Bill Daniels was one of Colorado’s finest, most successful and generous citizens. Born in Greeley in 1920, he was a decorated Navy fighter pilot in World War II and Korea. His business genius in a variety of enterprises made him a billionaire. He’s best known as the “father of cable television.” His philanthropy included $22 million to the University of Denver, now home to the Daniels College of Business. He also donated Cableland, his $7 million mansion, to the City of Denver for use as a residence for the mayor. Shortly before his death in 2000, he committed the bulk of his $1.1 billion estate to the Daniels Fund and its scholarship program which has given almost $200 million to more than 4,000 underprivileged students over the last 20 years.
Scholarship applicants fill out an extensive application, covering documentation of financial need, high school transcripts, recommendations, employment history, interests, ambitions, community involvement and extra-curricular activities; along with questions about personal values and beliefs. Bill loved America and our men and women in the military. He revered the Constitution, believed in limited government, capitalism, self-reliance, individual rights and responsibilities.
Daniels Fund CEO Linda Childears explains that since Bill made his money in business, to counter the general anti-business sentiment in our country, applicants are asked those questions about personal beliefs and values “to make sure we’re giving Bill’s money to kids he would be proud of.” A statement on the fund’s website specifies that applicants should be scholars who share Daniels’ values.
Here’s a sampling of statements in the application that call for “yes” or “no” answers: I am proud to be an American. Government should guarantee jobs for everyone. Everyone should get an automatic raise after a year of working. Government should decide how business profits are distributed Government is responsible for meeting all our needs. The economic system in the US is rigged. Businesses only benefit the wealthy.
Another question shows an American flag, Canadian flag, Mexican flag, an American flag upside down and an American flag set aflame, and asks applicants which of these images evokes their strongest positive emotion.
The answers consistent with Bill’s values are obvious. His mission was to find and assist future entrepreneurs, captains of industry, patriots and soldiers to make a dent in the liberal assembly line that most of higher education has become. But there are some who despise those values. For example, Candi CdeBaca, a self-described radical leftist newly elected to the Denver City Council. She’s Denver’s version of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the callow socialist US congresswoman from New York ─ dubbed AOC by her cheerleaders in the liberal media. CdB’s political ideology is even more radical than Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
Now for the gobsmacking irony. CdB graduated from the University of Denver on a Daniels scholarship! Talk about biting the hand that fed you. This is what she posted on Facebook about the questions on the scholarship application:
“I used to be a proud Daniels scholar, then I learned their politics and then I was just grateful…now I’m straight up appalled and determined to fight as hard as we can for free college, period.” She added that her “stomach literally turned” and that she’s “disgusted and cannot believe that there are responsible adults in this organization that allowed this new application.”
No, college wouldn’t be “free.” It’d be subsidized by taxpayers. As to her ideology, she has declared that “Capitalism, by design, is extractive, and in order to generate profit in a capitalist system, something has to be exploited. I believe in community ownership of land, labor, resources, and distribution of those resources.” On a large scale that’s doctrinaire Marxism. But she’s said the label that best fits her is “anarchist.” Traditionally, anarchism is the absence of government and the presence of chaos. But CdB seems to be echoing Noam Chomsky’s nonsensical, utopian ravings about “anarcho-syndicalism,” the delusion that a society like ours can be reorganized into small, collectivist self-governing communes. Although, the public policies she’s aligned with in the real world require massive government controls and limitless spending and taxes. Then again, she has a degree in social work, obviously not political economy. As Peter De Vries would say, “Deep down, she’s shallow.”
If Bill Daniels had been alive to personally interview CdB, she’d have flunked the scholarship exam. Her annual salary on city council is $92,000, pretty good for a 33-year-old “community organizer” and social worker. If she were truly principled, she’d return the money to the Daniels Fund that now “appalls” her.
Longtime KOA radio talk host and columnist for the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News Mike Rosen now writes for CompleteColorado.com.