Archive for the 'Colorado Secretary of State' Category

Radio host lets Gessler deliver platitudes and accusations without evidence or specifics

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

On his radio show this morning, KNUS Steve Kelley repeatedly let Scott Gessler deliver platitudes about Colorado elections without asking our Secretary of State to clarify himself or provide evidence for his accusations.

Kelley first asked Gessler why he opposes providing mail-in ballots to all voters and offering citizens election-day voter registration. Both, Kelley said, are reportedly part of an election-improvement bill that may be considered by the Legislature soon.

Gessler responded:

GESSLER:  Well, let me tell you.  It really opens the door to big problems in the state of Colorado:  problems with vote fraud, problems with the election integrity.  You know, and other states have used these procedures before and we’ve seen real problems there, as well.

Kelley didn’t ask for evidence of fraud, possibly because there isn’t  any, allowing Gessler to continue:

GESSLER: You know, the thing I find particularly frustrating as is Colorado has really good elections.  You know,  the people who generally sort of argue for this stuff say, “Well, you know, we needed to increase voter participation.”  And you look at this last election, Colorado –our voter participation was the third best in the country.  We outperform the – three-quarters of the Same Day Voter Registration states.  We outperform the All Mail Ballot states.  So to me, what it says is these folks who are pushing this type of stuff aren’t looking to solve a problem.  They’re not even really looking to improve our elections.  I think they’re really pushing it for some type of partisan gain, or a way to change the system, to game it, that’s going to help them.

Kelley failed to point out that, even in a good year, over one-third of eligible voters in Colorado don’t vote. Can’t we do better?

Instead, Kelley asked if election reforms would lead to “a lot more fraud opportunity.”

GESSLER:  You know, I definitely think it will.  You know, we’ve got mail ballots elections now for sort of the smaller, you know, municipal elections.  And a lot of people chose to vote by mail in our general elections.  But that’s a lot different than mandating it for everyone and sending everyone on the voter roll automatically a mail ballot for every election.  I think that causes real problems with that. And the Same Day Voter Registration side, where you don’t have time to check and validate anyone’s voter registration, there’s administrative problems, because then every single voting location has to be hard—has to be wired up with an internet connection. So you have problems there….

Kelley said the bill would probably move quickly through the legislature anyway.  To which Gessler replied, in part:

GESSLER:  … What you’re seeing happen is you’ve got this legislature  that’s pushing this incredibly liberal, left-wing agenda.  I mean, guns, special education for first graders, you know, single payer health care system – they’re trying to jam all that stuff through and then change the rules for the elections so that they can seal in their majorities forever.  I think that’s what they’re trying to do.

Again, evidence suggests that same-day registration doesn’t favor one party over the other. Instead, Kelley delivered this:

KELLEY:   Well, they say that elections have consequences, but if you are able to manipulate the election process in some way, [laughs] I mean, that takes that to a different level, then, doesn’t it?

GESSLER:  Yeah.  That’s for sure.  And you know, elections have consequences but at the same time, I think everyone has a responsibility to govern responsibly.  And when it comes to elections, you know, we want to make it easy to vote, tough to cheat.

KELLEY:  …What can anybody do?

GESSLER:  Well, I think there’s two things people can do.  One, talk to your state legislator.  You know, talk to your state legislator immediately about this.  And the second, talk to your County Clerk and Recorder about it, too.  Because, I know that the head of the Clerk and Recorders’ Association has been part of this whole deal – to write this bill.  And I know that there’s Clerks and Recorders that are behind it.  I don’t know exactly who they are.  And I know it includes some Republicans.  And they’re sort of keeping a low profile.  They don’t want people to know their involvement.  And what I think people need to do is call the Clerks and Recorders, and call their legislators and demand to know where they stand on this issue.  And hold them accountable.

Kelley didn’t ask Gessler to name the clerks whom he attacked here.

But Gessler is on Kelley’s show a lot. He can question him more responsibly next time.


Follow Jason Salzman on Twitter @bigmediablog

Gessler reportedly agrees to measure that would eliminate “inactive-failed-to-vote” designation in CO election law

Monday, February 4th, 2013

I reported last week that Secretary of State Scott Gessler was in Glenwood Springs recently telling a local reporter that he’d been working with Denver County Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson to solve their disagreement about whether voters who’ve missed just one general election should be sent mail-in ballots like other registered voters.

Carbondale-based radio station KDNK quoted Gessler saying that if the State Legislature approves a “solution” that Gessler claimed to have hammered out with Johnson, then “the issue will probably ultimately go away.”

This seemed like a strange statement, given that Gessler is in the midst of suing Johnson to stop her from mailing ballots to voters who’ve missed just one election.

So I called Johnson’s office to get its reaction.

Alton Dillard, a Spokesperson for the Denver Elections Division, told me that Gessler and Johnson agree on a measure to get rid of the “inactive-failed-to-vote” designation entirely, thereby allowing to voters who’ve missed just one election to receive mail-in ballots.

This is “essentially” the same proposal, with a few tweeks, that was considered by the Legislature last year, as Senate Bill 101, but was blocked, Dalton said.

Under the proposal, voters could still be put on “inactive” status if their ballot or another piece of voter communication was returned, Dalton said, adding that voters would have a number of options to return to active status.

This year, the inactive-failed-to-vote measure is believed to be included in a larger bill with a number of election-related provisions, Dalton said, but he’s not seen this legislation.

Dalton emphasized that the Denver Clerk and Recorder’s Office has a “great relationship” with the Secretary of State’s Office, though the two government entities “continue to work through some philosophical disagreements.”

Away from “people who are paid to be angry,” Gessler announces break-through agreement with Denver. But is it real?

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Aspen’s KDNK radio reported this week on a visit from Secretary of State Scott Gessler to Glenwood Springs where Gessler hoped to get feedback from locals on how the last election went for them.

KDNK reported that Gessler was “getting away from the usual talking points and what he called ‘people who are paid to be angry.'”

KDNK didn’t ask Gessler if he was also getting away from people who are unpaid and angry, but maybe a reporter can put that question to our Secretary of State once he returns to Denver.

Trouble is, Gessler probably lumps reporters into the “paid-to-be-angry” category of people, given that he thinks The Denver Post has been on a “jihad” against him, and Gessler is a frequent critic of professional journalists (but talk radio hosts, not so much).

KDNK reporter Erik Skalak reported Gessler’s comments on a 2011 lawsuit Gessler filed against Denver County Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson. A judge ruled against Gessler, allowing Johnson to send election ballots to voters who had skipped the last general election. KDNK reported:

“I think the judge was just wrong in his analysis,” Gessler told KDNK. “I really do. That said, you know, so the Clerk and Recorder in Denver and I have sort of been the two people opposing one another. And I’ve been in conversations with her for a long time, ever since the lawsuit, even before the lawsuit, on how we can sort of find a way to move forward on that. And I think we’ve hammered out a solution. So even though we’re still at the District Court Trial, if we’re able to get this solution through the State Legislature, the issue will probably ultimately go away.”

KDNK didn’t get a comment from Johnson, and I’m hoping reporters will join me in finding out if this solution is real–or just more Gessler loose mouth.


Not news: Gessler raises specter of “dramatic” fraud, if election-day registration passed

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

If you’re a reporter, you’re naturally inclined to pay attention to your Secretary of State when he or she warns that possible legislation could lead to “dramatic” vote fraud.

But if it’s Colorado’s Scott Gessler, we’ve all learned by now, journalists can relax. Just relax. No need to race to get it up on Twitter. No need to rush anywhere, because it’s not news. He’s lost his credibility way more than Chicken Little.

So, I hope you didn’t get excited if you happened to be listening to Greeley radio station KFKA Monday morning and heard Gessler say this to host Tom Lucero:

“I’ve heard a lot of radical stuff coming out of the Legislature. We’ll see what actually happens.

“But one of the things that I’ve heard that they want to push is same day voter registration, where someone shows up on Election Day and registers immediately. And that creates all kinds of havoc in our systems, and it’s not secure at all. We’ve seen, you know, real, real, dramatic vote fraud in other states, especially urban areas that have used that same voter registration. So, I’m afraid that they’re going to push it nonetheless, and despite all our success in voter turnout, and despite our increased participation, I’m afraid that they’re going to claim that things are terrible nonetheless, and use that as an excuse to push for something that really opens us up to vote fraud.”

[Gessler said some other stuff about his work with the courts on other election matters, and you can listen here: Scott Gessler raises specter of voter fraud if election-day registration passes.]

But, please, we all know by now that if fraud were a real issue, the clerks would be worried. All of them may not be right all the time either, but they’re worth listening to.

And in any case, just for the sake of saying it, you don’t need to dig deep to find out that we can have safe election-day voter registration in Colorado. It doesn’t favor one party over another, which wouldn’t be a reason to oppose it, even if it did.

Bottom line for reporters: You can forget about this blog post and get back to real work.

As GOP continues promotion of anti-women and anti-Hispanic policies, reporters should recall sweet talk after election

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Correction Jan. 31, 2013. Michael Brown’s quote below was imprecise. The actual quote should read: On Denver radio station KHOW Jan. 16, Michael “Brownie” Brown, George W. Bush’s FEMA Director, told his talk-show listeners, “You hear these sob stories…. I don’t care whether they were two years old or they were 16 years old when their parents brought them across the border. They’re here illegally…. I really don’t have any sympathy.”


As civil-unions legislation hits the home stretch at the State Capitol, along with a bill granting in-state tuition to undocumented college students, let’s take a moment to encourage reporters to recall a jump-up-and-down-arms-waving op-ed that appeared in The Denver Post, just days after the election:

Rupublican thinkers Josh Penry and Rob Witwer wrote about the problem with the Colorado GOP:

We’ve forgotten that politics is a game of addition, not subtraction. And here’s some more math: 50,000 Latino kids turn 18 every month in this country. These kids grow up in households where parents work hard and attend church on Sunday. These are American values. But yes, some of these kids — through no fault of their own — were not born American citizens.

We’ve seen the arc of the immigration debate, and through our own personal experiences, we’ve also seen that it must now be resolved at all costs. This is a human issue, with moral (and biblical) implications. It’s time to bury the hatchet and forge bipartisan agreement on immigration reform.

Now, two short months later, most Republicans at the State Capitol are lining up against the ASSET bill, offering reduced tuition to undocumented college students.

The Post’s Lynn Bartels is calmly pointing out that even fewer Republican lawmakers appear to support a civil-unions bill this year than last year, because the GOP moderates were booted out by voters.

Rep. Cory Gardner is proudly telling the media how much he’d love to fill the GOP tent with women and Hispanics, without saying he’s against all abortion, some forms of birth control, as well as comprehensive immigration reform. Ditto for the rest of the CO GOP delegation, at least with respect to a path to citizenship.

Republicans are NOT jumping-up-and-down-arms-waving to denounce bills, introduced by fellow Republicans at the State Capitol, attacking abortion rights, including a bill banning all abortion, even in the cases of rape and incest.

On the radio, you have Michael “Brownie” Brown, W’s FEMA director with deep Republican connections, effectively thumbing his nose at Penry and Witwer by saying: “You hear these sob stories… I don’t care if they were two-years-old when they came. They’re illegal.. I have no sympathy.”

Secretary of State Scott Gessler may not see the irony that, just as ASSET is debated in Colorado, he’s scheduled to join a panel tomorrow at the Heritage Center with Kansas SOS Kris Kobach, who played a big part in creating the much-maligned anti-hispanic, anti-immigration law in Arizona. They’ll be talking about how to get tough on voting, but tough talk about immigration may pop up given the venue and the audience.

I could go on here, but why make a blog post long when a short one makes your point–and you have other stuff to do, like go on a walk with your 83-year-old mother in Commons Park, where you can relax and watch the GOP self-destruct?

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

Friday, October 19th, 2012

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.

A list of the best political journalism in Colorado so far this election cycle

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Compared to the 2010 election in Colorado, this one has been mostly a snoozer, journalistically.

But the 2010 election wasn’t really an election. It was a dramatic comedy show, with so many stories to tell and scandals to uncover that journalists almost couldn’t help but be stars.

Still, reporters have turned out some excellent work this time around, and I’ve listed my favorite reporting below. I’m hoping to see more great work in the next few weeks, but this list is inspiring.

9News Kyle Clark: “Coffman won’t explain Obama ‘not an American’ comments” Rather than let Coffman hide, Clark went out and found him.

Fox 31’s Eli Stokols:FOX31 Denver goes one-on-one with Paul Ryan” Stokols shows how an informed journalist can challenge a candidate’s spin.

The Denver Post’s Lynn Bartels and Tim Hoover: “Anarchy, chaos behind Colorado civil unions bill may have long-lasting effects” They dug deep to show, among other things, how the upcoming election influenced the legislative debate on civil unions.

The Denver Post’s Tim Hoover: “Noncitizen ID’d fraction of those first alleged by Gessler” No matter where you sit on the political spectrum, to understand Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s behavior and priorities, you have to understand the blizzard of numbers Gessler tosses around. Hoover did a great job clarifying Gessler’s figures in this piece.

Associated Press’ Ivan Moreno: “Voter Purges Turn Up Little Evidence Of Fraud Despite Republican Insistence” Like Hoover, Moreno gets to the heart of the voter “fraud” issue by looking at the details.

Fox 31’s Eli Stokols: “Colo. girl registering ‘only Romney’ voters tied to firm dumped by RNC over fraud” Stokols quickly connected the dots from Colorado to a scandal that was developing nationally.

CBS4’s Shaun Boyd: “Romney Loses Cool When Questioned About Marijuana, Gay Marriage” Boyd keeps her cool and sticks to her questions even as Romney flips out.

KBNO radio host Fernando Sergio’s interview with President Obama, which makes the list because Sergio almost certainly got the first interview with a sitting president on Spanish language radio in Colorado.

Colorado Statesman’s Judy Hope Strogoff: “Perry campaigns with friends in Colorado” I love this scoop, with the photos. An illuminating and fun piece.

The Denver Post’s John Ingold: “GOP’s VP candidate, Paul Ryan, emphasizes contrast with Obama’s vision” I like how Ingold gets at the candidates’ underlying view of government, as he reports on a campaign stop.

Local TV news fact checkers Shaun Boyd (CBS4), Matt Flener (9News), Brandon Rittiman (9News), and (sometimes) Marshall Zellinger (7News). I don’t always agree with them, but what they do is really important, especially on local TV.

Central casting’s “liberal mainstream media” not amused by Gessler’s partisanship

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

You may have heard that Secretary of State Scott Gessler said last week, in a speech to fellow conservatives, that the “left” doesn’t care about voter fraud. But he also said, during the question and answer portion of his presentation, that he likes to “tease” that The Denver Post is the embodiment of the “liberal mainstream media.”

Gessler: I always teasingly say that if I wanted to call central casting for a movie to get the mainstream media, the liberal mainstream media, they would send me The Denver Post editorial board.

That’s Gessler’s idea of teasing? I’ve heard him say this before, and it didn’t sound like he was teasing then, but even if he is teasing, you wonder if arch conservative columnist Vincenet Carroll, who sits on the editorial board with radical lefty Post founder Dean Singleton, is amused.

I doubt it.

And they’re definitely not amused about Gessler’s serious comments.

Articulating what most reasonable people were thinking about Gessler’s attack on the integrity of everyone on the left, The Post called his comments “troublesome this close to an election.”

Denver Post: Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s partisanship is ill-advised in general, but it’s particularly troublesome this close to an election.

On the substance of election fraud, The Post stated that what Gessler “has previously called the ‘widespread fraud’ of non-citizens voting was not even a rounding error.”

From the perspective of someone on the left, whom Gessler thinks “is more than willing to lie” to win elections, and who, in actuality, would do just about anything to stop voter fraud no matter who’s doing it, I would have liked The Post to have hit Gessler even harder, with an editorial saying that he owes people like me and the state an apology and, sorry to say, that he should step down before the election.

But why would Gessler’s embodiment of the liberal mainstream media agree with a liberal like me?

Gessler’s speech to conservatives is yet another warning to reporters about his brazen partisanship

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

The Denver Post ran a good piece yesterday morning, and the Colorado Indpendent followed with a more expansive piece yesterday afteroon, on Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s appearance at the Conservative Political Action Committee’s conference, held in Denver Thursday.

Gessler was on a panel titled, “Stealing Elections: What the Left Doesn’t Want You to Know About Voter Fraud,” and the media outlets reported, among other things, Gessler’s accusation that the “left” doesn’t care about election fraud.

Gessler’s comments, especially when you read his entire speech, should be seen as yet another warning sign to reporters about his brazen partisanship, which should obviously be a huge concern for all journalists with the election coming.

Gessler came to the podium after a speech by Catherine Engelbrecht of True the Vote. (The Colorado Independent provided its own transcript of the speech as well.)

Gessler: Thank you, very much. Let me start off by of course welcoming CPAC back to the great state of Colorado. Some of us would say, “The Greatest of States” Colorado. Um, you know, so I was elected back in November of 2010, took office in January of 2011. And I think most people would agree that when it comes to elections, it should be easy to vote but tough to cheat. And, you know, I’m focused on both efforts. But the “tough to cheat” tends to draw a little bit of controversy. And I think you’re going to hear from some folks who have really great examples of the vulnerabilities and problems we have throughout our country.

But what I was really struck by after taking office is the level of anger and the level of intensity with which the Left opposes efforts to make sure we’ve got clean and accurate voter rolls and honest elections. And I’ve thought a lot about that –to think about what drives them. And, so, I guess the topic here is, you know, “What the Left Doesn’t Want You to Know”. That’s hard to answer because they’re just so obvious in their behavior. Uh, but I think that one of the things that’s going on, is the people who oppose election integrity efforts, they frankly don’t care about vote fraud. They really don’t care about it. They may say they do, but they don’t.

And when you argue with them, or when the public debate – and this is sort of how the public debate goes. The Left will argue there is no vote fraud, there really isn’t any vote fraud.

They’ll say there’s corruption in our ballot initiatives. They’ll say there’s corruption in campaign finance. But when it comes to voting in the booths, our hearts are pure and without malice, and ne’er shall a dark thought cross our minds.

That’s their attitude. And so you show them that there’s fraud and mistake and abuse there, and then they change their argument. They say, “Well, there’s just a little bit. You haven’t shown me very much. It’s just a little bit.” And so you may show them a few more, and there’s more, and then they say, “Well, it’s not organized.” As if organization is the hallmark. And so, sometimes we’ll actually be able to show organization and then they’ll say, “Well, it hasn’t affected an election. You can’t prove to me that it has affected an election.” There’s examples where it has affected an election. And then they’ll argue, “Well, it’s not widespread.” And of course, for them, widespread is never widespread enough when it comes to vote fraud. It’s always minimal. And then, after you pin them down on that argument, they’ll say, “Well, let’s focus on getting people to vote. Because that’s really what America’s about.” And the reason why I’ve become so confident that they don’t care about this is, when you look at Colorado, we’ve made efforts to clean our voting rolls. We’ve also made massive efforts to register people to vote. Actually, those efforts have outweighed, from a resource standpoint, um, the non-citizen and voter ID issues. But the Left doesn’t care about that. They’re only focused on denying that vote fraud exists. It’s unfortunate. I think the other thing that’s going on is people on the left, to be frank among us and others, are manipulative. They just manipulate this issue. And I think – I mean, I think some people are very sincere when they deny vote fraud or – they’re misguided, but sincere. But I see two ways in which they really manipulate it. One is, when it comes to illegally registering people to vote. Voter registration drives don’t suffer the consequences. They’ll go before people – for example, non-citizens, they don’t care if they are non-citizens. They’ll register them to vote. And if that non-citizen registers and then votes, they suffer serious consequences: criminal prosecution, loss of the ability to ever become a US citizen. But the voter registration drive doesn’t suffer any of those consequences. So I think they’re very happy to manipulate people into believing that it’s okay to ignore these laws. I think the other thing that they are willing to do, is manipulate people to demagogue an issue, to sort of try and rile up anger, or use anger as a tool. And that’s happened throughout our history. But to sort of manipulate people to get them angry against a make-believe enemy that doesn’t exist, in an effort to win votes, to demonize, frankly, people who are conservative and believe in limited government. This is the tool they use, and of course the ultimate card they play is the racism card. And they’re more than willing to lie to do this. We’ve done some investigation in some of our voter registration drives, and one person was lying, telling people they were no longer registered to vote. And when that person was confronted, they got very angry. They said, “It doesn’t matter what I say, as long as I’m trying to register people to vote and get people mobilized.” In other words, “It’s okay to demagogue an issue,” this person thought, as long as their end is pure—their – the means justify the ends, [inaudible –in that sense (?)]. And so we’ve seen that repeatedly. It’s an unfortunate dynamic.

I think the ‘take-away’ from all of this is, the people who oppose election integrity on the left, they’re never going to change their minds. They really sort of dug their heels in. But the broad mass of people in America are common sense, and they agree with us. And so, I think we have to remain steadfast in our efforts, through solid evidence, persuasion, and patience, and ultimately, ultimately we will prevail in this battle. And thank you for being here. And thank you for all you do.

Caldara just smiles as Gessler deflects blame from his office and points his finger at County Clerks as the cause of registration problems

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Here’s how Jon Caldara introduced Secretary of State Scott Gessler last week when Gessler appeared on Caldara’s Channel 12 TV show:

You know him, you love him, and he rubs so many people the wrong way because you do your job – Scott Gessler.

About what you’d expect, right?

Except in this case it was particularly ironic because during the interview, Gessler blamed County Clerks for not doing their job properly, for being a root cause of mostly bogus voter registration problems that Gessler alleges.

Asked by Caldara why noncitizens appear on the voting rolls, Gessler basically threw the County Clerks under the bus, and Caldara didn’t bother to ask if Gessler felt any responsibility himself.

“At the Secretary of State’s office you should catch that and not register them,” Caldara said.

Gessler responded by saying, first, that people register improperly because they don’t understand the law.

Then he said that this is the Clerks’ fault, as if Gessler operated on a distant planet form them.

Gessler: It’s the clerks that actually go through those forms and register people to vote–the county clerks, and it secondly shows that there is some slop as far as people not carefully looking at those registration forms and making sure that if someone says, “no” they’re not registered to vote, you know, that person shouldn’t be registered.

Is Gessler saying he could do the clerks job better than the clerks? Caldara didn’t ask.

But it makes you wonder, especially because Gessler said later that we have a “problem” with Colorado election law, whether he’s going to make a play for greater control of state voter registration.

A good question next time Gessler puts his face in front of reporters, which he’s done a few times during his reign.