Sounding like a mainstream version of Colorado Peak Politics, yesterday The Denver Post's Tim Hoover exposed a dawdling, indecisive John Hickenlooper for the political chicken that he's acting like in refusing to take a side on the biggest debate in Colorado politics today — Proposition 103.
With Proposition 103 headed to Colorado voters in just more than six weeks, Gov. John Hickenlooper still hasn't taken a clear position on the ballot measure that would increase taxes by $3 billion to fund education.
When asked about it, Hickenlooper, a Democrat, for months has said voters "have no appetite" for tax increases but hasn't said specifically what he thinks of the ballot proposal. He has also said that he pledged not to support a tax increase in his first year in office, still not indicating whether he would support the idea at a different time.
Respect is definitely due to Hoover for removing himself from the obsequious press corps that has allowed Hick to hide for so long. Who knows? The nearly year long honeymoon Hick has had may be coming to an end.
Why won't Hickenlooper support the $3 Billion tax increase?
Hoover quotes pollster Floyd Ciruli saying that the initiative has no chance of success and Hick doesn't want to damage his reputation by supporting a failed initiative, an explanation we proffered last month.
With Politico reporters knocking on the door wanting to know about Hick's 2016 plans, he has been mighty careful to cultivate that image of someone who can play the political middle better than anyone. But he also doesn't want to annoy the liberal Left who direly wants to hike taxes, leaving Hick to play the no position squish that Hoover exposes him to be on Prop 103.
It probably also has something to do with what Hickenlooper told George Will — namely that he doesn’t think he needs to take a position on contentious issues:
[Hickenlooper] says, “We are such a purple state” — Colorado is about one-third Republican, one-third Democrat and one-third unaffiliated — “we can avoid the big fights.”
Now it's no longer just conservative blogs pointing out Hickenlooper's hidey hole approach to governance and big issues. The state's most influential paper has fired a Sunday shot into Hick's hidey hole and exposed his tax hike timidness.
Governor John Chickenlooper anyone?