– Memorial Health System CEO Larry McEvoy told Councilman Tom Gallagher after his cell phone started ringing while McEvoy was addressing the mayor and City Council during today’s informal council meeting.
Councilman Randy Purvis is writing off Buddy Gilmore, Tom Gallagher and four others in the mayor’s race.
“Of the three, Bach is hanging on for dear life. I just do not see much of an ability in Bach to connect with the voter. He may have some endorsements, but they are from people he has known for a long time,” Purvis said.
“Skorman and Bahr have that ability to connect, which is why I expect them to lead the ballot by a significant margin over the remaining seven,” he added.
– Robert Todd, chairman of Middle Market Entrepreneurs, which is organizing a mayoral forum March 1 for business leaders, wrote in a letter to the three mayoral candidates who will were not invited to be on stage “due to time constraints.”
The forum will feature only six candidates: Steve Bach, Brian Bahr, Tom Gallagher, Buddy Gilmore, Dave Munger and Richard Skorman.
The candidates who were left out are Mitch Christiansen, Kenneth Duncan and Phil McDonald.
“Don’t you find it strange that I have not been included in this forum?” Christiansen wrote in an e-mail to Paul Kleinschmidt, director of Taxpayers for Budget Reform, LLC. “I was told that I was not a viable candidate.”
Despite the snub, the candidates who were not invited to sit on stage were offered, among other things, two complimentary tickets to the event, table space and the opportunity to suggest questions to ask the other candidates.
If you get one from mayoral hopeful Steve Bach, you’ll see Bach with a smile on his face, standing next to his wife, Suzi, on a sunny winter day at Garden of the Gods.
If you get one from Buddy Gilmore, who is also running for mayor, you’ll see Gilmore standing in front of City Hall wearing a suit and tie – red, of course.
If you get one from Brandy Williams, who is running for an at-large City Council seat, you’ll see Williams standing next to a horse with Pikes Peak in the background.
If you get one from Councilman Tom Gallagher, who is also vying to be mayor, you’ll see Gallagher — how should I put it? — like he’s ready to attack.
His lips are curled and his hands look more like claws.
“I have no idea why they put that picture on there, OK? Sometimes you just trust people and oh well,” Gallagher said today. “I cut it off at the head.”
Gallagher said his next batch of fliers will have a “better picture.”
“Those were pictures taken during my announcement, and I think it would have looked a lot less intimidating if the background had been there,” he said.
Gallagher declined to disclose who created the fliers, but he said it wasn’t members of the Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council. The group is backing his candidacy and created stickers for his mayoral announcement that misspelled his last name.
“If it was the pot people, I’d at least be smiling,” he said.
He didn’t call it silly.
“If that pledge means that I cannot refer a measure to the ballot and let citizens decide for themselves like the TABOR charter amendment allows, then no, I would not sign it. Of course not,” he said.
“Why would I deny the citizens even a choice of voting by not referring something?”
It has been signed by at least 10 mayoral and City Council candidates.
The mayoral candidates are Steve Bach, Brian Bahr, Mitch Christiansen, Tom Gallagher, Buddy Gilmore and Phil McDonald. The council candidates are Tony Carpenter, Angela Dougan, Sean Paige, and Daniel Reifschneider.
The pledge asks candidates to promise “to the taxpayers of Colorado Springs that I will oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes.”
Rivera called the pledge “vague.”
Rivera stressed that voters should have a choice and pointed to the public safety sales tax and the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority as examples of tax increases that voters have been willing to support.
“The citizens always should have a choice, and they tell us what they want,” he said.
— Micah Benjamin Walker Will, commenting on Facebook about the Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council backing Councilman Tom Gallagher for mayor.
The Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council is infusing itself into the mayor’s race.
“With the new ‘strong mayor’ (form of government), it is vital that we have someone in the office that appreciates not only our patients but also our contribution to the community,” Director Tanya Garduno said in a mass e-mail Wednesday.
“Tom has proven that he would be that person for us,” she said.
Garduno called Gallagher, who spearheaded efforts to regulate the industry in Colorado Springs, “one of our most logical and respected” council members.
“As you know, Tom has spent hundreds of volunteer hours working on the Medical Marijuana Taskforce and has continuously defended the industry and patients against numerous attacks from industry opponents, including citizens and city officials. He has attended dozens of our events and events around the state supporting our cause. I can’t think of anyone who has sacrificed more personal time with no real stake in our game,” she wrote in the e-mail.
“As a special THANK YOU, I am inviting you to join me at his press conference (today) to show our support,” she added. “This is a small favor to ask for someone who has done so much for us.”
Gallagher’s formal announcement will be at 1 p.m. on the third floor of 31 N. Tejon St.
The nation grieved Sunday when a gunman opened fire in Tucson, wounding 13 and killing six, including a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl who wanted to meet her congresswoman.
The suspected shooter, Jared Loughner, who allegedly targeted Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, complained about the government in online diatribes, according to The Associated Press.
While Tucson may be 800 miles away from Colorado Springs, the same kind hate can be found right in our backyard.
“He did what we all want to do anyway,” a commenter whose online moniker is Cost61 wrote about the shooter in a story about the deadly rampage.
“Start killing off government,” the unidentified commenter wrote at 12:10 a.m. Monday.
Cost61 was spewing hate again yesterday.
“He would be better off dead,” Cost61 wrote in a story about Councilman Tom Gallagher’s plans to run for mayor.
“He does not care at all about the tax payers. Never has!” the commenter wrote.
The post raised a red flag among other readers.
“Clean it up Cost 61!” a commenter named Actionjackson wrote early this morning. “Really, considering all that has transpired this week in AZ and to our country you have a poor choice of words. Hate speech is a weakness that diminishes your opinion.”
Less than four hours later, Cost61 defended the maliciousness – and the shooting spree in Tucson.
“I am all for what happened in AZ,” Cost61 wrote online in response to Actionjackson’s post. “An American finally had enough and did something about it.”
The initial comment about Gallagher triggered several complaints and has been removed, and Cost61 has been banned from commenting on gazette.com.
“I told (the Indy) I was considering it, considering announcing it,” Gallagher said in a telephone interview a few minutes ago.
“I told (the Indy) I would not be surprised if my name wound up on the ballot. That’s not the same thing as announcing that you’re running for mayor,” he said.
“I should know this by now. What you say and what people hear are different things,” he added.
Still, Gallagher said he planned to attend an information session later today that City Clerk Kathryn Young is holding for mayoral and City Council candidates.
“I might even pull the packet,” he said. “It’s not an announcement until you turn that paperwork in.”
Gallagher said he would make an announcement next week if he decides to run.
He said it was a “really lousy week” to make an announcement because several other mayoral candidates, including Richard Skorman, Stephen Bach and Mitch Christiansen, are making formal announcements starting this afternoon.
“It’s too cluttered this week,” he said.
“If you force me to bet you a beer right now, I would bet that when all is said and done, nobody on the current council is going to run. Listen, there could be an action this afternoon that proves me wrong. But you know, I talk to all those people, and that’s just kind of the sense that I’m getting right now.”
— Councilman Scott Hente said today when asked whether he would endorse any current council members if they ran for mayor.