Green Party to Hick: We’re on political playground too

If you’re a Green Party candidate and you want to get news of your campaign out there, what do you do?

If you’re Harry Hempy — a retired IBM programmer, environmentalist and community rights organizer living near Jamestown — you hit your major opponent, Democratic incumbent John Hickenlooper, right where he’s strongest.

“John Hickenlooper’s preconditions for Colorado’s great fracking commission are laughable. He will only choose people who believe the state’s control of fracking operations preempts any local community’s right to control or ban it. Where is the compromise?

The governor demands that the commission NOT discuss air quality and water quality impacts from fracking. Where is the compromise?”

So reads the latest update on the Hempy 4 Governor site.  Hempy further asserts that special tax breaks for oil and gas companies cost Colorado taxpayers more than $250 million a year.

Short of pushing a statewide fracking ban as part of his platform, Hempy touts community rights instead — in fact he’s critical of Boulder Congressman Jared Polis for backing down on ballot initiatives which would have created larger development setbacks from occupied structures and put an “environmental bill of rights” in the Colorado Constitution.

“I say let the locals decide,” writes Hempy on his campaign site.

It’s worth nothing that Hempy has tapped into some real resentment regarding the fracking compromise, though it doesn’t quite look like the momentum behind the ballot initiatives has magically transferred to Hempy’s campaign.

Hempy has pointed out, to The Colorado Independent’s Mike Littwin, that Hickenlooper’s rhetoric has changed over the summer vis a vis his opponent(s) — namely that his fundraising letters have gone from emphasizing one opponent (former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez) to making oblique references to plural opponents.

But with at least 15 other candidates for Governor of Colorado still listed as “active” with the Secretary of State, that particular victory might not be Hempy-specific. And with a great deal of outside money flowing into the Governor’s race on behalf of both major candidates, Hickenlooper’s letter could also be referring to Beauprez’s associated forces.

Hempy is a fan of publicly funded campaigns and of overturning the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizen United decision equating money to speech and nonprofit political spending to something other than electioneering. Even so, with just a few hundred dollars cash on hand, and even fewer twitter followers, this populist has a tough climb ahead of him if he plans to shake up the Colorado Governor’s race.

[Playground shot via Helen]