InCOPetence: Stapleton’s Trip To The Woodshed Continues

Walker Stapleton.

While the New York Times was ruining the current news cycle for Colorado GOP gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton nationally, major local news outlets finally caught up to the other line of bad press for Stapleton this week–the ill-explained delay within Stapleton’s office issuing certificates of participation to authorize millions of dollars in funding for capital construction projects throughout the state.

Yesterday’s hearing of the Capital Development Committee was supposed to be Stapleton’s opportunity to clear the air after contradictory statements from Stapleton and his staff about the reason for this delay. Instead, Stapleton sent Deputy Treasurer Ryan Parsell to take his lumps. And as FOX 31’s Joe St. George reported last night, it wasn’t a good look:

Rep. Chris Hansen, D-Denver, said his main concern was a delay could mean higher costs to the state including higher interest rates and construction costs.

“Having a three month delay means you have two major financial impacts,” Hansen said. “We are probably looking at a quarter point impacts because of this delay. That adds up to tens of millions of dollars.” [Pols emphasis]

…Parsell testified that July 1 wasn’t a deadline but instead the first day the paperwork could be finalized.

Parsell said technically the Treasurer’s office has until June to get the paperwork completed.

Westword’s Nora Olabi:

Parsell continually reiterated that the word “delay” was a mischaracterization since, legally, the treasurer’s office has until June of next year to issue the bonds. That is the same messaging Stapleton pushed after publicly trying to walk back statements he made on the lawsuit’s relevance to selling state bonds at last week’s press conference. [Pols emphasis] The state treasurer’s office has attributed the delays to a few things, including investor skittishness because of the lawsuit, a (now-fired) bond attorney who went so far as to say that it was illegal to issue the bonds before the lawsuit was resolved, and concerns about the state’s creditworthiness…

Hansen and other critics point out that Stapleton had more than a year to address those concerns, since funding has been approved since May 2017. Two projects on the committee’s long to-do list were supposed to break ground this month at a cost of about $2.7 million, and about one-third of the 98 projects were slated to be designed this month. Now projects are on hold until the treasurer secures bond underwriters.

In short, Stapleton’s surrogate can insist that there’s “no delay,” but in reality there most certainly is one–and it does appear that the original bond attorney who wrongly believed the TABOR Foundation’s lawsuit could scuttle the whole deal is a factor in that delay, as Stapleton indicated before his office tried to walk it back. The situation may not be as visually problematic as, say, the Ku Klux Klan, but it paints a picture of a Treasurer more interested in political appearances than carrying out his nonpolitical responsibilities. And as a result, he’s dropping the ball on those responsibilities.

All we can say is, it’s one hell of a way to ask for a promotion.

9 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JohnInDenver says:

    Dave Young apparently put out a press release  that got to the Greeley Tribune. Their story includes the following:

    State Rep. Dave Young, D-Greeley, who is running for treasurer, was quick to issue his own news release about the same time as the Colorado House Democrats. For Young, it's pretty simple. Stapleton, he said, had more than a year to prepare.

    "Why was the treasurer not ready to launch these on July 1?" Young said.

    Young and his fellow Democrats sent out an Excel spreadsheet with all of the approved projects, including a "consequences of delay" section. They focused on health and safety issues, pitching Stapleton as the enemy of those outcomes.

    "I'm sorry somebody believes it's political gamesmanship," Young said, adding that he thinks Stapleton is the one playing games. "I'm really concerned about life-safety issues."

    It is a bit odd that the release didn't get on his campaign website. Or get more play in the statewide news sources I follow.

  2. Moderatus says:

    This is complete Democrat political garbage. Ask any Republican on this committee. There is no actual problem, just Democrats trying to hype one into existence. I knew this was a fake story when Colorado Pols started beating the drum last week. No surprise that the liberal media jumped right on board!!!

    Nobody cares. Walker Stapleton is a conservative. Colorado isn't going to let Jared's California values take over Colorado.

    • MichaelBowman says:

      You seem more tense than usual today, Nutter.  Care to share with the class?

    • unnamed says:

      What's wrong MAGAt?  You seem pissy.  Even for you.  Benedict Donald got you down?

      Didn't him kissing Putin's ass in front of the whole world MAGA?

    • Davie says:

      Aww, Moddy — aren't you and Stumbleton the cutest pair of lovable screw-ups!  Neither of you can spin your way out of a paper bag wink

    • Gray in Mountains says:

      Construction. Summer season preferred. All of it. Anything that causes planned construction to be delayed by a month, or more, is detrimental and results in increased costs. Always.

      Dolt.

    • JohnInDenver says:

      Funny, I've not heard a single Republican on the committee (or elsewhere) explaining how a delay is not going to delay projects which made it through a rigorous process to get on the list in the first place.Nor has anyone risen to explain why the delay WON'T raise costs of the projects.

      The most I’ve seen is “I don’t have a problem with the state treasurer exerting some responsibility,” [state Senator] Sonnenberg said. “I don’t know how you sell a bond if … there’s a court action against what you’re doing. I am not having an issue with the state treasurer being fiscally responsible.”

      Perhaps you can break your rule of never replying, Moderatus, and provide some link to any Republican from the committee defending Stapleton's action.

  3. spaceman65 says:

    Moddy, you do realize that the Dems have done pretty well in CO in presidential elections as well as ones for governor?  Carp all you want–it's really all you're good at–but you have a bumbling buffoon of a candidate, who is going to get his clock cleaned in November unless he can show something he's yet to show in his entire life (brains, dedication, hard-work, you name it).  Of course, we are still very scared of Cynthia Coffman, but we'll muddle through anyway

Leave a Reply

Comment from your Facebook account


You may comment with your Colorado Pols account above (click here to register), or via Facebook below.