Colorado Tea Party Candidate Suggests Biking Is Gateway Drug to Communism

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, 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

Scott Cooney, Principal of and author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill, November 2008), is also a serial ecopreneur who has started and grown several green businesses and consulted several other green startups. He co-founded the ReDirect Guide, a green business directory, in Salt Lake City, UT. He greened his home in Salt Lake City, including xeriscaping, an organic orchard, extra natural fiber insulation, a 1.8kW solar PV array, on-demand hot water, energy star appliances, and natural paints. He is a vegetarian, an avid cyclist, ultimate frisbee player, and surfer, and currently lives in the sunny Mission district of San Francisco. Scott is working on his second book, a look at microeconomics in the green sector.In June 2010, Scott launched, a sustainability consulting firm dedicated to providing solutions to common business problems by leveraging the power of the triple bottom line. Focused exclusively on small business, GBO's mission is to facilitate the creation and success of small, green businesses.

42 responses

  1. 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.

      1. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  2. 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 rally. ICLEI is the implementation of a UN treaty that was so bad, it was withdrawn from the Senate in 1994.

      1. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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 . . . )

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 !!!!

  11. Pingback: Quick Hits « arborblahg
  12. Pingback: RP Siegel: The Tea Party’s Next Target: Sustainable Development « Verde Opolis
  13. Pingback: The Tea Party’s Next Target: Sustainable Development
  14. 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.

  15. 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.

Leave a Reply