In what may be the 2014 version of Mitt Romney’s 47% comments, Governor Hickenlooper recently said that he believes politicians should be able to operate through back room deals away from the glare of public scrutiny.
Hickenlooper’s remarks to Time Magazine underscore his entire leadership style — unwilling to take clear and decisive positions, the governor believes he should be able to keep his positions on public policy private as much as possible.
Reports Time’s Zeke Miller:
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a potential 2016 democratic candidate for president, has a creative — and controversial — idea for ending Washington, D.C.’s partisan gridlock: start legislating from behind closed doors and bring back the earmark.
After decades of fights for transparency in government, Hickenlooper told TIME that those well-intended initiatives are making government and lawmakers less effective. “We elect these people to make these difficult decisions, but now they are in the full light of video every time they make a decision,” Hickenlooper said at the National Governors Association meeting in Milwaukee, Wis. on Friday. “We elected these people, let them go back into a room like they always did.”
The article was first picked up by KDVR’s Eli Stokols, and the right has quickly piled on.
Conservative group Compass Colorado issued a press release blasting Hick for his pining for privacy in public affairs and tying it to Hickenlooper’s whispers of support for the billion dollar tax hike behind closed doors:
“Since Governor Hickenlooper announced his support for the billion dollar tax hike behind closed doors, it’s no surprise he advocates doing the public’s business in private,” said Compass Colorado Executive Director Kelly Maher. “Coloradans deserve better than leaders who think they can rule the state from smoke-filled rooms.”
Gubernatorial candidate Greg Brophy also took a swipe at Hickenlooper on Twitter:
Gov Hickenlooper calls for less transparency and more back room deals http://t.co/g9TmGdLM0U. Would that help hide his true political nature
— SenatorBrophy (@SenatorBrophy) August 7, 2013
Governor Hickenlooper may wish for a reprieve from public scrutiny, but thankfully he can’t sign an executive order suspending sunshine laws until the next governor.
UPDATE: The Colorado Republican Party is now fundraising off of Hickenlooper’s impolitic statement.
I can hardly believe it.
This week, Gov. Hickenlooper called for a return to the smoke filled rooms of yesterday, where politicians, special interests and lobbyists were able to work out deals that benefited themselves, but hurt the American people.
According to Time Magazine, Hickenlooper said:
“We elect these people to make these difficult decisions, but now they are in the full light of video every time they make a decision. We elected these people; let them go back into a room like they always did.”
If you’re like me, you know that sunlight is the best disinfectant. Open meetings requirements are designed to hold politicians like Hickenlooper accountable.
This is the type of radical, backward thinking that Hickenlooper has been pushing. Will you donate $25, $50 or $100 to ensure John Hickenlooper doesn’t have another term to get rid of Colorado’s Sunshine Law?