DENVER CITY COUNCILPERSON CHRIS HINDS FORCED TO CRAWL ONSTAGE TO ATTEND DEBATE
Democracy can be hard, grueling work, especially for candidates struggling to access the funds they need for their campaigns. And no, this time I’m not actually talking about those poor Republicans running for office who have to metaphorically crawl to kiss the rings of various wealthy megadonors. This time, I’m talking about a candidate who literally had to crawl to access the money he needed to run for election, or in his case, re-election. His name is Chris Hinds, a Denver City councilperson. Hinds had a tough choice. Leave his wheelchair and crawl onstage for a debate where there was no handicapped access, or lose his Fair Elections Fund campaign money.
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COUNCILPERSON HINDS HAD TO CHOOSE: CRAWL ONSTAGE OR LOSE FAIR ELECTION FUND CAMPAIGN MONEY
As Hinds put it, he had to choose between is campaign and “public humiliation.” The Fair Elections Fund matches campaign dollars, and is an important part of how many local politicians have access to enough money to successfully run for elections against better heeled candidates. But speaking of heeled and access, let’s talk about how the very venue for the debate discriminated against Councilmember Hinds, literally making him crawl for the privilege. As of the end of January, Hinds’ campaign had raised $125,000. This means that he had to satisfy the requirements of the Fair Elections Fund to get the matching money to try to retain his seat.
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COUNCILPERSON CALLED CHOICE HUMILIATING, ONLY LEARNED OF DEBATE AT THE LAST MINUTE
One key requirement to get those matching dollars is that all candidates have to participate in public debates, such as the one earlier this week on Monday. And, well, the debate venue was literally inaccessible for Hinds, with no way for him to get onstage in his wheelchair. So in the year 2023, in America (“we’re number 1!!”), an elected official running for re-election had to literally crawl onto the venue’s stage to keep his campaign viable. And even better? He was informed about the debate at the last minute. And, it was scheduled in the middle of the City Council’s meeting on the same day.
It’s almost like someone doesn’t want Hinds to win again.