Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler just doesn’t get that he’s damaged goods, and that he needs to step aside.
Gessler, who was elected to his post less than two years ago, continues to cloud his office and Colorado elections in ways the state’s top election official never should.
Last week, Gessler drew suspicion over his scheme to out and oust what he was sure to be a gaggle of illegal immigrants voting in Colorado elections. It never happened. Now it would seem that everyone in Colorado would welcome a public official who wants to make sure state elections are honest, accurate and fair. The problem is Gessler’s tawdry political baggage.
You see, Gessler is not just a Republican, but also a cynical, nasty, partisan Republican. So when you put someone like that in charge of counting the votes and running the state’s elections, you’re bound to have trouble.
It began even before Gessler took office in January 2011. Just days after starting, the press reported Gessler had quietly planned to do some moonlighting for his old law firm, which specializes in fighting Republican election battles. That’s what Gessler did for a living before he became Colorado Secretary of State. He didn’t tell the public what he was going to do. He got outed. He said he hadn’t planned on working on cases or for clients that could throw a shadow of doubt on his job as an impartial administrator of elections, and that we should trust him, and the press should mind its own business. Yeah, right.
Since then, Gessler has kept his name in the headlines by trying to supposedly clean up Colorado elections in ways that — you’re not going to believe this — always seem to result in the potential net loss of voters or political clout that leans to the left.
Gessler has continued to say how shocked, shocked and dismayed he is by Democrats’ continued criticism and suspicion and the media’s picking on him by writing stories about his foibles and editorials about his gaffes. He says he’s just floored that people don’t believe that he doesn’t have a partisan thought in his head when he starts making election decisions.
It’s a load of crap. Here’s a sample of what’s in Gessler’s head. Gessler appeared among a throng of Aurora Republicans at the Arapahoe County Republican Party earlier this year. A reporter from the Colorado Statesman recorded Gessler’s 40-minute rant about what a keen guy he is.
“But the other thing that (the left) doesn’t like is our Christian values and the freedom we have to not only exercise those but the freedom to make ourselves what we want to be. And that’s political freedom, that’s economic freedom, that’s the ability to do this stuff. Now if you ask someone on the left what makes America great, a lot of times what they’re going to say is the right to criticize government. And that’s good, but that’s not the thing I think that makes America great. And the reason why is they don’t believe in the fundamental goodness of America,” the Statesman wrote.
Yeah, right. Lefties just hate political and economic freedom. He goes on to say that the left sees everything as a civil rights problem. Funny, keeping people from voting because they’re poor, old, minorities or disadvantaged tends to be a civil rights problem, Gessler.
And the non-Christian, misguided, freedom-hating, government-bashing, communistic, left-leaning Colorado residents who don’t believe in the fundamental goodness of America are supposed to trust this Midwest carpet-bagging lawyer to be honest and fair in administrating election law? In a swing state with so much at stake in November, we’re supposed to believe that Gessler won’t morph into the notorious Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris on Election Day?
Gee, call me cynical, but I’m going to decline. Go away, Gessler. Pack up your sorry, partisan show and go back to trying to get votes for Republican candidates and issues the old fashioned way: as a lawyer in court.
I seriously doubt that he would heed such a call, so it’s time for state lawmakers, from both sides of the aisle, and the attorney general to do what they can to ensure fairness and transparency in Gessler’s office until he’s gone.
It wouldn’t be a bad idea to explore doing away with the elected secretary of state position altogether and changing elections administration to an appointed position sanctioned by the bipartisan state senate.
Anything is better than this. Trust me.
Reach editor Dave Perry at 303-750-7555 or [email protected]