Locally respected magazine 5280 released their rankings of prominent Colorado personalities last week, the “5280 Fifty” ‘most influential.’
We don’t envy the writers charged with assembling these lists, since for one thing they almost never look very auspicious in retrospect. 5280’s last similar rankings were five years ago, and 2005’s 5280 ‘most influential’ was then-First Lady Frances Owens–who we can’t really recall at any subsequent point being deserving of that title. Similarly this year’s #1 ranked Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper seems a little out of place: not that we don’t love the guy like all the approval ratings show, but most influential man in Colorado? Don’t think so.
Other rankings that don’t seem right to us in this year’s 5280 list include placing CU President Bruce Benson ahead of previously top-ranked ex-CSU President Al Yates. Longtime GOP kingpin Benson has by all accounts kept his pledge to check out of politics while running CU, while Yates continues to be one of the key players in Democratic electoral strategy and top-level giving. Going into this election year, it’s an effortless call as to who will be more ‘influential.’
And here’s another one: on what planet does weed attorney Robert Corry outrank “Colorado’s Karl Rove” Ted Trimpa? Corry may be getting lots of column inches out of his momentarily hot issue, but the idea that Corry is, on the whole, more influential than Trimpa is just not objective. Or even sort of true.
These are just a couple that caught our eye, no doubt you have some others you would re-arrange. In fact, why not make your own “Top 50?” They’re all worth about the same.
UPDATE: a commenter rightfully points out that 5280 describes this as a ranking of influential persons in Denver, not necessarily in Colorado as a whole–but then they proceed to list a number of people who don’t live in Denver. So, you know, whatever.