Lost in the hoopla of a disappearing Senator, a President who gives advice no one wants, and a Governor whose most redeeming quality is his ability to drink vast quantities of beer, is the fact that Gov. John Hickenlooper’s grand plan to demonstrate leadership with a special session to appease Colorado’s political bully Rep. Jared Polis has basically imploded.
Earlier this week, we wrote about highly-respected and prominent Colorado lobbyist Steve Durham calling it quits from the Colorado Association of Home Builders. Denver Business Journal’s Ed Sealover reports the fallout from CAHB’s controversial endorsement of Hickenlooper’s special session was far more extensive than just Durham:
The Colorado Association of Home Builders’ bipartisan lobbying team and six of its board members have resigned in response to the organization’s decision to support Gov. John Hickenlooper’s proposal to give cities and counties more regulatory power over oil and gas drilling. [the Peak’s emphasis]
From Hickenlooper’s recent “candid” comments to the Colorado Sheriffs, we know Hick has no problem tossing people under the bus, and that sounds like exactly what happened here. Facing what will surely be seen as another explicit example of Hickenlooper’s failed leadership, Hick and his staff had no problem putting allies and friends to the sword to support his cockamamie scheme. It doesn’t matter to Hickenlooper that he’s broken one of the most respected, centrists, business associations in Colorado in the process. Even CAHB’s Democratic lobbyist Jeani Frickey Saito quit over CAHB’s endorsement, calling it shortsighted:
Saito said in her termination letter that the CAHB had become a powerful group because it had developed a coalition that included the likes of agricultural and business organizations and spoke with a unified voice against bills and ballot initiatives that threatened to impede development.
In choosing to back a bill that fails to highlight any positive policy and is written instead to “placate the political whims of a congressman … [looking] to advance his own personal agenda,” a reference to Polis, the organization has gone against allies who have not supported the measure and “is abandoning a proven strategy for success,” she wrote.
“In our personal opinion, this view is not only shortsighted but also detrimental to the long-term credibility of CAHB,” she wrote. [the Peak’s emphasis]
Saito wrote this from 12 years of experience with CAHB. These words were not written lightly. Along with Saito and Durham, a full six board members resigned as well.
Hickenlooper claims to be a centrist, but as we saw from the 2013 legislative session, and as we see from these bipartisan resignations, the only bipartisan thing Hickenlooper is good at is uniting opposition against him.