by John Alexander Madison
June 15, 2009
And the next Governor of Colorado is....
Thankfully, three of the four legislative sessions of Governor Ritter’s last term in office have passed with the close of the 2009 session in early May…many feel it did not come quick enough.
And, believe it or not, the opportunity to return Colorado to an era of personal responsibility, traditional marriage, respect for life, lower taxes and fees, support of a free market economy, and less government interference in our daily lives is only 17 months away, or more precisely 505 days away. But who’s counting?
It is possible that a challenger from the Governor’s own party may emerge for an exciting Democrat Party primary election battle in 2010. Someone should run, anyone, please. However, it is more probable that growing hope of finding a new resident for the Mansion at the southeast corner of 8th Avenue and Logan Street will come from within the ranks of the Republican Party.
Early on, declared or anticipated gubernatorial candidates from the party of Abraham Lincoln include Scott McInnis, Josh Penry, and someone with a name similar to the D.A. from the 4th Judicial District. Regarding McInnis and Penry, the current, serious contenders bring credentials worth consideration.
Glenwood Springs resident and former Congressman Scott McInnis is an ex-police officer, ex-state representative, and ex-Congressman. Having declared his candidacy for Governor on May 21, 2009 his twenty-two years as a lawmaker (ten in the Colorado legislature; twelve years in the United States Congress) will now come under close scrutiny. McInnis will taut his accomplishments over a long legislative career while his detractors will examine his record and use many of his votes against him. His judgment will also be questioned. In 2005, the Federal Election Commission investigated alleged improper use of campaign funds due to a generous salary for his wife. However, no wrongdoing was found. This will be a distraction in the campaign, as will the disposition of his excessive campaign account upon leaving Washington…fair or unfair as that may be. McInnis can expect some support from the well-meaning party leadership who convinced Bob Beauprez to leave Congress for his run for Governor. As a result of their efforts, both the 7th Congressional seat and the Governor’s office are no longer occupied by Republicans…the party which believes in less government interference in our lives.
Senator Josh Penry, elected in 2006, is the Senate minority leader and youngest member of the Colorado state senate. He has established himself by articulating a clear public policy vision at the Colorado Capitol. He personifies a new generation of Republican Party leadership and he will be, unquestionably, a key player in Colorado politics for many years to come. Senator Penry brings a renewed focus for the Republicans regarding realistic problem-solving and spending restraint. Travelling throughout the state he will work hard to build statewide name recognition and, in doing so, will most assuredly create an avalanche of support from those who want real change and new leadership in Colorado. His intellectual honesty and his proven leadership are exactly what Colorado needs. Without others entering the race, the probability is the next Governor of Colorado will be…from the Western Slope. Let the fun begin.
Oh, one last thing. Earlier, in error, a reference was made to Governor Ritter ‘last term in office.’ Governor Ritter was elected to his first term in November 2006, not necessarily his last. Perhaps the error can be attributed to wishful thinking.
And the next Mayor of Colorado Springs will be….
While not wanting to get too far ahead of ourselves, have you noticed down in Colorado Springs that second-term mayor, the Honorable Lionel Rivera, is in hot water? Calls for his resignation are getting louder by the day while he claims he has ‘done nothing wrong…that there was no conflict of interest.’
However, the fact is the successful bidder for the United Stated Olympic Committee’s new downtown headquarters is under investigation for alleged multiple wrongful business dealings. It should be noted, that this developer was a client of the Mayor in his stock brokerage business while negotiations between the developer, the USOC and the City were underway.
Now, the USOC, the City, the Mayor, and the developer with a very dark cloud above his head are trying to sort out one big mess…amidst lawsuits, accusations and denials.
The deal to keep the Olympic committee in Colorado Springs is in troubled waters. Can the deal be saved? Should the mayor do the honorable thing and step aside in the best interests of the City and the citizens he serves? A conflict on interest or an appearance of conflict (or lesser offenses) has caused many politicians to resign. Perhaps it’s the right thing for the Mayor Rivera to do. Stay tuned.