Money Badger don’t care

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

UPDATE: Despite earlier news reports, there is apparently no meeting of the Joint Budget Committee and Scott Gessler occurring today. We'll update when we know what the deal is.


POLS UPDATE: The long-awaited showdown between the Joint Budget Committee and Secretary of State Scott Gessler over his office's big budget shortfall is scheduled for later today. Lest anyone think this is simply a partisan squabble, here's GOP Rep. Cheri Gerou criticizing Gessler's fiscal irresponsibility in no uncertain terms:

GEROU: When he came into office, I believe there was a pretty good cash fund balance. And it just seems like we've been dealing with two years of spending, spending, spending, that we've gotten to this point.

We'll update with coverage from today's hearing. Original post follows.


So much for the “party of fiscal responsibility.”

Colorado’s Secretary of State Scott Gessler has never been one to play by the rules. Since taking office in 2011, Gessler has faced scandal after scandal over his own efforts to tilt the playing field to his and his party’s advantage. Gessler is the only statewide politician in office today in Colorado who has been found by the state’s Independent Ethics Commission to have “violated the public trust for private gain.”

Now we learn Gessler can’t even manage his own department’s budget. After slashing fees on business registrations and other services performed by his office, news reports have revealed that the Secretary of State’s office is millions of dollars in the red. Gessler blames political opponents, but these were his decisions. Cutting fees on business is a great way to pander while running for higher office, but taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for it.

Send a message to Gessler right now: tell him you expect better.

Don’t take our word for it. Even the conservative Grand Junction Sentinel [1] says Gessler is wrong to blame others for his own mismanagement:

"Unfortunately for the [Joint Budget Committee], Gessler loves an audience and he will undoubtedly use the grandstand the budget committee is providing him to loudly proclaim his victimhood. But the JBC holds the higher moral ground in this dispute. Gessler got himself into this predicament by sharply cutting business fees for his cash-funded office, when his office had a large surplus several years ago, refusing to put a portion of the surplus into the state general fund as lawmakers demanded."

Over the past three years, Scott Gessler has caused more controversy, and been hit with more ethics scandals, than any politician in this state. By simple yardsticks of scandal and mismanagement, he’s the worst Secretary of State Colorado has seen in decades–maybe ever. Enough is enough: tell Scott Gessler to withdraw his request for millions more taxpayer dollars to cover his office’s avoidable shortfall. He’ll receive your message instantly, and we’ll share your comments with the media and other public officials.

The only thing Scott Gessler is better at than getting into trouble is making excuses. If Gessler can’t manage the finances of a single department, how could anyone even consider entrusting him with more responsibility? It just doesn’t make sense. Let Gessler know you’re not buying it, and that you expect better.

12 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. hawkeye says:

    "Cutting fees on business is a great way to pander while running for higher office, but taxpayers shouldn't be on the hook for it."

    Not very bright to pander to a constituency who's going to support you anyway in the general election.  Perhaps he was trying to improve his chances in the primary.

  2. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    The fees are absurdly low.
    I pay $5/yr to renew my business registration.

    • Craig says:

      The reality is that it's $10 and that fee hasn't changed since on -line filing has been allowed.  It's $50 if you want to file by paper, because paper filing costs the office more to process rather than the computer filing which costs the office nothing (except for the up front costs incurred before Gessler was in office) and in instantaneous.  What happened was that Gessler allowed corporations to be filed several years ago for $1.00.  The normal $50 fee is already way, way below the market for filing in for the vast majority of states in the country.  Yet, he wanted to spend down his surplus funds (something prior secretarys of state had not done) by reducing the fees collected.  It was a standard "Republican" corporate tax cut scheme, not paid for and resulting in a huge deficit several years later.  The reality is that he cost himself a lot of money in the future too, because lawyers like me had our secretaries form lots of blank corporations and LLC for $1.00 each and we just change the name now when clients need them for an additional fee of $10.00.  So we saved our clients $39.00 for years to come and Gessler will be leaving this problem to future Secretaries of State.  In the end, just another giveaway to big corporations on the backs of the little guy who pays income taxes and will have to pay higher taxes to take care of this mess.

      • BlueCatBlueCat says:

        All my husband needs for his sole proprietor business every year is trade name renewal for $5. If you said it was going to be doubled that would sound drastic but another $5 a year would be completely inconsequential.

  3. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    You read it here, if not first, then second.  Gessler also has spent absurd amounts of State department money on his personal legal ethical issues. He is clearly unfit to manage a convenience store, let alone the State of Colorado. 

    • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

      According to the Sterling Journal-Advocate, he has a lot of company.

    • DavieDavie says:

      MJ55 — Here's a deep article on how one very curious and determined investigator took down the NRA's PAC in RI.  Could be a case study for you and others with the skill and patience to follow up!

      • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

        I read that. I've investigated the NRA, and it is one tangled mess. This PAC gives to that SuperPAC, and that in turn gives to a Legislative PAC. There is overlap on the Boards of Directors.  Then they have antique guns in a museum for a tax write off, and the NRA Foundation does some social good in terms of training young people to use guns safely. They used to help fund marksmanship clubs in high schools that had them, so that's the NRA Foundation.

        Plus, the Virginia Secretary of State site is much more difficult to navigate than Colorado's. Kudos to this young man – he had the persistence to do the arithmetic on the spreadsheets – my guess is that most people don't have the patience, and the big organizations count on that.

        I did find that the NRA CIVIL RIGHTS DEFENSE FUND gave $200,000 to the Independence Institute in 2011.

        Bernie Herpin was the treasurer at the Colorado Springs branch of "Friends of the NRA".

        In 2011, the NRA gave $36,000 to female legislators in Colorado as scholarships to attend some kind of seminar or training.

        All of the above factoids were found from looking at the 990 IRS filing of only one branch of the NRA.

        So yes, the young man deserves praise for his determination.

      • BlueCatBlueCat says:

        Great piece on a great achievement.

  4. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Honey Badgers: Masters of Mayhem, on PBS tonight. Here's the teaser, narrated by Randall of the "Nasty Ass Honey Badger" youtube video fame.


    You are responsible for creating your own political analogies.

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