NEWS BLOG
LovelandPolitics
Loveland's Independent News Source
Loveland November 4, 2013

As of last Friday, the majority of Loveland's 49,181 registered voters of the over
70,000 city population did not cast ballots in the city's month long mail-in municipal
election.  Only 23% of Loveland voters have submitted ballots so it is expected the
election will be decided by some 30% of the registered voters by tomorrow night.

Republicans enjoy a slight lead in registrations to Democrats citywide (18,000 to
11,000) and also recent voter turnout.  However, the growing number of unaffiliated
voters and diminished party loyalty in local elections means the outcome of
Loveland's election is still up for grabs.

William Russell, Chairman of the Larimer County Democrats sent an email message
to Loveland Democrats Friday at 10:47 AM stating,

"It's too late to mail your ballots!  You will need to drop your ballot off in person
to ensure it is received by 7:00 pm on Tuesday, November 5.  Postmarks do not
count!"

Russell has advocated for Loveland Mayor Cecil Gutierrez, a registered Democrat,
whose political contributions to the Democratic Party and candidates during the past
four years total $2,748.  Gutierrez also hosted a campaign event in his home for
Rep. Jared Polis in the last election.  Gutierrez has not supported any Republican or
independent candidates that we are aware of in the past.

His Republican opponent, Daryle Klassen, has also contributed to local and
statewide candidates but not exclusively Republicans.  Klassen is a former Larimer
County Commissioner and current Loveland Mayor Pro Tem whose platform has
focused on funding disaster recovery, enabling first responders and repairing the
city's aging water delivery infrastructure.  Gutierrez has advocated pouring more city
money into downtown, museum expansion and art projects of friends and supporters.

Alexi S. Grewal is running largely as an unaffiliated candidate advocating for an
outright fracking ban and is a longtime advocate for helping the homeless in
Loveland.  Unlike many politicians who just talk about helping the homeless, Grewal
began inviting them into his downtown home and eventually moved out as it became
too crowded.  Grewal has been hosting outdoor voter meetings in the back of a large
truck on the northeast corner of Taft Ave. and 1st Street in Loveland.

Despite much of the criticism surrounding the increasing partisan nature of local
Loveland elections, both Republicans and Democrats have sought party activists,
resources and affiliations to provide support in the election.  While we believe the city
is better served by a non-partisan municipal election, those who invited party politics
into Loveland four years ago (Councilwoman Joan Shaffer and Mayor Gutierrez)
don't appear credible when complaining about their opponents now reacting in kind.

Two former Councilors and then registered Democrats, Kent Solt and Kathleen
McEwen were turned-off by the growing partisan nature of the council under the
leadership of Mayor Cecil Gutierrez.  Both have left city politics and both have
complained about the growing partisan nature of Loveland's City Council.  McEwen
went so far as to change her party affiliation after resigning from the council.


Loveland Reporter-Herald Behind Democrats

The Loveland Reporter-Herald has banned or edited letters to the Editor that
mention the partisan affiliations of the candidates - this is helpful if your party
registration is in the minority and you are a candidate.  Conversely, one recent letter
claiming mayoral candidate Cecil Gutierrez is not partisan was allowed to be printed
which means only claims of partisan affiliation are prohibited not claims to the
contrary regardless of the veracity of the claim.

Gutierrez was invited to write a large editorial regarding disaster recovery from the
flood which was published but not his opponent.  

Councilman Dave Clark was also routinely condemned by the Loveland
Reporter-Herald for an independent expenditure on his behalf by the Loveland
Realtor's Association over which he had no control.  This election cycle the
Democrats running for Thompson School Board received similar mailers and support
from the teacher's union but no condemnation by Loveland's newspaper appeared.
Instead, the publication focused on their opponents receiving money from two
wealthy conservative Koch brothers.

In summary, the Loveland Reporter Herald did a generally good job allowing access
to all candidates to state their positions in rather long commentaries along with
printing biological stories on each candidate.  By ignoring the partisan supporters
and affiliations, however, we believe was a disservice to its readers.


Election Still Undecided

Despite the partisan bias of various publications and actors this election cycle, one
could argue the unaffiliated, Greens, Libertarians and American Independent Party
voters could decide the election.  In addition, either Democrats or Republicans which
appear to be submitting ballots almost in parity (just under 30% each) could turn the
election in their favor depending the number of voters who turn in their ballots
tomorrow.
Procrastinators Can Still Decide
Loveland's Municipal Election