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Colorado Tea Party Candidate Suggests Biking Is Gateway Drug to Communism

Scott Cooney | Monday August 9th, 2010 | 31 Comments

The Colorado governor’s race is still in primary season, but the barbs, predictably, are already flying between the likely candidates.  Republican front-runner Dan Maes, a darling of the Tea Party movement, will likely win the the GOP nomination to square off against Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, a popular and well-liked Democrat who has advocated a sustainable city plan for Colorado’s biggest city.

Recently, Maes cast his strongest accusation at Hickenlooper to rile up the Republican base:  Hickenlooper apparently has had the audacity to make Denver bicycle friendly. According to Maes, it’s not “just warm, fuzzy ideas from the mayor,” but rather a conspiracy plot that “could threaten our personal freedoms,” and “convert Denver into a United Nations city”.  The conspiracy theorist Maes continued to unravel the twisted threat of anti-Americanism that bicycling represents:  “This is all very well-disguised, but it will be exposed.”

Colorado, a traditionally red state that has trended blue lately (the state went for Barack Obama, and has had a recent run of Democratic Governors and Senators after many years of domination by Republicans), has been a leader in renewable energy legislation and many other sustainable initiatives at the state and local levels, especially in the Denver-Boulder-Fort Collins corridor where the majority of the state’s population resides.

Maes said he was once duped into thinking that sustainable initiatives like farmer’s markets, community gardens, and bike lanes were “harmless and well-meaning”. Now, however, he has woken up to the fact that “that’s exactly the attitude they want you to have.”

To explain the fear building up in his amygdala at the revolting thought of a healthy, livable, and sustainable Denver, Maes said, “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 [this] is part of a greater strategy to rein in American cities under a United Nations treaty.”

Ironically, Maes didn’t do his research.  Denver is one of 1200 cities and communities, half of which are in the United States, to be part of a program called the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, which provides guidelines for sustainable and livable cities and development.  Denver has been a part of the program since 1992, and Hickenlooper became Mayor of Denver long afterwards.

Quotes used in this article are cited from recent postings on the New York Times and Denver Post.


Scott Cooney is the Principal of GreenBusinessOwner.com, author of Build a Green Small Business (McGraw-Hill), and lives car-free in bicycle friendly San Francisco, another of the 1200 “communist” cities that Tea Party members fear.

Follow me on Twitter!  @GreenBizOwner


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  • gadsdengurl

    This article shows that the author has a complete misunderstanding of the big picture. Bicycles are not going to bring communism, but they are a symptom of a bigger problem. Please study the bigger problem before you make such a fool of yourself with these wild assertions.

    • KickICLEIout

      Google ” ICLEI 600 cities ” to see a NOAA scientist promote depopulation in Denver!

      • nickaster

        Why is that controversial?

    • Dave Shires

      A symptom of what problem? By the way, everyone, you can reply in a thread like this and it makes the conversation much more legible.

    • T E

      could you explain why the USSR collapsed if communism is ascendant

      • oaklandeasy

        Yes, the USSR collapsed. And all Capitalist countries are doing so well. None of them have any poverty and the 1% love to make sure everyone below the poverty line is well taken care of.

    • Todd

      Sooo, state that bicycles are a symptom of a bigger problem (which is ridiculously moronic to say), tell people to study the bigger problem (which, whatever it is, has nothing to do with bicycles), and thennnn….don’t bother stating the problem that people need to “study”? Amazing debate skills you have.

    • Todd

      Sooo, state that bicycles are a symptom of a bigger problem (which is ridiculously moronic to say), tell people to study the bigger problem (which, whatever it is, has nothing to do with bicycles), and thennnn….don’t bother stating the problem that people need to “study”? Amazing debate skills you have.

  • AlC

    gadsdengurl, are you for real? You need to get a grip on yourself. And you wonder why people think the baggers are crazy? They ARE!

  • RP Siegel

    Do tell, gadsdengurl. What is this bigger problem?

  • http://illwatchanything.com Jared Parmenter

    @gadsdengurl -> Please study the bigger problem before you make such a fool of yourself with these wild assertions.

  • KickICLEIout

    Gadsdengurl is correct. Find out the true nature of ICLEI and google ” ICLEI 600 cities “. Watch the video where a scientist calls for population reduction at a 350.org rally. ICLEI is the implementation of a UN treaty that was so bad, it was withdrawn from the Senate in 1994.

    • Dave Shires

      The vapor trails! They're controlling the weather too!

      • retired biker

        The weather was actually cooler the few days after 9/11 when all the airliners were grounded. This was attributed to less cloud cover due to the lack of vapor trails.

  • http://greengopost.com Leon Kaye

    We are talking about guidelines–a city can follow some–most likely they will not follow all. It's not a treaty, people. And just because 1 person says something odd at a rally or conference, doesn't mean he speaks for the whole organization. Now excuse me, the UN radio waves are taking over my brain, forcing me to buy organic jicama on the farmer's market, which I'll get to by riding my communist bike.

  • theblackline

    Driving a gas-guzzling-air-polluting-two-ton SUV to McDonalds after church while the kids watch a DVD in the backseat just so I can get a moment's peace to update my Facebook status about how excited I am over the new episode of Jersey Shore is every American's right.

    No, really. I'm serious. That is every American's right.

    However, that doesn't mean that those of us who want to ride a bicycle to the farmer's market are -cue scary music- commmmmunistsssss! Those of us who actually think about preserving the environment, or supporting local businesses, or community supported agriculture and actually practice what we preach are trying to improve the condition of this country. Ride a bike? One less car. Less pollution. Exercise. Actual real-life interaction with other people. How can that possibly be a BAD thing? It certainly seems like the more patriotic choice.

  • Seth Jovansky

    Fighting against renewables (American made power), public transit (that doesn't rely on foreign oil), and bike lanes (American legs getting us around) is about as unpatriotic as you can get.

    Wake up Tea Baggers!

  • Unite_Pangaea

    Wow, that is awesome! I don't think The Onion could make up a better story.

    • Gigi

      Best comment!!

  • cr0ft

    Yes, we can't have any threats to America's status as being the world's biggest polluter by a massive margin. Or for that matter, keep people healthy and fit instead of all in the 400+ lbs category, heaven forfend!

    But of course, the reason the Republicans and Tea Partiers keep pushing the fear button is – because it works. They keep the US citizens fearful of anything and everything and they will be given a free reign to do anything they want, including increasing pollution and decreasing civil liberties like good old George W did.

  • TruthSeeker

    So the reasoning is . . . without car insurance companies, oil companies, and associated excise taxes, capitalism as we know it collapses? Not likely.

    (Honk if you like free markets . . . )

  • http://twitter.com/ericisaac Eric Isaac

    not to get all godwin's law on you, but it was the Nazi's who took all the bikes. Ask a Dutchie!

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  • http://www.sustainabilityleader.org David Bainbridge

    Sure – and the black helicopters will meet the assembled ” bike forces” to take over Denver… Hello to planet earth?

    A new party in the hip pocket of the fossil fools who want us to keep burning coal and oil and frying the planet. Back to the 18th century! No-time to pay true costs.

    Bikes, gardens and solar lead to the independence and self responsibility that Abe Lincoln championed.

  • sunsetbeachguy

    The first post has to be an example of Poe’s law.


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  • David Dinsmore

    As a small business owner we love having the bikes downtown. Its makes people happy down here in my little hub. Its is good for our (free market) economy. Helps people that came on foot or people who want to stay on foot once they park get to businesses they might not otherwise see. And is better than another surface lot. Its good for my business and I created 10 jobs.

  • Dave

    This is utterly ridiculous Dan Maes is a clown.
    If we want to talk about conspiracies lets talk about why our cities aren’t more bike friendly and why the car rules when it comes to city planning. Because we have a blinding addiction to oil; our whole economy is based on it and a nice round-a-bout of petro dollars circulating with many countries around the world.
    Why did we go into Iraq ? Who knew that Saddam was considering taking all Oil trading in Euros ? Does the Euro count as an Economic WMD ? It would have been if we’d have to use it to buy oil from Iraq. Other OPEC countries would likely have followed, so we swatted it down quick.
    Any Teapartiers have any idea what I’m talking about ? what about peak oil. You don’t have to believe it, Cheney does.

    Will you idiots pull your heads out of your asses and stop spending money on gas-guzzlers and drive something sensible. Cheap Oil is not a right; its a dangerous addiction which will undo this nation at the seams.
    You’re your own worst enemy when you start spouting off that the UN is conspiring to “ruin” our cities, check this countries recent history; THAT’S where we’ve been screwed !!!!

  • Ben

    This is taken straight from the Glenn Beck handbook on “How to make a major conspiracy theory over a made up issue.”

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  • Giulio Porta

    red bikes red jerseys, I get it….

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  • Peter Locke

    On a local level, give it a try. if it works, great. If it doesn’t, then it’s just another experiment tried and failed. But international, by treaty? Give me a break. That’s why we have States, and localities, so that things can be tried small, and if they work, copied.

  • Seth Williams

    Sad thing is, morons will vote for that teabagger…..

  • James

    I prey to God we won’t go down the same path as the Middle East due to the radical lunatics, or the path of Nazi Germany with the Brown Coats. These radical, knuckle dragging, Neanderthalic, Tea Bagger wackos seem Hell bent on feeding on anyone they can get their hooks into. Hopefully, most of America has a large enough of an IQ to simply vote them out and make them go away, before they do even more damage to our country than they already have. Jesus, their own party hates them, yet still does what they say….very frightening.