As reported in the Greeley newspaper this weekend, Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler made a fairly astounding slip during a keynote speech to the Weld County GOP’s Lincoln Day dinner. Or maybe it wasn’t a slip–speaking before a friendly and rural Republican audience, with no television cameras to be seen, maybe Gessler just felt safe to say what he really feels.
According to reporter Nate Miller of the Greeley paper, Gessler was discussing “criticism” he had received since taking office on various issues. Not his abortive decision to work part time for his old elections law firm, or to hire the former head of an organization Gessler once represented and had accumulated vast reporting fines–not that stuff, mind you, but the fight over several million dollars Gessler wants to keep in his office budget, and his steadfast support for citizenship ‘verification’ schemes to purge the voter rolls.
Reports Miller, Gessler now claims that he wants the money for a citizenship verification program–first we’ve heard of that, his previous defense was that the money was from business fees and should be used for related purposes. But Gessler says all of his actions since taking office have been in pursuit of principle, “whatever the consequences may be.”
Because you see, gentle reader, Scott Gessler wasn’t elected Secretary of State to serve the state of Colorado! Gessler straight-out told his audience of Weld County Republicans that, even though he “wants to be thoughtful,” and considerate of both sides, the reason he was really elected is “to further the conservative viewpoint.” Not to safeguard Colorado’s elections, or administer business law, or lobbyist registration, nonprofits and charities, or any of his nonpartisan constitutional duties. “To further the conservative viewpoint.” We’re not saying he’s blowing these responsibilities off. But by his own admission, something else comes first.
We knew all of this before, of course. But we are a little amazed that he came out and said it.