You are here
Home > Local News >

Meeting Senator-to-be Michael Bennet

penrose-carnegie-bennet.jpg
COLORADO SPRINGS- Governor Bill Ritter introduced his appointment to the US Senate, political novice Michael Bennet, to an audience of Springs Democrats today. Judging just by Bennet’s own words, this development is about as disappointing as it gets. Full report after this note:

Both men spoke predominantly about education, considering Michael Bennet current position as Superintendent of Denver Public Schools.

Before we contemplate Michael Bennet’s qualifications for the US Senate, let’s broaden the scope. Even though he lacks the experience of an elected office, his resumé reflects someone well connected in Washington DC and Denver. What appears to be a comforting pedigree could also cause skeptics to fear he’s a Beltway insider. Bennet’s previous work experience was as a lawyer, a mayor’s chief of staff, and a counsel to corporate investment raiders. It might be informative for us to wonder what qualifications did Bennet have in the first place, to be appointed to lead Denver Public Schools?

If that assignment smacked of a political payoff, for Bennet serving as aid to Denver Mayor Hinckenlooper during his ascendency, can we wonder if a similar incongruous motive was behind his startling promotion to the US Senate?
penrose-carnegie-bennet
Okay, okay, so get this: Bennet described his legacy with the Anschutz Corp. thus: they were turn-around specialists! He explained that Anschutz took businesses which had been gutted or neglected by unscrupulous owners, and rehabbed them to provide jobs for thousands. Is that rather at odds with what asset strippers actually do? But this wasn’t a business savvy Republican crowd. This was an assembly of earnest Democrats who wanted to believe in honest politicians.

penrose-carnegie-eric
Despite having to cross the protesters outside, and having to face our placards at the meeting, neither speaker addressed the crisis in Gaza. The nearest either came was Bennet’s answer to a question about national security, in which he explained the need to draw troops down in Iraq and refocus our energies in Afghanistan.

penrose-carnegie-rita
Though we had hands raised hoping to be called upon, we otherwise kept silent and held our posters in full confidence that many among the assembled were in full agreement with our cause.

penrose-elpomar-bennet-ritter.jpg
After their public addresses, Ritter and Bennet gave media interviews behind doors guarded by a short grey haired gentleman who kept his eyes on me. But this is an understatement. Throughout the public meeting, and afterward, this man maintained a steely confrontational gaze directly into my eyes, from across the room, or right beneath my nose. It’s a technique I recognized from Secret Service agents, except they don’t usually betray an angry scowl. This person was trying very hard to project an intimidating presence.

A few minutes after this photograph was taken, when the governor and his charge were about to emerge, this fellow walked straight up to me and began directing me to move out of the way. I assured him I was blocking no one’s path, but he simply repeated himself with amplified belligerence. I chided him about this being a PUBLIC library, and that I had no responsibility to him, and would certainly not be ordered around. Instead of negotiating, he reasserted his bossy authority. Ultimately, laughing him off turned out to be effective. Just as suddenly, he stepped back and let me be.

penrose-bennet-eric.jpg
Jonathan was able to take these pictures of both Ritter and Bennet as they passed our signs: issues which they refused to address.

penrose-zionism-racism

penrose-ritter-phyllis
Here, Governor Ritter was accosted by Phyllis. I have no idea how he was eventually able to pull away.

penrose-protest.jpg
Meanwhile, Tony had grown a spontaneous gathering outside, where we waived banners and posters to the appreciative honks of passing cars, and thank-yous from the Democrats leaving the meeting.

Our new friends, many of whom were homeless and victims of recurring incarceration, were thrilled to participate with us and beckon support from the passersby. A number of our allies were quite conversant on the issues and offered fantastic retorts to the occasional detractors. Not infrequently, to my continued surprise, we were accosted with pedestrians, inside the library and out, who would point to our signs and declare that every last vermin/scum/Palestinian needed to be eradicated before there would be peace in the Middle East.

penrose-street.jpg
Plans for a better turnout for this action suffered from the usual obstacle of being unable to reach the bulk of Colorado Springs’ peace activists. Many are still being kept deliberately out of the loop by the religious PPJPC passivists who’ve infected the local peace community.

Not surprisingly, the current PPJPC chairman did appear for the meeting, but not for the protest. He was attending as a Democratic Party member, and left when he couldn’t find a seat. Though publicly vocal about Palestinian issues, his support did not extend to putting the message before the US Senator about to represent us in DC.

One thought on “Meeting Senator-to-be Michael Bennet

  1. The signs held inside the meeting room were shown by at least one of the local TV channels on their news. Without these interventions by local antiwar activists, the media would even more be backing up the pro-war US government campaign of terrorizing civilians everywhere from Gaza to Pakistan to Afghanistan to Iraq.

    What was great was to see the spontaneous joining of our outdoor protest by the homeless people. One young woman started it, by grabbing my sign that read ‘Both Parties Suck.’ Then others begin to get into the rally, too.

    Their word was that police raids continue to occur on homeless camps locally, contrary to what has been told by city officials to the press. Who do you believe? I believe the Homeless are telling the truth, and not city police and government spokespeople.

    All the big shit Democratic Party people left through another exit route to avoid the Homeless who had taken up the antiwar protest outside. Still, we did see some of the DP schmucks leaving all self satisfied… people like Richard Skorman (Poor Richard) who told the press the new Senator looked just great! Sure he does, Richard…

Leave a Reply

Top