Ending Chaos Could Cause Chaos

The End the Chaos campaign to boot two high profile officers off the D-11 school board playground will know tomorrow whether they got enough signatures to move forward.

If they do, then much of the cash and resources that would otherwise be pumped into progressive campaigns in Colorado Springs this year, will likely instead be diverted to efforts to remove the imperious Eric Christen and finger-waving-in-the-wind-waving Sandy Shakes. As reported by Colorado Confidential last week, End the Chaos submitted nearly 20,000 signatures to dethrone Christen and Shakes in the city’s largest school district. For the past three years, the board has been gripped in a train-wreck of dysfunction, culminating in the firing in June of superintendent Sharon Thomas, who was given a $425,000 cleaning car to push on down the tracks.

El Paso County Clerk & Recorder Bob Balink says he will announce tomorrow whether End the Chaos has the approximate 15,000 valid signatures each for Shakes and Christen to force the recall.

One of the campaign coordinators, former school board member Mary Ellen McNally, described the 60 days collecting signatures as “exhausting.”

“You have to understand the enormity of the task involved. Every minute was spent collecting signatures,” she said.

If the group got enough signatures, the complex process will continue through November – including convincing voters to support the recall and recruiting candidates to run as replacements.

That would likely cut into resources for other campaigns, potentially including Democrat Jay Fawcett’s bid for Congress and incumbent state Rep. Michael Merrifield’s reelection bid – not to mention other progressives who are on the ticket in El Paso County. In addition, anti-tax activist Douglas Bruce is sponsoring ballot measures in Colorado Springs that would, if approved, result in an estimated $30 million to $40 million in budget cuts in the state’s second largest city.

But judging from a mass e-mail that Christen sent out this week, he appears to be more interested in the downfall of liberalism as spelled out in an opinion piece that appeared in the Online Wall Street Journal – than the possibilities of his own demise. Titled “The Fertility Gap,” the Journal column, by Arthur C. Brooks, claimed that “liberals have a big baby problem: They’re not having enough of them, they haven’t for a long time, and their pool of potential new voters is suffering as a result.”

And Christen clearly loved it, just loved it. Or, as his message read:

“I would just like to encourage all the liberals (or is it ‘progressives’ now, I can’t keep track) I know to continue not having kids,” Christen wrote.

“You can slow down your slide into political irrelevance, however, by helping to end the practice of killing innocent life in the womb.  Just a thought that I realize will go completely unheeded by those who view such a procedure as a sacrament of faith (the liberal faith).”

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Cara Degette

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