Betsy Markey is running for Colorado’s 4th Congressional District seat in the U.S. House.

Problem is, so are 2 other Democratic candidates, one of them the better known Angie Paccione who ran (and narrowly lost) against the incumbent Marilyn Musgrave in 2006.

As we all know, three’s a crowd…particularly when you are all for the same party. A primary will eliminate two and determine which one of the Dem candidates will be running against Marilyn in ’08.

I actually know Betsy. Not in a BFF way, or even in an “I’ll call you sometime,” kind of way, but suffice to say that she’s been at the table for many of the same events I’ve been at. For instance, she shows up to the Northern Colorado Social Legislation Network meetings. She has been at the Affordable Housing Coalition of Larimer County meetings I’ve attended.

Betsy showed up to these events because, until this May when she announced she was running, she was U.S. Senator Ken Salazar’s 4th District Regional Director and she wanted to keep the Senator informed as to what his constituents wanted and needed. She is sincere in her wish to serve the public’s interests.

Today, all sorts of political ugliness started to surface when Senator Salazar endorsed Betsy as the Democratic candidate of his choice for the seat.

It’s premature…poor policy…unusual…

Playing favorites

Betsy’s the underdog and he’s just trying to rescue her and boost her campaign

And my personal favorite, from none other than Paccione’s campaign spokesman:

People in Democratic primaries don’t like it when high profile politicians try to play kingmaker, and that is what Salazar’s (endorsement) is...

Uhm…no. People, come on.

This is support from a not-so-distant-past former boss. I fail to see how it is any different from asking a professor one was close to in college for a letter of recommendation for admission to the next academic station, or for a good reference from a supervisor when the opportunity of a lifetime strikes. Salazar knows Betsy better than he knows Angie; it is human nature to prefer that which we are most familiar with, particularly when said familiar person’s ideology matches our own. It is not playing “kingmaker,” and personally, if that little jibe isn’t mudslinging sans insult but still highly nuanced to where it evokes the emotion of insult, I don’t know what it is.

Then there is the issue of whether Betsy is “liberal” enough for the Dem vote. Or Salazar for that matter, and if not then what is his endorsement worth? And it makes me crazy that this card is being played. Because you know, we want to get the most flaming leftist to run against Marilyn in fairly red country so that we’re sure to lose…wouldn’t that be great? I’ve said it before and I will say it again…America is not Red or Blue – we’re all of that and a bunch of Purples in between. Check out Mark Satin’s Radical Middle for more on that. Knowing Betsy as I do, admittedly in a fairly limited manner, I remain convinced that she is not with a right or a left agenda, but rather will serve with an agenda that will benefit the people of the 4th Congressional District. All of the people, too, not just the ones who voted Democrat. And isn’t that what we want, after all? Don’t we want leaders who are legitimate and sincere, or do we wish to perpetuate the partisan politics dominating our current government?

In life, some say it’s what you know that matters. Others say it’s not what you know but who you know that matters. I contend that neither does you any good without the others. So what if big names know you – what if they know you to be a cheat and/or a total slacker? In the end, it’s who you know who happen to know what you know [and are capable of doing] that will take you far in life.

Betsy knows Ken Salazar, Bob Bacon, Peggy Reeves and Stan Matsunaka. And they all know her to be the best Democratic candidate for serving the people represented by the 4th Congressional District seat.

Oh, and she knows me too. And I concur with the big-wigs.