Thursday, March 31, 2016

Letter to the Editor

Honest John Shafroth, then Governor of Colorado, called a special session of the legislature
in 1910 to push through reform measures to help clean up Colorado politics, caused in large
part by the domination of party bosses.

The 1910 Special Session Bill 2 created our wonderful, unique Colorado Caucus system, which 
served us well until we almost killed it experimenting with a Presidential Primary in the 90’s. 

It has still not fully recovered. 

Those participating for the first time this year or over the past couple of election cycles have
not seen it at it’s best. Both state party chairs have actively worked against the system they
were entrusted with, and whether it was intentional sabotage or just neglect the result was
chaos and a bad experience for most of the 6,000 gatherings across the state.

The two major political parties will be holding state conventions over the next two weekends.
I hope delegates who’ve seen our Colorado Caucus in better days will stand up for it in the
debate on resolutions, and that no one will sign Initiative 98 being pushed by a corporate
sponsor that will take us back to pre-reform days and party bosses.

John Wren
Registered Representative
Save the Caucus, a registered Colorado political committee
1881 Buchtel Blvd. #501
Denver, CO 80210
www.COCaucus.org  (303)861-1447

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Save the Caucus! Don't sign 98!

Save the Caucus! Don’t sign 98!


The room is buzzing with conversation. Neighbors who may only have shared brief greetings in the past are now discussing pressing public policy issues and presidential candidates who will shape the nation for decades. 
Neighbors connect with each other at levels of nuance and depth that is nonexistent for passive subjects watching the nonstop chatter of today’s news media. They discover common ground that is translated into political action by their representatives at the local, state and federal levels.
This is the wonderful Colorado Caucus..  This is the grassroots of our representative democracy at its very best. In some 6,000 gatherings across Colorado citizens interact in an iron-sharpening-iron forums that challenge, enlighten, clarify. 
This is usually the Colorado Caucus, the wonderful grassroots system that has served us well since 1912 until recently. It was almost killed with a misguided experiment with a Presidential Primary for three election cycles, the test ended in 2004. It was never fully restored to health, and it has been under attack by powerful forces ever since 1912.

These forces are united by a single idea: to dupe Colorado citizens into reverting back to the pre-reform days, with party bosses having almost no oversight from rank-and-file party members.

If the Empire, in StarWars terms, fools enough into signing and then voting for Initiative 98, our wonderful Coloradan grassroots will once again be replaced with the astroturf of a Presidential Primary. This is not a new fight.
Save The Caucus, a Colorado political committee, was first formed to do precisely that, to save the Colorado Caucus, which would have been killed by Amendment 29 in 2002. Despite being outspent 1400 to 1, Amendment 29 was defeated 60% to 40%.

The committee was formed by John Wren, Phil Perington, Frank & Sylvia Sullivan, Sharron and Ben Klein, , JoAnne & Dan Gray, Ruth Prendergast, Bill Armstrong and many others to fight Amendment 29, which would have killed what was left of the Colorado Caucus that had almost died trying to co-exist with expensive Presidential Primaries that were tried in 1992, 1996 and 2000. We fully re-adopted the caucus system in 2004.
Wren recently reactivated Save the Caucus with the Colorado Secretary of State and listed himself as registered agent. “Our intention was to be ready if a ballot initiative arose that would have the same impact as Amendment 29 in 2002, and that has now happened with the Secretary of State’s approval of the title of Initiative 98, the Trojan Horse legislation with a poison pill that could take either party back 100 years to the corruption that existed then that finally stopped with the progressive reforms adopted by states across the country.

Why is the Colorado Caucus worth saving? Here's what CU political scientists very familiar and experienced in it's operations before our experiment with the Presidential Primary has said:
“…(The Colorado Caucus— the unique Colorado system adopted in 1912) permits citizens to run for office even though they may not be the ‘pets’ of the party organization, and at the same time it discourages persons without any real stature and public standing from becoming candidates,” wrote Curtis Martin and Wallace Stealey of the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 1967.
Caucuses are held every other year in 3,000 neighborhoods across Colorado, often in public spaces such as schools, and also in homes that are handicapped accessible. This is the start of a process that ends up with delegates going to the Democratic and Republican national conventions, where they will vote for a nominee for each party to represent the voters in the general election. 
At each neighborhood caucus, members of one of the major political parties vote for delegates to their county assembly. At the caucus and assembly citizens have the chance to persuade their neighbors about why their preferred candidate should be elected. A candidate must garner a minimum number of votes to be presented at the next level. At the county assemblies, some of those delegates will be chosen to go to the seven congressional district assemblies and others to represent the candidate at the state assembly April 16. From there, delegates are chosen for the national convention, where they will have a chance to choose their political party’s nominee for President of the United States of America.
Some say our Colorado Caucus is too complicated. It is true that to be a self-governing citizen takes time. The obsession our culture has with instant gratification is not healthy for our society when it comes to important matters such as who represents us politically. 
"I love the caucus process," Chuck Broerman, El Paso County clerk and recorder, told the Colorado Springs Gazette in February. "I really enjoy the fact that grass-roots people can get in and participate in the process and make a decision about who the candidates are going to be."
If there are bad leaders in the party or among elected representatives, the Precinct Caucus enables concerned citizens to begin a powerful process to set a new direction.  A Presidential Primary only allows the quick pull of a lever or check of a box, the opportunity to easily correct problems is lost, which is exactly why dictatorial party leaders hate our wonderful Colorado Caucus. 
People complain that our nation’s elections are dominated by monied interests. Our 6,000 Colorado Precinct Caucus gatherings are a powerful corrective to this domination. The Colorado Caucus enables those who feel powerless to have a voice and enter the political process. Apathy about governance disappears when the politically-poor find their voice and connect with neighbors. Many, many of these formerly silent citizens over the past 100 years have subsequently been elected to public office. 
“We're systematically replacing ‘social capital’ with plain old monetary capital (with primaries),” wrote Sue O'Brien in 2002. “Colorado's traditional caucus-convention system, in contrast, rewards the shoe-leather and diligence. It provides a low-cost way for aspirants to work the neighborhoods, investing energy instead of dollars.”
Those screaming “Kill the Caucus” say the 6,000 neighborhood gatherings for a couple of hours every two years creates radicalization, but the opposite is true. When they are well led, which they were not this year, face to face discussion helps citizens realize the people they share their votes with are real human beings with similar life struggles, experiences and desires. 
Washington State has estimated changing from a Presidential Primary to a caucus-assembly system like the Colorado Caucus would save $11 million. Political parties pay for the caucus.
Cost of Presidential Primary— $Millions. The experience of shared humanity lost— Priceless. That is why it is so important that we once again Save the Caucus. Only suckers sign 98.

For more see Colorado Caucus News (click here) or call John Wren at (303)861-1447. Also call to volunteer for:  1) the new steering committee; 2) creating a new website that will accept small contribution; and 3) recruiting a paid staff and political advisor that will be hired, unless Initiative 98 is withdrawn by April 20.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Creator of the Colorado Caucus, best tool for the common person to serve in elected public office.


Creator of the unique Colorado Caucus, the best elements of the progressive reform, the caucus-assembly power to get those other than the choice of the powerful party bosses into public office.

John Franklin Shafroth (June 9, 1854 – February 20, 1922) was a United States Representative, Senator, and Governor from Colorado.

1 Early life
Born in Fayette, Missouri, he attended the common schools and graduated from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1875. He studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1876 and commenced practice in Fayette. He moved to Denver, Colorado in 1879 and continued the practice of law.

2 Political career
He was city attorney from 1887 to 1891 and was elected as a Republican to the Fifty-fourth Congress as a Repre- sentative. He then joined other Colorado officials such as Senator Henry M. Teller, splitting from the Republicans to join the Silver Republican third party, on whose ticket he was reelected to the Fifty-fifth, Fifty-sixth, and Fifty- seventh Congresses.[1] To the Fifty-eighth Congress, he presented credentials as a Democratic Member-elect. Thus, he served in the U.S. House from March 4, 1895, until his resignation on February 15, 1904, when he de- clared that, due to fraud in 29 electoral precincts, he was unable to legitimately assert that he had won the election, and requested that his opponent, Robert W. Bonynge, re- place him.[2] Subsequently, Shafroth was often referred to (sometimes admiringly, sometimes sarcastically) as “Honest John.”[3]
Shafroth was Governor of Colorado from 1909 to 1913, and was instrumental in bringing in Colorado’s ballot ini- tiative institutions. In 1912, he was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. Senate, where he served one term from March 4, 1913, to March 3, 1919; he was an unsuccessful can- didate for reelection in 1918. While a Senator, Shafroth was chairman of the Committee on Pacific Islands and Puerto Rico (Sixty-third through Sixty-fifth Congresses), the leading Senate sponsor of the Jones-Shafroth Act of 1917 which granted citizenship to Puerto Ricans, and a member of the Committee on the Philippines (Sixty-fifth Congress).

3 Later life and death
After leaving the Senate, he served as chairman of the War Minerals Relief Commission from 1919 to 1921.
John F. Shafroth died in 1922 and was interred in Fairmount Cemetery in Denver. His personal and of- ficial papers are archived at several locations includ- ing the Colorado State Archives (gubernatorial papers), the Colorado Historical Society Library, and the Denver Public Library's Western History and Genealogy Depart- meant.

4 References
  1. [1]  Hagerman, Frank (July 2004). “John Franklin Shafroth”. The Colorado Lawyer 33 (7): 15. Retrieved 2013-06-16.
  2. [2]  VeryHonestManAstoundsLowerHouseofCongress,in The Tacoma Times (via Chronicling America); published February 15, 1904; retrieved 2015-01-03.
  3. [3]  Leonard,StephenJ.;Noel,ThomasJ.;Walker,DonaldL., Jr. (2003). Honest John Shafroth: A Colorado Reformer. University Press of Colorado. ISBN 978-0-942576-07-8.

Honest John Shafroth: A Colorado Reformer http://www.alibris.com/Honest-John-Shafroth-A-Colorado-Reformer-Stephen-J-Leonard/book/23788507#.VvBa_AXmkXo.twitter

Caucus News

Colorado Caucus articles and videos posted each day on http://Facebook.com/Colorado.Caucus.News

Your comments there are very welcome, we just ask that there be no personal attacks, off subject comments, rants, or over-posting (one comment is usually best, on rare occasions two, if there is more link to another URL where you and whoever you are engaging can have an extended conversation.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Will you help us?

Former President Carter and others have observed that the United States is now an oligopoly, ruled by an elite of the rich and powerful.

Political scientists have repeatedly established that the best way for the common person to counter the power of an oligarchy is what we have here in Colorado, our Colorado Caucus (search on Google for more about it and “oligarchy.”)

We know from 3 recent election cycles of experience here in Colorado that a Presidential Primary kills the Colorado Caucus. That’s why we switched back in 2004 to what has served our state so well since 1912, part of the Teddy Roosevelt progressive reforms, the Colorado Caucus.

Chaos has been created by two state party chairs who sabotaged the March 1 event by locking arms and calling for the end on TV the weekend before, clearly not doing adequate preparation and training,

Now an unholy alliance of top party leaders and the rich and powerful are trying to kill the Colorado Caucus again.

It is our intention to hire staff, recruit a statewide volunteer network, and do an advertising campaign to fight the Initiative that was approved in the Title Hearing yesterday. If you or someone you know has experience with this sort of effort please contact us.  We need your help to be able to fight this battle. Send your check or just a note of encouragement and/or your willingness to help to “Save the Caucus” 1881 Buchtel Blvd. #501, Denver, CO 80210

Thank you for your support as we fight to save the last hope for the common person to serve in elected public office.

John S. Wren, Registered Agent
Save the Caucus, a Colorado political committee.
www.COCaucus.org
(303)861-1447

Monday, March 7, 2016

Why Save the Caucus is important:

It is a good idea to get rid of the Colorado Caucus from the perspective of a rich, powerful person like Donald Trump and some of the people pushing the Presidential Primary certainly fall into that category.

Political party leaders, now that they are in power, would like to kill the caucus because they know it would greatly increase their power, that was one of the primary reasons Colorado adopted it in 1912. Until then party leaders would just place who they wanted on the primary election ballot. The Colorado Caucus made who the party chooses to put on the primary ballot much more democratic.

That's why the state chairs of both major political parties have locked arms to kill the Colorado Caucus, they know it will greatly increase their power.

The person who benefits most from the Colorado Caucus is the average, ordinary person because it increases his or her political power many times over. 

The objection is sometimes raised, what about the elderly and others who might not be able to participate? Same as a jury trial, if they can't do it then they don't have to. Does it limit their political power? Only if they let it. Those who really care can get on the telephone, talk with their neighbors and remind them to go, and have a big, big influence on who their neighbor supports, way beyond the political power they have if they just go in a booth and pull a lever.

The poor benefit from the Colorado Caucus more than anyone. Without it they don't really have a voice at all. And that's just how those pushing the Presidential Primary would like it.

Save the Caucus!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Did you Film the Caucus? Biased video evidence of "misconduct" from Caucus States.


FilmTheCaucus

We are a grassroots effort to catalog and upload video footage from the caucus process. If you have footage from any previous caucuses, please submit it below.We will receive footage from all upcoming caucus states:
Mar 5 - Nebraska, Kansas
Mar 6 - Maine
Mar 12 - Northern Mariana Islands
Mar 22 - Idaho, Utah
Mar 26 - Alaska, Hawaii, Washington
April 9 - Wyoming
May 7 - Guam
June 4 - Virgin Islands
Find us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/filmtheccaucus
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/filmthecaucus
Our videos are being posted as an indisputable record in lieu of an accurate paper trail, should any review be necessary. Filming can also discourage any shenanigans, as people are likely to behave more appropriately when they know they are accountable. We will be adding a guide here regarding how to film professionally and successfully.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

#1 Reason to Save the Caucus: Most powerful tool for the poor to get ahead.

Robert Putman wrote Bowling Alone to alert us to the growing problem of declining social capital, the network of neighbors and friends that made the country great for over 200 years.

His new book Our Kids has not attracted the same attention, possibly because it's powerful message is not attractive to the elite shock-thought troops that think they have the answers to all problems if everyone would just shut up and go along with their Borgish leadership.

The point Putman makes in this book that would be expected to make headlines: "95% of us say that 'everyone in America should ha e equal opportunity to get ahead,' a level of consensus that is virtually never reached in contentious contemporary America"

Without question the most powerful tool for the poor in Colorado to get ahead is the Colorado Caucus. It's the best way for the 99% to get ahead, too. It provides the very best opportunity for the common person, nearly all of us if you look at the poverty of "social capitol" to have the chance to serve in elected public office or to help one of our neighbors or friends get elected.

That's why powerful forces want a rush to judgement about the Presidential Primary. Legislatures pushing for a decision before the Republican and Democratic county and Colorado conventions  should be corrected by those in their districts that would like to see the issue discussed at their county and state conventions.

John S Wren, Registered Agent
Save the Caucus, a Colorado political committee.
1881 Buchtel Blvd. #501 Denver 80210 (303)861-1447

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Release: Save the Caucus Calls for Colorado Chairs of Dems, GOP to Resign.

John S. Wren, Registered Agent for
Save the Caucus
Registered Colorado Political Committee
1881 Buchtel Blvd. #501, Denver, CO 80210
www.JohnWren.com  (303)861-1447
For more: John Wren
(720)495-4949

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 3, 2016

Save the Caucus Calls for Colorado Chairs of Dems, GOP to Resign.
Tuesday’s statewide Colorado Caucus fiasco blamed on their bad leadership. 

DENVER__ “As I said before Tuesday, being a citizen rather than a subject requires participation, and the Colorado Caucus allows that,” John Wren, registered agent for Save the Caucus, a Colorado political committee said today., “but it requires good leadership.

“The leadership of both major political parties failed Colorado Tuesday, and those who publicly called for our wonderful grassroots institution, the Colorado Caucus, to be AstroTurfed with the Borg-like Presidential Primary should resign, starting with the Colorado Chairs for both major parties who were seen in the media over the weekend doing just that. 

“If the two state chairs don’t apologize and immediately resign, removal should be the first order of business at every county convention and, if they aren’t out by then, at the state conventions. 

“As Sue O’Brien, editorial page editor of the Denver Post when they endorsed the Colorado Caucus in 2002, said ‘We’re systematically replacing ‘social capital’ with plain old monetary capital (paid workers, ads of Presidential Primary). Colorado’s traditional caucus-convention system, in contrast, rewards the shoe-leather and diligence. It provides a low-cost way for aspirants to work the neighborhoods, investing energy instead of dollars.' We all miss Sue's great wisdom and common sense," said Wren.
Wren concluded, “The well organized precinct caucus  is a moderating force. Critics of caucuses say it creates radicalization, but the opposite is true. Neighbors get together with each other, and realize the people they share their votes with are real human beings with similar life struggles, experiences and desires. But it requires good leadership. Tuesday that leadership was missing for  Republicans or the Democrats here in Colorado. And then those trusted to lead blame the system. Outrageous!”  For more see www.COCaucus.org or call John Wren at (303)861-1447.
###


The original Save the Caucus was formed by John Wren, Ruth Prendergast, JoAnne Gray, Polly Baca, Daryle Eskin, Phil Perington, Frank Sullivan, Bill Armstrong, and others in 2002 to fight Amendment 29 which would have killed the grassroots system. Those  with questions are invited to contact Wren at (303)861-1447 or write John Wren, Save the Caucus, 1881 Buchtel Blvd. #501, Denver, CO 80210. www.COCaucus.org 

John Wren calls for resignations in Greeley Tribune.

 Do you agree, both state chairs should resign? Why? See: Http://Facebook.com/Colorado.Caucus.News 

What happens now? Watch for media release posted here later this morning. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Trade grassroots for astroturf? Like cars without drivers, Borg wants voting without citizens.

District Captain last night was telling people she thought we should switch to the Borg-like Presidential Primary. Then why hasn't she resigned?

Because BOTH state party leaders have gone on record as wanting to kill the system which they have been elected to preserve and protect.

There is nothing wrong with the Colorado Caucus. Long lines last night with the Democrats at many location was the result of Clinton supporters slowing things down to get as many of the Bernie-people to go home before the voting started. Old political trick.

Unhappy byproduct, those who went home are being duped by party chair propaganda to blame the system he is trying to kill.

That's the problem. In the morning the (hopefully) solution.


The Borg have become a symbol in popular culture for any juggernaut against which "resistance is futile". TV Guide named the Borg #4 in their 2013 list of the 60 Nastiest Villains of All Time. Wikipedia. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Denver GOP District 2 South High School




Standing room only almost, with just a very few empty chairs. My precinct #247 had just one person, so not only several empty chairs but practically empty table.

Apparently very efficient check in, everyone was seated when I arrived at just about the 7 p.m. starting time. District Captain an attractive woman, explained the procedure for the evening, that there would be no straw poll, but delegates would be decided upon who would go to the county assembly and convention.

Spoke with here briefly, I said how good it was to see all the people participating, she volunteered she'd rather see a Presidential Primary. What can be expected when top GOP leadership is so negative about the Colorado Caucus.

No presentation of the flag, unless I missed it, which is possible, but absolutely not candidate signs, buttons, balloons or excitement.

No candidates spoke, no representatives of candidates, so the one reason having multiple precincts together like this was not utilized.

Clearly Denver GOP District 2 is in need of either hospice care or extreme measures to revitalize it. Easier for leadership to just say bring on the Presidential Primary.

John Wren
1881 Buchtel Blvd. #501
Denver, CO 80210
(720)495-4949






Denver Democrats District 2, University Park Elementary School.


This is where I went to elementary school from October of the 3rd grade thru 6th grade when we went to Merrill Junior High School which was on split sessions, and then for 8th grade Denver Thomas Jefferson Junior Senior High School.

So I came here first.

It was an amazing crowd, the check in line with clear down the street to the next corner, turned, and went another 1/2 block. A 1 1/2 block line, with lots of people already inside and people kept arriving.

A massive turnout.

Quite a few Bernie signs, nary a one could be seen for Clinton.

It was clear it was going to be at least another hour before the checkin would be completed, so I headed to South High to see how the GOP were doing.

John Wren
1881 Buchtel Blvd. #501
Denver, CO 80210
(720)495-4949




It's Colorado Caucus Time!

Where is your Caucus tonight? Tweet photos, videos and reports to #COCaucus or #coloradocaucus or #COPolitics and you'll become eligible for our Citizen Journalism contest, which we hope to do in cooperation with the Colorado Press Association and recognition at their spring convention. Newspapers across Colorado are encouraged to feature these Tweets from you and others in their stories around the state on tonight's Colorado Caucus.

Community Newspaper/ Citizen Journalist Contest

We have requested the Colorado Press Association hold a contest for the best use of citizen journalists by a newspaper at their spring conference.

Watch here for more information later this evening. For now, citizen journalists please Tweet your stories, photos, videos with #COCaucus or #coloradocaucus or #COPolitics and what you put up will be shown here on our Twitter feeds.

There are 6,000 neighborhood gatherings across Colorado this evening, the most people at any event every two years. Many believe it's the best chance for the common person to serve in elected public office.

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