As Governor Hickenlooper embarks on his new
taxpayer funded polling operation “To Be Determined” listening tour, we think it's instructive to look at what issues Hick has already marked TBD. As a gubernatorial candidate Hick never really had to stick his neck out on any issues — why bother when running against Maes and Tancredo?
But as Governor he's kept that TBD political persona intact to the point of believing it's ridiculous to even expect clearly articulated issue positions from him, the state's Chief Executive.
When Tim Hoover of The Denver Post asked him about political players from left to right complaining about his TBD persona, Hick complained, saying "where is it in the rule book that you have to always take a side and be part of these divisional arguments?"
Where in the rule book? Umm…it's in the job description, your Excellency.
“Rather than lead Colorado to economic prosperity, John Hickenlooper governs with his finger in the air to notice any changes in the political winds,” says Tyler Q. Houlton, President of Compass Colorado. “This is a governor who refuses to take a stand on every important and controversial issue.”
“To Be Determined is a perfect name for Hickenlooper’s gutless jobs plan – he simply doesn’t have one.”
To conservative commentator George Will, Hickenlooper declared that due to Colorado's political makeup, he didn't even have to wade into the big issues, saying "we are such a purple state, we can avoid the big fights."
That doesn't even make sense. If we're a competitive state, then that necessarily means we'll have more big fights, not less.
On some of these issues, Hick made sure to avoid a determination before the sell by date, like Prop 103, while on others Hick waited until a position was safe before taking it, like supporting Tebow.
1. Prop 103: Can you imagine a CEO not taking a position on their company's revenue stream? That's exactly what Hickenlooper did on Prop 103.
2. Olympics: A Blue Ribbon Commission must decide before Hickenlooper lets the "entrepreneurial spirit" dictate this decision…you know since so many entrepreneurs farm out decision making to committees.
3. Redistricting: Hick was happy to let the courts decide this one, rather than wade in during the legislative session and force legislators, who are accountable to the people, to draw the lines.
4. Reapportionment: Like redistricting, Hick could have made a difference, preventing the process from devolving into a vindictive attack on GOP women and incumbent GOP legislators. Instead, he watched the process from the sidelines and only weighed in to lament what happened afterwards.
5. Early Childhood Literacy: No position during his State of the State speech. Still waiting on "bipartisan legislation."
6. Drilling on Roan Plateau: For a Governor who likes to mention his oil and gas background quite often, it's strange he's avoided a position on an economic development issue that could make an enormous difference to a region of the state with unemployment surpassing 20% in some counties.
7. Endorsing Obama: It's been 287 days since Obama filed for re-election. Hickenlooper has yet to endorse his campaign, and has said he doesn't plan on stumping for him in Colorado.
8. Tebow as starting QB: When Hick invoked Tebow during his State of the State address, you'd think he was a fan all along. Not so. Asked by Eli Stokols of Fox 31 back in October about Tebow moving into the starting QB position, Hick hedged and said he supported whatever Coach Fox wanted.
9. DPS endorsements: During the Denver school board elections, Hick went out of his way to praise a slate of candidates, but refused to endorse them. Observers wondered why he didn't have the guts, or intellectual honesty, to just come out and endorse.
10. Dealing With Occupy Denver: After much public lamenting about a supposed lack of legal recourse, Hick eventually shut down the squatter camps, but not until Senator Greg Brophy and talk radio bludgeoned him into doing so.
11. Bill to make it harder to amend the state constitution: During the last legislative session, Hickenlooper refused to weigh in on a bill that would have made it easier to amend the state constitution. As the leading spokesman for many a ballot initiative, it's something Hick has had plenty of time to consider his position on, yet he stayed silent. Shocking.
12. Unionization of state employees: There was vague talk of changing outdated personnel rules during the State of the State, yet on a defining issue when it comes to state personnel, Hick has been nowhere. That may change soon, as we hear talk of bills designed to force him into a position.
13. PERA reform: While State Treasurer Walker Stapleton was forced to sue to try to figure out where the problems reside on this massive public pension boondoggle, Hick has been nowhere.