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:
For the past two work weeks, we’ve been stopping by Walker Stapleton’s parking spot every single day at random times during the work day, and his space has been empty EVERY single time. https://t.co/1t6Oit4Zj7 #copolitics #cogov pic.twitter.com/svh3w2dBSB
— Colorado Dems (@coloradodems) September 7, 2018
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.