With radio host raising nary a peep of objection, Gessler says stories about his reimbursements are “petty stuff” and Post is on a “jihad”

In what appears to be his first public comments on news reports that he used his office’s discretionary funds to give himself what amounted to a $1,400 bonus, Secretary of State Gessler told KNUS this morning that the issues involved are “petty stuff” and The Denver Post is on a “jihad” against him.

KNUS Host Steve Kelley talks a lot about how tough it was for him when he was unemployed, before landing his KNUS gig. And I believe him.

But you wonder how can he sit there and let Scott Gessler call $1,400 “penny ante, petty stuff,” and The Post is engaging in “fly specking” (which, in case you didn’t know, means “to examine in minute detail” according to the American Heritage dictionary).

Kelley should have asked Gessler why, if he thinks $1,400 is so insignificant, like fly excrement, why he bothered to ask his staff to cut him a check for it, apparently without providing any justification for receiving the cash.

Kelley also let Gessler go on about how his predecessors used discretionary funds, without pointing out that they did so within the proper protocols of their offices, while apparently Gessler did not.

And then there’s the part about Gessler saying The Post is on a jihad against him.

Kelley should have pointed out that, to be fair, it looks more like the other way around, with Gessler repeatedly flogging The Post’s editorial board, equating “the left” with the “mainstream media,” saying the mainstream media doesn’t like Republicans sho shake things up, and more.

I hope Kelley addresses these matters next time Gessler is on the line.

Listen here to Gessler on KNUS Kelley and Company 10-19-2012, or read the partial transcript below:

Kelley: I know you’re on the front page of The Post this morning, with this $1,400 story. It’s a joke, in my mind. It looks like a ridiculous thing. You want to respond to that in any way shape or form. I looked at that and I said, ‘Come on.’

Gessler: Sure. Here’s what’s going on. I mean, The Post is doing a level of fly specking and holding sort of my spending to a standard that they’ve never done to anyone else and they’re certainly not doing to anyone else. You know, our governor uses his discretionary funds, and these are discretionary funds that don’t quite fall within the category of state business. He uses his discretionary funds to fly to Davos, Switzerland, and I don’t begrudge him that. I think it’s fine. My predecessor used his discretionary funds for all kinds of things. He went to Taiwan and used some discretionary funds to travel around Taiwan. And you don’t question–

Kelley: We’re talking about $1,400. Come on!

Gessler: So The Post is, I mean, they’re on this sort of jihad I think, and it’s truly a double standard. It’s one thing I’ve learned to accept because, ah, you know, let’s face it, The Post doesn’t always like me all the time. But I think most people will realize that at the end of the day this is really penny ante, petty stuff that The Post is talking about. The real stuff is, have we gotten a lot of people to register to vote. Are we running a clean election. How are our business registrations? Our fees are among the lowest in the country. Things are working at the office better than they ever have before. I think that’s the substance of what we need to focus on.

Kelley: Scott, thank you very much. I appreciate that. And we’ll see you down the road.

Gessler: Great. Thank you very much.

Kelley: Continue the good work.

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