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March 23, 2022 10:06 AM UTC

Scott Gessler Has Never Been More Everywhere

  • by: Colorado Pols
Scott Gessler.

9NEWS reports on the latest developments from the Douglas County Board of Education, whose new conservative majority plunged into controversy a few weeks ago by violating open meetings laws in their plot to fire the district’s popular former superintendent Corey Wise. Last night, the board had a choice to advance as “sole finalist” between a career district professional and the director of a district charter school and…well, you know how this part of the story ends:

Seven weeks after removing Corey Wise as superintendent, the Douglas County school board named Erin Kane as the sole finalist for the position of superintendent of the Douglas County School District(DCSD) in a vote of 4-3…

Kane is the executive director for American Academy, a charter school in the district. She also served as DCSD interim superintendent in 2016.

That last part is important since, as Westword’s Michael Roberts reported in February:

The interim-superintendent stint corresponded with the reign of The Reformers, Dougco school board members who made national headlines thanks in part to a controversial voucher proposal that allowed parents to use taxpayer dollars to enroll their kids at religious schools. The plan prompted a lengthy court fight that wasn’t resolved until December 2017, when members of the board elected the previous month over the pro-voucher faction voted to end the program.

What we’re seeing in Douglas County is an about-face back to the policies of a far-right majority ousted over four years ago, after plunging the district into a divisive ideological struggle over the diversion of taxpayer dollars to fund religious schools. The pendulum swung back hard against the right-wing DougCo school board majority in the November 2017 school board election, demonstrating the limits of radical conservative ideology in education policy even in a heavily conservative district. In 2022, the same seeds of future discontent are being sown.

Speaking of familiar faces, 9NEWS continues:

Douglas County District Court Judge Jeffrey Holmes issued a preliminary injunction March 9 against the four board members, ordering them to conduct business publicly.

The board held a special meeting days afterward to discuss their response to the injunction but decided to postpone action.

A resolution on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting would direct the board’s attorneys to request more time to file a motion for reconsideration of the judge’s order and clarification of the order. The board also plans to discuss appointing additional legal counsel. [Pols emphasis]

And who is that “additional legal counsel” hired by DSCD to deal with their pesky open meetings law problem?

The vote to hire Scott Gessler, Colorado’s most notorious Republican political lawyer to represent Douglas County Schools in the suit stemming from the board’s violation of Colorado’s open meetings laws was like most votes on this board a 4-3 party-line split, and 9NEWS’ Kyle Clark reports the dissenting minority didn’t hesitate to point out the obvious:

If you’re one of the conservative majority members making the decision to hire this highly controversial figure to represent you in the first place, maybe you’re not smart enough to avoid taking the bait. That seems to be what happened here:

With that, the problem of hiring Scott Gessler, and for that matter letting this right-wing school board slip back into power in an off-year election, is laid bare. From the ill-fated Polis recall campaigns to the sad spectacle of Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters and even Donald Trump’s legal battle to overturn the results of the 2020 election, Scott Gessler has become the nexus of the worst actors in Colorado conservative politics. And for a majority of Republican voters who are not ready to move on from 2020, Gessler’s causes are their own.

Gessler may have lost the race for Republican Party chair to Kristi Burton Brown what seems like an eternity ago, but he has not been idle. It’s an open question with strong arguments on both sides which of them truly leads the Colorado GOP today.


9 thoughts on “Scott Gessler Has Never Been More Everywhere

  1. I wonder how many more giant swings will take place in DougCo political & education scene (scenes?) before moderates and progressives will come to the conclusion that they really ought to vote in every election? 

    Hope someone is compiling the loss of experienced administrators, long-time teachers, and students in the district.  It is still March, and the DougCo Schools job board already has 205 listings for full-time, licensed, "regular" teachers.


    1. Why people don't vote in every election is a fascination of mine, not just for DougCo. Send me a ballot in the mail and I'd vote on I Heart Radio awards.

    2. "before moderates and progressives will come to the conclusion that they really ought to vote in every election"

      There are progressives and moderates in Douglas County? Who knew? And how many are there?

  2. “Pa, who was that red-faced liar? . . .”

    “Well son, says on this here card he left, ‘Scott Gessler, Esq. — Nutter Shyster Extraordinaire!'” . . .

    (. . . Well, I guess there’s no reason that Patrick Neville should get all those sweet nutter grifts . . .)


    1. I litigated cases against Gessler ~15 years ago, before he became SOS.  He was a decent adversary back then.  But people change and he's gone completely off the rails.  Unhinged and pathetic.   Now he swims in the mud with all the best pond scum. 

  3. DougCo is having its collective Linda Blair season…heads rotating 360 degrees and green (or brown) stuff being hurled around the room. Gessler ain't no exorcist. 

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