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September 09, 2018 8:00 am MST

"Balancing" Absentee Story Goes Badly For Stapleton

  • by: Colorado Pols
Walker Stapleton.

Denver7’s Blair Miller took a deep dive Friday into one of many controversies being argued out in the Colorado governor’s race. For years since Republican nominee Walker Stapleton was elected Treasurer, it has been persistently rumored that Stapleton’s personal attendance at his office inside the Capitol is very poor. This was long known anecdotally, but was then apparently validated back in 2014 by official key card records indicating he rarely shows up. Stapleton pushed back hard against that allegation, saying he used another secured entrance where the card wasn’t needed.

Since 2014, Stapleton apparently “solved” the problem by never once using his key card:

Logs of keycard and access code usage at the private doors of the Capitol, which can only be used by state employees and lawmakers, show that Stapleton hasn’t used his keycard or access code once during his second term in office, which CSP confirmed was the case. [Pols emphasis]

While several state officials and employees said they typically used the private entrances, several said they also used the public entrances and flashed their state ID badges to the troopers at the door to get inside without keycards or access codes. CSP said that was “not uncommon.”

Since Stapleton knew his attendance could be tracked in this manner, the motive for completely abandoning the use of his keycard is obvious–to conceal his attendance record. The response to Miller from Stapleton’s campaign is less than ideal:

Stapleton’s campaign spokesman, Jerrod Dobkin, sent Denver7 the following statement: “As the Colorado State Patrol confirmed, Walker uses the south entrance to enter the Capitol.” However, CSP did not confirm that Stapleton uses the south entrance, only that it was possible to use the public entrances without a keycard if a state employee ID is shown. [Pols emphasis] Logs from 2011, when Stapleton used his keycard, shows he almost always used the entrance on the south side of the building.

So this week, Colorado Democrats took another approach to proving Stapleton’s absenteeism:

Camp Stapleton is very upset about this too, and they say there’s a perfectly good excuse. But if a picture is worth a thousand words, the nine thousand-word response to these photos of Stapleton’s empty parking space had better be good!

The point here is not to unduly hype what remains a smallish issue among so many up for debate in this election. But as Blair’s story notes, Stapleton’s campaign has been hammering on the fact that Democratic nominee Jared Polis has missed a little over 5% of roll call votes since being elected to Congress. Polis’ absences are a matter of record, and a higher percentage this year makes sense given that he’s running for governor.

It’s as simple as being able to take what you dish out, and that’s a recurring problem for Stapleton.


9 thoughts on ““Balancing” Absentee Story Goes Badly For Stapleton

  1. Maybe Camp Stapleton & Dubya could go all high-tech on us and have the cell-phone company share all their location data on his phone from, say, the last month of the legislative session. 

    Whatever he was doing, we don't need to worry about his inappropriately using the Treasurer's Page to campaign.  Looking at the Colorado Department of Treasury website, the splashpage tells us:

    What’s New

    Meeting Notice

    August 23, 2018 at 9 am

    Focus on PERA at start of legislative session

    January 11, 2018

    Stapleton Announces ‘PERA Reform Principles’ to Guide 2018 Talks

    December 6, 2017

    I was also taken with the section "Treasurer's Initiatives" — which is a single page on PERA.  One topic. Hard to pick out what are considered "initiatives" — the only clear proposal was the idea of balancing the PERA board, adding people who do not receive benefits from PERA.  He explains he testified in favor of legislation to do that — in 2011.

    I was concerned when I read

    "What is the current makeup of PERA’s portfolio? and the answer begins …. "As of December 31, 2009:"


    1. Thank you, JohnInDenver, for the details from Stapleton's government website. It was interesting to learn that his website lists only one Treasurer's Initiative (PERA) — but it was downright telling that, as State Treasurer, his website cites financial data that are nearly a decade out of date.

      These facts speak to Stapleton's narrow vision and negligent regard for his office and duties, as do his myopic agendas and frequent absences from PERA meetings and the Capitol itself.  

  2. Stumbleton is just proving that his job is so easy, he can do it in his sleep (or from California, or Connecticut, or when he's on a plane somewhere), obviating the need to ever see what the inside of his office looks like.

  3. Too bad Polis wasn't part of the Club 20 debate last night in Grand Junction. The contrast between Polis and Stapleton would have been stunning. And by the way, there may well have been more Dems in the crowd than Republicans – there were a large number of supporters for Diane Mitsch Bush (who made Tipton look like a deer in the headlights), and Phil Weiser (who made Brauchler look like a military robot).

  4. These stunts won’t resonate with voters. Concerned about how bad the current Polis ads are. The PERA ad is convoluted. The bio ad is good but ad it  it is distracting how sloppy  Polis looks. Meanwhile Stapleton has been running ads about Polis not paying taxes (something about Cayman Islands) and raising taxes – and while lying about funding education and roads. Polis needs to step up his game now.

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