Friday, March 23, 2018

Hickenlooper and Ciruli Talk Water

At the January Colorado Water Congress (CWC) statewide conference, Governor John Hickenlooper and Floyd Ciruli talked water politics in 2018. The conversation called for bipartisan leadership to secure Colorado’s water future – in what will be a political transition from Hickenlooper’s eight years of leadership.

Hickenlooper and Ciruli Call for 
Bipartisan Leadership on Water Solutions
Photo: CWC
Colorado’s water leaders are contacting candidates for governor, legislature and county commission to provide information on the status of the state’s water challenges. Local utilities and other regional and agricultural water providers are providing information and offering conversation on Colorado’s need for more supplies, storage and conservation.
As Ciruli and Hickenlooper discussed, considerable progress has been made the last decade in water planning and projects. We don’t want to lose the momentum or let political polarization gridlock process.
Read CWC March update here

The New Authoritarianism: Can America Meet the Challenge? – April 10

Ambassador Chris Hill and pollster Floyd Ciruli will speak at a WorldDenver forum on April 10, 2018 at the Lakewood Country Club. Hill and Ciruli will discuss the rise of a host of powerful and aggressive authoritarian leaders, the danger to democracy and what should be America’s response.

Ambassador Hill leads the office of global engagement at the University of Denver and is a professor of diplomacy. He was dean of the Korbel School for International Studies for seven years. Ciruli is a Korbel School professor teaching public opinion and foreign policy and the director of the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research.

Hill and Ciruli present together regularly on the Trump Administration and its impact on foreign policy. They offered predictions after the November 2016 election. They provided an assessment after the first 100 days, and last fall gave a status report on “Is America Great Again?” one year after the election.


April 10, 2018
5:30 pm MDT-7:30 pm MDT


Register here


Lakewood Country Club
6800 W. 10th Ave
Lakewood, CO 80214

Event Details

5:30 pm-6:15 pm: Networking Reception
6:15 pm-7:30 pm: Presentation and Q&A

Market Tops 26616 in January; Dow Drops 2600 Points – Correction Territory

The Dow Jones Industrial average hit its all-time high of 26616 on January 26, 2018. The run-up since the November 2016 election had been incredible, more than 40 percent. But, in spite of a healthy economy and continued strong earnings, volatility is up and significant market drops have become common (record drop 1557 intraday, 1175 close, Feb. 5, 2018).

The Dow is currently at 23957, or about 2600 points under the top, correction territory. Various reasons are cited for the market stall and increase in volatility. Federal Reserve tightening, a slight increase in interest rates and rumors of inflation appeared to have caused the initial anxiety. The Facebook crisis is dampening an entire sector. Now, tariffs and the President’s enthusiasm for trade wars are the reasons for drops in major Dow components.

Up until now, the chaos in the White House has been ignored by investors as the positive aspects of cutting taxes and regulations were dominant. But, the politics of 2018 are beginning to undermine the Republican control of Congress and the agenda of President Trump. Investor confidence appears to have broken. Expect volatility and more downside pressure.

USA Today: Trump escalates trade war rhetoric with threat of European auto tariffs
Markets Now: Dow plunges 724 points as trade war fears rock Wall Street

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Iraq War Began March 20, 2003

Iraq is the war of the Millennial Generation. No draft, but no victory. And while we left in 2011, the war didn’t end. We are still fighting on the ground and in the air.

In the winter of 2003, going to war was popular. Pew Research reported 71 percent of the public said: “The U.S. made the right decision in using military force in Iraq.” But, the euphoria ended quickly, and by 2005, President Bush was managing a war that had more people saying it was a “wrong decision” than “right.” Republicans were severely punished in the 2006 congressional elections as Nancy Pelosi became the Speaker of the new Democratic Party-controlled House.

In 2008, corresponding to the election of Barack Obama, support for war was at its lowest point. For the last five years, about half the public has said the war was the wrong decision, with less than 40 percent saying it was the right decision. As of today, the public is nearly equally divided on the decision, with 48 percent saying “wrong decision” and 43 percent saying “right.”

Like everything in America, there are stark partisan differences, with 61 percent of Republicans now saying “right decision,” reflecting Republicans generally more martial viewpoint, but also support for a Republican president. Among Democrats, it had been as high as 52 percent in 2014 near the end of Obama’s term when he had to order the military to reenter combat to fight ISIS. Today, only 27 percent of Democrats are offering a “right decision” response.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Public Opinion and Sanctuary Cities

Many large U.S. cities and some states, such as California, have adopted versions of “sanctuary” policies that protect immigrants that the U.S. immigration authorities believe should be deported.

Recently, President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and conservative media have been excoriating California in general and the mayor of Oakland in particular for sanctuary city policies.

Although the public is very skeptical of Trump’s wall (60% oppose, CBS poll, 3-2018), generally favorable toward DACA (80% support DACA remaining) and supportive of undocumented immigrants having a path to citizenship (support ranges from 60% to 80% depending on wording), it is very divided on sanctuary cities. The President and Republicans know it and believe Democrats will lose on the issue – they may be right.

In a recent CBS News poll, the public is closely divided on sanctuary cities.

Generally, whenever the conversation turns to crime or criminals, support of illegal immigrants drops. Blanket non-compliance with federal authorities on immigration law enforcement is a risky policy for the Democrats.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Gary Hart’s Seven Days in May

Gary Hart announces he’s withdrawing from
 the presidential race, May 8, 1987 | AP/ED
No, this post is not about a group of military officers who have taken over the government. In fact, a group of officers already run the government. Rather, this is a story of seven days in early May 1987 that ended a presidential campaign and helped a struggling mayor in Denver.

The seven days from May 1, 1987 when a Miami Herald investigative reporter headed to Washington, D.C., to stake out Gary Hart, to May 8 when Hart withdrew from the presidential race, American politics changed forever.

The private sex lives of politicians became not just Washington gossip and sometimes tabloid fodder, but topics for legacy and the new fragmenting media markets with twenty-four hour news coverage. From Donna Rice, to Gennifer Flowers, to Monica Lewinsky, to Stormy Daniels, presidential campaigns and presidencies spent much time on managing sexual indiscretion.

The seven days in May also affected an important local Denver race. Federico Peña was in a difficult reelection campaign with a spate of early May stories about a controversial police chief. Hart’s media agony was painful to watch, but the timing a beneficial distraction. Peña still lost the primary to Don Bain, 52 percent to 37 percent, but Peña, the comeback kid, won the general election on June 16 in a squeaker by 3,000 votes.

Read New York Times: Denver mayor of high promise fights to hold job

Bannon Takes Ethno-National Message to Europe

Steve Bannon, the self-styled, right-wing thought leader and propagandist who lost much of his base in the U.S. after being pushed out of the White House and Breitbart, has taken his road show to the populist and nationalist movements of Europe.

National Front party leader Marine Le Pen applauds Steve Bannon after his
speech at the party congress in Lilles, France, March 10, 2018 | AFP/Getty
He provided fans and detractors a rousing speech at France’s National Front conference on the stage with Marine Le Pen. Bannon, who argued vociferously in the U.S. that he was an economic not ethno nationalist, provide a full-throated defense the National Front ethno agenda.

“Let them call you racist, let them call you xenophobes. Let them call you nativist. Wear it as a badge of honor.” In the midst of applause, he said: “Because every day, we get stronger, and they get weaker.”

Bannon believes the nationalist and populist movement is worldwide and that there is a role for him in channeling and guiding it. Indeed, his knowledge of the black arts of online new right propaganda and election targeting probably has a market, especially in Europe. Unfortunately, Mr. Bannon’s penchant for the edgy speeches and candid interviews, which gave him worldwide notoriety, also helped destroy his marketability. It’s not clear that his high-profile “Let them call you racist” slogan is going to be a winner, even in some of the darker corners of Europe.

Breitbart: Stephen K. Bannon declares Marine Le Pen leader of Europe’s populist movement
CBS: Steve Bannon to French far-right: Wear racism allegations “as a badge of honor”
New York Magazine: Bannon tells France’s National Front: “Let them call you racist”