Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes knows you might think bicycles and bicycle riding are harmless, but beware: “That’s exactly the attitude they want you to have.”
The Denver Post reports that Maes, a Tea Party friendly candidate facing former Rep. Scott McInnis in the August 10 Republican primary, has come out against a public bicycle program run by the city of Denver. Denver’s mayor, John Hickenlooper, is the presumptive Democratic nominee, and a cycling supporter.
“This is all very well-disguised, but it will be exposed,” Maes said at a small campaign rally last week, according to the Post. “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.”
Maes said in a later interview that he was referring to Denver’s membership 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.
It turns out that Hickenlooper wasn’t even mayor when Denver became a member of the program, but no matter.
Maes said ICLEI is affiliated with the United Nations and is “signing up mayors across the country, and these mayors are signing on to this U.N. agreement to have their cities abide by this dream philosophy.”
The program includes encouraging employers to install showers so more people will ride bikes to work and also creating parking spaces for fuel-efficient vehicles, he said.
Pretty sinister stuff. Wait a sec… So what’s the issue? Maes admits that on the surface, things seem harmless.
“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 ICLEI is part of a greater strategy to rein in American cities under a United Nations treaty,” he said. Well then: it all becomes clear.
A recent SurveyUSA poll shows Maes leading McInnis 43-39.
Read the rest here.
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com