Colorado's Democrat Governor John Hickenlooper has talked a good game since his days as Denver Mayor. As Pie-in-the-Sky politicos go, few can match the Governor.
But results are a very different thing. Even as a growing number of leading Republicans start to question his governing gravitas, the headlines are also beginning to undermine his legacy as Denver Mayor.
On Sunday, The Denver Post's Jeremy Meyer had a piece looking at the failure of Hickenlooper's homeless program in Denver known as Denver Road Home. Started in 2005 by Mayor Hick with the goal of eliminating homelessness in 10 years, the program has failed to reduce the number of homeless – numbers have actually increased – and instead acted as a magnet to drifters. From the article:
Some worry that what is meant to be a safety net for Denver's most at-risk residents has also become a magnet for a steady stream of outsiders looking for help or a handout.
What has made this failure of Hick's so suddenly visible is the rapid rise in the population of people sleeping on the 16th St Mall, creating public safety and health issues, coupled with the annoyance of the Occupy Denver squatters.
Denver already has laws banning sleeping on sidewalks from 7 am to 9 pm, but as Meyer notes in the article, no one has ever been cited for violating those laws. Not once. Ever.
Despite the Occupiers contention that they support the homeless, the spoiled children's tent city in Civic Center Park has brought quite a bit of attention to the city's weak laws and enforcement on squatting and sleeping on public property.
The only real policy effect Squat City: Denver Edition might end up having is a crackdown on homeless camp sites.
As for political effects, the growing recognition that Hick's program has failed will add another straw to the camel's back, with conservatives waiting with bated breath for the day that animal's spine finally snaps.
While Hick lacked much opposition during his years as Denver Mayor, allowing him to escape unscathed from nearly every colossal failure, times they are a-changin.
Along with an actual loyal opposition, now that enough time has passed to begin to judge the success or failure of Hickenlooper's policies, and not just admire his ridiculous campaign and referendum TV ads, things are not looking quite so pretty for Hick.
Just as the FDA catches serious problems with drugs years after they hit the market, Colorado voters are beginning to realize there might be some serious defects with Hickenlooper.
The promised benefits on the pill bottle's label simply don't match the drug's effects.
As Obama's pastor might say, the chickens they are coming home to roost. And we at the Peak will be there to gather the eggs.