25 January 2011

Hungry Kids Not Fair Game, Who Knew?

Hungry Colorado Kids Make Poor Political Targets

Republican State Representatives Cheri Gerou of Evergreen and Jon Becker of Fort Morgan, two of the three Republicans in the Colorado General Assembly's Joint Budget Committee, have thought better of their decision to follow the mean spirited lead of Sen. Kent Lambert, R-Colorado Springs, who really does think that hungry poor kids should be denied free school breakfasts.

Apparently, Gerou and Becker lacked the common sense on their own to know that picking on hungry little children who benefit from the free breakfast program should not suffer because an anonymous state bureaucrat made an accounting error that left the program overbudget. But, they did have the political sense to realize that almost everyone else in the State of Colorado, even in conservative strongholds like Grand Junction, Colorado did realize this point and retreated from their hardline stance.

The Gessler Drama

Newly sworn in Secretary of State Scott Gessler, meanwhile, who outrageously announced last week that he is can't survive on the pay of the office he campaigned to win and secured, and wants to work part-time at his old election law firm, despite the obvious conflicts of interest and appearance of impropriety this creates, hasn't backed down, despite strong editorials from both the Denver Post's right wing editorial board and its token liberal commentator today, explaining just how off base he is for trying to do so. The fact that he can't see why this is a problem is itself troubling.

Equally amusing is his fall back position. He has know made clear that he will look to the Attorney General's office for ethical guidance on the issue. And, who in the Attorney General's office has been appointed to handle that task? Bernie Buescher, the Democrat whom he defeated for the Secretary of State post this past November. It has been a long time since Bernie Buescher actively practiced law, but his four years of experience as Colorado's Secretary of State, many years representing a conservative Grand Junction district as a Democrat in the State House, and abundant common sense, make him well qualified for the task.

Equally disturbing, Gessler claims to have raise the part-time job issue during the campaign, even though no one anywhere can be produced to say that he actually did. Making shit up is a standard part of the Republcan play book, but this blantant instance of it by Gessler is particularly galling, because everyone who is listening knows that it isn't true.

The Denver Post, to give it credit, endorsed Buescher, who was clearly the better man, and to anyone familiar with the two candidates, the choice was clear. But, of course, most people know little about candidates for the Secretary of State's post, which only involves real power when close call election issues come up, and voted based on party labels rather than individual qualifications in a year when Red rather than Blue was the hot political color.

What Next?

It took less than two weeks for the new Republican majority in the state house, and the new Republican Secretary of State to thoroughly embarass themselves by taking stances that even died in wool conservatives can't stomach. Walker Stapleton, our new Republican State Treasurer, hasn't made a miscue yet, but still has plenty of time to allow voters to regret their choices last November.

No comments: