Wednesday, June 30, 2004

DenverPost.com - Local Politics: "Coors - running for the Republican nomination against former Congressman Bob Schaffer - bought $400,000 worth of TV ads in the Denver, Colorado Springs and Grand Junction markets.
'It's what we've got to do to get the message out there to make sure all the voters know what I stand for,' said Coors, who is making his first run for elected office.
To pay for the ads, Coors is relying on donations, not his own personal fortune."

If Pete Coors wanted to start playing baseball, would he expect to make the Rockies starting line-up? Of course, with his name on the stadium, maybe he could pull it off. And that's pretty much what he's doing in this campaign; he is trying to buy what Bob Schaffer has earned.

One of the rules of fundraising is that rich people like to give money to other rich people. Coors may be getting contributions, but it is by calling in chits that could be used in many other more worthwhile causes.

I've seen Coors in two debates against Schaffer and in one personal appearance. I saw them both make their announcements on the West steps of the Capitol, I've seen them both at the Republican State Convention, and I've seen them both give talks to groups without the other present. I've read their campaign literature, and I've spoken to them both personally several times.

To any reasonable person, the choice is clear. Bob Schaffer has the best chance of winning the general election this fall against whoever the Democrats decide to put up, and he will do the best job of serving all of Colorado once he is elected.

This primary race may have been helpful to the GOP up to this point. But it is time for Pete Coors to join in the effort to elect Bob Schaffer. To do anything else is an exercise in vanity. It is time to tell the beer-barron he wears no political clothes. Pete, it is time for you to drop out of this race and pledge your time, talent, and treasure to getting Bob Schaffer elected.
The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Beware of Certitude: "Don't jump to hasty derision. As Mark Twain advised, the problem is not just what we don't know, but what we do know that ain't so. "

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

IOL: EU 'must encourage new business': "Minister Ahern said all entrepreneurs did not fit into the same category.

�On the contrary they are extraordinarily diverse, coming from a wide range of backgrounds, with very different educational qualifications and skills, very mixed age and experience profiles, very different attitudes to risk and very different motivations,� he said.

�Faced with such diversity, it seems clear that there can be no single magic formula that will deliver significant progress in improving the entrepreneurial culture in an economy.

�On the contrary it points to the need for a wide range of diverse actions, each tailored to the needs of particular niches or sub-groups.�"
Opinion -The Olympian: "Promoting the idea of a regional primary election or caucus, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said, 'It's critically important that the entire West be a battleground region, not individual states.'
Colorado Gov. Bill Owens agreed, saying Western states need to get moving now to have a system in place in time for the 2008 presidential selection process.
'It's so clearly in our best interests that hopefully we can overcome the challenges of getting it passed by a number of state Legislatures,' Owen said. "

For the past year as part of his duties as President of the National Newspaper Association, Bob Sweeney has given talks at state press association conventions around the country. Next week he'll be traveling to Memphis for the Tri-State Press Convention, see http://www.mspress.org for the details.
Denver NNA Convention Information: "The National Newspaper Association's Annual Convention & Trade Show is the only national meeting devoted to the challenges, opportunities and shared experiences of community newspaper management. More than 300 owners, publishers, and senior management people, who are dedicated to producing profitable newspapers to better serve their communities, will gather in Denver, CO, September 15-18. " My friend, Colorado's own Bob Sweeney is the President this year of the NNA. I had breakfast this morning with Bob and discussed the possiblity of having a debate between the two candidates for the U.S. Senate as part of the convention. The topic: "Grassroots Politics and the Importance of Community Newspapers." It would be co-sponsored by CoCaCoP, the Colorado Caucus Community of Practice.
Rocky Mountain News: Health & Fitness: "The Step Diet is based on five principles that Hill and colleagues have determined underlie successful efforts to shed pounds and keep them off:
1. Maintain the proper energy balance.
2. Small changes drive success.
3. Start with physical activity.
4. Anticipate success, but not instantly.
5. The maintenance of weight loss is more important than the speed or amount of weight loss.
'The whole book is based on small, incremental changes,' Hill says. 'You can get people to make big changes, but they're not sustainable.' "

Do we really need to read the whole book to agree with these principles? I try to get outside and walk at least 20 minutes every day, 40 minutes is better. No problem doing this with my current campaign for HD5! Problem is more to maintain the proper energy balance!
DenverPost.com - LOCAL NEWS: "'Those who are interested in continuing to move the voucher issue forward are likely going to try to (craft) another bill that will try to get around constitutional language,' said Ron Brady, president of the Colorado Education Association, which fought the voucher law on behalf of several families, the NAACP, and the League of United Latin American Citizens." How can the CEA (and others) be against vouchers and FOR the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) that takes public money for the support of private arts organizations?
The New York Times > National > Surge in Homeless Families Sets Off Debate: "Other cities not on HUD's list are also reporting increased family homelessness, including Charlotte, N.C.; Bridgeport, Conn.; and Denver." This is a real problem that cannot be ignored. Yes, we need to do all we can to care for the poor. We also must look at the root causes and not just spout platitudes and build more soup kitchens, the political equivalent of taking an anti-depressant and not making changes in the way of living that is causing the depression. William F. Buckley has always been involved in the search for these root causes:
The New York Times > Washington > National Review Founder to Leave Stage: "In explaining his decision, Mr. Buckley said he had taken some satisfaction in the triumph of conservatism since then, though he expressed some complaints about President Bush's unconservative spending and some retrospective doubts about the wisdom of invading Iraq. But his decision, Mr. Buckley said, had more to do with his own mortality." Watching WFB each week on Firing Line, as I was encouraged to do by one of my economics professors at the University of Denver, had a lot to do with me becoming politically active, interested in philosophy, and committed to truth and justice.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Bob Schaffer For Senate :: The Honorable John Andrews and Mr. William Chrismer hosted a private lunch at the Pinnacle Club today to benefit Bob Schaffer and his campaign for U.S. Senate. Special guest was Bob's friend Congressman Pete Hoekstra, Chairman of the Technical and Tactical Intelligence Subcommittee who just returned from Iraq. "Things will be difficult for the next 9 to 12 months, but we have done the right thing and we will look back in the future positively on what has been done."

Schaffer and Hoekstra personally visited and investigated the Department of Education, a black man who had worked in the mail room since it had opened in 1973 said they were the first elected officials from the House or the Senate who had every paid a personal visit. The result was a slush fund of nearly $100 million was uncovered.

Here are a few photos from today's event:

Congressman Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), Bill Chrismer, Bob Schaffer, and Sen. John Andrews, at a private lunch hosted by Chrismer and Andrews to benefit Schaffers campaign for U.S. Senate. Hoekstra, who just returned from Iraq, said we need to send Bob to the Senate to shake it up the way they were able to shake up the House in 1994.

Bill Chrismer and Sen. John Andrews welcomed those attending.

Bob and Christine Burke, who encouraged the group to contact 10 friends and associates to encourage them to vote for Bob, tell them why, and then encourage them to call 10 of their friends.

Bob Schaeffer with two of the business people attending the event.

Rep. Nancy Spence, who Bob Schaffer lauded for her outstanding service and endorsed in her current campaign for the State Senate seat being vacated by John Andrews, and Congressman Pete Hoekstra, from Holland, Michigan. John Andrews was born just a few miles from Holland, where he was inspired by his uncles service in the Michigan legislature.

Small business owner Art Onweller www.offboard.com and host Bill Chrismer.

Rocky Mountain News: America At War Very interesting BBC poll is a sidebar to this AP story. I'm part of the 20+% who think we were right to go into Iraq and that things will improve now that we are turning back control. The next couple of months will be very interesting, we can all agree on that.
The New York Times > Washington > Related Sites: Politics Navigator Scores of useful political websites, just updated.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Amazon.com: Books: Socratic Citizenship. Many critics bemoan the lack of civic engagement in America. Tocqueville's ''nation of joiners'' seems to have become a nation of alienated individuals, disinclined to fulfill the obligations of citizenship or the responsibilities of self-government. In response, the critics urge community involvement and renewed education in the civic virtues. But what kind of civic engagement do we want, and what sort of citizenship should we encourage? In Socratic Citizenship, Dana Villa takes issue with those who would reduce citizenship to community involvement or to political participation for its own sake. He argues that we need to place more value on a form of conscientious, moderately alienated citizenship invented by Socrates, one that is critical in orientation and dissident in practice.
Colorado Vincentian Volunteers - ecentral Each year Bill & Mary Francis Jaster gather a group of young people for a year long journey, living and working with the poor. Take a look at the video on this excellent website.
DenverPost.com - EDITORIALS Should we move the date for our wonderful Colorado neighborhood caucus from the 2nd Tuesday in April? The Denver Post in this editorial today says yes. We'll be discussing what can and should be done to fight or support this proposed change in caucus date at our next CoCaCoP (Colorado Caucus Community of Practice) July 14, 6:30 p.m., Panera Bread, 1350 Grant here in Denver. for more click on the CoCaCoP link here, or give me a call at (303)861-1447.
DenverPost.com - BUSINESS Tom Tancredo wants money wire transfered to be taxed. What does the Colorado Union of Taxpayers think about that? First Data, which owns Western Union and is one of Colorado's largest companies, thinks Tancredo's new tax is a bad idea. I agree.
The New York Times > Magazine > Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark The CSO (Colorado Symphony Orchestra) concert conducted a few weeks ago by Jeffrey Kahane, our new Music Director, started with an inspiring talk by him about the importance of the symphony and good music to a community. This NYT article is interesting, but misses the spirit that Kahane articulated so well.

As he began the concert, Kahane told us from the podium that Beethoven, the great German composer keep a little plaque on his desk as he wrote: "The stars above, the moral law in my heart". Music reviewers (and marketing people, administrators, and board memebers, too, I'd say) who don't understand this are killing the arts with temporary fixes, like the SCFD, rather than engaging in the evangalism that is necessary for healthy, long-term growth. This NYT article today again misses it entirely. Good music is more than mere entertainment.

While I was Director of Marketing for the Denver Symphony Orchestra, Helen Black told me that when she presented the idea of building a venue for the DSO at Red Rocks to the mayor, she started by asking, "how would you like to do something to help the spiritual life of Denver and Colorado?"

Based on Helen's advice, and that of Gene Amole and many others who understood the real value of good music, we used evangalism to create more DSO sell outs than ever before or since.

That's why I was against the SCFD when it was first brought to the voters, and why I'm still against it today. Not because I'm against the arts, but because I'm for the arts. What do you think?

Saw Troy with Brad Pitt as Achilles "I call no man king." http://troymovie.warnerbros.com/.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Colorado Symphony Orchestra: "Jeffrey Kahane, music director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) and the Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) in northern California, has been named Music Director of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra (CSO), " Lots of great CSO performances this summer. Free concert tonight and tomorrow night. I went to the wonderful Sloan's Lake free concert Thursday evening, reasonable turn out. SCFD likes to take the credit, but these free summer concerts existed before SCFD. The fact is the free concerts and discounted tickets are great ways to do audience building for the regular season.
Rocky Mountain News: Entertainment The question voters should be asking about the SCFD is: are the arts better off now than before the SCFD. I recently went to the the wonderful CSO concert conducted by Jeffrey Kahane, the new Music Director. The hall was half empty. It seems to me the SCFD creates an Indian reservation for the arts, so the organizations that have grown to depend on it pull back from the audience building and fundraising that knits them into the community. But with the strong million-dollar promotional program that is planned and no organized opposition it seems there is no possible way for there to be reasonable discussion on this issue. Perhaps we can in District 5, and I'm certainly open to the possibility that I'm mistaken on this issue. What do you think? Do you have solid evidence that the arts in Denver are more available to the average person than before SCFD?
Rocky Mountain News: Business I have a bias against large discount stores because they put my father's wholesale company out of business as the mom & pop grocery stores disappeared 30 years ago, replaced by King Soopers and Safeway. Now these giant Wal-Mart stores are doing the same thing to Kings and Safeway. As consumers, we benefit from the lower prices. But clearly, we are becoming a nation of clerks, working for giant companies, rather than the nation of shop keepers we once were.

What's the solution? First, stop corporate welfare. Government at all levels should stop giving tax-breaks and other incentives. Second, level the playing field by stopping unfair price breaks in advertising, lease rates, and intrest payments except where they are justified by actual costs. Where there is true economy of scale, these breaks should not be needed. We need a Teddy Roosevelt trust-busting approach to the government-corporate connection, the cancer that is destroying America. Protests against individual Wal-Mart stores doesn't get to the true root of the problem.

Friday, June 25, 2004


Socrates Cafe meets each Friday, 6 p.m. at Panera Bread, 1350 Grant St. here in Denver. Tonight we discussed the role of childhood awe and wonder. Kendall stopped by with her mom to pick up her dad.

Kendall and father Andrew.

Joe Morales, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Safety and CU Student Krista Poch, candidate for HD18 in Boulder discuss the CU College Republican Club (Krista is President.)

Rep. Lola Spradley, Speaker of the House, told me about the importance of her initiative to make sure providers of alternative power have a market for their product. http://www.coenergy.info/resources/briefingbook.pdf

Gov Bill Owens invited all GOP candidates to meet with he and his staff this afternoon for a policy briefing and BBQ at the Governor's Mansion. We each got a portrait taken for use in our campaign literature.

After encouraging Coors to drop out of the race, I went across the street to the Denver Press Club. Talked with Jean Toole, who with my old neighbor Lyle Lindesmith discovered and developed John Love as a candidate for Governor. Jean and I discussed putting together a recognition dinner for Lindesmith this fall, before he introduced me to Che' Rippinger, the new Administrative Assistant to Ed Otte at the Colorado Press Association. Check out her very funny writing and cartoons on www.datingandhandgrenades.com.

Pete Coors at Lincoln Club luncheon, Denver Athletic Club, says, "Look on the Senate's website, there are 50 tax bills pending right now, I don't know how anyone can go back to Washington and make sense out of it all." Coors criticized Bob Schaeffer for being a politician. I suggested that maybe it takes a politician to go back to Washington and actually get anything done. Coors said he'd have staff to help him. Wouldn't it make sense for Coors to unite with Schaffer now? Primary has been helpful, but it is clear to nearly everyone I talk with who is not on Coors paid staff that he is not going to win the primary election, and that Bob Schaeffer is the GOP's best hope against the Dems this fall.
Rocky Mountain News: Opinion The Denver Chamber of Commerce is backing the SCFD (Scientific and Cultural Facilities District) and Fas Tracks. Are these really best for Denver? What do you think? I'd be very interested in your opinion as I decide what issues to focus on in my campaign for HD5.
USA TODAY Archives Search The SBA tries to scare people out of starting their own business by saying only 1 out of 10 businesses are successful; their own research says 67% are successful.
DenverPost.com - National Politics Bill Owens is going to help write the GOP platform. When I meet with him this afternoon I'm going to suggest a radical overhaul of the Small Business Administration and the venture capitol model of startup it preaches. Formed in 1954, the SBA approach to business startup has just about killed entrepreneurship.
The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Kerry's Cruel Realism "The Varela Project happens to be one of the most inspiring democracy movements in the world today. It is being led by a Cuban dissident named Oswaldo PayĆ”, who has spent his life trying to topple Castro's regime. PayĆ” realized early on that the dictatorship would never be overthrown by a direct Bay of Pigs-style military assault, but it could be undermined by a peaceful grass-roots movement of Christian democrats, modeling themselves on Martin Luther King Jr." One of the rights being demanded by the Varela Project is the right to start a small business. Do we have that right here in the U.S.A. today?

Thursday, June 24, 2004


Jon Caldara President of Independence Institutue, which hosted a candidates briefing I attended today. For more information see www.IndependenceInstitute.org.

Jessica Peck Corry explains restrictions on freedom at the University of Colorado, what students are doing to fight back.
Campaign Theme/ Prodigal Son

Randal O'toole explains why buses are better for riders than light rail-- faster, cheaper, more frequent service. Fast Track is being pushed by those who will benefit: construction companies, unions, bond companies, and downtown property owners.
Campaign Theme/ Prodigal Son

Speakers at Independence Institute Candidates Briefing Speakers: Penn Pfiffner, TABOR/ Amendment 23; Linda Gorman, Health Care; Pam Benigno, Education; Craig Green, Water. Other speakers not shown: Randal O'Toole, Smart Growth/ Transporation; Dave Kopel, Criminal Justice/ Prisons; Higher Education, Jessica Peck Corry; Scott Gessler, Tort Reform.
Campaign Theme/ Prodigal Son

Rembrandt's Prodigal Son
Campaign Theme/ Prodigal Son
In case you missed it, here is the newsrelease announcing my candidacy for District 5, updated with this new Wren's Journal address:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 3, 2004

Contact: John Wren cell (720)495-4949

WREN ANNOUNCES FOR DENVER HOUSE DISTRICT 5

John Wren announced today that he has accepted the Republican nomination for downtown Denver House District 5 for the primary election that will be held in August.

Making the announcement, Wren said, “This campaign is a test. Two years ago the candidates for this office spent about $250,000 or about $6 for each registered voter in the district. This extravagant spending on campaigns has eliminated running for elected office as a possibility in the minds of most common, everyday people like me.

"The theme of my campaign will be the prodigal son (photo attached) the fact that none of us is perfect, and that we are all are called to amend our lives. GK Chesterton once said that the reason we are commanded to love our neighbor and to love our enemy is that so often they are the same person. I challenge other candidates in this race to use this campaign as an opportunity for community building.

“My campaign will test the idea that it is still possible for a person of limited means to be elected. I'll be holding meetings to meet my neighbors frequently, those who would like to attend should contact me via email at JohnSWren@aol.com or (303)861-1447. A blog is under construction at http://wrensjournal.blogspot.com/."

Wren is a business consultant, adult educator, and long-time community activist. He helped organize Save the Caucus which defeated Amendment 29, which was intended to eliminate the process which gave Wren this nomination. He organizes and facilitates adult learning group, see www.orgsites.com/co/poorrichard. For more information contact him at JohnSWren@aol.com or (303)861-1447.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

HBO Films: Everyday People I saw a preview of this tonight. Brooklyn small family business struggles, a great story. Premieres this Saturday, June 26, it's worth watching. "You can't wash out all the color and keep the flavor." Problem with our culture today, family restaurants being replaced with chain stores. We are becoming a nation of clerks, and our food is loosing its flavor!

Bill Chrismer tells reporter from Denver Post that, "Schaffer clearly won the debate, and will win the primary election." Bill and Sen John Andrews are hosting a private lunch to benefit Schaffer with Congressman Pete Hoekstra, (R-MI) who will just be returning from Iraq. For an invitation email bill@chrismer.com or call (720)373-9678.

Pete Coors debates Bob Schaffer at this morning's Arapahoe County Men's Club.
Welcome page The National Federation of the Grand Order of Pachyderm Clubs, Inc. is an officially recognized allied organization of the Republican Party. Patterned after civic clubs, Pachyderm Clubs offer programs centered around politics and government. Pachyderm Clubs can be the continuity for the Republican Party from election to election in that unlike the party structure, Pachyderm Clubs remain active all year. We are in the process of starting a new club here in Denver. Our next meeting will be Friday, July9, Panera Bread, 1350 Grant. For more info contact JohnSWren@aol.com or (303)861-1447.
Rocky Mountain News: ElectionRocky Mountain News Candidate 2004 Questionair and my answers. What do you think?
TIME.com: Meet Joe Blog -- Jun. 21, 2004 What makes blogs so effective? They're free. They catch people at work, at their desks, when they're alert and thinking and making decisions. Blogs are fresh and often seem to be miles ahead of the mainstream news. Bloggers put up new stuff every day, all day, and there are thousands of them....Blogs have voice and personality. They're human. They come to us not from some mediagenic anchorbot on an air-conditioned sound stage, but from an individual. They represent — no, they are — the voice of the little guy.