A yet unmentioned aspect of this rapidly escalating issue of Democrats cheating their way through reapportionment has found one state Senator who fancies herself a model of good government and fairness noticeably silent. State Senator Morgan Carroll (D-Aurora) is known at the state Capitol as a someone who thinks herself an arbiter of good and fair government, but while sitting on the Reapportionment Commission she has acted and behaved in anything but a fair way.
You only need to look back to reapportionment hearings in July to see Senator Carroll crying crocodile tears about plans that would make significant changes to state House lines in Aurora. That to her was a step too far. But gaming the system by pressuring a non-partisan Commission staffer, whose job is affected by her opinion of him, and forcing most of the GOP legislative leadership into the same districts — that's totally okay with her.
We have a word for that in the English language: Hypocrite.
The staff director on the Reapportionment Commission is Jerry Barry, who also works for the Office of Legislative Legal Services (OLLS). Jerry's boss at OLLS works at the pleasure of legislative leadership. As Carroll is widely expected to ascend to the top of the state Senate Democrat caucus, after Senator Shaffer steps down due to term limits next year, Carroll will have a significant impact on Barry's job.
After many, many emails from Barry to all of the commissioners clearly stating that new maps had to been in at Noon on November 23, Carroll replied just to Barry asking him the absolute latest any changes could be made. Knowing that Carroll would likely become his boss's boss in the not-so-distant future he was likely doing his best to please Carroll.
See his response to Carroll's last minute question versus the one he gave to Rob Witwer, who would soon no longer have any professional affiliation with Barry after the Commission finished its business:
From: Rob Witwer
To: Jerry Barry
Date: 11/21/2011 11:11 AM
Subject: Re: Meeting Schedule
Jerry – there have been so many changes to the calendar I'm not sure of the schedule. What's the latest?
From: Jerry Barry
To: Rob Witwer
Date: 11/21/2011 11:17 AM
Subject: Re: Meeting Schedule
Sorry. Plans are due by Noon on the 23rd. The meetings are at 11:00 on the 28th and 1:00 on the 30th.
Very clear cut. Plans by Noon on the 23rd. Days later, only hours before maps were due, the only Commissioner who had any future impact on Barry, Senator Carroll, emails basically looking for any wiggle room she can get.
From: Morgan Carroll
To: Jerry Barry
Date: 11/23/2011 8:33 AM
Subject: map deadlines again?
Is today noon the deadline for preliminary maps? When is the deadline past which no more changes can be made?
To: Morgan Carroll
Date: 11/23/2011 8:45 AM
Subject:Re: map deadlines again?
From:Sen. Carroll —
Noon is the deadline for plans to be sent out before Monday's meeting. Amendments and new plans can be sent to us over the weekend and we will try to have them ready for Monday's meeting, but depending on how many we get, we may have trouble having them ready for Monday's meeting. As I understand it, no new plans or amendments are to be introduced or discussed on Tuesday. If someone has a plan that they do no want sent out, but wants to have ready for the meeting on Monday, it would be helpful to have it to us as early as possible. If we are not to send it out before the Monday meeting, just let us know.
Being the good government gal she claims to be Senator Carroll must have let her fellow GOP Commissioners know about this sudden reinterpretation of the time line, right?
No? Well then Senator Carroll has some explaining to do.
Why didn't she share this information with the other Commissioners? Wouldn't that be the transparent, level playing field thing to do?
Why, of all the Commissioners, was the one to ask Barry for some wiggle room the only Commissioner who could affect Barry's future job prospects? It could just be a coincidence, but the shenanigans pulled by the Commision's Democrats leave us little reason to see anything but bad intentions on their part.
Over at Colorado Pols and on Twitter Democrat operatives have been pushing back hard against this narrative of Democrats cheating. Whenever Pols offers up a long-winded and nitpicking post in defense of Democrats you know something is up.
As the old phrase goes, "thou doth protest too much."
Democrats pulled an unethical stunt. Even The Denver Post editorial board sees it. Morgan Carroll, however, doesn't seem to care.
Morgan Carroll could not abide in July seeing significant changes to state House lines in Aurora. But only a few months later she was trying to game the system so she could force primaries between many of her GOP colleagues.
When something doesn't align with her political priorities she cries fairness. But when outright cheating occurs in pursuit of a "politically vindictive" move, she stands silent.
There is only one way to describe that….hypocrisy.