Hot Sheet

More fodder for the debate over activists who punch the clock

Author: Dan Njegomir - February 16, 2017 - Updated: June 6, 2017

…And, yes, we all might as well acknowledge that not everyone who marches with fist thrust skyward; who camps out in a senator’s office and demands face time; who totes a clipboard door-to-door at (alas) dinnertime — no, not everyone is, strictly speaking, a volunteer. Regardless of their issue.

Does that make their cause less compelling? Does it justify a member of Congress or U.S. senator discounting their relevance or disregarding them altogether? That’s of course a judgment call, and it’s not ours to make. Thank goodness.

Our job is merely to point out how politics really works. So, consider a piece posted earlier this week by scrappy conservative blog Colorado Peak Politics. The blog post comes to the defense of Republican pols such as Colorado’s junior U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner and U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, who have downplayed  recent swarms of protesters, switchboard-lighter-uppers, district-office-barger-inners and such as mere operatives of an orchestrated effort. Not authentic; not legit; ginned up by special interests. Are they right?

While the Peak Politics blog post hardly makes that case definitively, it does raise this fair point: There’s plenty of “activist” hiring going on — yes, job listings actually refer to the openings as such — perhaps reinforcing Gardner’s much-criticized claim that “paid protesters” account for some of the activism on his doorstep.

Peak Politics did some digging:

The left has asked for proof. Here are three ads pulled today from Craigslist that suggest the left is paying protesters and plans more “paid activism” in the future.

Here is one posted 29 days ago, conveniently right before the women’s march in Denver. The notes that 57% of women live in states where their reproductive rights are under attack….


Peak Politics goes on to display more similar ads (don’t mind if we republish this one) shoring up the contention that some of those activists come from central casting. Doesn’t mean they don’t embrace the cause, as well. And it certainly isn’t to pass judgment on the cause itself.

But it could mean some of them want to spend some time on Colorado’s slopes and in its craft-brew pubs — and who doesn’t? — and need a way to help pay the freight.

And it also might help explain why our state’s unemployment rate has been so darned low. Hey, maybe in a roundabout way, Donald Trump really is putting America back to work!

Read the full Colorado Peak Politics blog post yourself and see what you think; here’s the link again.

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir is the opinion editor for Colorado Politics. A longtime journalist and more-than-25-year veteran of the Colorado political scene, Njegomir has been an award-winning newspaper reporter, an editorial page editor, a senior legislative staffer at the State Capitol and a political consultant.