Liberal Governor John Hickenlooper and his staff felt pretty safe from the reach of Colorado’s Open Records Act (CORA) by using their personal emails. How else can you explain the blatant disregard chief strategist for Hickenlooper, Alan Salazar, has for rural Coloradans? Unlucky for Hick and Salazar, communications with the EPA fall under the Federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and the Competitive Enterprise Institute got their hands on them, as Complete Colorado reports:
Top administration officials for Gov. John Hickenlooper asked the Environmental Protection Agency for help killing a 2012 Republican-sponsored water bill that would have saved rural Colorado water districts and their customers millions of dollars, according to recently obtained emails. [the Peak emphasis]
It was reported last week Salazar took quite the umbrage when someone had the gall to call him and Hick’s administration a “slippery lot.” The self-awareness shown by Salazar in these emails shows that label more than fits.
Salazar, using his AOL account, emailed Martin’s private account about the then-pending legislation and his “Thoughts on Nutrients Response” following the bill’s 8-5 approval from the House Agriculture, Livestock, and Natural Resources committee to the House Committee on Appropriations on March 12, 2012.
…Salazar wrote, “1. My sense is that it’s fine to take some time with the response. Doesn’t have to be soon – maybe better if it’s not too quick. 2. Specificity and direction with regard to the questions posed would also be helpful. 3. We don’t want to expose the administration to political fire. [the Peak emphasis]
Not only did Salazar want the EPA to kill a bill that would help rural Coloradans, but he wanted to make sure none of the blowback could be traced to Hickenlooper’s administration. This isn’t just slippery, this is dirty, underhanded, and conniving, the exact opposite of everything Hickenlooper has portrayed himself as. That is why this email correspondence is so damaging to Hickenlooper. It casts every fortunate coincidence that has happened during his term in a whole new light. How many times has a timely report or study come out during a heated debate that swung the debate in Hickenlooper’s favor?
That Hickenlooper happy-go-lucky persona has just turned into something more sinister.