In every election cycle we’ve been around for that features a member of the Colorado General Assembly running for higher office, one “controversy” is sure to come up–that is, criticism of said legislator for missing days of the legislative session in order to campaign.
This year, we’ve seen a bevy of attacks on legislative Democrats Joe Miklosi and Sal Pace, running in CD-6 and CD-3 respectively, from Republicans critical of their need to stay on the campaign trail. In 2010, Republicans Cory Gardner and Scott Tipton came in for similar criticism. We don’t mean to sound overly jaded about it, but these are all fully expected and at this point fairly canned attacks. At no point has it ever been shown to us that these exchanges are relevant beyond something for the political chattering classes to lob like a spitwad.
But it can backfire. Yesterday evening, reporter Lynn Bartels of the Denver paper broke news that both House Speaker Frank McNulty and Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman have missed several recent days of the session to attend meetings of GOPAC and/or the Republican State Leadership Committee. This is more problematic for them than it otherwise might be after McNulty’s lieutenant, Assistant Majority Leader Mark Waller, hammered Rep. Miklosi for his recent trip to Washington D.C. to raise badly-needed funds for his congressional bid.
And then there’s the fact that McNulty’s not running for higher office. These meetings with high-level out of state Republicans concerned the same legislature he ditched to attend.
Not to mention that the Speaker of the House is missed a bit more than an individual representative. The same can be said of the Senate Minority Leader.
Folks, that’s as close as we intend to get to a self-serving lecture about this. Based on what we understand of the reapportionment process concluded last December, McNulty needs all the help he can get in an uphill battle to retain his one-seat House majority–just like Miklosi needs all the help he can get in his David-and-Goliath matchup with Mike Coffman.
But we do hope every time the matter devolves into a steaming pile of hypocrisy, as it appears to have in this case, there will be a reporter like Bartels to note that for the record.