Friday, May 8, 2009

Tidwell our savior?

Newt Gingrich once admitted that when he was in High School, he decided that he wanted to be Speaker of the House. When Joe Lieberman was in college, his friends used to refer to him as “Mr. President”, because even back then, he had a strong interest in politics. I completely understand why someone would decide early that politics was something they wanted to pursue; climbing the political ladder is not a quick process. It can take years to develop the engaging personality, the personal contacts, and the mindset necessary to be successful both as a candidate and as an office holder.

But sometimes we dream. We dream that somewhere out there there is a candidate who can and will burst suddenly onto the political scene. They’ll have solid policy proposals, a sharp wit, and a firm handshake. They’ll be charismatic, full of energy, and people will instantly love them. Sure, they’ll start out small-but once people get to know them the crowds will grow larger. Their standing in the polls will increase and conventional wisdom will be confounded until alas! they are elected to the office in which they were seeking. And all of this is accomplished without the slow and methodical rise to power that so many others have painstakingly subjected themselves to.

Yesterday a gentleman named Cleve Tidwell announced his candidacy for the United States Senate in Acacia Park. Was this unknown businessman from the Denver area to be the candidate we dreamt will swoop in and save the day?


Not just “no”, but seriously…..NO!

Where to start?

When I first heard about Mr. Tidwell’s announcement, I started by googling his name. I found some interesting posting on blogs from people obviously trying to generate excitement about the campaign. The jewel was this one left at

“So yesterday I receive this verbatim email message from a mysterious “Victorila Rasheem” (all errors of spelling and syntax preserved):

“I think taht your website should do a think on Cleve Tidwell. Most say that he has the support of most if not all of the major donors in the state. Also much of the grassroots is excited for him and is backing him to be the senator for colorado. I do not know if Dick Wadhams found him or not but if he did it was a good find because he is a good candidaet and wiill win. He is a very good speaker and will be at most events when he is senator because he will represent people in Colorado. Also, he has not spoken with the press so whatever you might hear if anything is probably just their way of trying to create a story or gossip. He has wonderful friends in the news media and when the time is right he will discuss with them. He is a very busy man but he will get the job done because that is his way.”

Uhm, yeah.

I don’t want to cast stones here-I frequently misspell words or use prepositions or commit other atrocities that would make my former English teachers cry-but my writings haven't been bad enough to where people wonder if my attempt to make someone look good isn’t actually a thinly veiled attempt to make them look bad.

Needless to say, it’s not a good first impression.

Then there was yesterday’s announcement…

According to my source, it was an interesting announcement-if you like train wrecks.

First there was Mr. Tidwell’s staff. According to my source, some of them were perfectly nice, cordial, and professional, while others apparently don’t understand that their actions speak for their candidate. A couple of pointers: it’s a campaign, not a bar. Staffers hitting on other staffers at a campaign event are displaying incredibly poor taste. And while neither my source nor me are entirely clear on the context of this one, the words “Hey, did you know that the Star of David is really a swastika?” should never be uttered by a staffer at an event-even in jest. In fact, let’s put that under the category of “should never be uttered by anyone at any time”, shall we?

Secondly, my source and others seem to think that Mr. Tidwell is a nice enough guy, but he doesn’t seem to have a lot of direction in his quest for the U.S. Senate. His “announcement” at Acacia Park contained no real speech, so no one could come away with a cohesive message as to why he or anyone else should think that he is the best candidate for the office he is seeking. How is that supposed to make me feel comfortable about our prospects of taking out Senator Bennett if a candidate can’t even convey a cohesive message?

Finally, Mr. Tidwell’s invitations referenced the fact that they would be serving food (BBQ pork) in protest of the Federal government’s penchant for pork. Does anyone else see the irony of protesting an entitlement system that gives people something for free by giving them free…pork? Wait, what?

So for each of you out there, I have a simple proposition: save your time and effort. As it stands now, Mr. Tidwell is not the unknown untested candidate with the skills to break away from the pack and save us at the end of the day. He is simply the unknown and untested candidate who if he is our nominee will only prove that the Colorado Republican Party is indeed in a sad state of affairs.


  1. This blog does not- at all- accurately reflect anything that happened surrounding the announcement yesterday.

    First, the Tidwell announcement was very interactive and took place around the state. I know because I woke up to a Twitter message saying he'd announce that day.

    He made the official announcement and speech in Denver at a college campus and then did a meet-and-greet in Colo Springs to get to know people on an individual basis.

    My sources tell me that the event was very professional, the staffers handled themselves like responsible adults and the atmosphere was very relaxed. Probably could not have been a finer event.

    I'm looking forward to what Cleve will offer as a candidate, and I know it's not anything like what this blog tries to impress upon readers.

  2. So jokes about the star of David or hitting on staffers constitues professional behavior to you Constitutional Reporter? Care to explain how that is?

  3. Constitutional Reporter, don't you work for Cleve Tidwell?

    As for what "Cleve will offer as a candidate," it's not just this blog that doesn't seem to like him. In case you haven't noticed, virtually everything written about Cleve, rambling cheerleading spam from his staff notwithstanding, is neutral at best and extremely negative at worst (mostly negative).

    Most people without serious delusions would be trying to figure out why every blogger who happens to write anything about Cleve thinks he's a joke - it's almost like there's a pattern emerging.

  4. From what we know about the campaign, the staff is entirely volunteer.

    The Constitutional Reporter is a student newspaper in Denver. Our staff has met with Cleve Tidwell and we think he deserves some support on the internet and in the news.

    Our blog maintains fairness and respect for all Republican candidates, as per Reagan's 11th commandment- "Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican."
    We hold all conservative blogs to the same high standard.

    Here are some positive blogs/articles about Cleve:

  5. I'm calling you out CR. Your previous comments weren't about Reagan's 11th Commandment at all-they were about defending Tidwell. Certain members of his staff flat out were out of line, and we as Republicans have a responsibility to hold ourselves to a higher standard. If you want to excuse bad behavior by hiding behind Reagan's 11th commandment, then fine. But the voters aren't going to be so forgiving. We have a responsibility to keep our own house clean-if we ddon't the voters will.

    And that's why we've lost.

  6. No Haners, I am calling you out. Give us the name of this person. Who done it? If you can provide a name, then we can maybe consider your credibility. If you can provide a recording of some kind, well then we have proof. Until then, we have only an accusation that has been unfairly floated.

    My position is to clarify that this isn't just hearsay.

    As I stated above, the Constitutional Reporter staff thinks that Cleve Tidwell deserves some support on the internet and in the news.

  7. My source has identified the staffer as Bob Clark. He introduced himself to my source as Mr. Tidwell's e-campaign coordinator. I will see if I can get an e-mail address for him and get a comment. That would be interesting, wouldn't it?

    And with all due respect, Mr. Tidwell doesn't deserve support-he should have to earn it just like everyone else who runs for office.

  8. I'm calling you out "Constitutional Reporter." You are working for Tidwell. Give this "we" crap a break because everyone knows who you are at this point and that you work for Tidwell. You don't get off the hook because he doesn't have any money to pay his staff.

  9. Haners -

    I think that you've forgotten which side of the aisle this is. As a Conservative I consider the nature of the evidence.

    Your post is nothing more than second hand innuendo and half researched smear.

    You chose to give voice to anonymous accusations, but also to do so anonymously.

    You chose to act as a Coward.

    That alone indicates the weakness of your position.

    As for getting a comment from Bob Clark; Doing so before posting this piece would have shown a level of integrity and professionalism that I suspect you do not possess.

  10. Oh Purefires, I know what side of the aisle I'm on, and that is why we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard.

    I welcome you to consider the nature of the evidence. I submit to you that no one-not a single person-has told me that I have misquoted anyone. They've said that I'm not a conservative, they've said that I should shut up, but not a single person has challenged whether or not what I said was really said.

    If you want to call me a coward for posting anonymously, then fine. However I notice that you are not posting under your name either. So until you tell me who you are, you too are a coward, and thus your position is as weak as mine.

    However, you are correct on one point-I should have tried to get a comment from Bob Clark before I named him. But you'll notice that I did not include his name in my original post and no intention of doing so until pressed for it by Mr. Tidwell's supporters. I was happy enough to leave the commentor anonymous but that side wouldn't have it. In any case, I offer my apologies to Mr. Clark here, and in private should he respond to my message. But I do not apologize for writting about what he said. Campaign staffers represent their candidate. If Mr. Clark had said what he said in the privacy of a conversation between him and me, I never would have quoted it. But given the fact that he said he said it during a campaign event where he was operating as a volunteer for his candidate, it represents himself and Mr. Tidwell poorly.

    That said, I am a reasonable person. If Mr. Clark admits his mistake and apologizes, I will a) blog a full page story soley about Mr. Clark's strength of character for being able to admit that he made a mistake and post it everywhere that I referenced this story, and b) never mention it again. Our ranks are filled with people who make mistakes, but not enough who apologize for them once they're made.

    However, my failing to try to get a comment from Mr. Clark isn't an integrity issue, it was simply a professional mistake which I hope to not make again. You're grasping for straws indeed in jumping to such a conclusion.

  11. My name is Bob Clark. I have volunteered with Mr. Tidwell’s campaign (unless you count two pieces of pizza, one Mountain Dew, two Cokes, and three hot dogs as professional reimbursement.)

    Further, I have been personally accused by Haners of outrageous and disgusting behavior on this Blog Site and others.

    Haners has belatedly approached me for a private comment regarding his blog post on Jeff Crank’s Blogspot, and here on Rocky Mountain Right.

    Mr. Haners, with all due respect, I hardly trust your objectivity, and prefer to cut out the middle-man.

    So, where do I start?

    First you quoted a blog from Ben Degrow’s website without showing a link, so people can see the whole story.

    If you had bothered to scroll down to the comments you would have been made aware that Team Tidwell had made a rather lengthy post disavowing this particular communication as soon as it was brought to our attention.

    You also asserted that the Barbecue was Cleve Tidwell’s formal announcement. This was not the case, and was specifically stated in the post covering Mr. Tidwell’s announcement on Face the State

    I mention that particular post because you commented on it. Had you read the post you commented on, you would of known the formal (with a speech) announcement was in Denver, not Colorado Springs.

    Now, as to what have become the personal attacks.

    Mr. Haners, by your own admission, you were not at the rally. You quote a single anonymous source, and did not bother to ask for a comment, from me, or the campaign, regarding your allegations until you had already made them public. You decided Hear-Say was all the evidence you needed.

    Your motive for this action has already been questioned by other comment posters and, as you have apologized I am willing to see this as a lapse in judgment and not a malicious attack.
    If you had taken the time to communicate with me, or the campaign, your concerns would have most certainly been answered in full, avoiding this long, ugly mess.

    Let me be perfectly clear: I did not make the statement that you have ascribed to me.

    Further, I, and the gentleman whom you accuse me of saying it to, have no recollection of hearing such an offensive statement made at the Barbecue. FYI his name is James Cagle, and he is Jewish.

    In your comments on the Jeff Crank Blog, you stated, “Our ranks are filled with people who make mistakes, but not enough who apologize for them once they are made.” In this respect, I think we agree.

  12. Thank you for your reply Bob.

    Simply put: I don't buy it. My source was good enough to identify you, and to give me a good enough description for you to identify who you were talking to. But we're supposed to believe that she made that up? Please.

    She heard your conversation and even notated the fact that the person that you were talking to rolled his eyes and caught him saying "Bob, if you ever say that again...".

    I'm glad to hear that we agree that it's important for people to apologize for their mistakes. But doing so first requires admission to a mistake.

    Bob, I don't think your racist or anything like that. I think you made a stupid comment, and that at worst you're guilty of is insensitivity and unprofessionalism. But let's not insult the intelligence of people who have nothing to gain by lying.

    Finally, the postcard that my source showed me indicated that the event would be a campaign announcement. Maybe it was a printing error, or maybe the language didn't change between the cards going to Denver and the ones going to Colorado Springs. But at the end of the day, it's not my responsibility to explain that.

  13. Haners and Harbinger- journalism should be pursued with a much higher standard than you seem to represent.

    Haners, thanks for admitting a mistake. Given the available information and the complete story, you should now admit that the whole article was a verifiable mistake.

    Please see the following link with the full story, including direct quotes from both Bob Clark and James Cagle, the people in question. Haners, before you call yourself a professional in any sense of the word, make sure you do some fact-checking and asking around. You cannot rely on your one "mysterious source" you call so reliable. Just some professional advice.

    For a write-up of how this story would have been reported by real, objective journalists, please follow the link below. Note: we do not rely on hear-say from unidentified sources, no matter how reliable we may find them or how much regard we hold for them. We only rely on substantiated evidence and fact directly from the source. We ask questions and give you answers.

  14. For the record-
    I have met both Bob Clark and James Cagle several times and I will personally verify that Bob Clark would never say something like this. In fact, I will go as far to say that for all the volunteer supporters I have met on Cleve Tidwell's campaign. I don't think any of them are capable of saying something anywhere near the accusation posted here. I'll say the same thing for Frazier's supporters- all nice, responsible guys. I have not met Buck's supporters but I am sure they are equally nice as well.

  15. Haners,

    Apparently you have confused ‘accusation’ with ‘evidence’. Since you have shown no new evidence, and I have nothing more to add, I believe this conversation is over.

    I’m just going to have to trust the readers, and more importantly the voters of Colorado to not take unsubstantiated opinion as Gospel.

    Out of respect for The Jeff Crank Show, I believe any more comments with out new evidence from either side will simply start a Flame War.

  16. Nice try "constitutional reporter"-my source is solid. She's not with any campaign and has no reason to lie. I don't have the same thought of the accused, which has every reason to lie to protect their reputation. I stand by my postings, as well as my accusations towards Mr. Clark and the Tidwell campaign. Given the responses that I have seen here, and other reasons, I can understand why my source wishes to remain un-named. However, I trust that given the fact that the staffer in question isn't going to change the behavior and wishes to pretend it never happened, my posting will be validated at another time.

    As I said to Bob on Rocky Mountain Right, I sincerely wish him the best and I hope that he is a better representative for the Tidwell campaign in the future.