Our readers will have to forgive us for not joining the permanent Hickenlooper love-fest that permeates Colorado's political class. We have been quick to provide plaudits when plaudits are due to the Governor, but we are baffled by the press, Republicans and even the Tea Party's unwillingness to stand up to Hickenlooper when the Guv deserves a smack down.
Bill Ritter must be quietly seething. Not unlike Hickenlooper, Ritter was a hands-off Governor. Unlike Hickenlooper, Ritter was chastised and bullied by everyone for being a hands-off and ineffectual Governor.
John Hickenlooper carries no such cross, and he has been no less active. Hell, at least Ritter had the (POS) New Energy Economy. We mean, say what you like about the New Energy Economy, Dude, but at least it's an ethos.
With the exception of booze wars and casino melees, Hickenlooper's footprint has been small.
For the better part of six months, Governor Hickenlooper has, as best we can tell, spent more time dodging big fights than providing leadership. And, other than the budget, for which we highly praised him, the debates he engages are either small or symbolic.
Hickenlooper wouldn't publicly touch the redistricting fracas — thanks due to a complicit press there. But Hick did try to tilt the scales in a perpetual fight between liquor stores and grocery stores about who gets to sell beer.
How is that leadership?
Hickenlooper has not been asked on the record…nor has he offered…a position on Rollie Heath's 3 Billion dollar tax increase. But the Hickster garnered front page journalistic sweet-nothings for firing the Gaming Commission over a disagreement as to whether the commission should tax casinos by $5 million more or less.
No surprise, the media didn't bother to ask Hick if it was mere coincidence that many of the new Gaming Commissioners that he appointed also happened to be large campaign donors. Or why he appointed a disgraced Sheriff to replace the current law enforcement representative.
At the end of the legislative session, Hickenlooper said he didn't want a disagreement over "pay day" lenders to upend a must-pass regulations bill, but the Governor hasn't managed to tell us why an Executive Order signed by Bill Ritter unionizing government for the first time is still on the books under his watch.
Ok, we are going to say it…when is someone going to show some stones and at least ask the Governor a tough question?
Are you out there Republicans in the Legislature?
Are you out there Tea Party enthusiasts?
To a star struck media, can we expect to see coverage on issues other than beer and casinos…and on those issues, can we expect a follow up question or two?
This really is approaching the point of silliness. We have no reason to root against Hick or wish him ill — after all we were bowled over by his budget moves. We do wonder why no one seems to have the gumption to ask him to lead — that is, lead on something that doesn't involve the 7 deadly sins.