What is it about Colorado Democrats who cycle after cycle nominate some of the most under-qualified, ignorant candidates for the State Treasurer role, yet Republicans put forward some of the most competent people in the state for the role?

Brian Watson comes to the table having survived the financial crisis as a real estate professional, and now controls more than a billion dollars in commercial real estate.  He understands capital markets, negotiating, investor relations, and most importantly – the value of a hard earned dollar.  Walker Stapleton came into the role with a Harvard MBA and experience managing his family’s complex real estate holdings.  Bill Owens went on to serve as director of several public companies.

Now, let’s turn back the clock four years, when in a side-by-side interview with Betsy Markey, Stapleton took a massive risk, and asked her an incredibly basic finance question: what is the yield curve?  This was a highly-risky maneuver because it was such an elementary question, and Stapleton would have looked like a fool and a bully had she simply answered the question.  But she did not.  She could not.  She laughed and struggled to spit out a coherent thought to change the direction of the conversation.

Today, the Democrats have presented us with a middle school math teacher to oversee the state’s $6 billion investment portfolio, sit on the board of one of the most important pensions in America, and provide leadership to complex organizations within the Treasurer’s Office.  Could you imagine this guy talking to Moody’s about bond ratings? Acting in a fiduciary capacity as a member of the PERA board? Holding his (really, our) investment managers accountable? He has literally nothing in his background to make him even remotely qualified to do any of these things, much less lead an office of professionals who are charged with carrying out these responsibilities.

Nothing wrong with teaching middle school math.  We have no reason to believe that he was anything but a great math teacher.  But the skill set one developed in a classroom of 12-year olds is slightly different that want is required for an executive leading the most important department of the Colorado state government.  And Colorado voters from both sides of the aisle recognize that fact.