Suthers has delivered his moonlighting opinion to Gessler

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

POLS UPDATE: It’s all over, folks, as the Denver Business Journal’s Ed Sealover reports:

Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler has abandoned his plans to do side work for his former law firm, he announced Tuesday afternoon.

In fact, Gessler will not do any side work with any law firm in order to focus on his duties in his new elected position, he said in a letter sent to constituents and the media…

The disclosure was followed by a week and a half of public discussion that included condemnations of his decision and questioning by some lawmakers.


Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced on KHOW’s Caplis and Silverman show Monday that his office has given Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler an opinion regarding his plan to moonlight for his former law firm, but Suthers did not offer further details.

Gessler hasn’t raced to the news media with Suthers’ decision, which means it likely was not a green light, though we obviously don’t know.

The radio show has been breaking newsbits on the Gessler moonlighting story, since it first broke in the Denver Business Journal.

On Thursday, for example, Gessler told Caplis and Siverman that his former law partners were “very uncomfortable” with his idea of making the names of his moonlighting clients public.

Yesterday, with Suthers on the program during the 3 p.m. hour to discuss recent court decisions about the federal health-care bill, Suthers answered the following question from Silverman about Gessler:

Craig: Scott Gessler has asked you for an opinion about whether his moonlighting is ok. You probably can’t tell us your decision, but can you give us some timing on when you might make the call?

John Suthers: We’ve already indicated to Scott what we think the issues are in regard to that decision. And I’m not free to comment what we’ve advised Mr. Gessler.


49 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Diogenesdemar says:

    It’s either a states rights issue as guaranteed by our constitution, . . . or it’s an issue of federal law clearly and constitutionally overriding state law?

  2. Craig says:

    BS.  Someone needs to make an Open Records Act request of Suthers’ office.  The public has a right to know.

  3. DavidThi808 says:

    Stapleton, Romero, and Suthers himself?

  4. Republican 36 says:

    If he won’t make it public then we can pretty musch assume the Attorney General told him his prospective moonlighting didn’t pass muster.

  5. Middle of the Road says:

    No conflict of interest, problem solved. And all it took was a week straight of devastatingly bad press and more than likely, a big thumbs down from Suthers.

    • If Gessler makes a habit out of this kind of “decision-making” process for his whole career as SoS, this blog could run out of bandwidth and storage covering it.

      I can just see it now:

      Gessler: We are considering 527’s to be individuals for purposes of contributing directly to campaigns this year.

      Unwashed Masses: You’ve got to be F’ing joking!

      Media: Scott Gessler made yet another controversial move today which appears to violate Colorado law.

      Suthers (officially to Gessler): Scott, the opinion of the AG’s office is going to have to be that this is a plain violation of the law.

      Suthers (off-record conversation with Gessler): WOULD YOU STOP IT YOU FREAKIN’ IDJIT!?!!?  You’re making us all look bad!

  6. bullshit! says:

    Sorry, wrong thread.

  7. Awen says:

    The paper that shall not be named is also reporting that the JBC took $2 million from the SOS budget today, part of that $3.5 million that they just had layin’ around.

  8. bjwilson83 says:

    Chalk another irrelevant victory up to the Dem smear machine. Now Gessler’s mom will go hungry and the Dems get to claim a “win”. Meanwhile, most people in Colorado don’t care whether or not Gessler works an extra 5 hours a week to make ends meet and never did.

  9. ohwilleke says:

    Not a very inspiring way to start the next four years, but the people of Colorado voted him in, so barring a recall, we’re stuck with him.

  10. DavidThi808 says:

    I know Scott is our favorite whipping boy. But now that he’s corrected himself (with a bit of help), what about the others that figure running a state agency is a part-time job? Especially Romero who also has a conflict every bit as large as Gessler’s.

    Suthers, Stapleton, & Romero (and his boss Hick) – are you going to follow the lead of Scott Gessler and do the right thing?

    • Ralphie says:

      was the most obvious potential conflict of interest.  The low-hanging fruit.

      I don’t think Stapleton and Suthers come close.  Romero, maybe.

      • RedGreen says:

        Maybe only if you buy David’s firm belief that the job of eco-devo and foreign trade chief will be to “boost ski visits.” There is no evidence for that other than David’s absolute conviction that that’s got to be what Romero will be doing. None.

        As for the others, David’s take on the concept of full-time work is a bit Puritan, especially for someone who blogs and “interviews” for hours a week. Suthers was teaching classes before he election, so how come it’s only a problem now that it’s come to your attention? Shouldn’t you have had some indication he was shirking his job, especially as avid a Garnett supporter as you were? Frankly, that an attorney general teaches a couple law classes should be encouraged. And as far as Stapleton goes, the more he leaves his job to the pros, the better off the state will be.

      • DavidThi808 says:

        I think Romero comes very close. Stapleton & Suthers are giving us less than full time but for them I don’t see any clear conflict.

        But for Romero, economic development can directly increase the value of the properties he manages. If he was a Republican appointee this blog would be all over him.

        And to use me as an example, yes I hit Pols while eating breakfast & then last thing at night – when I can. I’m not asking anyone to do nothing but work. But I also once did 2 interviews in 2 weeks and had my CEO tell me no more for a month. And because blogging isn’t a job, I could then drop it.

        • RedGreen says:

          David, that’s the opposite of a conflict of interest, it’s a coincidence of interest, and your charge is hogwash whatever you call it.

          So if the economy improves, Ken Salazar’s Dairy Queen can sell more Dilly Bars? He’d better not do anything to end this recession!

          Sen. Steadman and Rep. Ferrandino are sponsoring the civil unions legislation upcoming — and, suspiciously, they are the legislators who will benefit most from it! There must be something wrong about that!

          If your complaint was just that Romero can’t do his job in the 160 hours in a week when he’s not winding down his involvement in the development (while taking a 20 percent pay cut), that’d be one thing. But you’ve said what he’s doing is corrupt. That’s ludicrous.  

  11. c rork says:

    Damnit! Watching Gessler getting tarred and feathered in the press was fun. I’m sure it won’t be long before he does something ridiculous again…

  12. Barron X says:


    must have ended up on another thread ?


  13. ArapaGOP says:

    Rookie mistake.

    Gessler is still the elected Secretary of State for the next four years. I think it’s time to let this go, and stop piling on him since he did the right thing. Unless you want to talk about Colorado 80% director of economic development?

    • Because it took a sh*tstorm to get him to do “the right thing”.  Some people (read: anyone I would consider competent to run the SoS’s office) would never have considered what Gessler attempted to do without a thought.

    • Half Glass Full says:

      An Arapahoe County GOP person “thinks it’s time to let this go.” I’m amazed.

      Sorry – but the whole spectacle of Gessler seeing no possible conflict of interest in the Secretary of State doing part-time work for an ELECTION LAW firm is something that shouldn’t be soon forgotten.

  14. Ray Springfield says:

    If he doesn’t report his income publicly, then how would the public know if he moonlights or not?

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