis, Build Excellent Schools Today (BEST) which put a billion dollars into our crumbling school infrastructure and HB 1407 which created double penalties for insurance companies who failed to pay valid claims — are examples. I contrast this with the gridlock in Congress.
So let's help Andrew. I don't want to sound like other fundraising emails that exaggerate the significance of the race they are asking you to contribute in, but the stakes here are actually significant. All candidates have a strong interest in getting elected. If someone gets elected because people supported him rather than wealthy corporations others will notice. Others will copy. It takes a lot of little money to get big money out of politics.
Thanks for your consideration.