FOR RELEASE ON
Friday, November 16, 2007
After 4 p.m.
Contact: John Wren (720)495-4949
New Contest to Reward Media Coverage of Colorado Caucus Registration Deadline.
Veteran community activist John Wren announced today contest for all Colorado media, including websites and blogs. The purpose is to encourage Colorado media to promote the December 5, 2007 registration deadline to vote in the Colorado Caucus next February 5, 2008. Wren made the announcement at the regular weekly meeting of the new Denver Grassroots Rally.
“The deadline to register to be able to vote in the caucus is much earlier than in past years. To encourage local media to get the word out about this and to explain the Colorado Caucus system to the thousands of new voters in Colorado, we are going to give an award for the most creative presentation of caucus information to Colorado citizens,” said Wren.
“Stories that come up on Google with the search term “Colorado Caucus” will be automatically entered; other stories can be emailed to JohnSWren@aol.com or brought directly to the December 6th regular weekly meeting of the Denver Grassroots Rally. Those attending December 6 will vote, and we’ll present the awards at the 3rd annual Denver Ben Franklin Birthday Party January 17, 2008 (Ben’s 302nd birthday).”
Contest awards will be given for the top three stories on the Colorado Caucus and how it works. All writers and reporters at all media are eligible, including blogs and websites of individuals and organizations, such as: the Secretary of State; Denver Election Commission; neighborhood, high school and college newspapers; etc.
“Certificates of recognition will be given to the top three vote getters this year. We hope to do more in the future contest through cooperation with the Colorado Press Association and other groups,” said Wren. “There is no reason that the Colorado Caucus can’t generate the same level of publicity for Colorado as we now see for Iowa and their Iowa Caucus, if the media will do a good job of informing citizens about the system. This could be a big boost for our economy.”
The multi-partisan Denver Grassroots Rally is held each Friday, 4 pm at Panera Bread, 13th & Grant Street. Those attending can just listen or they can get 2 to 5 minutes on the “soap box” to express their opinions. The meeting is free and open to all, for more information and to RSVP (which is NOT required, but gets first position on the speakers list) see http://cocacop.meetup.com/2.
The Colorado Caucus is prescribed by Colorado State Law, and the rules of the state and county political parties. It has been held every two years since 1912. Many Colorado political leaders got their start attending their neighborhood precinct caucus. Amendment 29 in 2002 would have killed the system for nominating to the primary ballot; it was defeated 60% to 40%. Attendance has declined over the past 20 years, until now it is estimated that only 8% of the citizens of Colorado even know that the system exists.
“Colorado’s traditional caucus-convention system rewards shoe-leather and diligence. It provides a low-cost way for aspirants to work the neighborhoods, investing energy instead of dollars…
“But even more important that the caucus’ benefits for candidates is its benefits for ordinary citizens. It’s a vibrant neighborhood forum for hashing out ideas—the last remaining arena in which you can get on the first rung of the ladder toward political effectiveness by just showing up.” Sue O’Brien, Denver Post Columnist, 10/6/2002
“The Colorado system was adopted in 1910 and went into effect in 1912… (It) combines some of the better features of both (the convention system and primary system) nominating methods and does not have any of the worst defects of either system. It is simple and direct; it 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.” Curtis Martin and Wallace Stealey, Readings in Colorado Government and Politics, Bureau of Governmental Research and Service, University of Colorado, Boulder, 1967.
John S. Wren, MBA+ www.JohnWren.com is an adult educator and consultant. He is now president of the Denver South Optimists Club, and a member of the board of directors of the Denver Lions Club. He is the past-president of the Rocky Mountain Direct Marketing Association, the Denver City Club, the Colorado College Republicans, and the University of Denver Graduate Students Association. He is one of the founders of Save the Caucus which defeated Amendment 29 in 2002 which would have destroyed the neighborhood caucus-assembly system for nominating to the primary ballot. He currently serves as Denver GOP District 5 Captain. He formed the first Franklin Circle in Denver in 1996, he’s the founder of the Denver Ben Franklin Birthday Party, and the Denver Grassroots Rally.