Hey-o! Prominent Capitol lobbyist and former legislator Steve Durham has given the Colorado Association of Home Builders and Gov. John Hickenlooper the proverbial finger in a very public and very brazen way. Durham, who until today lobbied for CAHB, has resigned the position he held for the last 15 years over his principled opposition to the group’s support of Hick’s misguided effort to push for a special session.
In Durham’s letter of resignation, which was circulated among all state legislators, he (rightly) accuses Hick of bending over backwards to appease Congressman Jared Polis, whom Durham calls a ‘terrorist.’ He annihilates the credibility of The Denver Post for protecting Polis and chastises the most prominent members of CAHB for acting out of political convenience and trying only to “preserve their ‘relationship’ with the Governor.”
Durham’s words carry huge weight, as he is one of the most (if not the most) influential lobbyists at the capitol. Not only is he brilliant when it comes to crafting public policy, but he understands how the process works better than anyone else down there. Durham is routinely put on retainer by some of the most powerful interests under the gold dome simply because they do not want him to work for their opposition.
Also interesting and noteworthy is the fact that Durham’s partner, Jeani Frickey, has resigned her position as one of CAHB’s lobbyists too. Frickey is a well-known and well-respected Democrat, so her departure raises even more questions.
This news will certainly create ripples for weeks to come and could have a long-term impact on the CAHB’s ability to effectively lobby for years to come.
For your reading pleasure, here is the full text of Durham’s resignation:
On Thursday, July 3, 2014 the Legislative Committee of the Colorado Association of Home Builders voted to support Gov. John Hickenlooper’s request for a special session and his most recent proposed draft of legislation. Rather than ask you or any responsible member of the Colorado General Assembly to vote for this legislation I have chosen, after over 15 years as the lobbyist for the CAHB, to resign my position. It is important to note that each and every member of the Legislative Committee who spoke about this legislation believe that it was bad for Colorado and so stated. The following are my reasons for resigning:
1. Congressman Jared Polis has created this crisis for the Colorado economy and the CAHB wishes to resolve him of all responsibility for what he has created. Not a single member of the Legislative Committee criticized Congressman Polis.
2. Governor Hickenlooper has chosen to appease terrorist Polis rather than stating in no uncertain terms that what he is proposing is devastating for Colorado’s economy and should be defeated.
3. It became clear that any tactic necessary to “persuade” responsible legislators to support the Hickenlooper legislation would be used. I will not participate in any effort that demonizes responsible legislators and protects the irresponsible Jared Polis and Governor Hickenlooper.
4. The editorial in Saturday’s Denver Post asking Bob Beauprez to support the Governor’s irresponsible actions is a harbinger of things to come. The responsible legislators who oppose bad policy will be demonized by the media and their supporters and the terrorists will be allowed to proceed without consequences.
5. It became clear that the strongest motivation for the CAHB to support this legislation was an attempt by several prominent members to preserve their “relationship” with the Governor. The motive is not good public policy.
I hope that you will do everything possible to continue to resist this irresponsible legislation and hold accountable those who jeopardizing Colorado’s economy.
My partner, Jeani Frickey has also resigned her position as CAHB lobbyist. Her reasons are her own and you should inquire of her should you desire additional details. If you have any questions please contact me at [phone number redacted].