At a July 26 rally in Centennial, Republican candidate for governor Dan Maes warned the crowd that his opponent, John Hickenlooper, had enlisted Denver in a program that would lead to United Nations control. “This is all very well-disguised, but it will be exposed,” said Maes. “This is bigger than it looks like on the surface, and it could threaten our personal freedoms,” he added.
The program in question? Denver’s bike-sharing program, B-Cycle. Maes later told the Denver Post, “At first, I thought, ‘Gosh, public transportation, what’s wrong with that, and what’s wrong with people parking their cars and riding their bikes? And what’s wrong with incentives for green cars?’ But if you do your homework and research, you realize ICLEI is part of a greater strategy to rein in American cities under a United Nations treaty.”
The U.N. Treaty he refers to is the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, which counts more than 1,200 cities as members worldwide. (The group includes hundreds of U.S. cities, including not-so-liberal places like Arlington, Texas, and St. George, Utah.) He said the UN is “signing up mayors across the country, and these mayors are signing on to this U.N. agreement to have their cities abide by this dream philosophy.”
Dan Maes has been bolstered by support from the tea party, which adopted other U.N. conspiracy theories. In Maine, tea party activists took over the GOP platform and included a provision rejecting a U.N. child rights treaty.
Maes and his rival, former Rep. Scott McInnis, are in a virtual tie for the Republican nomination for governor, though McInnis has lost his front-runner status since news broke that he plagiarized a series of articles on water that the Hasan Family Foundation paid him $300,000 for. Meanwhile, polls show that the entrance of former congressman and presidential candidate Tom Tancredo on the American Constitutional ticket splits the Republican vote with Hickenlooper having around a 20-point lead.
Maes’ suspicions may have been piqued when U.S. Transportation Secretary and former Republican Rep. Ray LaHood went to Denver last week and rode a B-Cycle bike. His verdict? “This is an extraordinary opportunity for Denver, as I said, to be the model for the country, which I think it will be,” he said. Be afraid.