If you’re a reporter, and you’ve been covering Secretary of State Scott Gessler, it’s been a tough few years, because he plays so fast and so loose with the facts.
That’s an accurate assessment, based on Gessler’s record of distorting basic voter information (Voter Fraud! Illegal Voters!), and has nothing to do with his policy positions. If you’re a fair-minded person, you’d agree that Gessler is slippery.
So I pity the poor reporters assigned to chase Gessler around on the campaign trail, if he runs for governor, because I can only imagine the pitfalls they’ll hit as they try to fact-check the would-be Governor Honey Badger.
You can see it coming, as Gessler contemplates his gubernatorial run.
On KNUS’ Kelley and Company, for example, May 24, Gessler said that one of his major considerations, as he considers whether to run for governor, is to assess what’s left for him to accomplish as Secretary of State.
Gessler: “What have I done at the Secretary of State’s Office? What else is there left to do? Have we been able to accomplish a lot of what we wanted? To a large extent the answer there is yes.”
Gessler’s first goal as Secretary of State, you recall, was to moonlight for his former law firm, so he could make more money. He failed there, after it became obvious that no one would tolerate such brazen conflict-of-interest by the Secretary of State, of all people.
He filed a slew of lawsuits, including a big one to stop ballots from being sent to registered voters who missed just one election, and guess what? He lost most of his lawsuits at god-knows-what public expense, pissing off judges along the way.
He made several unsuccessful attempts to change campaign finance rules. Chief among them was his effort, which was ruled unconstitutional, to raise the threshold from $200 to $5,000 for an issue committee to report contributions and expenditures. He also tried to change the definition of a 527 committee so that most or all of them would not be required to report financial information.
He tried and failed to get a law through the state legislature giving him legal authority to purge voters. In the process, he unintentionally proved, to the few who might have wondered, that there is no significant problem with noncitizen voting in Colorado.
In a 9News YourShow debate prior to being elected, when listing goals as SOS, Gessler referred first to his plan to institute photo identification in Colorado. Failed there.
Next from Gessler’s lips on YourShow was his opposition to same-day voter registration, which is now law.
Gessler says on KNUS that his “record of achievement” includes a successful 2012 election and better services for Colorado business.
Even giving him this, which was arguably forced on him, you’d have to give Gessler a “pants-on-fire” rating for saying “to a large extent” he’s accomplished what he set out to do as Secretary of State.
If he enters the race, you hope journalists will report the smoke coming from Gessler’s pants–and that the fumes won’t choke the other candidates, like Tom Tancredo and Gov. John Hickenlooper.