I Thought The Worry Was Black Helicopters

Christopher Osher at The Denver Post:

Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes is warning voters that Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper’s policies, particularly his efforts to boost bike riding, are “converting Denver into a United Nations community.”

“This is all very well-disguised, but it will be exposed,” Maes told about 50 supporters who showed up at a campaign rally last week in Centennial.

Maes said in a later interview that he once thought the mayor’s efforts to promote cycling and other environmental initiatives were harmless and well-meaning. Now he realizes “that’s exactly the attitude they want you to have.”

“This is bigger than it looks like on the surface, and it could threaten our personal freedoms,” Maes said.

He added: “These aren’t just warm, fuzzy ideas from the mayor. These are very specific strategies that are dictated to us by this United Nations program that mayors have signed on to.”

Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs:

OK, we have a winner in today’s Crazy Dumb Fear-Mongering Sweepstakes: Colorado GOP gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes, who’s convinced that the Mayor of Denver’s bike-sharing program is only the first step on a slippery slope leading inevitably to a United Nations invasion of Denver.

Don Suber:

That’ll cost him 5 points in the polls in Mork-and-Mindy Land.

Steve Benen:

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t literally laugh out loud at this. “That’s what they want you to think” is something of a comical cliche, used by those making fun of paranoid conspiracy theorists.

In this case, a leading Republican gubernatorial candidate — and Tea Party favorite — was completely serious. Maes went on to tell the Denver Post that efforts to promote bicycling and related programs seem like “warm, fuzzy ideas,” but they’re really “very specific strategies that are dictated to us by this United Nations program.” He added, “This is bigger than it looks like on the surface, and it could threaten our personal freedoms.”

Honestly, is there something in the water this year? Is the RNC handing out crazy pills to all of its candidates?

In this case, Maes is concerned about Denver participating in “the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, an international association that promotes sustainable development and has attracted the membership of more than 1,200 communities, 600 of which are in the United States.”

There’s nothing especially nefarious about sustainable development — it’s actually a smart idea — and Denver joined the effort in 1992, more than a decade before Hickenlooper became mayor.

Unless, that’s all part of Hickenlooper’s radical plan, and he just wants us to think he wasn’t involved in 1992. In reality, he was plotting even then, teaming up with the Illuminati, the Loch Ness Monster, and Bigfoot, working together in some giant pro-bicycle U.N. scheme. All of this is, after all, “bigger than it looks like on the surface.”

Jocelyn Rousey at Mediaite:

Okay, Mr. Meas. A few things:

1) Define “U.N. community” without resorting to paranoid Michelle Bachmann-esque talk of one-world governments and the imposition of “European socialism” on America. Then, if don’t mind, could you walk me through the connection between initiating a privately-funded bike rental program for the city and the degradation of personal freedoms, please?

2) What exactly is so threatening about riding a bike? Just because Europeans love their bikes and Vespas doesn’t mean that by also liking bikes Americans will start pining for “European-style socialism.”

3) Just a technicality here, but Denver gets a lot of snow, which isn’t exactly conducive to biking. At best, Hickenlooper will end up with a seasonal U.N. community.

So, if you could just get back to me on that, that’d be great. Thanks.

Matthew Yglesias:

I don’t really think bike commuting is going to take America by storm next week, but it is a cheap and healthy way to get around that will appeal to some people. And since in addition to being cheap and healthy, it’s also better for air quality than driving a car, it makes perfect sense for municipal leaders to try to ensure that transportation infrastructure accommodates cyclists.

Wonkette:

Fortunately, once Maes is governor, every single bicycle lane in Denver will be eliminated to accommodate the coming wave of wider SUVs, and transit pass holders will be given dune buggies

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Filed under Infrastructure, Political Figures

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